Mitochondrion post demo track “Writhen unto Abraxas”, and it’s pretty gnarly

The Internet is the darnest thing. One minute you could be sifting YouTube to harvest bootlegged footage of metal dudes on cooking shows, the next you could be jamming a new track from band whose oeuvre is every bit as esoteric an experience as seeing Marty Friedman on a Japanese cookery show.
Maybe there is a cosmic link between the two; after all, Friedman was Megadeth’s one-time master of esoteric lead guitar and gourmand of exotic scales, and Mitochondrion sure have a taste for the unorthodox, having realigned death metal’s physiognomy to suit their own complex aesthetic mores. The Canadian trio are not afraid to take a freewheeling approach to epic death metal songwriting, Shawn Hache and Nick Yanchuk laying down a nexus of riffs that tumble into each other and spin around barely controlled. Melody is usurped by rhythmic complexity, feel changes and outré necro motifs. Man, this is great stuff. Mitochondrion are one of a few bands brave enough to expand death metal’s hitherto modest spectrum; it’s a list that includes bands such as Portal, Ulcerate, and to a certain extent you could draw a parallel between Mitochondrion and Deathspell Omega. The latter is ostensibly black metal, the former death metal, but there’s a lot of cohabiting in that deconsecrated middleground.

Anyway, to the track. There is not much in the way of news, no release date or album title or anything—just the song. The title offers few clues as to any concept they might be chewing over for the album’s concept. Abraxas could be referring to Gnosticism (“The word may be related to Abracadabra”—thank you, Wikipedia), the peripatetic cosmic antagonist of the Marvel Universe, cult B-Movie sci-fi, or, less likely but more tantalizingly, the second album from Santana. But this is typically Mitochondrion; they opened their previous full-length, 2011’s Parasignosis, with the Pestilentiam Intus Vocamus, Voluntatem Absolvimus triptych, and referred to biology textbooks under the chapter marked “cell structure” to name their band.

Mitochondrion Live @ Dark Descent Fest from Carm on Vimeo.

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