As is the case with many of the reviews I take on as a writer, I had previously not heard of Pupil Slicer. Admittedly, I expected some manner of technical death metal or the like: never ending blast beats, one continuous low growl tone with interspersed highs for the sake of it, etc. As a writer I love being surprised and reminded not to judge albums by their covers or bands by their name because, as in the case of Pupil Slicer, I happen to love this name and the sound permeating every second of Blossom is so very unique. It was only after listening to the first seven tracks that I realized this is a concept, blending science fiction with cosmic horror, reincarnation with a fascination of Hell, woven with strings of chaos returning fans will be comforted by and noobs (the writer currently at work here) will swoon over.
Led by the talented powerhouse that is Kate Davies, Pupil Slicer is a band made up of musicians that mesh together with diamond-like precision, each piece complimented by another, each piece finding a place to stand out and shine (side note, see: Luke Fabian’s bass performance on Creating the Devil in Our Image). A bit of a side note from the author, if I may, Luke is wailing on the bass from start to finish, as are every other member of this band. Kate shows impressive range as singer and screamer; couple that with providing guitar and color me impressed. Through the myriad emotions able to expressed with word the music is able to shine through all the brighter (irony here being shit gets dark in the album and I love it).
The title track, Blossom, was an interesting choice in my eyes to be released as the first single from the album. I say interesting here not as a bad thing, but for the sake of it being quite its own beast, so to speak. Personally, I would say that it’s the most “rockin” song. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely still has its very in your face moments but I think it showcases the vast range Kate has with her voice. It’s a good cross section of what to expect from her guitar and that of Frank Muir throughout the rest of the album, and holy jeez the bass and the Thunderstorm of drums provided by Josh Andrews delivers a fully loaded freight train of groove, going downhill and the brakes fell off. As instrumentals alone, the music is capable of telling its very own story. With some tracks adopting the ethereal with hauntingly beautiful clean vocals and others (dear lord, No Temple is easily my personal favorite) being absolute unrelenting sonic destruction, there’s something here for a wide range of metal lovers. In my mind, the best intro to a breakdown hearkens back to the Golden Age of metal with a good ole fashioned gang vocal take. One doesn’t need a vivid imagination to know when No Temple is being performed live, all hell is breaking loose in the most beautiful way. Chosen as their second released single (with accompanying video) No Temple is sure to bring any house brave enough to have them down to the ground. In the name of showcasing their obvious different talents, tracks in the vein of Dim Morning Light take the listener to a world of ghosts and dreams, specters shifting in the wind with dissonance drawing on an element of agonizing shoegaze and juxtaposing it with an air of raw sulfuric anguish.
Whilst on the subject of how far encompassing this track listing is in regards to vibes and feels, one would be terribly remiss in not highlighting their most recently released single comprising their intro, Glaring Dark of Night, and second track, Momentary Actuality, into one 5 minute video of blistering gnarliness. Blossom is a 10 track journey into soaring leads, thunderous rhythms, the voices of banshees and angels. Simply put, Pupil Slicer has blossomed with the mystery and grace of a metamorphosing butterfly. For those readers that don’t think that’s metal af, imagine yourself gorging on countless larvae of lesser beings, hibernating for a month in a shell made of your own skin, every drop of your innards liquifying and reforming into something completely new to emerge and enthrall all lucky enough to witness the debut of the spectacle that is your final form. In my eyes, Blossom has a rating of over 9000. Get this record, destroy some planets, buy a ticket to see Pupil Slicer on your, buy the damn shirt and support the band so we may all see what comes next after Blossom.