When a fan of The Swans and Merzbow calls an album dense, you know they ain’t kidding. Kill.Crush.Destroy is a product of two different recording sections, and its first four tracks are so layered and thick that you can barely discern the guitar notes. After listening to the CD’s second half, you realize that the super dense production is perfect for a band this unrelentingly savage and fierce.

Watchmaker is a tough band to describe: elements of black metal (particularly raw, chillingly evil melodies of the Scandinavian variety) plays meet and greet with ferocious old school death metal. The noisy, stompy breakdowns are kind of crust-esqe along the lines of Artymus Pyle or His Hero Is Gone. But those moments are few – mostly what you’ve got here is sheer speed just a notch under blastbeat territory and maniacal buzzsaw picking. Although the band is clearly influenced by different varieties of metal, they tie all their influences together in an unforced way, making other bands who attempt such genre-splicing sound over-calculated by comparison. The feel of the music is so utterly ballistic that it’s astounding. These guys are pissed. Watchmaker sounds like they’ve been held back to the absolute point of detonation, then Blammo! Imagine a prison riot where the convicts are trying to kill the guards with instruments instead of shanks and pipes, and you’ll get the general idea.

Tracks like “Dummy Text” are outright exhausting. The band pounds the shit out of 1 minute and 41 seconds worth of three maniacally fast riffs that are so low in register that they’ll kill your dog. “Salt Fertile Earth” starts off with some nice tribal drumming and bass, but when the rest of the band kicks in, the drums double time and everything goes bonkers from there. The guitars sneak in a spooky Nile-like melody before the whole thing derails into furious palm muting. Also check out the stunning “Gunscope Transplant,” which features a sick Deicide speed intro that leads into the album’s fiercest breakdown, a one-note studder-stop reminiscent of Converge’s “The Saddest Day” before layering in some manic Morbid Angel trem picking.

Vocalist Brian Livoli’s harsh, scraping scream is the perfect compliment to Watchmaker’s music. There’s a bit of distortion on the vocals, and it works perfectly with the vein-popping, throat shredding assault. All in all, Kill.Crush.Destroy is a mighty impressive debut. Here is one band for the diehards: they don’t care about being cool, they don’t care about being metal (or hardcore), they (obviously) don’t care about putting whiny parts in their songs so that emo chicks will suck their toes. They’re simply out to create absolutely devastating, brutal music, and at that they succeed like motherfuckers. It’s rare that something this intense and over the top be so original. No cliches, no allegiances, no apologies, and no one left alive. Awesome.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay Paiva
April 6th, 2001


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