German label Wooaaargh! have been consistently putting out fantastic releases, especially in the realms of hardcore, crust and grind. Now they’ve brought together two acts from the UK, for an explosive split 12″ release. Though This Ends Here and Conqueror Worm share very little common ground on paper (except for maybe the strong punk influences on both the bands’ sounds), they come together on this split in a way that the variety on the record is maintained while adhering a cohesive theme. There is a sense of hopelessness that dominates the atmosphere on this record and each band express in their own way the harsh realities of the modern world. We have a full stream of the album from Wooaaargh! below for your listening pleasure (the review follows).
The first half of the split features This Ends Here, a four piece that plays an amalgamation of hardcore / crust and post-rock. This half of the split features the longer tracks and this gives the band an opportunity to imbibe the tracks with an emotional edge. This ensures that the tracks from This Ends Here have arrangements that are engaging and is not all pedal to the metal hardcore riffs. In between unleashing compelling hardcore punk riffs, This Ends Here introduce tranquil, atmospheric post rock elements. This combined with the anguished sounding screams from the vocalist makes tracks like All Our Failed Seekers, 1000 Miles to Warsaw and Seeds much more than a straightforward punk attack. With performances on point, the first half of the split is equal parts melodic and aggressive. It accomplishes in setting up a pensive mood of having no hope.
Conqueror Worm’s style contrasts well with the first half in that the tracks are short, focused and to the point. The noisy, feedback drenched start on Screech in Pain, gives a good insight into the abrasive, caustic sound of Conqueror Worm. But it is only when the quick, frantic riffs of Depleting Vital Planetary Resources kick in that the abrasive nature of this band is felt in full force. The fact that this is a drum and bass only duo that plays hard hitting grindcore, ought to give the listener an idea of what they’re getting into. Conqueror Worm’s side of split gets across it’s message of hopelessness by assaulting the listener with a barrage of sludgy riffs and crushing grooves. This is quite effective in that the claustrophobic nature of tracks like Seven Days of Fire, Corroded Existence and Paradise Experiment takes the listener to a dark place where everything is bleak.
On one half, This Ends Here sends the listener into pensive moods in between moshing to the compelling hardcore punk riffs, while on the other half Conqueror Worm assaults the listener with grimy, unrelenting grindcore that is sure to leave one out of breath. The split as whole is an experience that shouldn’t be missed out on by anyone with an interest in the punk side of extreme music.