False, Integrity and the Best, Most-Overlooked Metal of July
While everyone is clamoring about how 2017 is looking to be a great year for death metal, I’m over here stockpiling a collection of spectacularly grim black metal releases. Where are all the kvlt think pieces about what could possibly be the second wave of American black metal? I’m sure we’ll get to that, as we’ll cover a ton of shit that gets LOST IN THE MOSH. MetalSucks’ newest monthly column will be devoted to reviewing the best, most overlooked releases of the month in black, death, thrash, hardcore, doom and everything in between.
False – Hunger (Gilead Media)
Hunger may be the best work yet from Minnesota black metal sextet False. While most of their music clocks in at nine minutes or more, Hunger is drastically shortened with two extremely aggressive — yet melodic — blasts of ferocious black metal that indicate how fucking fantastic False would sound with a backing orchestra. If only, right? Both songs, combined, are shorter than anything else the band has ever released, so False is clearly not fucking around any longer. Hunger‘s first track, “Ahedonina,” is something of beauty, as Rachel’s shrieking vocals complement all the other chaotic shit that her band members are doing. A spellbinding build-up leads to tremolo-driven melodies countered with crusty blasts on the d-beat, similar to Emperor. The extended play’s title track, “Hunger,” continues the nod to Emperor, as you can almost feel the ice forming to the Travis’ thunderous drumming. And just when the coldness sets in, the track takes a neck-bending turn into the fire-laden pits of Hell. If this isn’t a milestone record, I don’t know what is.
Integrity – Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume (Relapse)
While it’s hard to imagine another hardcore album making more waves than Power Trip’s latest masterpiece, Nightmare Logic, hardcore vets Integrity are giving the Texas thrash band a run for their money with Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume. Much like False’s Hunger, this may be Integrity’s best work in their nearly 30-year career. Mastermind Dwid Hellion doesn’t give a fuck about what you think. It is part of what makes Integrity work so well, as well as cements Hellion’s status as the GG Allin of hardcore. Howling doesn’t stray from its hardcore roots, but it is as solid a crossover as any, as songs like “Serpent of the Cross” is downright menacing. While a lot of bands are embracing the resurgence of metalcore and nu metal from the mid-aughts, Integrity are giving a fresh take on metalcore when we didn’t even know we needed it. A concept album concerning mankind’s showdown with Armageddon, Howling may just survive the onslaught.
Couch Slut – Contempt (Gilead Media)
Couch Slut are noise rock done right. In a sense, they are your average hardcore band. Vocalist Megan Osztrosits’ harrowing vocals accent the in-your-face approach to the noise. It doesn’t let up for forty-four minutes, and the music pulls no punches. But Contempt is also as sludgy as it is hardcore or noise. There’s even a tad bit of black metal riffage as the album weaves through its array of hometown influences, including Sonic Youth and Swans. Following their 2014 debut, My Life as a Woman, Couch Slut’s sophomore effort is just the right fusion of metallic hardcore, and in this newfound age where crossover bands are starting to pick up steam once again, it may win over fans from multiple genres. This album is a banger for anyone with an extreme amount of rage.