Rage powers great swaths of extreme metal, almost all of it directed toward scum-ridden sectors of humanity, and in some cases to humanity as a whole. Given how royally screwed up the world is, fury is an endless source of fuel — mostly carbon-neutral fuel, except when it reaches the point of wanting to burn everything to the ground and start over.
High-octane rage overflows in the new single by South Africa’s Sunken State that we’re premiering today through a lyric video, and although the murderous impulses channeled through the song seem to be limited to pulling out eyes and leaving the scum to rot and decay, the music is highly combustible.
The band have told us this about the meaning behind the song (although the lyrics put things a bit more bluntly): “The inspiration for ‘This Is the End‘ arose from a critique of all the ways humans exploit and destroy for financial gain – the endless desire for corporate growth at the expense of the individual, society and the environment.”
Sunken State‘s sound blends groove, -core, and death metal, and all those ingredients are evident in this track. The grooves in “This Is the End” drive like pneumatic pistons inside the listener’s skull. The hammering, bullet-spitting drumwork not only underscores the music’s blunt-force mechanics but also lights a fire under the listener’s nerve endings. The fretwork also punches damned hard and fast, while adding a twisted, mind-warping tonality to the music. And in the chorus, a melody emerges that seems to soar.
With about a minute left in this compact track, the band also use a cascade of eerie, glimmering sound as the prelude to a jackhammering breakdown in which the music atmospherically becomes more dismal and sadistic. Where the most blood-lusting fury comes from, however, is the vocals — a tag-team of scorching shrieks, lycanthropic howls, and red-throated gang yells, which seem to become a harmony of savagery in the choruses.
It’s vicious, brutal music to be sure, but still manages to be “catchy”.
Sunken State hail from Johannesburg, and their current line-up consists of vocalist Dwayne Hees, guitarist Mathew Swanepoel, bassist Dwayne Klingbiel, and drummer Pete Pistorius. This new single follows a 2018 EP named Enter the Grey and bridges the gap between that and a new album the band are working on.
“This Is the End” will be released on March 13th. For info about how to stream or download it, keep an eye on these links: