Thursday 22 March 2018

Review: Sulpher – 'Take A Long Hard Look'

'Take A Long Hard Look' 

It's hard to believe it has been seventeen years since Sulpher burst onto the scene with their incendiary debut album 'Spray'. The album received a heap of critical acclaim upon its release and saw the band compared to Nine Inch Nails in the press. But soon after it all fell silent as founding members Rob and Monti found themselves in demand for live acts such as Marilyn Manson, Gary Numan, and The Prodigy. A great CV to have, but this meant Sulpher remained on the back burner.

Fast forward to 2012 and the band erupted into a flurry of activity with new song 'You Threw It All Away' appearing on Soundcloud and the band's first live show in nearly a decade that Spring. But it again went quiet... that is until this year.

With a new record label in the form of Oblivion, a new tour booked in, and a new single in the form of 'Take A Long Hard Look' it finally looks like Sulpher is back.

The single is a break-neck blend of hard and heavy rock and industrial. After a stuttering distorted intro the furious guitars takes centre stage for the most part, but the use of distorted beats and vocals keep the industrial element of their sound ever present. It's a big and bombastic statement of intent that evokes the heavier elements of their first album but still shows a significant amount of development in the band's direction.

Production-wise the sound is gritty, and nasty. The heavy guitars and distorted elements are reminiscent of 'Spray' and in particular the heyday of the Nothing Records sound. But this doesn't retread old ground and the song sounds fresh and more than able to hold its own.

This is a tantalising first glimpse that shows significant development not just from 'Spray', but also their last teaser 'You Threw It All Away'. It's heavy, unrelenting but still recognisably Sulpher. Hopefully that long-awaited second album is finally about ready to drop.

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