REVIEW: IMPLORE – “Subjugate”
Newly signed to Century Media Records, European grindcore quartet Implore are set to release their second full-length, and major label debut, ‘Subjugate‘ on the 22nd of September. With members spanning across Europe, from Barcelona to Berlin, Implore don’t have the easiest set up for rehearsals and group-writing, but there has been a bit of a buzz surrounding their upcoming sophomore album.
Unfortunately, it seems the buzz is all hype, with little to back it up. Upon looking at the track list it was easy to wonder if Implore might be bringing something exciting to the table, with many of the 14 tracks pushing 3 minutes (basically prog by grindcore standards). However, there is little new or exciting about ‘Subjugate‘ – rather than bringing a twist to the genre, the longer tracks are just that – longer tracks, but more of the same.
While aggression is a critical element of any extreme metal track – be it thrash, black, death or grindcore – it can only carry a song so far. Musical chaos and sonic violence do, at some point, need a flare in the songwriting, and, unfortunately, that is what is missing from ‘Subjugate‘. For the most part, ‘Subjugate‘ is carried solely by the aggressive musicianship, there is very little in the way of memorable moments, very few riffs to write home about, and almost no variation in the abrasive, almost hardcore-styled vocals.
However, it would be grossly unfair to suggest ‘Subjugate‘ is not without its merits – few and far between though they may be. There are a few pretty cool riffs scattered throughout the 14 tracks, and an absolutely blinding solo during “Disconnected From Ourselves”, which may just be the best moment on the album. There is a few tracks in the second half of the record that show real promise – the ominous interlude, “Ecocide” proved a welcome break from the unrefined chaos, and the following “Technology A Justification For Killing” offers a few brilliant moments that have an old-school death metal influence.
Implore have seriously missed the mark with their Century Media debut. Focusing on chaos and clumsy aggression over substance and songwriting, there is little to get excited about throughout ‘Subjugate‘. In the press release, ‘Subjugate‘ was described as a “punch to mediocrity” – in reality, it is more of a comforting hug to inferiority. Though not without occasional moments of strength, the bulk of ‘Subjugate‘ lacks any kind of spark, and ultimately, with a consistent stream of excellence coming from both metal’s major labels and the underground, feels like a waste of talent.