Wednesday, July 21, 2021

EP Review: Weston Super Maim "180-Degree Murder" (Dark Trail Records) by Dave Wolff

Band: Weston Super Maim
Country: Transatlantic
Genre: Extreme progressive tech metal
EP: 180-Degree Murder
Format: Digital, vinyl
Label: Dark Trail Records
Release date: July 16, 2021
Writing a two song EP about a man scapegoated with the world’s collective hate, negativity and inhumanity, and being inadvertently made the catalyst of global Armageddon when he returns it to those who heaped it on him, Weston Super Maim founder Tom Stevens would have to write music as heavy as possible. On “180-Degree Murder” he does so while making it fresh and inventive. If it was too much of a task to see it through to releasing the completed product, Seth Detrick was welcomed in to provide vocals channeling this bleak tale of vengeance and unforeseen destruction with sufficient intensity to equal the musicianship the lyrics are set to. “180-Degree Murder” is their debut EP following “The Neglected Works” a collection of unreleased songs recorded over more than a decade. They seemed aware this first impression had to be special; to fulfill this they spawned an EP that makes the likes of Crowbar, Godflesh and Acid Bath sound domesticated by comparison. Bringing in other elements, maybe not to soften the blow but to demonstrate the talent they can display alongside all the ire and wrath prevalent on the EP, they allow melody to grow organically from these two songs while furnishing them with off-beat time signatures in the vein of Meshuggah, Fear Factory and Gojira. Add emotional depth and introspection by the epic themes brought in and you have an EP that’s much more than mindless Neanderthal brutality if you care to look for it. Not that difficult to find if you’re open to the sense of lost or stolen humanity evident in the lyrics: “I have seen your nightmares, trotted through your empty homes, I have showered in your bile, slipping on your fat.” What’s impressive is how this sense builds as steadily as the ire and wrath hinted at before, until “180-Degree Murder” became bigger than Stevens and Detrick had expected at the outset. If you have the fortitude to experience this EP in its entirety you can hear it at Bandcamp and Spotify. –Dave Wolff

Tom Stevens: Guitar, bass, drums
Seth Detrick: Vocals

1. 180-Degree Murder
2. We Need to Talk About Heaven

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