Cucurbitophobia - IV


Released: May 20 

Bringing his first full-length release since last year under the moniker of Cucurbitophobia, Rob Benny has assembled quite a collection of tracks on this release that incorporates a wide variety of the techniques he his known for including his penchant for distorted guitars and his love eerie keys. The album as a whole doesn't really fit neatly into any particular genre and features some more neo-classical pieces intertwined with creepy drones and even some heavy drums. He also didn't hold back on writing some rather long pieces that are incredibly epic. 

The longest track on here is "Soil of Belial" at nearly thirty minutes all on its own. It's starts out slow and quiet with icy ambiance surrounding everything, including a very slow bit of piano and then a weirdly happy sounding tone akin to a child's toy. This continues on for a bit until we're hit directly in the face with some heavy drums and a thrashing guitar. It becomes a full on metal track for all of a few minutes until going back to the creepy ambiance of before. Then it returns to full-on metal right at the end to leave us on a heavy note. It really showcases Rob's ability to build and release tension and throw wild amounts of variety into a single piece. I would say that this sudden injection of metal comes out of nowhere, but it was a bit foreshadowed in the very first track, "Ignis Satanae." There's no full-on thrashing in this track, but rather a heavy and crunchy drone of the guitar slowly pouring out doom metal-esque riffs that are only interrupted for a few short minutes of elegant and eerie keys. Similarly, "Gale of Lucifer" contains a bit of soloing at the end as well but avoid falling into a full metal blast. 

Now, the note that Rob chooses to end this album on really stuck with me. "Memento Vivere" feels almost strangely mournful in tone in many parts, although this is offset by some clever progressions that bring a more unnerved feeling in at just the right time. Going along with these wonderful keys is one of the the lowest bass hits I think I have ever heard used on a release like this. It starts out rather sparse in use but increases in frequency as the album progresses. It has a very discrete hit at the beginning but has a deep reverberation on its tail, one that quite literally made the insides of my ears feel as though the are wobbling. It's a clever bit of sound design that finds an appropriate counterbalance in the keys. It also makes for an excellent closing track that I would consider one of my most enjoyed in recent memory. 


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