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Psalm Zero: Force My Hand

You know those times when you just can't make up your mind? Should I order the petite green salad or steak tartar, watch Downton Abbey or Honey Boo Boo, go to the gym or Baskin-Robbins. If you've ever experienced a moment like this you can relate exactly to what Psalm Zero must have gone through in selecting songs for their debut EP, Force My Hand. Only in their case, the choice was between Blackened Industrial Grind or Darkish Folk remake of a Noise Grind classic. Fortunately for Psalm Zero they could replace the "or" with an "and" to remedy their quandary. Unfortunately for us dear listeners, that is exactly what they did, thus we end up with a 2 song EP attempting to balance to diametrically opposed genres.

The Blackened Industrial Grind offering, "Force My Hand", does not quite measure up to expectations. Rather than pair the mechanical clamor we expect from Industrial with the grittiness of Black Metal, the song plods along matching a monotone vocal over a repetitive drum riff. Only the two bridges, at 1:47 and 3:06, offer a glimpse of Psalm Zero's potential, ripping through the composition with pitched screams and havoc laced guitar.

Closing out the EP is a remake of Today is the Day's Noise Grind classic "Willpower". I would be on board with a remake done in a style similar to "Force My Hand", keeping the aggressive tone of the original while adding the Blackened Industrial touches. However, reimagining this song as a 'Folk Dirge' is, well, a bit of a stretch. I'm struggling to imagine a universe in which Grind and Folk coexist, the staccato, violent vocals of Grind are nowhere near the lyrical story-telling found in Folk, nor does the rapid fire frenzied bursts of cacophony grind translate to Folkish flowing melodies.

Psalm Zero's attempt to push boundaries with their debut EP gets an A for intent and a solid B for effort, but the execution just does not make the grade. I wouldn't give up on them based on this release, but rather hold out for the debut full-length.

The Force My Hand 7" will see release on Looker's own Last Things Records on November 19th.

Track Listing
1. Force My Hand - 5:24
2. Willpower - 4:13

Added: October 16th 2013
Reviewer: Eric Marvin
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1530
Language: english

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