Rotten To The Core – Sleepsculptor

In 2029, I’ll be fast approaching forty and, Satan willing, I’ll be writing about a band that listened to Sleepsculptor in their youthful days. I’ll be old, balder, and even more miserable, the members of Sleepsculptor will be on their fifth full-length and thousandth whammy pedal, and the young folk of the day will be spending their time on whichever social media platform monopolises the Internet’s bandwidth. Like them, I’ll also still be jamming Entry: Dispersal, Sleepsculptors debut LP, of which I am covering today on Rotten To The Core.

 

We’re past the point of no return with Myspace-era bands making comebacks (Job For A Cowboy, we’re still waiting), and this is undoubtedly a good thing. Myspace grind/deathcore is hot again, but there are honestly very few bands that are blending the jagged-math angles and screeching guitar sounds together, especially not in such a fashion that you’ll find on Entry: Dispersal. The twisting turns of the Ion Dissonance chugging wonder “A Transmutation” is so fucking stupid heavy that it had me spin kicking a family down an escalator on my way into work. The tightness from the snare drum and vocalist Hunter Derr’s ultra-high register screams peppers tracks like the three-step groover “Artifice” makes notable bands in the adjacent genres look pretty weak, to be honest. The collisions that the riffs, squeals, and boorish blasts create make exactly the kind of sounds that give normies nightmares – “this is just noise!” they shall cry! Virgins.

Following a short but very sweet EP release last summer. the Wilkes Barre, PA band knuckled down to compose this, a twenty-minute love letter to dissonance, jarring grooves, and above all, the art of creation. Entry: Dispersal is a fully realised take on extreme music that arrived with homebrewed art, individual designs for every track (or entity) from the record, and an overarching concept that doesn’t require King Crimson levels of concentration to enjoy. Vocalist Derr contributed more than growls, grouches, and ear-piercing screams to the record, as he explains:

“I’m an artist by trade so I really wanted to incorporate my skills to make it feel more immersive. I feel like a lot of musicians these days try to keep it sterile and play by the book. Get some nice album artwork you know, maybe a cool streaming video. We wanted to go beyond that and create a world within our music that paints a story even with the metaphorical themes. That’s how the idea for oasis was born, and then came the website etc. We just wanted it to be very cohesive, even down to the color scheme and layout of each image.”

The wildly appropriate guest appearances from current and former luminaries The Callous Daoboys and Arsonists Get All The Girls only cement Sleepsculptors reputation in the burgeoning, boisterous mathcore community. Backed by the embrace of the Mathcore Index’s Facebook group and the extended, worldwide familial aspect of such a following, the young act only have just started to realise where their talents truly lie, and I for one can’t wait to see where they take it from here. If Sleepsculptor need a soundbite or pull-out quote for future purposes then I guess I’ll leave them with the following to pick and choose from.

In a year when The Number Twelve Looks Like You returned with an album some of us are calling (in whispered tones as to not offend the rabid masses) better than The Dillinger Escape Plan‘s final outing, Sleepsculptor has done the Danza thing in a fashion more compelling than that band’s final musical offering. A freight train, barreling through every city on its way to final, desolate destination and on the verge of derailing at any minute, Entry: Dispersal is ridiculously entertaining, and devilishly violent too. Put your head on the tracks with me and let them literally run a train over our necks.

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The longer the note, the more dread