Eyeswithoutaface is not a subtle band. They take their name from a 1960 French horror film wherein a demented doctor cuts the faces off young women in a series of botched attempts to graft them onto his disfigured daughter. The album title for their latest full-length, Warguts, depicts a soldier, dog tags around his neck, slumped over and vainly attempting to keep his viscera inside his body after suffering an abdominal wound. A love of the grotesque is also present in their aesthetic, which alternates between violence and subtlety, the bayonet and the scalpel.
“Beautiful and Cruel” is a heavily distorted track off of Warguts, the tone fat and fuzzed out as a fever dream. There is a psychedelic quality to the way that the song structure unspools, the riffs rippling out and coming undone under their own weight. Vocalist Max Deneau’s often unhinged vocal performance is much more subtle here, almost lulling, somewhere between a plead and a croon. There is something about this track that captures the moment of hallucination just prior to losing consciousness to blood loss, when the pain fades and oblivion starts to look almost pleasant.