Review: Make a Change… Kill Yourself – IV (Cursed Records, Jan 15)

It’s not exactly a revolutionary idea that longer songs are better suited to certain contexts. An 8-minute long grindcore track would, in most cases, be exhausting and overextended, while a 30-second drone piece would probably feel stunted and unfulfilling. While long songs are not out of place in atmospheric black metal, when a band releases an album consisting only of two side-long tracks it’s usually pretty hit or miss whether or not their duration will be justified. And Make a Change… Kill Yourself’s new tape, IV, is definitely a “hit.” The movement and progression of both songs feel natural and organic, yet just composed enough to not come across as aimless. As the (in my opinion, overly melodramatic) band name would suggest, the atmosphere created on IV is depressive and dark. The guitar tones are simultaneously airy and claustrophobic, and the tortured vocals, despite being mostly unintelligible, communicate anger, hatred, and sadness. Surprisingly, these long form tracks are mostly carried by the drums, whose subtle changes retain interest without drawing too much attention to themselves. As you can probably tell, I went into my first listen of IV not really expecting to like it. But the band overcomes any pigeonholing as a meandering, whiny depressive suicidal black metal act, and reaches impressive heights.

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