|Out of Spite
|Sludge, Crust, Death Metal
|13th of April, 2023
There are some albums that just leave you baffling when taking a look at the artwork trying to find out what this is about. Sometimes, you could guess a certain sound from the style of the artwork and sometimes you get a hint from whatever you can see happening on the cover. When you drop an album that is entitled “Out of Spite” with a person holding a knive in its hand, you might guess that something is seething on that record you are about to get into. Taking a closer look at the name of the band on that cover, you might be a little closer to finding out what this is about.
First things first though – we’re talking about Godmorgon who self-released their full-length debut Out of Spite in April. Godmorgon is a quintet from Dortmund that has formed in early 2020. Going a little closer into what you can see on that cover, you might come up with your first guess of a framework this album is going to convey. Predominantly, vocalist Itza was fed up by the fact that stages were filled with complete cis-male band line-ups on stage. Hence, Godmorgon came into live, serving as a major statement against this sadly still dominant status quo of male art as chart topper. This pretty much had me already even before having listened deeper into the album.
When heading into the album, the first track “Cataclysm” only takes a few seconds for the listener to find out that we are going to be faced with a harsh mixture of numerous different genres. When trying to define what comes out of this mixture, I immediately end up making use of the word “difficult” again. If you read any of my previous reviews, you might have come across the fact that this is an aspect I am purposely looking for. In a musical world that is overflooded with input, I am very interested in bands that try to walk between genre borders. When taking into consideration that the message behind this band is strong enough already, I also favor the fact that the sound stands out from the crowd as well.
The first time I talked about one of the first singles off this album that were released before the full-length, I primarily attributed Death Metal and Sludge to this sound. However, when now listening into this full-length, it is not possible at all to stick with those two genres, although the general framing might be somewhat fitting. As already mentioned, the first track “Cataclysm” alone opens up with a sound that moves on the lines somewhere between a Death Metal guitar tone, drums that seem to be interested in the deepest wilds of Sludge, a riffing that is somewhere between Death, Thrash and Nu Metal and vocals that could also fit perfectly into a Black Metal foundation. Not wide enough? No problem, this is only what you get during the first half of the first track on this album.
On the second track “Drown in Blood,” though, one major aspect that generates the memorable sound of Godmorgon can be spotted. There is a massive amount of groove going on on these tracks. Guitars and drums strongly interact, moving back and forth between wading through the swamp of Sludge and verges of muddy Hardcore sequences that get you into headbanging or fiercly two-stepping immediately. When the chorus of this track drops, this is going to get stuck in your head for quite a while. Again, this is something I especially favor when it comes to music that also urges to convey a message – an aspect that also convinced me a lot when having talked about the latest album by Trespasser. Those groovy sequences can be spotted all over the album and get you going on almost every track.
Most probably one of my favorite tracks on this album is “Can’t Stop Me” that also moves somewhere in between the aforementioned tones. The focal point of the ever-returning phrase “You can’t stop me shine my light” constantly upholds the groove as well as the message of this track and is overall in my opinion the strongest candidate for the first earworm that you are going to carry out of this album. The slowed-down speed of the Sludge tone that is incorporated on this full-length always gets you wondering while deciding whether to headbang, mosh or two-step to the sound.
Next to the omnipresent aspect of feminism that this album constantly breathes, there are other aspects that are adressed as well. Especially on “Profit,” we get an anti-capitalist anthem that makes great use of the catchy sound in combination with the ever-returning chant “Profit, profit over people!” that is something that you most probably should experience at a live show!
What I found quite striking about this release is the full-blooded DIY character that encompasses it. The entire album was recorded, mixed and mastered by the drummer of the band and the tape version that was available was also self-released by the band. While the music dives into a lot of different Metal genres, the band itself is fully emerged in Punk structures.
This release feels like a whole package that you certainly shouldn’t miss. It feels as if – especially in the current Hardcore scene – FLINTA* perspectives actively take their space and I highly favor that. In the Metal world, though, it feels as if this development progresses a little slower, which is why it is essential to have bands such as Godmorgon. Especially when keeping in mind that vocalist Itza is also the person behind the recurring event The Witches They Tried To Burn with her DIY booking at Violent Witch Events, where she actively books shows with a focus on FLINTA* people within the spheres of Metal and Punk. This absolutely settles the entire framework of Godmorgon.