Across the ocean, and it’s fair to say our trans-Atlantic cousins have delivered in metal and the associated hard-nosed sounds this year.
Like a flickering light, the U.K. alternative metal scene has had its moments, too. At the end of October, Kulk delivered their fine sophomore album, We Spare Nothing. Now it’s Gnod’s turn to provide the wrath, and that they do with their latest release, La Mort Du Sens.
Whilst more direct than their off-the-beaten-track releases, Chapel Perilous (2018) and Faca De Fogo (2020), La Mort Du Sens (translation, death of sense) feels like a seamless entry point from the Salford-based collective’s 2017 offering, Just So No to the Psychotic Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine (take that, Fiona Apple!).
La Mort Du Sens is Gnod at their most strident. The percussive blasts and bass assaults are immediate. Zonal.
Gnod have always found delight in the crevices of folk and psychedelia. Coming out of the black holes of drone after listening to the likes of Sunn O))), and Gnod are the perfect follow-up to bring us back into some form of reality.
The first air of menace comes in the way of opening track, Regimental. A song that sees Gnod at their raging malevolent best.
Dripping with scorn, the surging groans of Pink Champagne Blues follows, as Gnod deliver the kind of chorus that quite simply buckles the walls. On The White and the Tongue, Gnod take the ideas from their previous two LPs and throw it into the meat grinder, resulting in a some new form of no-wave-inspired metal.
With Town, there are strange echoes of (believe or not) Pavement’s Hit The Plane Down. The sound waves subtle, but most certainly there. However, Gnod are no humourists; instead dispensing the kind of slow-motion sludge rock that would give David Yow a nightmare or two.
And the nightmares continue with Giro Day. Gnod like to close big and there are no exceptions here; a dirge-y sludge offering that sounds like Godlfesh on Quaaludes. Just imaging Gnod performing this song live sends shivers down the spine.
Like with Just Say No…, on the whole, Gnod deliver their aggravations and annoyances in short sharp bursts, clocking in at just under 32 minutes. Dishevelled and downtrodden, this is where Gnod produce their finest work and La Mort Du Sens is certainly that.
While echoes of noise-rock luminaries drift in and out of La Mort Du Sens, Gnod are more calculated in their approach, only having one thing in mind – to hit the listener between the eyes with everything they’ve got. With wrecking ball intensity, after La Mort Du Sens, we emerge from Gnod’s world knowing that we all need a band like this in our lives at some point.
And that point is right now.
La Mort Du Sens is out now via Rocket Recordings. Purchase from Bandcamp.