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Fawn Limbs - Sleeper Vessels review

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Band: Fawn Limbs
Album: Sleeper Vessels
Release date: September 2020

01. The Irrelevance Of An Exorcism
02. Metrae
03. The Vermin Massif
04. Famine Vows
05. Corruption Aperture
06. A Swarm Of Invertebrate Fauna
07. Haul These Bodies And Haul Them Aloof
08. Trespasser
09. Sleeper Vessels
10. Ruiner
11. Photovoltaic Hum
12. Subtle Abuse
13. The Gradience Of Rescue And Exposition

I have long* criticized Frontierer albums for being too long for how brutal they are. So they kinda took Fawn Limbs under their wing to condense it to 28 minutes.

To be fair Fawn Limbs and Frontierer's sounds are still distinct in a way, especially on this record, but the mathcore... uhhh... core of the sound and just the sheer chaotic heaviess that comes with it is reason enough for why the two bands coming together makes sense. And by coming together I don't necessarily mean a full on collaboration (this is still a Fawn Limbs record after all) but that Frontierer's Pedram Valiani and Chad Kapper are mixing, and providing vocals respectively. So credit where credit is due towards Frontierer for providing Fawn Limbs with some of their growth, but the growth is still Fawn Limbs. And from those 3 EPs and 1 LP that came beforehand to this, growth there is.

I can't blame anyone for not enjoying this sound, it is not really an enjoyable one. Constantly chaotic, nauseating and heavy. Also it's kinda more of a punk sound than a metal one, so there's that. A lot of the criticism you can raise at this album, you can raise at the genre in general: being heavy all the time, chaotic for the sake of being chaotic, lack of moving the sound forward. All valid in a post-The Dillinger Escape Plan world. But Fawn Limbs might still be worth your time, especially since it only takes 28 minutes of it. Plenty of longer albums to be liked less. And even if it was longer, like those Frontierer ones, it would still be worth your time, for the sole reason that all of those criticisms of mathcore are also the reasons why mathcore is so appealing to a lot of people. It's just so damn heavy and intense in a way that nothing, not brutal death metal, nor funeral doom, nor blackened thrash are.

And honestly, it does feel like Fawn Limbs is aware of the genre's pitfalls, hence why I keep finding surprising moments through it, which also ties in to the growth I was talking about. Most of it is still outrageously heavy chaotic grindcore, but there are glitchy electronics, sludge feedback, slightly jazzy interludes. It is chaotic and hectic as one can expect, but it carries a certain structure within it that survives through the odd time signatures and bursts of electronics. As much as there is some show-off, I can't say any of it is just for chaos' of heaviness' sake. The breather moments are even more welcome this time around, with the transitions to and from those, though very sharp, give the album a much better sense of flow that would've been lost otherwise. So there is plenty of good done here both in terms of taking mathcore genre conventions, and tweaking some bits of it.

We'll certainly be seeing more of Fawn Limbs around, let's just hope they find ways to be even more innovative and emotional.

*Just once actually.

Written on 29.09.2020 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.

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