If patience is a virtue, Love Sex Machine might as well be saints; albeit saints with a taste for the filthiest sludge metal riffs offset by down-tempo, post-metal grooves and a fiendish sense of lyrical humour. ‘Trve’ is 10 long-awaited tracks of revitalised righteous indignation, wry social commentary and, of course, unspeakably disgusting heaviness.
All this, however, is not to say that Love Sex Machine don’t take their craft seriously. From the outset, the album is testament to the band’s decade of experience as idiosyncratic veterans of the European sludge scene. The intervening years have seen the French four-piece trim the fat from their bones to leave only a beating heart of menacing, hypnotic riffs that steadily tunnel their way into your brain.
We’re given mere seconds to catch our breath before album opener and lead single ‘FUCKING SNAKES’ grabs us by the throat, with each successive riff squeezing ever tighter as towering frontman Yves’ death rattle howl reverberates round our skull. It’s a paralysing yet exhilarating experience, but that’s exactly where Love Sex Machine want to keep you.
Whilst the band have never sounded more abrasive, there is also an intriguing, refined and undeniably pop edge to ‘Trve’ that adds a new element to this musical confrontation in which Love Sex Machine thrive. Atmospheric intros, extraneous refrains and eerie, instrumental outros might all be classic hallmarks of heavy music but you’ll find none of that here. Much like ‘FUCKING SNAKES’, most tracks on ‘Trve’ clock in at around three minutes and feature a rush of high-octane, black metal riffs played in an unsettlingly optimistic major key, synth motifs that verge on the triumphant and, in a first for Love Sex Machine, vocal harmonies that lift the listener for a brief, beautiful moment before the next wave of groove-laden, nihilistic sludge forces you right back down to your knees.
Collaboratively recorded by the band themselves, engineer/studio owner Frédéric Pecqueur and producer Sanford Parker (Eyehategod, Yob, Harm’s Way), ‘Trve’ is a record defined by embracing fatherhood as the world teeters on the brink of collapse. Whilst the riffs and refrains are steadfast, resolute and relentless, the lyrics for the album were written collectively by the band; constantly tweaked, forgotten and rewritten in order to capture the cumulative chaos of the intervening years.
An unashamedly monstrous offering, ‘Trve’ is Love Sex Machine springing a trap eight ugly years in the making, but one that’ll at least keep us strung up between a rock and a hard place so we can appreciate the view of the oncoming apocalypse.