The channeling of fury and violence, boiling over into chaos, has been a strain of extreme metal for decades, reaching its apotheosis in sectors that combine “the cold and malefic grimness of black metal with the most bludgeoning strains of death metal and the blind terror of grindcore” (to quote from the press materials for the debut album that’s the source of the following premiere). At its most unhinged, these black/death abominations of sound become such willfully abrasive, brutally distorted assaults on the senses that sometimes they seem to have no objective other than winning an arms race for who can abuse listeners most sadistically.
Well, one person’s poison is another person’s meat. The musical rendition of large-scale violence, whether spawned by imaginings of biblical apocalypse or nuclear holocaust, or the mutilations of more conventional weaponry, can be thrilling. Whether it comes from the cathartic exorcism of our own violent impulses or the fight-or-flight adrenaline kick that comes from being in a war zone, even if your own life isn’t at risk, the excitement can be undeniable, despite (or because of) all the storming ugliness.
But when a band are capable of producing apocalyptic levels of violence AND doing that with actual riffs AND with melodies you can actually detect and remember (in a genre where “melody” is a dirty word), that makes them stand out. And that brings us to Montréal’s Profane Order.