With Fuck the Facts, there is no point of reference. The band's fierce creativity renders metal genre taxonomy useless. Beyond grindworthy vocals, their past work gives little indication of their future direction. These facts would be troublesome if the band didn't consistently sculpt fascinating and cohesive releases. It took me a good month of listening to wash away my preconceptions and expectations for Die Miserable. I found the album instantly appealing, but wrapping my head around its sonic dimensions was another matter altogether. Eventually, I began to understand the task at hand; fuck everything you know, wipe clean your mental slate and witness aural Armageddon.
Die Miserable feels elastic. Riffs frequently flow into each other via distorted dilations that exploit some wobble in the space-time continuum. The breathless, precise rhythmic execution propels us through oscillating wormholes of sound. This marvel of psychoacoustics shapes the album, but it is only one of its multifarious devices. Although a grindcore mentality guides the proceedings, little credence is given to its confines. When Topon Das and company break into a chugging bit of their patented melodic grind, the results feel familiar and comforting. These moments, however, are fleeting; Die Miserable is relentlessly dynamic.
Many of the album's passages bleed into realms of death metal, resembling the crawling crepitations of Morbid Angel. In “Lifeless,” the band slap you in the face with a wicked “Where the Slime Live” wet noodle groove. “Census Blank” features an impressive, strumming Opethian waltz, with lead guitars that evoke skillful Soilworkmanship. In “A Coward's Existence,” infectious, progged-out leads soar over a barrage of blastbeats. Ripping, bluesy solos simmer over crooked, crunchy contortions in “95.” A sweet, siren-like guitar line punctuates Mel Mongeon's spoken word as the album fades out. Keep up if you can; mesmerizing riffs of many stripes demand your constant attention.
Sitting down with the lyric sheet helps to tie the album together, reminding us that Fuck the Facts are socially conscious and self-aware. Die Miserable visits lyrical realms of corrupt politics, self-loathing, weak-minded religiosity and applied schizophrenia. “Drift” is a haunting examination of a decaying friendship. “Census Blank” provides thoughtful meditation on the century old battles of suffragettes in fighting for women's rights. Mel Mongeon's vocal presentation is as harried and harrowing as ever, deploying screams that would destroy the throat of a mortal woman. Die Miserable features intricate verbal injections from bass player Marc Bourgon, stealing single words in the middle of a sentence or joining in on particular phrases to create fleeting gang vocals. The effects are marvelous.
The word 'eclectic' is usually construed as a metal epithet. Fuck the Facts beg to differ; they've once again molded multifaceted structures into a ferocious, stylistically whole edifice. Whether focusing on grand melodic movements or intricate, precipitous blasting, Die Miserable simply slays. Fuck the Facts prevail with songwriting prowess, riffs and character. Fuck 'em all.
Die Miserable is out today on Relapse Records. You can stream the entire album here.