Thursday, 22 March 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Solleme, "This Infinite Violence"

By: Jay Hampshire

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 01/02/2018
Label: Independent

Solleme conjure an unholy racket, but one that is woven and crafted with a keen eye. ‘This Infinite Violence’ might well see your play count stretching into the infinite too.

“This Infinite Violence” DD track listing:

1. Cost Of Conviction     
2. This Infinite Violence
3. Dolore Fra Noi
4. Sanguine Earth
5. Bide  
6. VI       
7. In Suffering

The Review:

For a city so synonymous with cheerful positivity and acceptance, Brighton is currently producing some of the rawest and most desolate heavy music around. Genre-confine-bucking triumvirate Solleme’s sound might be difficult to pigeonhole, but ‘desolate’ at least begins to convey the void black undercurrent of bleakness that suffuses their debut album ‘This Infinite Violence’.

And it’s not an album that eases you in gently. Opener ‘Cost Of Conviction’ is like barrelling through a dimly lit labyrinth, constantly shifting, the ground moving under your feet. From the intro’s distance noise and sparse guitar that drifts like smoke, the calm belies the growing storm that drops in as concrete-thick grinding chords and lances of feedback. From this, racing blackened tremolo guitars spur things on, more akin to the expansive blackgaze of Deafheaven than the sweeping northern exposure of acts like Mayhem. The trio rip into a driving, chugging groove, drums and guitar locked in mechanically tight, before ending strong on one-two hammerblow chords.

The title track encompasses doom influences, pillars of held chords interwoven by spider-like atonal guitar notes and crashing cymbal hits. It’s unhurried, lumbering at a predatory pace, lurching from one vitriolic riff to another. ‘Dolore Fra Noi’ (Pain Between Us) broods with distant shrieks and uneasy, groaning feedback, the muffled shouts materialising into a breathless warning from across the void.

‘Sanguine Earth’ lays down a thick foundation of rolling drum work before shrieked vocals firmly establish the centre ground, guitars ambling in a class-edge sharp waltz as the drums nail things in place. Things take on hardcore infused shape through a breathless d-beat section before an abrupt end stops things dead. ‘Bide’ inhabits the distance, tolling guitar notes ringing and echoing out until a feedback drenched riff barges in, galloping into a strident chug, hefty kick drum hits used almost like punctuation. ‘VI’s steady, slow drums are surrounded on all sides by a shimmering, almost industrial noisescape.

Finale ‘In Suffering’ whips away, carried aloft by a pulsing black metal headwind, descending into a crawling, sludge infused riff that opens out into creeping guitars. The band prove they can shift dynamics on a dime, blindsiding with false endings, opening out to cast their sounds into a seemingly infinite aural negative space. As the track slows and winds down amid final throat ruining screams, there’s a sense of wearied exhaustion that no doubt connects band and listener alike.

In a scene creaking under the weight of the sheer number of formidable riffs, where bands seek to channel as many disparate influences as possible, it’s rare for an act to manifest both so effortlessly, and rarer still for this to happen on a debut album. While drummer Fred and guitarist Sam’s musicianship lays solid foundation, it’s vocalist Frank’s stunning delivery that secures the final piece of the jigsaw. While not fully conveying his magnetic live presence, the record still showcases his inhuman talent. There’s a glut of heavy vocalists making all sorts of horrible noises, but few do it with such tortured finesse, with such communicated emotion. Despite being ‘just’ a three piece, Solleme conjure an unholy racket, but one that is woven and crafted with a keen eye. ‘This Infinite Violence’ might well see your play count stretching into the infinite too.

“This Infinite Violence” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook