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The Pillärs + Wallcreeper Split Splits Skulls

pillars wallcreeper split

When we last checked on Clevo heavy hitters Pillärs back in 2018, they had just released their debut full-length Abandoned. I described it as “dick-swingin’ music,” a particularly specific descriptor but one which I continue to stand behind. Now it’s 2019, and Pillärs are back, and holy shit have they brought the big damn thunder once more. In fact, there should be a new sub-subgenre for the particular sound this band accomplishes with their latest release: it’s too punk to be metal and too metal to be punk, maybe like early Mammoth Grinder or Protestant. Definitely some early Black Breath in there too. Neither “crust” nor “sludge” do the whole thing justice, and “hardcore” is just too vague. Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems like its own thing to me.

Anyway, the new Pillärs joint is a split with powerviolent Akron quartet Wallcreeper, and despite its economical seven-track load, this split still slaps your soft goddamn skull with some heavy goddamn riffage. Both bands center their sounds around that old standby for raw and fast, the d-beat. Good usage of the d-beat, to me, necessitates some big-ass bass tones that are not just audible but almost at the forefront, and boy do both bands got that bass. The split is mastered like I want all hardcore albums to be mastered: every instrument getting its due without overpowering the others, just enough grit to sound raw but not enough to obscure the tune. And man, both Pillärs and Wallcreeper outdid themselves on their snare sounds — in different ways, too, as Pillärs have a thick Skitsystem-like “käng” sound to their hustle, while Wallcreeper opt more for a death metal-esque pingin’ situation.

I have always felt that it is difficult to really get a split release “right.” Too often the disparity or difference in recording quality between bands takes you out of the listening experience, or one band has more songs or less time or whatever than the other. This split, however, is a perfect balance: both bands are alike enough to provide continuity but different enough to provide contrast, and each side feels perfectly weighted. It is a “complete” split, if I had to be so bold, and one that showcases both bands at their most aggressive and most proficient.

Pillärs just finished a small tour earlier this month alongside tuneful Philly sludgemasters God Root (who are badasser’n hell in their own right, but that’s a story for another post) to support this release. They have a few more shows on the calendar for the remainder of the year.

The Pillärs + Wallcreeper split released last month. Upcoming Pillärs show dates below.

August 30th — Canton, OH — Buzz Bin
September 2nd — Youngstown, OH — Westside Bowl
September 13th — Montreal, QC — Quebec Deathfest
September 21st — Pittsburgh, PA — Cattivo
October 31st — Cleveland, OH — Happy Dog

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