lördag 5 maj 2012

... and let slip the dogs of war

Masakari/Tempest - Split 7''
2012, Replenish Records

Masakari is possibly one of the most interesting hardcore acts around today. After a only a handful of releases they have quickly established themselves as one of the genre's most progressive and forceful entities, both willing to, as well as eminently able to, blend metal, crust, grind and hardcore in uniquely inventive ways that very few, if any, other band today can duplicate. Their music is so forceful it's unbelievable, there is an edge and an exactness that is razor sharp in all aspects of their music. There is nothing half-assed to anything they do. There are shades of Tragedy, His Hero Is Gone and Discharge bringing both melody, aggression and dissonance to their sound; as well as huge doses of Entombed-styled metal, fleshing out the writing with battering metal riffs, barely contained chaos and a sludgy, implodingly dense heaviness. Here they contribute two versions of the same song. It is a previously unrelesed track, X.Pain Concieved As A Tool, recorded during the The Profit Feeds album sessions. They come in both a studio and a live version. It is a quick rager with lots of bouncy d-beat aggression and a nice Tragedy-like guitar melody weaving in and out of the chaos. The live version is obviously a bit rawer but works really well, both as a track in and of itself but also as a contrast to the fairly polished studio version and displays quite well the ferocity of the band's live performaces.
     On this ep they team up with Canadians Tempest, whose style differs quite a bit from Masakaris', but they are nonetheless one of the more interesting bands coming out of this whole dark hardcore style that is evolving out of metal and hardcore today. Their style is extremely dynamic and is moored in lots of chaotic raging black metal-colored aggression, Botch and Converge-like chaotic twisting guitars and monolithic Neurosis-influenced post-hardcore. All of it coated with  depressively dark crust-like melodies, infusing everything with an oppressive sense of hopelessness and desperation. Just as with Masakari's contribution, they deliver a live version and a studio version of the same track, titled Death Rattle (off their 2010 Passages album). Death Rattle is one of the bands slightly more accessible songs, where at first dense chaotic riffs and howled/shrieked vocals, goaded on by galloping, fairly complex drumming, all of it drenched in dark atmospheres, batter you with a chokingly heavy attack, but goes on to open up somewhat, with emerging melodies and guitar lines that eventually moves on to a fairly serene ending. It's a complex and also quite beautiful song, in its way, and a nice introduction to the band's music. The live version comes off as slightly more chaotic, no less dense but a bit more brittle than the studio version, but otherwise it's very well executed.
     This ep is a benefit release, whose proceeds will go fully to two non-profit canine shelters, one in Cleveland and the other in Vancouver, each band's respective hometowns. You'll find a downloadable version of the ep at the label's bandcamp site here.

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