Cataclysmic opener Where Light Divides The Holler combines chest-crumpling hardcore and soul-searing death metal in characteristically thrilling fashion. God Knows cranks the severity, shifting focus from physical to psychological scars across a scourging soundscape that culminates in an inspired, unsettling sample of The Beach Boys’ God Only Knows. Forced To Stay and Contorted In The Faille swerve off into the opaque unknown, repurposing concussive sound to more soulfully probing effect, while opening up the record’s putrescent tale of woe.
Indeed, as a rumination on grief and its consumptive effects across a perfectly-measured six tracks in 21 minutes, ATITFOL is frontman Bryan Garris’ most narratively potent and evocatively skin-crawling achievement to date. Assuming the viewpoint of an unnamed protagonist who loses his partner to a horrible car-wreck before spiralling through the circles of depression, guilt and unhinged desperation, the songs’ central concept is pivotal. The accompanying monochrome animation from Swedish filmmaker Magnus Jonsson should be considered compulsory viewing. Its stark, nightmarish vision brings out untold lyrical detail and reaffirms – as if reaffirmation were required – that Knocked Loose are in command of far more than skull-caving blunt force.