When mathcore and deathcore/deathgrind collide, it’s never pretty. It’s also rare. There aren’t many bands other than War from a Harlot’s Mouth, A Life Once Lost, Ion Dissonance, and The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza that can boast such a combination, and one might argue that only one or two of them can FULLY tap into both the pure musical anarchy of mathcore and the unbridled brutality of deathcore/deathgrind. Sectioned, without a doubt, is a part of that elite group, but not ONE of those bands can touch the utter hysteria of the Outlier EP.
The first track, “Parasite,” is absolute droning madness. It’s the same few notes chugged and suspended out, repeating as cymbals clang in the background. The first lyrics get belted out, with the sheer agony of the eternally damned. Some high-pitched glitches hurl you into a crushing, retardedly downtuned breakdown that closes out the introductory track before the acclaimed single “Trismus” busts its way in. It’s dissonant and polyrhythmic, and then melodic and almost thrashy on and off. Danza-esque guitar scrapes make the riffs all the more unpredictable. Eccentrically effective transitions allow them to do virtually whatever the hell they want musically, but they opt to remain at breakneck speed with dissonance and syncopation galore.
“Neverbeen” stays in a similar vein, but low string bends and polyrhythms make for some infectious grooves that seem to control the song, until a totally unpredictable transition, that while completely out from left field, works extremely well, and a breakdown finishes things off. The following track, “Hell Away from Home,” sounds like a groove or melodeath band sped up 5x. A melodic tremolo passage offers some reprieve from the foray, at least until more scrapes and glitches bust your brain. But, before you know it, the song becomes soothing and even hauntingly atmospheric. Patient guitar notes get solemnly strung out with background whispering, until a double bass attack and what sounds like a thousand mice getting their throats stomped on hurl the listener right back into the same supernova he or she was in a few minutes before.
“The Body as a Deadweight” isn’t QUITE as unpredictable and chaotic as the previous tracks, a change of pace that actually comes as somewhat of a relief. There’s plenty of space in its 8 minutes for blasts, grooves, chugs, and serene static droning. The track is certainly a journey, and proves the band’s ability to move in and out of mathcore anarchy and progressive atmospherics, as its bulk is very peaceful and repetitive, and eventually builds up into an ecstatic melodic climax, and you’re left with your bottom jaw on the floor.
All in all, the lack of structure for most of the EP can get annoying, although its initially both refreshing and highly intriguing (albeit difficult to follow). You never really know what’s coming next, but nothing really seems too unnatural, because of very creative and unexpectedly effective transitioning. The songs undoubtedly stand on their own, even if you might end up getting lost along the course of the full EP.