Pristina The Drought (Ov Salt And Sorrow)

Explosive, original and outright gargantuan, there's very little about Connecticut's premiere hardcore-meets-grind outfit, Pristina, one could classify as arid or deficient. In fact, with the wealth of both influential and talented members culled from the likes of 100 Demons, Invocation of Nehek and more working with Today is the Day mainstay Steve Austin, it's not hard to conceive of the overflowing well of creativity, dichotomy, passion and chaos detonating on The Drought. Working through enough heavy sub-genres, epic passages and emotions to make a schizophrenic think these guys need help, this 45-minute, five-song blast of organized aural anarchy kicks off in the vein of early Cro-Mags, thanks to a rumbling introduction reminiscent of "We Gotta Know," but eventually rambles through melodic death metal, the charred remnants of blackened torment and even aspects of Neurosis-inspired progressive doom before settling back into the former. While it sounds crazy and disjointed, the entire ride is prodigiously cohesive enough to feel natural yet slightly unusual, prompting a few raised eyebrows in between head-stomping rages. (Trendkill)