Review: Sectioned – Annihilated (self-released, Apr 27)

There’s a reason a lot of hardcore “full-length” albums are very short. It’s difficult to maintain such a high energy level for so long; and on the listener’s end, that many breakneck tempos, blast beats, and screamed vocals in one sitting can be exhausting. Scottish band Sectioned, however, apparently doesn’t give a fuck about any of those reasons, and for that I am grateful. Their debut LP Annihilation is 42 minutes of ruthless, pounding mathcore, full of angular guitar work, infectious breakdowns, and some of the heaviest drums I’ve ever heard. Vocalist Jamie Christ is also a highlight, his guttural shouts rivaling everything else in the mix. The pace of this thing is absolutely relentless; it’s established from the get-go and never lets up. Some of the breakdowns let up on the assault somewhat, but you’ll probably be too busy headbanging like a madman to notice. Writing it all out here, it really doesn’t seem like Annihilation has the right to be as long as it is, but I really couldn’t imagine it any other way. The well-integrated noisy electronic textures help out in this area too, adding variety but never seeming out of place (excluding the bizarre beat tacked on the end of “Starved Lives,” which actually somehow works). I really can’t believe this is the band’s first full-length because it is so well put together and cohesive. It just came out today and is already a contender for my favorite hardcore album of the year, and even my favorite in general. So don’t let the length discourage you; check it out!

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