Lavotchkin / End To Empires

Split EP

Written by: AP on 27/07/2011 22:53:24

Like the Long Haul and Kerouac, their Northern counterparts Lavotchkin and End to Empires, too, have concluded that the most appropriate way to promote the burgeoning UK hardcore scene is to offer it in pairs. Clocking in at just under 12 minutes, this split release leaves little room for aesthetics; in lieu of this, both Lavotchkin and End to Empires unleash a petrifying display of unharnessed rage.

Lavotchkin, in particular, manage to recall some of the bleakest and most deranged moments of Converge and Poison the Well, first on the dizzying, mathematic rager "Ben Gardner's Head", and since on the geared down "Arkady", slowly incinerating the listener's eardrums like glowing white phosphorus. Eschewing breakdowns and attitude for a more raucous and intelligent take on the genre, this duo of songs highlights the band's superb grasp on dynamics, with jangling hanging chords adding melancholic colour to otherwise straightforward, brutal hardcore riffing.

Unlike on the aforementioned Kerouac / The Long Haul split, however, there is a marked difference in the contributions of End to Empires at first. In what can only be described as a slight disappointment following Lavotchkin's impressive display, "Kill This Epidemic" begins like a fairly generic old school hardcore piece; thankfully rescued midway by an abrupt switch down in tempo and the introduction of ghastly screaming akin to those regularly heard from A Textbook Tragedy. "Heavens Vultures" proves even less gratuitous, employing typical gang shouts atop a standard powerchord arrangement and leaving it there.

As such, unlike the unanimously creative collaboration between Kerouac and The Long Haul, this EP lacks the synergy needed effectively to execute a split. Lavotchkin might have been better represented as a third compatriot alongside Kerouac and The Long Haul, but for the brilliance of their contributions alone, those interested in modern British hardcore should not simply discard this EP. And although End to Empires are unable to offer material on par with their partners in crime, theirs is by no means an atrocity for the ears either.


Download: Ben Gardner's Head, Arkady, Kill This Epidemic
For the fans of: Converge, Kerouac, Poison the Well
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 17.04.2011
Thirty Days of Night Records

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