"It still amazes us that a quick chat on Twitter can result into a full-fledged album release by a record label we all respect," enthuse the members of innovative Dutch duo Dead Neanderthals. They're talking about their new collaborative record with Skeletonwitch guitarist Scott Hedrick, better known for his blackened thrash licks than his avant jazz, but with the expansive new two-song EP Ghosts, he and Dead Neanderthals prove that boundaries are meant to be pushed when creativity is afoot.
Don't let the mere pair of titles in the track list fool you — "Bone Hill" and "Death Bell" run an impressive 20:57 and 18:27, respectively, giving each time to explore the limits of a musical theme while challenging listeners to become submerged in the abyssal waves of stratified sound. Speaking as a unit, the trio comment, "With each contribution to this track it took a left where we'd have expected a right. In the end it turned into something that's uniquely the three of us."
Hedrick, a longtime fan of Dead Neanderthals, felt grateful to get the chance to work outside the confines of his long-running career with Skeletonwitch. "They tick a lot of boxes for me," he says of the twosome, "Raw energy, complete disregard for genre, genuine artistry, challenging output, etc. ... I'm grateful that they let me play so fast and loose with something that would ultimately bear the name of Dead Neanderthals, something they've carefully crafted over several years."
Another fun fact about the EP is that its cover artist, the Berlin-based Pierre Schmidt, a.k.a. drømsjel, also worked with Lady Gaga on her 2017 documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two. The eclectic teaming of so many varied forces makes for an interesting, at times challenging, and overall mind-expanding aural and aesthetic experience. You can pre-order a copy now via Utech Records and stream the haunting "Death Bell" exclusively here today below.
Ghosts track listing:
1. "Bone Hill"
2. "Death Bell"