Achilles/Engineer Achilles/Engineer

A double split-CD from the always on-point Hex Records (the alter-ego of the Hanging Like A Hex zine), which should have simply been one disc, contains an incredible amount of devastation and the potential for more. While neither Engineer nor Achilles surpass or redefine their rather obvious influences on either disc, they achieve their sonic carnage effortlessly and without wavering, establishing the bar for future endeavours. Of the two, Engineer is the winner in terms of sheer sonic density, borrowing some of the gravity of old Isis/Neurosis and switching between more pounding, cycling sonic abuse, and pummelling with a sound and viciousness reminiscent of the glory days of Coalesce. While Engineer is more overwhelming, Achilles is more detail-oriented, recalling the complexity of Breather Resist (and by extension, Deadguy, Burn It Down minus the Danzig fixation and Kiss It Goodbye) and the tangents of Botch, combining it with more accessible rock-based riffs and the occasional pure hardcore part. Both acts also experiment with mellower tracks but they are mainly for diversity’s sake, although Achilles’ "Save Nothing” reminds initially of Hot Cross. As always, Hex delivers two more to follow. (Hex)