Like the patient thump of a solitary fist beating against a door, "Underachiever" begins with a string of repeated, isolated chords. As it opens, the song exposes a tender chamber of the mind: that dark, tucked-away corner where we keep our own self-loathing. Through stoically unwavering sludge, the Norwegian act Rongeur takes listeners within their own selves, assessing this painful chasm and following it all the way down. Enormously impactful without overcomplicated orchestration, each note on the band's latest single from their upcoming album Glacier Tongue strikes deep, tracing out details of our perceived failings and getting to the root of it all. Listen to the track now:

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"Underachiever" traces out a conceptual arc with a post-metal-like evolution, though the noise rock-driven riffing and cavernous drums melancholically iterate on rhythms without dabbling in excessive melody, using just a few dour notes and absolutely gut-wrenching screams to create a stunning portrait of discontent. There are points when it seems like the song could speed up, but it doesn't, resolutely sticking to its miserable pacing like someone stuck in a self-defeating cycle of doubt. With the subtle introduction of choral-like synthesizer pads and slight hints at optimism, Rongeur insinuates there's a possible path forward—but it's up to the listener to find, as the song ends with a litany of drum beats open to interpretation.

The band comments:

"Underachiever" is about stagnation and the struggle for achieving dignity in life. It is an ode to those who wrestle with the relentless tongue cutting and antithetical machine that is reality.

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Glacial Tongue releases later in September via Fysisk Format.