Review Summary: A promising debut from one of the UK metalcore scene's underrated gems.
By the time that Johnny Truant unexpectedly disbanded back in 2008, the following they had generated over the course of only 6 years and 3 albums was a loyal one; not a large number by any means, but one that was left feeling that they'd be unlikely to hear anything like them again. For many, their first exposure to the band was their first full length, the spectacularly titled 'The Repercussions of a Badly Planned Suicide'; a diverse, promising entry into the blooming UK metalcore scene of the early 2000s.
The first thing notable about the album is its immediacy; there's no minute long introduction track (most likely entitled Intro) to break the listener in or soft guitar build up. Instead, 'I Am The Primitologist Mr Robert Sarposky' begins with Olly Mitchell's vicious screaming, which proves to be the primary vocal style used across the record, and a riff that although not groundbreaking is an accessible start to an album that undulates in intensity across its running length. Although Mitchell's range isn't huge, his vocals sound vitriolic when screaming and surprisingly good on 'Seven Days At Knife Point' when he chooses to sing (although other occasions when clean vocals are used can be somewhat less successful).
As to be expected, dissonance has a large role to play in enhancing the aggressive atmosphere being promoted here - what's interesting on 'The Repercussions of...' is that a lot of the dissonance is created in the low end as well as through the more common medium of panic chords. Indeed, many of the riffs on display are monstrous, and varied enough that there are few genuinely boring parts of the album - impressive considering an average track length of over 7 minutes. The phaser is also used a surprising amount here, particularly on the quieter sections of the albums - this ensures that the sound remains unsettling when the distortion isn't cranked up.
What this album suffers from however is its lack of uniformity and flow. Puparia for example is an instrumental track nudging 10 minutes in length which would sound much more at home on a Rosetta album than here, which for the most part operates by placing the onus on being angry as opposed to atmospheric. Although none of the tracks on this album are in any way bad (aside from sporadic off-key clean vocals) there are parts in all tracks which either seem to momentarily break from the primary aesthetic or stretch on for more than they should (the ending of Subtracting the Apex is a good example of both of these).
In short, this was a very promising first release for Johnny Truant that went some to establishing the aforementioned fanbase within the metalcore community. Although it was apparent that they had some work to do at writing flowing tracks, the ability they had to make something potentially brilliant showed in spades across its running length, and led them to become another underrated but brilliant example of early 21st century UK metalcore.