If true hardcore still exists, then it does so in small pockets, a thousand cities and towns with their own offering towards the kaleidoscope of the periphery. What we have here is another sample of that kind of heaviness, another offering towards the existence of heavy and harsh hardcore.

Venomspitter wastes no time with their appropriately titled “We Are Only Free As Our Most Oppressed,” setting the tone both ideologically and sonically. It’s a manic barrage that, along with the following track “Woodrow Wilson was Human Scum that Resurrected the KKK,” act as a palate cleanser before launching into the brooding mid-tempo killer, “Polar Opposites,” an apt title considering its divergent approach. It’s a parting shot that penetrates the brain in slow motion.

Where Venomspitter leaves off, DSGNS picks up, starting things off immediately with “Chemical Peel.” I’ve written elsewhere on this site about this song’s impact, but let me assure you that nestled in among the other tracks on this split, this song has the capacity to throw everything you feel on the road and watch the traffic pulverize it into the pavement. When “Damager” starts, it’s intricate guitar picking offers something that isn’t present on the rest of the split, a kind of reprieve that’s more reflective than crushing, before switching gears and delving into heavier, more crushing depths. It ends on an atmospheric note, fading out from the devastation, leaving the listener wanting to start it all over again.

As a whole, the split succeeds in delivering on all the different pillars of hardcore that we’ve come to know today, without needing to employ noise or doom sensibilities. It’s a refreshing take, something that managed to capture the spirit of things as they were say ten years ago, but with a contemporary understanding of how to deliver crushing and brutal tones.

Track Listing:

01. We Are Only Free As Our Most Oppressed
02. Woodrow Wilson Was Human Scum The Resurrected The KKK
03. Polar Opposites
04. Chemical Peel
05. Damager

Run Time: 14:33
Release Date: February 11, 2016

Check out the full split here.