Straight off the bat I’ll warn you - this album isn’t for everyone. In fact, I doubt it’s for most people. When I try and talk to my Mum about metal, this is the album she hears in her head. A torturous scourge of malevolent guitar riffs and drums densely packed into a jagged can of misery with despondent vocals that leave you in a irrefutable state of melancholy...
Even the band name is arguably the most evocative since Pig Destroyer first rose to prominence 20 years ago. It’s a really personal, sensitive and emotional subject for everyone but two simple words bring such a laconic surmise to shed light on the darkest of subject matter.
The album starts with the aptly named ‘Introduction’. It eases you in, lulls you into a false sense of security - albeit momentarily. Before long, an overwhelming sense of foreboding and dread instil themselves in the fabric of your very being. The riff in ‘Trampled by Light’ almost sounds like a huge power generator that you just can’t seem to switch off - all the more impressive when you consider this album has no bass guitar at all. It’s only just over 3 minutes long but the hypnotic rhythm of the song will have you lost for days.
This album manages to display every paradigm of extreme metal - it seamlessly shifts from one end of the heavy spectrum to the other almost instantaneously - like the Event Horizon, bridging two points in spacetime astronomical distances apart. ‘Bended Knee’ for example, starts off at 100 miles-an-hour, high octane vocals over a swarm of drums but barely a quarter of the way through the song the feel completely shifts to a somber dredge.
The vocals on the album are so harsh and distorted they sit perfectly on top of the punishing guitars and drums which creates, ironically, a harmonious feel throughout the album. There are no vocal hooks or stand-out choruses but the three instruments together drag you through a range of different responses which all elicit a plethora of emotions. ‘4 1/2’ feels like a breather, a chance to be only almost fully submerged in the dense abyss.
Throughout the album everything turns on a hair-pin, always keeping you on your toes, never resting on your laurels that you might actually be safe listening to this record. The tempo’s fluctuate unrelentingly, the song lengths come and go as they please, it all feels like a staircase where the steps are different sizes - leaving you unable to ease into the simplest of natural motions. ‘Vow of Obedience’ and ‘Delayed Choice’ are over before you can even really begin to comprehend what is happening but by stark contrast ‘Mantis’ and ‘Oblivion’ both centre around another hypnotic doom-laden riff which seem to last an eternity clocking in at 4 minutes long.
Filled with grooves, blasts and sludge - this is punishment delivered in packages of every kind. There are murmurs of the death of the traditional album in the heavy music scene, like other genres, but this album well and truly proves why they are so important. None of these songs stand out among the rest, all of them are as miserable as each other in their own sadistic way but together they transport you to the far reaches of your mind and emotions - a chance for reflection, catharsis, a release of negative adrenaline, whether consciously or not. That’s what makes this album so great. Listen with caution.
Secret Cutter are :
Ekim - Vocals
Evan Morey - Guitar
Jared Stimpfl - Drums
You can find them at :