Political commentary and a death-grind onslaught….surely we’re in Napalm Death country, right? Well, we’re certainly in the right country, as Pray U Prey are fellow Englishman who, with Figure The 8, have delivered a bruising ode to early 90’s death- grind that’s barbarically effective in its simplicity.
Kicking off with the rib cage rattling one-two of the title track and “Sentinels Of Shade”, the overwhelming sense of urban grime and justifiable paranoia is palpable, as Pray U Prey bring their decades of experience in the music industry to the fore (Pray U Prey are comprised of former/current members of Prophecy Of Doom, Suicide Watch, Taliesin, Alehammer). Nihilistic and depressingly prescient, the 11 tracks lurking on this ugly full length debut are a modernised version of the kind of music the political environment of the late 80’s helped birth; the people are pissed and Pray U Prey are here to echo that sentiment!
Frankly, Figure The 8 is a blast, both metaphorically, musically and intellectually. Gritting your teeth in anticipation for the next assault may be akin to an endurance test but Pray U Prey’s observations on modern life make you want to bite down hard on the hand that supposedly feeds us. Fortunately, for extreme metal lovers this outburst takes the form of unrelenting riffs within a short-fast-loud framework and welds it to the fierce social commentary of Punk.
Basically, take some early Bolt Thrower, a whole heap of Assück, a liberal dose of the aforementioned Napalm Death and the groundbreaking noise of Cannibal Corpse’s early material and you’re pretty close to the sound produced on Figure The 8.
Sound good? You bet your ass it is! Throwing in remixed versions of the 5 tracks from PUP’s Black Light Of Time demo is also a nice touch, painting a vivid picture of Pray U Prey’s journey; a journey that with Figure The 8, has hopefully only just begun. 8/10