Domination Through Impurity
posted on 9/2010 By:
I can’t help but appreciate a technical death metal album that doesn’t require 100% attention in order to grasp what’s going on. Origin, Gorod, Psycroptic--they all have their good qualities (like when they actually concentrate on writing a solid song), and I understand fashioning music for the brainless isn’t their goal, but c’mon. Charlotte, North Carolina’s Domination Through Impurity also employs this seemingly disjointed, spasmodic method of bouncing between tempo changes with absolutely no warning, throwing in solos at the drop of a hat, and making pinch harmonic-littered riffs more of a rule than an exception. But after a few really good listens, surprisingly to me, this mess begins to take a bit more of a hold.
It’s not a tight hold, mind you, and there is no noticeable flow to this album whatsoever. Hit the shuffle button and it’ll all sound the same no matter what, and usually I find that to be quite annoying. Joe Payne (Lecherous Nocturne/Nile/Divine Heresy) is the freak behind the fury, showing himself to be quite a strong vocalist for the style even though you couldn’t pick him out in a crowd to save your life, but it’s his guitar playing that is the most impressive, most notably in the riff department. The number of riffs on Masochist is astounding, on par with the best in the genre, and executed with a maniacal amount of tireless energy that’s enforced by former Lividity drummer Jordan Varela beating the living shit out of his kit with an impeccable technique and some wicked double-bass.
Thankfully, all is not merely tech-death up to the eyeballs, as “The Cruel Hand Of Fate” is an all too brief exercise in acoustic mediation that is just reserved enough to keep your ear tuned in, but with barely a pause “Less Than Human” comes rumbling along with squeals and chugs in abundance. I can vividly envision bloody fingers with all the sliding Payne does across his strings, making those rare moments when a note is sustained for longer than one tick of the metronome all the more noticeable. “Bleeding The Damned” is rather ridiculous, however, playing up to every single cliché of noodling and the kind of squeaky riffing that lacks any solidity to it at all, sticking to the plan of almost no riff being played twice. This trend stops during “Patron Saint Of Hate” which stands out by incorporating a definite structure and the first and only major sign of repetition with great stop-start drums, and even the sweep-picking solos leave a bit of residue behind to scrape and hold on to.
Even though it’s not my drug of choice, I do “get” what music like this is made for. Toss it on, hit play, and then let it take you on a trip with no shock absorbers. The ride is meant to be uncomfortable, bumpy, and devoid of subtlety (the nutty production also helps), but I‘d still prefer a snapped neck to a broken back. There’s not much to bang to here at first, so it takes a little while to sync in to what’s going on, but little by little the adhesive begins to stick, resulting in a rewarding listen you can revisit multiple times and still be able to find something new and cool with each listen.
This might not make many year-end lists, but if you want something entertaining, tight as hell, and not the least bit overwhelming, Masochist will kick you where it counts. Take the shot...it might hurt you just the way you like it..
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