Process of Guilt - Black Earth
Bleak Recordings
Industrial Doom Metal
5 songs (42' 44")
Release year: 2017
Reviewed by Andy

Last time we checked in with Portugal's Process of Guilt, they were on a split with Rorcal, playing an industrial-strength variant of extreme doom. Now about to release their latest full-length, Black Earth, they've picked up speed a little bit and added more of guitarist Hugo Santos' agonized vocals, but haven't altered any of the fundamental parts of their droning sound.

As on the split, there is a hopeless, mechanized feel to most of the songs, though that can't be predicted from the opening two songs, where ragged guitar/bass strumming strike up against ferociously controlled drumming. Notes of the feedback-fest the band is known to indulge in can be found on Feral Ground, but even there one can detect some fine melodies amid the noise. Under the mad scurrying of the groove-laden riffs on the fast songs, the despairing feeling comes across that all of the struggling is useless, and doom, personified by the mile-high bass riffing, is waiting just around the bend.

As it turns out, that feeling is prophetic, because the real oppression is yet to come. By the middle of the album, Process of Guilt moves back towards their previous tendency to leisurely grind the listener to a pulp with the sonic equivalent of construction machinery, in the form of Servant, a jerking car-crusher of a song that's succeeded by even slower behemoths, including the title track. Everything's buried under a layer of shrieking feedback and industrial racket, but still drags on at a miserable pace, ending in even more feedback. The melodies die off, deconstructed to rhythmic, one-note pounding, but the riffs remain, helped along by hoarse shouting from Santos.

Process of Guilt can't exactly be said to make beautiful music, but at drawing a dark, mechanized soundscape they knock it out of the park. Less smooth and controlled than the Liar split with Rorcal, Black Earth continues to provide Process of Guilt's trademark crusher-machine to listeners' ears.

Killing Songs :
Servant, Black Earth
Andy quoted 83 / 100
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