Informing me that a band features the talents of Fall Out Boy drummer Andy Hurley probably isn’t the best way to sell me on their album, but I’m glad I swallowed my ignorance. I mean, you should’ve told me that Hurley is super talented and that he’s flanked by members of Cursed, Catharsis and Earth Crisis in SECT. Combine those mega-powers with uber-producer Kurt Ballou and the fabled GodCity Studios and you’ve got a hell of a blast of Entombed-core in No Cure for Death (Southern Lord).
And again, with the super-specific subgenres. I’m not one to dive into the politics of subgenres, but in this instance, it works. You know what Entombed-core is. Let’s see, do you enjoy Nails, Trap Them (RIP), Fuming Mouth or Gatecreeper? Well, firstly, you have a fine taste in extreme music and congrats, that’s the musical alchemy SECT dabbles in as well.
How does SECT fare at it? Check the opening riff to ‘Day for Night’ or just about any guitar part in ‘Reality’s Wake’ and tell me what you think. They’ve got it down. Also, apologies to Mr. Hurley as it took me this long to realize his chops. Songs like ‘Stripes’ or ‘Born Razed’ function as his blast beat demo reels and ‘Avoidance Ritual’ shows him keeping a busy work rate even in the slowest of moments. Long story short, I am an idiot and that’s why you get paid the big bucks, Hurley.
Some listeners will find other, equally as petty reasons to scoff at SECT. If you’re familiar with those aforementioned bands or Southern Lord’s catalog, then you know how No Cure for Death is going to play out. Not exactly a flaw, but fans have their reasons and knives. I mean if we’re going to play scene police this badly, we might as well indict Thrash Metal in general.
What we have here is another case for execution over originality. There’s enough metallic hardcore (or Entombed-core or whatever) that we as listeners have grown accustomed to certain licks, song structure and track listings. It’s not a bad thing that we know exactly what we’re in for after the first song, what matters is that SECT is highly adept with the palette and canvas they’ve been given.
And don’t pre-judge bands like some jackasses that write for magazines.