As I dig deeper into the underground, I continue to be pleased to receive emails, messages, and even packages from excellent bands that might otherwise never see the light of day. qip is another one of those projects. Hailing from Belfast, UK; qip is the brainchild of one Maciek Pasinski. This is the type of stuff most Americans like me would never even get a chance to hear about given the state of radio and the music industry in general. And it's a damn shame, because Maciek spent 3 years building something I found to be quite enjoyable.
As I began to preview the first track, "Industrial Espionage," I immediately started to hear parallels with the synth and sample work of cEvin Key and Dwayne G. of Skinny Puppy circa Too Dark Park. But these industrial elements are joined by some crushing guitars and death metal vocals. In response to the comparison, Maciek noted that it is not accidental, his primary influences on On Ephemeral Substrates Skinny Puppy, Fields of the Nephilim, and Strapping Young Lad. What a great combination.
The production on this album is quite strong, and no doubt due in part to the excellent composition and full instrumentation. Keyboards dish out very 90's-era sounding industrial beats and melodies, guitars play everything from Townsendish chugging distortion and tremolo to the more chill post-metal effects like the opening to "Millennium Way," and those deep growled vocals achieve aggression and presence while still maintaining a certain level of dark melancholy. Everything is nicely layered while allowing the listener to hear everything from the ravey beeps and boops to the pounding rhythms.
To throw out some other references, On Ephemeral Substrates is like Mindless Faith meets GodFlesh and Fear Factory. Throw in some Tool, a dash of Natron, and maybe some Tyrant of Death and you get the idea. Whatever particular similarities you yourself might draw, the end result is killer, and you can pick up this whole hour of industrial metal as a FREE DOWNLOAD RIGHT HERE. Though I protest the idea that this man spent 3 years working on the project and seeks no profit (you don't even have the option to pay for it), I respect him for it. That said, if you ever get a chance to support his endeavors in the future, I think he deserves it. Check out the video below as well, and know that Maciek encourages you to read the lyrics: "these songs tell interesting stories."