Since their self-titled debut record came out nearly three decades ago, noise rock legends Unsane have been creating a blueprint for the genre to follow. Sterilize, their first album since 2012's Wreck, is an intense ride through conventional rock crafted with an ugly, chaotic sense of aggression that shows the band have no plans of ending their reign over the genre.
From the opening notes of "Factory," the band set a fierce pace for the record as they trudge through a swarm of feedback-laden riffs and wailing vocals backed by their weighty rhythm section. Unsane keep the violent, unrelenting pace going throughout the entire album, from the pummelling drum work on "The Grind" to the squealing, razor-sharp grooves found on "Lung." Their sludgier moments shine through especially well on songs like "We're Fucked" and "Inclusion," on which the band drag their knuckles through swampy bass tones and deformed bluesy riffs.
Sterilize hardly lags in its mission to viciously attack listeners, with each song bulldozing its way through gargantuan riffs. And while the record doesn't necessarily break new ground, it succeeds in solidifying Unsane's rule as the kings of noise rock. The band set the bar for newcomers long ago, but this new LP shows them firmly holding their place with another solid slab of jarring tunes that are unrelenting from beginning to end. (Southern Lord)