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Album Review: IMBROGLIO Declared Self Hatred

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Imbroglio know that modern life is not harmonious; there is no balance, there is no such thing as solace. The band craft music that’s in perfect tune with life’s painful dissonance and anti-rhythm. Declared Self Hatred wields a detuned vorpal blade through sludge and mathematically anomalous hardcore, beckoning a listener into a world of cacophonous beauty and inextricable self-destruction.

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Declared Self Hatred is a fitting follow-up to the exceptional Sleep Deprivation, bending that album’s paranoid invective inward. Declared Self Hatred plies a tectonic, mincing absolution that transcends mere catharsis. No relief can be found here, or anywhere; we must simply fucking rage, for the sake of rage. These songs rip through reams of compelling riffs, using harmony as a tool one minute and killing it dead the next. Chromatic demons rise repeatedly out of the churning maelstrom in mercurial counterpoint.

Sparse and haunting melody sneaks its way into the blistering torrent, either in fleeting vistas or via cavernous and captivating segues. When the pulse slows, we’re drawn into huge, pulsing cataracts, elastic dilations and curious rhythmic cul-de-sacs. Declared Self Hatred’s perplexing cadence is facilitated by a preposterous drumming performance, worthy of careful attention, if not outright awe.

The vocals are presented as unrelenting screams, their compulsive ire creating a malevolent synergy with the blazing black guitar tone. The lyrics are reflections on life’s ceaseless futility, our innumerable personal failings and utter inability to escape them.

Imbroglio announced, on the eve of the album’s release, that they would cease to exist as a band. This is an incredible shame; I’ve thoroughly enjoyed their music to date. When you ponder the impossible fury that fuels Declared Self Hatred, though, it’s not hard to imagine this flame burning out. “I destroy everything that is beautiful.”

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Declared Self Hatred will be available digitally on 12/21 via The Path Less Traveled Records.

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