Alaskan – The Weak and the Wounded
I never heard of Alaskan. Digging into their history I found out they are from Canada and this is actually their first album from 2010, before they released an EP. Later they released another album and this year a split EP with Co-Pilot. Topon Das from Fuck the Facts did the production of the album and nowhere you can hear this album is already from 2010. In fact this struggling mix of slow and dark hardcore, metal and sludge is far from outdated and sounds as fresh as a bunch of young wolves.
Four songs in 30 minutes are connected together by samples from the movie Session 9. The movie is about an asbestos cleaning crew that works in an abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back. The creepy vibe of the samples (girls are screaming and someone is convincing them with pushing words) gives ‘The Weak and the Wounded’ (perfect title) the right X-Factor. The album has something special in the puddle of releases that are still coming out in this niche of hardcore/metal/crust.
A band they can be compared to is the earlier work of Fall of Efrafa; they would have wished they’ve written “Greed and Grievance”. The drive, the passion and the road to the final climax is choking your breath. The vocals are rough and have despair in it, perfect for the sound and theme of the album. To top it off, the vinyl release has a drawing on the back from a deformed guy that looks insane but also has sadness in his eyes. Yes, Alaskan has shown they’ve made a difference with this vinyl pressed on multi colors.
Also the first three songs have it all, from fast crusty punk riffs (with a metal sound) to dark parts that slowly turn into melodic and melancholic tunes. Luckily the production has been kept a bit ‘crusty’ so the icy vocals and music stayed natural. I am wondering now how the later released albums are. Nevertheless the labels that put this out did an incredible good job because ‘The Weak and the Wounded’ deserves to be heard on wax!