Four years after Mother of Red Light made a dent on our psyches, meth. return with SHAME. Inspired by a tumultuous time for vocalist Seb Alvarez, detailing his grapples with then-undiagnosed bi-polar and unchecked addiction issues. Whilst the themes of shame, deception and trauma are not new to meth., they have previously been dressed up with a fictional veneer. This time around, Alvarez lays his vulnerabilities bare, offering up the darkest parts of himself.
SHAME is out on February 2nd, 2024, via Prosthetic Records.
There’s no other way to describe this album, but to call it harsh. It is seven tracks of harsh heaviness that is downright uncomfortable to the ears. Not just because of its unrelenting experimental noise metal soundscape, but because of how abrasively honest it is. Chances are, everyone will be taken in by vocalist Seb Alvarez’s experiences, even if they can’t directly relate. Simply because of the way it is expressed.
SHAME is heavy, but it’s also highly experimental, and doesn’t fit in one particular genre over another. It is the epitome of noise, where crashing instruments meet a vocal performance that goes beyond the word ‘tortured’. Hell, the correct word might be ‘painful’, because that sums up the entirety of this record and the fact it is such a sustained experience. It might only be 7-tracks long, but this is around 44-minutes of music.
There’s no denying that SHAME isn’t going to be for everyone. It’s intolerably punishing, it’s an extravagant example of experimentation, and it’s abundantly dark. Elements that will be off-putting to many, but the strength of this record can’t be ignored either. The sheer talents of meth. is on full and wicked display and they are pushing themselves to levels not heard to date.
It’s a difficult album to break down, track by track, because it flows with furious indignation and there is a certain level of fusing. Even with the amount of layers the album has, because, for all the harshness of their sound, meth. know exactly how to keep the listener interested and focused.
There may not be a release this ruthless, this abrasive, this honest, and this dark, released this year. It is an incredible accomplishment and, no doubt, extremely cathartic for them.
meth. – SHAME Track Listing:
4. Give In
meth. - SHAME (Prosthetic Records)
The Final Score - 8/10