Minors – ‘Abject Bodies’

By Liam Knowles

In current heavy music, two logos that truly act as an infallible stamp of quality are those of American record label Deathwish Inc. and the British-run Holy Roar Records. This sophomore record from Canadian hardcore band Minors is being released by both labels, so it’s completely unnecessary to tell you that this is a great record. Let’s talk about WHY it’s great.

Minors abruptly introduce themselves with a brief squeal of feedback and a deafening open note. This split second, and the increasingly menacing few minutes of instrumentation that follows, gives the listener an idea of what to expect going forward. The opening (and title) track basically acts as the big fella clearing the pit out into a circle because he knows exactly what’s going to happen when things properly kick in. That same guy then launches himself from the speaker stack as ‘Consumed’ erupts from a bubbling cacophony of drums and feedback. It’s here where Minors properly make their mark. The fast bits on this track, along with the equally relentless ‘Meanderist’, channel Converge and All Pigs Must Die, with vocalist Jesse bearing more than a passing resemblance to the performance style of APMD/Hope Conspiracy main man Kevin Baker. The band blazes along at incomprehensible speeds, leaving nothing behind them but scorch marks and bewildered listeners.

What sets Minors apart from their straight hardcore contemporaries is the churning sludge element, which they weave into the record perfectly. Perhaps the best example of this is penultimate track ‘Erode’, a six and a half minute behemoth built around one of the nastiest bass riffs in modern memory. The track builds and swells around that riff, making excellent use of hypnotic delay to really drench the listener in despair. The band then close on ‘Garden Of Dismalism’; another slow, punishing track with caustic, shrieking guitar tones that Will Haven would be proud to put their name to. If the first few faster numbers smashed your face in, these last two crushing tracks are a lumbering beast, steadily grinding your bone fragments into the earth.

‘Abject Bodies’ clocks in at just over twenty five minutes, and around half of that is the last two tracks, so you can pretty much guarantee that once the album is finished you’ll be straight back in for another round to see what you missed the first time. There’s plenty to digest, and the band’s influences are broad enough that this should appeal to fans of heavy music in general, rather than just fans of hardcore. If you find yourself with a spare half hour and want to fill it with something horrible, then this record should be your first port of call. Just make sure you leave enough time to pick your shattered skull up off the floor afterwards.

LIAM KNOWLES

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