Review Summary: 19 minutes of bone-shattering fun.
This release is a solid reminder of how malleable the black metal genre can be without breaking entirely.
Quincunx is a mysterious band signed to an equally mysterious label, Colloquial Sound Recordings. The label has been churning dozens of releases out (mostly on cassette and vinyl) for quite some time that are made specifically for the the underground USBM scene. To be honest, who else but the most underground of listeners could stomach what Quincunx has to offer? This is sloppy, recorded-five-feet-away sounding black metal infused with vicious hardcore. It is relentless and tons of fun. It is easily one of the year's best releases of any genre.
"Gasoline Punishment" starts with a plaintive riff fed through a PA speaker (it seems) then suddenly transforms into a hardcore onslaught of frantic drumming, tremolo-picked guitars, and howling vocals. This does not let up for a moment until the end of the track. Though some songs experiment with different tempos, they are all as brutal as the one before. "The World Is a Gutter," my personal favorite, spans several different changes throughout its 3 minute running time. A fair amount of melody can be heard through the crunch, too. Tracks like "Death's Head Lifestyle" and "Commit to Black" act as buffers between the longer (I use that term loosely - the longest song is just over four minutes) songs and bring the blackened punk styles in their sound to life. These pieces do not act as pure bludgeoning devices. Though they do that well, they are very much cathartic and artful in their execution, an achievement that many bands of their likeness can't quite manage.
The vocals might be indecipherable, the music may be grimy as all get out, but it lacks nothing as far as intensity goes. But music can't rest on intensity alone. Quincunx goes the extra mile to craft immediately catchy and well-paced songs for a genre that traditionally relies on restraint. This is certainly one of the year's best releases that will most likely fly under the radars of most.