The Space Between Home And Today
7/24/2008 - Review by: Etiam
Not a groundbreaking release today nor a critical classic
The Space Between Home And Today
Company: Paragon Records
Genre: Extreme, death, grind
It would be easy to dismiss Biolich if they had released this EP today, since their frenetic synthesis of brutal death vocals and tuning with grindcore rhythms is reaching a saturation point in the scene. But 'The Space Between Home And Today' appeared in 2005, following eight years of demos dating back to 1997, and proved to be the band's final release. On 'The Space...', Biolich culled together the cream of their post-millennium crop, including relatively early tracks like 'Extensive Autumn Necrony' and 'Time Kills Everything', on a six-track EP and gave it a decent packaging job to boot. Biolich's music is a genre mish-mash, drawing on metalcore, death metal, grind, crust, and just about anything else they could get their hands on. The tremendously low vocals reflect Biolich's appreciation for for Finland's cult phenom Demilich, whose Antti Boman set the standard for stomach belchers across the land. At other times the metalcore gang vocal influence is favored, but never to a mawkish or excessive extent, while at still other points they use a revolting retch halfway between a holler and a burp. These further distance Biolich from the standard deathcore crowd, as do the first moments of 'Time Kills Everything' and the entirety of the seven-minute 'Ikon Sumo', which fall in the dreamy realm in between ambient, hip hop beats, and dance.
The production of 'The Space...' is competent and rather good for a debut EP, but its rough edges are still enough to convey the immediacy and authenticity of the performances. It also raises the question of just how clean modern production is supposed to be. This genre is typified by schizophrenic song structures and shattering catharses, but pandemic overproduction (along with overexposure) has desensitized the audience so thoroughly that we take bowel-growls and arthritis-inducing scales as matters of course. 'The Space...' was mixed for balance without losing its bite, and in doing so it injects the viscera back into core's guts.
Despite its hodgepodge nature, 'The Space...' is not a groundbreaking release today nor one that is destined to be much of a critical classic. Bands like Animosity have embraced hip-hop, HORSE The Band electronica, and any number of other young urbanites have exploited so many remaining combinations of genres that 'ironicore' may soon be more than a hypothetical jibe. Also, the group's songwriting dynamic is no more than passable, rendering 'The Space...' memorable more for its idiosyncrasies than its quality. Nevertheless, it still serves to remind us that the core-affiliated genres can and have been forward-thinking, and that such an underground existed before Between the Buried and Me.
Biolich - The Space Between Home And Today - 2005 - Autopsy Kitchen
1. Morals Like Frozen Piss
2. Extensive Autumn Necrony
3. Twin Faced Exorcism
4. Time Kills Everything
5. Ikon Sumo
6. Unfortunately They Don't Allow Us to Store Bodies in the Dumpsters At Work
An odd one, this Biolich release. I suppose you could consider it to be an EP though, to be fair, at just over 25 minutes it is not much shorter than your average full-length Deicide album (or, for that matter, Reign In Blood). It is much more of a mind fuck than anything Deicide or Slayer have put out, though. Lots of blasting, pinch harmonics, time changes, jagged riffing, and a healthy does of melody are the ingredients making up this particular grindcore stew. Think bands like Demilich, early Disharmonic Orchestra or Disastrous Murmur but with much better chops. The riff about 3 and a half minutes into “Extensive Autumn Necrony” could have been lifted from an INCANTATION album. Shall I continue with the comparisons? Since just about everything these days is derivative, why not? Picture a less-angular Meshuggah with a touch of latter-day Gorguts, but organic like Obscura rather than jagged like From Wisdom to Hate. There is a great use of dissonance throughout, and just when you think you might be getting used to the formula, Biolich toss out “Ikon Sumo,” a moody, atmospheric electronica piece that is all the more effective falling between so much bizarre grindcore like someone dropping a big old rock right in the middle of a bowl of soup.
What’s with all the food analogies? I must be hungry.
--Al Kikuras 02.22.07