Split releases are great. For bands there’s pressure to showcase your best tracks in order to create the most impact and hopefully gain the fans of the other band, which often results in awesome songs. Fans get to enjoy the best of two bands and the hopefully complementary similarities between them. There’s also more often than not some cool art on display, and a warm glow of community spirit as we all support the creative efforts of the scene as a whole.
American hardcore/screamo acts Ostraca (Richmond, VA) and Flesh Born (Denton, TX) have teamed up for Faces Of The Moving Year, a split full-length release through Skeletal Lightning in the US and I.Corrupt.Records in Europe.
RELEASE DATE: 06 March 2017 LABEL: Skeletal Lightning (US), I.Corrupt.Records (Europe)
Ostraca kick things off with a creative blend of post-rock and hardcore. Dreamy build-ups and guitar noodling explode into increasingly noisy, chaotic violence. In comparison to the mellow post-rock that precludes them Ostraca’s energetic sections are more convincing, but combined they have an awesome overall effect.
‘Decay and Fall’ is the highlight of their tracks for the more direct approach. It’s here where Ostraca show their true grit with focused and determined hardcore. There’s something very special about these guys and these three tracks will win over many new fans. I can only imagine how frightening their live show would be, at full tilt Ostraca are utterly savage.
Three songs in 10 minutes and it’s over to Flesh Born who pump out five songs in 6:30. At 18 minutes long Faces Of The Moving Year can only just be considered a full-length album.
Flesh Born’s brand of noise is frantic screamo/metal full of blasts, breakdowns and brutality. Songs are short, to the point and effective. Their stand out track is ‘Many Ports’ which features an endearing blend of indie guitar, blast-beats and terrifying screams, with a post-hardcore vibe. It’s a clever composition that deserves repeated listens.
In fact Flesh Born are much more than they appear on first listen, and would be easy to dismiss if you were just skimming through tracks. Don’t skim. ‘Nothingness, Our Home’ introduces a melodic aspect which honestly seems out of place, but as with Ostraca the key here is the comparison that serves to highlight the brutality.
Both bands have a raw production style that sounds almost live. It’s distorted and thin and particularly horrible when loud, but serves the atmosphere well and is ultimately indicative of the spontaneous violence of the genre.
Faces Of The Moving Year is a short, sharp dose of creative hardcore that leaves its audience entirely unsatisfied and demands repeat listens. Which is great, satisfaction is the death of desire and this is fuel for the collective fire. This LP serves its purpose in every way and both Ostraca and Flesh Born have produced some killer music.