Kneel, Ailment review (Raging Planet 2020)

Kneel has released a new album after many years of reckoning and introspection. At least, that is what Ailment seems like.

Kneel is Pedro Mau, with vocals by Filipe Correia. Mau handles all the other instruments and composition. The earlier album from Kneel is 2013’s Interstice, and the new one follows a similar Hardcore / Mathcore tranche. The music is a settled, punishing groove that keeps jumping the tracks.

Each song has a single word for a title which encapsulates the idea or feeling or story. Even more precisely (and generally) than that, Pedro Mau comments on the album, in part, this way: “The accumulation of small problems in our lives can lead us, sooner or later, to situations that can get out of our control.” Some of the songs build this into their own microcosm, and you can also see it as an arc throughout the entire set. It is a long run arc in the sense that your anxiety mounts the longer you listen – the only door you can see rattles on it hinges but instead of flying open to allow for escape it is fusing shut a little more with each passing song.

The halfway point, “Raptorial,” is so harsh and upsetting you start wondering if this is the mental equivalent of a cardiac stress test. But that is the hump, and once over it you have become one of the inhabitants of the world. By the time you get to the closer, “Acuity,” you are unshaken by the rage of the tortuous waves. It is no longer a cacophony. It starts to seem merely like the truth. In a fascinating way, it is the exact opposite of the quotation above – instead of the music spinning out of control, it has become more understandable.

Available now from Raging Planet (Portugal) and Planet K Records (Italy), conveniently sourced through Bandcamp, Ailment will not make you feel better, but it might help you get on with it.

Links.

Kneel Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/seekinsideyourself

Kneel Bandcamp, https://kneel.bandcamp.com/

Raging Planet, http://www.ragingplanet.pt

Planet K Records, https://planetkrecords.bandcamp.com/

Kneel, Ailment review (Raging Planet 2020)

Isotope, Isotope Compilation review (Carbonized Records 2020)

Isotope brings it all together with a round-up of their four recent releases in one tight package of mind mashing aggression.

The compilation includes the 2019 self-titled full-length LP, 2017’s Wake Up Screaming EP, the Midnight Soldier seven-inch from 2015, and the debut demo Final Wind Of Mercy (2014). It will get you up to speed in one slam. The band credits are Chuck “Zone Tripper” Franco (vocals), Nick “Sikki Nikki” Cantu (guitar), Paul “Bazzy” Capito (bass), Clint “Clza” Baechle (drums), Kristen “K.P.” Payne (guitar on the recent two releases), and Scootch (guitar on the first two releases).

If you don’t know about Isotope yet, this collection is the way to find out. They are known as a hardcore punk band made up of musicians well oiled in the scene and looking for another outlet for their energy. From the very beginning they were mixing genres with big riffs and blistering leads you expect to hear in more straight-stream metal acts. The singing has the attitude and perspective of punk, and at the same time emanates expressions varying into other bandwidths.

The collection is arranged with the newest music first so I suggest you listen to it backwards to see how the band has changed in the six years it has been working together as Isotope. Final Wind Of Mercy is a demo in name only – everything is well in place in this debut. Midnight Soldier has a cleaner production sound while maintaining the raging chaos. Wake Up Screaming brings a brittleness and sharper slice to the compositions, and the newest, Isotope, is a ranging machine of punk and metal terrorizing the landscape. Highly recommended for longtime fans and newcomers alike.

This compilation is out now on a limited edition cassette of 100 copies. There is also a download-only version available at Bandcamp if you miss out on the physical.

Band photo by Carlos Garcia.

Links.

http://www.facebook.com/isotopehardcore

https://isotopehardcore.bandcamp.com/

http://www.facebook.com/Carbonized-Records

https://carbonizedrecords.bandcamp.com/album/isotope-compilation

Isotope, Isotope Compilation review (Carbonized Records 2020)