Artist: The Last Ten Seconds of Life
Album: Disquisition on an Execution – EP
It’s been a long and weird year—especially for Pennsylvanian punishers The Last Ten Seconds of Life. Starting on a rip-roaring high note with the build up to the release of their long-awaited self titled record—and the lull that fell after its lukewarm reception—only to be met with another colossal high as they toured the continental United States in support of Cattle Decapitation. Then, with another peak came another trough as the band practically dissolved before the eyes of thousands on social media. As a fan since the Know Your Exits days, it had me (and probably quite a few others) thinking The Last Ten Seconds of Life had…well, just expended the last ten seconds of their life. Instead, after a few months of hard work behind the scenes, the band emerge rejuvenated and ready to ravage the listener with Disquisition on an Execution. In so many words, I think the best way to describe this EP is that it’s the version of The Last Ten that listeners have been craving ever since Soulless Hymns—or even older, the Warpath EP. Taking the criticism on their latest full length to heart, The Last Ten Seconds of Life’s Disquisition on an Execution is four tracks of filler-free fury, wasting absolutely zero time in going straight after the listener’s throat utilizing everything from blistering percussion to breakneck riffs and bone-splitting breakdowns.
To clear the air, I don’t think The Last Ten Seconds of Life’s self-titled release from early 2022 was bad (I wrote a review I still stand by to this day), but it did have some glaring pitfalls, not the least of which being it was bloated with filler. Between the interludes and the songs released as singles, the full album really only included a skimpy handful of new songs—and some of those, even, had their own degree of filler in them. What we wanted was pure, unadulterated, high-octane The Last Ten—and that’s exactly what Disquisition on an Execution is. Holding nothing back, the band break free from their brief quietus as the most pissed version of themselves they’ve been in some time. “Dreams of Extermination,” a stand-out track on the release, is brimming with hostility, built from a platform of devastating drumming and amplified by a ten-ton bass. “Dreams of Extermination,” as well as the lively and fast-paced “Liberation” see the band’s drumming excel, darting hither and to between punchy, fleet-footed technicality and sludgy, sledge-hammering breakdowns. Meanwhile, the bands guitar continues to shine, with “Dreams of Extermination” and “Annihilation Phenomena” both highlighting different sides to its dynamic and effect on The Last Ten’s soundscape. While the former track is vicious and primal, “Annihilation Phenomena” is more balanced, with moments of pure barbarism juxtaposed against segments of eerie, hair-raising calm. These few moments are truly the only reprieve the listener finds throughout the entire experience, as in the three tracks that build up to the stunning an diverse closing number, The Last Ten Seconds of Life expend all their energy oppressing the listener under ten tons of terror. In a word, the soundscape forged by The Last Ten’s instrumentation throughout Disquisition on an Execution is an absolute steamroller, and by the time “Annihilation Phenomena” finishes having its way with the listener, they’ll understand what I mean.
Where much of the band’s instrumentalists have swapped out, so has The Last Ten Seconds of Life’s vocal element—however, it would be folly to think that would mean they’ve softened up. While he is also known as the vocalist for nu-metal infused chaotic metalcore outfit Promise Breaker, the listener gets a very different side of The Last Ten’s new frontman Tyler Beam. Beam obliterates with his work on this release, as everything from the enunciation to the careful, perverse poetry of his lyricism is designed to absolutely smother the listener in malevolence. Since first hearing the line “hold mankind in the palm of your hand and crush it closed” nearly a month ago, it’s been living rent free in my head—and it isn’t even the lyricism as much as it is the crushing, cynical conviction in the delivery, and the power spat out with every syllable. Beam brings this energy to the entirety of Disquisition on an Execution, with every song drenched in vitriol and verbal venom—and while he stands out in his own way, his talent, energy and variety make him an incredibly worthy frontman in a band with a lengthy pedigree of talented frontmen.
Disquisition on an Execution sounds like the raunchiest, catchiest parts of The Last Ten Seconds of Life’s early career blended with a new, ruthless and ravenously hungry energy. While it’s a short introduction to the rejuvenated Last Ten, it serves its purpose brilliantly and leaves the listener lusting for more—with the hope that the more we get remains as focused, primal and intense.
For Fans Of: Bodysnatcher, Falsifier, Filth
By: Connor Welsh