Wrack – Hollow Sun
San Francisco multi-instrumentalist Tyler Cox (also of The Mass) crafts multifaceted, long-form metalcore compositions on Wrack‘s Hollow Sun. Drawing influence from old-school metalcore, progressive metal and various styles across the extreme music spectrum, Cox’s Wrack is a crushing and dynamic project that showcases virtuosic musicianship and a penchant for battering riffs. The record opens with the extremely volatile, 10-minute “Kill Eye”, which is full of off-kilter rhythms and discombobulating metallic riffs. These discordant passages bleed into sections of progressive flair, piercing black metal, and melodic clean guitars throughout this unyielding display of sonic evolution. The album’s 10-minute title track follows next with lengthy sections of bludgeoning, angular thrash that build into a climax of lumbering, monolithic guitars that are bathed in gleaming melodies and kaleidoscopic atmospheres. The record is brought to a close by “I Will Not Be Peace”; an eclectic track that is divided into three sections of galloping heavy metal, oddly-timed pseudo thrash, and deafening sludge. Although there are a few moments of meandering repetition, particularly in the title track, Wrack‘s Hollow Sun is constantly in motion, constantly changing, and constantly punishing.
Release Date: June 15, 2018
Favorite Track: “Kill Eye”
For Fans Of: Cleric, Starkweather and Keelhaul
Haunted Horses – Cold Medicine
Seattle’s Haunted Horses unleashes 10 minutes of disorienting industrial noise on their new EP, Cold Medicine. Armed with nauseating guitars, pulsing percussion, and mind-altering synths, Haunted Horses deliver four new tracks of antisocial sound that draws influence from post-punk, industrial music, and psychosis. The groaning, harsh noise-infused instrumental “Sixxle” opens the record and bleeds into the throttling title track. “Cold Medicine” begins with pulsating bass lines, ghostly synths and thundering drumming that is spearheaded by bleak vocals. Soon the track is overtaken by a cacophony of swirling sound and hammering percussion as it draws to a close. The final two tracks “The Banker” and “Video Drone” sees the EP take an even weirder turn. These two tracks are full of throbbing, acid-laced dance rhythms and unpredictable, bipolar transitions that take the listener on some jarring detours to either be excessively pummeled or properly discombobulated. It was clear that the band was aiming for chaos, and while they do succeed, these abrupt transitions can come across a bit messy and too random for their own good. All-in-all Cold Medicine is a raucous record that will appease fans of synth-laden madness. It’s not perfect, but it is a unique and uncompromising listen.
Release Date: May 25, 2018
Label: Void Assault Records
Favorite Track: “Cold Medicine”
For Fans Of: Wreck and Reference, Youth Code, Uniform and Xiu Xiu