It's better to go into some releases with an open mind. Usually I would be put off any album labelled 'British Metal' now that Eden Maine have split, especially one that tracks in at under forty minutes. Luckily I'm familiar with Gizeh Records, and so the CD doesnt float into the 'To Do' pile never to emerge again.
It's the brief nature of the album, split over nine (not eight as mentioned on the artwork) that makes it so attractive. Profane are the sort of band that pack five ideas into a second of recorded material, and they manage to sequence their grandiose riffing and staccato drumming into the constraints of a radio-friendly song length, making their tracks ambitious without roaming into areas of pomposity.
That's alright, you think, but what does it actually sound like? It's hard to apply a specific label to the album, which fluctuates rapidly in the waters of any genre loosely related to 'metal'. Tracks like 'Porcelain' and 'Hang The Muse' draw comparisons to the aforementioned Eden Maine, while 'Cable Car' evokes memories of Sinch and Pope Syndicate. The final third of the album even moves close to the stop/start riffing of Brits Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies and Andy, Glenn and Rich.
However this melting pot of contrasting and combusting influences doesn't make for an uneasy sounding album. The vocals help a lot, lead Phillip Bretnall switching between solemn lulling and steel-on-steel growls as the time warrants. Mix with this the ISIS-style claypot drumming of Carl Sharrocks and you have one of the most inventive metal releases of the past decade. If you can get past the myriad influences and complex time-signatures (and if you aren't by now you never will be) then this is more than enough to restore your faith in 'heavy' music.
8Jordan Dowling's Score