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偏執症者 (Paranoid)
Satyagraha Christopher Owens , September 3rd, 2016 09:47

Crust punk is a minefield. When harnessed correctly, the apocalyptic tones handed down from Discharge, Chaos UK, Amebix and Hellbastard make some of the most enthralling moments ever committed to record. Bands can use that sound to create apocalyptic visions of despair over the state of humanity, the animal kingdom, whatever they want.

It's such a potent and sustainable sound that it's no wonder so many are drawn to imitate it in the way others wanted to sound like Killing Joke or Black Sabbath. However, all too often, a good lot of crust acts are either perfunctory (Appalachian Terror Unit) or ruin their music by having "amusing" names like Skiplickers and writing songs about being drunk.

However, if we look towards places like Sweden and Japan, we see places that took the blueprints laid down by the likes of Discharge and (particularly Disorder) and turned it into something else: something more feral. With the focus on speed, the likes of Mob 47, Anti Cimex, G.I.S.M, S.O.B and Gauze upped the ante and helped create the blueprint for grindcore and powerviolence.

Not bad for a genre that still gets written off by some as being populated by unwashed hippes pining for a Crass reunion.

偏執症者 (henceforth referred to as Paranoid) have been on the go since 2012. Made up of veterans from bands like Warvictims, Electric Funeral and Brottskod 11, they came to my attention thanks to 2014's Destroy Future Less System: it was an impressive record, but nothing really stood out. Clearly there was adherence to the blueprint, and it was executed with conviction and love of the genre. But there was nothing to really sink your teeth into. It could have been a thousand other bands.

Satyagraha was originally released last year on a variety of labels. However, Southern Lord (the new home for hardcore/crust releases such as Oiltanker, Masakari and Heartless) have seen fit to disperse it on a grander scale. Let's be thankful for that, as this is an album that deserves to be heard.

Opening with the obligatory industrial-type sample of pounding, interference and a clip of philosophy, the mayhem begins in earnest with 'Kaihou'. The drums pound in the right places, the bass rumbles perfectly, the guitar is suitably distorted in the mix and the vocals have enough distortion on them to rival Disguise. 'Bouryoku' begins with tribal (almost Celtic) drumming, leading into something more midpaced with seriously scuzzy bass. Moments like this allow for a flow and variation — a much needed respite for the listener before beating them in the face with a song like 'Nangijala (Shigo No Sekai)'

Each instrument can be heard in the mix throughout — a drilling equality that renders each track powerful enough to level a tower block ('Chinurareta Tousou', should you need it, is proof of this claim). It's not difficult to guess how the record plays out, but — make no bones about it — this is an album that will soundtrack the journey into work on Monday mornings.

Once again, the Swedes show the world how crust punk is done.