Instrumentality

Looking backwards; looking forwards.

Hello readers,

Recently, we released Magnalith’s debut EP, Instrumentality. It’s streaming everywhere; you can support us directly by paying want you can on Bandcamp. If you haven’t heard it yet, please enjoy the music video for the title track.


Far from being mere prog, Bosher’s writing style incorporates elements of speed, death and operatic metal. The result is one brilliantly heavy and diverse song that deserves all the accolades it gets.

This is a generous characterisation by Muzic.net.nz of a songwriting approach that is essentially juxtaposition and aggregation. Those two factors are endemic to my projects. The results haven’t always resonated with audiences.

The recipe as expressed in Decortica of big riff, melodic vocals and familiar song structures vacillating between alternative rock and progressive rock might suggest some commercial ambition. If that were the case, I didn’t push myself hard enough to make rock radio constraints interesting. [In retrospect, the major label behind the album, “11811,” gave us reasonable latitude for which I’m grateful. Read about that experience here—the marketing and distribution context is dated but interesting.] Instead, I think we generally did what we liked which, at times, had a degree of accessibility.

Perhaps the concept of “prog” was a convenient rationalisation when the vagueness of “alternative” didn’t explain what was or wasn’t “catchy” about that band. Over time, though, it became a design principle then an identity which ensured we were having fun along the way to towards the things bands usually pursue.

With Domes, I wanted further mental separation from rock music—albeit with short-form structures (none of us had an 11-minute epic in mind). Contemporaneous metal demonstrated more diversity, depth and experimentalism which excited me. Where Domes lands on an academic genre continuum isn’t as important as producing loud music aligned with our principles. As a shorthand among our engineering team, Magnalith’s first EP is Domes +20% bogan. Here, the idea of “art-metal” is liberation from subgenre tropes and justification for amorphous interests. That is, metal as an aesthetic to adopt, rather than a pursuit of technique or histrionics.

It’s a varied mix of influence bordering at times on djent and doom, a fusion that has a certain appeal because of its non-commerciality. (Muzic.net.nz)

That’s about the most charitable way anyone has put it about my works. In any case, Magnalith is a project that can have a welcoming entrance way like Subnautica to a vulgar space such as Instrumentality without contradiction. This is something I want to explore further.

Domes Vol. 2 is in early demo form. Recording for Magnalith’s second EP starts in two weeks. I can’t wait for what’s next.

Until next time,

M.


This post was originally published in the Rothko Records newsletter.

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