Minors- Anno Domini

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Canadian hardcore band Minors has been around since 2013, but has only released a handful of material to date in the form of splits, compilation appearances, and a cassette demo. This year they’ve added three new tracks to their discography in the form of the Anno Domini EP, which throws six minutes of dark and unrelenting material at listeners with as much aggression as possible. It’s a familiar mix of fast riffs, sudden bursts of all-out blasting, and some sludgy mid-tempo sections, but Minors does it well and leaves themselves with plenty of room to further carve out their own path.

Six minutes goes by pretty quick, but Minors manages to cram a whole lot of different elements into these three tracks. What grabbed my attention was that the instrumentals shake things up quite a bit, and unlike so many of the other hardcore/crust bands out there they don’t instantly fall into a pattern and ride that out until the end. “Burgeoning Bastard Black Arts” kicks things off with a fast and punchy riff and drum pattern that has the same type of twisting and turning writing that’s reminiscent of bands like Converge. Rather than simply continuing that, the next track “Bruxism” starts things off with an all-out assault that has more of a powerviolence vibe with just how chaotic the instrumentals are before switching over to a slower, sludgy that ups the dirt and grime and sucks the listener right in. “Bruce Lee, King Of The Sewers” finishes the EP off with the same type of punchy riffing from the first song but continues to switch things up with regular tempo changes that keep you on your toes. Minors wraps all this up with a tonality that’s oriented towards darkness and grit, and that’s the type of sound that appeals to me quite a bit. There is certainly plenty of room for the band to expand on all of these different elements and merge them in a way that makes them truly distinguishable on a longer body of work, but for a short release like Anno Domini these riffs have been hitting the spot.

The guitar and bass absolutely nail that grittier tonality, but what helps to put the sound over the edge is the harsher bite of the vocals. There are two main pitches that are used throughout the three songs, the first of which is a mid-range scream that has a raspier style and comes off sounding as pissed off as possible. In addition to this range, there are some backup screams that are slightly higher in pitch and they often combine with the primary vocals to create an abrasive wall that comes tearing right out of your speakers. At times I was reminded of fellow Canadians Baptists, as there are some similarities between the two, and that’s definitely not a good thing.

Minors takes the heavy hitting hardcore sound and merges it up with some sludgy breaks and powerviolence blasting, then wraps that all up in a grimier, bleak tonality that will make fans of groups like Celeste and The Secret feel right at home. They’ve already proven that on a quick six minute EP they can deliver some riffs that grab your attention and switch things up quite a bit, while leaving plenty of room to diverge from the rest and find what elements they want to expand upon further. Groups like Baptists did that by crossing over into noise rock territory, so it should be interesting to see where Minors chooses to go in the coming years. But for now, this is a nice compact hardcore release to rage along to for six minutes and that’s reason enough to support these guys.

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