Monday 22 July 2013

Anguish "Within the darkness" Ep 2008

Don't believe the filthy liars whispering that Terminal Sound Nuisance is dead and buried and the rumours that I have fucked off to Istanbul to be come a hooligan (though I admit it did cross my mind at some point). In fact, I have been working full time for two months after more than a year of being on the dole and I moved to a new flat last week so I haven't had the time to take care of the blog. I will therefore try to keep this review short and to the point.

This Ep was definitely among my favourite of 2008. It was World Funeral's first release (the label went on to release records from the crust kings Instinct of Survival, Desperat and Deathraid) I had heard the demo of Anguish, liked it but wasn't particularly overcome with awe although I did order the record. Listening to it for the first time was like witnessing the four horsemen of the apocalypse splitting the earth open  or, I guess, like wrestling with a polar bear. It is very intense and the recording is absolutely perfect: heavy, crushing and proper dark. The songs have a trance-like quality and I tend to believe that was what the band was aiming for. The vocals are guttural and rough, a bit like an evil sleep-deprived old-school death-metal singer, the drums have a thick crusty sound and are really put forward not unlike on the Hibernation Lp but even more pummelling and the guitar has a massive, filthy texture that reeks of old extreme metal. In a word: the sound is top notch.

At the time, I saw Anguish as being part of the stenchcore revival of the mid/late 00's triggered by Hellshock and widely followed in North America (bands like Sanctum, Stormcrow, After the Bombs, Stagnation...). Retrospectively, Anguish may rather have been tried to do the metal-punk thing, mixing bands like Hellhammer, Bathory and Sodom with a crusty energy (a bit like Limb From Limb and Dödsfalla maybe or, in terms of intent, Order of the Vulture and Legion 666), an hypothesis that seemed to be confirmed by their subsequent record, a split Ep with Perversion, which was much more in the old-school thrash/death/whatever worship (and possibly too much to my liking to be honest). But this Ep is an absolute scorcher. Take Sacrilege, early Bolt Thrower, Warcollapse, early Stormcrow and blend it with vintage extreme metal and you will get an idea. The lyrics are, of course, dark and quite occult but the song "Life expense" caught my attention and incidentally the song cannot be closer to the current news as it is about Detroit, Anguish's hometown. The song is a gloomy depiction of this industrial town that is now officially bankrupt  and the alienation and hopelessness it creates. Yet another sign that capitalists don't give a fuck about the people who made their fortune in the past. I guess the dark atmosphere of the bandn beside obvious musical influences, partly finds its roots in Detroit. Actually, take a look at the lyrics:

"Live in this land of industrialized waste
Hope and compassion don't exist in such a place
Miles of ghetto in a city of depsair
Millions in misery yet no one fucking cares

Life... Life expense

Empty concrete towers shadow this abuse
Broken, cracked monuments never put to use
Grey desolation, factories and empty streets
Increasing decay, no chance of peace

Life... Life expense"

If only for this one song, you should give Anguish a go. That and if you like your crust heavy, filthy hairy and metal-tinged (in other words if you like crust at all).


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