Shaking you in and out of misery, Subdued is back. The hardened second release by London's Subdued throttles gasps of brickwall torture in and amongst the poison flora of spoken word which will legitimately make a mother cry. It nods to the impassable corners of Celtic Frost and the broken necks of enthusiastic Amebix fans, all with a listless stare into the white void of repetitive oblivion.
The record comes in a wraparound sleeve with collaborative art between drummer Nicky Rat and singer Jack Sabbath.
Our take: After an excellent demo (which we still have in stock), here’s the vinyl debut from London’s Subdued. Subdued’s sound and image blend cult metal with classic anarcho punk, which results in something that reminds me of early Amebix (particularly the Winter EP), but richer in texture and atmosphere. After the first track, which is a spoken-word piece you’ll either love or hate depending on your predilection for anarcho poetry, comes the EP’s highlight, “Sedation.” With the slowest tempo on the record (an early Killing Joke-esque chug), the guitarist has ample nooks and crannies to fill with metallic and melodic flourishes. I could listen to this track all day as, despite its raw sound, it’s packed with interesting details, like a musical version of a Nick Blinko drawing. The two tracks on the b-side are faster and more hardcore/metal, and while they’re more straightforward, they’re still a cut above your typical rehash hardcore. I hope Subdued stay at it since their sound would work great on a full-length, but in the meantime there’s plenty to digest in these four tracks.