Unsigned and Unholy: Karnon, Merv, Pulling Punches


Montreal-based Karnon described themselves thusly in a brief email to the MetalSucks Mansion: “If you like loud heavy metal music, you could enjoy.” Say, I DO enjoy loud heavy metal music! And I DO enjoy this band! Very much! Karnon’s interpolation of sludge into a death metal backbone hits hard as fuck — Turbid North are the closest touchstone I can muster, maybe even a tad Rivers of Nihil — and I’m digging the crap out of the vibe of their new EP Le Temps Sombre, released last month, even if the performance is noticeably uneven at times.

What happens when you lay modern hardcore/metal vocals on top of old-school melodic punk and AC/DC riffage? Merv, a band who tells us they’re from “the middle of nowhere” (actually Voronezh, Russia) that’s simply “playing music that we all like.” That’s exactly how it should be, right? Sure, the Kvelertak worship is nigh on their lone publicly-posted track “Brother of Fire, Mother of Night,” but this shit’s so catchy and rockin’ you’ll be bobbing your head in no time.

Even if you’re not much for straight-up hardcore, there’s something about Philly crew Pulling Punches that metalheads should find undeniable: a raucous, unrestrained, absolutely infectious energy. The oddball direction the band takes “Beautiful and Miserable” during the bridge is totally unexpected but very welcome, too. Pulling Punches’ new EP The Old Colors are Dead is out now via micro-label Creep Records, and you can check out a track from it below.

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