Review Summary: you catch more flies with honey than vinegar
I'm not wholly surprised that Vinegar Perimeter
feels a bit tired. After all, it is by just one of the many bands that Colloquial Sound Recordings owner Damien Masters fronts. He's a man seemingly never at rest, and as a result his catalog is quite prolific and equally as diverse. His main project A Pregnant Light concocts "purple" metal, some unholy fusion between black metal, post-punk and rock; Deathless Marantha is a showcase for his spoken word ramblings; Alluring's funeral doom procession trudges behind almost a dozen other projects, each with their own respective sounds. Aksumite unfortunately, seems lost in the shuffle.
It's never been a project with a sense of definition, amorphously shifting between black metal and punk, but it always felt like it served a purpose; Vinegar Perimeter
makes me wonder if it's outlived its usefulness. The elements in which Masters utilizes here feel like scraps, leftovers from his more important projects. Aksumite is the dumping ground for dead ideas, each song littered with recycled four chord punk riffs, tepid tremolos, and a wall of stagnant noise. "Scabbed Knee" rehashes virtually every generic hardcore trope without redemption. Or was it "Smile for Me"..."
At some point, it's hard to tell; most songs sound like the album art looks - a soggy violet mess of incoherence.
But the greatest offense is how inoffensive Vinegar Perimeter
really is. There's not one part of the album that will make you recoil in disgust, but the tiresome familiarity will have you pressing the skip button real fast. Damien has done better - APL's Lucky All My Life
was dropped the same day as Vinegar Perimeter
and spoilers, it's great - but perhaps his prolificity has gotten the better of him here. It's clear where his priorities lie, and unfortunately it's not with Aksumite.