This month sees the release of a trio of split assaults from New York based label Broken Limbs Recordings. Each is a raw and imposing echo of the darkest, dirtiest, and destructive traits of humanity and the world it has created emotionally and physically, and all propositions which leave a lingering imprint on the psyche as invasive as the sounds which sonically harangue and ravage the senses.
New Haven’s SEA OF BONES and New Hampshire’s RAMLORD come together for one of the incursions upon ears, each offering one epic trespass of their uncompromising sound and intent. Sea of Bones strike first with HOPELESSNESS AND DECAY, the trio of bassist/vocalist Gary Amedy, guitarist/vocalist Tom Mucherino, and drummer/vocalist Kevin Wigginton unleashing a cavernous soundscape soaked in predacious intensity from the off. For over ten minutes the trio breed a wall of confrontation as expansive and decayed as it is at times melancholically seductive. The track ambles, at times lumbers, across the senses, spreading its filth clad body and air with sludge fuelled hostility and moments of corrosive ambience leaving ears and emotions numb.
It is engrossing stuff matched in success by Ramlord’s proposal. INCARCERATION OF CLAIRVOYANCE is a mere few seconds shorter and just as enjoyably challenging. With a black metal/crust corrosiveness to their sound, the band explore a more urgent examination of the listener infesting them with their joyless yet at times fiercely infectious savaging with some inescapable hooks to be eagerly snared by. With essences recalling the likes of Discharge and Amebix, the track completes a powerful and gripping proposal.
Another of the three releases sees the coming together of Tennessee’s BLACK TAR PROPHET and from Pennsylvania IRON GAVEL. A seven track instrumental invasion again showing no respect of the listener’s peace and sanity, the first half of the split is consumed by Black Tar Prophet’s sludge/doom powered incursions into the senses and imagination. Starting with the compelling persistence of MALIGNANT, a track living up to its name, the duo of bassist Greg Swinehart and drummer Erik Dever snarl in their distinct way across a further three incitements. As dark as they are heavy, as primal as they are strangely comforting and understanding to the darkest corners of one’s thoughts, Black Tar Prophet probe and transfix with RUINOUS DECAY and the deeply disturbed ABUSE especially momentous.
Iron Gavel have a less thick climate to their music but one which still crawls over the senses like a venomous predator and seeps into the corner of every emotion like erosive smog. Consisting of Dan Martin and Ryan Advent, the band taps into the psyche with their sonic and rhythmic explorations whether it be through vast and wonderfully nagging crawls like their first track here TEETH/THORN or through the shortest swinging assaults as its successor SHROUD, a concussive tempest of an aural dispute. Completed by the band’s pungent and relentlessly acidulous but refreshing GERM, the split is a match for the previous mentioned threat and at times eclipses it.
The last of the Broken Limbs offerings is GUILT AND HIS REFLECTION, thirteen tracks bringing Texans CARA NEIR and WILDSPEAKER together in a split which sees its concept realised through both bands revolving around cannibalism in a post-apocalyptic scenario. The first seven songs escape the creative potency of Arlington, Texas crust duo vocalist Chris Francis and multi-instrumentalist Garry Brents. Starting with the sonically and vocally raw but melodically seductive HALO OF GREY, Cara Neir proceed to explore not only the psychological depths and impact bred in an apocalyptic environment but those of the listener too as tracks like CLINGING TO MY LAST BIT OF SANITY and THE VIEW THROUGH THIS FOG seem to flirt with ears and imagination as fully as they wonderfully antagonise them with their blend of black metal and post rock infested punk. Each of the band’s songs leave a potent impact with the outstanding almost poppy EGO EATS MAN stealing the pair’s half of the show.
Fort Worth based Wildspeaker brings their blackened crust tempests to the release with just as much creative venting and eagerness. Also featuring their partners in adventure’s Brents, the quintet go for the jugular from the off with the hellacious storm of hell DESECRATION PLAGUE. Led by the savage riffs of Nelson Favela and Zak Pitts as vocalist Natalie Kahan spills her rage, the track is as dirty and visceral as its name suggests with toxicity just as potent and appealing in its successor SINS OF DESPERATION which takes best track honours on the second half of the split. Driven mercilessly by Ricky Rivera’s drums, the track devours the senses but exciting them at the same time. With FIRST TASTE OF FLESH, another big shout for the biggest pinnacle of the release, and HIS REFLECTION especially notable among nothing less than six energy sapping uncompromisingly enjoyable whippings, Wildspeaker complete the third of a trio of splits which abrasively spark and forcibly ignite the senses.
The Sea of Bones/Ramlord Split is available @ http://brokenlimbsrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/sea-of-bones-ramlord-split Limited to 300 12″ copies: 200 black, and 100 orange vinyl, each with a download card.
The Black Tar Prophet/Iron Gravel Split is available @ http://brokenlimbsrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/black-tar-prophet-iron-gavel-split Limited to 300 12″ copies: 200 black, and 100 red vinyl, each with a download card and poster.
The Cara Neir/Wildspeaker Split is available @ http://brokenlimbsrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/guilt-and-his-reflection Limited to 100 white shell cassettes
Pete RingMaster 22/09/2016
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