Intensive Square – Anything That Moves (Black Bow Records)
Genre: Progressive Metal
Think of a more rugged Meshuggah jamming with avant-garde saxophonist John Zorn, and you’re close to picturing Intensive Square’s intriguing racket. The Welshmen’s debut is one of the most interesting things to come out of the UK underground in a while: defying categorisation, the album’s punishing downtuned riffs are propelled by jerking rhythms, while caustic vocalist Chris Haughey shreds his throat over a relentless sonic assault and Matthew Barnes unleashes wild sax solos to give songs like Rhino Fight extra spice.
Anyone after some nice, melodic slick djent should go elsewhere, as Intensive Square are clearly in no mood to tag along with the tech-prog scene. There’s an almost crusty quality to the unhinged Gastric Emptying, while Vegetarians boasts a contender for riff of the year.
Given that they feature members of Conan and Hark, it’s no surprise that Intensive Square do so much damage. What is surprising though is how genuinely original Anything That Moves is. Formidable stuff. Richard Holmes
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Squaring Up