Allow us, for a second, to explore the spectrum of human sensation and emotion that defines the very essence of what makes us people. The sprawling array of ways in which we feel and exist in this plane of existence—happiness, sadness, sorrow, grief, loss and lassitude. The subtle differences between fear and anxiety—hatred and loathing—or the leaps from lust to love, and from love to loss, and, of course, our reaction to loss. Behavioral scientists have spent millions of pages and just as many hours on trying to quantify this aspect of our psyche—our very humanity—just as pharmacologists have tried to synthesize it and physicians have tried to fix it. All with frighteningly little avail. Consider this for just a second, and then continue to slack your jaw and widen your eyes as spastic, sinister masters of mathy and chaotic hardcore The Color Nothing join forced with resident brooding, bitter brutes Depreciator to bring a split EP that, in eight tracks and under thirty minutes seems to expertly explore the entirety of the Human Condition. Combining two radically different yet bizarrely complementary styles of heavy music, the two acts range from the shocking, invigorating sensation of “wait, what the Hell did I just hear?” To exploring what it truly is to have loved and lost, wallowing in the depths of despair and sullen heartache. Every track from each act brings something remarkable and new to the table—and Null/Void is an adventure you won’t want to skip out on.
he Color Nothing are all over the place, from spastically heavy to moody, introspective and melancholy, often within the same song. Percussionist Keith Bevacqui hammers away on the introductory number “Permadeath/Welcomed Ends,” yet adds an upbeat, peppy and two-step friendly segment on “Siamese Jesus,” all while flying back and forth across his kit, dominating with splashy, bright cymbal work and quick fills. Bevacqui works excellently with bassist Christian Casteel, as well as the two dynamic, devastatingly talented guitarists Mathew Quigley and Dan Mannix to create songs that blur the line between contemporary, groovy segments and spazzy, unpredictable riffs, all while adding the occasionally crunchy, bone-busting breakdowns. “Siamese Jesus,” once more, sees Mannix and Quigley working excellently together, while the booming and monstrous “Rosea Mare” (which has some odd serenity mixed in there, to boot) sees the duo channeling some classically yester-year mathcore and adding Casteel’s thick, grisly bass for heft and heaviness.
This all serves as a canvas for the unorthodox and engaging vocal styles of frontman Christopher Leonardis, whose voice ranges from belted, almost-sang yells to raw, raspy, blood-tinged screams and shouts so visceral the listener fan feel his spit on their cheek when they listen. This is especially true of “Rosea Mare,” where Leonardis works with the dynamic fretwork from Mannix and Quigley to a tee—and the side-ending track “Siamese Jesus,” where his repeated brays of I’m not me anymore seem to obfuscate the margins that divide singing, talking and screaming. The result? Well, at first, it might be unclear as to how to actually feel about Leonardis’ vocal style—and while The Color Nothing are far from a conventionally accessible band, they bring something new and unbelievable to 2017’s music scene, and Leonardis’ voice is at the forefront. While some might find themselves just unable to get into the dense, spastic nature of the songs, anyone who has had any time to explore the annals of heavy music once reserved for shady torrent sites in years past will find familiarity and fun in The Color Nothing without a hitch.
Depreciator and The Color Nothing work together to capture depressive, violent, negative aggression and a more chaotic, euphoric, weird-fever-dream sort of sensation that, dialectically, consume every sense the listener has. While The Color Nothing might have slightly less instant appeal, the band’s unique nature and artistry can’t be denied—just as Depreciator live up to every ounce of hype they’ve accrued in the months following their debut. Together, the two groups make a veritable experience—something you’ve really got to hear and let swallow you whole.
The Color Nothing are a collective of past bands from the NJ scene and this debut EP has seemingly dropped out of nowhere. Produced by Jesse Cannon (Dillinger Escape Plan, Senses Fail, tons of others), the quality is astounding for a debut release. Dynamics aren’t typically taken into consideration with heavy releases, but with bands like Heiress and even newer Converge, that is changing. The Color Nothing bounce around from frenetic and discordant blasts of chaos to a dialed back progressive tempo with reverb soaked guitars. The drums are very punchy throughout and the kick and snare are never lost in the mix, even at the EP’s most chaotic moments.
Frontman Chris Leonardis is fucking angry, and believe me when I say its justified. His lyrics range from losing everything in Hurricane Sandy to the loss of parents and moreover the different struggles each member was going through. Leonardis’ vocals range from a higher register shriek to roughly shouted spoken word. Every bit of emotion comes through in his delivery, this isn’t screaming just for the hell of it. The bass is really dirty and pushes through the mix throughout the EP, and Tony Coon’s guitar playing is acrobatic and dizzying, seemingly transitioning from staccato dissonance to atmospheric, reverb soaked walls of noise.
This band has yet to play a single show, but I see that will be changing soon. I’d definitely keep The Color Nothing on your radars, especially those in the NJ hardcore/metal scene. Grab the EP for free over on their site or listen below.