Thursday, April 2, 2015

Eric Carle - The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Years of experimentation and innovation have metamorphosed metal into countless forms, from speed metal to the slow languor of bands like Sunn O))). With Eric Carle's death metal album, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, continues this metamorphosis, changing metal into something more like Cage's 4'33" than any other active band out there. This is because there is no music on this album. Only silence. Unlike Cage's myopic experiment, which is limited in time, TVHC has no determinable track length, or even tracks. Still, this high-quality release feels too short.

With album art suggestive of a Kafkaesque nightmare and Lovecraftian lyrics detailing a voracious and decadent beast, TVHC is a death metal masterpiece. The guitars show a lot of restraint, as there aren't even any solos. Drums likewise lack any blasting, and of course there isn't any audible bass (which is just so typical in metal albums, especially on ones with no music).

Despite the album coming in a vinyl-sized booklet, there are only lyrics and artwork inside, not even a blank vinyl. This challenges our very idea of what metal is, and even what music is, so it must be pretty thoughtful. The project's mysterious lineup consists only of Eric Carle, who oddly enough uses two pseudonyms "author" and "illustrator." Still, this doesn't sound like a solo project, rather it comes across as something less than that - which makes it so much more.

I give this album 10 silk cocoons out of 10. Upon request, I will supply several excruciatingly detailed graphs, charts, and spreadsheets further explaining my opinion.

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