(For this month’s Synn Report, Andy delves into the discography of the German band Implore, including their latest full-length, just released by Century Media.)
Recommended for fans of: Nasum,Trap Them, Ancst
Sometimes the self-imposed restrictions I’ve put in place around this column do make things a little difficult.
Case in point, simply picking three bands for the “Recommended for fans of…” section above proved to be a surprisingly difficult task, as Implore’s sound could potentially appeal to a wide range of listeners.
At their heart the quartet are a belligerent Death/Grind act, but this description doesn’t tell the full story, as while the speed and structure of the tracks recalls Grindcore godfathers like Nasum and Rotten Sound, and their meaty, Swe-Death guitar tone is equal parts Grave and Dismember, there’s also a distinct Crust/Hardcore element that would appeal to fans of everyone from Earth Crisis to Martyrdöd, as well as a touch of blackened spite reminiscent of Anaal Nathrakh at their grindiest, and some hook-heavy riffs and melodies that aren’t a million miles from At The Gates or Darkest Hour at their punkiest.
But Implore don’t actually sound exactly like any of these bands when all is said and done. They just happen to hit that sweet spot where fans of these bands, if they’re open-minded enough, will be able to appreciate what they do, no matter whereabouts on the Metal spectrum they come from.
DEPOPULATION – 2015
The band’s first full-length album is fourteen tracks of filth and fury that don’t pull any punches but which still demonstrate an unexpected amount of variety and dynamic, even as they relentlessly try to rip your face off the front of your skull.
Opener “Epicyte/Parasite”, for example, is three minutes of blasting bombardment and gritty, gruesomely heavy Death Metal riffage, while both “Sentenced” and “Thousand Generations” err a little more towards pure Grind savagery without losing that classic Swe-Death swagger.
“Homo-Consumens” has a bit of a primal, Punk-Metal two-step vibe in amongst all the scattergun snare and thunderous, rolling kick drums, after which “Hegelian Dialectic” throws the album’s first real curveball at you, dropping some lurching, sickeningly slow Death Metal riffs and some seriously dense and distorted bass-lines into the mix before unleashing a ravenous blastathon of near-biblical proportions in its final minute or so.
And while the seventeen-second “Cadavers on Parade” is your traditional Grindcore smash and grab, it’s juxtaposed against the dissonant, atmospheric interlude of “Hoax” and the ear-splitting Blackened Crust of “Anthropocentric Selfishness” as a way of hammering home the fact that Implore are capable of more than just grinding and wailing and gnashing their teeth.
That being said, both “Iscariote” and “Neo Luddite” are grindy enough to satisfy even the most pissed-off of Punks, just as the gargantuan grooves of “Ruthless Conspiracy” and the hook-filled, buzzsaw riffs of “Bohemian Grove” won’t disappoint anyone who like a bit (or a lot) more Death in their Grind.
Closing with the one-two combo of “Intrincated Scapegoat” and “Inexorable Malignancy”, the former a simple, straight-to-the-throat vomit of pure rage and frustration, the latter a sickeningly catchy, ruthlessly efficient piece of Blackened Death/Grind that fuses the very best elements of each genre, Depopulation is the album which put Implore on the map, and although it would quickly be surpassed (in my opinion anyway), it still remains a vital part of the band’s discography.
THANATOS – 2016
The simple, savage hookiness of this EP should go a long way to explaining those At The Gates/Ancst/Darkest Hour comparisons I made at the start, as songs like “Disagrace” and “Fog” are amongst the sharpest, catchiest cuts the band have ever produced (while still being brutal as hell).
Of course the pure Grindcore frenzy of “Sold” and the punch-drunk Grind-Punk of “Skeptical Masses” goes some way to balancing this out, exchanging hooks for hammers and brutality for… even more brutality… while the climactic “Misery & Desolation” neatly splits the difference between the neck-wrecking Death Metal opening pair and the bone-grinding belligerence of the latter, to help tie everything up in style.
SUBJUGATE – 2017
The band’s second album should be a welcome fix for any grind-junkie, but it’s not just about preaching to the converted (or the addicted) as Implore continue to play around with elements and influences from the very edges of the usual grind-sphere.
