Sui generis trio Bloodmist get bleak on their second album

Given the diverse CVs of Bloodmist’s members, the trio’s music could be many things. Clarinetist and synthesizer player Jeremiah Cymerman has made solo recordings that bridge free improvisation and electronic sound design; synth alchemist and drum programmer Mario Diaz de Leon composes unabashedly dramatic acoustic chamber pieces and electronic metal; and bass guitarist Toby Driver leads ever-evolving goth-prog combo Kayo Dot. But if you had to put your money on just one descriptor, you’d win big if you picked the word “dark.” The array of enormous sounds and hackle-raising textures on Phos combines the spontaneity of improvisation with the full potential of digital postproduction. The trio recorded the material live during one night in the studio, after which Cymerman and engineer Marc Urselli passed it back and forth, blowing it up and cutting it down. The results feel massive enough to generate their own gravity—especially when heard through headphones. On “Incantatory Sentience,” twanging strings and detonating beats circle around your head like a midnight dance enacted by blacked-out skyscrapers. “Corpuscular Refraction” is even less decorous, launching one blast after another, each more withering than the last. From start to finish, Phos sustains a black-on-black atmosphere illuminated only by the occasional spray of aerosolized crimson.   v

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