Living up to its title, War Agony is a battlefield, a savage blood spilling assault on the senses and emotions, but a ferociously compelling one. With three tracks of uncompromising hardcore/extreme metal rancor, the new EP from German band Grim Vision leaves scars, bruising, and a toxic taste in the psyche whilst providing a form of contagion that any band would offer blood for.
The Hamburg hailing and 2013 formed, Grim Vision consists of Bibo, Max, Claus, and Schmauke, a quarter releasing debut EP, With Those Who Favor Fire in 2014 to stir up plenty of attention. It was a brutal introduction to their black and death metal influenced hardcore roar but in many ways just a teaser to the creative and physical might of War Agony. Released through Bastardized Recordings, its songs unleash a fury themed through poem-based lyrics about the destruction, war and agony caused by humanity in the 19th and 20th centuries. To be honest, its narrative is primarily a mystery through the harsh and raw delivery of the words, vocals another hellacious texture amongst many others, but it does not defuse the overall impact of tracks, their raw emotion and merciless persuasion.
Fallen Soldier is first up upon War Agony, its initial sonic searing just the spark to an even more vicious beating by rhythms and a wall of riffs. There is no escape, every angle is covered by the onslaught but within the tsunami of spite, the bass breeds a carnivorous and gripping groove and the song virulent infectiousness forcibly driven by the swinging scythes of drum sticks. It is punk rock at its nastiest, metal at its most cancerous yet together they breed something as catchy as it is punishing. With hooks and increasingly rousing grooves aligning with anthemically violent rhythms, locked in an animus of noise and intent, the track is a rigorously magnetic start to the encounter.
The following War Machine is just as uncompromising and addictive, every creative and body bred sinew loaded with ire and each individual riff drenched in hostility, whilst vocals blend a mix of both as the track again stirs up an infection of toxic air and furious incitement. Whereas its predecessor was an all-out tempest, the second song twists into more controlled and predatory adventure towards its close, an unpredictable and pleasing turn which lays the seeds for the most inventive and diverse song on the EP.
The closing Ten Minutes opens with skittish percussion and beats around seemingly distorted samples. As it embraces the slow, menacing gait of a bass prowl, echoes of war and damaged lives continue to share their voice to the ‘mellow’ passage before sonic smog of doom bred rapacity crawls over song and senses. It is a caustic cloak brewed by guitars which brews up and boils over into an animalistic ravishing with nostrils flared and unbridled antagonism. Again though when hell lets loose there is an inventive resourcefulness within a web of addictive bait which hooks ears and appetite as potently as the raging burns them.
War Agony is obviously not for all, but anyone with a taste for extreme metal and punk crossovers, especially those cultivating the angriest noise and malice, should get a huge pleasure out of Grim Vision’s new furore.
The War Agony EP is available from August 28th on limited edition 7″ vinyl and digital formats through Bastardized Recordings.
Pete RingMaster 28/08/2015
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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