Scottish senses scavengers Co-Exist have left a deep scarring mark on UK metal since forming in 2011 and as their new release “Skelf” shows only increase with each release their undiluted, unbridled corrosive intent. Forging a rabid sonic savagery from metal, thrash, and grindcore, the Glasgow quintet is an extreme noise scourge with the deepest of rewards.
“Skelf” follows the acclaimed and impressive 2012 album “Surgical” removal of the teeth, toenails and drilling of the kneecaps, and continues its scarring success with frightening efficiency. Combining the sonic squalls of a Coilguns, Retox, or The Locust into a unique caustic irreverence, the line-up of Dawson, bassist John Clark Paterson, drummer Quzzy, and guitarists Charlie Perratt and Marc Mullen, has brewed a tempest of intensity, spite, and downright viciousness which exhausts, devours, and ignites the passions.
The EP opens on a subdued yet sinister breeze, the first dawning steps from ‘Of Steel’ an inviting if slightly intimidating lure. Once having captured attention the track expels a torrent of crippling rhythms, insidious sonics, and ruinous riffs. It is nasty, merciless, and with the abrasive vocal squalls of Dawson, insatiably brutal but all the while there is an underlying groove and grinding irritant which excites and entices. The band uses repetition and niggling intrusive waspish teases to further the furnace of confrontation and leave a fury of barbed hooks within the psyche which linger and trigger further passion.
It is a towering start equalled with rich malevolence by the following tempest ‘Eyepliers’ and the toxic ‘Kick yer fucking cunt in’. The first of the pair is a sonic rape of the synapses, each note a grain of sand in a storm of flash ripping bedlam spawn abrasion. The song roars eye ball to eyeball with the listener and by the time its two minutes plus aggressive breath has evaporated and burned the senses, the lungs desperately search for air to return some form of sanity to body and thoughts. Its instigator in arms is no different, its vehemence and noxious exhalation sucking the body and emotions dry. Both tracks like their predecessor are sensational, an inventive and expertly skilled way to go which makes the term ‘noise annoys’ as potent and deceptive as can be imagined.
‘History of violent behaviour ‘offers a more metal/classic metal excuse to rampage bringing easier to consume grooves and melodic craft to once more a constant tumultuous rage. The track is well-structured and richly tempting but fails to find the heights of the previous three tracks or ignite the same kind of passion. ‘Brass Knuckles’ returns to the earlier sonic terror fused to an avalanche of tempestuous thrash abuse and in less than fifty seconds creates more tension and satisfaction than most other bands can dream of let alone achieve with their stretched out creations.
Finishing with the final act of sonic cruelty that is Stress fractures, Co-Exist has unleashed a rabid and greedy slice of primal infestation, an EP which leaves an urgent hunger behind for more of this destructive imagination. “Skelf” will not be for everyone but if self-mutilation is on the agenda this offers the perfect thrilling weapon.