Skarp Requiem

There’s an interesting sub-genre in the heavy music world, one that operates somewhere between the realms of raw black metal and crust punk. I always figured those anarcho-punks had fascist flirtations, and this proves it. Bands like Seattle’s Skarp are leading the way, along with label-mates Ludicra; both embrace ultra-raw production sounds (I absolutely love the snare sound on here), moments of crust punk and grindcore as well as the more dissonant side of raw black metal. But there are no keyboards or silly posturing; rather, Skarp’s music is full of angry emotional turmoil, with lyrics describing the alienation of city life and modern day societal woes. It’s a killer mix, one that the band have dubbed "blackout grind,” for those keeping track of modern metal micro-genres. And again, the production completely rules, bringing out the great manic drumming of Joe Axler and super screaming of Renae Betts in a way that today’s over-produced metal records have no hope of competing with. The album trails off at the end with the addition of tracks from vinyl and split releases, but this is still a highly enjoyable and energetic disc. (Alternative Tentacles)