Throatruiner Records have steadily increased their presence in the world of black/hardcore/completely mad music of late, and this little French label continually put out some of the most exciting and interesting sounds out there. The Phantom Carriage, Love Sex Machine, Clinging To The Trees Of A Forest Fire....each hold massive sound and that little something extra that gives Throatruiner that distinct edge over other smaller operations. It's no surprise then, that Switzerland's Elizabeth fall into the category of intense and furious punk/hardcore. Harsh and raspy vocals fill the spaces left between super quick drum beats and raging breakdowns and first track "Darkness" bursts into life with all the energy of an exploding star.
Luckily, Elizabeth don't rely on all out fury and "The Call" begins on a much more subdued note giving the four-piece a little more in the way of maturity - being angry 24/7 is hard work after all. It's a nice touch to what could otherwise have been a very "samey" twenty minute production and Where Vultures Land benefits from this band taking a little detour from being constantly pissed. Of course being full of angst is pretty fun sometimes, and Elizabeth step things back up on "Sharp Teeth and Knives" with stuttering guitar riffs and more shouting from Javier Varela than you can shake a stick at (if shaking sticks is your thing).
"Sailor's Grave" is the slow punk counter to anything by nautik funeral doom masters Ahab and the little pirate-esque inflection on Varela's voice is a funny touch to what is otherwise a fairly heavy song - in both musical and lyrical context. Throw in a little gang vocal harmony and you'be got yourself a fairly hard-hitting anthem of loss and despair. "Black Eyed" revels in doomy phrases and staggered slashes of guitar cut through screams and howls of complete anguish, the quick running times of these tracks giving no room for pause or indeed chance to take a breath.
Where Vultures Land is short, but by no means is it sweet. Elizabeth are certainly a group to watch out for, their chaotic approach to the genre often leads to slower and more melodic passages sneaking in unannounced which serves to give this band a little something over their more frenzied peers and much more in the way of lasting appeal. Fingers crossed.
7.0 / 10
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