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Plumbing Post-Punk’s Darkest Depths on Rope Sect’s “Proselytes” (EP Stream)


Post-punk. Gothic rock. Peacepunk. It’s interesting to watch so many extreme metal-centric labels openly embrace a style so based in the reviled “gothic”-isms, but it fits well. Punk’s moodier offshoot and its many subgenres are this sudden “wild frontier.” The distillation of all the negativity and resignation so many extreme metal bands exude. No glut, no volume, no aggression, just the darkest of emotions.

The metal Internet sphere was atwitter with confusion and subsequent elation with notable black metal label Iron Bonehead Productions’s release of post-punk band Rope Sect‘s debut EP (previously out via Caligari Records) Personae Ingratae. An adventurous move, yes, but, as stated above, the world of post-punk fits adjacent to the black metal we all love… and it exuded misery. Misery in a positive, true-to-style way to which we can relate, but, aside from Rope Sect vocalist Inmesher’s unique approach, their music felt like they were trying to keep things “skin deep” at first. It’s undoubtedly post-punk, but comes off as reserved, like there is much more squirming just beneath the surface. There is merit to a metal label “branching out” in a tiered sort of way, and this very mysterious German trio’s music was approachable enough from an outside perspective. What made Rope Sect captivating was their potential. Personae Ingratae exuded an extreme restraint, like the band was simply reciting a thesis with the intent for further exploration and building an inherent style.

Returning mere months later, the brief one-two punch of Proselytes offers the first in-depth glimpse behind the blank mask Rope Sect brandished on their first EP. Resting largely on tension and the appearance of brawn, “Quietus” and “Proselytes” paint Rope Sect’s musicianship in a semi-kaleidoscopic palette. In such, there is a larger sense of variety, be it the 1970s rock and blasting black metal departure, or even the punchier, more aggressive riffing style.

As reserved as the band’s established style can be, it’s obvious whoever is behind the band are seasoned musicians, or at least those who have a larger music taste, flowing so many styles into individual, cohesive songs. In such a quick burst, Rope Sect offers so much more to their approach, extending to a whirlwind. As active and energetic as their music might be, there is still this sense of resignation, if just in Inmesher’s sullen, near humming voice. With all this music dashing around him, Inmesher stares at a wall, blank-faced, quietly singing songs of sadness and death under his breath.

The Proselytes 7″ EP will be out this Friday, October 20th, on Iron Bonehead Productions, as well as part of a Personae Ingratae / Proselytes compilation CD on Caligari Records. Listen to both songs below, and, if you managed to catch their show in Berlin last week, tell me all about it in the comments.

Follow Rope Sect on Bandcamp.

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