It’s no wonder there are people who fetishise Japanese takes on music.
For some, Zeni Geva were better than Big Black and Godflesh, S.O.B better than Cryptic Slaughter, Corrupted better than Eyehategod, Sete Star Sept better than anyone else!
And there’s usually solid reasoning behind this. All those bands tear lumps out of their audience.
All those bands are, arguably, much more extreme than their “Western” counterparts. And the covers are usually much more interesting/gory.
Hailing from Chiba, Friendship have been terrorizing hardcore and metal fans for a few years now.
This, their first proper full length, has been available on CD and tape for a while, but Southern Lord have stepped in to see it released on vinyl.
While the all black cover does invoke Spinal Tap, it warns the listener of the abyss that they face heading into when they listen to ‘Hatred.’
The opening track, ‘Rejected’, doesn’t so much start the record but hurl the listener into a barrage of blastbeats and the nastiest, distorted guitar to feature on record for a while. And it genuinely sounds demented.
So many bands of this ilk may do the business live, but sound sterile and impotent on record.
‘Regiside’ offers a little respite due to less blasting, but that only lasts 20 seconds before normal service is resumed. Gotta love the slippery, sliding riff and the end section where feedback slowly engulfs the song.
‘Corrupt’ mixes doom/sludge into the mix, and the results are suitably filthy. Once again, it’s amazing to note just how deranged the band sound here. Same with ‘Blue Berry’ and ‘El Chapo’, other songs which follow the same template.
With a running time of under 30 minutes and a musical vision that does not allow for deviation, it’s succinct in it’s brutality and overriding in it’s power.
You know exactly what to expect when the needle hits the wax, and you wouldn’t want anything else as well.
Perfect for the post Christmas lull.
3.5 / 5 – Christopher Owens ::: 29/12/17