Life Has No More Meaning

Utter Failure

Remember when you were playing Skyrim, and you would on occasion find a pair of […]
By Matt Bozenda
October 23, 2022
Utter Failure - Life Has No More Meaning album cover

Remember when you were playing Skyrim, and you would on occasion find a pair of dead wolves or bears or sabre cats with an 'Old Orc' standing beside them? You approach the Old Orc, and they say something to the effect of wanting to die in combat but having not found an opponent to deliver. You could ignore him and walk away, or attempt to grant his request. If you weren't leveled up enough, the Old Orc would kill the Dragonborn quick as spittin', but even if you took him down, his sad pile of loot was rarely worth the effort.

Today's encounter doesn't feature an elderly son of Trinimac, but a pair of Metal veterans in the Minneapolis-based UTTER FAILURE, a new foray into the murky gloom of Depressive Black Metal, with their feature-length debut, "Life Has No More Meaning". Just like with the Old Orc, however, the unwary had better not underestimate the power contained within, ready to die but not going down without a fight.

And there is plenty of fight here, after all, proven directly on track one, the aptly named "Agony And Despair", whose somber but sharp tone lacks serious bass yet still manages to be very heavy. The feeling of the dirge continues over "The End Is Near", which picks up an insectoid droning quality, adding to the slogging feel of the music. The end of "Unheard Cries" features actual crying, if you weren't depressed enough by that point.

The album's longest track, "Cold Existence", features a bit more intricate bass work than has been seen prior, but it's clearly no substitute for Lexapro. The title track closes down the album in truly cumulative fashion, a shadowbox of the music overall, and it ends on a slow fade, crawling into its grave and pulling up a dirt blanket.

Though structurally different, each of the five tracks is fundamentally aligned; they feature the rusty chainsaw riffs of Black metal but they are not given the gas pedal. The rhythm section keeps a simple beat and has depth even without digging deep, keeping the riffs balanced with depressing down tempos and providing an ideal contrast, conjuring the image of a graveyard overrun with kudzu.

So what have we got here? A surprising success from UTTER FAILURE. Even the downtrodden title of "Life Has No More Meaning" implies the foreboding anguish, the pure despair of realizing that death is coming. Black metal has typically been about dismal views of the world, but most bands still have some measure of belligerence to them. UTTER FAILURE lacks aggression but is not hindered by it. Don't let the sedate pace fool you; this music is attacking you with every note.

The metalheads of the world looking for alternatives to face-painting Death metal or hard-partying Thrash would do well for themselves to look up UTTER FAILURE. Give "Life Has No More Meaning" a spin you may just agree, with the review and with the sentiment.

8 / 10









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"Life Has No More Meaning" Track-listing:

1. Agony And Despair
2. The End Is Near
3. Unheard Cries
4. Cold Existence
5. Life Has No More Meaning

Utter Failure Lineup:

Miguel Galindo - all instruments
John Suffering - vocals

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