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• Buy RETROCAUSAL on CD here •
• Buy digital download of RETROCAUSAL here •

CLERIC - Retrocausal

WOM 055: Cleric Retrocausal

Retrocausal is Cleric's stunning and long LONG-awaited follow-up to their groundbreaking 2010 album Regressions. Now with well-earned respect from both the extreme metal underground and Zorn-associated avant garde jazz scene, Cleric more than makes good on their promise. Listen to them rewrite the book on what the combination of the terms "metal" and "avant garde" can (and should) mean. With "Retrocausal" this tireless Philadeliphia-based unit has burst forth with a true masterpiece in the field of extreme experimental music.


From the Cleric press-kit:

Philadelphia quartet Cleric presents sophomore album Retrocausal, its first new full-length in seven years.

Retrocausal is set for a December 8th release on Web of Mimicry.

Stream new track “Ifrit” above, and buy the album digitally here, or on CD here.

Stream the ENTIRE new album here, courtesy of Metal Injection.


Founded in Philly in 2003, Cleric resides in the circle of bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Car Bomb – elite musicians playing avant-metal that wows on both a cerebral level and a gut level. Cleric's brand of metal is marked by dark, cinematic atmospheres and free jazz-informed forays, bursting through a base of highly technical, mathy shred. As a review in Chicago Reader phrased it, the sound is "a kind of metal, the way [David Lynch's] Lost Highway is a kind of movie. It's an elastic tissue of creepy electronic noise and barely-human screaming, impregnated with patches of riff-salad grind and hypercube mathcore."

On Retrocausal, Cleric has pushed its style to new heights. Meshuggah-esque hypnosis, doomful synths, spastic skronking, and blastbeats weave together into highly unpredictable, kitchen-sink epics, many surpassing the 9-minute mark. An ominous vibe, straight off a movie screen, underlies everything; lurking in the shadows are mysterious samples and field recordings evoking deep sea and outer space.

None other than John Zorn is a fan and collaborator who lent his talents to Retrocausal. Elder statesman of musical freedom, a man whose massive body of work incorporates jazz, classical, metal, klezmer, film scores, and more, Zorn guests on Retrocausal's closer, "Grey Lodge." Cleric's relationship with Zorn began in 2013 when he invited the band to work with him on his ongoing Masada project, and continued with his tapping guitarist Matt Hollenberg to join his band Simulacrum (along with John Medeski of Medeski, Martin, and Wood).

In addition to Zorn, Retrocausal features guest appearances by Mick Barr (Krallice, Orthrelm, Ocrilim) and Timba Harris (Secret Chiefs 3).

The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Colin Marston (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia) at The Thousand Caves in Queens, New York.

The artwork was created by Cleric's Nick Shellenberger.

When we here at Web of Mimicry ran across Cleric's music it almost seemed as if some kind of prophecy was being fulfilled. The music registered in our minds as a kind of missing link, like an inevitable stage in metal-oriented music that has needed to happen for a long time now. This is even more true now than when we said it seven years ago!


• Buy RETROCAUSAL on CD here •
• Buy digital download of RETROCAUSAL here •