Review: McClane – SALE CONTRE TOUS (self-released, Jan 26)

One might not think that a stylistic amalgam of black/extreme metal and gabber could be in any way fruitful. There are a lot of ways disparate combinations can fall flat, but somehow McClane’s newest self-released album doesn’t resort to gimmicks or rely on novelty, and truly assimilates these two genres into something entirely singular. There’s not much time to think about any of this once SALE CONTRE TOUS actually starts, though, because after a short introduction “LESS IS MORT” arrives with crushing force. The riffs are often played by plasticky synths, stretched and layered in uncanny facsimiles of tremolo guitar picking, while a metronomic beat pounds away—half four-on-the-floor, half blast beat. On “CRACKHEADBANG,” an interlude of mangled samples and half-formed melodies gives way to a breakdown that actually does the track’s title justice. The rest of the album sees McClane exploring catchy, infectious arrangements with “URO DANCE” or a balance between uplifting trance/rave electronica and destructive metal assaults that doesn’t sacrifice the impact of either on “ZBEUL THEM ALL.” After a strange industrial-strength shuffling hip-hop interlude SALE CONTRE TOUS finds a memorable conclusion in its title track, an ambitious and grandiose anthem complete with complex instrumental arrangements and even a substantial amount of cleverly used claps. This is one of the most singular things I’ve heard in a long time that still incorporates so much of what I know and love already.