Wow, if there’s a list for transformations of 2014 then Lincolnshire duo Self-Inflicted Violence would surely be at the number one spot. Since forming in 2007, the pairing gained a reputation in the underground for playing harrowing depressive black metal. However, they took a turn in a new direction with the release of their debut ‘A Perception of Matter and Energy’ back in 2009. Their sound still encompassed all the frosty wholesomeness of a good black metal record, but also shoehorned in some post rock elements, making them sound like a less intense version of Altar of Plagues.
Follow up ‘Sanctimonious…” sees them bin off the cursed BM label altogether, embracing something much proggier and post rock influenced, heck it’s even upbeat and almost poppy sounding in places. They’ve landed somewhere between Slowdive and The Smiths and the only thing keeping them clinging to the metal genre at all is the occasional barked vocal, but this is heavily outweighed by dreamy 80s goth sounding chorals and a soft floaty sense of the ethereal.
Shrugging off the cast irons of metal has made Self-Inflicted Violence much more interesting to listen to; the intricately layered instrumentals contain complex time signatures that flow and meander alongside each other to create something completely three-dimensional and rich in sound. What this record lacks in heaviness it makes up for in beauty and musical aptitude. However, the band name may no longer be so apt considering the drastic change in sound…
(7.5/10 Angela Davey)