If like us you thought Axecatcher’s last EP Sparks & Spears was forcibly impressive last year, and it undeniably was, than be prepared to be blown away by We Watch The Sun Burn. The new three track EP from the Irish hardcore band is exceptional, a furious and compelling manipulation of senses and emotions which not only confirms all the early promise of the band but thrusts them up onto the frontline of raw noise conjurors. The maturity bred and songwriting levels reached in the space of a year is stunning; the last release had the potential and weaponry to bring new blood and fury to hardcore, We Watch The Sun Burn realises that promise and so much more.
Formed in 2011 and hailing from Limavady in Northern Ireland, the then trio of vocalist/guitarist Ryan Montgomery, bassist/backing vocals Colin Wilson, and drummer Danny Kane, made an instant mark with debut single The Odalisque in their first year. The well-received sonic exploration raised an attentive approach towards the band, something that Sparks & Spears turned into a more fevered appetite with its release via Belfast’s Savour Your Scene Records. Between EPs Axecatcher has kept momentum busy with their live shows and appearances, the band sharing stages with bands such as KEN mode and Rotting Out, each adding to their reputation and acclaim. We Watch The Sun Burn though takes things to another level for the band, in sound and stature. The release sees newest member, vocalist Karson Browne adding flavoursome rages to the passionately generated causticity. It is just one aspect where things have flourished over the twelve months or so, everything falling into incendiary place from an already impressive proposition.
Opener Genghis Thrash Khan is an irresistible contagion from its first seconds. A sonic intrusion makes the first scar but is soon submerged in a rhythmic bombardment and a great vocal provocation from Browne, Montgomery, and Wilson. Once interest is enslaved, the band rampages through the ears with a fire of riffs, a deliciously throaty bass incitement, and the ever destructive might of Kane. Into its rapacious stride, grooves and viciously barbed hooks spear and seduce the passions whilst vocally Browne and the band squall with antagonistic fire and accomplished craft. The track continues to twist and evolve the deeper it entrenches itself into the passions, punk and hardcore fused into a quite magnificent predator of sound
Easily the best thing on the release and of anything Axecatcher has written to date, the track makes an imposing benchmark for the rest of the EP, something the following Cinders handles with voracious intensity and flesh scorching spite. The opening graze of guitar only hints at the energetic bruising soon uncaged as Montgomery entwines sonic tendrils around the senses whilst riffs gnaw just as feverishly. Rhythms add to the lure with their commanding and crippling cage of sinew driven beats whilst the exhaustive and impressing vocals simply tear strips off their trapped victims. True the song fails to match its predecessor but still builds its own scintillating plateau for others to take inspiration from.
The closing N.O.V.A. stomps and dances seductively straight away, it’s addictive grooves and discord kissed sonic spearing encased in a infectious embrace of catchy intrigue and masterful invention. Never allowing a moments respite in its psyche carving tempest until its midpoint where the heavy muscular rhythms of Kane pin the senses down by their shoulders in solitude, the furnace of passion and noise is a mouthwatering unpredictable violation and another irrepressible declaration of just how immense the band has become and will continue to grow. It is a staggering conclusion to a primal and instinctive slab of sonically and emotionally spiteful brilliance.
There are numerous outstanding hardcore bands across the UK and Europe, but right now Axecatcher has taken a march on most with world persuasion definitely on the cards. EP of the year so far certainly, release of the year…it is right there challenging without doubt.
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