Published on May 29th, 2016 | by The Beige Baron0
Review: Sekien | Sekien
Sekien’s self-titled debut full-length is a one-inch punch to the face. A swift but powerful reminder of why straight-up crust is so great: short, furious, raw-as-fuck songs that waste no time in getting you to a better state of mind.
From opening track Karakuri to closer Omen, the band plants the accelerator and doesn’t hit the brakes for practically the entire record – like their drummer, there’s not an ounce of unnecessary fat on the album, but it hits hard as hell. It’s all killer, no filler.
Each meaty chunk of d-beat is honed by hundreds of hours of stage time… not in expensive studios doing take after take, burying the stripped-down intensity of their sound in overdubs or special effects. This record was probably made quickly and on a tight budget, but Sekien prove beyond any doubt that they can do a lot with the resources they have.
From Himeji in the Kansai region, the band deserves its reputation as one of the hardest working on the scene. They’ve risen the ranks with astonishing speed, becoming a drawcard at the popular “Koua” series of events staged around Japan, and curated by two of the country’s heaviest-hitting and most innovative hardcore outfits, Stubborn Father and SeeK.
The Koua showcase brings together a compelling mix of styles from established and emerging acts, and Sekien have won over audiences and other musicians with their intensity and dedication every time they play.
The band was also selected to do a live Noise Room Session (see the video below and follow the channel on YouTube for more great Japanese underground hardcore and metal).
The work’s paid off on this recording. The songs are fast and tight with a metric shit-ton of memorable riffs and killer beats to keep hardcore fans happy—a great example is Kaibyoku for its inventive songcraft.
Kansai is overflowing with extreme music talent right now. The dam wall is cracking. A lot of bands are primed for an international breakthrough, and this impressive debut suggests that with a bit of luck, Sekien could be among the first neo-crust bands to do it.
So if you like your music served fast and bloody-as-hell, with a twist or three to keep things interesting, buy this record, turn it up loud, and enjoy the best of what underground Kansai has to offer.