Sunday, May 4, 2014

Murderbeast - A Call To Severed Arms


Murderbeast is another one of Armon Nicholson's projects. While Licrest and Yfel share some  similarities, the final vertex in his trifectum of musical projects sounds as if it could have  been written by a person in a far away land - especially the Phillipines where this kind of  second-rate gore-grind is such a massive export. Where Licrest and Yfel are married with their  blackened subtexts, Murderbeast is essentially a gore-grind-death metal-lite affair minus the  pseudo-shocking album art. It's like going to a bar and getting Miller Lite when you asked for  the bar's best beer. Yfel and, especially, Licrest are much better pours from Armon's tap. Fast  songs, down tuned guitars, brutal(ish) riffs with an element of groove and occasional screamed  accents are par for the course here and even though it's obvious how redundant the album ends  up, Armon performs admirably and respectfully on A Call To Severed Arms.

Chuck Norris Look-alike?
Six songs pass by in as many minutes and without any highlights. The first half of the twelve  song album - more like an EP in terms of run time - is found to be rather monotonous. Opening  track "Screaming Won't Stop The Torture" is less boring if only because it's the first morsel to  touch the tongue. The monotony continues for the second half of the release though two standouts  appear in at the ten and eleven spots. Tenth track "Morgue Feast" features some atonal  scratching techniques which separate the textural blandness of the previous tracks and it's  tailing track, "My Next Victim" features some similar riffing flourishes. I'm not entirely sure  these riffs weren't meant to actually be part of the same song at some point as they are the  only appearance of these techniques on the album.

Final track "Orgasm Through Vivisection" is a contender for the most-awkward-drum-beat-in-an- Armon-Nicholson-death-metal-album award. The verse riff, about as interesting as watching celery  suck up colored water in a third grade science project, is paired with attempted kick drum  variations that often run in contradiction to everything going on around them. I wouldn't say  for certain that they are technically out of time but if a Berkley Music Major told me they were  I wouldn't argue with them.

With an album cover that may have been a lost Jackson Pollock painting of a bloody sewer, groovy  death metal paired with a sludgy production and few highlights, Licrest and Yfel remain as  golden beacons in Armon's eclectic mix of projects. A Call To Severed Arms isn't a super witty  title and the music also isn't impressive. This will be tossed onto my shelf, collect dust, and  I don't see a need for removing it from it's cramped quarters anytime soon. Armon should focus  more attention on Licrest and, to a lesser extent, Yfel. Hopefully he got this out of his system  here.

1 comment:

Apteronotus said...

I completely agree with Licrest being his strongest project, and while I understand wanting to experiment, it would be nice if he focused more on refining particular styles. Licrest's Misery was decent for sure, really nice clean vocals on it, but I wonder how it would have sounded if the energy that went into this and other projects was concentrated onto just one. Who knows?

Armon, aside from being a pretty knowledgeable musician and genuinely cool dude, builds his own guitars, which is pretty damn awesome. Given that though, I expect something great from him in due course.