A horrible hack

Seven Days of Samsara

SDOS 1998 - 2018

Year Released: 2018
Format: 2xLP
Label: self released
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Dec 20, 2018
Gotta say: revisiting Seven Days Of Samsara has been a blast. In the first instance, the music collected here is a hurtling dash down memory lane, the band very much part of that point in the early 00s when many of the Witching Hour acts had either splintered or gone to seed, and others had risen up, adding elements of math, metal and indie rock to the core screamo sound. While always relative underdogs, SDoS more than held their own alongside the likes of The Assistant and This Ship Will Sink, seamlessly combining an intense array of sounds (His Hero Is Gone, Converge, Neurosis, pre-dogshit Hot Water Music...) with furious personal politics. Over the course of a strangely long life that only came to an end this year, the band released a clutch of great releases, toured a heckuvva lot and even managed to make it over here to the UK, where they laid waste to audiences despite being clobbered by illness.

While this is all fine and dandy for old farts like me, don't be thinking that this weighty comp is just a nostalgia trip for the decrepit. The music - culled from splits and CDs, along with a couple of obligatory unreleased tracks - still sounds muscular and belligerent, with the band snapping effortlessly between mathy twists, white-hot bursts of rage and anthemic melodies. The songs hang together well as a collection, offering enough dynamic variation that things don't drag or dawdle, and even the tracks I wasn't so smitten with first time around (e.g. the couple from the Destroyer split) seem fresher and harder-hitting than I recall.

Though perhaps destined to be One Of Those Bands (see also: Asschapel, Takaru, Humans The Size Of Microphones...) that are fondly remembered by an increasingly-dwindling pool of old punk duffers, this last-gasp comp certainly deserves to raise the band's star and bring them to a wider audience. After all, the music still rages, and their ferocious, on-point politics remain as bitterly relevant as they ever were.

Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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