Review: Singular – Singular (self-released, Apr 20)

On his first official studio release, one man band Singular (a.k.a. Mierul) stirs up an inferno of fiery blackened emo-violence. The self-titled EP is short but furious and journeys through a plethora of stylistic experiments – all of which succeed in one way or another. From the fast-paced hardcore romps of “Land of the Dead” and “Wayang” to the repetitive build-ups of “アニダ” and the pounding black metal of “Scophobia,” there doesn’t seem to be a very specific sound in mind, but Singular‘s sprawling explorations don’t show any weakness. The purpose of the guests is unclear, because Mierul is obviously capable of handling these songs on his own, and one of the songs might have even been better off without them – though I recognize that not everyone despises whiny post-hardcore vocals as much as I do. The production is fittingly dense and dark, but seems overblown to the point of tearing in the higher dynamic ranges. It’s never enough to reduce my enjoyment (or my headbanging) though, and I’m really just being nitpicky here; Singular is an incredible debut effort, and the fact that it is mostly the work of only one musician is even more so.