People around here at Scene Point Blank like to joke and rib me about being the token melodic hardcore guy. It's all in jest and like with most stabs of humor they never stray to far away from the truth. However, there is a dark secret I would like share with everyone. Towards the end of the 90's and into the new millennium my musical taste wasn't only a steady diet of Lifetime and their ilk. I also supplemented it with vitamins B, C, C, C2, and C3 - those being Botch, Converge, Coalesce, and Cave In. Oh yes, I loved me some noisy early Hydra Head releases. I even thought Drowningman was good for a spin or two. At the time "noisecore" was an inventive sound; converging metal, hardcore, and noise into a thick visceral bombastic soup of agony, broken strings, and off time drum parts. However with most innovations of hardcore, the whole noisecore thing just became too much for me to handle. It either went too far out there with bands like Isis and Pelican or too mosh-ridden with metalcore bullshit like Norman Jean, and well, Norma Jean. By the time 2003 rolled around Cave In was a full on rock outfit, Botch and Coalesce were done, and Converge was getting too big for their britches for me to care about noisecore.
Four years later there seems to be a reemergence of noisecore done the Flintstones Vitamin way. Bands like Engineer, Ed Gein, and Achilles are fighting their way to the top of the heap playing demented, angst ridden discordant hardcore that will make even the most open-minded of parents reaching for the mute button. Achilles reminds me of the most vehemently pissed version of Coalesce getting into a fist fit with the most bitter of Botch songs while attending a late period terminally fucked Black Flag show. Hospice isn't a pleasant listen as it sends the listener into a whirlwind of haphazard rhythms, destructive percussion, and crazy guy on the bus screamed lyrics all being held together with just a thin thread of melody wrapped around a cacophony of evil twists and turns that resemble a thirty car pile up rather than music. After eleven songs of being tossed like a cow in a tornado you either dread the forthcoming nightmares or feel like you've just taken the biggest mental shit of your life. Catharsis has never sounded so brutal or refreshing.
If there are more bands like Achilles, I might just have to start paying attention to noisecore again. If it's all done as intense and as destructively precise as Hospice then I can only beg for more. It good to see bands remember the good old days of a genre that long outgrew itself. Hospice isn't a fun trip on the world's most horrifying rollercoaster of human emotion and intense psychotic music, but it's a trip you will remember and rest assuredly get back in line for another go around.
8.7 / 10
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