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Few bands fill me with terror like Plebeian Grandstand – these French black metal/technical hardcore fiends are particularly adept at crafting sonic nightmares. I’ve spent years jonesing for new PG material, so it was utterly breathtaking to find this new single and to learn (Oh Lord!) that their new album Lowgazers is due out on March 31st. Perhaps “Thrvst” best encapsulates all the things these dudes do well: those nerve-stabbing minor seconds, the guttural hoarse screams, the call-and-response of tremolo between top-strings and bottom-strings, all weave together a soundtrack of chaos and grit.

But I realized something when listening to this track, something I’d (maybe?) always known about these black-metal bad-asses but hadn’t been able to articulate: they strike a balance between claustrophobia and enormous atmosphere. The song starts by slamming you into a windowless metal box – endless blast beats, creepy-crawly top-note arpeggios – so that when it finally deigns to open the door, you’re overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of the world they’ve created around you.

Scope this gnarly bit of audio-visual rot below, keep your feelers up for the new album, and be sure to scare yourself silly with their older tunes.


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