Protomartyr - Relatives in Descent

by D R Pautsch Rating:8 Release Date:2017-09-29
Protomartyr - Relatives in Descent
Protomartyr - Relatives in Descent

There are so many things that define a great album.  It could be the lack of a weak track, the innovation on offer, the classic singles that are only marginally better than the so called filler.  However, another thing that separates the great albums from the merely good is the fact that on every listen it reveals something new and different tracks spring to the fore.  Protomartyr’s fourth album Relatives in Descent hits this on the head.  They have taken their post punk doom filled offerings and injected a Nick Cavesque feel and sprinkled it with enough guitar hooks that you just revel in all its downright misery.

The dead-pan delivery of Here Is The Thing channels an almost spoken word entrance into a haunting guitar solo and a feel of bleak anger.  Its darkness and malevolence is as beautiful as it is ugly.  Windsor Hum starts slowly but builds into a wall of noise and distortion that is propelled through, as everything is here, with enough jangle and drum that brings its darkness to the brink and back to a moment of peace before destroying it.  Even when there is relative quiet on this album it is foreboding as you know another doom heavy, delicious piece of darkness is just around the corner.  My Children starts with such a moment but it’s the kind of opening that bring child services round in quick measure.  That it speeds up and stretches its legs in such breakneck fashion shortly after is a thing of wonder.  Everything on offer here feels like a step forward from their previous efforts and the coherence of the album as whole elevates it beyond just promising into an album which is as good as anything you are likely to hear this year.

Protomartyr are beloved by critics and yet not known outside those circles.  This effort may do nothing to change that.  But for every moment of its duration you are convinced that here is a band that is at the top of their game and revelling in all their bloody misery.

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