From only a quick glance at the band name, it would be too easy to brush this one off as the bloodsoaked spawn of some burp ‘n’ chug gore band, but doing so would be your first mistake…
The primary difference between then and now is Visceres’ increased attention to atmosphere to balance the blasting – opening track “Fleau” (“scourge, blight”) is instrumental, trudging through chiming distorted chords, letting a feedback squall hang before the dissonant riffing of “Au fond du trou” (“at the bottom of the hole”) drops simultaneously with vocalist Olivier Alexandre’s formidable screams. No longer focused entirely on serial killers, Bind Torture Kill’s lyrical slant is no less dark – “Au fond…” deals with the suicide of a man involved with the Mafia, while later entries deal with the Black Plague, American treatment of the Buffalo Soldiers, and the life of the hangman. In each situation, the intensity of the riffs match the intensity of Olivier’s shouts, screams, and shrieks – guitarist Yann Alexandre’s newfound tendency towards less tech and more mood gives Visceres a less oppressive feel, even as it’s shattering nerves and eardrums.
The album’s centerpiece is “Sanguinaire,” four minutes of everything the band does right in one convenient place – relentless beats, dissonant riffs peppered against more straight-ahead voicings, Olivier’s furious bark, and an atmospheric second half built around a world-shattering groove. Following track “Pestilence” is another standout, and at over seven minutes, the longest on Visceres by a wide margin. With its almost post-punk tribal rhythm and Yann’s guitars stark and spacious, “Pestilence” pushes BTK further into that atmospheric side of their post-hardcore comfort zone, and it’s a resounding success. Second instrumental “Maelstrom” ironically acts as a brief respite in the midst of the storm that surrounds it, while “Chacal” sports some of Yann’s strongest riffs and sees BTK at their most violently destructive. (That bulldozer drive at the 2:00 mark – positively crushing…)
Visceres’ intensity is helped by a suitably balanced production, neither too raw nor too polished. The lone pitched instrument, Yann’s guitar is both sharp and stout, and the absence of a bass player doesn’t detract noticeably, although there are certainly situations where Bind Torture Kill could further explore their moods by having the ability to present more than one instrumental line at a time. Benjamin Garcon’s drums are punchy and tight, and the interplay between his rhythms and Yann’s riff certainly reflect their decades of playing together, with tell-tale moments in the way Garcon fills around Yann’s spastic twists with ease, the two turning in tandem like dance partners.
The progress Bind Torture Kill has made across their three albums is impressive, and I’m certainly on board to see where further exploration of these black-ish atmospheres and moods takes them. All told, Visceres is a rock-solid slab of semi-blackened hardcore death/grind whatever – it doesn’t matter what you call it; what matters is, it’ll knock your block off.