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Quasarborn - A Pill Hard To Swallow Award winner

A Pill Hard To Swallow
by Quinten Serna at 12 February 2020, 12:24 AM

Like a shot from a rifle amidst the trees of a dilapidated forest at night, or the ending crescendo to TCHAIKOVSKY's “1812 Overture”, some articles of music manage to cut themselves and stand out from similar association; herein is one such band which strikes upon your senses with both hammer and pommel complete with aggressive abandon and concentrated cacophonies all of which orchestrated with mastery into the Thrash laden LP “A Pill Hard To Swallow” by QUASARBORN.

“Rotting away”, this mesmerizing sung motif repeats itself several times throughout the progression of the premiere track, “Mamula”, a title which shares its namesake - and influence - to an abandoned islet in the Adriatic Sea formerly home to a concentration camp managed by the fascists forces of Mussolini’s Kingdom of Italy. Following is the title track and praised single, “A Pill Hard To Swallow”, a Thrashing anthem that explores several different approaches and extremes within the confines of the song bringing in compartmentalized acoustics, vocals that pair to the strings, slowed passages paralleled by pounding drums, and a slew of different singing styles. Most likely my favorite track upon the album, “Bastion”, defies convention and does whatever it very well pleases incorporating full band staccatos, passages which are pure natural harmonies, tacet strings, brass accompaniments, and divisi vocals.

I would find myself remiss if I failed to mention the majesty that is, “Stalemant With Suicide”, a long and winding opus that somehow manages to inject clean, clear, and distinct vocals over a torrent of Thrashing instrumentation, whilst also managing not to repeat any verse, chorus, or refrain such that every section in the song is an expression of pure progression—aside from the reintroduction of the intro chords near the halfway mark.

The quality of instrumentation begins first and foremost at the hands behind each instrument and in this case it’s remarkably simple to discern the amount of skill behind each; the recording itself stands out for its ability to mix the intensity of each attack with an even balance for every instrument even to such a degree that the vocals don’t compromise any string or vice versa.

“A Pill Hard To Swallow” in its entirety clocks in at just under 50 minutes which is remarkable in its own rite as it’s a full 9 minutes longer than most artists would attempt to pursue and in my opinion makes the album stronger for such; the complex machinations that make up the outro to “The Humbling” serve to epitomize the magnitude of the song and manage craft it as a transcendental ending to the album, intentionally focusing the listener to the fading rhythms and lead signifying the end of a musical experience almost never found in any other type of album.

The paramount capabilities of the instruments and voice to weave in and out of genre, speed, and style is an unparalleled ability few bands possess and even fewer that can produce something of worth using such devices, however QUASARBORN looks on in defiance having under themselves an uncontested LP showcasing their grandeur. As a whole the album is long and rewarding, a bit odd here and there but strong nonetheless; any fan of the band will find great joy in their latest production, and new listeners that have a penchant for the eldritch might have already found their favorite album for the year.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Mamula
2. A Pill Hard To Swallow
3. Bastion
4. Identity Cartharsis
5. Atlas
6. Nothing
7. Stalemate With Suicide
8. The Ascent
9. Clouds
10. The Humbling
Miloš Tomasović – Bass
Marko Danilović Tihi – Drums
Đorđe Luković – Guitars
Luka Matković – Guitars and Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 06 February 2023

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