‘Bless The Destroyer’
Bullet City Records, November 2015
The third album from this Chicago industrial sludge outfit has transient moments of excitement. Inspired by industrial heroes Godflesh and old-school death metal crushers such as Obituary, this is grim and gruesome end-of-the-world fare with occasional glimpses of inventiveness and personality.
‘Caverns Of The Templar’ is reminiscent of Nothingface-period Voivod, while the opening track ‘Clear The Throne’ features some killer key changes that send doomy shivers down your backbone and into the ground beneath your feet.
Elsewhere, some of the riffs feel perfunctory and colourless ‘Pineal Awakening’, for example, spends the best part of eight minutes going exactly nowhere. Even the meandering guitar solo only serves to add to the frustration of chewing on a song that seems half-cooked.
‘Bastard Child’ kicks off like it’s about to fill the void with fuzzy doom, but then simply creeps towards an inevitable, unfulfilling post-metal denouement, a quarter of an hour later (albeit with a few graceful harmonies along the way).
The band’s multiple-vocal style is always intriguing, even if the growled vocals are not always convincing. Despite the vocal creativity, ‘Bless The Destroyer’ generally feels quite one-dimensional – the band’s energy does not often come across in the recording and the moments of magic are too few and far between.