Suspiria is the follow-up release to BLANK‘s first full-length Calix and a definite must-have if you dig fast-paced, dark and highly emotive Hardcore with its dirty claws deeply dug in the rotten flesh of Metal and Crust. The band from the Cologne area (Germany) comes up with a four-song EP that totally lives off the tension between really fast high-speed attacks and halting, teeth-gnashingly slow grinding despair.
Thankfully enough this is really far away from being one of those fruitlessly anxious attempts to bring together Post-Metal and Hardcore – Suspiria is an highly energetic, infectious Punk record above all, but surely one that isn’t afraid to incorporate elements of other genres if they contribute to the bleak and desperate atmosphere created.
The first track, Unholy Days, starts with a sweet sample before putting the pedal to the metal without further hesitation. High speeds, short blast-beat passages and guitar lines caught between gripping melodies and disharmonic sounds pretty much preset what’s about to happen during the following songs – soundwise at least.
Licht und Eisen rather sticks to mid-tempo, giving the melodic elements more room to breath and the German lyrics a barren stage to take effect. Not that you’d properly understand anything besides apocalyptic catchphrases like destruction, darkness, and death – right down my alley for sure.
Shield keeps the slowness, and all in all is pretty much the sister track to Licht und Eisen. The song gives way to Society of Glass, which picks up pace after a short while but slowly squirms and melts to death halfway through the track, leaving the listener quite ran over, clueless and alone.
An amazing feature of BLANK on Suspiria is the sound. I’m especially falling for the guitar tone that is very defined and well balanced, giving room to every single note that blazes its trail through the obsessive, wild whirlwind of drums and the harsh, pissed off vocal performance.
If you need any comparisons I’d name bands like Perth Express, Jungbluth or Ghostlimb, all of which make/made clever, moderate use of (Post-) Metal elements to intensify their disruptive vision of Hardcore-Punk. With Suspiria, BLANK have definitely stepped up to the best bands the genre has to offer.