Friday, 4 January 2013

Imbroglio - "Declared Self Hatred" (Album Review)


By: Aaron Pickford

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 21/12/2012
Label: The Path Less Travelled |
Mannequin Rein


This record feels like the soundtrack to the end of the world and given the time of the release, 21/12/12 and the prediction of the earth's imminent destruction, “Declared Self Hatred” is a fitting cacophonous & nihilistic musical accompaniment, an atonal ruination that leaves a lasting and scarifying mark.  This record feels like you are travelling on the road to perdition, with the composers appearing to take delight in inflicting a state of eternal punishment upon the listener and are gleefully unrepentant for such actions.


‘Declared Self Hatred’ CD//CS//DD track Listing

1) Declared (3:45)
2) Sharp Teeth (6:29)
3) The Drought (4:50)
4) Your Failure (2:58)
5) Harsh Reality (5:000
6) Everything Spliced (2:11)
7) Tribulation Spliced (3:46)
8) Self Hatred (5:55)
9) Close (4:49)

Imbroglio is:

D.J. Gilbert | Vocals, Guitar, Electronics & Amplification.
Nate Harrah | Drums, & Percussion.

The Review:

A few words spring to mind during the opening of this record, it appears to be composed or fuelled from a diet of anger, despair and perhaps trauma too, such is the ferocity of venom being spewed out by vocalist DJ Gilbert.  The harrowing vocals echo a sense of exorcism or catharsis, giving us a harsh lesson in lamentation.  Coupled with layers of dense punishing riffs, the opening track “Declared” seems to be two musical movements, with just the right amount of subtlety, using bends and tremolo to good effect during part one, then we are thrown into the more challenging aspects of music during part two.  The guitar work and musicianship if of the highest order, with just the right amount of intensity and crushing breakdowns,  through the record Imbroglio incorporate mathy time changes, with  a delicate descending trill or hammer - on inter spliced with dense guitar tones, adding  more range or texture to their sound.

From the opening sonic boom of the record, you can take delight in the sweeping and punishing guitars, with an almost droning sludge heaviosity and yet there is also variety throughout with commanding 3 note mathy flourishes, which is in marked contrast to the deep slide on the low end. We get frenetic trills, double bass drums pounding and clear heavy bass which is audible throughout, which in turn feeds off the drums and guitar beautifully.  Indeed the tone of the bass gives the record depth with bomb notes erupting like a dormant volcano. 

This record feels like the soundtrack to the end of the world and given the time of the release, 21/12/12 and the prediction of the earth's imminent destruction, “Declared Self Hatred” is a fitting cacophonous & nihilistic musical accompaniment, an atonal ruination that leaves a lasting and scarifying mark.  This record feels like you are travelling on the road to perdition, with the composers appearing to take delight in inflicting a state of eternal punishment upon the listener and are gleefully unrepentant for such actions.

What is indicative of the record is that the band keeps the listener guessing, it is challenging as it is heavy, and it has a nice fluidity to it despite its chaotic nature, with the orchestration and flow of the record coming together seamlessly.  Imbroglio's declaration of self hatred is the records greatest asset, because the anger gives the record a raw and visceral feel encapsulating aspects of genres such as blackened sludge, mathcore, grind, hardcore and even incorporating the slow brooding ambience of post metal into their arsenal on the tracks such as “Sharp Teeth”, with deep sounding reverb bringing an eerie and unsettling flavour to the track.  This particular track's first movement lacerates from the outset with percussive palm muting and the drums really coming to the fore, almost feeling triggered.  Nate Harrah's performance truly is exceptional. 

In appraisal of this record, I have to say that it was with a feeling of trepidation when I approached it, because I was already a massive fan of theirs prior to this release.  Indeed their debut is up there with some of my favourite records.  Loving a band can often be your Achilles heal too, because with each new release, you do not wish to be disappointed.  Thankfully “Declared Self Hatred” does not, it truly is a phenomenal record and just fucking slays.

What is immediately striking about this record is just how bleak it genuinely is.  It is a grimy, self deprecating, raw and visceral monstrosity. What underpins this record is the raw emotional vocals from DJ Gilbert as he barks out line such as 'I'm just a parasite' with guttural anguish, it is as if he is attempting to cleanse or absolve himself  of passed sins and end a chapter in his life.  DJ Gilbert demonstrates an agonising passion for his art and it feels as if he and in fact the band went to hell and back in order to produce this record.  It does feel like they suffered for their art and this record is startling and the intensity is what makes this record all the more amazing.  The record in my eyes is a monumental and unique performance piece.  So go buy it.  I can't recommend this record highly enough.


‘Declared Self Hatred’ is available to download here. You can also purchase a version of the record on cassette here



 

Band info: facebook

2 comments:

Adam Christopher said...

This is a super great record. I've been waiting for this since Sleep Deprivation came out. Shame they're breaking up but seriously what a high note to leave on. Incredible stuff.

The Doomentor said...

thanks for the comment Adam. It is a great record. Very much breaking up at the top of their game