Bodysnatcher, Bleed-Abide (MNRK Heavy 2022)

The third album from Florida deathcore band Bodysnatcher is out this week, Bleed-Abide.

Bodysnatcher came together in 2014. They put an EP out in 2015, and their first long-player, Death Of Me, followed in 2017. It was probably their second album, This Heavy Void, that brought them the most attention, and their fan base has been on the uptick all along. The band is Kyle Medina (vocals), Kyle Carter (guitar), Kyle Shope (bass), and Chris Whited (drums).

Talking about the album, Kyle Medina tells us, “Bleed-Abide is the ultimate culmination of what the band has been building for years, and I believe the best material to date. The instrumentals have matured and become heavier hitting and the lyrics dig deeper personally and more relatable than even This Heavy Void. There is something for everyone in this album: slam riffs, breakdowns, two steps, choruses that stick…”

There are thirteen mostly short, hard-hitting tracks on the new album. After the intro piece “Bleed,” the clubbing begins with “Abide.” Savage aggression ensues. Growling, bristling vocals descend to croaks now and then, and the percussion beats your senses senseless. The intentionality is ever-present, pushing the musical ideas forward.

There is plentiful speed here, but acceleration is not the whole story. “Smashed Perceptions” disturbs perceptions of pace, and you hear this on many tracks. “Flatline,” for example, does it in a different way. Instead of relying entirely on speed and volume, the change ups and hanging moments add tension and drama, maybe also anxiety, to the music.

The last four songs taken together are a menace to reason and sanity. “Wired For Destruction,” “Hollow Shell,” “Behind The Crowd,” and “The Question” work together in my head even if they weren’t meant to – they are a suite of destruction at the end that brings it all together. Recommended.

Bleed-Abide is out on Friday, April 22nd through MNRK Heavy. There are lots of formats to choose from at the links below.

Links.

Website, https://bodysnatcherofficial.com/

Bandcamp, https://bodysnatcherfl.bandcamp.com/album/bleed-abide

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Bodysnatcherfl/

MNRK Heavy, https://mnrkheavy.com/collections/bodysnatcher

© Wayne Edwards.

Bodysnatcher, Bleed-Abide (MNRK Heavy 2022)

Overkill, Prong, and Cultus Black at Piere’s, March 9, 2022

It was a night of thrash in northern Indiana when Overkill stopped by for a little rampage on The Wings Of War tour.

I like the extremes of heavy music – I love doom and I love thrash. New Jersey’s Overkill has always been one of my favorite thrash bands. Starting back in the early 1980s, they have released nineteen (!) studio albums, the most recent being The Wings Of War (Nuclear Blast), which they are supporting with the current tour. My favorite Overkill album is probably The Electric Age, and I have been told many times that it’s a controversial choice. I stand by it, and at the same time, I will listen to any of their albums all the way through any time. The music always cranks the adrenaline up. I was most excited to see Overkill, but two other impressive acts went on ahead of them.

A band that I was seeing for the first time, Cultus Black (or Cvltvs Black), opened the show at Piere’s Entertainment Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. On their Facebook page, they describe themselves as “a dramatic deathcore/Nu-metal crossover.” The photos will give you some idea of what went on. These musicians were fully committed and you have to see them live if you really want to understand the experience.

Like Overkill, Prong, too, have a history that stretches back to the 1980s. They released five albums during their first run, then took a break for a few years. For the past twenty years, they’ve been hitting it hard and putting out new music regularly. The band’s latest full-length album is Zero Days (Steamhammer). The style of heavy metal they play has been described in many ways, ranging from hardcore to punk to industrial to thrash to groove. I am satisfied to call it high energy heavy metal, and they stalked the stage like they owned the place. Great set.

Overkill took the stage and took no prisoners. They opened with “Wrecking Crew” and played one monstrous metal anthem after another, wrapping things up on an tidy encore. Founding members Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth and D. D. Verni led the way and Overkill tore the roof off the place to the delight of screaming fans. I was expecting to see a raucous performance but what the band delivered went above and beyond. Many famous and impressive bands play at Piere’s, and Overkill making the journey there was something extra special; another step up.

The Wings Of War tour continues, with many more dates this month and later in the year. Get out there and see these bands to satisfy your need for speed.

All photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Overkill, http://wreckingcrew.com/Ironbound/

Prong, https://prongmusic.com/

Cultus Black, https://www.cultusblack.com/

Piere’s Entertainment Center, https://pieresentertainment.com/

Nuclear Blast Records, https://label.nuclearblast.com/en/music/band/about/71097.overkill.html

Steamhammer, https://shop.steamhammer.de/artists/prong

© Wayne Edwards. All rights reserved.

Overkill, Prong, and Cultus Black at Piere’s, March 9, 2022

We Came As Romans, Blue Ridge Rock Festival, September 12, 2021

Michigan metalcore powerhouse We Came As Romans toured in 2021 with an eye toward the future.

All photos by Wayne Edwards

Links.

Website, https://iamdarkbloom.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/wecameasromans

YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/WeCameAsRomans

Sharptone Records, https://sharptonerecords.co/

Blue Ridge Rock Festival coverage at Ryze-Up magazinehttps://www.ryze-up.com/music-2/blue-ridge-rock-festival-2021/

© Wayne Edwards.

We Came As Romans, Blue Ridge Rock Festival, September 12, 2021

An Unction In Braille, The Wordless Whisper (2021)

New England metal band An Unction In Braille release their inaugural EP, The Wordless Whisper.

