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A heart-stopping shot of Southern discomfort arrives courtesy of viciously versatile Wilmington, NC metal crew Gollum, whose 11-track batch of tainted tuneage renders an acid-soaked musical adventure that's both evil and expansive a la Goatwhore, Bloodlet (whose Scott Angelacos appears here), and Soilent Green. Raging hardcore rumblings and technical death metal sensibilities bolster this unit's sonic foundation while an oddball agenda containing psychedelic overtones, foreboding electronic manipulations and a devilish use of dynamics launch at all angles from Gollum's viscous superstructure, setting an ominous atmosphere akin to being stranded in the swamp as dusk becomes nightfall ("The Core", "Omens"). THE CORE relentlessly shifts gears and styles, yet keeps it heavy throughout, examining every heavy-handed riff method to savagely crush your skull ("Blacksmith") while utilizing multiple guest vocalists to further impose the jumpy point of view of "The Burden of Ubiquitous Scars" and "Diggin'". Settle in with some strong substances and enjoy a sullen and sinewy schizophrenic stomp delivered by a juggernaut brimming over with avant-garde abrasiveness and unabashed fits of metallic fury.
- Mike SOS