They go by many names, carried by whispers on the wind in the black of night. They hail from the blasted nightmare realm of Minneapolis. We know them as Ternion Sound, and their new Clutch EP is out now on TRUTH‘s Deep Dark and Dangerous. With this release, the three deep dubstep warlocks stay true to form and showcase their continued mastery of dark-aspected bass music. The haunting textures, captivating drums, and horrifyingly rich instrumentals that fill out this collection are sure to provide the perfect soundtrack to the Halloween season this year.

First up, on Ternion Sound’s Clutch EP is the title track. This 140 ripper, which premiered on SoundCloud two weeks ago, introduces the vibe of the EP perfectly. With haunting synths and big horns as well as a vocal sample uttering something about “clutching hands” and “parasites,” it’s creepy, effective, and immediately interesting. The chorus goes IN from the start, with thudding kicks, hollow snares, a great atmosphere, and a ripper of a bassline. It showcases Ternion Sound’s greasy, pulsing, and (most importantly) DEEP bass synthesis style.

The middle section brings back some of the intro elements, building tension for a second chorus that features just the right amount of tasteful variation in patterns and sounds to keep the track interesting in the traditional DDD style. This one’s a slapper for sure.

Next up, we have “Tralfamadore.” The track’s title is the name of a planet from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, where humans are kept in zoos for the entertainment of strange alien beings. The introductory vocal sample quotes the acclaimed novel and, combined with the sound palette that Ternion Sound employs throughout the Clutch EP, evokes the unsettling tone that defines this song and the EP as a whole. The chorus slaps you right in the face with sizzling, relentless basses and grimy drums, as well as layers upon layers of atmospheric effects and ear candy. The midsection continues the tone, with an interesting sound design occurring in each layer present.

The second chorus is similar to the first but has enough variations (and most importantly interesting variations) to keep the listener engaged. With an unhinged style and a distinctive 3/4 time signature (beats are arranged in groups of three instead of the typical four),“Tralfamadore” is an alien waltz. Like a slow dance soundtrack from the lightless outer limits of the universe.

“Let Me Out” follows, and (spoiler alert) the track matches its title. Atmospheric work in the intro remains top-notch, and builds tension nicely leading into the first chorus, where we have a slightly different style of arrangement. Rather than wubs, we have a deep 808 bass that sits underneath a killer drum section. These hold down the rhythm while spooky instrumental hits and evocative effects ring out above. Haunting piano runs, effected glitches, and plucks that channel the essence of classic Hollywood “horror strings” play in the space that the bass and drum sections leave open for them. The outro features a bass guitar, which I thought was a nice touch. Ternion Sound’s Clutch EP is a masterclass in effective cultivation of tone, and “Let Me Out” in particular conjures panic and confusion and reflects, to my mind, conditions like claustrophobia and paranoia.

Finally, we have my favorite track from the EP “Scrambled.” Another great intro sets the vibe and teases the flavor of sound design that will define the first half of the track (a wet and lasery high-pitched bass layer with a number of variations). The chorus hits SO hard, with impeccable drum selection and rhythms over a quickly pulsing bass. Variations of the aforementioned bass layer and the sheer groove of the drums make for an engaging first half. The drums fall away in the midsection, but the triplet rhythm of the percussive bass continues throughout. This keeps the crowd moving in a live setting but echoes, too, the pounding of a panicked heartbeat. Did I mention that these guys know how to cultivate tone on an INSANE level?

The second chorus is more sub-focused, with a nasty womping bass layer slowly revealed as it emerges out of the deep frequencies before it drops away again. This is an impeccable track from start to finish.

An intense listen, the Clutch EP will undoubtedly provide a wild experience live. Be sure to catch Ternion Sound on the road at The Crown tonight (for our Baltimore-area readers), at Infrasound Music Festival (10/6), Submersion Music Festival (10/6-9), The Ground in Miami (10/14), or The Loft in Atlanta (10/21). If none of these are in your area, be sure to check their socials for any dates we might have missed!

What did you think of the Clutch EP from Ternion Sound? Let us know down in the comments and on our social media!

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