Coming fresh off a tour with Deafheaven and Drab Majesty, on top of a joint release earlier this summer with The Body, New York-based group, Uniform, continue to pummel their listeners with their abrasive take on industrial metal. The Long Walk, their latest, proves that the trio have solidified themselves as vanguards within the genre.
Evolution within any genre is a delicate pursuit. Musicians may opt to branch away from what initially made them so memorable to begin with in hopes of broadening their efforts; this can also be shown as desperation for relevancy, which can be detrimental. Uniform haven’t succumbed to either, at least not yet, but have rather embraced their progression as a band while remaining conscious of their roots. One small way in which they succeed in this fashion is the addition of drummer, Greg Fox. Known for his work with Brooklyn’s Liturgy and among others, Fox brings a fresh, lively element to The Long Walk. Rather than focusing solely on samples and electronics to back tracks, this addition is a welcomed revitalization to Uniform’s already potent sound, allowing them to sound more whole.
While The Long Walk tends to be fairly stylistically slapdash, Uniform push past that small setback and continue to cast themselves in brilliant light. The Long Walk is vile and disorientating, and all the better for it. It’s a collection that continues to show Uniform in a ruinous state: eight songs exactly that make you feel vulnerable, paranoid, and on the verge of neurosis. It’s a mania like no other metal released this year, and while others have touched on similarities, Uniform harness their music specifically, transforming it into utter delirium.
The hook-driven racket behind “Transubstantiation” is a standout, while the opener, “The Walk” forces you to clench your jaw during its steady progression. The closer, “Peaceable Kingdom” finds Fox at his most aggressive and possibly most comfortable, closing out The Long Walk with machinegun-like drumming and rounding Uniform with vibrant intrigue before the song concludes and pulsates off into nothing. While touching briefly on new ground, The Long Walk is generally what you’d expect it to be, but with minor variations alongside the engrossing quality that make Uniform so distinct to begin with. It’s nothing too far off from Uniform’s standard layout, but right now it shows them precisely where they should be as a young band.