In the famous phrasing of Browning, my reach exceeded my grasp yesterday. After finishing a pair of premieres and a very large two-part round-up of new music, my brain was fried and my NCS time had expired, and so I had to skip a day in the rollout of this list. But now, to resume, prepare to get blasted to smithereens….
The great thing about getting blasted by songs like these two, and the reason they’re on this list, is because you want to get blasted by them over and over again, every time you’ve put your pieces back together again. Or at least I do.
The latest Pig Destroyer album surprised some people (a dismaying surprise in some quarters), but it really shouldn’t have. As DGR put in his NCS review, “chaotic-ping-ponging around the metal genre-sphere” has been the band’s bread and butter, with their discography “translating to never quite knowing what you’ll get upon first picking up a new release, outside of the band’s trademark speed”.
In the case of Head Cage (again quoting DGR), it represented “the hardest right turn the band have made yet — like a car screeching against the outside railings of a highway off-ramp — taking on a groove-heavy sound in the midst of all that grind, resulting in an album that is overall far less chaotic than what they’ve put forth before, and also a hell of a lot of shameless ‘fun’”.
Of course, “fun”, in the lexicon of Pig Destroyer, still involves blasting you to smithereens. “Army of Cops“, for example, may be one of the more groovesome, headbang-modulated tracks on an album that also includes more violently chaotic and even experimental offerings, but it will still kick the shit out of you. The vocal tandem of JR and guest Richard Johnson (Agoraphobic Nosebleed) also works very well to keep the intensity factor high.
You can rock out with abandon to this track, and of course it’s really damned catchy. An easy call to put it on this list.
Mantar’s vocalist guitarist Hanno referred to “Age of the Absurd” as “a hard-line in your face kinda thing”. No shit. While Hanno vented fury with his blowtorch of a voice, and discharged similarly searing intensity with his guitar, his partner Erinc delivered a typically bludgeoning performance behind the kit. That song is a bleak, back-breaking, but defiant sonic conflagration and a prime example of Mantar‘s intensity — and their capacity to get you moving,.
The whole album that includes that song is a triumph. As Andy Synn wrote in his review for us: “The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze is easily the biggest, boldest, and most shamelessly bombastic, album of their short but celebrated career, and is practically crying out to be performed on bigger stages and in front of even bigger crowds”. It’s a raw and reckless, genre-scattering record which abundantly displays the band’s ability to deliver big grooves and anthemic hooks without tempering their torrid belligerence. “Age of the Absurd” is a very good and very infectious example of that. Killer video too.