Review Summary: A screamo album that is not guilty of "buttfucking complicity."The Heat Death of the Universe
; the title says it all. As is common with many emo albums, this is a self-absorbed entity with little notion of the outside world. Indeed this album more than appeals to that idea, it's rage tightly bound inside a single room. However one should remember that this rage is self-contained and self-controlled. It's a dangerous beast that fights within its own boundaries. It maybe conceited due to it's introspective nature but pretentious? No, this album is emo at it's basest but it's also at its most emotionally articulate.
If Saetia stripped back emo to its barest roots, albeit badly, then Off Minor took the formula, tightened it with a greater use of discordance and repetition and produced a creation that was even more visceral. The songs have all the feel of free jazz compositions with no formal structure. The rough, barren production creates the impression that this album was written and recorded in a burnt out apartment where there is nothing but the three musicians, their instruments and a bottle of bourbon between them. Yet if one looks closer, there is a meticulous attention to detail in creating atmosphere and emotion through the loose structures.
Most of the songs are self-absorbed, the discordant riffs repeatedly collapsing in on themselves. However these musical cavities are used to build towards one out pour of anger and pain. The rhythm section, particularly the bass work, break up and stagger the riffs to siphon the emotional charge. This pacing only makes the more frenetic moments, such as the opening to the title track, that much more potent, especially when they are utilised multiple times throughout each song. The scream-bridge-scream middle section of “The Transient” provides a cathartic drowning then two or three seconds to breath before being pulled under again. It's hard not to be swept up in the inferno of selfish emotions. It's a testament to the musicians' skills that they can create an album this absorbing and sincere without it turning into pseudo-pretentious garbage. That is all because Off Minor recognise their own limitations and they show this through the pace and times of their songs.
Songs such as “Punch for Punch” illustrate how the band needs to breath and reflect. This is not original, many artists regularly use this technique in their song-writing but the intensity of the emotions within makes it a necessity to allow listener and band alike to take a breath. Conversely the more chaotic songs are only one to two minutes in length because that is only how long the band can maintain that level of self-destructive aggression. It's these limitations however that make the emotions feel realistic and human. The people who make this album are not musical gods, they are flawed just like the rest of humanity and that is what makes this album so endearing. The lyrics, save for the occasional, spoken word segments, maybe rendered near inarticulate by the screams but the intensity of the searing dual screams is the more important factor though, as this album is all about the emotional impact and release of one's own inhibitions. It's a raw, powerful exorcism of the most personal kind, something that no amount of axioms, Hegel quotes or arithmetic jokes can ever disprove.