A horrible hack

Whitehorse - Negative Standards


Year Released: 2013
Format: LP
Label: Vendetta
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Nov 5, 2014
Negative Standards feature a couple of guys from Acts Of Sedition and offer up a bubbling stew of metal and hardcore influences. At times the dominant vibe appears to be a black metal His Hero Is Gone, at others a crustier Damad or a welterweight Neurosis. The vocals are a powerful if slightly stock roar while the guitars have a big, punchy, boxy sound to them. Letting things down a bit are the drums, which linger low in the mix and deserve to be louder since they're actually pretty darn interesting. The first song is long and involved while the second is a shorter blast akin to the stuff Southern Lord has been peddling of late. Nice.

Over on the other side are Aussies Whitehorse, who've been knocking around for a while now. Their song takes up one whole side of vinyl; a grand, portentous, towering slab of sludged-out doom that deals in both punishing riffs and subtler dynamics which do their best to take shelter from the all-out storm raging above. Vocals roar and screech, electronics (?) smudge the edges and those riffs keep pouring out, the whole sound as grimly unstoppable as some disastrous force of nature greedily swallowing a sleeping village.

The bands complement each other despite dealing in different kinds of heavy, and while it mightn't be an absolute top-tier release in terms of untrammelled metallic rage it certainly doesn't fall too far short. Definitely worth investigating, I'd say.

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