Elitist – Fear In A Handful Of Dust …   Leave a comment

Portland, Oregon’s Elitist have their début album, ‘Fear in a Handful of Dust’ out and it is obviously designed to break your skull open because this is a nasty, no-holds barred dose of filthy death, black, sludge, stoner, crust, grind and doom that is not for the feeble and weak. The band is still young and maybe a tad inexperienced, this album is a bit sloppy and rough around the edges in parts but their enthusiasm for nihilistic, hostile noise makes up for most of the weaknesses the band might have. If you like your music polished, then stay away from this album, this is uncompromising barrage of chaotic noise rock with endless amounts of feedback, insane drumming, distorted guitars and vicious vocals that range from growls to shrieks to abusive shouting. Also if you like a band to stick to one style, stay clear of Elitist as they go from doom to grind and they do it all while being totally unsympathetic towards your nervous system.

‘Burning The Unspoken Gospel’ and ‘Cult Malevolence’ are the two tunes (?) that open the relentless bombardment of musical destruction. If you can imagine Celtic Frost amped up on angel-dust and speed, it might sound like this but there is no easy way to describe in a few words, the extremities that this band indulges in. The music is very straight-forward despite the varied musical influences and it is a bit too relentless and one-dimensional stylistically so a full album of this isn’t a comfortable listening experience but that is hardly the point. You can tell by listening to this the band couldn’t give a flying f**k what I or you think, they are totally remorseless the way they deliver these songs. ‘Ivory Shavings of the Tools Unknown’ is awash in layers of grim sludge complete with a feedback-laden ending while another song with the lovely title of ‘Slowly Fucked And Force Fed’ combines drones with seething tortured screams. Another song ‘Bound and Bent’ is nothing more than an uncontrolled explosion of bile and vomit with drumming that is totally chaotic.

Unfortunately most of the album suffers from its own ‘I-dont-give-a-shit-if-I-make-A-Mistake’ attitude, it is fun for a while but a few songs in and the somewhat sloppy instrumentation gets a bit monotonous. I am all for bands unleashing primitive music and not caring so much about showing off their musical capabilities but when the songs start to suffer for it, it begs the question, ‘it is all worth it’?; One example is ‘Watch As They Worship, Yet Be Silent’ which highlights the flaws in both songwriting and performance in a big way and it is a little too much to take. For the most part Elitist  write two different kinds of songs;  the longer more epic doom, sludge, droning noise style and more aggressive tracks which showcases their hardcore and grind influences. For my taste, the sludge type songs are better, simply because when all is said and done, they seem more memorable to me.  I must say though, lyrically and conceptually speaking, if this album doesn’t evoke some emotion and thinking, you need to seek medical help.

Elitist are a great band with serious potential to do something truly great in the future despite the bands limited technical prowess on this album. ‘Fear In A Handful Of Dust’ is all about nihilism and destruction and has very little to do with musical techniques or song arrangements and on that level, this album works. I guess it all depends on you, are you misanthropic enough to like Elitist? …….7.5/10

Elitist Blogspot
Season Of Mist

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Posted June 7, 2011 by doommantia in Elitist

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