Album Review: Rope Sect – The Great Flood
For Rope Sect, darkness isn’t something to be avoided or overcome. Rather, it’s something to befriend and understand, to commune with at 3am, probably through the smell of cigarette ends and whiskey breath. On this debut album, these Germans have turned staring into the abyss into an artform in its own right, making it seem like an appealing, sensual thing through the medium of haunting, post-punk-tinged death rock.
Opening with a reading from the book of Genesis detailing God’s own great flood, there’s a joy in hopelessness and strife throughout, shot through with a sense of style and cool. At times, this is music to wear sunglasses in the dark to. At others, it’s the toothpick-chewing, flick-knife sharp soundtrack to making a getaway from a bank heist in a hearse. Of these latter, it’s the riffy The Underground Paradise and cocky Hiraeth that shine brightest – darkest? – while on Divide et Impera and Eleutheria there’s a laid-back, gothic charm that effortlessly draws you in.
If one were to make easy comparisons, Grave Pleasures would be first in the queue – and, indeed, that band’s singer Mat McNerny pops up on the excellent Prison Of You – and fans of Joy Division, Echo And The Bunnymen and Creeper at their most morbid will find an immediate foothold on The Great Flood, but there’s much here that is Rope Sect’s own as well. There’s an enigma to them more than there is sweaty thrust, something which not only assists in painting in brilliant shades of black, but also highlights how well Rope Sect have put these songs together, and captured them with no small sense of gothic flair and shrugging nihilism.
Gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. Rope Sect have treated Nietzsche’s warning as more of a promise, seeking the shadow the darkness itself casts and finding a degree of comfort and solace there. Listen to The Great Flood long enough, and you may do, too.
For Fans Of: Grave Pleasures, Killing Joke, Creeper
The Great Flood is released on August 14 via Iron Bonehead Productions.
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