It’s been a few years since Swashbuckle’s last release, and my familiarity with the band stems only from their 2009 release “Back To The Noose”. The band always straddled the line between thrash and death metal pretty well, but with a slight leaning towards thrash. It appears in the last few years, however, that they’ve taken a more death metal direction with their new EP “We Hate The Sea”. Admiral Nobeard’s vocals are as harsh and brutal as ever, blast beats are aplenty, and overall, this is one noisy release.
There are only 4 tracks on this release that barely spans 7 minutes, and each one is slightly worse than the one preceding it. “Beer Goggles” and “I Hate The Sea (And Everything In It)” are the two tracks with the most memorability and interesting moments, but nearly every song is so brief that the whole release feels like it’s over before it really gets going. There are a lot of good riffs on this EP, particularly on “Beer Goggles”, but they tend to get buried beneath blast beats, double bass, and Nobeard’s twisted screams. On poor sound systems, “We Hate The Sea” sounds awful, but with better speakers, it definitely is a decently produced record. The main issue is that the guitars are not mixed as high as they should be, and so it takes a fuller more bass-heavy sound system to bring out the riffs. This is especially true when the band reaches the insane tempos that are present on “Slaughter Upon International Waters”.
Sometimes it doesn’t quite feel like Swashbuckle is a serious enough band. Between the fact that half of their “Back To The Noose” album is interludes and narration, and that this EP is only 7 minutes long with a pretty muddled sound, it’s a bit disappointing to be a fan. What the band does provide is more than adequate from a songwriting perspective, but there really isn’t all that much here.
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"I Hate The Sea (And Everything In It)"
3.5/5 or 70%.
Written by Scott