Well, it’s not even spring yet and I’ve been forced to make some rather tough decisions as to what will be on my year end play list come December. The current front runner for that coveted number one spot is Theories debut album entitled Regression, which is seeing the light of day thanks to world-class record label Metal Blade on March 24th. A ten song battle hymn for the fight against a repressive society and wide-spread apathy. This album absolutely delivers the goods, in the cruelest, most sadistic way possible. Featuring past and current members of Samothrace, Skarp and Book Of Black Earth, this is one of those projects that absolutely demands your undivided attention. A project that showcases the lessons they have learned from previous endeavors, matched with the chemistry found within the inner circle of the band itself. Theories have stepped forth from the shadows and what they’ve dropped is going to be a very loud declaration of their intent to obliterate ear drums and re-invent the wheel of grindcore.
From the minute the trigger is pulled on this one, Theories blast ahead without taking pause for concern in regards to the listener’s well being. Either get on this fucking beast or get the fuck out of their way. From start to finish, this album is like a chemical burn across your face. A scathing assault of modern grind mixed in turn with the most noxious moments and leads of death metal. From a sound standpoint, this album sounds fucking phenomenal, which is in no doubt thanks to help of producer Derek Moore (The Sword, Pelican, etc) in addition to the mastering and mixing aspect attributed to the diabolical talent of Scott Hull (do I really need to list his credentials?). Every possible facet of this record sounds exactly as it should. From the Panzer IV tank rolling over and crushing a field of bones underneath it’s tracks-like drum sound, to the guitar work which slices through your spine with a surgeon’s precision. A constant bass-heavy sound rumbles and enhances the rhyme section, while lead vocalist Rick summons some of the sickest vocals I’ve heard in a long time. He alternates between a blood-filled throaty scream to a monstrous pig-demon-like low growl. With the latter sounding like it was built specifically to cause children to awaken at night in terror and a cold sweat, their screams going unanswered as their parents drunkenly forget their existence while clicking through various online poker and porn sites.
“Burnt Concrete” opens this one with a tremendous Carcass style-riff before truly unveiling Theories’ abusive take on the grindcore sound. As this song was released earlier as a tease for the album, those who are familiar with it should be aware of what exactly they are in store for. For those that aren’t, sit down and buckle the fuck up, because this album is going to absolutely blow your mind. Regression as a whole is chalk full of some brutally monumental moments, specifically the songs “Cycle of Decay,” “Abortive Crescent” and “Swimming In Mud.” They serve as an absolutely unrelenting battering of one’s face into a brick wall during their duration. As one can guess from the tone of this review, it’s not like the rest of the songs are just filler for these three sonic behemoths. In fact, each song on this album contains multiple charges of assault against the listener, leading to a long wrap sheet of offenses by the time the album is over. Each song is masterfully constructed from top to bottom, put together to maximize the band’s effectiveness with laying down face-shredding moments of sheer hatred and spite. This is an album that you’ll find something new and equally decimating with every new listen.
I really can’t heap enough praise on this album and band. Based on the fact that I’ve followed a few of their past projects, it doesn’t surprise me in any way that they’ve come together and sold their souls in order to achieve this record. What we’re hearing on this album is the bar being set for the rest of the year in terms of what grind-metal bands have to live up to with their own releases. It’s a a non-stop barrage of incredibly tight, technical musicianship, but doesn’t go over the top or lose one in it’s sound. Regression is a close range sawed-off shotgun blast to the chest, and should be approached with caution, as if it was a caged, feral animal. Based on this record alone, this band is going to be garnering a number of high accolades and decimating multiple venues over the next year, and that’s a damn fact. A fantastic major metal label debut, and I would imagine that they are sharpening their knives in anticipation of carving the metal scene up. So go do yourself a favor after reading this: get this fucking album. Put it on constant rotation at the highest fucking decibel level you can handle, and then turn it up even higher. Blow out the windows of your house and break down a few walls. Destroy a few precious objects while cursing out your loved ones. Because without a doubt, the arrival of Regression warrants such a violent outburst and response from us all.