When The Dillinger Escape Plan went public about their decision to break-up, the metal community as a whole seemed to shed a tear. Regardless if you are a fan or not, it is impossible not to recognize their ability to break barriers and influence the current generation of experimental metal, hardcore, and metalcore artists. Although it is unfortunate that we may never hear more material from the group, I still feel as if their torch will always be lit through guitarist Ben Weinman's label, Party Smasher Inc. While releasing the group's last three records (Option Paralysis, One of Us is the Killer, and Dissociation), the label has gone on to introduce acts such as Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, Primitive Weapons, Seven)Suns, and more to the world.
I do believe that every release from Party Smasher Inc. has been a unique addition to the the world of metal, but this new project may just be my favorite yet. The Stockholm-based band released their debut, Maktbehov, a couple years ago and are now back with Vilseledd, which relatively translates to the act of deception or lead one astray. Upon my first listen, I immediately noticed a similarity between God Mother and The Dillinger Escape Plan, possibly a reason why Weinman initially approached the group. Yet, there's always more than meets the eye during first impressions.
It's tempting to make the statement of God Mother being The Dillinger Escape Plan's progeny or something of the sort with tracks like "Weak" or "Charlatan" having quite comparable qualities to the intelligent chaos created by TDEP. But, I feel as if this record embarks more on the constant headbang and mosh journey rather than the avant-garde and sometimes melodic passages that Dillinger delved into.
The half-minute opener, "Dodfodd," will certainly wake anyone up. Guitar feedback, screaming, and drum pummeling travels from zero to sixty in a second as we transition seamlessly to "By the Millions," another blindsiding track. "Tar Mirror" introduces the band taking their time a bit as Rotten Sound's vocalist Keijo Niinimaa accommodates the relentless power propelling out of Sebastian August Campbell's throat. The unpredictable slow-fast dynamics in the song as well as others following like "No Return" definitely reminded me of Code Orange's I Am King.
Drummer Michael Dahlstrom brings the grindcore heat on "Acrid Teeth" with guitarist Max Lindstrom and bassist Daniel Noring furthering the madness with each piece as they blend noisy, sludgy, hardcore into the melting pot. As the majority of the tracks listed range from under the two-minute mark, the closing piece "Burdenless" stands proud at five whole minutes. While I appreciated the notion of quality vs. quantity contained within these songs, the fact that this track was more fleshed out allowed for more of an impact in tension and dynamics. In the future, I hope the band stays true to their hardcore roots of short bursts of songs, yet also continues to branch out with longer compositions as it provides a broader diversity.
In my honest opinion, these guys potentially could garner the same hype explosion held by the likes of Nails or Code Orange. They already possess the hip name, unique bilingual Swedish/English lyrics and song titles, and energy that is so successfully conveyed through their recordings. Other releases of this genre make me feel the need to ice my earlobes and take a nap in the corner after listening fully, but going through Vilseledd, I felt pumped and more inclined to dive back in from the start for another go. While God Mother clearly possesses the visceral abrasion that can certainly be intimidating, the band also has an awareness of what sounds exciting, alluring, and genuine. Throughout the half hour of this record, one thing is clear: this album will fuck you up.