Imagine a world without metal genres. It would be a gorgeous world hitherto unglimpsed, an Elysian meadow where streams of crystalline purity would flow, the sun would always shine and we’d all run around with our unsightly bulges and dangling bits flopping out – and there would be no shame. Needles full of pure heroin would grow on the trees, and the whole place would smell like vaginas. Over us all, even though it never rained, there’d stretch a magnificent rainbow, all twelve colours of the spectrum blended in seamless equity; and that would be a metaphor for music, which nobody would have time to listen to anyway, owing to all the freestyle bumming that would be going on. I’ve thought carefully about it, that is definitely what would happen.
My point is there’d be no categories or sub-categories, no offshoots or hybrids. There’d be no awful, drunken spittle-spattered debates about the generic lineage of this band or that; and normal people would be able to participate in internet discussions about music, since the wealth of technical terms and obscure jargon used by insufferable nerds to assert dominance over one another would simply exist no longer. What does ‘crossover melodic grind blackened symphonic crustcore’ tell anybody about anything, anyway?
Let me just try now to delicately anchor this tedious, abstract bollocks to what I’m actually trying to write about, which is the album Grievance by the band Necrotize. I quite like it. This is to say, I listened to it and I heard things that I liked. Mostly I thought it sounded a bit sludgy. It’s pretty bloody crushing-heavy, anyway. The singer sounds quite a lot like the bloke off Crowbar (a band which, by the by, I have genuinely heard described as ‘molassescore’), and there’s quite a few nice big grooves that will naturally suggest (to me anyway) Corrosion of Conformity or Pantera or something.
And please do note how by reading these words I have chosen to use, your imaginatrix begins to form an aural picture of the sound I am trying to describe. That is the reviewer/reader relationship, the sacred compact upon which all our interactions depend; the crux of which is that if my towering, palpating authority is for a moment undermined, the entire thing collapses.
Imagine my alarm then, when upon reading the handout that came with this CD, I see that Necrotize consider themselves to be death metal; in fact going so far as to say they are ‘bridging the gap between death metal and straight up metal’. And thus, I am left bewildered and confused, my confidence in my own opinion is shaken, and the delicate bond between you and I is sundered for all time. How are you now to trust a word I say if I can’t even distinguish and identify a few simple bloody ‘thrash elements’? Instead, from now on, I will just rewrite the press releases I get, buzzwords and all, like all the other heavy metal review gashes you waste your time looking at. How about that?
Have a look at the only remotely decent YouTube I can find of anything off this record:
Wretched Life is perhaps the stand-out tune for my money, and emphasises a fun tension that exists throughout this record. The ridiculous noise coming out of singer Shadie Carrier’s guts is bracketed on one side by big crunching riffs that are relatively ponderous. The drums, by contrast are busy, delicately prancing about like a sugar plum fairy, pointing out accents you never would have noticed otherwise. I’m not normally a fan of this kind of show-offy technical wankery, but here it’s a striking contrast that sets it all off and makes it work in my view. And I could say the exact same about Hordes of God and Messiah, two other good, honest, manly tunes.
Walking the Footsteps of Saul is similarly splendid. The near-constant barrage of 32nd note kick drums is given a bit of a break here for something a little groovier, the riffing is brill, and the chorus fucking swings like John Holmes’ pendulum penis. If you can’t nod along to that, you might have done your studded dog collar up too tight.
Good, solid album. Worth a listen. Several integers out of ten.
P.S. I feel I ought to point out that Necrotize’s line-up shares at least one man with the band Towers of Flesh, who was not happy about my review of that record. Well, I like this one mate, so dry your Necrot-eyes. You big, mardy bell-end.