I seem to have been wandering around with my head in the clouds of late, listening to a lot of ethereal, expansive, math/space/alt rock that whilst impressive from a song writing, musicianship and production perspective, sometimes you need something else, something more visceral, back to basics, hammer to the skull, brutal and down to earth. It got to the point where I actually listened to Slayer’s back catalogue all the way through, in chronological order from Hell Awaits through to Christ Illusion on the way to and from work and it was like feasting on fish and chips after a month-long diet of Foie Gras. It was (dammed) soul food that you know isn’t good for you but it’s nourishing and warms your inner cockles and stocks the fire of your inner well-being. Sometimes you just need your metal to be….well…nasty…fast, down and dirty and uncomplicated. And if that sounds like I am damming Implore with faint praise then you can fuck off….
Implore hail (mostly) from Germany (via Argentina) and despite numerous line-up changes during their 7-year history, have been a mainstay on many a Euro toilet circuit stage and ‘Alienated Despair’, represents their third full length release and it’s a glorious thing indeed. What it seems to be able to do straight out of the gate is dispense with any pleasantries and storm straight into a modern metal smorgasbord that has a huge number of genre touchpoints. Usually this spells disaster, when a band are unable to focus on the job in hand and try and cram all of their musical reference points into one song/album it comes off as sounding contrived as if conjured in a laboratory with the instructions to appeal to all and ending up appealing to no-one.
That said, this doesn’t come across as contrived, at all. It steals all the best bits from Grindcore, Hardcore, Punk, Death and Black Metal and mixes it into a drinking horn and drinks deeps deeply before belching out a pungent infusion that feels vibrant, fresh and brutal. It sounds modern but also deeply familiar. It segues from blast beats to slow Pantera styles breakdowns before ratcheting up again into almost Agnostic Front style beatdowns and then back into something else. Sounds a bit confusing right? It is but it isn’t, if that makes sense? The songs are short, sharp kicks to the sternum and whilst there are a wealth of musical influences in play on this album, it melds and moulds together brilliantly and contrives to produce something that is quite outstanding. There are almost elements of post hardcore here, smidgeons of the best bits of Helmet, Shellac and Quicksand also amongst the bludgeoning barrage of metallic riffs and screamed/growled vocals. If there can be praise (and there can), it’s that this defies musical conventions as it hoovers up pretty much any metal genre you could wish for and vomits forth something quite joyous.
I am surprised I haven’t heard of these guys before and hopefully this new album can propel them onto bigger and better stages in Europe and the US because this is very, very decent, brutal and enjoyable stuff. There are so many bands these days all peddling similar variations on a theme and touring for years on end, selling the same t-shirts with the same message. Getting noticed and picked out from the maddening crowd is problematic and hard to finagle. One way of doing it, is to release an album like ‘Alienated Despair’. Like cream, good bands and good music will rise to the top and Implore are the motherfucking full fat, cardiac arrest inducing, creamiest motherfuckers I have heard for a long, long time. Do yourselves a favour and buy this immediately and then go see them live and buy a t-shirt, patch, badge, mug, hat, scarf and whatever accoutrements are on offer. These guys deserve the big time
(9.5/10 Nick Griffiths)