The last few years have been witness to a collection of bands aiming to shake the foundations with an onslaught of musical noise. From NAILS to CODE ORANGE to HELPLESS, the quality of heavy music has soared and therefore for a band looking to break into this, the standards are ever so much greater. Enter IMPLORE. The German outfit have been bubbling under the surface since their formation in 2012 and now, sophomore effort Subjugate aims to really make a mark. But does it do enough to hold its own against the rather fierce competition?
One thing is certain about Subjugate, this is an album of sheer ferocity as IMPLORE hold nothing back and deliver an abundance of extreme metal mayhem. Opening track Birth of an Era boasts blistering drumming from Guido Montanarini and a passage of riffing that instantly sets the tone for the record. It’s fast, ferocious and a thoroughly enjoyable start to the record.
From there, IMPLORE continue to obliterate the listener across Subjugate‘s 14 tracks. Loathe is a frantic affair where the speed of Grabriel Dubko‘s vocals are nothing short of spectacular whilst Cursed Existence‘s moments of short and snappy isolated guitar lines offers a moment of respite before plunging back into breakneck speed. Yet, for all their speed and razor-sharp musical assault which are already impressive, dig beneath the surface and IMPLORE‘s strengths become so much more clear. The chemistry between the trio is incredibly tight, resembling a well-oiled machine that allows each member to thrive in their respective department. Take Paradox for example. Whilst the rhythm is kept at top gear, it allows guitarist Petro to take centre-stage with a rare utilisation of lead guitar play. It’s moments like this that showcase the quality at IMPLORE‘s disposal and more moments across Subjugate‘s duration only reinforce this.
More moments of this shining qualities come to the forefront as the record progresses. Totalitarian showcases some of the best riffs on the album, riffs which just beg to incite chaos, whilst Patterns To Follow is easily the best song on the album. Due to the fact that this is the longest album on Subjugate (just shy of four minutes), the extra length allows IMPLORE to vary the pacing of the track which only adds to it’s brute force. Cascading drumwork, thick basslines and a standout vocal performance from Grabriel Dubko fuse together as the track whips up a whirlwind before drawing to an explosive and sustained conclusion. It’s absolutely exhilarating.
For bands that put speed and ferocity to the forefront, often problems rear their head towards the final third and IMPLORE fall over a handful hurdles as Subjugate charges to its conclusion. Ecocide buckles the intensity by presenting itself as a drawn-out instrumental and whilst the atmosphere is commendable, the track just feels out of place which blunts any sustained aggression. It is because of this buckle that following track Technology A Justification For Killing ends up feeling fatigued as slow bass tones and rumbling vocal growls fail to leave any memorable mark.
These are just a few blips on a monstrous record. Cult of El regains the intensity of the album’s opening moments as the slick guitar work from Petro capture your attention amongst the noise whilst the bending tones in the opening of Boundary add a spice of variety to IMPLORE‘s sound. It’s a nice touch to experiment slightly but not to abandon the foundations of your sound and in this case IMPLORE have achieved the perfect balance which is certainly impressive. Ending as they started, Gazing Beyond offers one final explosion of sound from IMPLORE as the band keep the intensity incredibly high through razor-sharp guitar work and another excellent bout of vocal lines from Dubko. A satisfying end to Subjugate.
Subjugate is a ferocious record, one which is uncompromising in its output and holds nothing back. Whilst there are a few moments that miss the mark, ultimately, IMPLORE have delivered on their promise to deliver an album that will obliterate all that stand in its path and Subjugate will surely send IMPLORE up the ranks within extreme music.
Subjugate is set for release on September 22nd via Century Media Records.
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