Erosion – Maximum Suffering

4 out of 5

Label: Hydra Head

Produced by: Jesse Karr

Well, damn, I’d say this takes a few tracks for the ol’ ears to catch up with what the band’s laying down – and maybe for the band to catch up with themselves as well – but at the point where Erosion has clicked through some few quick thrashers and then they unleash the sludgey, punishing post-rock stomp of ‘The Crone’… everything starts working. The group steps back up into thrash and punkers, all given a gritty Kurt Ballou mixing stamp of approval over a healthy, balanced crunch from Jesse Karr’s production. Our lead singer’s growls and the constant metal double-bass drum fills and the steadily thwomping bass and the brutal, gruffed up guitar riffs take off – as though we just needed that relative pause in the noise for everyone to sync up. Prior to this, Erosion’s efforts seem more middling and maybe even slightly off – the extended intro title track doesn’t feel like it ends up building to a fitting conclusion, and the scattered tracks prior to Crone sometimes have drums or guitar falling slightly behind; the lead vocalist seems caught behind hardcore growls and talk-shout growls – which I realize doesn’t sound like a wild distinction, but adds to the feeling of the group poking and prodding at just being fast and noisy as a replacement for having a set identity. To be clear: the stuff still rocks hard, but in more of an average fashion. Once past the aforementioned point, though, the tracks demand attention – it’s tight; the added reverb heightens the menace; Erosion has found their playbook and is burning through the pages, writing new ones with each subsequent musical attack.