Quick question: what do blackened hardcore, skramz, grindcore, sludge metal, and harsh noise all have in common? There are two right answers here: first, they’re all fucking great genres. Second, they’re the base of the dangerously heavy new album from Melbourne, Australia natives Diploid, who return with the followup to 2015’s “Is God Up There?” to once again drag us kicking and screaming into their malignant auditory abyss. Everything Went Red, which arrives on Halloween through underground heavyweight label Art As Catharsis, is not an album for the faint of heart, but those experienced at finding pleasure in the truly ugly will find plenty here to chew on.
As early as a half-minute into the opener, “Population Decline,” and a panoply of sounds is already vying for the listener’s attention: following a short sample, mammoth waves of guitar explode and crash into each other, a pair of vocalists trade screams into the void, and electronics chirp and hiss in the background briefly. In an odd way, the track’s movement feels almost funereal; there’s a slow, painful trudge that builds tension, but instead of this energy actually going anywhere, it just fades away slowly, backing off from the listener into an inky blackness as the guitars disappear and other instruments follow suit.
That is, until “Birth” hits immediately after. The aggression returns here as Diploid’s sound loses its nebulous, noisy aspects. Out of the depths comes flying a sledgehammer, aimed directly at the listener’s eardrums, and it hits with terrifying accuracy. These folks are well and truly fucking pissed. Comparisons to Everything Went Red range from the glacial sludge-drone of The Body to the noise-laden, slightly blackened (charred? seared?) grind of Full of Hell (especially their collab with Merzbow) to the chaotic lamentations of Orchid. What this multifaceted nature means for Diploid is that they’re never short a card up their sleeve, and various deviations in sound come together in shocking ways. It’s certainly all discomforting and violent, but the specific type of violence present at any given moment could be any number of different things.
Repeat listens are essential for the crystalline matrix of ugliness that is Everything Went Red. Thank goodness, then, that we’ve got it all right here for you. Play this one loud – you won’t regret it.