Review: Horse/Bisect – Split 12″… Posted: 31/01/2017 by Philip Morrissey
The split album can came together for many different reasons. As we have discovered from VOIVOD‘s Snake, it can often be from a pair of bands who are touring together and used for promotional reasons. They might not have an awful lot in common stylistically but being on the same label it makes sense. Other bands may use it as a precursor to more of a full collaborative album. Finally, going back to the early nineties it was used by outfits operating in the same geographic area and sharing a common background in terms of genre classifications. The EMPEROR/THORNS split remains a high point from the black metal scene and MORBID ANGEL shared many splits when beginning their reign as leaders of the Florida death scene.
It is the latter reason that has inspired this latest offering from these Cork based crews. Both are recent additions to the local scene but the members of both are veritable old hands at this. HORSE have included past associations with the likes of MORDANT SOUL, WAITING ROOM, FAT ACTRESS, GHOST OF MEDINA and SLUGBAIT. Meanwhile, BISECT emerged from the ashes of a previous Polish band phoenix like to become the multi-cultural wrecking crew that they are today. If one were to package both bands into a certain genre, it would probably be hardcore. Both have taken inspiration from that scene and display many of its characteristics in terms of its fury, riffs and abrasive live shows. That is too easy however. BISECT have taken on some crust and grind elements into their music whilst HORSE have instilled sludge, post-rock, and the forward looking progressive hardcore systematic of REFUSED, MASTODON, …AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD and BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME.
The settled line-up that HORSE has developed is clearly working to their favour. The hooks laid down on the opening track ‘Dragging’ is delightfully infectious. This had been released as a video through their Youtube page. It might be about dragging your way against what resists you in life. Then again it might be about swamping cans. I’ll leave it up to the listener to decide. ‘Drone’ further accentuates the proggy feel that developed later in the career of Terriers and has been ramped up here. Probably one of the best tracks on the album. It is raw, nasty and decidedly intense.
BISECT have built upon the release of their debut album “We are the Migrants”. That saw their socially conscious hardcore mixed with the grime and filth of d-beat and grind. That contained a surprisingly decent sheen. This is definitely more straight up and works in their favour. The differing backgrounds, influences and opinions all combine to create the no-nonsense sonic brew that is contained here. The loss of Christophe Erpelding has meant that vocals have been almost solely with by former LOS LANGEROS frontman Phil Langero. The slimming down has lead to a focus in their sound and it has been to their benefit.
The speed and aggression is obviously present but what works especially well is when the pace slows down to a primitive growl. It transforms it into something more nihilistic and bleak. The bass work of Maciej Lachmann works to an absolute tee. Particularly on closing number ‘Pissed Off People’. It sums their sounds and ethos up expertly.
These are definitely songs that need to be experienced in the live surroundings. HORSE are set to join HOPE IS NOISE and REST down in Leap next month. BISECT don’t have a date announced just yet but by all accounts were superb recently with PARTHOLÓN in Freds. This 12″ LP was self-released through their self-release label, Almost Records.