Album Reviews

The Senseless – In The Realm Of The Senseless

(Anticulture) UK release date: 21 May 2007

Sam Bean (bassist from The Beserker) has recorded an album that is essentially one man’s labour of love. In The Realm Of The Senseless has taken something like ten years to write, and a further two to record. Thankfully for Mr Bean the results are well worth the wait.

The Senseless will not appeal to everyone, it is after all a pretty extreme record, as you might expect from an album featuring a Bezerker, guest appearances from members of Evile, and with guitar engineering from Matt Wilcock of Acercocke. If you�re a little bit older you might remember this kind of thing emerging as Death Metal, if you�re a bit younger you’d probably refer to it as Grindcore.

However, The Senseless, while certainly having a foot in the Grindcore/Death camp, is much more than a basic label could ever explain. Across the scope of the album you have Industrial flourishes (this is particularly noticeable in the insane blast beats of the drums), and classic rock riffs. The lightening opening of You Love It should tell you whether or not The Senseless are for you. One and half minutes of inhuman drumming, riffs so quick it’s almost impossible to hear them, and then there’s a voice that comes straight from the depths of hell.

I’d hesitate to call it metal at all: it’s such a slap in the face it feels like a punk track. Vacation picks things up with the kind of riffage you might find on early Sepultura albums or on the Napalm Death spin off Meathook Seed. It’s brutal, frantic, and strangely liberating.

Every track here is ridiculously paced, they belt off like a hare being chased by a dog fathered by Jason Voorhees. It’s not just about speed though; there are enough complex twists and turns, and at times even blatant elements of melody to keep things interesting.

The most peculiar turn is saved for the final track After Happy Ever (unmetal), which is as you might have guessed, completely at odds with the rest of the album by not being remotely metal at all. It turns out Sam Bean is actually pretty adept at making trance tunes like Underworld used to make around Beaucoup Fish. He can resist sticking in a buzzing guitar part, but he deserves credit for trying something different which could earn him derision from the more hardcore in the metal fraternity.

The cover artwork of a body boarder wiping out on a massive wave succinctly sums up the album, it’s by turns brutal, beautiful, dangerous and exhilarating. Turns out Sam Bean might be the musical brains in The Bezerker; and he’s the bassist. Welcome to the realm of the senseless.

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The Senseless – In The Realm Of The Senseless