Artist: Rendered Helpless
Album: Entities of Transdimensional Emergence
A scream so intense it shreds your throat on its way out of your mouth escapes between your bloodied lips. It echoes into the silence surrounding you. The air remains still—no answer to your pleas, no pity for your suffering.
You scream again—and again—and you beg for it to stop. But it doesn’t. It won’t. It can’t.
It is Entities of Transdimensional Emergence, the bone-busting full length record by one-man slamming brutal deathcore mastermind Alexander Paul (also of New Zealand’s Organectomy), released under the all-too-accurate artist name Rendered Helpless. A display of absurd aggression mixed with hints of atmosphere and ethereality and—of course—more slams than an elephant orgy, Rendered Helpless is ruthless from start to finish, a toxin that invades your ears and rots your brain with intense, insidious brutality and monstrous, mammoth heaviness that fractures bone and liquefies organs without a second thought. Paul’s punishing penchant for pure terror and horror-laced, hyper-aggressive slamming brutal death metal is a tasteful combination of technicality, speed, sinister power and smooth, subtle transitional ability—making it a slam release with boatloads more appeal than the works of many of Rendered Helpless’ peers, and making Entities of Transdimensional Emergence an experience wherein the listener will truly be rendered helpless.
In a word, it might be sufficient to call Entities of Transdimensional Emergence “paralyzing,” because it does just that—it snaps the listener’s neck and leaves them writhing, barely able to move their extremities. But to leave it at so few syllables doesn’t do justice to the magnitude and maliciousness of murderous intensity that Paul brings to the listener’s ear under the Rendered Helpless name. The first thing—and one of the most striking—is the absolutely immense production that defines Entities of Transdimensional Emergence. Where most slamming death metal and slamming deathcore albums suffer from loathsome production that seems muddy and grimy in all the wrong ways, Paul’s production instead is crystal clear where it needs to be, and utterly oppressive everywhere else. Sounding akin to contemporary slamming death metal juggernauts Vulvodynia or Acranius, from the first raunchy riffs and relentless chugs of “Evoking Eradication,” Rendered Helpless is pure, unfiltered hell—in both mixing and mastering, as well as in musicianship. Where there isn’t an absurd emphasis on technicality throughout the release, there is enough riff-driven fervor (especially on “Enforced Extinction” and “Emerging Transdimensional Mass”) and groovy, grisly density (“I, The Ecclesiarch,” which also features a soul-shredding solo) to keep fans of extreme metal glued to the release. And where there isn’t that focus on quickness and intricacy, there is an overwhelming abuse of—you saw it coming—slams. “Envoking Eradication” sees them ripping and tearing with full force, mere seconds into the sprawling, nine track slamboree. Meanwhile, songs like “Entities of Frenzied Masturbation” and the first half of “I, The Ecclesiarch” are nothing short of pure, slam-laden, heavier-than-lead brutality, with a sharp, snappy snare, filthy guitar tones, a bass that could flatten Mt. Everest and a thick, meaty kick drum that sounds like someone taking a sledgehammer to a rotten horse carcass.
Paul’s production continues to glisten and gleam when it comes to the vocal element he sets forth on Entities of Transdimensional Emergence. Where, in many respects, Paul’s vocals are par for the relatively high standard set forth by brutal death metal’s more extreme niches, the way he works in his grisly gutturals and raw, ruthless mid-range yells with the brilliant production and inventive uses of atmosphere on “I, The Ecclesiarch” or “Envoking Eradication” are brilliant. Each track Paul puts forth as Rendered Helpless is a display of his mastery of malicious and meaty, murderous vocal prowess—from shrill shrieks to gritty yells and gurgling, murky and wet low bellows, there is positively no shortage of holy shit, is that human? Inspiring segments throughout the release; and given the conceptual lyricism behind the aptly named Entities of Transdimensional Emergence, the answer is…well, no, they might very well not be. Human, alien, foreign or domestic there is positively no doubt, however, that when coupled with the above-par writing and production on Entities, Paul’s vocals, even at their relatively mediocre moments, shine above and beyond the genre’s tedious standard.
It isn’t so much that Entities of Transdimensional Emergence reinvents the genre—and it isn’t that Rendered Helpless’ brand of brutal aggression is unheard of—but it’s that Paul writes well and creatively, combining atmosphere and bone-snapping, shin-splitting heaviness with production that puts his peers to shame. Where many otherwise decent bands simply sound like tripe on record, Rendered Helpless takes it the opposite direction, instead opting to give everything a crystalline, cutting edge and blunt, brash punch all at once. The result? Sonic suffering; an alien takeover that starts with your ears and works its way into your mind using Entities as a vector that is positive to infect every inch of your brain.
For Fans Of: Organectomy, Vulvodynia, Human Error
By: Connor Welsh