Utrecht’s Eaters of the Soil are one of the more positive things to come out of the lockdown period.
Formed in late 2020, Eaters of the Soil are Rutger van Driel (trombone), Stef Brans (guitar), Gert Komduur (drums) and Niels Achtereekte (bass, synths and composition). With members of the band being prominent figures in the metal underground both in the Netherlands and beyond, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Trevor Dunn (Fantômas /Mr Bungle) and Mauro Pawlowski (dEUS, Evil Superstars), together they form something likened to a multi-headed minotaur.
Having released the self-titled EPs I (2020) and II (January this year), Eaters of the Soil carry the momentum with their latest offering, Inedia 1.
While the aforementioned EPs showcased an array of breeze blocks fit to pummel Lucifer beyond the depths of hell itself, with two compositions recorded live in anticipation for their live debut earlier this year, Inedia 1 sees the band bending their sound in sinister news forms.
Through the post-apocalyptic static we begin with opening composition, A Thin Lacquer. The sequence of what-the-fuck moments begins with jazz noodlings which, to those yet to delve into the world of Eaters of the Soil, don’t really go anywhere.
Then the dark clouds roll in…
Where we are met with a chaos that transcends the most ungodly clap of thunder. With booming sludge-laden tones, the thread of guitar plinking and whining skronk remains, as Eaters of the Soil amalgamate the worlds of doom metal and jazz. Genres that have never felt like comfortable bedfellows, but Eaters of the Soil make it work. Emphatically.
With a creepy voiceover courtesy of some demented religious nut, the aptly titled The Humility of Service follows. Naturally, Eaters of the Soil give it the proper fuck off treatment, too, with a plethora of anxious noise and seismic shifts in tonality, which proceed to cannonball from your speakers. If anything, this song makes you one day closer to wonderful future of tinnitus.
Make no mistake, this is music that stops you in your tracks. Music that grabs you by the throat and, wide-eyed and gripped with utter fear, demands nothing but your undivided attention.
We’ve heard the likes of Hey Colossus, and Gnod barrelling through the wastelands in search of that perfect tone, and while both bands dispense their art in admirable fashion, where fierce tonality is concerned, Eaters of the Soil may have just leapfrogged both.
On Inedia 1, while Eaters of the Soil scour the scorched earth previously destroyed by the above-noted artists and the likes of Bodies of Everest, there’s a fair bit of back burning here. And by doing so, the Utrecht behemoth stretch different styles and possibilities out to new dark frontiers. Maybe The Ex could have done something like this? Perhaps not. Perhaps a collaboration? We can only dream…
Inedia 1 is out on July 15 via Dub Cthonic. Purchase from Bandcamp.