Tuesday 7 September 2021

Tentacles - Ambivalence

Labels: Deadwood Records/Dead Tank Records/IFB Records/React With Protest/Scaglie Di Rumore/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 21 May 2015


1. A Warm Body

2. My Mortal Cord

3. Pillars Of Salt

4. No Commiseration

5. Enantiodromia

6. Ambivalence

7. Uproot

Apologies, I had to hit reset again over the last week. Now I'm back with another Zegema Beach Records Roster review, this time featuring the 2015 album (also their last) from Texan screamo/grindcore band Tentacles, which alongside ZBR was released on vinyl and tape by the many labels above. It was the fourth release following their formation in 2006. From what I've heard/read about Tentacles, their music was always heavy, fast and super energetic. I need all of those things right now because I'm lamenting stuff. Here's Tentacles Ambivalence.

This album is made up of seven songs, of which the first and the last bookend the rest with more grandiose noise. Album opener ‘A Warm Body’ hugs you with it’s slow sludgy/powerviolence-esque riffs, coupled with crashing cymbals and drums. The bass is subtle and melodic, while the screams that greet you ninety seconds in are anything but. All encompassing crazy noise that’s rooted in many heavy camps. Mind-blowing already!

That opener is a bit of a misnomer though as ‘My Mortal Cord’ is a raging, blackened screamo masterpiece that goes as quickly as it barged in and stole your wife! It’s very much the same story with the grinding intensity of ‘Pillars Of Salt’. Despite how fast both songs are though, there’s still a loverly element of down-tempo sludge and technicality flowing through the music performed by Tentacles.

It seems as though they use multiple vocalists on ‘No Commiseration’ (correct me if I’m wrong here). Either way, it’s a proper ripper where the band ploughs an even deeper furrow with utterly heavy riffs and atmospherics. Kinda like if Cursed/Trap Them were even darker, if that makes any sense. Metalcore/hardcore makes a play during ‘Enantiodromia’, which in an instrumental song that grows and grows as if it’s going to explode, before holding you at the point of climax and in the end teasing you with the thought.

Penultimate title track ‘Ambivalence’ is another angular, shredding song that sounds evil but isn’t. Maybe it’s just me that’s hearing the black metal influence here but whatever, Tentacles play some of the best harshest screamo of recent times. I absolutely can’t get enough of that bass tone! To end it all, there’s nothing other than an eight-plus minute slug-a-thon called ‘Uproot’ that promises to be barbaric and it’s just that! If ever there was an epitaph to end all epitaphs, this would be it. Heck, I might even request for this song to be played at my funeral! Not that I’m dumbing this release down at all.

The use of melody to counteract the dissonant driving heaviness on show here is perfect. There’s something sensitive and soothing about Ambivalence that’s really hard to describe. It’s what I needed this evening and even if Tentacles have been silent for a long while now, it doesn’t matter because they left behind music like this. Last night I was ironing to the sounds of Papa Roach, tonight I’m sitting and head-banging in awe of this. It’s funny how music grabs us!

Stream and purchase Ambivalence as a name-your-price download below:-

You can buy physical copies from the below labels:-

Deadwood Records - https://www.deadwoodrecords.de/

Dead Tank Records - https://deadtankrecords.com/

React With Protest - http://www.reactwithprotest.org/

Zegema Beach Records - CAN/INTL - http://www.zegemabeachrecords.com/ / USA - https://zbrusa.com/

Deadwood Records - https://www.facebook.com/deadwoodrecords

Dead Tank Records - https://www.facebook.com/deadtankrecords

IFB Records - http://ifbrecords.blogspot.com

React With Protest - https://www.facebook.com/reactwithprotestdiy

Scaglie Di Rumore - https://www.facebook.com/scagliedirumorepage

Zegema Beach Records - https://www.facebook.com/zegemabeachrecords

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