Intensive Square are a Cardiff based tech/death metal band boasting members of H A R K, Conan and King Death amongst their ranks. Their debut album, 'Anything That Moves' was unleashed upon the world last month, via Black Bow Records.
The album opens with some fairly eccentric rhythms from Conan drummer Rich Lewis before 'The Long Man' kicks in proper with a riff strongly reminiscent of 'Destroy-Erase-Improve'-era Meshuggah, complete with the head-fuckery time signatures. Don't take that as the pithy, dismissive generalisation it seems though, Intensive Square and Meshuggah are completely different beasts. Intensive Square have somehow managed to combine elements of progressive, industrial, djent and even avant-garde; in the eerie, discordant saxophone sections, into an aggressive, eclectic whole.
This is definitely an album that keeps on giving. Each listen will reveal a new element, be it a riff or one of Chris Haughey's punishing vocal lines, that will inject new life into the album as a whole, urging the listener to repeat the entire album as soon as the slightly sludgy closer 'King' finishes.
Highlights include 'Vegetarians' and 'Trials of the Uberman' but to be completely honest, the standout tracks change with every repeated listen.
Intensive Square have released a debut that's as difficult to categorise as it is vital to a music scene that could charitably be described as saturated. One should make every effort to celebrate the unique and Intensive Square are nothing if not that. Unique, brutally heavy and intense (no pun intended), this is an incredible debut and I'm looking forward to seeing where the band go from here.