Stalking, violating, and corroding any sense of safety in ears and psyche, Condamné the new album from French metallers Bind Torture Kill (BTK) confirms there is a group of serial sonic predators out there which know how to seduce and abuse with relentless ferocity. The successor to the band’s self-titled EP of 2013; BTK’s debut album creates a pestilential scourge bred from hardcore, death metal, and grindcore. To that though the band loads in grooves and hooks which entice and reassure whilst the rest of their sound is stripping senses bare and flailing emotions. It is a proposition destined to send a great many running but equally incite a new masochistic passion in just as numerous souls.
Formed in 2007, the Lyon hailing BTK emerged with an instantly confrontational sound sculpted from the intent to “practice a darkened, raging, violent music.” The first few years saw instability in the bass department as the band honed and evolved their increasingly distinct and intrusively oppressive sound and presence. The early weeks of 2013 saw the unleashing of the previously mentioned EP, whilst the latter months of that year brought the departure of another bassist from the ranks. From this point deciding to continue as a trio, the founding members of vocalist Olivier Alexandre, guitarist Yann Alexandre, and drummer Benjamin Garçon undertook numerous shows which confirmed the new set-up was just as potent and brutal as ever before settling down to start recording Condamné last March, a self-released fury now setting its rage upon the world.
It opens with Labyrinthe de Mort and instantly a sonic brewed noise is engulfing ears as inciting rhythms gather in the background before bursting through with a tirade of composed but malicious riffs and searing, spicy grooves. Immediately there is contagiousness to the threat and rancor of the track, which rather than tempers the raging violence of the song seems to incite it to greater antagonistic intent. As discovered across the whole of the album, band and songs are also unafraid to juggle and twist things in gait and intensity, never letting the listener off the hook but certainly constantly giving them fresh food for thought and fascinating hostility to brave.
It is an impressive start with the squalling ire driven tones of Olivier Alexandre a merciless abrasion within the equally volatile maelstrom of sonic and rhythmic vindictiveness, a tempest matched by the enthralling Bain de Sang. Again the heart of the song is violent but the textures and scenery it employs as inventively gripping and tantalising as it is destructive. There is a striking technical craft and flirtation to the band’s music which is just as potent as the black hearted tsunami driving it, this track superbly epitomising and embracing these strengths as does the following Abattage and even more so the album’s title track straight after that. The first of this pair opens with a brutal smothering of the senses through raw riffs punctuated by cancerous chords and rhythmic swipes before broadening into a seriously testing climate and landscape of creative tenacity. The grindcore bred new Evisorax album offers one of the most cyclonic storms in a long while and Condamné in its own unique design easily stands beside it with songs like this. The second of the pair similarly prowls and courts the senses, inviting and transgressing their defences simultaneously. Vocals and drums are insatiable as they vent their anger soaked angst and sinew moulded antagonism whilst the guitar of Yann Alexandre weaves a tapestry of imaginative enterprise and furious provocation through melodic invention and flesh scorching turbulence.
Bestial is exactly that, as the album an uncompromising primal assault but again binding its bad blood with infectious grooved tendrils of temptation and short hook lined scythes of unpredictable adventure. Ferocious, fast, and at times sonically feral, there is plenty within the outstanding track’s bluster which almost soothes the wounds as they are savagely incurred, a technical almost mathcore lined exploration around tempestuous structures making for riveting enticement.
The closing La Faucheuse takes its own route to capture imagination and emotions. Its haunting melodic start is bound by inescapable hostility but creates a magnetic slip into dark depths and cold caustic ambiences for a compelling and at times almost warm trespass of the listener. It is a fierce and absorbing adventure providing an evocative finale to a richly punishing and exciting release. Vocally maybe there is a wish of slightly more diversity to match the sounds yet they are the core of the animus fuelling songs and release, and effectively project the intent and emotion of the French sung proposals making up the excellent Condamné. It is not a merciful or easy listen but Bind Torture Kill has uncaged one of the most exhaustingly exhilarating sonic ravishments you will come up against this year.
Condamné is available now digitally and on CD @ http://btkmetal.bandcamp.com/album/condamn
Grab a free download of the album’s title track below
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