The Arsonist and the Architect
Of any of the metal labels still going strong, Relapse Records have been playing their cards better than anyone else lately, signing up such stellar heavy n’ high-minded upstarts as the Dillinger Escape Plan, and Luddite Clone is another worthy addition to their extreme(ly arty) roster. On the debut record, The Arsonist and the Architect (originally released by Cyberdine 243, but then given wider distribution by Relapse), the New Jersey five-piece practice a scorched earth policy with their grinding metal-core, flaying and flamethrowing around like close neighbors Converge on a massive meth binge, warp-speeding that band’s grimy East Coast abuse a good 200 mph faster – a mere six songs in 13 minutes, stun’s the word. Sparks shooting all about, guitarists Ian Berkowitz and Andrew Shearer keep their mathy riffs well within the boundaries of burly, both men forever competing with the rhythm section (bassist Kevin Hannum and drummer Bob Raf) for how mind-fucked they can get. The only Clone remaining relatively sane (a term used very loosely here) is vocalist Andy Cummings, whose glass-eating growls spit back all kinds of opaque, semi-poetic lyrics of a more personal nature. Though there’s no shortage of similar practitioners (the Crucible, December, and Dragbody quickly come to mind), what Luddite Clone lack in uniqueness, they certainly make up for it in presentation – The Arsonist and the Architect, indeed.
Relapse, P.O. Box 2069, Upper Derby, PA 19082; http://www.relapse.com