Employed to Serve

(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Greyer Than You Remember (2015), 6/10 The Warmth of a Dying Sun (2017), 6.5/10 Eternal Forward Motion (2019), 6/10 Links:

English metalcore trio Employed to Serve, the rare metal band fronted by a female singer (Justine Jones, the rare woman whose screeches sounds like a male growl), debuted with the lacerating single The Day You Didn't Die (2013), which would remain one of their artistic peaks, and the EP Long Time Dead (2013), where Jones duets with guitarist Sammy Urwin. Jones matured with the visceral, limping and dissonant songs of Greyer Than You Remember (2015), with Urwin unleashing metal riffs worthy of any nu-metal band of the 2000s. The blistering one-minute Live Without is the overture of a sonic massacre that peaks with the epileptic madness of Bury Yourself, via the seismic violence of Nobody's Perfect This Includes You and Beg for Rain, via songs of fractured rhythms and zigzagging guitar lines. The relatively "melodic" Bones to Break proves that the band can aim for more complex structures.

The "progress" on The Warmth of a Dying Sun (2017) is a mixed blessing. If Void Ambition tries too hard to sound like fashionable nu-metal, and largely falls flat, I Spend My Days successfully incorporates elements of noise-rock of the 1990s (Jesus Lizard, Big Black), and Church Of Mirrors ventures to the border of technical grindcore. The desperate screaming and dizzying guitar noise of Never Falls Far, the tortured hysteria of Platform 89, and the spastic punk-rock vomit of The Warmth Of A Dying Sun still make for a powerful experience. The album only falters visibly at the end, when the trio attempts longer and more cerebral songs.

Maybe it's just the effect of a better, cleaner production, but Eternal Forward Motion (2019) seems to aim for melodic appeal, which is a contradiction in terms for a band that revels in ugly disorder. Torrential drumming imposes some order in Eternal Forward Motion without affecting the brutal impact, while drums and guitar match the agonizing fever of the singer in Suspended in Emptiness (the melodramatic zenith). The single Harsh Truth packs all that discordant energy in a song that is more psychological than physical, whose subdued moments stretch the tension that feeds the bursts of noise.

(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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