Sabrewulf – Condemned

Sabrewulf make doomy music in the new interzone of hybrid between post-punk, metal and drone. These boxy riffs are aggressive and forthright, and hammer home a brainworm of a rhythm and then lapse into drone, as if subjugating the listener with a vision that cannot quite be realized in the present dimension.

Because the essence of post-hardcore is to swallow up all other genres, this is visible like a skeleton poking through the decaying flesh of a fallen beast. Despite the guitar tone which is straight out of 1980s Autopsy, the essence of this music is very slow minor key punk riffs that set up a sustained tone and let it fill available space, then manipulate its sonic dimensions to create a sense of absence.

Song structures are of the circular with layers type that came to us first from electronic music, but now is popular in that it lets the style do the talking — the medium is the message — which is popular in that it allows musicians to craft impressions into three-dimensional structures. Like any good doom band, Sabrewulf know when to ride a melody and create a gratifying sense of inertia like the last swings of a no-contest fistfight.

While many are skeptical of the new styles, and with good reason since almost none of the new bands have the staying power of the 1990s underground metal, it is wisest to see this as heavy-metal flavored punk that also pretends it is post-hardcore, but really just wants to ride a drone into a rant and come out the other side with the world on fire. Even if it does it as a glacial pace.

Sabrewulf, The Condemned EP, self-produced.

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