Saturday, 17 October 2020

Backslider - Bacterial Eye


Bacterial Eye

(Artist Submission)

Review by Joey

Genre/s: Fastcore, Power Violence, Hardcore
For Fans Of: Despise You, Column Of Heaven, Apartment 213, No Less

Back when I was going to shows in Philly on an incredibly regular basis (almost a decade ago at this point), Backslider was one of the staples whenever there was a fast band worth seeing coming to town. Their sets always blew me away, usually clocking 20-something songs in around 7 minutes, although their style evolved over the years, incorporating more groove, longer songs, and a lot of influence from 90s alt-metal (or at least that's how it sounded to me). However, with their most recent material on Silence Is Death, it seems Backslider has -- and please forgive me for doing this -- backslid, and is back to chaotic microbursts. 

I should be clear, this material has way more going on than the typical fast/slow/stop/start fastcore that has become all too commonplace and formulaic in the bandcamp age. There is a healthy dose of influence from weirdos such as Gasp and Column Of Heaven -- that is to say, there is plenty of noise driven guitar work, electronics, samples, and oddly placed, yet perfectly integrated death metal licks -- resulting in a unique twist on the sound we all love so well. In addition, this material features Triac drummer, Jake Cregger, recording through a gopro to great effect. I wish more fastcore/grind/etc artists would use this approach to production, because it sounds absolutely massive and sheds that overproduced/overpolished sterile studio sound that most bands seem to be going for in the past 5 or so years. 

And here's the kicker: Silence Is Death is a benefit label, and will be donating all proceeds to Black Lives Matter activist groups/orgs, so if you can spare to buy a tape or digital download, know that it's going to a good cause. With this being their first release, I expect big things from this label, so keep your eyes peeled. Trust me, you'll listen to this 4 minute burst 3x in a row and still want to hear it again. 

1. Ataxia / Cyclops
2. Device
3. Lapse
4. Purgatory
5. Octopus


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