Label: Trepanation Recordings
Release Date: November 11th 2022
Location: London, UK
I don’t actually know where to begin with explaining Sconsacrata‘s sound, it’s almost in a league of its own and they’ve proven that fact with Paroxysms.
London based artist Charlie Davis is the mastermind behind this mind altering, skull crushing offering of experimental extreme metal. The best way that I can describe the project’s sound is industrial grindcore/black/thrash metal. Whatever you want to call it, just know that its harsh, its assaulting, its overly stimulating and I can’t get enough of it. The album is like a refreshing slap in the face to wake you up and remind you that the music coming out today is some of the most innovative and exciting ever created.
Swooning industrial pulses and menacingly cold and mechanical beats meet with harsh noise elements, distorted guitar work, assaulting programmed drum work and raw screeched vocals. The album almost makes you feel paranoid with how on edge the music gets you from listening for too long. It isn’t just the music itself that adds to this tension, but the themes and concepts covered by the album which include inspiration by Philip K. Dick’s Valis, Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago and occult and esoteric works from Montague Summers to Georges Bataille. Pair this with the haunting album art and I think you’ll start to understand what this album is all about.
The sheer heaviness of some of the tracks is a thing of beauty thanks to the blend of traditional instruments and industrial electronic offerings. I can’t even imagine how loud and powerful this music would be live with the full force of a solid stage setup belting it out. That isn’t to say that the whole album is heaviness, because its far more complex and varied than that. The album features plenty of moments of unsettling, tension building atmosphere that exist in the lulls between sonic onslaughts.
Vocally the album is very black metal driven but there are also plenty of grind and death metal elements on full display throughout. The main driving force though is a raw, piercing shrieked style that tears through the mix like a blade through flesh. At many points this is backed by a deeply guttural vocal style that sits lower in the mix but adds to the album’s heaviness and atmosphere. At points heavy distortion is applied to the vocals and at other times they present naturally. For me my favourite vocal element is the distorted OUGHS that present on the album, An Hourglass features one midway through that echoes out into the void and I must have rewound that moment at least 10 times when I first heard it.
Overall, this is a truly awesome debut from a project that I hope to see more from in the future. This will be a tough album to top but something tells me that Charlie Davis still has plenty of tricks up his sleeve. If you like assaulting and experimental industrial extreme metal, then this is a must listen.
Listen to and order the album: