Abacus and Drones for Queens

Abacus and Drones for Queens, Split (self-released)

Find it: abacustheband.bandcamp.com / dronesforqueens.bandcamp.com

It takes less than seven minutes to build excitement for two forthcoming full-lengths. Columbia’s metallic hardcore mutants in Abacus pair with an apt complement in Philadelphia’s Drones for Queens for this split release, which serves as a teaser for both band’s upcoming long-form efforts.

Abacus, who’ve recently finished tracking their next album at the Jam Room, offer up “Rested Laurels” on the A-side. The restless track offers a solid overview of Abacus’ strengths. Opening with a barrage of dark hardcore in the vein of Converge, the song winds its way through sections of doomy feedback and death metal lumbering before picking up the tempo again to exit on a post-hardcore jag.

Drones for Queens deliver a similarly agitated mix of hardore’s streamlined ferocity and metal’s instrumental complexity. “Mocked By Time” is a more straight-ahead blitz, feeling a bit like Integrity or Catharsis in its eager flourishes of jagged melody and relentless foundational riffs. “Drowned” goes in more directions, moving through mid-tempo hardcore and atmospheric metal, flashes of noise-rock and roiling death metal blast beats. For their part, the split follows 2016’s Unwavering Servant LP, and precedes a forthcoming album, still in the writing stages.

The brevity of the three-song split leaves plenty to be desired, but that is kind of the point. As Abacus and Drones for Queens embark on a short tour between Columbia and Philadelphia promoting this split, the aim seems to be introducing each other to new fans, building anticipation for the respective full-lengths on the horizon. And as a quick way to whet appetites for bigger things to come, the split is a resounding success.