B.Abuse - Memories Of Better Days Are Gone LP
German post-crust experimental veterans [B.ABUSE] bring an elegiac atmosphere with their fifth full length release; 'Memories Of Better Days Are Gone'. Right from the opening track there is something unusual about this band, immediately blending rolling post-rock atmosphere with a cross between Neurosis' hoarse bellow and clean, Cure-like vocal inflections and punching, punk-touched drums. They seek to push the listener with tracks walking the mid-tempo tension line, building from the simplest foundations (in the case of the opener just two chords), and advancing in movements to a point of critical mass, sometimes a brief blastbeat, often a crescendo of noise.
This is a band that manage to summon nostalgic sounds, classic Godflesh, Voivod, The Jesus Lizard, Discharge etc and fuse it into dream-like chrysalis of noise in these songs. Each feels very self contained, and considering the 'post' tag, very reasonable in length. Of the 8 tracks, only one is significantly longer than 5 minutes (the showstopping penultimate near-ballad 'Zerfall') clocking in at just over 9. The refusal to disappear into self-congratulatory pretension is something that sets [B.ABUSE] aside from their contemporaries and certainly makes this album worth checking out. The band's ability to move between, for example, Math type hardcore chord stabbing, tidal synth atmosphere and traditional metal riffing is consummate and profound.
According to [B.ABUSE] "Everybody was harmed during the making of this record", this is believable in the sounds archived here, though the songs are all intrinsically different, they are tied together by a common thread of mourning that pervades the release. There is something on this album for anyone who considers themselves a music fan, and the air of sorrow, though pervasive, does not weigh the music down or crush the listener with 'heaviness', the diversity of this release has to be heard to be believed. Not content with holding onto the weight of the Godflesh comparison, or the chaos of someone like Merzbow, or the atmosphere of maybe Mogwai, but managing to touch all these extreme ends threads on an album without metal pretension is something to be lauded.