Eleven song debut full length. Carnivorous Bells is David Vassalotti, Leo Suarez, Matthew Adis & Michael Bachich.
Our take: The Upturned Stone is the debut vinyl from this Philadelphia band. I recognized two of the band members’ names: Matthew Adis from Salvation and David Vassalotti from Merchandise, Cult Ritual, solo recordings, and many other projects. Salvation’s fans will be happy to hear Adis’s distinctive voice and strong lyrics carry over to Carnivorous Bells, but Carnivorous Bells’ overall sound departs from hardcore. To my ears, at least, they’re a prog band. Their songs are full of unconventional time signatures, virtuosic instrumental flourishes, and spaced-out, sometimes jazzy interludes. While there’s a heaviness and intensity that makes sense given the members’ backgrounds in hardcore, punk, and noise rock, The Upturned Stone doesn’t foreground its heaviness. Many moments remind me of King Crimson’s Red album, and fans of that record should make it a point to check out The Upturned Stone, though the complexity and virtuosity will also impress anyone who loves Slint, Tortoise, and related strains of math and/or post-rock. It’s a heady, demanding album, but Carnivorous Bells rewards listeners up for the challenge.