Faces of the Moving Year showcases two of the heaviest bands in the goddamn world. Richmond’s bleak screamo phenom Ostraca creates a maddening scene of gloom and doom as dynamic and heavy as human ears can handle. Denton’s Flesh Born contributes five brand new songs chock full of huge riffs, double bass and shredding vocals to makes this potentially the wildest split the universe currently has to offer.
Ostraca begins with “The Lucid Outline,” establishing an eerily unsettling atmosphere. Even as the song picks up in volume and the guitar towers over with a hazy distorted lead, the bass and drums maintain their reserved pace as the song reaches its conclusion in a washed out crash, taking the listener through their dystopian dream world. “All I Was In Ashes” picks up similarly, extending the sparse gloomy tone, while at a moment’s notice, the tempo changes and the dream is abruptly ended. The band erupts in a burst of blast beats driving through vocalist Gus Caldwell’s dynamic high & low screams, while showcasing Ostraca’s ability to create an eerie bliss and a willingness to annihilate it all in one flash.
Flesh Born begins their half of Faces of the New Year by unabashedly leaning into their metal side. “Unredeemable” begins with driving double bass and dissonant guitar, leading into a crunchy wall of power chords and blast beats. Flesh Born wastes no time in getting straight to the point with relentlessly heavy low end riffs and vocalist Miles DeBruin’s searing scream leading the charge. Flesh Born never lets up steam, creating a five song spree of ceaseless riffs and pummeling rhythms heavier than ACME anvils.
Faces of the Moving Year shows both Flesh Born and Ostraca taking their sounds down a path that lies somewhere between metalcore and screamo. Flesh Born present themselves as purposefully abrasive, following the riff driven path of bands like Converge and Fear Before the March of Flames circa 2004. On the other side, Ostraca gives the listener a sonic version of Nightmare on Elm Street , as terrifying as it is surreal. With their ability to switch between sparse ominous melodies and unnervingly chaotic metalcore, Ostraca delivers a perfect soundtrack to haunt through your darker dreams.
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