Earn Your Blood
by Ilyas Ahmed (Goner, 2009)
Ilyas Ahmed is a pretty difficult person to track down. This artist/musician has been lurking in what would typically be described as the underground for over six years now releasing CD-Rs and LPs between four labels. Goner was released on Root Strata but in 2010 Ahmed started collaborating with Immune Recordings and has a new album out on the 24th January 2012 in cassette format, limited to 150, and vinyl, again limited but this time to 1000.
Goner resembles a progression in Ahmed's style as previous works have been almost exclusively acoustic. 'Earn Your Blood' rudely disrupts any expectations you had with crunching reverby electric guitar in control from the get-go. Ahmed's trademark drone/folk fusion continues with the distorted vocals which familiarise themselves with noises rather than words. The rhythmic guitar and shaking percussion cut through the thick vocal soup and provide the song with direction and distinction that could have easily been lost. Fortunately they haven't and 'Earn Your Blood' is a great statement of intent kind of album opener.