Both Alpinist and Masakari have made alot of progress in becoming well known within the hardcore scene in a rather short period of time. Alpinist hail from Germany and over the course of 5 years have managed 2 full lengths and this split. While Masakari come out of Cleavland and have managed to release 2 EPs as well as a full length in a scant couple of years. So while splits are an iffy proposal when quality is concerned with most situations this may be an exception to the rule.
Up first we encounter Alpinist over the last year America has taken notice and more importantly, Southern Lord, who re-issued the 2 prior albums together on cd for the North American record buying public. The band personally describe themselves as "heavylowfastslowdark hardcore" very rarely does a band describe themselves well but it would seem as though Aplinist have all of their bases covered. Their side begins with "Abgerichtet" which starts with a crushingly slow opening riff building into a breakneck metallic paced piece. The hoarse screams of their vocalist helping things feel more desperate before finally breaking into an almost 2 step part making the momentum shift slightly without killing it. The band keep the foot on the gas through the next song but even then a slowed down churning part isn't far behind. Overall the band play heavy and hard with a strong sense of melody and dynamics without ever relying solely on these facets to keep the songs moving along.
On the other side we have Masakari. The band have also been noticed by the mighty Southern Lord and fit into the labels notice of more d-beat styled bands as of late. That is not to say that Masakari are just d-beat as they incorporate alot of different styles within their d-beat base. opener "XVIII" plays with dynamics as it openers quietly and dramatically to unfould into a steamroller of metallic riffing feeling almost like a sped up melodeath riff without the need to show off just crush everything laid before it. This breakneck pace continues to a truly crushing breakdown for the last half of the song. By this point the band stays fast and hard for a the next couple of songs just playing hard and fast. The fury in these songs seems completely palpable to the listener and makes them all the more powerful.
Both of these bands should be taken notice if you are on the outer fringes of hardcore and metal. They both make smart use of dynamics throughout their songs without ever losing track of why they are there to begin with. That is to say they stay within their style without ever seeming boxed in by it. The recording feels a bit grimey which only helps to serve the greater purpose. If you need something new to check out and don't need a bunch of breakdowns to make you happy this is a great record to have. Both bands offer something interesting and heavy and give the listener something to look forward to in the future.
7.7 / 10
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