It’s no secret that hardcore has had a stellar year in 2017, so what better way to cap it off with more of the same? This times, it’s courtesy of Minors, the Canadian noisemakers drawing from acts like Ceremony and Trash Talk, as well as being one of the latest acts cultivated into the ever-reliable Holy Roar stable.
If that all sounds like some pretty stipulations for quality, you’d be absolutely right, as ‘Atrophy’ is the work of a band out for blood. It definitely helps that these seven tracks draw from a very specific brand of hardcore, namely the filthy, death-metal-driven wave mastered by a band like Black Breath, and pulling it off with the necessary senses of dread and danger. ‘Somnolence’ might be a bit of a misleading start with its blackened, hellish rumble, but when the savage swings of ‘Bone Pointer’ or the total chaos of ‘Void’ come rampaging through, it’s hard not to get swept up in how guttural it all is.
Admittedly, the fact that this is a pretty slight listen does detract from that somewhat; seven tracks clocking in at under twenty minutes is a fairly limited offering, but when not a single moment is wasted, it’s clear that Minors are vying for as comprehensive a listen as possible. And it’s hard to deny that they definitely get there, given just how tight and violent so many of these tracks are, or how the foray into something slightly more expansive on closer ‘Soothsayer’ does build to a fittingly animalistic conclusion.
Honestly, it’s difficult to say where Minors go wrong with what’s here, if at all. Yes, there isn’t that much on offer, but when their contributions to the already fertile hardcore landscape are as vicious and intense as they are, that’s not something to complain about. ‘Atrophy’ definitely feels like something of a starting block, but there have been few foundations more solid than this one in some time.
‘Atrophy’ by Minors is out now on Holy Roar Records.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)