Sulaco – The Prize Review

Sulaco is the name of a port city in a fictitious South American country in Joseph Conrad’s 1904 novel Nostromo.

But I haven’t read that.

So, to me, Sulaco is the name of the starship that transports Ripley and the Colonial Marines to LV-426 in James Cameron’s 1986 film Aliens.

Release date: August 17, 2018. Label: Translation Loss.
Both Sulacos are under the direction of a man named Burke. One, a villain, an unscrupulous businessman played by the eternally smarmy Paul Reiser (who is incidentally Last Rites editor Captain’s favorite actor of all time). The other, a hero engaged in the much more wholesome vocation of extreme metal lifer, who lists among his many gigs these: former drummer of underrated tech-grinders Kalibas, current drummer of the blackened grind outfit Blurring, short-time touring guitarist for the almighty Napalm Death, and the final guitarist in the godly Brutal Truth.

Like that science fiction Sulaco, this real world one came loaded for war. The Prize is state of the badass art technical grindcore. It’s got independently targeting particle beam phalanx riffs; you could fry half a city with these puppies. It’s got tactical smart missile riffs; it’s got phased plasma pulse rifle riffs; it’s got rhythms that hit like RPGs; it’s got a stout production and an appropriately gnarly tone, a sonic electronic ball-breaker. It’s got the power of nukes, the cutting edges of knives, and all the subtlety of sharp sticks. Guitars weave around one another, uncoiling in the darkness like once-hibernating monsters awakening. The Hero Burke’s vocals switch from the gruffer bark of a world-weary sergeant to the pained screams of a thousand dying Wierzbowskis. It’s a whirlwind of angular dissonance, alternating grooves and explosive blastbeats, prog-tinted arrangements seemingly devoid of actual structure and yet always in the pipe, five by five.

And like that Sulaco, this one’s mission is over in just a bit past 20 minutes, although thankfully, this newest one ends a bit better for our intrepid heroes. In the end, after all the twisting riffing, after all the shifting rhythms and oddball changes, “So Be It” wraps it up nicely with some more of the same, a stream of woozy guitar lines that build to a quick double-bass-driven emotional crescendo, taking off and nuking the site from orbit — after all, it’s the only way to be sure — before fading away into nothing and then it’s game over, man. Game over.

So what the fuck are you gonna do now, man?  What are you gonna do?

Well, since you asked, I recommend checking out The Prize.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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