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Dead in the Dirt: The Blind Hole

The cover of this debut album captures a very specific kind of despair. Imagine being trapped in a dungeon, a hole in the ground, one in which the eye can only look up (or is it down) into a very long expanse, another hole. I have no idea if this is what Dead in the Dirt was going for with this image, but I can't imagine the notion of a "blind hole" is a positive one. After all, feeling stuck seems to be a part of the current times.

Dead in the Dirt is a fairly new band but they are making a very strong impression. Before this, their first full-length album, they released an EP in 2010 and a 7" in 2011. Their music is extremely heavy and aggressive, a mixture of hardcore and crust, played at a rapid pace. The majority of the tracks here are about 30 or so seconds long; the whole album—all 22 tracks—come in at under thirty minutes. The songs mostly come from the same creative pool—fast tempos, lots of very intense feedback, and growled vocals. At times the music slows down to a heavy gloom. I was especially drawn to the track "Swelling" because of the way it slowed the tempo down to what I can only describe as a threateningly slow pace. These guys play some of the heaviest music I've heard.

I'm sure there's an art to short punk songs. Whatever it is, these guys seem to know something about it. Their secret is plenty of feedback, manipulated precisely so that it adds the perfect whine, a chilling wail, to most of the tracks. Not only does the feedback ring in my ears, it seems to lead the way, to pioneer for the onslaught of noise that is shortly to follow. The short tracks are exciting because they leave listeners wanting more. The longer songs are also good, though the energy has to last longer, something that is more difficult to do. The lyrics are all but incomprehensible. According to the band's promotional materials, are generally full of social and political engagement, including ideas fuelled by straightedge thinking and veganism. My favorite tracks were "Swelling," "Idiot Bliss," "Cop," and "No Chain." "Cop" has a spoken interlude—lines taken from a movie, perhaps?—that leads right into "No Chain." It's a pretty solid moment on the album.

Ultimately, this is s a solid piece of hardcore music and one of the heaviest albums I've heard all year.

Track Listing:
1. Suffer
2. The Blaring Eye
3. Swelling
4. Strength through Restraint
5. Idiot Bliss
6. You Bury Me
7. Skullbinding
8. Mask
9. Cop
10. No Chain
11. Will is the War
12. Baggar
13. One More Day
14. The Pit of Me
15. Caged
16. Starve
17. Vein
18. Pitch Black Tomb
19. The Last Nail
20. Two Flames
21. Knife in the Feathers
22. Halo Crown

Added: July 15th 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Score:
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Language: english

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