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TRIGGER WARNING FOR THE FRAIL - 30%

Voice_Of_Steel, February 23rd, 2021
Written based on this version: 2017, CD, Label 56

In my Der Sturmer The Blood Calls For W.A.R. review, I mentioned a particular challenge that I partook in a few years ago with a few friends where we listened to awful metal albums to torture ourselves/laugh at. In the challenge, we listened to a lot of nu-metal and -core stuff, but a lot of it wasn’t funny enough to warrant the time investment, so we tried to seek humor from other genres instead. I don’t quite remember how we got there, but on some website, probably this one, my friends and I stumbled across this brilliant band, 14 Sacred Words. One quick look at the genre and band picture and we knew we had stumbled upon something great.

NS metalcore. Until this point I had no idea this “genre” was a thing, but what could be better than merging one of the worst political ideologies of all time with one of the most hated metal subgenres? This unholy concoction sounded absolutely hilarious to us at the time, so we went ahead and listened to the band, with mixed results.

The music here on Not Alone is definitely metalcore, but it is surprisingly not as bad as we were hoping for (instrumentally speaking, of course). This is apparently a one-man band (unsurprisingly) where all the instruments and vocals are handled by some guy going by the name Jason Augustus and, as much as it pains me to say this, the guy has some talent when it comes to playing instruments. Both the drumming and guitar work on the album are pretty solid from a technical standpoint and, honestly, it is almost sad that the melodic death metal riffs and guitar leads that come in and out of the music were wasted on something like this. It’s not mind blowing or super original stuff, but these riffs are one of the only redeeming qualities in this album. With that being said, the rest of the performances on this album are sub-par at best.

I’ll admit it, I have a soft spot for metalcore and deathcore, but this album falls into the main trapping of both genres and that is the chugging. This album is at least 30% chugging and it borders on being laughably terrible due to the flat production. It sounds really bad. Speaking of bad, this guy’s vocals are also bad. His lows are generic and his highs are garbage. What could be worse than this you may ask? How about layering the two on top of each other for like half the album. This is another one of those -core tropes that gets a lot of flak and the vocals here are one of the worst examples of it. I’m not even sure why this ever became a thing, but since it’s a metalcore cliché it’s on the album. There are also some keyboards on the album for some reason and they just sound stupid and cheesy. There isn’t much to say about them.

Finally, we have the lyrics. I don’t normally do this because I generally don’t think lyrics matter on metal albums, but I’m going to have to make an exception. This guy is out of his fucking mind and that is where most of the humor from this album (and the band in general) is derived from. The lyrics on the album are a bunch of insane ravings about how Jews are the worst thing ever and are somehow the source of all of our problems in the present day, but on top of that, this guy references stuff like “safe spaces” and “Buzzfeed” and, as a metal lyric, it’s hilariously cringey. Other lines like “feel the wrath of the racist” and “trigger warning for the frail” are also timeless classics of unintentional humor. There were some other good ones, but I can’t remember them off the top of my head. If this stuff sounds funny to you, you might want to just read them. I should also add that the guy's crappy vocals contribute to the unintentional humor as well, especially when he says these kinds of lines.

The other guy that reviewed this on here pointed out that this album could be an “obscure injoke for certain metalheads” and I can confirm this from personal experience. 14 Sacred Words’ Not Alone is one of the funniest NS albums I have ever listened to and my friends and I have literally been laughing about this band and the guy behind it for years. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, the guy went and turned himself into an NS Vtuber with one of the ugliest anime avatars I have ever seen in my entire life, further cementing his cringelord status (if you don’t believe me it’s called Goiboi Esau, you can look it up). Aside from the hilarious cringe though, the music on here is literally just every melodic metalcore cliché in the book and it is below average at best. Only listen ironically.

Reminscent of a salty cracker on a lot of different levels - 20%

caspian, March 1st, 2019

This is terrible but not really in the way I was hoping for. It's bad, it's boring and even without the hilarious NS stuff it'd be shite. But it's more of a "stuck on hold for 30 minutes talking to an insurance agency" bad, and not so much ultimate god of cringe which the band's facebook hinted strongly at. He is not the NS metalcore equivalent of Chris Chan; the music is just plain vanilla terrible.

Just an awkward mix of subpar, Parkway Drive-ish metalcore, bad inflames cast offs in the leads and symphonic elements, ie, a piano (I guess it being a pure European instrument and all?) that delicately plinks away at any and all opportunity, ruining what little dynamics and layering this thing had in the first place. It's the sort of album that absolutely no one would ever care about - we've all heard a few million vaguely similar bands in passing- were it not for the lyrical content. In that sense it's very reminiscent of contemporary Christian music, whereby something that is wholly below the mean somehow gets known solely due to what the singer writes about. "Known" in this sense is more "becomes an obscure injoke for certain metalheads", but still.

Writing anymore seems a bit pointless- this is not going to be anyone's guilty pleasure like Burzum or Graveland or Nokturnal Mortum or whatever, as it's shit... buuuut it's not shit enough to be good for a laugh. The musical equivalent of wet and mouldy white bread; not at all palatable but not very interesting either.


Incidentally "Workers of the World unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains" is almost 14 words so let's just go with that instead from here on.