KNOLL, VEGAS, DRUNK MOTHERFUCKERS
I’m still in post-Northwest Terror Fest catch-up mode for the new songs and videos I missed over the last 5 days, which is kind of like a Dachshund trying to catch up with a Bugatti that’s moving at top speed. The chase will fail, but still can’t be resisted, so here’s a few more picks to go along with the two I chose yesterday. These three all happen to be recently released complete records — of very different kinds — and I have greedily bought all of them.
To begin, I chose an album named Metempiric that was released by this Tennessee band on June 24th. It’s their second full-length, following 2021’s Interstice. It includes 13 tracks, most of them short, building to an 8-minute closer named “Tome”.
And this is where I tell you to take some big gulps of air before you begin, because you will definitely need the extra oxygen.
Extra oxygen will come in handy because listening to Metempiric is like being teleported into a massive bombing run and artillery bombardment with no place to hide. The destructive impact is massive, and the generally accelerated nature of the discharge makes it even more stupefying.
Having said that, there’s more going on here than “mere” blast-front obliteration, though it may take you a little while to get your bearings in the war zone and stop cowering beneath the heavy-caliber strikes, the mad hair-on-fire screams, and the voracious guttural bellows. The tempos switch, and so do the moods, though the moods are all still in the general vicinity of pitch-black, whether crushed by fate, terrorized by fear, or maniacal in the pursuit of mayhem.
To help make that happen, the guitars and bass contort and careen with seeming abandon, blaring, blurting, and convulsing in vicious spasms of dissonance, but also moaning and gouging like wounded leviathans. Moreover, the bulldozing bass and the drums sometimes join forces to drop megaton bombs instead of shelling you at high speed.
At one point (“Dislimned”), the music just scours the ears with feedback-laden string tortures and ghastly screaming emanations. That’s this band’s version of an “interlude”. 🙂 Something similarly unearthly happens again within “Tome” (is that a cello I hear?). At other times they make the music chillingly dismal.
Despite those unexpected twists and turns, there is zero relent in the intensity of this EP — none — and in different ways it’s all fucking harrowing, so extravagant and even elaborate in its multitudinous terrors that it becomes transfixing. And for that reason alone (but there are others), it stands way out from the pack.
I guess it’s been a minute since I banged the drum for this metallic hardcore punk band, but now the banging shall resume because they released a new EP named Zeitgeist on July 1st.
Running roughshod across five tracks and about 12 minutes of music, the EP is a hell of a ride, and yet another sign that you never know quite what you’re going to get from this band. “Ridge A” is bleak and bruising, with eerie, quivering, scraped-raw screams, and then kicks into a massively headbanging groove. “L’Appel du Vide” bolts from the gate in a furious punk barrage, all battering drums and maniacally savage yet soaring riffage.
Picking up from there, “SPGR” brutally stomps and brazenly brays, marking a return to black moods, with the larynx-lacerating vocals sounding as frighteningly demented and tortured as before, while “Titan” shifts into a punk romp that’s mean-eyed and feral, but will give your neck another good jolting.
The closer, “Icebaer”, is by far the longest of the tracks, at a “whopping” 04:16. You won’t see this one coming. It sounds nightmarishly futuristic to these ears. It has a jumping groove, but the über-distorted vocals and weirdly mutated clarion calls of the lead guitar send scary yet electrifying chills down the spine.
In a nutshell, this EP is both a strong companion for your fury and a blood-freezing spectre breathing down your neck.
DRUNK MOTHERFUCKERS (Greece)
Somehow I managed to get through three long days and nights at Northwest Terror Fest without getting wasted. Since I was working the festival, that would have been a disaster, but I’ve got a long history of disaster overcoming discipline, so I have to applaud my achievement. Besides, I had the music of Drunk Motherfuckers waiting for me as an alcohol replacement.
This Greek band have risen from the grave after a 7-year gap following their last release, with founder Nikolaos Spanakis aka Father W. (Dødsferd, Grab, Gin Lane, G.N.L.S.) joined by Andrew, Wee, and Mavrikos Skarakis for the recording of an EP named Dead End that was just released near the end of June by by FYC Records. With songs titles like “Black Out Drunk” and “Hating Myself”, it recounts the things I didn’t do last weekend.
Those two tracks, and two others, rock the fuck out with fat fuzz-bombed riffs, gut-punching rhythms, and bay-at-the-moon vocals. The music’s woozy and wild, body-moving and carnal, and will work just as well if you’re stoned or tripping as if you’re drunk — maybe better. The songs are lead-weighted in the low end but with soloing that skitters and screams way up high, joined up there by those gritty, piercing wails in the vocal department (yes, they’re a well-earned exception to the “rule” in our site’s title).
The four tracks also switch up the tempos as they go, introducing sinister and psychedelic moods (“Hating Myself”) as well as the feeling that you’re motoring down an open road on a smoke-belching chopper, head back and howling (“Saint’s Wee(D)ay”) or lurching through a thick swamp with red-eyed beasts peering from the shadows — just before you start to ecstatically jerk and bounce like a puppet on a string (“Seven Livers’ Wish”). They’ll pound your skull, and they’re also catchy as Chlamydia, so beware.
Dead End is available in several limited formats, which you can explore via the link below.