Review: Petbrick ‘Liminal’

Iggor Cavalera, you know him well, or should; former drummer of Brazilian metal legends Sepultura and current member of Cavalera Conspiracy, Mixhell, and of course Petbrick. The latter sees Cavalera teaming up with Englishman Wayne Adams (Big Lad, Johnny Broke, Cower, Bear Bites Horse Studio) and Liminal marks their second full-length release.

Petbrick 'Liminal'

The album’s cover with the black/death metal style font in front of a psychedelic computerized background is reflective of both Iggor‘s roots in the extreme metal scene and his newer found interest in electronic music. Further evidence of this multi-genre appeal is stated in the promo-notes Petbrick are a band quite comfortable both performing at the rave hoedown of Bangfest and amidst the riff-overload of Desertfest.’

The meaning of the word Primer, according to Britannica Dictionary, is of ‘something (usually a book) that provides basic information on a particular subject’ and although this is an album (duh), this track feels exactly that. With its mix of harsh pounding electro noise and shouted vocals, it recalls Ministry’s Land Of Rape And Honey album and offers listeners a taste of what they can expect.

Any project that features a musician of Cavalera‘s calibre is bound to feature exceptional drumming and Arboria is no exception. It harks back a little to Iggor‘s past and his work on the Seps’ classic yet divisive Roots album which is where he first started fully embracing a more tribal style of playing. Taken in conjunction with the mad electronic noise on offer and you have all the ingredients for an outstanding piece. Pigeon Kick is akin to a Killing Joke track were it to be remixed by Petbrick, shades of that bands apocalyptic post-punk doom make it irresistible to the ear, meanwhile Raijin is a slow burning, brooding ambient number that threatens violence and keeps you forever guessing as to when this will unfold.

Liminal sees them at their most fully realised, with all the avid experimentation of the past leading up to this point…

Lysergic Aura features Lord Goat and Truck Jewelz that mines a similar territory to the likes of Dälek and Death Grips with some tasty glitchy industrial hip-hop, meanwhile Damballa reminds me a little of Nine Inch Nails circa The Fragile/With Teeth as well as a little modern day Gary Numan. There is an emotive quality present here that helps to offset the otherwise cold nature of the music, beautiful. Having purchased the EP of the same name in May, I was already somewhat familiar with the uncompromising throbbing techno of Ayan but that didn’t lessen my enjoyment or dilute the track’s impact.

The appearance of Converge‘s Jake Bannon on Grind You Dull results in an intense, chaotic and unsettling listening experience with that band’s twisted metalcore influencing proceedings immeasurably. Chemical Returns has a Discharge/Anti-Cimex d-beat aesthetic but with some woozy shoegaze style atmospherics interspersed here and there that make for a strange yet effective combination.

Distorted Peace, featuring Paula Rebellato of Rakta is a quieter track in a similar vein to Raijin and may take a couple of listens for it to fully register. I was also reminded of the gothic intonations of Deeper Graves sophomore release The Colossal Sleep as well as Fear Factory’s A Therapy For Pain. Fans of Steve Von Till‘s (Neurosis) solo work will be delighted by his vocals on Reckoning which help draw the album to a gorgeous post-metal/neo-folk style conclusion.

Although I love Petbrick‘s prior output, Liminal sees them at their most fully realised, with all the avid experimentation of the past leading up to this point. The band have finally managed to find that sweet spot between hardcore, metal, d-beat and experimental noise which fans of all these aforementioned genre denominations will be able to appreciate.

Label: Rocket Recordings | Neurot Recordings
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Reza Mills