Totaled – Lament

Band: Totaled
Title: Lament
Label: Profound Lore Records
Release Date: 29 March 2019
Country: Unknown
Format reviewed: MP3 320kb

Spring finally came, at least where I’m from. Nature starts to wake from it’s winter slumber, bit by bit. It feels like everything is coming back to life: birds sing from dawn till dusk, tress bud, flowers sprout on every green patch you can see and people start to swarm like ants to enjoy the good weather. In this context, Totaled decided it is time to bring back the cold winds of winter and annihilate everything, dead set to leave nothing standing in its path.

Besides forming in 2017, nothing else was made public about the group and frankly, I think it’s for the best. I for one enjoy listening to a band that tries to keep secrecy, but not as a publicity stunt. This way, only one thing is relevant: the music and it’s message, and “Lament” has a very clear purpose, that being delivering a passionate expression of nihilism. Usually, I associate this theme with the sound of sludge and Icelandic or French black metal, something that would make me sit motionless, loathe all life and wish for its extinction, but the band gives us a different take on this matter. While listening to the album I felt the exact same abhorrence towards mankind, however this time coupled with an intense hatred, making me wish for the very same extinction but this time by my own hands.

These 36 minutes are as intense as you would think. The album opens with a short intro that gives you no clue about the chaos that is about to ensue, then it jumps straight in with “As below”. Instantly, you’re met by an impenetrable assault that takes no hostages. With this type of music you often expect a fairly big number of short bursts of power, but that’s not the case here. No songs are under the 4 minute mark, excluding the intro and an interlude, “Ominous”, placed before the last song. Until the said interlude, the album keeps a constant pace and sound. What truly shines on “Lament” is the unbiased blackened hardcore sound. This hybrid is nothing new, but in most cases it feels more like black and hardcore, not an homogenised blend. The transition from blast beats to d-beats is seamless as is the change from tremolo riffs to breakdowns or frantic solos. Even during the breakdowns I mentioned, or some scarce, very short, atmospheric moments, the momentum never comes to a halt. Out of all the songs, I think “Hypnosis” captures all the group’s elements very well.

The last track, “Bereft”, stands out from the others as it is a midpaced song. At first you’d think it would be unsatisfactory to end an album on this note, but I believe it fits perfectly. At the end of your rampage, you stop to draw your breath (“Ominous”) and then you look around and smile because your strife came to an end and you can slowly decay away as the world rots under you (“Bereft”).

I want to also give credit to the breathtaking artwork and how good it fits with the album. It’s asphyxiating, noisy and chaotic like the sound and the monochrome choice fits perfect with the nihilistic theme of the album.

It’s hard to believe that “Lament” is only the debut of this amazing group due to the fact that despite its tumultuous sound, all the elements sound refined and click into place perfectly. It’s a hectic storm of ice shards that will keep me cold and enveloped in misanthropy all throughout the year. 9/10 Metal Gentleman

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