The unholy black metal trinity known as Useless are upon us and with the five tracks of absolute black metal madness found on Absence Of Grace, they are delivering one hell of a concise message. Namely, you are of no meaning, you are useless and all you can do is tighten the noose. Grim.
Uncomfortably raw and back to basics in approach, Useless peddle the kind of black metal that truly tortured souls find so damn appealing. It’s nihilistic, it’s devoid of hope and it reeks of old-school worship. Guitars endlessly swarm with hypnotic repetition and no end of eerie ambience, while the lo-fi production keeps things considerably bleak. “Drown Your Hopes” ironically offers respite when, for a short while, the blasting gives way to an almost doom vibe that cuts through the shrieks and inhuman utterances before returning to a familiar format.
With very little to differentiate each song, highlights on Absence Of Grace are inevitably superfluous. Although, “When Demons Attack” is particularly ferocious and fully lives up to its name and with all but one track clocking in at over 6mins, this is an album designed for the indoctrinated only; newcomers beware! Useless are all about the overall atmosphere and that atmosphere is akin to a slow walk to the gallows; wretched, forlorn and consigned to the inevitable death that awaits.
Black metal purists should lap this up. 8/10