Unraze/Hyrrokkin – Suburban Bars/Golden Square
Though it is only seven-minutes in length, the new split between Bay Area post-hardcore outfit Unraze (ex-Tigon, etc) and Ohioan math rock masters Hyrrokkin features enough metallic mayhem to leave listeners drained and discombobulated. Unraze‘s side of split is comprised of a slow-burning beast titled “Suburban Bars”. Muscular bass lines grumble menacingly throughout, while complex and unwavering drumming rounds out the dense rhythm section. The guitar work ranges from spiraling, ripping melodies that sound like metal scraping against metal, and unorthodox dissonant chord shapes that instill a sense of discomfort in the listener. Vocalist Clint Chandra’s belting, anguished wails is the icing on this maddening cake – a cake that will appease fans of Drive Like Jehu and Unwound. Hyrrokkin‘s side of the split is comprised of the erratic stormer “Golden Square”. The track is a re-recording of an older track that previously appeared on the group’s Astrionics EP, though slightly reworked. The track churns out shape-shifting guitar work, that morph from angular melodies to atonal chord progressions on the drop of a dime. The tornado of guitar acrobatics collides head-on with the track’s impressive rhythm section, which features equally virtuosic bass work and dizzying drum patterns. The track is quite reminiscent of Don Caballero at their most direct, if any Don Cab composition could be considered “direct”. Both bands have interesting takes on their respective genres and provide for an pummeling seven minutes. It’s a must listen for fans of all things chaotic.
Release Date: April 28, 2016
Label: New Atlantis Records
For Fans of: Drive Like Jehu, Unwound, Slint and Don Caballero
Lord – Awake
Virginian sludge/stoner metal outfit Lord follow-up their 2014 Alive in Golgotha EP with a new full-length of raw, down-tuned monstrosities. Titled Awake, this new seven-track offering features enough swampy, sludgy tunes that will keep listeners headbanging throughout. “No Explanations Necessary” opens up the record with some gigantic, groove-laden guitar work dripping in southern-fried, bluesy melody. Propulsive drumming, blistering solo work and a variety of vocal work ties everything together in a nice, bludgeoning package. “Strangers on the Road” barrels forth with a procession of cataclysmic riffs that grab the listener by the throat and shakes them violently. The addition of harsh growling and shrieking vocals only add to this standout track’s tumultuous assaults. Tracks like “Reset the Wave” combine monolithic post-metal tinged marches with dizzying, kaleidoscopic melodies, while the acoustic-centered “The Great Communicator” shows the band crafting some jarring desert rock psychedelia. The album’s title and closing track sees Lord pulling out all the stops to make sure the listener is battered to the point of hospitalization. The nearly eight-minute beast storms out of the gate with galloping stoner destruction that refuses to yield in its bestial attack. Though Lord purvey a style that is not necessarily revolutionary, it’s their emphasis on interesting song structure, eclectic vocal work and clear passion that make Awake an endearing listen. Anyone looking for a solid sludge record that hits hard should look no further.
Release Date: March 18, 2016
Favorite Track: “Strangers on the Road”
For Fans of: Lo-Pan, Kyuss, Clutch and Eyehategod