By Kyle Harcott
Another local band to keep an eye on, Vancouver’s Anion have dropped a punishing slab of hardcore in the way of their Carrion King seven-inch. Four songs striking a balance between stabby hardcore and slow-drain sludge, Carrion King is the perfect primer to the band and their vitriolic brand of sludgecore.
The title tracks kicks things off, and for the first few seconds, everything seems a little bit dicey – the clean guitar/vocal intro comes in a little off-kilter, but once the shoe drops and the distortion kicks in, everything locks into place. Johnny Matter’s vocals are a sound to behold – he’s definitely studied at the ‘L-G Petrov School for Tortured Throats’ – and the song’s chock-a-block with dive-bomb riffs throughout. “The Skin Lantern” is driven hard by spiraling guitar riffs and at first, sounds the most metallic of the four songs, veering most closely to metalcore territory.
Of course, it’s difficult to argue with a song called “Piss Warm Goat’s Milk”, so I won’t even try. The guitar riffs are the tastiest part of the song for me – though, Matter’s (w)retched “I wanna hear you gaaaaaag!” in the chorus is pure gold. Meanwhile, “Corpseflower” is a departure from the rest of the EP in that it’s the best showcase of Anion’s obvious love for sludge – and it’s my personal favorite of the four tracks. The bass intro looms and menaces, and again the guitars lope through the track at a slant – I’m definitely reminded of the slower side of circa-’95 Unsane.
The packaging is everything that a violent hardcore record should be: Stark black and white with a bit of grey thrown in for balance. The cover painting by Alison Lilly is striking and original in an age when hardcore records have a strong tendency to look the same. For some obscure reason, Lilly’s painting vaguely reminds me of old Pushead designs – though (thankfully) there’s not a single skull to be found anywhere on the sleeve. The purple/grey marbled vinyl is also a seriously nice touch for this flagship release for Matter’s own Apocalypse Sunrise Productions. A promising beginning for a band poised to do great things.
You can sample/order the EP at: http://anion.bandcamp.com/
(Apocalypse Sunrise Productions)