Back when Decibel streamed the Snorlax Splintering demo in 2018, Vince Bellino handled the explanation of the project’s Pokemon-related name. Bellino described Snorlax as “a happy, ginormous Pokemon that spends most of its time asleep, waking up only to eat.” It’s basically if the adorable Pusheen cat weighed a half-ton, was as tall as Shaq, and had a voracious appetite. Snorlax is also a solo project from Brendan Auld of Black Blood Audio (also of Consumed, Descent, Necrospetic, and more). If you listen to the scabrous black/death hybrid epitomized by the Australian project’s 2019 track “Malignant Force Ov Darkness,” you’d imagine the big cuddly Snorlax was confined to shadowy catacombs, sucking rancid meat from the bones of long-dead intruders. On the project’s Snorlax II record (out January 10th from Brilliant Emperor Records) the project announces an ominous awakening from cellar dwellings with riffs that drip with dungeon slime.
“Encapsulated Apocalypse” offers a glimpse into the rest of the album’s most ferocious moments. After 45 seconds of frosty guitars, Auld drops a blast on the listener that only relents to welcome moonlit melodies. Whether it’s the sludgy downbeat blackened doom of the song’s third minute or the track’s skin-flaying denouement, it represents what Snorlax does best: Bone-snapping tempo changes, subterranean growls, and a sound that oozes crust ‘n’ dust. Auld is currently working on a renovation of his studios, and based on these songs you’d imagine the windows are sewer grates and he records by candelabra light.
“Snorlax II is an expansion on the core elements the Splintering demo embodied,” shares Auld. “With a new point of reference and an increased dynamic range and stamina on the drums I tried to explore the same aggression put forward previously but with a much darker and bleaker overall tone.
“Writing and Recording these songs was a very organic journey,” he continues. “Very few changes were made to the songs structurally after the initial ideas were punched into Pro Tools. I tracked the drums and guitars at a studio in Brisbane with the help of my friend Mark Perry, and then recorded everything else at my home studio where I also mixed everything. I really just wanted to step my game up on drums and try to write some kind of black metal that sounded somewhat ‘original.’”