Sunday 11 August 2019

Geist - Swarming Season

Labels: Cursed Monk Records
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 20 Sep 2019


1. Unnatural Selection
2. Western Medicine
3. Breathe Soundless Light
4. Sleep Deprived
5. Election Day
6. Silent Hive
7. Kennel Cough
8. Buried Language

Nearly the end of another weekend and once again I have writer's block. I've been waiting to write this review and at times over the last 24 hours I've struggled for the right words. Thankfully, inspiration comes in the weirdest of ways and I'm ready to go again. After a long period of silence, Geist is about to return with a new record. Due for release in late September via Cursed Monk Records, "Swarming Season" features eight new chaotic heavy hardcore songs and a special guest as well (but I ain't giving that one away). 

Anger makes the heart grow fonder. Anger is a primal human response to a lot of things and in this instance, Geist harnesses it for the sake of musical cleansing on “Swarming Season”. Opener Unnatural Selection is instantly crushable thanks to metallic guitars, powerfully authoritative percussion, deep rumbling bass and instantly addictive screams. This sets the tone for the rest of the record. Angular and crazed without reproach. Punk-like tones greet you at the beginning of Western Medicine, but that feeling of safety and familiarity soon dissipates into something more sinister and heavy. Geist’s writing has certainly grown and this record is testament to that growth, both live and in the studio. 

Most bands seems to ignore the quality over quantity rule, but not here. The songs on “Swarming Season” aren’t long and sticking to single-figures in terms of song number is good. Breathe Soundless Light is subtly mid-paced with an overbearing sense of dread flowing though it. Nothing outstays it’s welcome, while the rage grows more evident. From there it’s onto the grinding madness of Sleep Deprived. This song describes how I felt for the majority of last weeks, both in title and in texture and it’s not pretty. Fast insanity with the kind of intense progression that marks Geist out as a contender for the top-tier (sorry if that’s too much praise). 

Election Day harnesses the ill feeling that’s been aimed at our Government of late and it continues in the same belligerent vein as Sleep Deprived, except for the dread-filled final bars that come complete with super-heavy sludgy riffs. The screams that help kick off Silent Hive are almost blood curdling. There’s no way you could be prepared for them and they fit the song perfectly. Again, it’s a mid-paced song that seems to crawl along at a simple but claustrophobic tempo. It suits the heaviness though and is truly disparate.

It’s left to the final two songs to hammer home Geist’s modus-operandi on “Swarming Season” and Kennel Cough goes straight for the jugular before retreating back with Primitive Man-style guitar work. They don’t stick to that pace for long though and banish it with more angular hardcore and PV-esque insanity. Buried Language is more of the same and rounds out the album as breathlessly as when it started. The production/mixing/mastering helps make “Swarming Season” come to life in ways that other albums can’t and in turn helps it become one that will stick in your mind and ears for a long time. Awesome.

You can stream Sleep Deprived prior to the full release via Geist's bandcamp page below:-

CD/Digital pre-orders can by purchased from Cursed Monk Records here - 

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