"This Face" (Conspiracy; 2009)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

An industrial black metal mindset laden with despair propels the malignant madness audible from Gnaw's debut nine-track affair, "This Face."

This unconventional quintet (featuring members from avant garde metal troupes Khanate and Burning Witch) unloads an hateful assortment of non-linear noise rock, soul-crushing doom, and exploratory electronics to create an eccentric and possessed sonic explosion. Led by a vocalist whose screeching rage fuels insanity ("Backyard Frontier") while the band's two bold sound designers create a cacophony of sound by implementing barrages of haunting feedback and gloomy overlays ("Ghosted," "Talking Mirrors"), this unsettling endeavor emits an apocalyptic feel of being caught in the middle of the world crumbling down.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2023 21:12:03 -0400.