Review: Snuffed on Sight – Smoke
My brain has been blended into a nice purée; no thoughts, just riffs.
Have you ever wanted to drag your knuckles so hard that they start to bleed? Ever wanted to polish your brain up to a nice shine and go comatose for a week? Well, dearest reader, I have just the thing for you. Smoke by Snuffed on Sight is so insanely grotesque, so disgustingly brutal… ugh it’s just perfect. It’s the kind of record where I crank it up loud, lean back in my chair and cease to exist for a bit.
Snuffed on Sight may not have been around long, having just formed in 2020, but they already have a sizeable backlog of singles and EPs. Now in 2023 they have their first full-length LP ready to rip, and rip it does. Stylistically it lands somewhere between the likes of Infant Annihilator and xavlegbmaofffassssitimiwoamndutroabcwapwaeiippohfffx (yes that’s a band). Filled with gut-wrenching riffs and breakdowns along with sink drain-esque vocals, Snuffed on Sight has created a record that never lets up in its conquest for deathcore domination.
The intro track 0f the record (aptly named “intro”) immediately smacks the listener in the face and demands their lunch money (and firstborn son). With absurd gurgling vocals and indiscernible lyrics, blast beats, and drop Z-tuned guitars, it may only be 57 seconds long but due to its Mach-jesus pace it feels much longer. This leads perfectly into the second track “Time 2 Dip”; this track falls a bit into the meme-core category with a perfectly placed “Damn Son” and airhorn halfway through the track. If that’s not your thing though, don’t worry. It’s also got even faster guitar work, more blast beats, and of course more of those trademark vocals that remind me of the sound of my kitchen sink draining after some serious dish cleaning action.
The third track “Slippin” continues to bring much of the same minus the meme references. The riffs ramp up a bit in complexity, including heavy use of harmonics and most likely pitch shifters to contrast how stupid low the guitars are tuned. There’s also a bridge in this song where the guitar drops out momentarily, which gave me a moment to appreciate how meaty and huge the bass tone is here. This prompted me to go back and listen through the last couple tracks again, and the bass has impressive presence in the mix. I find that to be quite rare in this sub-genre given that the guitars are often tuned as low as, or lower than a standard bass.
The rest of this record continues at the same pace, with later tracks bringing back some of the meme references and also some other vocal styles. Notably, track six “Repeat Offender” has a ridiculous breakdown that includes searing high pitched screams that you don’t really hear anywhere else on the record. Overall this album has very tight performances, a surprisingly good mix, and a fun vibe despite being heavier than the infinite mass of a black hole. It’s on the shorter side like I previously noted, which is perfect for this kind of thing. I appreciate that it doesn’t overstay its welcome. It then wraps itself up nicely with one last breakdown on the last track.
I’ve been noticing a recent influx of bands like this—stupid heavy deathcore with more breakdowns than actual song structure. However, at least in my opinion this niche has been less explosive than all of the recent pop-infused metalcore, a category that seemingly doubles in size every year. Regardless of what you may think of the direction modern metal is going in, I think it’s a net positive to see so many new bands, and even more importantly, new fans getting into the genre. Back to this record specifically, I don’t think it’s anything super impressive objectively. The song structures are about standard for this kind of thing, and it doesn’t have any crazy music theory going on like Nightmarer‘s Deformity Adrift, but I think the simplicity is what sells it. It’s the kind of thing where you just lean back and let your eyes gloss over while it rapidly sucks your brain cells out with a straw like some kind of bloody coconut-housed rum cocktail.
Smoke released on 7/7/2023 via Maggot Stomp & Creator Destructor Records. Support the artist and pick up a copy on Bandcamp!