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METH. "Shame" LP

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GENRE - Doom / Sludge
RECORD LABEL - Prosthetic

The album title hangs heavy throughout the duration of the songs themselves, a weight around the neck of its creators. Inspired by a tumultuous time for vocalist Seb Alvarez, the album is an uncomfortable listen as he grapples with then-undiagnosed bi-polar and unchecked addiction issues. Whilst the themes of shame, deception and trauma are not new to meth., they have previously been dressed up with a fictional veneer. This time around, Alvarez lays his vulnerabilities bare, offering up the darkest parts of himself.

The oppressive burden of shame, galvanised by behaviours rooted in addiction and mental illness seeps into the anxiety-inducing atmosphere of the album. Alvarez chronicles the differing types of shame and rock bottom feelings from Catholic guilt instilled in him from a young age, through to the more recent deceptions of concealing the effects of alcoholism. As he details his constant internal battles and downward spirals, everything is channelled into the creative process. The result is stark, unyielding and raw.

For the first time, the band wrote as a unit, indicating a shift in focus. Alvarez focussed on the lyrical and thematic elements of the album and created more room for his bandmates to thrive. The ominous sound of SHAME is littered with experimental flourishes, as meth. lean into noise rock and metal simultaneously. There is an industrial bleakness to the album that propels it along, at some points as though through gritted teeth. Operating under a remit that included avoiding a reliance on riffs, meth. instead let rhythm - specifically their drums - carry the weight and forward motion of their compositions. Recorded in winter 2022-23 by Zack Farrer at Rose Raft in New Douglas, IL, the album was later mixed and mastered by Colin Marston.

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