venerdì 28 aprile 2017

PRAY U PREY - "Figure the 8" (Selfmadegod Records, 2017)

Title: Figure the 8
Genre: Death Metal/Crust Punk with Thrash Metal influences
Year: 20th January 2017
Time: 42 min
Rating: 75/100

It's been a very long time I reviewed a release of the Polish label Selfmadegod Records, and I think PRAY U PREY are perfect to break this looong silence thanks to their debut album "Figure the 8", preceded by the "Black Light of Time" EP (2015). But now it needs a clarification: we are talking about an emerging band but it is composed of true veterans of the extreme British scene considering that Shrew and Shrub played together in Prophecy of Doom (a crust/grindcore band of the early '90s) but now are into Alehammer while Simon and Colin comes from the crossover/thrashers Suicide Watch.

"Figure the 8", embellished by a very bizarre artwork, is an album typical of Selfmadegod Records since it combines death metal with crust punk plus heavy doses of thrash metal and some grindcore influences but, for the truth, these last ones are never seriously dominant also because the blast-beats are relatively few. In addition of this, the tracks are dynamic but structured in a mostly simple way for a sound that rejects totally every lead guitar. Instead, the voice of Shrew is a total nightmare due to his dark and malevolent growls about frightful socio-political themes emphasized even by some spoken samples.

All this brings to 16 tracks full of intensity, especially into the first part of the album where they are longer and better structured. So, I have to mention absolutely songs like the slow and obsessive "Sentinels of Shade" (destined to explode around the 3th minute with an indomable rage), the unpredictable "Psychodrama Peepshow" (another track that lasts 4 minutes), the merciless "Circles Into Spirals" (the most death metal-oriented song of the album with a stinking main riff literally fantastic!) and the fuckin' scrappy crust/thrash metal of "Suffering Rules This World" (that has an uncontrollable performance by the drummer Colin!). But a number like "Step Out of the Kaleidoscope" is so surprising not because it sounds in a very thrash metal manner but for its riffing so close even to the melodic death metal during the usual slow passage of the song!
To the contrary, the second part of "Figure the 8", consisting of shorter songs (the last five ones) mostly taken from the "Black Light of Time" EP, is less interesting and effective than the first one. Anyway, I have to mention, at least, the 92 seconds of "I-Con" with its death/grind ended by a long ambient finale; and the same "Black Light of Time", 3 minutes of a dark death/crust without blast-beats.

In general, PRAY U PREY have realized an album with well diversified songs and spewing forth outbursts of pure intensity also thanks to some very fast solos of the drummer (as in "The Centre of Nowhere is Everywhere"). But I suggest to PRAY U PREY to continue to write longer songs on the heels of the first part of the album where these 4 angry guys discharge all their abilities without particular limitations of lenght. Now a question remains to be answered: will I never to review other releases of Selfmadegod Records for the next weeks? In fact, it's been a long long time since I've the last Agathocles' album but, for some reasons obscure even to me, I have still to review it...


1 - Figure the 8
2 - Sentinels of Shade
3 - The Centre of Nowhere is Everywhere
4 - Psychodrama Peepshow
5 - Circles Into Spirals
6 - Nightmare Field
7 - All the King's Men
8 - Suffering Rules This World
9 - Step Out of the Kaleidoscope
10 - We Become What We Are
11 - I-Con
12 - Pure
13 - Enigma Rising
14 - Halo of Lies
15 - Black Light of Time
16 - Liquidate Their Perceived Privilege


Shrew - vocals
Simon - guitars
Shrub - bass
Colin - drums

Selfmadegod Records:

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