Hypertension Records concludes their The Abyss Stares Back series with the fifth and final release featuring a unique collaboration between Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Mathieu Vandekerckhove (Syndrome/Amenra) and Colin H Van Eeckhout (Amenra/CHVE). Although the previous four albums were proper splits (including bands like Hessian, Primitive Man and Nihill), this album is introduced as one 20-minute representation of brilliant minds coming together to create a composition rooted in both absence and presence. Thus ultimately calling themselves and their work, Absent In Body. Continue reading
Denver purveyors of animosity Primitive Man seem to have a thing for ‘splits’ – this latest share, The Abyss Stares Back #2 with Ghent sludge/drone kings Hessian (Hypertension) being their third this year. The Belgians’ effort, Inward Dawn, is by turns both evil, shimmering with the lead tones of post-black, then soporific; veering and twisting riffs ploughed through the heart by pounding drums and an unholy, tar-seeping roar from vocalist Bram which, despite the terrifying sound, is unusually intelligible. A clear production enhances the nefarious effect and the hypnotic, slightly quickened drone style of the tracks’ second half is both eerie yet suffocatingly horny.
Primitive Man’s contribution, Unable, begins with the squalling feedback reminiscent of last year’s nauseating free download album, but soon descends into a tolling slab of enmity. Ethan McCarthy‘s voice barks like a bear who has just ingested the heart of evil, and the bass in the faster sections slicing flesh whilst breakdowns to funereal pace is positively monolithic. No-one can accuse these guys of being an easy listen but, for those of us who ‘get it’, their vile sludge possesses a raw emotion rarely found, the demons powering it are even harder to exorcise. Some intricate stickwork and emotive, hysteric lead-play from the centre section leads to rampant slaughter, and shows the invention marking these guys as one of the genre’s most powerful outfits right now.
Despite that godawful free download…
Some bands just have that “something” that seems to set them apart. Centuries would be one of those bands. No strangers to national and international tours, the Florida hardcore outfit have never been bound by their geography. And all this before they’ve even inked a record deal? Continue reading
Manegarmr begins with a symphony of heavy, whirlwind guitars in opener ‘Ascension’. Hessian draws comparisons to their countrymen Amenra, but unlike the latter’s penchant for post-metal, Hessian prefer to be more up-front. Manegarmr definitely deserves to be played at obscene volume. The driving guitar is at the forefront of the whole record and it’s interplay with the growled vocals of Bram, makes the feeling all the more menacing. At times it’s metallic, but not so much that it sounds overproduced or copyist. Continue reading