Review: Fluoride – Disentanglement (Nerve Altar, Apr 5)

Two agonizing years after Philadelphia grind band Fluoride’s first self-titled release, they are back with a vengeance on Disentanglement, their official label debut. It’s hard to picture how things could be improved significantly from their inaugural outing, with its no-frills brand of vicious, stabbing grind and crushing doom breaks, but that deficit in imagination will no doubt be cleared up the second “Degrade” kicks in. Somehow, the band has fine-tuned and expanded virtually every element of their sound. The sludge elements are both better written and more effectively integrated, as the band moves seamlessly between hypnotic, head-banging, lethargic riffs and breakneck blast beats. The production cements itself within an ideal compromise between sharp-edged angularity and a slightly muffled mids-heavy fog, the latter of which gives the band’s furious metallic excursions a presence not unlike the acrobatic riffs of classic emoviolence. This is another area in which Disentanglement far surpasses its predecessor; everything seems much more emotional, with every member playing their absolute heart out, the desperate vocals tearing through a wall of unhinged aggression.

Disentanglement is available digitally or on 12″ LP from Nerve Altar, and on cassette from To Live a Lie Records.