Taking in a huge variety of genres and influences, yet with the end results being remarkably focused and cohesive, the self-titled EP by one man band Singular is an impressive slice of noisy post-hardcore/black metal/emoviolence that succeeds in finding the common thread between the genres and stitching it together in impressive style. Moving between emotional soundscapes and blisteringly violent outbursts – and taking in everything in between – this is varied in a way many other bands try, and fail, to be; an achievement made all the more remarkable for being a solo creation.
If you’re after something straight-forward, whether it be to headbang along to or to indulge in some simple catharsis, then odds are that Singular won’t scratch that particular itch. Instead, it’s a record that goes much deeper, and whilst it certainly offers plenty of energy and immediate, emotional appeal, it also offers much more. Much like Converge at their prime, there’s a careful blend of technical prowress and emotional bloodletting to Singular, with the riffs (sometimes jarring; sometimes gloriously smooth and catchy), rhythms (sometimes stop-start; sometimes brutally pummeling) and vocals (never less than throat-tearingly intense) almost never taking the easy route. Instead, the songs are carefully crafted to provide an emotional and musical ride, never settling on one mood for more than a few moments, constantly racing along with restless, anxious energy.
If that makes Singular sound like something of a difficult listen – well, it is. With so many influences and styles at play, it can take a few listens to get used to all its twists and turns, and to be able to pick out the direction each song is going in. Sure, there’s instant appeal from the raw power and energy of the EP; but with time, something deeper and more meaningful becomes apparent, with this being a record that has clearly had a lot of time go in to it, and it shows. In that sense, it’s rather reminiscent of The Dillinger Escape Plan, with an initial sense of head-fuck eventually giving way to something much more profound and emotionally affecting. This is hugely impressive and addictive, and I’ve little doubt that the solo project could keep the quality as high over the course of an album – and I’d certainly like to find out!
Singular is available digitally via Bandcamp.