by Pete Long
If you’re excited by the prospect of Corrupt Moral Altar‘s first full album, chances are it’s due to the feral rage that suffused their two previous EPs. The sludge-tinged grindcore of Whiskey Sierra and Luciferian Deathcult were the aural equivalent of a rusty steel bolt through the neck.
It’s probably going to make some of people unhappy then that Mechanical Tides is a marked evolution from that sound.
‘Father Tongue’ starts the album in the same uncompromising fashion, albeit with a far less fuzzy sound, but things get different quick. ‘Blood Harmony’ starts with a slow sludgy stomp that mutates into something very post-rock around the minute-thirty line. It’s still pretty pissed off sounding, but nowhere in the same league as Whiskey Sierra. Then there’s the rock n’ roll groove that battles with the brutality on ‘Die Glocke’ and totally takes over the infectious ‘Line Check’. It’s like Corrupt Moral Altar wanted to try absolutely everything they can do with their sludgy sound.
They nail pretty much all of it. ‘Wire Mother’ burgeons with aggression before sounding nothing so much like a really slowed down Converge. ‘Gin Dreams’ and ‘Garland Greene’ features a very punky vibe, complete with some catchy gang vocals, while ‘Closed Casket’ retains something of the band’s feral edge. The sweetly melancholic strains of ‘Admit Defeat’ with its clean vocals are the other side of the coin here. It’s a big surprise but Corrupt Moral Altar completely pull it off. Mechanical Tides finishes with the same angry semi-grind that started the album with ‘Insect Politicians’, which isn’t quite as compelling as what’s on Whiskey Sierra, but as its own thing, is still very listenable.
It’s slightly sad that Corrupt Moral Altar no longer sound like a wolverine trapped inside a robot, but there are not many albums out there that that show such a range of ideas, fit them together so naturally and then execute them dead on. To do that on the first full album is even more impressive. Let Mechanical Tides drag you under.
Sounds Like: Two parts angry sludge, two parts catchy sludge, garnish with misery
Standout Tracks: Blood Harmony, Line Check, Admit Defeat