ARTIST: GOD COMPLEX
TITLE: CREATED SICK
LABEL: VENN RECORDS
RATING: 9 /10
WORDS: HARRY HIGGINSON
You may not have heard of God Complex, and that’s understandable considering just how new the band is. Having formed only a year ago, the ‘Created Sick’ EP is their very first release other than a handful of singles which led to them being picked up by Venn Records, home of fellow hardcore new bloods Higher Power and Rough Hands. Sonically, the group already feel like their own entity, even at this early stage of their career. Blending the groovy beatdown of the sadly departed Desolated, the percussive fury of Knocked Loose and the ultra-dark atmosphere of Jesus Piece, this debut EP is heavy to say the least, and whilst the influences on the record are obvious, it would be a push to call it derivative in any sense. Pushing the boundaries like many other newcomers to the genre, God Complex’s debut looks at the limits of the metalcore/hardcore scene they inhabit and bulldozes them. Across the 12-minute runtime, there are flirtations with groove metal, death metal, and even elements of some deathcore (and not in a bad way), the 5 tracks acting all as separate demonstrations of just how much ground these guys can cover.
The opening track kicks off at blistering pace; blast beats, frantic screams, and then suddenly silence. An odd, distorted buzz hits pause, before a sledgehammer of a breakdown breaks the momentary tension, bringing the track to a close. And what a statement this opening track is – atmospheric, dissonant, and frankly brutal, it demonstrates why this 5 track EP only takes 12 minutes to say its peace. God Complex don’t mess around here, and there’s not a single wasted second on the EP.
“Pushing the boundaries like many other newcomers to the genre, God Complex’s debut looks at the limits of the metalcore/hardcore scene they inhabit and bulldozes them.”
‘Breeding Filth’ follows up, bringing an incredibly infectious stomp of a main riff, switching back and forth between pace and groove, proving the band know not to overuse a fantastic opening motif and keep songs fresh and engaging. ‘Stonehand’ offers the best vocal performance on the record, with some guttural, almost pig-squeal-ish screams popping in the mid-section of the track, before Kyle Holt’s noodling groove of a guitar riff carries the track to its close.
‘Slumlord’ is a somewhat slower track, trading experimentation for a more orthodox, conventionally metallic style that’ll be familiar to any Desolated fans. This trade-off of some of the first half of the EP’s dissonance and speed for a more conventional feel really helps vary up God Complex’s various modes of musical battering, bringing some more melodic guitar parts, whilst the sludgy outro returns to some of the more atmospheric moments on the opening track. In contrast, the closer, ‘Ordered to be Well’, shows the band flexing all of their creative muscles simultaneously; there’s sludge here, there’s more metallic elements and dissonance too, all brought together by some incredibly tight drumming that keeps the momentum up right to the very last beat, closing out an exceptional set of tracks in brutal style
“Absolutely lethal, no-frills hardcore done right, this record is a statement of intent. “
Debuts are often tricky things to get right. Lacking identity, focus, or enough good ideas to tie a full release together can easily hamstring a band’s first commercial effort, but not God Complex. Absolutely lethal, no-frills hardcore done right, this record is a statement of intent. God Complex are heavy, uncompromising, and join their experimental peers like Jesus Piece and Sanction in pushing the boundaries of the genre. Newcomers they may be, but ‘Created Sick’ is proof that the Merseyside hardcore crew can’t just compete with the big boys: they might just have upped the game entirely.