2 Dec 2013

Avulse - We Are All Code [Full length] (2012, Broken Limb Recordings)

Patrick Hasson from Maine, USA, has numerous releases and various projects under his belt, including the atmospheric black metal experience Auspicium and the funeral death/doom getup Black Chalice, both of which I have previously reviewed. Having now listened to the next in line of Hasson's projects, Avulse - which is supposed to be crusty black metal with a firm punk vibe, I can now say that Hasson (or "Diseased" as he calls himself in Avulse) has a somewhat recognizable sound and style born from, as he states, copious substance abuse and simple songwriting with a gritty guitar sound. Hasson's style is so profound that all his projects seem like small variable aspects of the same thing.

Hasson himself describes Avulse as "a drunk asshole with a guitar jerking off to Von", which seems like a proper summary of the music found on We Are All Code, the third full length album from the band. The self-proclaimed punk vibe could well be attributed to the, for the most part, short song length, gritty production and shoddy playing. In all honesty the album sounds exactly like what you would think it sounds like from the description. Half-assed "riffs" on top of the distant clicks of what I assume is the drum track with whispered, raspy vocals in the background. There is little form, rhyme or reason to be found with the band, and the album consists of 12 tracks of unnoteworthy, quantity-over-quality tracks of punked up black metal with no hooks.

The lengthiest songs (and I use this term loosely) are by far the most well-written. The album's title track isn't half bad, and the second track, Flames of Liberty, is a tiny bit above the rest in terms of quality. From experience I know that the man behind the band can in fact write some pretty good songs, and the title track in particular attest to that. Hasson is a somewhat accomplished songwriter, but only in the songs where he has actually put in a little effort does this show. The rest, I'm afraid, is a slobby mess. As such the title track and the two cover tracks are also the only ones that show any semblance to actual musical structure.

Alcoholic or not, We Are All Code seems like a waste of effort. The Auspicium and Black Chalice releases I've heard speak of more coherent songwriting skills, and as such Avulse may just be a way to vent frustration whilst in a drunken stupor, but most of the tracks on this third album would probably be better off not being released. It boggles my mind that there are at least 2 other albums, a split, two EP's and a demo more of this stuff out there, because if this album is at all representative of the overall quality of the songwriting in this one-man band, it's not worth checking out. 3/10 guitars.

1. I Drink, Therefore I Am
2. Flames of Liberty
3. Youth is Wasted on the Stupid
4. False Flag
5. Now or Then
6. Phagocytosis
7. Veteran's Day
8. 100 MpH
9. Black Denim
10. No Friend of Mine (Slapshot cover)
11. Hope (Descendants cover)
12. We Are All Code

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