Friendship – Undercurrent (Review)

Friendship - UndercurrentFriendship are from Japan and play blackened grindcore/hardcore. This is their second album.

2017’s Hatred was an intoxicating blend of grindcore, sludge, and blackened hardcore powerviolence. It was a hideously effective record, so I’m quite pleased that we now have Undercurrent to sate our desire for fresh carnage.

Once again bringing the dark, malevolent pain across 23 minutes of material that can best be described as harsh as fuck, Friendship have created another top-drawer album of blackened hatred and foul barbarity.

The songs consist of short, abrasive slabs of brutality and grim ultra-aggression. Despite the band’s name, this is not friendly music. Friendship exist to tear things down and unleash Hell, and Undercurrent does this very well indeed.

The uncompromising nature of the band’s music is intact and has been consolidated. Friendship have eagerly trodden further down the path of extremity, and these new songs go all out with their attack on the listener, while still retaining a certain level of songwriting structure and dynamics that prevent them from becoming boring or one dimensional.

One of the differences this time around comes from the recording; the production is cleaner, which means you can hear the separate instruments and the vocals more clearly. This helps lend the album an even heavier vibe than the band’s first, and brings the singer a bit more prominently into the mix, showing off his brutal growled roars in a different light.

Visceral, vital, violent, and vigorously delivered, Undercurrent is a worthy successor to Hatred. Highly recommended.

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