Overall Score: 8/10 Math: 8/10 Grind: 8/10 Force: 8/10 Pros: An extremely promising debut that has reverence for its roots and contemporary flair Cons: Perhaps a little lacking in dynamic range
The UK’s affinity for heavy music stretches back to its inception. Despite a critical pasting in their early days, bands like Brum-born Black Sabbath found favour in their homeland and their legacy has proven to be a worldwide phenomenon.
More recently Mogwai and Architects have secured their first number one albums on these shores and the crop of underground bands beginning their journeys into the world of artistic expression has proved a fertile proving ground for the next wave of alternative’s history. And so, London’s Pupil Slicer arrive, here to reinforce the idea that heavy music is in fine fettle and waiting to burst out into the wider world.
Like a pitch shifted Frontierer playing grindcore via the mathematic frenzy of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mirrors is an extreme showcase of technical proficiency and brimming with ideas. The glitching edits on opener, Martyrs, speaks to the legacy of mathcore’s jagged exterior and the recent stylistic choices of a band like Code Orange, but musically has that grinding aesthetic to make it an extreme cavalcade of cacophonous noise.
As tremolo picked riffs whirl around flitting time signatures, the record proves itself an unrelenting assault with death metal hints to the grinding angularity. The dynamic range is somewhat limited, only dipping too quieter textures fleetingly, but the proficiency for heaviness is undeniable. It’s what the band do, and they do it marvellously.
Guitarist and vocalist, Kate Davies’ talents are staggering as she wrangles complexity and brutality with ease, but this is not to overlook the incredibly tight rhythm section that give a punishing backbone to tracks like monster single, L’Appel Du Vide. This trio are a force of nature.
Cohesive and incessant in its hammering appeal, with razor sharp production from Sectioned/Frontierer’s Pedram Valiani, this record holds all the appeal of the luminaries of the genres it pulls from and yet is contemporary enough to mark the band out as at the precipice of a scintillating journey. An essential listen for the year and an outstanding debut. this three-piece want blood, and with Mirrors, Pupil Slicer are sure to get it.
Pupil Slicer’s Mirrors is release March 12th via Prosthetic Records.