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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Self Inflicted - Ten Years of Punishment

Year : 2011
Genre : Southern Sludge, Groove Metal
Label : Independent
Origin : United States
Rating : 9.0 / 10

Self-Inflicted is larger than life, over the top Texan sludge mayhem all administered in the spirit of mid-tempo Pantera. There is only one name to the game on this 16 tons release, and that, not surprisingly, is the mid-tempo groove with such a pronounced rumble as an industrial iron-disc cutter. Ten Years of Punishment won't relent delivering the powerful mid tempo and will exhibit skills on how to project lights on the beast without the leash, finding the exact emotional territories Pantera sounds to draw its aggressive riffs and sonic architectures from. The riffcraft is especially fat and mean on this baby, a good example I'm listening to right now is the track called "Fat Bag of Hate", - stellar title, too! - with a main riff that has all its elements "slithered off" compared to the regions they seem to belong to. Inventiveness and authenticity are primer characteristics, and this is not the direst of strikes you need to endure during an incarnation. Read on to find out more about this spiky, hungry, angry-ass crocodile.

The band Crowbar also comes to mind when similarities between this and its probable influences seek identification. Imagine the tightest blend possible between Pantera and Crowbar, and you will have a solid impression of where these bad men are coming from.

Sure, it is not hard to get carried away and be overly enthusiastic if you are hooked on a particular piece and/or character of music, - this is the damn point, actually - but, regarding this release I truly fail to worry all too much about these fortunate leanings, as I dare say that this by far is the most authentic, most unalloyed, properly faithful and properly in-your-face open bare southern sludge I have heard since the originators. It does not seek to "add" anything new-, spicy, "little something"-grade obtrusive fancy camelshit to the crocodile sludge you crave in the first place.

The compositions truly are intact and reign well focused-, playful and exigent all the way, the band throws in some superb instrumental work from time to time, and these are never of such pronounced presence as to even endanger the relentless cultivation of the ubiquitous sludge which reigns as the primer content on this robust release. I particularly like the lyrics, too, at least the elements I can make out without a textbook. "Unending truuuuth, you will be miii-iiine, no need to doubt, or question whyyyy." These are sexy and relevant lyrics, especially when they are delivered with the power of the sludge, and not on an epicness-craver ethos like sword wielder !PAUA! metal. Last track on the release sounds to be a hidden track of some sort, and this is about sporting big balls. It intentionally is over the top and anti-serious, and remains great fun as hidden track, in my opinion.

The vocal contribution of the lead singer dudette demands mentioning yet. I have never heard such an approach as he comes along from so far, as this man, for a much welcomed change, does not seek to imitate the timber of the Philip Anselmo like I do in the song Supreme Sacrifice - check for the line : "it made me believe" - instead, the fronter of Self Inflicted delivers in a register that sounds to be an unusual blend between Anselmo's Tazmanian Devil scream and a death metal growl. Pretty sick. Check out the 1:20 mark in track number 2 called "Die". The dude here sings : "we all diiiiie." And the way he sings this, does not leave all that much place to further inquiries, either.

- Hello OH!, Voodoo Mistress. I'm afraid to die. Why do I have this fear of death?

- Because you invite that fear.

Rating : 9.0 / 10

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