Only a year on from the release of one of our favourite records of 2015, North Carolina’s MAKE have released another album to make us stop what we’re doing and check how many superlatives we can fit into a short review, because these guys have gone one better than last year’s The Golden Veil, and created a record which is gonna really screw with your senses, and what’s better this time round is quite a menacing thing: MAKE are fucking angry!
The record opens with a slowly built follow on from last year’s release, before the sheer wall of noise hits you as ‘The Somnambulist’ hits you with what MAKE are all about this time round; musical stylings that flicker between beautiful atmospherics, and harsh dark doom that flows with anger and discontent with the society around them. But one of the stunning things about this band is that like a flick of the switch, they can turn the sound into a chanting like state of pleasure without losing any of their flow, never letting the listener settle for a moment, knowing what will come next. ‘Birthed Into A Grave They Made For You’ gets a little more deathly with the vocals, while the sludging riffs and war chant drumming makes your blood boil, echoing MAKE’s own disgust and vengeance. It’s a glorious aggression!
The astral plain style playing is there though, with the poetically named ‘Two Hawks Fucking’ sending psychedelic post-rock vibes reverberating through the speakers, the aftermath of the siege that came before it, right before ‘Human Garbage’ pins you down and continues to relentlessly punish any sort of sensitivity you had left. Their cover of The Stooges’ ‘Dirt’ is as Iggy would have sounded if a diet of doom, pain, blackness, demonic chants, and religious hypocrisy were his staple diet on a daily basis, and it is on point! It would be close to being an album highlight if it were possible to dissect the record into individual songs, and not viewed as a whole, as that is what is necessary with MAKE record; listened to as full records, all the way through, repeatedly.
It has been quite a journey listening to MAKE progress and develop through the years as a band, from Trephine to last year’s stunning The Golden Veil, to their latest spectacular effort, Pilgrimage of Loathing, we have become engrained in the band, willing them to achieve greater things with each effort, and they’re not disappointing. Their sound is combining all the elements that they’ve been teasing with in the past, the sludge/black metal scowls, the ethereal riffs from both hellish and tranquil plains of existence, and soundscapes that challenge the ears, toeing the lines between post-rock/metal, black metal, sludge, and good ol’ heavy rock, MAKE have seriously mastered their craft!