Rot Into Filth, the first half of Bone Eater’s debut MMXXII is a satisfying nine minute meditation on repetition, tone, and extreme doom.
If you’re of a certain vintage, then you may remember cassette tapes. And I’m talking about the first wave here. The era when people actually believed cassettes sounded good. Yeah. I know. I’m dating myself. Or at least hinting towards my own vintage. But it’s important to the point I’m trying to make so bear with me. Please. And don’t worry. If you only learned about cassette tapes after your friend’s band decided, “No one buys CDs anymore and vinyl’s too expensive,” I’ll ask you to bear with me as well. I will not leave you out of this one sided conversation. Trust me. I promise.
I guess I could have also started this off simply by saying, “Show of hands. Who here remembers listening to tapes on a Walkman as the batteries choked out their last few electrons?” It’s an experience that essentially changes the entire recording and how you engage with it. The keys seem different. The pitch is way off. And sometimes songs actually get slower as they progress. But there’s a weird beauty in there somewhere. Hearing an album from an entirely new perspective in a way it was never intended to exist.
I admit, this is something I have experienced on numerous occasions back when I used to play music at ear punishing volumes through those shitty foam covered headphones that came with your Walkman. The ones with the wire bar that wrapped over your head like some kind of weirdo, medieval fashion statement . Or, if you were one of the cool kids like I obviously was, you wore them over your ball cap. Worn backwards. Like an asshole. Yes. I lived, for a time, in a pre-earbud world.
Hold that thought.
When Scott Miller dropped me a line to say he had a new project in the works with recordings forthcoming, I was excited to hear them. There are some musicians who always deliver what your ears are craving and Miller’s one of those guys for me. More often than not his music is brutally heavy and full of interesting guitar tones and creative structures. As a member of the Quispamsis trio Anthesis – one of the heaviest bands I’ve ever heard anywhere, I’ll have you know – and as the driving force behind Ancient Temple (the studio and the label), Miller’s ear for sonic weight is commendable.
So, here is where the two points I’ve just attempted to make converge. Thank you for reading this far.
Miller’s new project, Bone Eater, draws obvious influence from his vast knowledge of what makes a riff, a song, an album, a genre deserve to be called heavy. Bone Eater is extreme music made all the more impactful by its raging tempo that clocks in somewhere around the 46 BPM mark. LIKE A CASSETTE IN A DYING WALKMAN.
The track he sent me, Rot Into Filth, is a satisfying nine minute meditation on repetition, tone, and extreme doom. You could also just refer to it as the sonic equivalent of the past two years. Either works.
I asked Miller to tell me where he got the idea for Bone Eater. He said the origins go back six or seven years to a few demos he recorded for a solo black metal project that never came to be.
“Skip ahead a couple years, probably to 2019 or early 2020. I got a couple new pedals that I wanted to test out, so I set up a recording session to see how they sound,” he said. “I ended up writing some heavy riffs and just kept it going until I had a couple songs written. I had no intention with this at all, but I ended up really enjoying the songs I’d written. They didn’t fit with any of my other projects, so I figured I’d keep them on their own. That’s when I remembered my old unused name, Bone Eater.
Miller’s a typical guitar guy. You know the type. Multiple instruments, each possessing a tone and purpose all their own. Bone Eater is very much a tone-centred project and just what you’d expect from a grind loving guitar nerd.
“This was one of those situations where the sonics of what’s being recorded really played a big role in the writing process,” he said. “With such fuzzed out tones, there’s no playing anything fast. I really wrote the songs to the preconceived sound.
“I love both worlds of heavy music, slow and fast. I think there are special things about both. What’s heavier than Brodequin or early Cryptopsy? Bone Eater is the opposite of that and I think that a lot of its heaviness is due to the tempo and embracing repetition.”
Bone Eater’s 17 minute, two-song debut MMXXII is a collaborative release between Ancient Temple Recordings and From The Urn Records in Quebec City. The full album drops February 11. Pre-orders are open through Bandcamp for digital and cassette releases.
Imagine listening to Bone Eater’s new cassette on a dying Walkman. Time would stop.