"Nervously Counting Rosary Beads
," the title track (and, at nearly half an hour, the only track) on a self-released September EP by sludgy Chicago-via-Minneapolis prog/postrock trio Guzzlemug
, is a monstrous, gnarly epic that's almost physically exhausting just to listen to all the way through—I can barely fathom how draining it is to actually perform. Broken into two parts on its very limited vinyl release (and also available through Guzzlemug's Bandcamp, along with most everything else they've done), "Nervously Counting Rosary Beads" mixes ethereal choral melodies, drone, thick walls of doom, flourishes of technical metal, and frenetic, sometimes improvised drumming. Basically it sounds like Don Caballero and King Diamond combining forces to slay a griffin or a dragon or something from North of the Wall. Guzzlemug's other 2012 release, the four-song EP To Leave the Earth
, is similarly dark and schizophrenic, though its mostly instrumental power dirges sound more like the monster than the hunting party. —Kevin Warwick Bear Claw headlines; the Conformists and Guzzlemug open.