Opener “Birth of an Era”, for example, delivers its mix of incisive, subtly melodic Death Metal riffs and visceral blackened tremolo at a Grindcore-friendly velocity, while “Paradox” embraces the same sort of Punk/Metal paradox that Martyrdöd have built pretty much their entire career around.
That’s not to say the band have abandoned their roots of course, not when “Loathe” is a fifty-second spasm of pure audio aggression, and “Cursed Existence” sticks to the endlessly effective formula of 50% Grind and 50% Death Metal to produce something that’s as punishing as it is gruesomely groovy.
Both “Disconnected from Ourselves” and “Totalitarian” feature an unexpectedly more blackened approach, mixing writhing, electrified tremolo runs with riotous, punky rhythms and bombastic Death Metal riffs, while “Patterns to Follow” doubles-down on both the Death Metal and Crust side of the band’s sound in a way that gifts the track both some seriously heavy heft andsome subtly moody melody.
Speaking of melody, “Ecocide” goes even further down this particular path, mixing brooding melodic menace and an undercurrent of barely-controlled chaos, after which “Technology, a Justification for Killing” unleashes what could well be the angriest, heaviest track the band have ever recorded in two minutes and forty-two seconds of blistering Blackened Death-Punk.
Both “Cult of El” and “Desolated Winds” keep this more blackened vibe going in scorching style, albeit the former leans a little more heavily on the Crust/Hardcore side, while the latter features a much more Dismember-ish feel, following which the fifty-eight second “Boundary” serves to remind you that Grind is, and always will be, at the core of the band’s sound.
Penultimate pounder “Untouchable Pyramid” is another piece of punk-infused, Swe-Death worship that’s as irresistibly catchy as it is intense, after which the record closes out with the signature Blackened Death/Grind of “Gazing Beyond”, ending things on a stupendously high note for everyone involved.
ALIENATED DESPAIR – 2019
At only eleven tracks, and thirty-one minutes, the band’s third album is their leanest, meanest work yet, with a slightly cleaner production job that maintains the rough, ragged edge of the music while also giving it an even heavier, heftier sound overall.
“Faculties of Time” has a major Earth Crisis feel to it, overflowing with snarling vocals, razor-sharp riffs, and some gleefully wild drum work, while “Abandoned Desires” sounds a little bit what I’d imagine At The Gates might have sounded like if they’d started out as a Grindcore band (which, if it’s not clear, is a compliment).
Once again, I need to stress that Implore don’t just sound like a lesser tribute to other, bigger, artists, it’s more that their specific brand of cataclysmic Death/Grind hits all the right buttons to be able to draw in fans of all types, colours, and creeds.
Take “Parallax” for example. It’s Death Metal as fuck for a good 75-80% of its run-time, but also throws in some Black Metal, Punk, and Grindcore flavours for good measure, and somehow makes it all sound both incredibly cohesive and absolutely crushing.
Then there’s “All Is Not Lost Is Long Forgotten” and “The Constant Dissonance”, both of which employ the same sort of devastating, Blackened Grind, approach as Anaal Nathrakh while also dropping in some absolutely massive Death Metal moments, demonstrating that Implore just seem to naturally gravitate towards this nexus point where all our heaviest musical tastes connect.
As heavy as this album is, of course (and it’s arguably the heaviest thing they’ve ever done) it’s not totally devoid of melody, as the Tomas Lindberg-approved strains of “Never Again” (which aptly enough, recalls previous Synn Report alumni The Great Deceiver) demonstrates, nor can it be accused of abandoning its roots, not when you take songs like the chaotic Blackened Grind-Punk of “All Consuming Filth” or the sub-two-minute assault on the senses of “Let The Pleasure Destroy Me” into account.
“In Apathetic Isolation” continues the band’s quest to create the perfect amalgamation of Death Metal and Grindcore, marrying the chugging, irresistibly infectious riffing of the former to the manic, wide-eyed energy of the latter, before “The Venom Comes In Droves” raises the stakes even higher by adding an extra dash of dark melody and some even sharper hooks to the existing array of chainsaw riffs and seizure-inducing bursts of speed.
Closing with the apocalyptic strains of “Despondency” – which sounds like someone threw various members of At The Gates, Rotten Sound, and Tragedy down a concrete staircase and then recorded the results… in a good way… – Alienated Despair proves itself to be not just the best album of the band’s career, but one of the best albums of the year.