Saturday 16 March 2013

Esoteric Youth/Prelude To The Hunt - Split Tape

This is the first of a trio of Church of Fuck Tape reviews, which will eventually reach the end of the first chapter for one of the UK's most prolific labels (in both quality and quantity) in recent years. This split between Manchester's own Esoteric Youth and Aberdeen's Prelude To The Hunt has been very eagerly awaited for those in the know and after EY's Demo tape left a pretty stubborn mark on UK hardcore scene last year, it was worth the wait to see what they produced next. The same can be said for Prelude To The Hunt too. They've been building up steadily and have helped to put Scotland on the map with their brand of sludgy hardcore.

I want to mention the artwork thought before I jump into the review itself. The cover art above is pretty savage, as you'd expect and should give you a clue as to the tape's contents. When you open the case up you're with flowers! Yes you heard me right, have a look at the pictures below and you'll see what I mean:-

I think you'll agree, even though it's a little disconcerting seeing the Church Of Fuck logo atop of flower and blue sky, the overall effect is great and the tape looks as good as ever. Now onto the tape...

It features two songs from each band. One original and one cover song.


Side A - Esoteric Youth
1. Instinct
2. Minerva (Deftones Cover)

Side B - Prelude To The Hunt
3. Tomb World
4. Reparations (Cursed Cover)

Opener Instinct is Esoteric Youth's own song and the only word to describe it is savage. It's a bit of a departure from the sound the employed on their demo. Out goes some of the more sludge-ridden hardcore and in comes a faster more urgent slab of angry noise. The crunching guitars and fast drums make the perfect backdrop for those harsh, screamed vocals. EY's second track is a cover of the Deftones song Minerva. This is an awesome choice of song to cover and EY keep the majestic atmosphere of the original in tacked, with some subtle ambient melody, which is sat in the mix. The vocal attack though adds a new sense of menace to the song and with the pounding of the cymbals makes it sound huge!

Onto Prelude To The Hunt's side now. They also start with an original song, Tomb World. Prelude To The Hunt play a more sludge-influenced brand of hardcore here. It's a lot slower in the verses and there's a more obvious low-end rumble from the bass. There is some treble hiding in the mix, but overall it's bass heavy with flecks of feedback here there. Prelude To The Hunt throw in a cover of Reparations by Cursed. This is more in keeping with their sound and they make it their own. These guys have really come on a lot recently. They've kept the main elements from Tomb World and applied it ti this song, with the same bass-heavy influence. The addition of more drum fills in both songs gives you the sense that a lot going on and live, it must be pretty high energy.

At the end of the day, it's best not to try to over-analyse the contents, which is something I'm probably guilty of. It's better to just stick it and rage! These bands and this tape are exactly what's so good with the UK's hardcore scene oop North at the moment. It also shows that Church of Fuck is still upping its game, just when you thought it couldn’t surpass what it’s already done. 2013 really is the YEAR OF STRENGTH!
You can stream the tape via CoF's bandcamp page below:-

In terms of the tape itself, it's sold out via the CoF store, but you can still download as a pay-what-you-want download from the above link. Any money paid for downloads is put straight back into the label for future releases, so give generously.

Esoteric Youth can be found at
Prelude To The Hunt can be found at
Church of Fuck are over at 

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