Written by Louis Ferdinand Vallejo
Perhaps is the wrong concept or just an idea that floats around fed by my own music consumption and the obsession that feeds it, but boy, we have not gone a long way since 5-10 years ago when a new wave of millennials seemed to feed its stoic projections via music inspired by Joy Division.
Fast forward to 2016 or 2017, and what we got is the same group of youngsters who have aged a bit and have pivoted their inspirations a handful of years ahead. The greatest example would be that groovy Climax record by Beastmilk, and then the disappointment that followed. Sure, Beastmilk did not invent a thing, but delivered a robust record with a hardened post-punk sound. It was vital and energetic, borderline hard-rocking. Like Babylon Whores, but truth be told, with more memorable songs.
I bring all that up because Rope Sect’s first gift to the world, Personae Ingratae, will evoke the same feeling. It is hard-hitting post-punk. Call it ‘gothic,’ but we can wait for that call once band pics surface.
We could cite popular inspirations like those mentioned above, but per leader Inmesher, while these six tracks were being written and recorded there was a lot of Belgrado, Garden of Mary and the first record by semi obscure Germans Pink Turns Blue spinning.
As far as the credits go, Rope Sect is a trio and this, their first offering, is comprised of six tracks. The first two, “Fallen Nation” and “Tarantist,” are heavy guitar-driven inspirations. Both are anchored by simplistic drum patterns and offer a warm sound by a low bass that seems to serve the purpose of darkening the mood. The guitars are brighter though, they are cristalline and sharp. If only obscured by the vocals of Inmesher, who in private went on to declare that Rope Sect ‘is about seclusion. Renunciation of society. A dance of ruins. A doomsday revel. Naked spite. Eleutheromania. Obedience.’ That’s a mouthful. Eleutheromania by the way is described as ‘a frantic zeal for freedom’ by Webster’s Dictionary. So there you have it, come for the music and walk away learning a new word.
“Pretty Life” is the third track and is a slow-paced number. It is somber and seems cynical, ‘oh pretty life/what have you done?,’ asks Inmesher, as if a wasted life was light subject.
“King of the Night” picks up the pace and is catchy as all hell. The guitars cut away simply, with basic chord arrangements and lifting a baritone voice. The chorus brings you down but when the pace and the rhythms and the melodies are these infectious, who cares that lines like, ‘marked each with blood on our soil/too of the faces/your frown is our grin,’ seem to tell of sordid stories and negative futures.
Past the point of no return, we face a slow-paced and efficient instrumental appropriately titled “Recess.” “Ochlesis” is the closing act and possesses a classic doomy vibe. The way the guitars and the bass interplay set it all up as a mystery in which the chorus should own the crown. The problem is, there is no chorus but a slightly effervescent arrangement of guitars. It’s a wonderful last track for Rope Sect’s virginal recording. It leaves you hanging and wanting some more. It is, by the way, out only on tape.