Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Details: Man, what a lineup for a split! From Ashes Rise starts things off with six tracks of their brand of dark, crusty hardcore/punk that has a dissonant metallic edge and an eerie sense of melody - perfectly exemplified by the masterful opener "So Say the Wise..." From calm clean breaks to driving rhythms to melodic lead lines, they do it all. Of course references to his Hero is Gone and the like are still applicable, but the midrange vocal shouts and generally more straightforward (i.e. less over the top as far as heaviness) attack does tend to let their work stand on its own, though obviously similar influences are at work across the board. "No Fears or Worries in a Post War Town" is slower and uses deeper vocals, but the softer break in the middle, layering clean arpeggios with distorted rhythm chords, is a bit unexpected. The recording is really fucking good. It's perfectly clear, and really the only thing I'd change would be to turn the bass up a notch or two. You can hear the bass, but it needs a bit more of a presence between the guitars and drums. Everything else sounds fine, though. The clarity really lets the texture of the distortion shine through, the drums are really warm, and the vocals sound killer. Good stuff. I like the lyrics as well. The message isn't cryptic, but it's not as blatant as a lot of similar bands tend to be, and they seem to handle the writing with a little bit more effort. "Raging crowds of gunpoint stars in Palestine, where 12-year-old hands throw capital offenses. Blistering is the abrasion of land. Sickening is this faceless division. And we'll never know of the shit they call 'transfer'." Nice. Victims throws down 11 tracks of raging Swedish hardcore/punk that sounds not unlike many of their fellow countrymen, but their style is starting to grow into its own niche more, what with the incredible vocal screams and interesting blend of influences. Take for instance the slightly more rocked out riffing of "Out of Reach" and "End Up in Pain" versus the heavier approach of "Victims in Blood pt. 2" or the plodding but curiously melodic "I Mänsklighetens Tjänst". None of the songs top two minutes, and only one comes close, so they blast right through without fucking around. The production is solid, but it does fall somewhat flat compared to the From Ashes Rise tracks. Things are understandably a bit rawer, but the mix is nice and even, with distorted bass coming in just behind the wall of guitars the drums holding it down in the distance, and the vocals jumping just out front. I don't have any complaints other than the fact that a little bit of density is lost due to a slight lack of low-end, but I'm not sure I'd notice so much had the Victims tracks opened the disc instead. The lyrics are a mix of Swedish and English (mostly English) and tend to be somewhat pessimistic, but not without an air of hope on occasion. "Now and again it seems worse than it is, days go by and the hours disappear, Out of mind out of sight out of reach forever in my dreams, I'm really confused about this situation, maybe I have to start all over again." The layout looks good. The cover art is by Pushead, so you can imagine how that looks, and each band has their own set of pages in the booklet. From Ashes Rise takes the black and white road, and Victims uses red and black. There's some additional imagery in the form of abstract photographs or paintings or something, I can't tell what they are, but they're very cool. A fine split indeed. I can't wait to hear the new From Ashes Rise full-length based on the strength of these songs, and Victims doesn't disappoint. (7/10) Aversion

Price: 7 euro
Availability: mail us