ABSOLUT (Canada) and PARANOID (Sweden) team up to unleash this split 12" of JAWBREAKING MANGEL DEVASTATION! We are pretty proud of this release as it comes with full color artwork by the legendary Japanese hardcore punk artist SUGI and comes in a gatefold sleeve. Its limited to 500 (400 black vinyl and 100 transparent orange). If you've heard either band before you know what to expect. ABSOLUT plays devastating HC punk influenced by late era Cimex and other punk bands with a metal tinge to them. The vocals on this are relentless. PARANOID hailing from Sweden have members from many other Swedish kang bands and are in my opinion one of the worlds best current punk acts. Taking influence from the countless raging Swedish bands they grew up with but also taking plenty of cues from Japan and combining them into a barrage of intense hardcore punk that will leave you numb!
Our take: Something a little bit different from the fine folks at Beach Impediment, but you won't find me complaining. We last heard from Canada's Absolut on their 12" on the Electric Assault label, and I don't know if I've just forgotten how gnarly they were or what, but their side of this split is killer. They have a really interesting sound, mixing a bunch of different styles of punk and metal in a way I haven't heard before. Obviously Japanese hardcore is a huge influence (as if the Sugi artwork didn't clue you in), but I feel like there's a lot of raw, primitive black metal in their mix as well, particularly South American stuff like Sarcofago. Maybe it's the slight looseness of the drumming, the more sinister-sounding scales the lead guitarist tends to rely on, or some other x factor that an amateur musicologist like myself can't pinpoint, but their tracks here sound off-the-rails wild in a way that most modern d-beat and/or burning spirits bands (or older ones for that matter) just don't capture. As for Sweden's Paranoid, they push the black metal thing even further, incorporating a couple of passages of straight up raw, thrashing black metal (though, admittedly, always with a slight GISM influence) into their stew of crust and burning spirits influences. One thing in particular I really love about the Paranoid side of this split is the way they experiment with production. There's about 15 different types of "raw" on their side of the record, and it's exciting to sit back and hear what sounds are going to come out of your speakers next. It's sort of like they've taken that aspect of the later D-Clone stuff (in particularly their great final 12") and woven it in with the more straightforward songwriting of burning spirits hardcore. So, to sum it up, this record rips and the crusties are apparently now into black metal.