It’s not cool to cut yourself; remember that, kids. But Secret Cutter, a bassless trio from Bethlehem (Pennsylvania, that is), is out to make the baby Jesus cry with their self-titled debut, a 26-minute blast of sludge-metal sickness.
Downtuned chugs abound on tracks like album opener “Mirror Mirror” with glass-shattering vocals straining to be heard in the mix. Eyehategod is a major reference point here, especially in their use of screeching feedback. A couple tunes have the kind of off-the-rails drumming that seems like their skin-pounder’s bashing faster than the rest of his bandmates. But for the most part, it’s slow and angry beatings abound.
But then they morph into a different entity somewhere around the halfway mark, taking the hardcore-punk pummelling of Discharge and adding a thick layer of distortion on “Shake the Malevolent.” It still sounds like sludge, just not particularly played slow, though we still get some heavy breakdowns on tracks like “End of Sylvan,” while “Headache Ball” is every bit the knuckle-dragger you might imagine. Throughout the album, they maintain a metric fuckton of feedback, which oozes out overtop of everything they play. These dudes are bound to be deaf by the time they’re 40!