Incorrigible Bigotry (Reissue)
posted on 12/2009 By:
Like many of you reading this, I am a guitar player. A rather poor guitar player, but a six-stringer nonetheless. Because of this, I listen to metal not just as a fan of music, but also as a musician myself. Certain bands therefore just urge me to pick up my axe and riff away no matter how trashy it sounds to the tenants upstairs. From Coroner and Morbid Angel to High on Fire and The Crown, some bands make me drop whatever I’m doing just to crank the amp and beat the shit out of the ol’ Les Paul.
Another one of those bands? Arghoslent.
The term “The Almighty Riff” applies to every goddamned second of this, their classic Incorrigible Bigotry (getting a well-deserved reissue, undoubtedly to boost availability). You can literally feel the bridge of the guitar under your pick hand, feel that pick hitting and chugging away on those low strings for rhythm passages, and feel the awkward way that the off-kilter riffs and lead work make your fret hand dance around. You don’t air guitar to this shit, you air riff. It’s guitar metal for guitar metal fans, but it just so happens that Arghoslent also brought along a top notch (and extremely involved) rhythm section and the songwriting chops of legend.
Arghoslent forgo the brutality and shred-fest technicality of most modern death metal, instead painting their picture with a palette of blues-based, extremely melodic, and incomparably addictive riffs that bleed both classic metal and classic rock. The result is an album stockpiled with instant classics that somehow stay fresh and nuanced well into the album’s 20th spin. The band stretches the bounds of this framework to offer a surprising amount of musical variety throughout Incorrigible Bigotry. “Flogging the Cargo” kicks things off in a blast-laden, speedy and infectious manner, only to be followed by the epic and emotional “The Purging Fires of War.” The latter reaches an intense finale after an extended mid-section effectively trades off brooding chord melodies and a more punctuated guitar-drum tandem. “Heirs to Perdition” also has this impeccable flow and attention to songcraft, not to mention the most whacky, bouncy, and downright toe-tapping section of the entire album. They even find time to throw in some touches of prog and thrash in places as well, the key to success being that the blend is always subtle, perfectly hidden within each of these expertly crafted gems.
The blood icing on this death metal cake is the eight and a half minute instrumental title track. “Incorrigible Bigotry” is true instrumental metal, obviously written for this format, with no need or even opportunity for vocals to be included. Throughout the song, it is easy to see just how much of a complete unit Arghoslent are on Incorrigible Bigotry. Drums, bass, and guitar all have an intricate role in shaping each of the song’s many sections, playing so naturally together that at times they appear to be improvising. It is a masterful blend of both showmanship and compositional talent, and the most amp-enticing morsel on an album chock full of them.
An organic and natural production ensures that the album comes through clearly and also musically appropriate, sounding old school yet extremely professional. In addition, the reissue comes with the bonus track “Mob of the Hollowing,” originally featured only on the vinyl version. It finds the band in more old-school death metal terrain, complete with plodding, almost simplistic riffs at times. But fear not, it still has plenty of that insane and unique Arghoslent sense of melody.
What? Expecting 1,000 words discussing the questionable nature of Arghoslent’s lyrical subject matter? Fuck that. Incorrigible Bigotry deserves your attention because of the music, and potential fans thusly deserve to be first enticed by the quality of said music. If the band really wanted you to pay attention to their lyrics, they’d play some style where you could not only understand them better but also weren’t distracted by mindfuckingly phenomenal death metal.
So put on your patch-covered denim jacket, dust off that Marshall stack and get out your Warlock, because it really doesn’t get much better than this folks.
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