The band has been coming together since about 2012. The music is a melodic-esque combination of death metal, metalcore, and grindcore – light on the melodic. While that description does cover a lot of ground, the music itself has a recognizable focus in its combinatorics. The musicians are Robert Meroski (guitar), Josh Veck (vocals), Kieran Beaty (guitar), Wes Welch (bass), and Jacob Lindquist (drums).

There are five tracks on the EP, each weighing in at radio length. The opener, “Catharsis,” is built around a discreet elemental sounds that stand together in order to create a collective front. The tips and ranges make ideal sense in the context of the subject. “Of The Dead” goes next and dashes off in a different direction altogether. There is a coarseness to the syncopation that oversteps the fundaments just enough to keep you guessing. And then “An Inch From Death” has a structure that seems almost linear compared to the first two; a very death metal approach to the ideas.

“Sickening Sweet” shows the most melodic movements on the set, all the while surrounded by pile driving percussion and staccato riffs. The final track is “Dark As Black.” There is a vileness in the vocals that would go nicely in a black metal tune. Here it both competes with and complements the barely contained other-raging pylons of musical construction. These songs do leave you a little unbalanced after listening to them, an effect that is surely deliberate and calculated. When I am listening to An Unction In Braille I am hearing something different from the off-the-shelf music I sometimes come across, and I like it. Recommended.

The Wordless Whisper is out on Friday October 29th on CD and digital. The omnipresent Bandcamp is a good place to pick it up.

Links.

An Unction In Braille website, https://www.anunctioninbraille.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/AUiBmusic/

Bandcamp, https://anunctioninbraille.bandcamp.com/album/the-wordless-whisper

An Unction In Braille, The Wordless Whisper (2021)

Beartooth, Below (Red Bull Records 2021)

The wild ride continues with the fourth album from Columbus punk/metal/hardcore facilitators Beartooth.

The recording journey started in 2014 with Disgusting, an album that surprised and energized the heavy music community. It was Aggressive (2016) next then Disease (2018) and now Below. Always straight to the point. After the recent departure of longtime guitarist Kamron Bradbury, the band is, by the most recent accounting, Caleb Shomo (vocals), Oshie Bichar (bass), Connor Denis (drums), Zach Huston (guitar), and Will Deely (guitar).

The music is a squish of many influences from metalcore to post-punk, often circling around soaring melodic choruses which definitely stand out in the unavoidable comparison to the screaming stanzas. The bursting energy you hear in the songs is something to behold in person. Beartooth is one of those bands I saw live having never heard any of their music before. They definitely make an impression.

“Devastation” and “The Past Is Dead” have gotten a few million plays on Spotify and they are great instances of Beartooth that will catch listeners and bring them in to the broader display of the entire Below album. I am not even going to pick a favorite. Every song is rocket ride, one way or another. You can’t listen to this album sitting down, easy in your chair – you have to get up and let it move through you. If you haven’t started your summer yet, this is the kickstart you need. Recommended.

Below is out now. Go to the band’s website (tap below) to catch the links to all the music and merch.

Live photo by Wayne Edwards, Heavy Montreal 2019.

Links.

Website, https://beartoothband.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/BEARTOOTHband

Beartooth, Below (Red Bull Records 2021)

Soilwork, A Whisp Of The Atlantic review (Nuclear Blast 2020)

The new Soilwork EP is Long Play in length and grand in stature.

I jumped onto the Soilwork bandwagon with Sworn To A Great Divide in 2007, and that was their seventh full-length album so I started out way behind the curve. Discovering the rest of their music over the years by hearing the subsequent new releases while simultaneously going through the back catalogue was a journey and a quest. Melodic Death Metal segue to Metalcore and Groove, the music was always full bodied and finished with precision.

The new EP is 38 minutes long with an epic opening song that runs nearly half that total length. Soilwork has produced some long songs, but nothing like this. And significantly, there is a lot of story here, which makes sense given the nature of the construction. The band for A Whisp Of The Atlantic is Bjorn Strid (vocals), David Andersson (guitar), Sylvain Coudret (guitar), Sven Karlsson (keys, samples), and Bastian Thusgaard (drums).

Andersson tells us that each songs has an underlying core, “From the desire of ‘Feverish,’ the urge of ‘Desperado,’ the determinism of ‘Death Diviner,’ the insights and questions of ‘The Nothingness and the Devil’ and the acceptance and spiritual searching of ‘A Whisp of the Atlantic.’” The centerpiece title song is a complicated composition ranging over a broad spectrum of music and feeling in its seventeen minutes. It does not stand alone on the album, but it could, in my estimation. It is theatrical and cinematic, by which I mean the presentation of the story through the music exists on the large broad scale and also on a close, intimate one. It is hard to imagine that a band with legendary status like Soilwork would continue to innovate to this degree and post such a milestone so far along their path, but here they have done it. Recommended.

December 4th is the drop date for A Whisp Of The Atlantic. It is an essential element in the Soilwork canon.

Band photo by Stephansdotter Photography.

Links.

Soilwork website, https://www.soilwork.org/

Soilwork Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/soilwork/

Nuclear Blast, https://www.nuclearblast.de/en/label/music/band/discography/details/6963921.70960.a-whisp-of-the-atlantic-ep.html

Soilwork, A Whisp Of The Atlantic review (Nuclear Blast 2020)