CALVAIIRE – Forceps

CALVAIIRE_Forceps_Cover

Label: Throatruiner Records

Bandcamp stream: Link

This record is angry. I could probably be lazy and summarise the record with that statement, but that would do it a disservice. It’s angry for sure, and rages along at a million miles per hour before burning out in a blaze of frantic, creative hardcore. As such, there’s more to it than simple anger, but that initial impression is very strong.

To clarify, this is the hardcore that teeters on the verge of utter collapse, and takes a huge amount of control to play without it descending in to a mess. Think early Cave In, Converge, Botch, or more modern bands like Gaza or Trap Them and you’re in the right area, with some of the guitar work – such as the leads in Simulacre – clearly influenced by Kurt Ballou. There’s moments that race ahead, powered along by their desperate energy, but there’s also enough moments where the band slow things down just a touch to stop things becoming too overwhelming (such as the excellent mid-section of Equarrissage, or the brooding danger roughly a minute in of Aux Porcs). The vocals are hugely reminiscent of J. Bannon’s for Converge post-Jane Doe, the screams possessing a similar kind of angry, urgent, desperate quality to them, whilst at other points deeper vocals are partially buried under the music, full of malice and threat. The vocals are all in French, but that shouldn’t put anyone off who doesn’t understand the language – who can understand Bannon’s screams without the aid of a lyrics sheet? The emotion they convey is clear, regardless of any potential language barriers.

Individually, the songs do blur together a bit, but that’s not much of a criticism – it’s more down to how frantic this album is, only pausing for breath when absolutely necessary and otherwise destroying all that is in its path. It’s not the kind of thing that is healthy to listen to over and over – the atmosphere of anxiety and rage is contagious, and it’s an utterly exhausting listen – yet at the same time, there’s something very addictive about it. Even though it’s so tempting to compare it to bands of the past, it still manages to retain its own identity – it’s a case of being inspired by others, rather than trying to imitate them.

Overall, it really is a total rager of a record, and if you’re a fan of the previously mentioned bands then it’s hard to imagine you disliking this. It’s also a big step-up in song writing from the band compared to their previous release, Rigorisme, still drawing from the same elements and influences yet possessing a stronger identity and more confidence. Furthermore, Throatruiner are offering it for free download via their website, as they always do, which is commendable. As such, if this kind of thing sounds appealing then there’s really no excuse not to check them out.

Rating: 8/10

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