(ab)Useful by oneclipleft is not for the fainthearted. Over thirteen songs the band delivers an onslaught of metal that is intense and emotionally resonant. The band from South Georgia first got some attention at the Albany Music Awards and quickly started establishing a fan base. Their previous releases helped build the momentum for (ab)Useful.
The music on (ab)Useful isn’t only heavy but the topics are as well. In a general sense the album is about a family falling apart. Topics such as divorce and custody battles are scattered across the album. The album can go into a lot of dark places but so can life.
The band explodes out of the gate with “Alive and Dying”. A heavy kick, waves of distortion and a killer lead come at you with aggression. The drumming is like that of a metronome and the singing is filled with anger and disdain. As the song progresses there are a lot of transitions and changes continually keeping you engaged.
The band is quite dynamic as they display on “Choke the Rose”. They implement breakdowns where they take off their distortion or just let the bass play for a couple of seconds. “Inhuman” has a slower BPM than the first two songs and veers towards drone metal. There were some beautiful moments on this track and reminded me of Sunn O))) at moments. Don’t miss the inventive singing style towards the end of “Silhouette” or the instrumental piece “The First Fingers of Dawn” that solidifies that the members have some wicked technical skills. Some of the transitions of the killer lead guitar and the drumming is unreal.
The band plows through a couple more solid song including “Not I” and “Lender” until they get to the centerpiece “Lender”. I didn't know what to think at times because the verse sounds like nothing else on the album. The song certainly gets heavy but other parts sounded like something you would hear from an alternative band.
(ab)Useful is a long album that might take a bit of effort to get through in one sitting. It’s intense and by the end you feel like you had somewhat of a catharsis. If you aren’t a metal fan this probably won't change you but if you are this is something you will want to check out.
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