meth.
Shame


5.0
classic

Review

by Dakota West Foss STAFF
February 2nd, 2024 | 77 replies


Release Date: 02/02/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A damn shame indeed.

Not that it couldn’t be expected with a band name like meth., but there’s only one moment of relief -or at least something that approximates it- on the entirety of Shame. It comes near the tail end of “Give In”-the album’s midpoint- and splits the whole project like an atom. The ever present, ever-growing anxieties from tribal drumming and spastic panic chords mounting themselves higher and higher, far past the point where reality should’ve naturally ended things. Vocalist Sebastian Alvarez oscillates between a banshee yell and dog bark to fittingly scream “it’s growing inside” like a chant before peaking with a climactic release that is equal parts Godspeed! You Black Emperor and Liturgy. The song brilliantly chooses to grant a well-earned moment of silence afterward, defiantly choosing to linger and rest in this rare moment of peace. It won't last long.

Shame will wallop you in the face and have you searching for your molars in the dark of its long shadow. It lives up to its name, finding the perfect balance of primal rage and mechanical malaise to explore every nook and cranny of such a complicated emotion, draped in notes of everything from Fear Before the March of Flames to Converge. Picture if Dan Barret got really into amphetamines instead of 808s and that might be close enough, honestly.

And like the best of those works, this is one opaque, punishing listen not for the faint of heart. “Doubt” starts off by highlighting Shame’s brilliant production, with guitars that sound like field recordings from the seventh circle of hell. There’s a moment when the song ceases its sinking amid its thunderous strikes and demonic wails with a lone guitar plucking, only to continue on its way with increased resolve. Where it feels like songs should relent or affirm, they only continue with that sort of cosmic indifference. And from there, the album continues to slither into ever-lower depths that continue to defy expectation and convention. The tribal booms of “Blackmail” loop back around to “Doubt” if you allow them to, creating a literal shame spiral. Not even the album’s structure will let you go. There is no end. There is no bottom. This truly sounds like hell.

At the risk of turning into Chris Farley Interviewing Paul McCartney, there are just so many awesome moments here. There’s a ghastly drone that briefly evaporates “Blush” into the kind of fog that sticks to Silent Hill. The title track’s honest-to-god silly bassline summoning the end of the world as ghostly wails circle its orbit. The namesake of “Cruelty” serving as the punchline to the aforementioned triumph in “Give In”. Everything cascades into each other brilliantly to create an oppressive atmosphere that is begging to be dissected just as much as it is begging to be felt.

Meth. have created a masterpiece. It’s as simple as that. So rarely does an album feel as fully-formed on first blush while still managing to feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface after a dozen or so listens. From its pristine sound design to its seemingly endless capacity for terror, there’s not an angle it aims from where it doesn’t succeed to a level that puts other heavy acts to….well, you know.



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3.4
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Manatea
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2024


1917 Comments


My god i am excited for this record. Jamming now. Killer review odal

bellovddd
February 2nd 2024


5667 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

a 5. I'm keen.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2024


32013 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

A 5 huh, added to the list!

bellovddd
February 2nd 2024


5667 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

damn first track is HEAVY

JayEnder
February 2nd 2024


19696 Comments


This was awesome. Not what you would expect from these guys judging by their Spotify band pic lol

bellovddd
February 2nd 2024


5667 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ye its like flowers and them smiling lol

Purpl3Spartan
February 2nd 2024


8447 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Checking asap

Wayfarer1991
February 2nd 2024


137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

First two spins ruled hard, not that I'm at all surprised.

revenantpilot
February 2nd 2024


7 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Sounds like this ain't my cup of tea. Almost had to laugh at '“Doubt” starts off by highlighting Shame’s brilliant production' because I don't hear anything brilliant inside this muddy mess of (I guess) homerecorded and -produced music.



Indeed a shame because the music itself plays in a far better league.

calmrose
February 2nd 2024


6749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

insane album



Give In is incredible

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2024


5817 Comments


Man, this is an excellent review! Well done Odal.

Zac124
February 2nd 2024


2574 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Found their debut a few weeks ago which ruled. Excited to check this.

SomeCallMeTim
February 2nd 2024


4048 Comments


it is time for meth

Scoot
February 2nd 2024


22164 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is cool but kind of like sprain, it's a lot to digest

Christbait
February 2nd 2024


270 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Give In is the highlight for me. Otherwise I struggle to distinguish between half of the songs on the album. Cruelty could be Compulsion could be Blackmail for all I care. Doubt, Give In, and Shame are the only songs that are distinct from one another. Meh.

Jamdbz
February 2nd 2024


1520 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is so fucking good

Zac124
February 2nd 2024


2574 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah i much prefer their debut. some of these songs just drag on, particularly the closer.

hesperus
February 2nd 2024


1453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

solid rev. there's a lot to appreciate about this album, but i think the problem i'm having with it is the same problem i have with bands like Primitive Man and Altarage. when everything is SO heavy and SO dissonant ALL THE TIME, it actually loses some of its bite and starts to feel tedious. Give In is definitely the highlight for dipping a toe outside that territory

Wildcardbitchesss
February 2nd 2024


11541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ya I like Mother of the Red Light a lot more but this is still some really good shit

Zac124
February 2nd 2024


2574 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Agree. Title track and Compulsion are great.



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