Expressing the wish a couple of weeks back for split releases to become more common place than they seemed to be, Halo of Flies Records look like taking on the mantel. Not that it has anything to do with our musing of course, the label has been unleashing impressing splits for a while now and succeed again in turning our senses and passions on their head with the new Ruins/Usnea 7”.Consisting of two distinctly different tracks but ones united in their oppression intensity and weight, the release welcomingly opens up senses and emotions to two bands which until this point had only been a name.
German band Ruins is the first protagonist on the release with their track Discrimen. Hailing from Bielefeld, the band create an abrasive incitement from the challenging essences of punk, dbeat, and hardcore, a proposition which on the evidence of their song here is as voracious and antagonistic as it is hypnotically enslaving. The track begins with a lone scarring graze of guitar, its dissident voice flirted with by additional sonic whispers before hostile beats joins the incitement along with a deliciously carnivorous grizzly bass line. It is an insatiably compelling entrance which continues to taunt and stalk the senses as the track expands into a blaze of creative hostility and rapacious enterprise. The vocals are as raw and caustic as the track, challenging and provoking with spitefulness which is tempered by the more adventurous intent of the music. It is a strong incendiary mix, a spark for the passions which ignites into a brighter flame as feisty animosity and an increasingly urgent stride bears down on ears. There is a destructive brief to Discrimen especially vocally and rhythmically but also an appetite to push itself and the listener into a creative vivacity which helps shape a strong song into a mouthwatering and thrilling agonist.
Only The End Of The World from US funeral doomers Usnea is a very different intrusion but a matching fit in weight and corrosive intensity to the Ruins offering. Formed in 2011, the Portland quartet leaves no part of the psyche unaffected with its oppressive violation. A low key beckoning lasts mere seconds before Only The End Of The World opens up its cavernous emotional torment and consumptive depths. Guitars provide a sonic guide through the savage textures of bass and vocals whilst rhythms slowly stalk the expanding scenery, every swipe a rancorous bestial provocation. There is no escape from the sufferance and intensity of the pit bred despair soaking every note and raging caustic vocal squall drenched in inescapable torment. The track is an immense challenge and emotional chasm to drown within but also an invigorating trigger for the imagination, though be warned thoughts bred may not be as healthy as wished.
Ruins and Usnea come together for a gripping encounter, each with their unique sound impressive as they combine to striking effect. Whether hardcore or doom is your preference, the other band shows they have plenty to offer and in common with that scene to open up a new temptation through this fully recommended split.
The Ruins/Usnea Split 7” is available now through Halo of Flies Records in the US and Twisted Chords Records in Europe, in 300 clear and 800 black options.
Ruins track 9/10, Usnea track 8/10, combined 8.5/10
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