Album Review – Strangle Wire / Shaped By Human Frailty (2022)

A gargantuan collision between the heaviest of Death Metal and the darkest of emotions, submerged in an unsettling atmosphere of grief and isolation, masterfully crafted by a ruthless Belfast-based quartet.

A gargantuan collision between the heaviest of Death Metal and the darkest of emotions, submerged in an unsettling atmosphere of grief and isolation, Shaped By Human Frailty, the first full-length album by Belfast, Northern Ireland-based horde Strangle Wire, is a demonstration of Death Metal at its most effective and affecting, with sheer power being shaped by superb song writing following up on their 2018 EP The Dark Triad. Branding themselves as “Psychological Death Metal”, the band currently formed of Pete on vocals, Ross on the guitar, Daff on bass and John on drums delivers fast, groove laden and devastatingly heavy Death Metal throughout the entire album with the assistance of Chris Fielding (Electric Wizard, Primordial, Napalm Death) at Foel Studios, being therefore tailored for fans of Bolt Thrower, Asphyx, Grave and Benediction.

Arising from the pits of the underworld, the band kicks things off with a demented Death Metal attack entitled Heavily Medicated, where the vocals by Pete sound inhumane, also showcasing an amazing stringed work by Ross and Daff while John decimates our souls with his crushing drums. Pete roars deeply in the also pulverizing Learned Wretchedness, bringing forward old school Death Metal for lovers of the genre while again inviting us all to slam into the circle pit like demented metalmaniacs, with Ross extracting sheer obscurity from his riffs and solos. Are you tired already? Because there’s more of the band’s demolishing Death Metal in Judas Switch, an ass-kicking, infernal creation bringing to our avid ears more of the putrid guttural by Pete and the hammering drums by John, and get ready to be smashed by Strangle Wire in the demonic The Human Tensile Experiment, where the sensational blast beats by John offer Pete exactly what he needs to bark like a rabid beast, not to mention how heavy and visceral the guitars and bass by Ross and Daff sound.

Take a deep breath to the sound of the melancholic instrumental interlude An Abhorrent Intervention before all hell breaks loose in the title-track Shaped by Human Frailty, offering us all old school, in-your-face Death Metal with no shenanigans, being vile and aggressive from start to finish spearheaded by the intricate and demonic beats by John. Dead Before the Still brings forward less than three minutes of pulverizing groove and heaviness by the quartet, with the bass by Daff making our heads tremble in an ode to classic Death Metal; whereas their second to last blast of insanity and darkness, titled Psychology of the Sick, is a lesson in violence inspiring us all to headbang like there’s no tomorrow. And there’s nothing better than ending an album of crushing Death Metal with another crushing song, named Horrors Beneath, where Pete roars in great fashion supported by the stunning instrumental by his bandmates.

If you would like to explore the vicious, psychological world of Strangle Wire, you can do so by following the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news and tour dates, by subscribing to their YouTube channel, by streaming their music on Spotify, and by purchasing Shaped By Human Frailty from their own BandCamp page or from Apple Music sooner than you can say “Death Metal”, or simply click HERE for all things Strangle Wire. Absolutely dark and sinister, Shaped By Human Frailty provides us with the exact message that the band wanted to send when they started working on the album, with its cruel atmosphere proving that once you’re captured by the Death Metal brought into being by Strangle Wire, there’s no escape.

Best moments of the album: Heavily Medicated, The Human Tensile Experiment and Horrors Beneath.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2022 Grindscene Records

Track listing
1. Heavily Medicated 3:25
2. Learned Wretchedness 3:58
3. Judas Switch 4:08
4. The Human Tensile Experiment 4:24
5. An Abhorrent Intervention 1:03
6. Shaped by Human Frailty 5:26
7. Dead Before the Still 2:39
8. Psychology of the Sick 3:33
9. Horrors Beneath 5:38

Band members
Pete – vocals
Ross – guitar
Daff – bass
John – drums

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