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Genghis Tron 

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It’s almost insulting to suggest that experimentation is new to metal. Canadian provocateurs in VoiVoD spent the ’80s pairing weird time signatures and a prickly prog predilection with the meat ’n’ potatoes thrash of Bay Area bands like Slayer and Metallica. Meanwhile, Neurosis was forming in Oakland and laboring over a Frankenstein of its own, marrying industrial, trance and contemporary classical elements to serious anger. Years later, Olympia’s Earth went to the bottom of the sea to create some of the most suffocating metal-crawls committed to tape. And, at the same time, Justin Broderick began helming an industrial-metal monster he called Godflesh.

Genghis Tron doesn’t sound much like any of those bands. But they carry a similar torch, grafting electronic passages to an unmelodious brand of extreme—one filled with blast beats and gravelly yelps, a la Terrorizer, Brutal Truth or their contemporaries in Drowningman.

But the Poughkeepsie trio isn’t slapping out douche beats on a Casio or lazy breaks from some Mac applet. Their electronic pedigree, made even more clear by the intra-song tug of war that comprised 2005’s Cloak of Love EP, goes deeper than the nutso breakbooms of Berlin’s Atari Teenage Riot, even though Genghis’ inner patchwork speedfreaking clearly owes its debt. Genre barriers have been razed to the ground and destroyed, a good thing for Genghis, whose records get by on destroying absolutely everything in sight.

Consequently, the songs on their full-length debut, Dead Mountain Mouth, are a total mess—hefty guitars stumbling into trip-hop samples on “Chapels,” black metal note-runs machine gunning over grating noise and nonsense on the near psych-y “White Walls.”

At first, it’s fucking annoying. But the long-player is a bit less eschewed than Cloak. Given time, its strange back-and-forth starts to make sense. It may be, in its way, cohesive.

Genghis Tron plays Monday, July 17 at Kings.

  • It's almost insulting to suggest that experimentation is new to metal.

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