Friday, January 11, 2013

Wolf Shaped Clouds - Black Hourglass Split

01. Wolf Shaped Clouds - The Bridge. The River.
02. Black Hourglass - VII

It's not the noise, nor the screams, nor the chaos which mark this Hungarian hardcore/screamo split 7" apart for me - it's actually the dynamics. Wolf Shaped Clouds and Black Hourglass have an understanding of shifting texture, tempo, and dynamics that outdo quite a few modern post-rock bands. Beginning with intense hardcore insanity, DIY-level recording in tow, the first single, 'The Bridge. The River.' gradually moves to more stop-start riffs - and eventually cuts out all together. The effect is magical. From crazy hardcore you've moved to the lightest of acoustic tracks, with light chanting and eventual screams built on top before fading away again, and it's incredible how a movement of such extremes can be so affecting, as well as the more subtle ones later. Black Hourglass's 'VII' mirrors this, moving from a slow build up with an occasional pounding chord piercing the quiet, to full-on heavy fast-paced guitar work, shifting dramatically from heavy to light then on to great effect. It's through these contrasts that the harsh passages become very threatening, and the calm becomes rather haunting, making this split a really superb 7", and one that took me entirely by surprise by how fantastic it really was. An unexpectedly superb piece of work.

Reviewed by Beth.

This is only a two song release, but that in no way means it should be overlooked. Wolf Shaped Clouds start this album off with their song 'The Bridge. The River.', and it explodes right out of the gate. The song's opening is well organized chaos, bringing to mind a darker Ampere. The song continues heavily until the mood drastically changes around the 2:25 mark. The blasting gives way to clean picked guitar that builds to a melodic passage with sung group vocals that continues until the end of the song. Black Hourglass start their side of the split out in the same mood that Wolf Shaped Clouds ended theirs. Clean picked guitar starts out 'VII', with drums and distorted guitar accenting parts but not playing a major part until the song gets heavy almost two minutes in. The vocals are moody and passionate, and are definitely a highlight of the song. Black Hourglass balance dynamics expertly, switching back and forth between the heavy all out attack and the picked clean guitar riff to create tension and mood. While not entirely dissimilar, both of these bands' differences shine through well on these songs, creating a split that flows together well while not becoming stagnant.

Reviewed by Justin.

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