Canadian sludge beasts Resent unload torment and misery into devastating debut ‘Crosshairs’

We’re neck deep in misery right now, so why not dump a ton more hellishness onto that pile and make everyone feel that much worse? Doom metal isn’t exactly the place to go if you want to find solace from the madness because so much of that style of music simmers in chaos. But when everything around you is shit anyway, how badly can you really be hurt?

Coming out of British Columbia are Resent, a band with almost zero public profile, no real lineup that I can decipher, but with a devastating debut record “Crosshairs” that is arriving via a trio of labels. After taking on this six-track, 43-minute bruiser, who cares if we don’t know a lineup or what they did before this or even during this, because this early ’90s-styled sludge doom monster is a massive kick to the face of anyone hoping to find a record to make them feel better. The record laces medical horrors into the body of the songs, and each crevice drips with mud and blood, pretty much trying to clog up your brain and arteries. It’s fascinating how smothering the music is, and despite its utter dismissal of anything uplifting, it’ll fill you with horrors and pain that’ll destroy you existentially.

“Miserable” opens with a clip of a patient screaming that, “It hurts a lot,” over and over as he’s goaded, and then feedback-infested sludge barrels in with a messy fury and vicious growls that take you apart. The pace is mauling and ugly, just landing blow after blow almost as if it’s standing in place, and you keep running into massive shots that ground you. “Degenerate” has noises and voices swirling in the ether before the guitars arrive to bury you in a Sabbath-style hell. The mood is dour as guitars lap up the thick tributaries of blood and filth, while deep growls rip into you like a rusty dagger. A heavy pall hovers over everything while dark waves pummel you into oblivion. “Wallowing in Filth” has a clip of a man talking about seeing people smeared in their own filth, so that should give you a good idea as to where this is headed. Slow driving panic is what ensues as you’re driven to the ground with brute force. Growls hammer while the playing scrapes away at your wounds as noise floods, and the heat swelters all before dumping you into a smothering finish that clouds your insides.

The title track starts with a patient crying about facing a needle as the riffs open up and dump oceans of cement. The playing is heavy and mashing as it circles you and threatens no solace ever. Slurry heaviness pairs with guitars that spurt and lay waste, caving in your chest and skull simultaneously. “Victimized” feels like it’s already destroying you before it really gets under way, as muddy guitars and hoarse growls amplify the misery. There is more trauma from a medical perspective laced into what’s going on, which does no good for anyone’s psyche, as everything comes to a moaning, guttural finish. “Miscarriage” ends the record with groups of people asking, “I am I, who are you?” and then things heat up in a hurry. Growls chew into muscle while the playing turns messy and grimy, and just when things seem they can’t get more monstrous, guitars begin to belch feedback, the pressure becomes unbearable, and the track burns away and out of time.

Feeling good about life is probably something we should forget about for a while, and it’s clear Resent have no hopes for seeking happiness on their stunning first record “Crosshairs.” This is a massive beast scraping across the earth, looking to accumulate bones and bodies as it chews up ground. We don’t know where they’ve been or where they’re going, but we’re willing to follow them into whatever miserable vortex they’re headed as long as the music sounds like this.

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