“I am in a world of shit.”
The first words uttered on Erosion’s Maximum Suffering pretty well encapsulate the band’s outlook, and that outlook is bleak. There’s little hope to be found on Maximum Suffering, an album of old-school crust punk and crossover thrash that echoes the menace and nihilism that permeates some of the most powerful material from Discharge, Amebix or Cro-Mags. Just look at the tracklist: “Scorched Earth,” “We Have Failed Us,” “Everything Is Fucked.” This ain’t party music.
For all of the menace, mayhem and eschatology of Erosion’s debut album, however, the band at least make the world’s inevitable end vastly more thrilling through the sounds of their furious bursts of hardcore. Featuring members of Baptists and 3 Inches of Blood, Erosion have the makings of a metal supergroup, but their efforts are focused on a relentless, bone-cracking intensity that feels overwhelming even by today’s standards of extreme metal. They gallop with the force of 16 horses of the apocalypse, and their crust is far gnarlier than any standard purveyors of d-beat. That guitar tone is just nasty. As heavy as these songs are, they’re dialed in, production-wise, to give that cavalcade of destruction an even more caustic and corrosive afterburn.
The title track serves as an epic introduction for the pummeling to come. At nearly six minutes long, it’s about three times longer than the average track here, and as such features a much more expansive array of sounds, from black metal blast beats to a dark, melodic interlude. But two-minutes in, it becomes an uncaged beast, barking, snarling and ready to tear flesh. From there, the next few songs blow by in a nuclear whirlwind of ferocity, each two-minute-or-less hardcore anthem leaving its mark without wearing out its welcome. These are fierce, uncompromising songs of angst and anger, and they’re at times too intense to fully make sense of.
In time, Erosion reveal more tricks at their disposal, from the death metal riffs of “Deep In Hell” to the sludgy power chords of “Scorched Earth” and the massive hooks of “Storm in Steel.” Yet while there are subtleties and a number of fun variations on their brand of hardcore, ultimately Erosion are about crafting something bloodthirsty and feral. It’s just the kind of necessary soundtrack for survival when the world outside feels like it’s on the verge of collapse.