Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sacrocurse - Unholier Master (2014)

Punishment is the design of this international 2-piece collaboration, and punishment is perhaps the one musical region in which it does succeed. Unholier Master attempts to reach the epitome of raw, flesh ripping black/death hybridization through a formula that unfortunately opines for the overuse of a blast beat which can very quickly grow monotonous with nothing interesting happening over it. I'm not questioning the skill of this skin-beater, he's an absolute fucking maniac and incorporates a lot of clamorous crashing and even handles the death/thrashing breakdowns well, which often lend the music a bit of an Altars of Madness-era frenetic aesthetic, but like a lot of infernal war metal, it very often doesn't resonate.

Bass-lines are full-throttle abysmal muddiness, and guitar patterns so forceful and fast that they often become lost alongside the beats and the ominous, sustained growling which represents the vocalist. It's not that the guitars aren't busy, per se, but they rely a lot on pretty standard deathgrind or hyper black metal chord progressions which are performed in such a flurry that there is little emphasis on them being inherently memorable to begin with. At times, this feels like Blasphemy, Repulsion and Bestial Warlust pooled their collective hatred into a single, frothing mass of hell-flumes and chose simply to annihilate everything in their shared path with utter speed and disgust. Frivolous lead guitar frenzies flying all over the atmosphere, lightning fuck bass guitars which are played with the same level of intensity as the rhythm guitars, and a living NASCAR rally on the drum kit. My problem here is just that once I've heard one or two songs I feel like I've heard them all...they break it all up once in awhile, just not enough for my attention to become consistent.

Don't get me wrong, on some level I admire this sort of utter 'fuck off' attitude which courses through the album like burning blood, and in the past there are a few insane albums like this which I have held dear, but other than its pure, violent and visceral atmosphere I never discovered anything here I wanted to hold on to. If someone were flipping through my records and asked me for something sick and headache-inducing, I'd break out Unholier Master in a second. It's THAT relentless, THAT brutal and uncompromising, and it hates your guts, but the only real evil lies in its indiscriminate sense of aggression. All that said, there is a place for this stuff, and a number of individuals will worship the fuck out of its outrageous aural nihilism. This is the stuff I imagine would be played when various domains of Hell lay siege upon one another, the damned crushing the damned in an endless cycle of chaos which can never be broken. Wanna hear that? Then you'll wanna hear this. But check your desire for subtlety at the door, because Sacrocurse will not brook that foolishness.

Verdict: Indifference [6.75/10]

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