Dead Kiwis – Karate Karnage
At 16 minutes in length, Lyon’s Dead Kiwis deliver a frantically-paced, off-kilter beating with Karate Karnage. Though the band flirted with more southern-fried, groove heavy hardcore à la Every Time I Die, on Karate Karnage they embrace a more frenetic mathcore sound. While the groove still exists, and is most prominent on the track “Flamingos”, rapid-fire rhythmic changes and chaotic riffs steal the show this time around. “Cosmik Dementia Karate Karnage” starts off the EP on a bombastic note and sets the tone for the rest of the release. Through a cloud of feedback, fast dissonant chords armed with a bastardized sense of rhythm assault the listener, and share the destruction with bouncing, angular riffs. It’s as if Every Time I Die‘s Last Night in Town collided The Dillinger Escape Plan‘s Calculating Infinity for two sweet minutes. The scatterbomb of riff-heavy madness continues from then on, with tracks like “SATAN666” delivering a blur of off-time breakdowns, schizoid grind and spiraling, atonal leads. All of this leads to a discombobulating one-two punch of a climax in the form of “Flying Fire Tigers” and “Chuck Norris”. “Flying Fire Tigers” churns out relentless, squealing alarm clock beatdowns for 82 seconds, bleeding seamlessly into “Chuck Norris”. For the first two minutes, “Chuck Norris” bombards the listener with shape-shifting riffs that slide, shriek and spiral out of control. Then the track gives way into a humorous bluegrass interlude, building anticipation for the track’s final, cataclysmic breakdown. Though criminally brief, Karate Karnage is an entertaining and punishing release fans of volatile hardcore will salivate over.
Release Date: January 23, 2017
Favorite Tracks: “SATAN666”, “Flying Fire Tigers” and “Chuck Norris”
For Fans Of: Botch, Heavy Heavy Low Low, Every Time I Die and Fear Before the March of Flames
Bohr – Lands
Michigan trio Bohr purvey a unique and explosive sound on their sophomore EP, Lands. Following their 2014 EP Histoire, Lands shows the outfit drifting away from their more mathcore roots into something new entirely. Lands features three mammoth-sized pieces that blend elements of melodic death metal with grinding angularity and devastating low-end groove. The short, but sweet release begins with some gritty chord progressions that rest on a blanket of ethereal ambiance on “Divide”. Soon the over seven-minute jam becomes a barrage of drop-tuned, galloping grooves that never skimp on melody, concussive drum work and soaring guitar leads. Joining the band this time around is See You Next Tuesday‘s Chris Fox, who lends his unmistakable acidic vocals to these riff-heavy tunes. The track ends with a calming piano outro that bleeds directly into the next track, “Faultline”. On this track, the band’s penchant for bellowing, punishing grooves are turned to 11. The chugging, rhythmically jarring riffs, mixed with intense drum work and melodic refrains and textures, sound like strangely satisfying hybrid of Meshuggah and At the Gates. The record’s most chaotic track, “Alterations”, comes crashing in directly after “Faultline” draws to a close. Here the band employ the same groove and melodeath elements they did in the previous two cuts, but also add some chaotic, dissonant grindcore guitar riffs and nods to black metal into this churning maelstrom of a song. “Alterations” proves to be an intense listen as it conjures a plethora of apocalyptic riffs and stylistic shifts, leaving the listener no room to breathe. Bohr‘s newfound sound and direction proves to be a force to be reckoned with on this new release, and will hopefully be the first of many more.
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Favorite Tracks: “Alterations”