It’s Monday and Mondays suck, so let’s grind it out with an album premiere of Evisorax’s Ascension Catalyst.
Despite the continuation of quarantine and the virus grind isn’t seeing any dips in quality releases. And knowing that a lot of bands are recording during these times makes me think we’re gonna see even more insane, claustrophobic releases not long after we clear this. But that is for the future, for now, we have the long-awaited return of Evisorax.
Five years since their last full length but only two since their last 7” (which I admit, I missed out on), the Wigan, UK grinders are unleashing Ascension Catalyst. To which the band has said: “Ascension Catalyst is a Grindcore concept album! Attempting to express to the listener a theme of transcendental enlightenment, whilst using the juxtaposition of aggression and bliss.”
Kicking things off slowly, the band opens with “Gayatri”, starting sparse and ambient/noisy and eventually slowly picking up more and more until the track goes full-on grind. “Midnight is For Regrets” is where the band really start to steamroll. About a minute of grinding and blasting like a row of cannons and the track is leading into the next.
One might realize quickly with this record is that, yeah, this is the vicious, confrontational grind band we have come to know. But Evisorax are starting to sound like they are taking on a cybergrind angle. Maybe it is the combination of Ste’s recording at What Studio (Liverpool) and Trippy’s mix (Horsebastard), but this album has a very Agoraphobic Nosebleed Frozen Corpse Stuffed With Dope-era meets Discordance Axis and Brutal Truth feeling to it. The title track and the following track “Harsh Reality” especially drive this home. And Simon Brotherton’s incredibly insane drumming is so fast it’s a blur.
Pieces like “Draw The Line” also show how good Evisorax is at incorporating everything great about grind. From noise, to a punchy hardcore/punk part, to some eyeball-melting grind. “Lucent Antecessor” does much the same in how blast-heavy it is. As does “Fall Into Satori”, which might be the most blast addled track on the record. Complete with a comedown section that still takes its time to punch the listener in the gut.
The final track “Irkalla” closes off the album, clocking in at nine minutes. Much noisier and building, it’s an interesting closer of a track. It goes through a lot of motions moving towards some doomy vibes as it trudges towards its end. The noise layered over it makes the track uneasy in great ways and sounds like its swimming over the drums/bass/guitar, eventually consuming it.
Evisorax has also said: “We liked the idea of creating an album of contrasts. Really aggressive and angry musically, but thought-provoking and inspiring lyrically.” The tracks are tied together through noise and the album flows seamlessly. Those that are new to Evisorax’s brand of grind are going to have quite an album to chew through. Ascension Catalyst is another great grind record for the 2020 year. Don’t stop grinding and get on this beast now!