Another week down means another serving of quality tunes from a wide range of artists pushing the agenda of heavy culture. Covering the spectrum of hardcore, thrash, sludge and even a few fringe inclusions like dance punk and nostalgic radio rock, this week's installment of Mandatory jams has plenty to pick apart.
Void Of Vision - Year Of The Rat feat. Jacob Charlton (UNFD)
The Australian metalcore outfit Void of Vision actually repurposed the track from their previous 2019 release Hyperdaze, only this time the band enlisted the melodic accent of Thornhill vocalist Jacob Charlton. Packed with groove and a fluid transition between distorted and clean vocals, the catharsis in music and message is articulated well.
EYEHATEGOD - “Built Beneath the Lies” (Century Media Records)
Described by the band’s vocalist Mike IX Williams as a track that is fueled by “nervous alcoholic tension,” the third offering from A History of Nomadic Behavior is a pissed off show of distortion with all of the stylistic bells and whistles of EyeHateGod. Slow-moving sludge done right.
Angelus Apatrida - “We Stand Alone” (Century Media Records)
Spain’s veteran thrash outfit Angelus Apatrida celebrate the release of their self-titled album with the emphatic statement in the single “We Stand Alone”. Investing all of the angst and hostility that marred 2020 into song, the band’s feverish instrumental fury is both technical and triumphant.
Sanguisugabogg - “Dead As Shit” (Century Media Records)
Violence, gore, and weed… championing a campaign of making death metal rage again, Ohio’s difficult to pronounce prospects make the cut of tracks to crank again this week. With their latest NSFW animated visual, the band makes ‘Dead As Shit” heavy as shit with a guttural good time.
Summoning the Lich - “Cult of Ophidian” (Prosthetic Records)
The band’s debut album is titled United In Chaos and nothing could be more applicable here. The latest offering in “Cult of the Ophidian” flexes StL’s affinity for mythical lore as the track depicts a tale of the rise of the Lich and fall of the Kingdom Rodor but what it really does is brutalize the audience with the kind of speed and precision that death metal outfits often fail to deliver. The track’s slowest parts cook so when the tempo picks up - make way.
Tetrarch - “You Never Listen” (Napalm Records)
The modern melodic heft of Tetrarch has seen the band make impressive strides ahead of their sophomore release, Unstable, set to arrive in April. On the band’s latest offering, competent songwriting and a balanced approach underscore just why the band’s stock has risen so quickly in a such a relatively shirt amount of time.
Death From Above 1979 - “One + One” (Spinefarm Records)
The story goes that Sebastien Grainger’s wife Eva got pregnant shortly after he and musical cohort Jesse F. Keeler began working on what would become “One + One”. At the behest of his better half, Grainger opted to make the track “dancier” thus resulting in the infectious first offering from the duo since 2017. As the track progressed, Grainger brought the progression of the track home prompting the baby in his wife’s womb to start moving and grooving - hence, “One plus one is three — that's magic!”
Capra - “The Locust Preacher” (Black Light Media / Metal Blade Records)
Tapping the angst and antagonistic fervor of late 90s, early 2000s hardcore, Capra are set to make an emphatic fist impression if ‘The Locust Preacher”m is any indication of what lies in store on the band’s debut, In Transmission. The heavy swing of the band’s brand of metallic hardcore is both personally charged and sonically pummeling.
Sentinels - “Inertia” (SharpTone Records)
Jersey-based progressive metalcore outfit Sentinels announced their singing to SharpTone Records with the sonic sledgehammer. Following the band’s 2019 LP Unsound Recollections, the quartet craft a violent cacophony that challenges the confides of a genre that typically means big choruses and melodic breakdowns. From the get-go Sentinels go for the throat and do not relent.
Evile - "Hell Unleashed” (Napalm Records)
In the eight long years since the band’s last outing, Skull, Evile has recalibrated and have returned with a hefty dose of diabolical thrash the proves good things come to those who wait. With a foundation built on speed and brutality, the freshly formed iteration of the UK thrash vets just might be the best version yet.
Erra - “Scorpion Hymn” (UNFD)
Echoing the meaty groove of bands like Gojira, Meshuggah, and even Lamb of God, Erra showcase stylistic versatility with their second single from their forthcoming self-titled album. Packed with maximum seven-string riffage, the result is a crushing concoction of metalcore that asserts Erra is among the head of it’s class.
Reach NYC - “Automatic” (The Orchard)
After making an impressive return some 17 yeas removed from the scene in 2020, modern rock revivalists Reach NYC swung for the fences with their ‘Back From the Dead” debut, tapping Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach to make their reintroduction. For the follow up, the band has enlisted Lamb of God axeman Mark Morton on the energized rock anthem, ‘Automatic”. The band’s tip of the hat to Appetite for Destruction-esque rock, Reach NYC makes nostalgic music for the modern era.