The Smothering Arms of Mercy


Melbourne based prog-death trio GROWTH are interesting as a band. Their songwriting makes for a […]
By Liam True
December 28, 2020
Growth - The Smothering Arms of Mercy album cover

Melbourne based prog-death trio GROWTH are interesting as a band. Their songwriting makes for a lot of twists and turn as they quickly change their Progressive riff work and tempos to create a unique sounding album that only a few other bands have achieved and many have dreamed of. Opener "Cigarette Burns" sounds much like a band at soundcheck warming up, then as vocalist Luke Frizon's powerful snarls hit your ears the band join forces to create a sound you've not heard all year. The turbulent guitars from Tristan Barnes, who handles both guitar & bass duties, howl through the seven minute introduction to the minds of GROWTH. As the album continues you find out that it's more on a traditional approach from the Prog Metal side of things, but with the warped twist the band has laid their foundation for. "The Treatment For Melancholy" mixes the frantic fret work of Tristan while Frizon's manic vocals set the track ablaze with the stupendous drumming from Nelson Barnes.

Then throughout the tracks we are treated to an onslaught of Frizon's vocals while each instrument seems to be doing its own thing while at the same time also working in unison to bring us some of the most pleasant Prog-Death that you are ever likely to hear. Even the more traditional sounding tracks like "Our Lady Of The Hanging Heart" and "Lead Us To Our Glorious Times" are cranked up to eleven by Frizon's vicious vocals while the manic sound of the band's instrumental side returns on "Soul Rot" just to show off abilities while making you jealous that they can perform so well.

It's an album sound that's been done before from previous bands such as THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, OCEANS ATE ALASKA, and I, THE BREATHER, but what GROWTH have done is taken that concept, pumped it full of multiple amphetamines and let it release it's creation to the world. Described by the band as a "claustrophobic narrative of total spiritual collapse written while in psychiatric care and thrown over nine suffocating acts," it's clear the band are encouraging everyone, much like themselves, to express their emotions through any means.

Be it music, writing or art, the band have opened their souls on the epic hour journey through "TSAOM" and created a magnificent piece of Prog-Death that's a sublime gift to your ears.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"The Smothering Arms of Mercy" Track-listing:

1. Cigarette Burns
2. The Treatment For Melancholy
3. Fortress Of Flesh And Bone
4. Our Lady Of The Hanging Heart
5. Lead Us To Our Glorious Times
6. Darkly, It Tightens Its Grip
7. Soul Rot
8. Something Follows
9. Gird Your Loved In Armour While Yet You Wither


Growth Lineup:

Luke Frizon - Vocals
Tristan Barnes - Guitars/Bass/Artwork
Nelson Barnes - Drums

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