We’re premiering a video here. It’s for one of 15 tracks on the new album, digitally released in April, by the British grindcore band Evisorax (with a vinyl edition coming from 7Degrees Records). But although you can find a track listing on Metal-Archives, the album is presented on Bandcamp as one track of nearly 28 minutes in length, and that’s exactly how it should be experienced — because it’s definitely not a “typical” grindcore record. Of course, you should watch and listen to the video, but definitely do not stop there.
The album, Ascension Catalyst, gradually builds toward an explosion of deranged off-planet warfare, which is insane when it happens, and then slows again at the end, descending into bizarre chaos. In between, things generally stay at a fever pitch — but not always. You really won’t see everything coming, in part because at some point your eyes may roll back into your skull.
At the beginning, eerie electronic transmissions feed into booming drum beats and searing feedback, and then into isolated crashing chords and the first taste of the shrill strangled screeches vented by the vocalist. The momentum continues to build as the drummer batters more vigorously, but the eerie, hallucinatory quality of the music doesn’t disappear. The bass weirdly bubbles, the guitar seethes and slashes, the music hums like a mind going mad.
And then things kick into higher gear (albeit in start-stop bursts and punctuated with more electronic madness). The drumming breaks the leash, the riffing becomes a dissonant, hyper-accelerated frenzy, the vocals eventually turn from gagging excretions to barbaric roars. Freakish arpeggios spurt through the mayhem. Blaring chords go off like mutated fanfares. The notes skitter like insects whose hive has been set ablaze, or writhe like maggots in a feeding frenzy.
The band pick their moments to slow down and stomp (sometimes with doomy overtones), to gallop and gouge, to methodically (and mechanistically) jackhammer your spine (and honestly, they’re always changing speeds without warning) but it’s at the zenith of their violent mayhem when the music is most exhilarating (and unnerving).
There are moments when the instrumentalists are going so blindingly fast, and with such jaw-dropping technical precision, that the music sucks the air out of your chest. It spins so fast and with such obliterating intensity that it seems it’s only a nanosecond away from careening completely out of control — and then something else will happen just in time, maybe some burst of trans-galactic static, maybe some intrusion of simmering and gibbering guitar lunacy, maybe some head-hooking riff or neck-bending rhythmic pattern. Yet the band are also never far away from some new balls-to-the-wall freak-out, some new shrieking spasm of eye-popping musical riot.
At the end, however, the music gradually slows as it pounds, and devolves into a morass of abrasive ambient noise, as if machine creatures have turned to violently eating each other.
As an entire experience, Ascension Catalyst is as mentally destabilizing as it is a gigantic punch to the adrenal glands. It’s grindcore, but it sounds like extraterrestrial grindcore.
And with that wordy prelude, check out the video for a track named “Draw the Line“, which arrives past the album’s mid-point. It was made by Tom Hughes at Ritual Video, and it’s just about as crazy as the music. Below the video you’ll find a stream of the entire album.