Title: Soft Narcosis
Released on the 6th of June 2020 Soft Narcosis is the second album from Manila, Philippines’ 3-piece Limbs. The album follows a cyberpunk concept of sorts. The album also comes out with a game that you can play here.
In the year 2XXV, the tech megacorporation CAIN was approved to issue the public subdermal grafts called “Matroyshka” that were initially lobbied as a method to predict and prevent cancer and other deadly diseases. Further into the future, an unprecedented calamity will arrive that will change everything.
From the first track “Window Shopping” it’s quite clear Limbs have something special, their epic djenty mathcore sound combined with their impassioned screamed sci-fi lyrics makes them quite a unique entity. Just once you are comfortable you have got to grips with what they are all about, second track “Death Jacket” shakes all that up with its funky electro-rock beat and clean vocals while elements of their futuristic cyberpunk remain present, at this point it’s clear that the only certainty is that what is to come will be difficult to predict. Throughout the record they weave synths, tight guitar clanging, hardcore breakdowns and much more into their bombastic sonic tapestry, at points reaching levels of intensity and discomfort reminiscent of Liturgy or The Armed, without being particularly stylistically similar to either.
Title track “Soft Narcosis” sees them stray further than ever with inclusion of classic rock-esque guitar noodling albeit next to a Dillinger Escape Plan style off-time stab-a-thon. “Acidic Imposter” tricks you into thinking that maybe the band taking a break from the chaos by including a more standard mathcore track until the whole thing falls off a cliff before you’re one minute in, deconstructing the rhythm and building it back into a glacial breakdown while their mechanical instrumentation glitches away under the tortured vocals and massive drum hits.
“Necro Police” marks a somewhat conventional point in the record for such a wild band but not without treating us to a solo and some jazzy sections before “Urban Infest” adds elements of classic screamo and hardcore alongside their trademark mayhem before opening to a sparser period of respite, making the doomy outro all the more heavy. “New Flesh” adopts a measured robotic beat and drools out its sickly melody in a way similar to noise rock bands like Daughters or Swans, until it’s creeping fuzzed out climax. Final track “Cocytus Dwellers” hits with a catchy breakdown before a disorientating psychedelic section full of ghostly sound effects leads us into another suitably mathy and epic breakdown that takes us to the album’s conclusion.
What Limbs create here with their technical, mechanical and sometimes unnerving brand of djenty screamo is something very unique and truly unpredictable; their strong identity shines through every track. Fans of any type of heavy or aggressive music should check this out, because it has to be heard to be believed.