Violate and Control by AmericanRelease date: June 23, 2017
Label: Sentient Ruin Laboratories / Fragile Branch Recordings / Shove Records
Type in ‘american band’ into any popular search engine and the results will return unfavourable in regards to anything actually relating to this particular American band. Hailing of course from the USA, enigmatic blackened noise meddlers american (that’s lower case) return with their sophomore release Violate and Control. Forgoing the sludgier elements the duo capitalise more on vile noise and the funereal sounds of blackened metal and deathly industrialized mayhem to create a vision that is both unrelenting and compelling.
Black metal and noise go hand in hand. Some barbarians would probably say black metal IS noise, but american prove that the unorthodox combination is a glorious if nerve-shredding trip into the dark corners of the disturbed mind. With Violate and Control the noise element becomes the all-devouring force with destructive stabs of black metal becoming a recurrent motif within the suffocating depths of the soundscapes.
‘Visions of Great Faith’ is a slow build of clattering strikes and low mix guitars to the backdrop of feedback static interference. The inhuman rasp of the vocals is unleashed with spit and venom with blackened riff simplicity alongside the gentle pummelling of blast beats, unfortunately somewhat lost in the mix. The sounds break apart into a mess of more nightmarish static and almost improv-like racket-making to close out the intro.
‘Necklacing’ starts out as a promising black metal track kicking off with a fury of blasting only to be harshly interrupted in mere seconds with a wall of unforgiving head-grabbing noise. Wold’s Screech Owl comes to mind. This strangely mesmeric if headachingly abhorrent noise leaks into track three ‘Submission Psalm’ becoming a cruel amalgamation of the previous two tracks.
‘Bedsheet Ossuary’ is the most straight-up black metal track out of the ten, with most tracks falling under the instrumental/noise category. Fast and violent it carries a seriously icy tremolo riff above the lead guitar and drums that propel this track beyond a simple blast-and-go number. Sludgier elements with groove-laden menace come in form of ‘I Am Thine Enemy’ with its tar-thick bile and doomy stoner vitriol. The caustic spat and fury of the vocalist shines bleakly and devastatingly supreme. Album closer ‘Paradise Again’ is another suffocating foray into dreadful noise backed by torturous percussion slowly beating the life from you.
Violate and Control is the auditory equivalent of being strapped forcefully to a gurney and pushed down an endless corridor of screaming, semen-throwing psych patients. The noise is here to asphyxiate you. To take you to a place of utter discomfort and hold you down until it becomes unbearable. The blend of harrowing dissonance and blast-driven metal makes for an utterly consuming and soul-piercing sensory experience.