There are times you just want to listen to music that’s going to decimate your frail mortal shell. There are also times you want music that will dazzle you with technicality, blowing your brain clean out of your dirty mind’s windshield. When you get a wild hair up your ass you might even crave some abrasive electronic noise with drum and bass breaks that makes your right eye twitch a little. You want all three at once? Lucky for you, the new Sectioned record, Annihilated, checks all of these boxes.
When you put on the opener and title track “Annihilated,” the first thing you hear is a quick shot of feedback. Just enough to perk your ears up. It’s followed shortly by a speedy blast of grind that’s reminiscent of Rotten Sound’s raw intensity. Alongside this, you begin to hear guitars that have sections both punctuated and interwoven with various effects, a la Car Bomb or The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza. Last but not least, there’s a controlled chaos that’s characteristic of mathcore legends The Dillinger Escape Plan running throughout as time signatures and tempos change. The band lays out nearly every sonic implement in their arsenal within the first minute of this two minute and thirty-eight-second long track. It’s a demonstration that informs us that they are both deadly and efficient.
Just because you’ve heard what the band can do doesn’t mean that you’ve heard it all, however. The band has all sorts of interesting elements in their mix that play with your head, like panning between the left and right channels with effects. While the chaos is going on you have these added layers of chaos on top. There’s also a sonic theme that runs through the album where distorted drum and bass will either pop up at the end of a song or in the middle as an interlude/outro for the track. There’s a notable change in the last song “Through the Trees” when what pops up is not the established drum and bass, but an ominous piano section that closes out the album. Having the album open using something as full sounding as feedback and then closing it with a piano that sounds like it’s trying to fill an empty space fits the aesthetic of this album perfectly. Begin at uncompromising noise only to end up trying to fill the space that’s been made through the passing of time and changing of seasons, like the light that filters through the barren trees on the album cover.
After listening to this album, whatever needs you had for destructive heaviness, technical complexity and auditory hallucinations should be satisfied. If they aren’t, you may just need to start taking medication. This album has a furious anxiety that it just can’t shake and it makes sure to let you know that up front. It saves a few quirks for you to discover on your own but lets you know just enough so that you can understand what you’re getting in to. If you’ve ever wanted to hear what a mental breakdown might sound like if you put an aux cord in the brainstorm of someone just about to snap, put on this album and let it annihilate your mind before the world that conjures these feelings can.
Annihilated is available now via Sectioned’s Bandcamp.