Vilseledd by God MotherRelease date: October 20, 2017
Label: Party Smasher Inc.
God Mother are everything the casual listener wants from a signing to Party Smasher Inc, which is the label set up by Ben Weinman, guitarist from The Dillinger Escape Plan. In fact, God Mother are the first signing that the label has made that seem to live up to the template set by Dillinger, with chaotic expression oozing from every pore of this, their second full length. God Mother play a brutal version of hardcore, tempered with flavours of grind, death metal and sludge; it feels utterly contemporary, is almost completely devoid of softened edges, and although it doesn’t really do anything startlingly new or groundbreaking, Vilseledd serves as a thoroughly entertaining blast of noise that tosses the listener around in its wake.
The record opens as it means to go on; with a short and nasty blast of feedback, blackened hardcore riffing and blastbeats. At just over 30 seconds, ‘Dödfödd’ is a perfectly poisonous opener, a chaotic flash of teeth that echoes grind giants Pig Destroyer which sets the listener off balance immediately. ‘By The Millions’ follows without pause for breath, riding in on an off kilter riff, backed by thunderous percussion and topped with brutal screamed vocals, before crashing to a halt in a brutal whirlwind of cymbals and blastbeats; at less than 90 seconds it hammers home the point made by the opener admirably, echoing the focused brutality of Converge.
‘Tar Mirror’ brings the pace down a little bit, feeling a little like Code Orange and capturing a little of the feel of Employed To Serve’s excellent recent output, all sludge-y thumping grooves and throat rending screams from vocalist Sebastian Campbell. Sebastian’s vocal is a constant throughout the album – he sounds like he is operating at the very edge of his throats’ capacity for violence and it sounds absolutely glorious in the context of the sound of the record.
‘No Return’ brings a visceral stop / start dynamism, a sludgey groove in the chorus part that got my head moving involuntarily, and a twisty-turny riff towards the end that recalled nu-metal, but a version of nu-metal that has been mangled, twisted and beaten savagely. ‘Acrid Teeth’ smashes out a harsh grindcore pace before opening up into a punky d-beat that absolutely crushes. At just over one and a quarter minutes long it’s a perfect example of God Mother’s commitment to quality over quantity – the songs feel well rounded and structured, but don’t overstay their welcome. There’s barely a touch of melody anywhere on the record so the band have wisely recognised that never ending repetition is not welcome here; most songs zip by in about 2 minutes, with only three songs staying past the 3 minute mark – as a result there’s more riffs per square inch on this record than I’ve heard in a while, and even better, pretty much all of them land a reaction; at no point was I left cold and there was no opportunity to get bored.
‘Weak’ echoes Every Time I Die in its southern style groove before disappearing into oddly metered insanity, ‘Caved In’ brings a kinetic old school hardcore vibe and ‘Carve Them’ echoes latter day Converge in all the right ways. The underlying feel of this album is consistent though – energy. The listener can practically feel the sweat and gets dragged along in the wake of the relentless momentum created by the band throughout each of the 14 songs on the record. The production is savage and on-point, with the razor sharp guitars, grinding bass and thumping percussion finely balanced, and with visceral vocals positioned perfectly to emulate a live show. It’s making me sweat a bit just sat at my desk, to be honest.
If I were being critical I would say that the individual ingredients that make up the recipe are not exactly new, and that there are some parts where songs feel perhaps a little too reminiscent of their peers, but to be honest when the final outcome is this good, that doesn’t really matter; and even when I’m trying to be critical I still get distracted by something cool every couple of minutes. Vilseledd is a killer album of modern noisy hardcore. God Mother have taken influence from all over the place – black metal, hardcore, noisecore, grind and sludge being some of the touchpoints – and have bent and reformed these influences to their will, carving out 14 perfectly formed spiky balls of angry sound. This record is catharsis incarnate and I bet it is fantastic to behold live. It’s a brutal, short, sharp, ugly shock of a record, and it really should be in your collection.