Gift Of Sacrifice is the collaborative album between The Melvins frontman Buzz Osborne, aka King Buzzo, and Trevor Dunn, a founding member of Mr. Bungle. The duo have played and written together before with Dunn having recorded and toured with The Melvins. On the record, the pair continue the heavy and uniquely eclectic sounds both are known for.
The album incorporates an unusual kind of production for an acoustic record, combining modular synths with acoustic instruments. The addition of these synths create angular sounds on the acoustic guitar and bass lines present on each track. The record opens with Mental Vomit, a brief instrumental opener that uses electronics to create percussive sounds, setting the tone for the record as a whole.
There is an underground Southern country feel threaded throughout the record. Evident in I’m Glad I Could Help Out where Osborne gives an intense vocal performance and Mock She, their cover of Kiss’ track Shock Me. On Mock She, Dunn delivers a warm and soothing bass line paired with some great country inspired string riffs and one of Osborne’s best vocal performances on the record. Another standout track is Science In Modern America. Sitting at five minutes long, the intense track feels sincere and earnest and touches on the idea that science and religion are one and the same.
The record loses its momentum with lengthy tracks that feel repetitive. Housing, Luxury, Energy and Delayed Clarity sit at over six minutes each, both opening with lengthy instrumental intros that prove to be the more drawing sections of the songs. The soft acoustic guitars paired with a throbbing bass line in the opening of Housing, Luxury, Energy draws the listener in, with Osborne’s passionate vocals holding the listeners attention. However, the repetitiveness of the track drawn out over six and a half minutes, is only broken up in the last minute or so by a spooky yet ethereal break. Delayed Clarity is melodically more interesting and incorporates beautiful violin work that is embedded throughout the track. The record ends with another instrumental piece that feels like an extension of the albums instrumental opener.
Whilst there are moments of real musicianship and pure genius on the record, the album falls flat due to the somewhat repetitive nature and structure of the tracks. The release is captivating, but requires a few listens to fully appreciate its experimental and bizarre nature.
Gift Of Sacrifice is out tomorrow!