Immutable Decay Industrial The Below This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint. In classic industrial style does The Below emerge utilizing found objects and all other sorts of odd bits to create their new EP “Immutable Decay”. Calling themselves an industrial post-punk act, The Below brings along frequent collaborator and vocalist Aaron Sutcliffe (S.P.O.C.K.) along for the ride. The project seems to home in on elements of warfare, as ‘No Place is Safe’ discusses the war in Gaza while ‘Artificial Lights (Dystopian Haze)’ talks of the war in Ukraine. Noble subjects to be approaching, for sure, but the EP itself isn’t entirely up to par. Within the opening seconds of ’90 Seconds To Midnight’ you’ll come across a metallic drum and some vocal samples beneath, alongside an oppressive guitar note. That banging you’ll have to get used to as you’ll hear it repetitiously throughout most of the song without ever really changing too much. That was the start of my disappointment with the album, which didn’t faltar all that much with the rest of the song. Yes, it’s disparaging, it’s oppressive and ominous, and it should sound like that, but it’s also ridiculously boring. The vocals are decent for what they are; passionate and rolling alongside the metallic beat. But, again, the whole song is repetitious and after about a minute of listening I got bored and was waiting for something more to happen. The Below does enjoy to use guitar drones to set the mood as is apparent on his second track ‘Artificial Lights (Dystopian Haze)’. Again, a very oppressive atmosphere, the sound bank sounding similar to that of the opening song. Similar soundbank, to say the very least, and repetitious once more. Aside from a few louder bangs and short guitar riffs towards the end of the song, it doesn’t change up all that much. ‘No Place Is Safe’ is a pretty safe (no pun intended) industrial rock song that sounds like it’s stuck in the demo stage and never left. ’17 Days’ is an attempt at being loud without ever being loud. That’s the best way I can describe it. Throughout the song there’s always a bit of a noise wall aside from one small section around the four-minute and some-second mark. It’s one of those classic cases where a track sounds like it’s going to explode at any moment but fails to as if it’s stuck in an impenetrable loop at the intro of a song. The outro track ‘Immutable Decay Outro’ should have been the intro song. It’s short, the rhythm thumps, is intentionally oppressive as the other songs are, but is just long enough to give me the creeps before going bye-bye. It’s only one-minute and thirty-six seconds long and that’s all that it needed to be to get the point across. So, to be blunt, I did not enjoy four of the five tracks on here for all the reasons stated above. It’s repetitive, boring, sometimes sounds like a demo, and doesn’t have much going for it other than that. The most effective song on the album is the last one, and it’s also the shortest, which is saying something. I don’t have any recommendations here other than that these guys need to go back to the drawing board.   250
Brutal Resonance

The Below - Immutable Decay

3.5
"Terrible"
Released 2024 by Off Label
This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint. 

In classic industrial style does The Below emerge utilizing found objects and all other sorts of odd bits to create their new EP “Immutable Decay”. Calling themselves an industrial post-punk act, The Below brings along frequent collaborator and vocalist Aaron Sutcliffe (S.P.O.C.K.) along for the ride. The project seems to home in on elements of warfare, as ‘No Place is Safe’ discusses the war in Gaza while ‘Artificial Lights (Dystopian Haze)’ talks of the war in Ukraine. Noble subjects to be approaching, for sure, but the EP itself isn’t entirely up to par. 

Within the opening seconds of ’90 Seconds To Midnight’ you’ll come across a metallic drum and some vocal samples beneath, alongside an oppressive guitar note. That banging you’ll have to get used to as you’ll hear it repetitiously throughout most of the song without ever really changing too much. That was the start of my disappointment with the album, which didn’t faltar all that much with the rest of the song. Yes, it’s disparaging, it’s oppressive and ominous, and it should sound like that, but it’s also ridiculously boring. The vocals are decent for what they are; passionate and rolling alongside the metallic beat. But, again, the whole song is repetitious and after about a minute of listening I got bored and was waiting for something more to happen.


 The Below does enjoy to use guitar drones to set the mood as is apparent on his second track ‘Artificial Lights (Dystopian Haze)’. Again, a very oppressive atmosphere, the sound bank sounding similar to that of the opening song. Similar soundbank, to say the very least, and repetitious once more. Aside from a few louder bangs and short guitar riffs towards the end of the song, it doesn’t change up all that much. 

‘No Place Is Safe’ is a pretty safe (no pun intended) industrial rock song that sounds like it’s stuck in the demo stage and never left. ’17 Days’ is an attempt at being loud without ever being loud. That’s the best way I can describe it. Throughout the song there’s always a bit of a noise wall aside from one small section around the four-minute and some-second mark. It’s one of those classic cases where a track sounds like it’s going to explode at any moment but fails to as if it’s stuck in an impenetrable loop at the intro of a song. 

The outro track ‘Immutable Decay Outro’ should have been the intro song. It’s short, the rhythm thumps, is intentionally oppressive as the other songs are, but is just long enough to give me the creeps before going bye-bye. It’s only one-minute and thirty-six seconds long and that’s all that it needed to be to get the point across. 

So, to be blunt, I did not enjoy four of the five tracks on here for all the reasons stated above. It’s repetitive, boring, sometimes sounds like a demo, and doesn’t have much going for it other than that. The most effective song on the album is the last one, and it’s also the shortest, which is saying something. I don’t have any recommendations here other than that these guys need to go back to the drawing board.  

Jun 16 2024

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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