Halo of Knives belong to that category of new-sound postgrindcore bands which I really have to come hating. You know, emo cuts, pastel color jogging suits, blurred band pictures, poetic lyrics and cover arts a la Neurosis. It is that kind of heavy on dissonance grindcore whose energy is not directed against one specific target (which supposedly is the listener) but just sputtered aimlessly in random directions. The screams are more like full of agony than hate, and that’s something that for a start I was already hating in the mid 90’s years when new school hard core bands that used to scream and roll on stage in desperation started to appear (Spawn, Timebomb etc). But the thing I really found unnerving is that use of disharmonic bridges which sound oh so intellektual. While the riff structure is definitely grindcore when the blastbeats take the stage (and therefore the punk-easy chords are at the backbone of the whole string section), it seems the fun spirit of grindcore leaves the place to some kind of intelligent emo haircut kind of core which I today find more and more intolerable. My low rating is not meant to say this record is played sloppily or unprofessionally, it is just my statement of intent against this kind of nauseatingly artistic kind of grind (math?) core with pretenses of high culture. I bet the guys at Terrorizer magazine are loving this stuff. I think the keyword “crust” here in describing Halo of Knives has to be completely erased, this is just too refined stuff for being catalogued as crust, which somewhat involves a rough, punkish (well, ahem, “crusty” actually) attitude and sound. And also all references to Napalm Death, Nasum or other straight in your face grindcore bands have to go. This is probably how a band like The End would sound if they were to play faster music. This is a side project of a band called Hailstones Kill 200, but I know nothing of that one so just take it as trivia. To cut it short, take all the bollocks out today in modern grind and hardcore and make it into an album and you would probably get something close to this. If we have to speak about new grind, I’d rather have Rotten Sound any day, sorry (well, anything else would do actually ahah! Give me Rot and Minch!)! This stuff just sounds pissed off and angry at itself rather than releasing energy outwards. Definitely NOT my genre, even if with some decent vocals, songs like “Watch the Red Devils Burns” and “Moods Like a Guillotine” could have been something, luckily untainted by those terrible nerd riffs. If the dissonant bridges were to go away I’d gladly give this band another try, but I doubt. Two covers also appear, one by Napalm Death, one by Void (is this last one any good?). If I had heard the music only I would have bet this was some digipack record from Hydra Head with 20.000 bucks design and pantone trims that included at least some bacteria or microscope photo on the cover ah ah. Nay, the artwork and layout are essential and elegant but totally okay. Ah! I just perched inside the booklet and guess what? Blurred photos and emo core cuts!! I’d have bet a fucking million of euros if I had it!! And the lyrics, oh the lyrics… soo ethereal and soo “big glasses” literature! Ah ah!