At first I thought I was listening to a Motorhead tribute album. I braced myself. The smoker’s vocals don’t go away but musically the album does expand. So after “Enter the Night”, the title track is similarly old school and grainy. It’s also thudding and shouty. There’s some energy and it’s hard but I didn’t find there was anything to get to grips with. In fact I found this album frustrating, falling between two places: under produced metal and a mixture of thrash, doom and classic metal. “Liars” is slightly doomy but what I heard was a hoarsely shouted dirge. It all sounds painful, like hard work. There are fresh rhythms but after the repetitive “Apparatus” comes another repetitive track, the dark and grim “Let Her Die”. “Master the Reality” is typical of the album. Classic metal in style, it has decent riffs yet is plaintive and frankly tedious. I found that album never really got out of the traps. “Into the Fire”, which ends the album, has a doomy and crusty atmosphere. Like “Let Her Die”, there’s a Katatonian buzz about the riff. Slow and gloomy, “Into the Fire” is powerful and packs punch. The distant production quality is there but we’ve moved well away from Motorhead. There is venom but whilst bordering on an interesting pattern, I found it one-dimensional.
“The Poet and the Parrot” did not connect with me at all. I found no great moments in it, the tracks were unexciting and for me this was metal without identity.
(3.5/10 Andrew Doherty)