15 December 2013


As a rule, I try to avoid posting tape reproductions of vinyl/CD releases since it kinda defeats the purpose of sharing music that has been denigrated to the cassette medium. There are exceptions of course (like when I taped the STRESS record so I could share it here without breaking my self imposed guidelines), and Holland's SHIKARI is a perfect example. A collection of vinyl releases (splits with PHOENIX BODIES, SEEIN' RED, AÇÃO DIRETA and the Robot Wars 10") and is a perfect example of metallic European chaos frequently tagged with the screamo label. Maybe the label is fair if you want to be literal, as the music is certainly emotional and there is definitely a lot of screaming, but to put a band like this in a box with a label is to do them a severe injustice. The killer metal/hardcore/emo sound from late '90s Germany (SYSTRAL, AKEPHAL) is surely present, but the vocals are high, constant and beyond intense while the drums are a never ending barrage - I cannot think of another way to set the foundation for the wall of guitars that front SHIKARI. Mournful progressions, desperate and all encompassing, drawing inspiration from equally black metal and '90s emo. The level of intensity this band reaches with their very first burst of energy is one that most hardcore bands never achieve in their entire careers. So yeah, I am glad Malaysia's Bullwhip put this shit on a tape so I can share it here....and you are glad too. Powerful and essential.

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