Review: Calvaiire – Forceps


“Sorry for you ears”. It’s a curious statement that accompanies every digital release by Throatruiner Records; a young French label/distro specialized in modern hardcore, crust, sludge and other extreme music genres. Not only does this label have an impressive and quality roaster (Birds In Row, No Omega, Direwolves, etc.), they also put most of their catalogue available for free download. Pretty cool.

Among this remarkable list of affiliated bands, there’s Calvaiire, a Laval, France-based quartet featuring ex and current members of Birds In Row, As We Draw or Pigeon. They emerged with Rigorisme, a filthy and violent EP released in 2012. Now comes Forceps, their first full length recorded with Amaury Sauvé, one of the most talented French producer (Birds In Row, Nine Eleven, The Rodeo Idiot Engine,…) and mastered by Nick Zampiello (Gaza, Old Man Gloom, Knut … ).

From the opening larsen on ‘Foi Borgne’, the impression of getting hit in the face is not going to leave us one second. Dark hardcore, crust, noise, blackened metal whatever core. Who cares? Trying to put a name on the band’s sound would be pointless as these guys embrace a broad range of styles and push the boundaries of sonic violence on every track. The energy and aggressive force spread by Calvaiire is reminiscent of bands such as Converge or Trap Them but what’s most impressive about their musicianship is this methodical, furious rage they display and the bleak, creepy vibe they provide throughout the whole LP. There’s a malevolent spirit that gives this record an extremely oppressive atmosphere. Vocals are relentlessly roared and lyrics, all in French, spit by Matthias (note: he’s also the man who runs Throatruiner) on a deluge of vicious and depressing riffs

The rare moderately quiet passages (‘Atra Bilis’, ‘Aux porcs’) don’t even allow us to release pressure, to the point that we would consider Calvaiire are audibly trying to stifle us (‘Ecarrissage’). Nihilistic. Noisy. Dark. Uncompromising. These are probably the most accurate terms to describe such a record. The second half is undeniably hostile and filled with short bursts (‘Simulacre’, ‘Suture’, ‘Via Dolorosa’). Most of these tunes are aggressively performed with a grind-esque tempo and designed to devastate everything on their path. ‘Meutrières’ concludes this 28-min burning record in a deadly maelstrom of chaotic riffs. It’s exhausting for the unprepared listener but it’s a stunning result.

Recorded in five days, Forceps is a furious and incandescent work, a painful and shattering journey to insalubrious grounds. It’s an album controlled from start to finish and designed to assault every auditor. Forceps is scheduled for late December on vinyl and CD on Throatruiner Records and a free download is available now. Keep an eye on this label and their releases; they certainly host some of Europe’s finest bands and carry the best trends of modern aggressive music. Sorry for your ears once again.

Track list – Forceps:

1. Foi Borgne
2. Flétrissure
3. Equarrissage
4. Atra Bilis
5. Aux Porcs
6. Simulacre
7. Suture
8. Via Dolorosa
9. Curatelle
10. Meurtrières

Calvaiire: Facebook / TumblrOrder Forceps

Written by Alex Tabankia

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