Drums, percussion and vocals recorded at The Lodge Studios, Northampton. All guitars and bass recorded by Paul at Dominus Studios, Milton Keynes. Mixed and mastered by Ed Shackleton and Derimentum at Antithesis Audio. Released on Grindethic Records, 4 February 2008.
My late father used to tell me a tale of when he was an engineering apprentice. His mum would kindly make him a packed lunch each day, part of which was a Thermos® flask of hot soup. He conversation with him mum would go something like this:
“Keith, what kind of soup do you like?”
“Oh, I like most soups, thanks mum.”
“But is there one in particular?”
“I like them all… like, erm… minestrone.”
And so for the next two months my grandmother would prepare flask of minestrone soup for his packed lunch, until he could take it no more.
“Mum! It’s not just minestrone soup that I like. I also like other soups. Like chicken soup.”
And so for the next two months he’d get nothing but chicken soup in his packed lunch flask.
The reason that I’m telling you this is that I’m pretty sure Derimentum had a similar conversation about metal:
“So, how do you like your metal?”
“Aw, you know: fast and brutal.”
And so that is all this album is: raw, brutal noise. It sounds like a pneumatic drill stuck inside a washing machine on the spin cycle, next to a machine gun nest mid-battle.
By track three I realised that this was track three. On most albums this is not a revelation; on this one I honestly thought it was still on the first track. There was no discernible difference.
In a few places there is something that you might almost call a guitar solo. It threads itself through the barrage of sound and stands out as the only element in the song not trying to rattle itself to pieces. But the rest is just unrelenting and brutal.
It’s the space around the forest that lets you see the forest. It’s the sea around the land that defines the shape of the island. Music needs space in order to define the shape of the songs, enable you to appreciate the dynamics, in order you to move you and touch you.
This moves you… but in the same way that being hit by a juggernaut might.
This was another album that I wanted to like. Another UK extreme metal band. But… and it’s a big but… there was nothing to hold on to. This wall of granite gave me no sharp edges to hold on to and admire the view from. This wall of granite just smacked into me and pushed me out of the way.
I can score it on the production and the musicianship—I may not have liked it but I can appreciate the skill required to play drums at 200 bpm (or however insanely fast he was playing). But the music… I’m sorry.
Review score: 20%