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Rips yer ugly face off - 79%

joncheetham88, October 27th, 2012

Absence of the Sacred mainman and former Impiety weaponizer Mike Priest, and partner in grime Cider of former Draconis Infernum vocal repute have very much stepped up their shenanigans in their blackened d-beat project Blood Division. First time I saw 'em live they were in the middle of a Misfits cover as I entered, with some extremely crusty vocals going on, and that dichotomy has remained with me since they started releasing material as well. It rips yer ugly face off, but with much fuckin' bouncy d-beat panache.

The level of ferocity to be enjoyed here is over and above the previous EP, which was no pussycat itself. Some of the raucous enthusiasm of the band's live shows is captured alongside the careful attention to detail that I think can be considered typical for both of these gents.

The cocky Abigail-style swing and slice of 'Raise the Black Flag' is an immediate indicator of the upped ante here. Catchy as all hell, piercing vocals intact and one of those songs that brings mosh pits to mind merely by hearing it on record. 'Morbid Requiem' has some quite Swedeath leanings in its booming, drawling guitars but remains very punk despite its blast beats. Now there's not very much of this, and after 'They Wait' (which has the same title as a fairly appalling ghost movie I once saw, incidentally) introduces 'Hellhounds', and the latter has scraped a few more bits of wax out of your ears with its, again, fairly Jap black/ thrash inclinations th-th-that's all you get, jerks. Still, enough nice riffs and genuinely headbangable moments to make this well worth a butcher's.

One of very few punk or crust inclined bands in Southeast Asia that I make a point of keeping up with, and this latest is a bloody good reason to keep that habit up.