Guest Post: Carcassbomb (of Noob Heavy)
Experimentation is my magic word… and my safe word. It’s an approach that can really go anywhere, including some dumb places, but Rat King challenge song writing conventions in a far more subtle way that makes for an interesting listen without alienating fans of experimented genre in anyway. Previously with their 2016 debut LP Garbage Island they had a similarly experimental take on sludge so it’s interesting to see they have taken their approach into the realm of death/grind, a completely different arena. Here’s the thing though, they fucking pulled it off and in my opinion this release is both a better album and a better representation of their signature craft. There’s been an evolution here that I respect and admire. Vicious Inhumanity will be released Jan 17th via their very own label Within The Mind Records, CD, Vinyl and cassette, so dig in mother fuckers. They’re also giving away CDs to two lucky people, entries close on release day so there’s time.
As I said, the experimentation isn’t as obvious as say introducing dance elements to a death record or anything dramatic like that, they simply approach the genre with the intention to subvert the mundane even if it means borrowing from thrash, hardcore, prog, or what have you. There’s a bit of everything and it blends in seamlessly. Sometimes they will mix up the emphasis of instrumentation in a way that brings a completely different vibe across the tracks with one more guitar driven and another more vocal driven. One that stood out to me the most is the drumming on the track “Soledad” where at times it sounds like a hammer hitting an anvil more than sticks on skins. I appreciate it in a world of drum fills and blastbeats. It makes me yearn for the cowbell days of Fugazi.
I’ve written this review over many days and I have heard the album around ten times, it’s an easy listen that reveals little bits and pieces with each new visit. It can also pass by quickly if you’re not paying attention due to how streamlined the album structure is. It all fits together in a way that there’s not a track that detracts from the album or interrupts the flow, they control the flow. It’s not a typical continual bloodbath, something we’ve all experienced in death metal, it’s an ongoing showcase of ideas. It’s a well weaved story where every part of it contributes to the following track and justifies the previous. Unlike many other death metal “assaults” this one isn’t single noted and tiring.
A lot of this album’s addictive nature stems from the arrangement of the tracks which is done for maximum impact, bands take note. The midway mark “Zero” introduces us to a bit of melody with a guitar clean opening before heading into some great riffage and violence, but the track then slows towards the end with a final extended gurgled growl as the instruments cut out and reveal fleeting silence. This silence leads perfectly into the third from last track “Chanchito” which opens with sirens and a less aggressive riff playing under samples, it flows in and out of death riffery and slow sludge movements – not demanding too much of the listener. It’s not a break or a lull, it’s a brilliant middle reset that allows for the re-entry of the bombastic energy that ends the album. It reinvigorates the listener and gets them ready to have their knees capped all over again with huge forceful screaming and technical death metal style licks you’d expect to hear from Nile.
It’s a well done and well-rounded release where every member of this trio challenges themselves, and the genres that they clearly understand so well. There’s zero fat. The final vital touch to this album is their choice of album art by Daniel Racines (Rateroart), a brilliant piece using all of my favorite kind of sludgy greens and purples. Vicious Inhumanity drops on the 17th of Jan on CD/Vinyl/Cassette so get on it, this one is going to be massive.
Rat King - Vicious Inhumanity receives a glorious Noob Heavy 9/10 rating!
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!