Sense Offender & NIL - Split

18 Aug 2021 - Thorsten

Blackened Noise | The Sludgelord | Release date: 30 Jul 2021

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Hardcore has always had an affinity for split releases, mostly split 7-inches, with two or more bands using their somewhat local statuses to gain a bigger attention outside their usually smaller scene. Another perfect example is now delivered by music lovers‘ secret gem Sludgelord Records combining the sheer overpowering forces of Sense Offender with the not less-impressive NIL.

Some bands in the 90s Midwestern/Emo scene used to do splits with one or more bands in more or less every city they went to in order to thus finance their extensive tours across the country. This is not necessarily the case in the middle of the pandemic with live performances only very slowly coming back. Nevertheless, these two bands make for an impressive roughly quarter of an hour divided into four tracks.

The Northern-England based Sense Offender start off the split release (available digitally, on tape and CD) with the two longest tracks – if two tracks of four minutes can be called long. Their very blackened noise-core is like a mix of Coffin Lurker and Converge – and honestly, if anyone told me this was released by Sentient Ruin, one of the major players in blackened avantgarde noise, I’d believe it. Essentially still a hardcore band but with so much going on around the tracks it’s hard to see them alongside classic Hardcore bands. This is Sense Offender’s third split in a row, the first two with Pupil Slicer and They Live I We Sleep already blew everyone off their feet, and this one will do so as well. Harsh noisy, playing with classic rhythm structures, using cut-up or stop-and-go techniques – the first song ”Prayer Sheet” is basically already three songs in one when analyzed from a rhythm-oriented point of view! And blimey, the second track ”Skin Your Teeth” might seem a bit more accessible at first but it is not in any way less chaotic and brutal.

Leeds-based NIL rely a lot more on groove and give it some more room to develop and turn the songs into more classic noise-core tracks in the vein of early Between The Buried And Me or Coalesce. Starting off with ”The War Inside” their two tracks are a bit shorter and indirectly also coherent. ”The War Inside” is a good example: The groove-oriented drums lead the way throughout the song and even the polyphonic short guitar breaks never take away from the impression of band taking one beat pattern and then laying it out as the song’s foundation on which they then add several several different layers of guitar, vocals and, well, dirt. Classic Chaos-Core.

The Sludgelord once again proves to be a fine forger of new bands or new soon-to-be-classic UK-hardcore releases and this split release will surely help Sense Offender and NIL garnish more attention outside their own circles. Therefore: intended goal achieved!