Try to put yourself in my (admittedly worn out) shoes for a moment: It’s 2010, and you’ve been a devoted metal acolyte for years, but that’s not why you go to Web of Mimicry. You haunt that label’s website because it’s run by ex-Mr. Bungle guitarist Trey Spruance, and that dude releases some truly wonky shit that occasionally nods toward the heavy but mostly scratches that spazz-jazz itch we all get. Spruance’s own outfit, Secret Chiefs 3, has released some of the best weird music of the past fifteen years, and the label has also offered up wicked strangeness from Estradasphere, the Guapo side project Miasma & the Carousel of Headless Horses, and work by other artists of a similar ilk.
So you hit up the WoM label website in, say, late April, and there’s this album by a band called Cleric, and you’re always game for something new and deviant, so you make your purchase and wait patiently for the CD to arrive. (CD stands for “compact disc,” which was an ancient form of music/data storage meant to contain all of a band’s recently released songs on one physical object.)
Okay, I’m taking my shoes back now. I popped it in, hit play, and immediately evacuated my bowels (of chiley). Cleric’s debut full-length was a dense cacophony of death/grind with the incredible stamina of doom and, stunningly, all the same WoM freakery exhibited by the label’s other fare, but drenched in the raging napalm fires of the heaviest guitar music ever made. I was confused. I was in love.
The wait for a follow-up seemed damn near interminable, though we have had the opportunity to hear guitarist Matt Hollenberg in Cetus, John Zorn’s Simulacrum, and more recently with death collective John Frum and Hollenberg’s solo project Shardik. Next week, we get to immerse ourselves in Cleric’s new album, Retrocausal, which in all ways is an upgrade from Regressions. For now, though, check out new track “Lunger.”