REVIEW: Angelwhore - "Superman"

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

SupermanLoud, aggressive, metal-industrial hybrid. Slightly ordinary in a Monsonish, Reznor-like sort of way, Angelwhore herald from London, which is strange when you expect Bauhausian rock to come from London and anger-laced guitar riffs to come from the stateside of the scene. But nonetheless, Angelwhore capture the attitude of thrashier dark metal well and press it onto their debut release, Superman, a five track EP (two of which belong to nominal song Superman, in one form or another) released on March 20th.

Made up of Rhuraidh (guitar), Gary (bass), John (drums) and Jes (vocals/guitar), the music contained here is well explained above. Guitar riffs, heavy bass, slamming drums and angry vocals coalesce into a collective bombardment of cynicism and hatred. My favorite quote about their music that I feel rings true can be found on their website and states, quite succinctly, "Half of it made me want to kill myself; and half of it made me want to kill everyone else." Rather unhappy folk coming out of London these days…

Opening with Superman, the EP begins with a rhythmic and sustain-laden guitar riff that is as good as any others out there. Lyrics are somewhat banal, but the rhythmic stomp-laced guitars and drum beats make up for it - the occasional lyrical gem shines through, one of my favorites being, "While I create, you masturbate." Victim is another typical story of self-abuse and angst-sickness. Following this is Cut, a bit different at the outset, with Jes adding more of a singing voice to the starting arrangement without as much growl-style vocals as is found in most of the tracks that regular Manson/Reznor fans would be familiar with. A slower, grungier guitar score permeates the track lending a hurtful and moody air.

Nausea is the last new track you'll find on Superman. Opening with a heartbeat and keyboard ambience, the heartbeat speeds up until a highly distorted guitar/white-noise combination joins it. The music kick-in is loud and brash - seemingly more so than the other tracks because of its quieter beginnings. A double-smack drum track from John gives the song an interesting rhythm and is sure to wreak havoc on dance floors for anyone trying to stomp to it - much to everyone's amusement I'm sure. Vocals are almost spit out at you, regurgitated from Jes's hollow anger-ridden corpse with an attitude and hatred that would stun even the likes of Cthulu (sorry, been reading Lovecraft lately). Nausea, with its grunging guitar riffs, spit-style vocals, heavy bass accompaniment and freaky drum rhythm is the highlight to this releases. I don't like the white-noise inclusion near the middle of the track, however - the encompassing sound swallowing the good stuff and actually being more annoying than I'd like. Angelwhore close their debut EP with the Speeding Bullet Mix of Superman. I prefer the original.

Angelwhore aren't pioneers yet. They have a similar sound that's been done before on my side of the pond, but they do it rather well. The upside is they're doing it well at the start of their careers, which leaves their future wide open to improve upon the style, take it to new heights, and then piss on the rest of us from above with their overwhelming hatred of, well, just about anything at all so it seems.

Contact Information:
Post: Angelwhore, 56b Ashmore Rd., London, UK, W9 3DG

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