There are moments of grinding intensity that shocks through the system and collects the marrow as if they were a hybrid animal. One side the crushing violence of a gorilla, and the other half, the leopard that can prowl through sleek breakdowns and cracks in the trees to lurk over the audience.
Opening back the curtains on “Martyrs,” The intricate rhythms and progressions that PUPIL SLICER lives and dwell upon are fantastic and almost pulverizing at points. It doesn’t just rip back the skin at the first moment, “Martyrs” instead eases the opponent into their own extinction willingly.
That curiosity that PUPIL SLICER relies on comes hauntingly as the three-piece of this mix between hardcore and math-rock boils to a forefront. The percussion from Josh Andrews has moments of black metal being the foundation through blast beats and consistency, but the fills and actual meat of the track continues to be astounding.
It’s hard to pinpoint exact moments where PUPIL SLICER really wins the ears over through all the fire and brimstone, but it could be one of the shorter expeditions labeled under “Panic Defence.” The London-based torturers move forward with guitars from Kate Davies and bass from Luke Fabian that is more tuned to break bone than give any helping hands.
The vocals that also resemble more shouts than any poetry from Davies are actually almost as complicated and reflective as their production here. Describing, “Begging, trying to escape, crawling drenched in blood of my own innocence. Innocence not considered. Dearly, now departed.” Woefully pushy and riddled with this underlying angst through the delivery, PUPIL SLICER continues to orchestrate a hellscape that is nearly uninhabitable by the human touch.
Another short track, “Interlocutor” is based more on that first math-rock suggestion of sound where the production is hard to catch and nimble as it swings from limb to limb. Crunching over swollen jaws, heavy feet stomp through the breakdown and can only give way to imagine just how deadly PUPIL SLICER can be in a live setting.
Before Mirrors shatters, before pavement explodes, there is a displacement in Mirrors that demands self-preservation as the motivating factor. Ugly, destructive, and everything that a hardcore record should be, PUPIL SLICER is a welcome addition to the family.