Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Avulse - I Am the Liquor

Avulse is a one man band from the same one man as Black Chalice - a doom/death band that I enjoyed. That will be the last mention of enjoyment in this review, because Avulse is really bad.

The titles here seem to suggest that the music is fueled by alcohol - unsurprising, as I wouldn't believe you if you told me that this was recorded while sober. The drum machine ticks away, mostly at faster paces for the first half of the album, and the faster it goes, the worse it exposes the laughably sloppy guitar work. While the short, punkish songs make up the first half, the album slows down for half of the eight-minute track, making the sloppiness less outwardly apparent until the drums speed up and once again make it apparent that this album was probably improvised while drunk. The vocals add little either, they're bland rasps with a bunch of reverb that lack any distinction and almost blend into the noise of the guitars in a single, pitiable chaotic roar.

This is some sort of mix of black metal and crust punk, losing the strengths of both while blending them. It doesn't have the aggression and energy of punk, and the chaotic element doesn't come across as uncontrolled energy, it just comes across as being a sloppy, amateur performance. Missing is the reckless passion of punk, remaining is only the problems of not knowing any better that can be excused if the music has that burning passion. The concentration and focus that crafts the atmosphere of black metal is also sorely absent, the feeling seems to be a lazy collage of distortion and reverb that emulates the general approach to recording black metal without any thought to the elements that shape the experience that it enhances. Said simply, the riffs suck and the atmosphere sucks. If the feeling of good black metal is a burning fire and the stench of death in a sacrificial ritual, this is the smell of someone striking a match and trying to light a fart wafting in from another room.

If this guy is the liquor, I'll take a beer, please.

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