Brilliant brass and punishing riffs makes Crimes the “free grind” album of the season.
So Halloween’s passed, and the conventional wisdom is that anything scary is essentially “off-limits” until next year. Ask any metalhead, though, and they’ll tell you brutality is always in season. And now that another winter is coming (and not in the way you think this joke was going), let’s talk about Crimes, a nice slab of jazzy grindcore from Montreal’s new kings of the mosh pit: Patent. And yes, “free grind”.
It’s not as much of a stretch as you’d think, as the dissonant saxophones on “Boule de Papier” show how locked in Patent can be when they’re not going for the throat (which they do a LOT on this album). Saxophones phase in and out while the instrumentation verges on djent, with double-stroked drums and some wonderful guitar interplay as well. Even “Publisac”, with its tremolo-picked guitars, blast beats galore (and some d-beats for hardcore enthusiasts), finds some time to throw in some beautiful descending guitar scales.
Frontman Maxime Brault reminds me so much of what the guys in Despised Icon do, and while death and grind metal both have a “core” in there, perhaps Patent is slowly becoming the real MVP.
Bits of beatdown hardcore show up in “Je Sais Pas”, with its’ breakdown showing an important constant on Crimes: that this band is relentless with rhythm.
“Obus” acts as a short interlude; a calm before the storm. And then the title track hits. The tone on “Crimes” evokes that of a horror movie set in the woods based around an urban legend: the feedback; the brilliant use of audio samples; the BASS GUITAR ACTUALLY SERVING A ROLE (which was hard to pick up on for most of the running time). It’s so rewarding to hear the “free” side of this free grind quartet show itself. “Crimes” is a creepy, haunting and tense instrumental, and the highlight of this project.
Patent have set themselves on a strong path by combining a brilliant brass section with plenty of punishing riffs and the hint of a brooding intensity under the hood. Crimes is what you want to hear in the dead of the season, and if you have yet to find your way into extreme metal, this might not be a bad place to start.
But make sure to stretch first. You’ll thank me later.