Though I would never consider myself a metalcore fan by any stretch, I’ll listen to anything if it’s good and even if I might be in the minority at those shows who enjoy the maintenance of a full mouth of teeth and an un-fractured nose, I’ve seen the progression and melding of some genres I love, into the metallic hardcore arena. I find myself discovering musical gems more and more these days. Misanthropic metalcore band Pristina are one of these finds, having released their 3rd full-length album through The Path Less Traveled Records on February 26th, 2013, incorporating in elements of sludge, grind and even ambiance, just the way I like it.
Feeding back into their amps, the album ignites with screeches and crackles. In the trails of Brendan’s distorted screams, a bass drop curb stomps you into the concrete, forced to swallow your consumptive shards, drowned in blood as ‘The Motherfucker’ you are.
“Burn, burn you fucker. Let’s burn, BURN!” ‘The Black Syph’ drips flesh from buckled ribs and ducts of infinite darkness but lost me in its vocal and rhythmic semblance. The pause at 3:29 where guitars are left to ring out and bass notes are pensive in their spotlight, adds the perfect space to build up summons of their electric collective, to its once again, downward force. The last 30 seconds of the track are a jester of sorts. Silliness captured and milked, bringing a smile to my face with each exaggerated line of “violence and pain.” Watch out Rush. Pristina is coming for ya.
‘The Immortalist’ allows for some softer notes really complementing the emotion behind it all. The bass is rich and fatty, clogging the empty space with deliciously dirty tones. Taking you anywhere but up, this track is by far the gem of the album. Vocal clips are well suited to their repetition and bend the post-metal mood with its heavier counterparts nicely.
The mix done to ‘Darker (Omega)’ was remarkable. The stereo perception on the layers of guitar in the beginning, concealing a whisper, forced my attention to focus to the minute detail in this track. The wall of distortion masks vocals in amidst static veils of silk and wire. ‘Darker (Omega)’ is truly haunting in its composition and by far the most interesting grind influenced track I’ve heard this year thus far.
The title track ‘Hopeless.Godless’ holds that spot riotously. Though not my personal favorite, an amazing track none the less. ‘Material’ bleeds more hardcore influence, reminiscent of Kiss it Goodbye; A comment bubbling with compliment.
As a whole, “Hopeless.Godless” is a solid mix of some dynamic, innovative tracks and those that are colossal for the moment but won’t gel forever. Pristina are not hopeless at all. Godless, well, that’s another story. Metalcore fans, reject your deities and give these guys a listen if you haven’t already.