Glassing From_the_other_side_of_the_mirror

Glassing - From The Other Side Of The Mirror


Pushing Heavy Forward

Cascades of crushing vocals, glittering guitar lines, blistering drum fills, and clean, meaty bass have always underpinned Glassing’s hybrid Hardcore approach. Schizophrenic time changes and a style that finds its expression – like fluid – wherever it finds it. You get the idea. The Austin trio offers one of the most exiting iterations on a style salad this side of the extreme metal/screamo space. Up there with any adjacent number of wild megalomaniacs of Metal. Ne Obliviscaris, we are looking at you. Infant Island. LLNN. Erlen Meyer. That kind of thing. Here again, the essential virtuosic bravado and obscene level of commitment to that duplicitous aesthetic; the tight, ever concise, hit-n-runs: fiery bursts of vitriol and blast beat burn-downs. Something especially evocative is happening on this album. A certain ear-wormy riff-forwardness. A certain balancing treatise with violence has been struck and the warm, reflective moments are allowed to creep in, the most unsettling of all.

The frenetic rawness of emotion across these tracks is a continuation, as well as an acceleration of 2021’s like-minded Twin Dream. But even more crucially, a blackened ambience has joined the fray. On “Sallow,” the crackle and pulse of glorious noise is laid bare in the binaural mix, as visceral as the soaring guitar, whose escalating chords swell hypnotically in the distance. And similarly, on “The Kestrel Goes,” a rather serene instrumental, static slowly swells with crushing volume until it chokes out the light. Out of the blue a Melo-Death inflection runs through the punk-heavy and frankly, uplifting, “Nominal Will”, which has a curious framing – at right around the midpoint of the album – hedged by the dark ambience of “Sallow” and the crushing Doom Sludge of ”Ritualist”.

The album is a mix of Hardcore that the more purist-minded will recognize, but a lot of stuff that wanders far off into experimental village, a quality which has earned Glassing a place on Pelagic Records. Where I think the only hard and fast rule there is “extreme music with extreme vision,” so this album fits the bill. It’s hard to say which half of the album I like best, as there is a kind of front and back reading of the runtime. The first half, for me has this building, foreshadowing character, as well as many of the memorable, driving hooks – with cuts like the seat-clenching ”Nothing Touches You” and the tachypneic speed-metal of ”Defacer,” and then the back half of the album contains both bleak reflection and what I would call an attempt at resolution.

Glassing have surprised absolutely no one by releasing another one of the most compelling albums in the extreme metal lexicon, let alone themselves certainly, as they have been enviably consistent. How annoying is perfection? And yet our edges are unpolished, our static unyeilding. The brutality is not lessened for the introspection. This is an album with layers. This is what we need more of. This is pushing heavy forward.