II: Adamantine by Early Black

Release date: May 22, 2017
Label: Glasshouse Records / Since Always Inc

Something that bands like Cursed managed to do was inject an element of addictiveness to their sonic assaults; the records that mark their career’s never sound outdated, repeatedly draw you back in to engorge on the dense and fulfilling heaviness but most importantly, urge new bands to harness the influence cough up the bile of this abrasive strain in punk and hardcore. Early Black do just this, offering up a short but weighty slice of extremity on II: Adamantine. The EP, second in a trilogy of releases, saw a physical reissue with this release, providing an apt opportunity to see the band’s growing potential following their The Mind Is a Fragile Thing tape from early 2016.

For only four tracks, Early Black manage to pack enough punch and incorporate various moments of reservation that the project feels very multi-faceted for such a short release, especially within this genre. Opener ‘Spitting Blood’ sets the tone with its more traditional hardcore leanings; a downtrodden pace set by the drum work met with scathing guitars and vocals. It’s with ‘Ø’ that the band give the full scope of their potential, featuring near flawless blast beats akin to metallic hardcore that pepper the listener with sonic cannon fire. The seamless transition into an almost taunting vocal passage is again what keeps the sound from being one dimensional.

The final two tracks also succeed in this, with ‘03/02/2014’ acting as a slow sermon with the desperate vocal refrain of “I don’t want to see an end” before leading into ‘Drain’. The closer builds from a dissonant intro into the explosive climax, again displaying the band’s ability to change pace so well.

Within a short run time Early Black can pack in ideas that show for a band with a lot of promise, leaving much anticipation for the third installment in this series of EPs. Not only does it present a band to watch out for, it also instills pride and hope for UK DIY hardcore considering bands of this style are continuing to put out worthwhile material.

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