Hailing from Minneapolis, Figure of Merit have found a home on the British Codebreaker label, which has now hooked up with biggie Earache to help get their impressive releases out there. And I’m liking what I’m hearing on this 30-minute disc, as the band somehow forge an identity of their own while bringing to mind the sludge of Eyehategod, the noise rock of Unsane and the grandiose achievements of Neurosis. Yet they do it on a very streamlined level, going for the throat instead of the brain, with great results. No one player stands out, although the pained vocals are a cut above most metal screamers. Even the horrible/likable cover art and odd change in production sound that occurs at the two-thirds mark (I can see it now: "Let’s make it muddier here, guys”) only add to the appeal. Not a life-changer, but very impressive on a base and cursory listen as well as after repeated investigations.

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This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 29 January, 2019.

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