Implore – Alienated Despair (Century Media)

There are plenty of acts lurking in the Entombed vs Converge netherworld these days, the place where d-beat, death, grind and hardcore smash each other to pieces in some kind of hellish Large Hadron Collider. Maybe it’s reached saturation point. But Implore, who were founded in Hamburg and boast an international line-up, approach this style with a rawness born out of the squat scene and DIY gigs. A cold, urban grimness pervades much of Alienated Despair… and it makes their third album an intense experience.

It does take a couple of plays before you’re not saying, so far, so Trap Them, but once you’re tapped into Alienated Despair’s sense of, let’s say, alienation and despair, then you’ll appreciate the ferocity and dynamism of this quartet.

The deathgrind firestorm of Parallax unleashes some of the record’s finest riffs and brings Napalm Death and Lock Up to mind, while The Constant Dissonance flails around like a banshee before hitting a tar-thick blackened groove. Speaking of Lock Up, there’s even an appearance from Tomas ‘Tompa’ Lindberg who brings his lacerated vocal cords to the discore-tinged Never Again. Implore don’t need celebrity endorsements, but having the Disfear and At The Gates legend on your record is a bit of a coup, let’s face it.

Look beyond the buzzsaw guitars and you’ll find plenty of variety: Let The Pleasure Destroy Me is an unnerving, discordant stomp, tinged with the acidic noise rock of Unsane, but just as you’re recovering from that, Implore pistol whip you with the hyperspeed HC of In Apathetic Isolation. This record is delivered with urgency, but it’s obviously been crafted with care.

Alienated Despair isn’t going to win plaudits for taking this nasty edge of extreme music to a new level. However, there’s more depth to Implore than many of their contemporaries… and they’ve nailed their caustic, uncompromising sound here.