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Watchmaker, Kill. Crush. Destroy. / Hirudinea Split EP (Killeveryone, 2015)

This cassette reissue of Watchmaker's first and last outings—both of which I've reviewed in the past—is actually the debut release from new tape label Killeveryone International, founded by the band's vocalist, Brian Vocal Terror. Those unfamiliar with the group should expect predominantly fast and abrasive compositions that remain firmly rooted in cacophonous thrash despite their breadth of influences—grinding blasts, black metal ferocity, frantic "metalcore," etc. So, basically: crude, dirty, nonstop aggression with maniacal vocals shrieking and screaming their way through various degrees of lunacy. Got it? Good.

Originally issued through Wonderdrug Records in 2001, Kill. Crush. Destroy. (sans "Arise in Might," which was cut for time) takes side A. Curiously enough, the standout tracks from my original review some 14 years ago still hit me the hardest: the surging rhythms and savagely panned/layered vocals of "Mournful Visage"; "Salt Fertile Earth" kicking off with that killer distorted bass intro before breaking into dissonant riffing with some of those subtly melodic, black metal-inflected tremolo picking runs; "Watchmaker" leaning the most towards the chaotic "metalcore" angle with hammer-on/pull-off riffs and generally looser and more angular guitar performances; and the midpaced churn of "Like Saturn Devouring His Children," with its excellent crust of dirty death metal.

Side B—so obscure that none of its content seems to exist on YouTube—consists of the Watchmaker tracks from their split CD with Hirudinea (Bestial Onslaught Productions, 2006): shorter, faster songs (none topping three minutes) with pretty much zero breathing room in between. It's stylistically in keeping with their debut, though somewhat more linear in terms of tempo and approach. If the debut was hack 'n' slash with a machete, this is more of a full-on chainsaw, if that makes any sense. Just check the blazing rage of cuts like "Nuked to Ashes," "Malignant Memory Hole," etc. And, of course, the turn towards crudely full-on old school thrash for closer "Destroyer of Heaven and Earth" remains a highlight.

As a bonus, tacked on at the end is a Neurobile noise remix that originally appeared on a limited edition 5" that came with 500 copies of Kill. Crush. Destroy. It's seven-and-a-half minutes of surprisingly well-executed experimental noise that I'd imagine was crafted using Watchmaker's material as the initial sound source. As in your face and fierce as the band's own work is, this piece is surprisingly atmospheric—wavering from harsher distorted textures to ominous ambient drones and textural nuances.

The tracks herein are comprised of three different recording sessions—all slightly different, but all very rugged and lo-fi. That's to say: it's more or less a perfect fit for Watchmaker's brand of over the top intensity—though, admittedly, the Hirudinea split has an edge with its stronger sense of balance and clarity to the grit 'n' grime.

The clear cassette with red foil liners is packed inside of an insert that includes the original cover art from both releases alongside minimal recording credits. No lyrics, etc. (I believe lyrics were omitted from the original releases, too, though.) Keepin' it simple.

PayPal $10.00 postage paid in the US to thrash@killeveryonerecords.com, or send an email first for international order inquiries. In 2015, that's pretty damn "underground," right?

Comments

  1. Oh yeah!!!
    I love Watchmaker, although I’m not listening so much as with years my ears became more sensitive…
    I own everything they released before and I will buy this cassette just because I like them so much, even if I don’t have cassette player. Maybe I will get one just for them.
    I remembered first time I heard Erased from the Memory of Man. I was sold in first second.
    It’s really a pity they don’t exist any more, as well as that I never saw them performing live.
    Even if the sound is a little bit “murky”, this band f*****king DESTROYS!!!

    7.9.2015 | By CarlosFromAversionline