By Gruesome Greg
These Chicago sludgesters are a filthy, dirty beast that would rather rape your ears than shake your hand. Case in point, the first song on their six-song, sixth album is simply entitled “Rape.” Yeah, they went there…
And thus, they skip the foreplay and head straight to the pummeling with an opening salvo that mixes vicious black-metal vocals, screeching electronics, droning, doomy downstrokes and heavy, crashing percussion—for eight minutes. “The Impetus Bleeds” is equally unsettling, the band’s blend of blackened sludge delivering a disturbing soundtrack to your nightmares. They throw in a few post-sludge, NeurIsis style riffs every now and then, but otherwise, it’s pretty much 40 minutes of capital punishment, save the four-and-a-half minutes of harsh noise and muddy vocals on fifth track “Clarify.”
Then again, as opposed to Neurosis, Isis and company, there isn’t a whole lot in the way of tempo changes or softer passages to be found here. On a 40-minute album, they can almost get away with it, but even still, I find this one gets a little grating with its constant slow pummel.