Let There Be A Massacre

Ván Records

The sound of Let There Be A Massacre is one of long dormant shadows shuddering uneasily to life – a grim, fuzzed-out atonal half-life – before lurching and collapsing into complete white noise entropy. But through the haze of distortion cuts these beautiful glimmering waves of funereal lead guitar, like little tears falling on a rusted-out cityscape. The instrumentation, all undertaken by SOL mainman Emil Brahe (in solitude, doubtless) is airless and unforgiving, each riff and drumbeat executed with lonely disdain, recalling the monochromatic vacuum of early Godflesh or the dark, ulcerated yang to Jesu’s sunblessed yin. And the vocals, oh god, the vocals. Executed with the faceful-of-organs brio of Carcass or Pig Destroyer and the drunken gurgle of Weedeater’s debut, they’re a noisy mess – in a good way, mind you. However, there is more than just that. More experimental numbers like the sprawling “Boginki,” the coda to “Inanity of Man,” and the mournful and exotic “Apocalypse,” all use some variation of accordion and string and wind instruments, betraying SOL’s European sensibilities – hinting at the possibilities for new types of doomsound.

The tracks on Let There Be A Massacre are longer and damn near epic in scope – Brahe definitely has a lot more conceptually in mind than just letting a chord ring for ten minutes before slowly plucking the next one. But does reach exceed grasp? For once, disappointingly, I find my dictum that lo-fi is eternally better is somewhat thwarted by the oft-thin sound on Let There Be A Massacre. Where the bass should be small intestine-deep it stalls somewhere halfway down the esophagus, the drums at times skitter when they should pound, and the cascades of mournful gorgeous high notes seem almost like a waterfall in miniature rather than a tumult.

I am reminded, more often than not, of Sorrow’s stellar Curse The Sunrise and the weary grind of Grief when listening to this album. I like the thought of a hermit/recluse tinkering away at music like this, building it piece by piece, his secret revenge against a world of eyes willfully shut and unattainable pop culture/star lifestyles. And even under six feet of vocal distortion, you can sense every red-eyed bit of disgust dripping from his voice, every quiver of the lip into a sardonic sneer at human folly. We endorse misanthropy delivered in a sub-bass gurgle.

Ván Records:

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