Portrayal of Guilt – Portrayal of Guilt
Crushing, darkened hardcore and erratic, classic screamo stylings collide on Portrayal of Guilt‘s debut 7″ release. This Texan act pay homage to the earliest progenitors of the screamo genre, such as Pg.99 and Orchid, but have a thread of brooding hardcore à la sister band Illustrations running throughout their vicious tunes. This brief, three-track release begins with the devastating stormer “Humanity Is Frail”. Blackened hardcore riffs lurch, slide and bend with a sense of volatility and groove, while intense drumming and frontman Matt King’s venomous vocals only add to the chaos. This vitriolic assault eventually transitions to a moody, melodic bridge whose clean guitars gradually build into a highly distorted climax that will rip the throats from listeners. “The One” follows next with a stampede of melancholic, yet skull-caving riffs that are interwoven with expressive leads. The track is soon overcome with flourishes of noise and cascading melodies before ending in a barrage of muscular hardcore chords. The EP is brought to a close with “Mourning Ahead”, which begins with 45 seconds of tense, menacing clean guitars and a slow-burning rhythm section. Then the track explodes into a final march of chugging mayhem and siren-like guitar leads, leaving the listener bruised in the process. Portrayal of Guilt‘s debut is dark and relentless and will hopefully be the first of many solid releases to come.
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Label: Miss The Stars Records/Contrition Recordings
Favorite Track: “Humanity Is Frail”
For Fans Of: Pg.99, Saetia and Youth Funeral
Floods – Floods
For roughly 24 minutes, Floods assault the listener with a potent blend of black, sludge and death metal on their self-titled EP. This Brooklyn-based act seamlessly blends these elements into a blistering, cohesive sound that never skimps on technicality, dissonance or melody. “Tower” kicks things off with hellacious drum work and a powerful procession of tremolo-picked, melodic black metal stylings. As it progresses, the riffs become more angular and unpredictable as the track reaches a climax of cataclysmic, chugging sludge and fierce solo work. This paves the way for the seven-minute leviathan “Coercive” to come crashing in with its arsenal of destructive instrumentation. Bouncing, atonal melodies give way to disemboweling, churning riffs during the initial moments of this track, before galloping and chugging instrumentation take hold. The instrumentation becomes more and more multifaceted and jarring as it reaches its conclusion, making it arguably the album’s standout cut. “Stations”‘ crusty, barreling black metal assault comes rushing out of the gate and effortlessly morphs into a mix of energetic melodic death metal and bleak, hellspawned black metal. Finally, “Angels of Failure” brings everything to a close with cacophonous, dissonant guitar work à la Portal that shapeshifts into thrashing fervor and triumphant, high octane black metal melodies. There are definitely times where the record relies a bit too much on its black metal influences, but it doesn’t fully take away from the fact that Floods may be onto something pretty special. Fans of unpredictable metal, take note.
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Favorite Track: “Coercive”
For Fans Of: Krallice, Bohr, and Palace of Worms