I am great at overlooking smaller packages. Just so great at it. For example, we basically cover full-length albums on this site, and for good reason as there are so damn many of them. But there are smaller releases that definitely are worth anyone’s while, so let’s get to a couple of them today.
Broken Limbs Recordings are a fun label to follow. They don’t put out giant indie releases that gets blogs and magazines in a tizzy. Yet. That day is going to come, because they do a fine job picking bands to release. But they’re there plugging away, putting new music into the metal underground, and always keeping things interesting. Not every one of their releases may resonate with you, but you can’t argue that they keep your eyes open. This is one of the labels that when I get their promos, I make sure to sit down with them and absorb each note, because time and care have been put into each release. These two are no different, one that pairs a site favorite with on that might be soon, and another a band’s new EP that’s bite size but wholly brutal.
Up first we have a split from Brooklyn’s awesome Mortals, whose most recent album “Cursed to See the Future” was our eighth favorite record of last year and who have been growing in notoriety. This trio is one you need to see live, with bassist/vocalist Lesley Wolf destroying you with her howls, guitarist Elizabeth Cline slaying you with riffs, and drummer Caryn Havlik punishing you from behind the kit. They are part of this new split effort alongside Repellers, a relatively new band hailing from West Philadelphia that brings the shit heavily with their contributions to the effort. These guys—a trio consisting of bassist/vocalist Rob Petraitis, drummer/vocalist Tony Secreto, and guitarist/vocalist Jon Rifenburg—have a small resume at the moment, but no doubt they will branch out and maul fools for many years to come with their amalgamation of death, crust, thrash, and doom.
Mortals come at you first with a single track that runs nearly nine minutes and continues to display their penchant for stretching their sound. “10 Years of Filth” starts with a film clip packed with screaming before it loads into a tempered assault that leans toward sinewy thrashing. The guitars explore the surroundings, while Wolf’s growls are unleashed and go for the jugular. This has a different feel than a lot of their songs, especially what they unleashed on their last record, and as the track goes on, it finally hits full speed. The vocals lurch, the tempo is menacing, the riffs get gigantic and virulent, as Wolf wails, “This world was created for suffering,” sticking the dagger in one more time for good measure. This band rules.
Repellers’ three tracks are shorter and bloodthirsty and will leave you gasping for air. The viciousness and promise are on display as soon as “Descend” launches. Though the track is calm at first, it doesn’t take long until it rips into heavy blasting, vocals that note “nocturnal creatures stir,” and the band continuing the assault like they’re preparing you to feed to said ghouls. “From Jerico to Ai” doesn’t last long, but it makes the most of its time from the thick bassline that spills forth, the proggy weirdness that runs into a death march, and howls of, “Your next dream shall be your last!” that fully pays off the imminent threat. Closer “False Solace” pokes at blind faith, punches and smacks at you, and unleashes poisonous taunts such as, “No one is coming back, a false solace remains,” as the guys steamroll you for good and leave you a stain on the pavement. Repellers are on our radar for sure, and I’m pretty amped to hear where they go in the future.
For more on Mortals, go here: https://www.facebook.com/mortalstheband
For more on Repellers, go here: https://www.facebook.com/repellers
We also have a new EP from Ramlord, a band we most recently talked about last year due to their split effort with Krieg, and now they’re back with a blistering two-track, self-titled effort that will melt your neck off. Then your head will just be attached to your … chest? Ah, it’s worth it. The two cuts here are hard to explain, and what the band—vocalist/guitarist Jan (also of the great Leather Chalice), bassist Mike, and drummer/vocalist Ben—puts together can fit in all kinds of containers, from black metal, to noise, to hardcore, to punk, to death. No matter what you call it, the music grabs your attention forcefully and holds it against your will.
“The Breached Sanctum” is the first shot, with liquidy guitar work trickling down, feeling alien and spooky, before it rips open into full carnage. The growls are harsh and ominous, with the melodies flooding and bubbling black, and the vocals turning fierce and shrill. The music gets weird and challenging, the song takes a strange twist towards doom, and the song chugs its way to the finish. “The Fog of Neglect” has a punk edge, one that’s messy and filthy and that’s met with vocals that feel scuffed with glass and rusty metal. The track is mean and raw, with intense emotions blowing at you like sparks and fire, and the assault is monstrous and heavy. The last bits of the song meander into mud and sludge, as the band mashes you into the ground, letting you lie there as you bleed out until your expiration. This is a nice mini-effort that hopefully paves the way for their third full-length release.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ramlord/116149375131744
These are a couple of fun, worthwhile releases that will beat your ass but leave you happy that you went through the torment. Three great bands, a couple of smaller releases that you can digest in whole on your ride to and from work, and enough metal to fill whatever hole you have in your motivation tank. These may be smaller packages, but they certainly don’t lack in substance and crushing emotion.
To buy either album, go here: http://brokenlimbsrecordings.com/shop/
For more on the label, go here: http://brokenlimbsrecordings.com/