Quicksand formed in New York City in 1990, when Walter Schreifels's band Moondog broke up. Schreifels, however, may be better known for his part in the hardcore bands Youth of Today and Gorilla Biscuits. Quicksand was a different type of entity altogether: The band's dynamic flow wasn't made up of rapid, angular, controlled ruptures; rather, it was a bursting flow of wildly gyrating twists that let the sound hang before re-engaging in a direct sonic path. The outfit even dabbled in tranquil, melodic atmospherics mid-song in a way that was later imitated by heavier acts, with mixed results. For Quicksand, those interludes built an escalating tension worthy of its hardcore roots. In melding that tension with the more complex emotions implied by the internal dichotomy of its sounds, Quicksand produced metallic rock with surprising depth and compositional sophistication.

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