12 Oct 2016

Avulse: "We Are All Code"

The prime example why focus is important
Patrick Hasson from Maine, USA, has numerous releases under his belt, in no small part due to his vast musical horizons which reach from doomy death metal (Black Chalice - Years of Flame, Prayers for Our Lord and Saviour, Submission) over neo-folk to black metal atmospheres (Auspicium). The next in line of Hasson's many projects is Avulse, marketed as a crusty black metal outfit with a firm punk vibe.

Hasson has a certain sound and style which, regardless of genre, brings all his projects under one umbrella. As he himself puts it, the style was born from copious substance abuse and simple songwriting with a gritty guitar sound. The recipe is good enough - Simple, but efficient and profound. But a problem that arises when one songwriter spreads out his wings too widely, he loses focus, and indeed most of Hasson's projects sound like small variations over the same sounds and themes.

"The performer describes the band as a drunk asshole with a guitar jerking off to Von,"

Avulse, of course, is no different. The performer describes the band as a drunk asshole with a guitar jerking off to Von, which in actuality feels like a very apt summary of the music found on We Are All Code. Perhaps the "punk influences" comes from the half-assed riffs played sloppily over the distant clicking that are presumably the drum tracks, Hasson whispering some raspy vocals in a nearby background.

With little rhyme or reason the twelve tracks quickly become arbitrary and unworthy of note in what could best be described as a quantity-over-quality working environment, where the ethos seems to be that it "doesn't need hooks if it's punk!"

As a solo project, Hasson's Avulse doesn't seem to keen on lengthier songs, even if the longest tracks on We Are All Code are by far the most well-written and well performed. Through other endeavours, the Maine resident has proven that he is a somewhat accomplished songwriter, but with Avulse he seems to be more into the concept than the quality of the output.

We Are All Code, the project's third full length outing, is a sloppy and effortless mess. With no regard to musical structure, flow, feel or listenability, the album is incoherent, even for an alcohol-indused stupor. It doesn't seem like it has taken very long to produce, but even so the album seems like a waste of effort on the musician's part, and a waste of time on the listener's part.


Released in 2012 by Broken Limb Recordings


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