A brief anecdote: in 2007 or 2008 I went to see Ottawa, Ontario band Buried Inside perform live. As one of the opening bands was setting up their frontman unassumingly took his place centre stage and they began playing shortly after. The sounds being projected from their singer was unlike anything I had ever heard up to that point. If there had been any paint left on the walls on the venue, the sound of this man’s voice surely would’ve peeled it from the surfaces. The band was Congress and their vocalist was Jamie Hooper. When not dabbling in noise rock Hooper spent some time fronting 3 inches of Blood.
Hooper brings us to the subject of this review: Erosion – the 5 piece band he presently fronts. This project also has the distinction of containing 3 members of hardcore/Southern Lord records aces Baptists, one of which is also a member of Thrill Jockey records art metal trio Sumac. Erosion is completed by a member who spent time in stoner rock outfit Tobeatic, and post-punk/garage rock band Hard Feelings. After a 7 year career of singles and a 7 song cassette Erosion have signed to Boston by way of Los Angeles experimental Metal label Hydra Head records to release Maximum Suffering in digital and vinyl formats.
Maximum Suffering commences with the concussive and ballistic title track. The sound expertly marries d-beat, crossover, grindcore, death metal, and power violence together to form a memorable opener. Track 2 “Everything is Fucked” blasts like a trepanning drill into the listener’s subconscious in just one minute and 45 seconds. “Need for Death” features a clever 6 string motif to start the song and ends with a walloping dirge.
“Serpent Lust” slithers menacingly with discordant guitar squalls and some gigantic snare rolls courtesy of drummer Danny Marshall. Those of you familiar with Marshall’s guitar playing in Baptists may be surprised to know that apparently, he plays all the drum parts on the demos for that project as well. Those of you familiar with Baptist’s/Sumac drummer Nick Yacyshyn peerless rhythmic approach will be pleased to note that his guitar playing on this project is equally memorable and iconoclastic.
“The Crone” is a pulverising mid-tempo groove which could be a Pacific Northwest sonic cousin to Oakland heavy merchants Noothgrush. The song is a brief pause in attack to end side A. Side B blisters with the absolutely scathing: “Deep in Hell.” “We Have Failed Us” boasts some crushing fretwork by six stringers Nick and Rick O’dell from the 1-minute mark onwards. “Black Waves” is a fitting title as the listener is rolled by wave after wave of vitriolic despondency by way of sound.
“Dusted” functions as a sludgy interlude anchored by bassist Andrew Drury, before the absolutely crushing closer “Consumed.” The latter shifts feel and tempo numerous time before a haunting guitar phrase leads to a full band break. An ascending 6 string motif transitions to a neck-snapping tom passage which dissolves into what is surely Erosion‘s set closer.
It will prove difficult indeed to not be stirred by this recording.
Release Date: October 19th, 2018
Label: Hydra Head Records
Favourite Tracks: Need For Death, Consumed, Human Error, Black Waves
For Fans Of: Noothgrush, Martyrdod, Mammoth Grinder, Man is the Bastard