Hierophant – Mass Grave
Italy’s Hierophant return with a new full-length album and a new sound. The band’s slightly chaotic, blackened hardcore sound that permeated throughout their first three full-length releases has been dialed back in favor of a gritty mix of buzzsaw death metal and vitriolic metallic hardcore on their newest aural assault, Mass Grave. Although it is not a groundbreaking or surprising stylistic evolution, it is one that seems to suit Hierophant very well. The band rush right out of the gate on tracks like “Execution of Mankind” and “Forever Crucified”, both of which sound like a swirling murk of hellspawned riffs. The guitars conjure tremolo-picked, cacophonous blackened death metal assaults that writhe above hellacious, stampeding drum work. When the band isn’t rapidly churning out one short burst of chaos after the next, they are crafting monolithic grooves (“Mass Grave”), galloping death (“In Decay”) and sprawling blackened sludge (“Sentenced to Death”). Listeners who expect more of the blackened chaos of their earlier works may be briefly disappointed, but will quickly be elated by the brutality and unyielding aggression of this record. The only real negative, other than the extremely low volume mix, is the lengthy, meandering noise attached to the end of the closing track “Eternal Void”, which comes off as pointless filler. But on the whole, Hierophant have a pretty nasty sounding record on their hands and will definitely satisfy those on the search for neck-breaking jams.
Release Date: November 4, 2016
Label: Season of Mist
Favorite Tracks: “Forever Crucified”, “Mass Grave” and “Hierophant”
For Fans Of: Nails, Baptists and The Secret
Minerva Superduty – Gorod Zero
Minerva Superduty‘s stylistic evolution is truly a staggering one. The Greek band purveyed a wholly instrumental post-hardcore-meets-post-metal style on their 2014 self-titled debut that equally angular and monolithic. On their newest full-length, Gorod Zero, the band makes a stylistic 180. This new eight-track effort possesses a frenetic, chaotic hardcore style with mathcore and post-hardcore sensibilities, which is topped off with the addition of anguished vocals. The record storms right out of the gate with “First as Tragedy”; a track that frantically changes style and pace within a short three-minute timeframe. The track begins with a Coalesce-esque riff that transitions into metallic beatdowns and dissonant chord shapes within the first 60 seconds. The instrumentation then morphs fluidly into pseudo black metal blitzes and emotive hardcore charges, before ending with a massive, lumbering riff. This kind of feverish genre-bending is peppered throughout the album, always keeping the listener on their toes. Then there are some tracks that opt for a more metallic hardcore approach (“New Old Words”), or even an emotionally-potent post-hardcore romp mixed in with a bit of mathcore flair (“Negative Dialect”). The album’s amalgam of mathcore, hardcore, post-hardcore and screamo is blended together almost perfectly and nothing sounds forced. Minerva Superduty pull off this newfound style with finesse and it makes for a punishing and admirable effort.
Release Date: October 17, 2016
Label: YETAGAIN/ SweetOhm Recordings/Body Blows Records
Favorite Tracks: “First as Tragedy”, “Bright Colours” and “Gorod Zero”
For Fans Of: Throwers, Coalesce and Converge