Blue (Robotic Empire)
RIYL: Orchid, Off Minor, Pg. 99, Circle Takes the Square, Cave In
1. Informal A new term for the screamo/emo bands of the 90s, or anything that is REAL screamo/emo. I'm not sure if the term is supposed to be taken seriously or not, but it's there. Possibly created in revolt of the shitty 'new' emo bands and self-proclaimed 'emo' kids.
You see, this is what irks me as a music journo. As much as I enjoy the convenience of ultra-specific genre labels (see: post-metal; baile funk; nerdcore), the names deigned to them rarely, you know, mean anything. Seriously: Skramz? What the everloving fuck is that? Why can't we just say that Miami's Capsule is a hardcore band? And then why can't we just follow that up with a clause like, oh I don't know, "in the vein of '90s screamo titans Orchid and Pg. 99"? Plus: Skramz just sounds (and looks) fucking retarded. Look: Capsule is a screamo band — essentially short for "faster, more brutal hardcore with lots of screaming and/or shouting." Yeah, that's dumbing it down, but at least it means something.
I digress in the interest of keeping things simple. Capsule fucking slays. Blue is an absolute powerhouse from start to finish; it's heavy, it's spazzy and, at times, it's even absolutely gorgeous. It's a monolith of aggression and power. It's a panic attack gone horribly, horribly right. You'll need a helmet so there won't be a mess when Blue blows your mind.
Blue kicks off in high gear with the balls-tighteningly fantastic one-two punch of the dense "True Blue" and the spastic, thrashing "Cobalt Connection." (See the color motif running through here? Yeah? Yeah.) The energy and spirit contained within invoke Orchid and Commander Caterpillar, but the off-kilter tunings and malicious riffs recall the early work of art-core monoliths Cave In. Indeed, it's when Capsule stretches the song lengths past the 120-second mark that things get really interesting. "Determinal" starts off as another exercise in controlled fury before devolving into a beautiful, grungy drone. Follow that up with the sullen, somber "Blue/Green" and you have a nice respite (and a seldom seen change of pace) from the brutal ass-kicking of the rest of Blue.
Blue is a confounding and wonderful conflagaration of brutal blast-beats, shifting time-signatures and galloping punk spirit. Blurry, buried shouts are surrounded by thunderous mountains of guitar and bass, buried beneath the avalanche of melodic onslaught. And yet, for the conscious listener, intricate melodies in bizarre tunings sneak their way into an overall unnerving amalgamation of genres, creating an anxiety-filled album of fevered beauty. Easily one of the most unique and rewarding listens of the year.