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Saturday, February 17, 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Stranglewire belch beautifully twisted madness on The Dark Triad

SOMETHING wicked this way comes - the Ray Bradbury book proclaimed: and in the end of days, when the world descends to its dystopian demise we need dark poetry to describe the wickedness within.

And, Stranglewire deliver the stanzas of agony, whilst grabbing you around the throat, kicking you in the nether regions and weave their worms into your cerebral cortex.

'The Dark Triad' is a descent into terror accompanied by a soundtrack that will instil fear into all but the stoutest hearts.

Birthed from the bastard offspring of several of Northern Ireland's denizens of the dark underworld Stranglewire first hinted of their ascent with the EP, Narcissim.

It is the tracks of that EP that form the opening of this trilogy of concepts - Psychopathy and Machiavellianism being the other two part of the triad.

Taking the surrounding lyrics descent into the bleeding ears is a musical structure that is compelling as it corrupts. Closer 'Den of Iniquity' eats into your ears with its mid-paced menace and is one of the finest examples of how death metal can be both meaningful and filled with restrained ferocity.

Labelling themselves s I to V the five piece what is apparent is the musical majesty delivered with a deathly chill.

But to label Stranglewire as 'death metal' is too simplistic. The Dark Triad contains a diverse expression of heavy intent. There is velocity, grind and all round expressions of what can be achieved when extreme music is pushed to the very boundaries of expressiveness.

This is an immersive listen. This is an uncomfortable listen. And, it is that uncomfortable feeling that makes these six tracks so remarkable.

If 'Psychopathic Blue' and 'Through The Black Lens' don't have you worrisome and feeling wondering about your own mortality as your ears bleed and dark ichor drips from your eyes then you haven't been paying attention.

Chris Fielding's production gives a clarity to The Dark Triad, without ever threatening to lessen the murkiness of the band's sound.

Stranglewire have produced an album that will propel them through the underground to greater audience reach.

Review by Jonathan Traynor

The Dark Triad is released on Grindscene Records on March 23rd.

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