The Endless Blockade ‘Primitive’ CD/LP 2008

The Endless Blockade 'Primitive' CD/LP 2008Ah, the cleansing purity of noise. Like standing in the shower and feeling the shit wash away – itself a common ritual of symbolic purification. As you may already know, this furious outfit are from Toronto, and have been doing the usual stuff like gigs and demos and albums and splits since 2003. Hardcore has always benefitted from a righteous and messianic edge, this is no exception. Not that there are any obvious politics on parade here. It’s more about the sheer focussed and visceral energy and arrogance of this short sharp shock of a recording. Scratchy electronics, sizzling feedback, dark samples, raging power violence and slow heavy ‘bits’. This is the sound territory of TEB. For the requirements of a vocalist in a HC band, Andrew Nolan’s voice is bang on. It aches with a libidinous anger and stretches out across the tightly structured cacophony of guitars and drums with impressive yearning and desperation.

With this album, TEB’s second, in accordance with true and traditional HC philosophy, we have thirteen brutalising tracks that seem much longer than the twenty one minutes they take up of my time. ‘Angra Mainyu’ (which refers to the concept of evil thoughts in Zoroastrianism) starts with locust swarm electronics and quickly breaks into slow and low quasi-sludge, which fades into the intense forty second HC burst of ‘Irrationalism Uberalles’. Siege meets Crowley. More insane and shuddering sonic aggression follows. ‘The Stain’ is a superb grindcore bomb that detonates its back pack within seconds and then morphs into crunching mid tempo punk and then into super sludge and back again, like a ranting shape shifting cacodaemon. ‘Like Partridges’ erupts like classic Heresy (what an incredible HC band they were), slowing to allow Andrew to rupture his vocal chords all over the jagged guitars. ‘Endless Blockade’ is a four second slap round the face. ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ closes the album in a climax of impossibly raw screams, note bending doom punk, strident ride cymbal counts and maelstrom power electronica.

I can’t help but love the arcane and occultist references in TEB’s work, which owes more to subversive electronic pioneers like Throbbing Gristle and Coil than the clumsy pseudo-mystic iconography of Heavy Metal. For a HC band to express such interest in the scatology of magick and ritual and demonology is quirkily academic and impressively anthropological and recalls the anarcho-skewed psychoactive anal fixation with the bizarre that so fascinated the mighty Man Is The Bastard, one of the true founders of power violence. Now excuse me as I need confer with the Great God Pan, and so must anoint my member with the Oil of Abramelin and ejaculate within the sacred pentagram. I find this an excellent way to unwind after a stressful day at work.

Label: 20 Buck Spin

Scribed by: Adam Stone