While mathcore isn't as debated a genre today as it was back then years of experimentation leave it as difficult to classify as it's ever been. In the post-Miss Machine world one can expect anything from the genre of mathcore and honestly...I wouldn't want it any other way.
With that in mind I'd definitely be open to throwing Septa's album Destroyer into the crazy blender of mathcore despite them not sounding like Calculating Infinity. The experimentation, the flow and the vocals all hint heavily at some mathcore love on their part but still there's a part of me that would rather throw the even vaguer "progressive" label on them. To tell you the truth both of them would be lazy and non descriptive so let's delve deeper and see what we find. Feel free to press play and let the destruction wash over you while you read.
There are two mostly electronic tracks, I, Havoc and Unmaker Omega, and both of them work really well. The first one reminds me a bit of one of my favorite electronic bands Worm is Green and Unmaker Omega wouldn't sound out of place on a gothic industrial album. Both of them add to the flow of the entire album beautifully and although the change to and from I, Havoc may seem odd at first it actually fits in with the conceptual flow. Speaking of the concept, here's where we arrive on my big mistake in the Freekend column. I talked about them being prime candidates to make a concept album where each element had its role and purpose within the story.
This, as a matter of fact, is exactly what Destroyer is.
Influences sound like they could come from all over the place but it's obvious that Eugene (vocals) is quite the Patton fan. This may sound like a case of "the Aussies" where the vocalist just settles for his best Mike Patton impression and expects the world to fall at his feet but he's so much more than that. His Patton-esque melodies are used sparingly and he utilizes a wide range of styles and characters throughout the album. Screams, shouts, growls, melodic singing, whispers and insane ranting are all found on this rather short album and all of them are very skillfully performed. The insane ranting part may turn some people off but it's a characteristic that really works in that one part where it pops up and it really sounds uncontrollably insane at times.
The instrumental side brings so many memorable parts like I mentioned before and while the album is no shred fest these are obviously people who are skilled at their respective instruments while always putting songwriting ahead of personal glory.
Something that cannot be downplayed is the overall sound of the album, Septa worked with some fantastically talented people on this album, Chris Common of These Arms Are Snakes fame mastered the album and Matt Bayles, producer of great bands like Isis, Botch, Mastodon, Fall of Troy and Norma Jean, mixed it. They clearly (and unsurprisingly) understood what needed to be done so Destroyer sounded great on a world class level and made it happen. From the crushing and harsh to the shoegaze-y and mellow the album always sounds just right.
To come full circle to my early days with mathcore I got into it, along with Mike Patton's various projects, at a fairly young age so I was quickly desensitized to genre hopping and musical oddities. Because of this I often found myself showing people music they found incredibly strange but I had to take a step back to realize why.
They seemed to feel like I was somehow broken for not realizing certain music was weird but if that's being broken I guess Destroyer was written by someone as broken as me.
To top it all off I have an interview with Eugene (vocals) that'll be posted tomorrow so stay tuned for more Septa. Until then they have two albums and some singles/remixes on Bandcamp so get to know them a bit better (links below) and come back for the in depth interview tomorrow.
Septa on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/septaisnotaband