A horrible hack

Gas Chamber

Hemorrhaging Light

Year Released: 2014
Format: LP
Label: Iron Lung
 
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Jun 4, 2015
There's no point in trying to get a handle on Gas Chamber, really, because every time you think you have they've slipped away, changed slightly and discovered strange new tools with which to beat you. Case in point: 'Hemorrhaging Light', which is not just one of the most fearsome and fearsomely inventive hardcore releases of recent years, but also one of the most challenging.

As with the likes of Iron Lung and Column Of Heaven, I put these achievements down to several interconnected factors: years spent discovering, absorbing and parsing strange, inhuman sounds; a concomitant span spent creating them and the bitterly acquired knowledge that life doesn't get any better the more of it you see.

While you can ostensibly pin the powerviolence tag upon them, this is as much for they diverge and digress from the genre has for any similarities. What they possess is the raw spirit and sentiment of the early bands, because while the speed and negativity might suggest No Comment and the experimental whinneys might recall MITB, there's enough Rudimentary Peni, experimental noise and genre sidestepping to suggest they're anywhere near 'typical' or 'standard'.

What else? The guitar sound is a goad phased, flanged, thin and barbed the vocals are coated in viscous, life-smothering slime, and amid the rage are disorienting moments of melody, electronic accretions and a strange patch that makes me think I'm listening to a sad song sung by a member of the French Resistance.

It's not an easy one to digest and certainly won't be admired by everyone, but for my money it's a frightening, compelling and ludicrously good record that's charged with so much hate and desperation that it's almost become something beautiful.

Almost.


Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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