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December 2019 / January 2020
Album review

SCARLXRD – IMMXRTALISATIXN

It often feels like the same song has been duplicated 24 times.
Label: Island
Released: 4th October 2019
Rating: ★★
SCARLXRD – IMMXRTALISATIXN
Published: 11:09 am, October 03, 2019Words: Jake Hawkes.

Three years and six albums in, you'd think Wolverhampton-based trap metal artist Scxrlxrd might sit back, take it a bit slower and exercise some creative judgement. Alternatively, he could release a 24 track monster that stays in the same gear throughout. Can you guess which one he's gone for?

When he first gained traction, Scarlxrd's music seemed like the logical end-point of Soundcloud rap's fusion of hip-hop with emo and nu-metal influences, all topped off with a style cribbed from Japanese anime. His music pushes both his voice and the framework of trap beats to their limits, creating a sledgehammer of noise that quickly (and deservedly) found an audience.

Unfortunately, he hasn't done much since then to evolve his sound, and it's hard to stay engaged with a one-note act, no matter how good the note is. The first few songs still pack a wallop, but as the album goes on interest wanes and the remainder blurs together until it's all too easy to disengage entirely.

If it was half the length and moved just a little bit outside of its comfort zone, 'Immxrtalisatixn' could be a great album. It's never going to be for everyone, but the self-indulgence and lack of quality control mean that it's a chore to get through.

There definitely isn't anything else out there that sounds like it, but the problem is that it often feels like the same song has been duplicated 24 times. Trap beats coupled with screams and guttural growls are a refreshing novelty for the first few minutes, but quickly outstay their welcome when it becomes clear that it's all Scarlxrd has to offer.

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