Sometimes, just sometimes, I feel the need to shove aside my lofty notions that Extreme Metal should mean something. That it should explore the depths of the human condition. Sometimes, I just want to hear something that is viciously callouses and devastating. Thankfully, noise-terrorists Unyielding Love recently came into my life and unleashed eight songs of shrapnel infused chaos entitled The Sweat of Augury.
Exhumed from Belfast, Ireland by the always consistent Sentient Rune, The Sweat of Augury is a voracious assault of top-notch Grind. My initial reaction to Unyielding Love was that they have some sort of Metal Ouija board and conjured forth the spirit of the legendary Discordance Axis. But honestly, as my time with this record increased, I realized that it would be unfair to draw those comparisons. And I don’t mean that as a disservice or a strike against Unyielding Love. They do pull forth from the grave of that influence. Yet, they truly embody their own sphere and sonic entity. One will find layers to be pulled back like a surgeon preparing to do open heart surgery on this release.
“Abandon the Body” serves as the first count of international terrorism on this album. High-pierced, gurgling vocals welcome the listener home before the band explodes in true Grindcore fashion. It’s easy to imagine this band withering on the floor of some shit-hole venue as they blow out speakers – possibly even being banned from playing there ever again. It’s harsh, in your face and makes you want to smash beer bottles against a wall. And the mid and end portion of “Fleeting Joy” contains one of the sickest, most ungodly pissed off moments I’ve heard this year.
What’s even more staggering about this release isn’t just the chaotic, feedback-fueled battery, but the moments where this band takes a swift turn and sucker-punches the listener with an unexpected meshing of Black Metal and Drone. The first three songs blow past you thanks to their thorny nature and speed. And while the fourth, fifth and sixth track are still belching forth pure, vertigo-inducing music, it’s here where we start to see another side of Unyielding Love, one that isn’t just a tornado of razor blades and broken glass wreaking destruction across the landscape. Something more sinister and maligned lies behind their Grindcore front.
Track six, “Of Human Grease and Ash,” serves as the mile marker for The Sweat of Augury. Up until this point, I was perfectly happy having my body dragged across hot coals while being whipped repeatedly. Unyielding Love could have just unleashed more one and half minute songs and I wouldn’t have been upset or bored. But it’s within the last portion of the album where they truly show an eyebrow-raising maturity – a facet and change that I honestly wasn’t expecting.
“Of Human Grease and Ash” transitions into the crown jewel of this album, “The Pregnant Hurt.” Its morose opening and twisting climax grips you by the back of the head while screaming in your face. Beyond a doubt, this band has a few tricks up their sleeve, and accordingly know when to unleash them. “A Pregnant Hurt” reeks of massive, end-of-the-world styled potential for the future of this band. It’s complicated and darkly mesmerizing in a way that most Extreme Metal bands can’t pull off. Lastly, it’s a testament to a band who appear to have no boundaries in sight.
The title track closes this one out with yet another flawless transition from the previous song. Its noisy, ice-pick in the ear feedback wreaks havoc on your nervous system for a good two and half minutes, thus making their final grand explosion that much more weighty. A perfect way to close out an album is when a band takes all the tools at their disposal and utilizes them. And yet again, Unyielding Love prove that their understanding of having a “complete package” in terms of influential elements is key, if not vital to their band.
Honestly, this band just came out of nowhere for me. As they evolve and move forward throughout the album, everything is a pleasant surprise, from the eardrum-shattering, glass-breaking first few songs, to the more emotional and devilish final half. Overall, they take a certain style of metal, perform it with a precise execution, all while further exploring their sound. It’s oppressive, pissed off and above all else, a fantastic new thread of sound. The Sweat of Augury is a well put together release from top to bottom, one that holds something for just about anyone into this scene. Here’s hoping that Undying Love are firmly aware of the bomb they’re holding and plan on detonating few more across the underground Metal scene.