Monday, April 18, 2011

Murder Construct - Murder Construct

Murder Construct
Murder Construct
Relapse Records

It’s hard to believe that’s its taken some ten years for Los Angeles (California, U.S.) based outfit Murder Construct to finally get around to releasing their debut effort. But then again, when you take note of who’s in the line-up, it’s probably not all that surprising to understand that getting all those involved in the studio together all at the same time would have been somewhat of a logistical nightmare.
But after numerous delays and scheduling nightmares, Murder Construct (Who now had a solidified line-up consisting of Cattle Decapitation/5/5/2000 vocalist Travis Ryan, ex-Intronaut/Impaled/Exhumed guitarist/vocalist/group founder Leon Del Muerte, ex-Watch Me Burn/Cattle Decapitation guitarist Kevin ‘Fetus’ Bernier, Bad Acid Trip bassist Caleb Schneider and ex-Uphill Battle/Thornlord/Exhumed/Intronaut drummer Danny Walker), have finally managed to lock themselves away together to knock out their self-titled debut E.P.
Given who’s involved in Murder Construct, this was either going to be nothing more than another so-called ‘supergroup’ of sorts that simply produced something that was only noteworthy because of the names attached, or it was going to something really quite special and unexpected. Thankfully, Murder Construct falls into the latter bracket.
Unlike a lot of groups, Murder Construct have managed to find the right balance of death metal and grindcore on the seven tracks they offer up to listeners, without resorting to a sound that’s overly produced or clinical, or lacking in punch in terms of aggression and power. In other words, Murder Construct has captured the sound and fire of early Brutal Truth and latter day Napalm Death, without losing their own identity and sense of experimentation in the process.
The opening track ‘Control’ sees the band going straight for the throat, blasting out the first half of the song with plenty of speed and blasts. Ryan puts in a truly crushing performance throughout the song, as to does Walker, who’s quite literally everywhere within the three minutes of the song. And while the manic speed down tapers off halfway through to make way for a solid groove, the brutality of the band is retained in bludgeoning fashion all the way.
‘No Savior’ and ‘Destroy Babylon’ are obvious stand out tracks with their, dare I say, catchy riff structures, chorus structures and subtle traces of black metal seeping through the familiar death/grind framework, while on ‘I Am That’, the band show that there’s more to their sound than simple aggression from start to finish, with the inclusion of a breakdown of sorts around the three quarter mark and a solo following helping to break things up and make the whole that much more interesting.
Walker’s tribal percussion in the middle of ‘End Of An Error’ is another unexpected surprise bit of experimentation that works exceedingly well at keeping the listener on their toes, while the atmospheric/percussion led instrumental piece ‘Boundless...’ only further showcases the band’s willingness to trade straight ahead aggression for something a little more interesting to spice up the song writing.
Keeping in line with the last couple of tracks, ‘Submission’ finishes up the E.P. with plenty of grindcore brutality to start with, before trailing out with some rather impressive experimentation toward the song’s closing moments.
Murder Construct may have taken their time getting around to recording, but the wait has been well and truly worth it. Their E.P. offers some genuinely crushing efforts, but with enough exploratory moments and influences to keep the whole E.P. from sounding tired and repetitive after a few tracks.
Whether or not Murder Construct plan to follow up this E.P. with a full-length effort any time soon remains to be seen, but if and when it does arrive, I’ll be certainly looking forward to seeing what the band can deliver on a much larger scale.

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© Justin Donnelly