Reviewed: May, 2018
Released: 2015, noizr.com
Reviewer: Owen Thompson
Ukraine’s Sectorial are a very interesting case. A real musical melting pot of Grindcore, Blackened Death Metal, and a judicious use of ethnic instruments; they beguile, confuse and delight in equal measure. It must be noted that is not a new album, but a reissue of the band’s 2015 sophomore effort. It is well worth revisiting.
The album opens with the burly “Enough Skills?”, an aggressive tune with a melodic sheen; its hardcore structure augmented by the use of a “Jew’s Harp”. An interesting choice to be sure. The odd jangle (and equally odd title) of “Tree Eater” is up next up, with its eastern stylings and memorable riffs. Complementing this is “…Will There Be…”, its frantic nomadic noodling whizzing by in a flash. Similarly barbaric is the vital and invigorating “Young Shoots”, and the frenetic “Abysmal” – the musical equivalent of a shark’s feeding frenzy.
By this point, you might think that you have sussed the band’s modus operandi. They then lurch in a different direction, leaving you in utter bemusement. The instrumental track “The Embers” is both epic and expansive, with a yearning feeling persisting throughout. The use of flutes is utterly inspired, and the end result is something truly spectacular. The band return to a more aggressive style with “With Own Tacit Agreement”; a snarling beast packed with warp speed, and muscular riffing. The flute also makes another appearance. They follow this in dazzling fashion with “Summer Night: Breath of the Boundless Steppes”, its layered belligerence juxtaposed with a lush ethnic feel – an honouring of cultural heritage. The balls-out fury of “Autumn Silence is Covered With Ice” keeps up the momentum. An angry sojourn of aural annihilation. The dark and malevolent “Predator’s Intents” closes proceedings with a certain malignant, feral sincerity. Utterly jaw-dropping.
This is quite a statement of intent. One very small criticism is that perhaps the guitar tone is a little too nice and may have benefitted from a touch more grime on it (not the music genre). It is, however, a thoroughly original and individual album that elevates Sectorial head and shoulders above some of their more knuckleheaded peers. They certainly whet the appetite for their next chapter.