There is a central theme in the 2008 film ‘Synecdoche, New York’ that might be useful in discussing Car Bomb’s work. The main character, Caden Cotard, is a struggling theatre director who always works on an impossibly large scale (eventually pouring newfound resources into a warehouse of impossible size as his new theatre set), while his wife Adele grows successful from her miniature paintings. This diametrically opposed theme, between his impossible warehouse and her miniature paintings, represents an interesting comment on the function of art and one’s relation to it. Specifically that what constitutes “good” art is that which is able to reflect on the minutiae and specifics of themes, instead of trying to recreate on a literal scale, or life-size relation to what one experiences.
This motif, of the miniature painting and the impossible warehouse, is an apt description of the relationship that is on display in Car Bomb’s music. The band have always attempted to harness all the technical ability of their tech metal leanings and virtuosic playing with an eye to creating punishing music that the listener actually enjoys and returns for repeat visits. That is, they have always attempted to bridge the gap between the superstructure and minutiae of what they attempt to create in music. And I’m pleased to report that they are closer to that than ever before on Meta.
What is striking about this latest release is how much is actually going on without first noticing. Repeat listens will only reward the listener the more times it’s unpacked, with rhythmic messing around and guitar picking abilities layered underneath even more punishing vocals and excellent production.
Perhaps the best way I can show just how technically impressive and engaging the band’s latest release is lies in how they teased their first song off of the album, “From the Dust of This Planet”. Released in 5-second long clips via email without explanation, fans soon went about the task of assembling the song through sharing online. Over time, it became clear how the final arrangement of the track best went, but only after an amazed fanbase had marveled at the intricate workings of the song’s various parts.
Poring over the innards of Meta, it’s clear that there’s more than meets the eye, layers upon layers upon layers of intricacy in every musical choice made. At times it can be overwhelming, but for the most part it works as one great machination, chugging forward with precision and awesome power. If you like heavy, or virtuoso technicality, or just plain intense, this is your jam for the year.
Meta Track Listing:
01. From The Dust Of This Planet
02. Secrets Within
05. Constant Sleep
06. The Oppressor (featuring Joe Duplantier)
07. Black Blood
08. Sets (featuring Frank Mullen)
10. Lights Out
11. Infinite Sun
Run Time: 48:20
Release Date: October 28, 2016
Check out the song “From the Dust of This Planet”