This new full-length from Sweden’s God Mother has drawn early comparison to Dillinger Escape Plan, but I’d bet that’s as much because of their signing to DEP guitarist Ben Weinman’s Party Smasher label – and Weinman’s subsequent declaration that the torch had been passed from his band to theirs – as it is because of direct musical lineage. Both bands incorporate similar elements, but there’s a distinct divide between the two, especially considering where DEP ended up. Truthfully, with all respect to Mr. Weinman, I’d take God Mother’s pummeling hardcore over DEP’s spastic attack any day.
And why is that, you might ask? (You didn’t really ask. But I’ll tell you anyway.)
Label: Party Smasher.
Basically, it’s because God Mother is a band that does what I wish Calculating Infinity had done, which is lock into its atonal riffs, off-kilter rhythms, and punishing scorched-throat emotions and hammer them home with a tightly wound aggression that never succumbs to the excess flash that defined DEP. Blending elements of hardcore, grindcore, sludge, and noise rock, God Mother’s tonal palette is a familiar one, pared back to only those elements suited for maximum ground-leveling heaviness. Maybe God Mother can’t play as well as DEP – or maybe they can: This music certainly exhibits its own kind of complexity. The good news is that they don’t need to, really. Minus jazzed-out runs and random arpeggios, they get results just the same.
And what are those results, you might ask? (You didn’t really ask. But I’ll tell you anyway.)
Well, they’re damned destructive ones. From the 30-second opening blast of the near-grind “Dodsfodd” through the four-song perfection of “Tar Mirror,” “No Return,” “Acrid Teeth,” and “Anti-Anthem,” Vilseledd comes out of the gate at full speed before settling into a ground-cracking groove that doesn’t let up. That four-song sweet is close to noisy hardcore perfection – dissonant riffs stab outwards at sharp angles; a distorted and grindy bass tone drives “Tar Mirror” into a swinging intro before the full-on explosion around the one-minute mark; tempos shift, guitar chords clash in beautifully ugliness, Sebastian Campbell screams his lungs out. “No Return” plows a mile-wide groove, while “Acrid Teeth” rides a death metal tremolo riff into “Anti Anthem” for three-ish minutes of furious glory.
I could go on, track by track, but there’s no reason: Vilseledd is a strong album from a young band with a ton of potential. From “Dodsfodd” to the five-minute expanse of “Burdenless,” Vilseledd crashes and crushes. Stoutly produced and impeccably executed, it’s a coiled mass of venomous snakes, writhing and lashing out; it’s a bomb caught in the split-second of explosion; it’s nerve-tearing destruction in 29 minutes. If noisy, gnarly, tar-caked hardcore is to your taste, then God Mother delivers in spades.
And what should you do about it, you might ask? (You didn’t really ask. But I’ll tell you anyway.)
You should put it on, turn it up, and get smashed.