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splatter-pattern---final-coFor over a decade, Illinois’ LOW TWELVE have been hiding in the underground, emerging on occasion to share the stage with the likes of GWAR and PRO-PAIN. On their latest release, SPLATTER PATTERN (their first on their own DBC records), the band takes a thematic approach to their diabolic and drudging sound. Opening with “Stain,” the concept of the Splatter Pattern is explained through spoken word as a virtual map of devastation, death, and chaos left behind through the actions of man.
From the start of the title track, there’s an organic rawness to SPLATTER PATTERN, combining elements of hardcore, death metal, thrash, and grindcore into something that’s probably best described by the band themselves as “heavycore” – a movement headed by bassist/vocalist Pete Altieri. 

“Bodies in my Pocket” follows a killer, while “A Hero’s Last Stand” tackles the for some still-too-soon topic of 9/11, with breakdowns overlaid with news audio from the plane crashes at The World Trade Center and The Pentagon. 

While the performances are solid throughout, it’s Altieri’s low-end sound and vocal style that gives Low Twelve a unique edge. With a forcefullness that will either thrill or annoy, he almost sounds like a man possessed – barking orders through your speakers. On tracks like “Bind, Torture, Kill” the bass rumbles in a groove that recalls early TAD. 

By the end of SPLATTER PATTERN, the “death” element comes into play a little heavier with more back-up growling coming into play before the album rumbles to a close.

Production-wise, this record could’ve benefitted from a little cleaner sound and a better mix. At times the samples are louder than they should be, and there’s the occasional “pop” from either overmodulation or the lack of a screen on the mic. Judging from some of the live footage of the band that’s readily available on YouTube, I tend to believe that SPLATTER PATTERN’s production value does not do justice to the band’s sound.

That said, ears that enjoy a healthy dose of underground metal are likely to find something to enjoy.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

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