Strange. As I take the disc out of its case it appears to be just a normal CD-R, with The Coalfield scrawled on it in black marker pen. Sure enough, for the first 32 seconds the music sounds faint, un-mastered, under-produced - 4-track quality rock. Maybe it is_ just a CD-R copy – after all, this is a pro…m…m…m… BAM!_ There – right _there _– the 33rd second – that’s where it all kicks off! Like a huge punch in the gut from the entire New Zealand rugby team. And their mascot. I should have known. I should have been prepared for it. After all, I was left with goosebumps when Catharsis pulled off the same stunt. Only now, I seem to have goosebumps on my goosebumps. And it feels good. Now let's rewind and really turn it up this time!
This is the debut album from Germany's The Coalfield, who are undoubtedly, and unsurprisingly, influenced by the European hardcore scene, but it's probably worth illustrating precisely which strain of hardcore I’m referring to. Forget Endstand * or *Arkangel. This is Refused feeding on the remnants on Breach and excreting post-hardcore intelligence through Cult of Luna. It is scorched vocals placating a rumbling bass that threatens to give you a colonic irrigation.
Their hauntingly epic noise-core showers you with sparks of malignant anger (see ‘Glimmer’ and ‘My Great Cablecase’), their brooding intelligence bursting open a Breach-like blood vessel in ‘No Compassion’ where, following a thunderous storm of sludgey post-core metal, The Coalfield lead you into a solacial space; a few relatively calm moments to recover from their assault.
Your heart is beating nervously. Then you’re kicked viciously back outside.
‘Transmitter’ is an album that attempts to encapsulate The Coalfield's madness. A truly incredible record, it fills you with confidence that the legacy of Refused and Breach has left its mark on a band more than worthy of their crown.
8Mat Hocking's Score