Do you ever cringe whenever a music critic or what have you precludes a genre of music (which sometimes makes me cringe... crunk-core... seriously?) with another term, which even more ridiculous word that is supposed to further clarify what exactly a piece of music sounds like while in reality the word means nothing? This happened to me when I first began looking into Servile Sect as the term "Sci-Fi Black Metal" popped up in much of the material that I was coming across in research, and the use of "Sci-Fi" as a musical descriptor blew my mind for a whole slew of reasons; Science Fiction in literature and movies is a fairly clear cut genre with some rather concrete criteria for being named as such (Fiction based on or around scientific fact is a big one), but defining a musical genre with this term is a real stretch. How exactly is music "Sci-Fi"; does the music purposely sound futuristic in some way (which could very well be relative considering the "futuristic sounds" of music in the past) or attempt to predict what music sounds like in the future using current musical theory, or perhaps do the lyrics contain science fiction themes in some way (possibly the best bet on how music can be classed as "Sci-Fi")?
Does TRVTH actually have any "Sci Fi" elements for people to get blown away by while immersing themselves in the record? Possibly... maybe... depending again on if you stretch a bit, but what Servile Sect most assuredly bring to the table on TRVTH is one of my biggest surprises in recent memory on the musical front through a deft manipulation of sound and a heavy concentration of atmospheric creation. There are times where I am reminded of the works of Gyorgi Ligeti (particularly those in 2001: A Space Odyssey) such as in "Radiating Clarity", which, coincidently, just about melted my mind the first time that it hit my ears as it proceeded to disorient me and crush my feeble soul for the ten minutes that it assaulted me; then there are moments where Servile Sect eschew any sense of pleasantries and go for the jugular as in the disturbing melancholy of "Privateer" or shift gears to employee a more traditional sound of black metal heard in "Perceive Or Believe".
My favorite facet of TRVTH is the manner with which Servile Sect seamlessly shifts from droning churning atmospheres to ominous ambient climes to the depths of relentless black metal pounding and back again without batting an eyelash; I still am asking myself where the "Sci-Fi" is coming from all these weirdo descriptions, but honestly, the only way to characterize this release is excellent. TRVTH is another record to get lost in for hours if you pop it on repeat, and thankfully, I can and will.
8.5 / 10
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