By Luigi Sibona
‘Annihilated’, from Edinburgh natives Sectioned, is the best debut in heavy music for years. This is what it must have been like to hear The Dillinger Escape Plan’s ‘Calculating Infinity’ or Botch’s ‘We Are The Romans’; a ground-breaking, unprecedentedly savage, artistically challenging record of cataclysmic effect.
Opening in ear-bleeding fashion with ‘Annihilated’s title track, Sectioned set their stall out from the initial squeal of feedback: you are not here to feel comfortable.
Sectioned are constantly breaking expectations with whiplash inducing sonic U-turns, crippling beatdowns and electronic deviations. ‘Beautiful Struggle’ seems to coil up, playing with the listeners endurance and expectation, cranking up to apparent breaking point or where more pedestrian fare would drop a breakdown. Sectioned instead do something akin to a roof falling down on you. Managing to be at once total chaos and as tight as a crab’s anus, it feels like trying to walk up a staircase of a collapsing building.
Every song seems to be dialled up to 11 but still manage to be wildly varied from track to track. ‘Synchronicity’ has these pant-wetting heavy, deceptively simple riffs that recall the discordant riffing style seen on Will Haven’s ‘Carpe Diem’. It would be hypnotic if it wasn’t so skull-crushing.
Listen to the title track here:
‘Toothgrinder‘ is a savage assault on the senses and makes something like Converge’s ‘Concubine’ from 2001’s masterwork ‘Jane Doe’, sound like a lullaby. ‘Release’ has maybe the closest thing to a hook, but that’s very relative, playing around with snapshots of groove. Make no mistake, Sectioned make no concessions and take no prisoners. If you can’t keep up you will get left behind.
The dissonant electrical elements are brought to the fore on ‘Portrait’. In this cut’s second half, the layering of dizzying electronics and industrial elements calls to mind something like a Trent Reznor night terror. This makes Code Orange’s dalliances with industrial on last year’s ‘Forever’ look like a mere dipping of the toe. This isn’t even touching on the flares of noise rock and blistering technicality on tracks like ‘Betrayer’ and ‘Eigengrau’.
There are elements of everyone from Converge to Meshuggah to Will Haven while not really sounding quite like any of them. This is brazen, frighteningly confident music of the highest calibre.
Currently these guys have little over 600 monthly listeners on Spotify but that’s likely to change. You can’t keep an album this good quiet for long. If there’s any justice in the world these guys will be forerunners of the British heavy music scene by the end of the year with their apocalyptic brand or metallic hardcore.
You can download the record here for free or name your price (but seriously, support this band…): https://sectioned.bandcamp.com/album/annihilated