Here’s something that I haven’t had in a long time when it comes to a review: brevity! Yes, gang, after several reviews of music clocking in anywhere between 50 and 80 minutes, the higher-ups decided it would be a swell gesture to hand me an EP by a young troupe from Indiana called Visceral Throne [We actually thought it was a double album when we assigned it. – Steel Druhm]. A follow-up to 2012’s debut, Omnipotent Asperity, the incredibly-wordy Those Who Have Fallen Beyond the Grace of God is five songs (four originals and an Internal Bleeding cover) at a whopping 13 minutes. It can’t be that bad, can it, kids?
After the very short title track plays out, we rip right into “Father,” and by “rip” I mean “blasting relentlessly.” Right off the bat, two things leap out at you throughout Those Who Have Fallen. The first point, split into two parts, is that these guys may be fairly young, but they know how to play. Justin Smith is a capable guitarist, even going so far as to let a damn good solo rip at the end of “Father.” They also love Internal Bleeding a great deal, which is not a bad thing. They show a sense of groove, but know when to pour the speed on until it’s a full-blown chaotic, merciless avalanche. While not the slightest bit innovative, some of these riffs may get you moving, and there’s some major potential revealed from these guys very early in the game.
The other thing I notice is the drums. Not just in Andrew Sutton’s performance (which is pretty damn impressive, even this early in his career), but in the actual sound. More specifically, that snare. Good lord, that snare. Seriously, how many cans of coffee sacrificed themselves for this EP? That is the snariest snare sound that ever snared a snare, and it’s prevalent, in-your-face, and quite frankly, very annoying. So much so that “The True Sin,” once Sutton starts blasting, is nothing but snare, drowning out everything but Dylan Cox’s indecipherable growls. Their cover of Internal Bleeding‘s “Colossal Vortex” plays with very little variation from the original besides snares snaring the fucking snare out of you.
Even after some extensive internet sleuthing, I have no idea who produced the EP other than it was mixed and mastered by TsunTsun Productions, and it’s the very definition of brickwalled. The bass is barely audible and the guitars are buried a bit beneath the vocals, but that snare is right up front and ready to take the spotlight! And that kills me, gang, as these guys are capable, possibly within the next album or two, to really level the playing field and possibly be mentioned in the same breath as Internal Bleeding or Disgorge. As it stands, I can’t even make a bag of popcorn without the sound causing me to have spastic fits in my kitchen floor, reminding me of this EP’s production.
Visceral Throne has got truckloads of potential. Those Who Have Fallen, if you can traverse past the overgrown cornfield of upside-down Maxwell House cans, has got some intriguing song ideas and a few good riffs to mosh to. I just can’t recommend this EP due to the horrible sound of the drums, but do keep an eye out, for they could really pull something together to rip heads and crush spleens.