Medium – Medium (Transcending Obscurity Records)

Emotionally intense, spiked with addictive melodies and full of rousing, catchy anti-anthems, Medium’s debut is a piece of d-beat wizardry that wipes the floor with many a by-numbers disclone.

Like Disfear, Martyrdöd and Unkind, the Argentineans take the base elements of metallic crust and use them to weld together magnificent, high-octane ragers which leave a lasting impression. That means songs such as the frantic, yet completely locked-on Maximum Rampage, the titanic, multi-hued Radiation Huntress and El Gigante, a monstrous work of snarling hardcore mayhem which whips you across the face like a cider-dipped dreadlock.

It’s a compelling combination. And it’s made all the more potent by the intricate fretwork and intelligent chord progressions of guitarists Fede and Sebe, who grace the likes of Gargola and Black Future Patrol with a deft touch often missing in a scene where a fistful of basic riffs is all you’re likely to get.

Ok, so at seven tracks, Medium’s first opus is over in a heartbeat, but adrenaline courses and erupts across the whole album: there simply isn’t a dull moment, or any lazy detour into generic discore. Quality lurks in every crusty little corner.

Thought Brazil had the monopoly on sweat-soaked, South American crust punk? Think again.