Company: Paragon Records Release: 2005 Reviewer: Etiam Genre: Extreme, death, grind
Not a groundbreaking release today nor a critical classic
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.
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