It's taken me so long to get this review up for one reason or another, but one of the main reasons I held back was to make sure I wasn't over reacting.The main reason for this is that Tree of Sores' debut (on Witch Hunter) is one of those rare releases that wears it's influences proudly, but still manages to bring them together in such a way that you can't put your finger on the band, you're drawn back again and again to try and discover what makes this album so compelling.
Amongst the waves of Amebix-style crust bleakness, melodies and grooves that bring to mind Damad/Kylesa at their most hypnotic. When I first heard Monolith by Amebix, I listened to it over and over again for about two months; I did the same with this album, and that's pretty good company to be in. After a dark, blackened crust type intro that the previously mentioned 'bix would be proud of, the album winds it's way through five tracks, each one claustrophobic yet with all the expanse of sound normally associated with po-faced post-rock shoegazers, giving the songs an oddly uplifting feel not unlike jesu, even on From Within, with it's Killing Joke-esque tribal drumming from Ben and "plea/response" vocals from Matt and Talia, but especially on Sandford which brings to mind British post-punk being played in a darkened squat, the ending of the song being total late Godflesh/early jesu bigness..
One of the benefits/disadvantaes of popping this review out so late is that I've had the fortune to read other reviews of the CD; a lot of people seem to be missing is that this album makes one feel insignificant, compressed and crushed by such a rolling black ocean of sound, preferring instead to cop out and compare them to Neurosis, a comparison I don't think is fair, as Neurosis have never sounded so wounded and utterly fucking fed up; a feeling that brings to mind two of their home county's enduring locations, the moor and the coast of the North Sea. I'm looking forward to catching the band live and seeing how they evolve in the future.
In a nutshell: Amebix and Killing Joke have a knife fight with jesu and Kylesa, causing Antisect to reform.
Tree of Sores (paywhatyouwant/myspace/facebook/twitter)
Witch Hunter Records