Violent by Design, Dark Days Deserved (Self-Released, 2019)
Bitter 'n' brutal metalcore out of Albany, NY that should appeal to fans of Neglect, etc.
Vegas, Tetralogy (Self-Released, 2019)
Arguably the project's most crisply-produced and succinctly aggressive effort to date.
Quick Hits: Upstate Records—Volume II, Dissent, and Refuge
Another quality batch of crushing metallic hardcore from Albany's finest label.
Piece of Mind, Trilogy (Trip Machine Laboratories, 2018)
Scathing metallic hardcore out of Tulsa, OK; for fans of Harvest, Turmoil, etc.
Dead of Night, Dead of Night (Red Menace, 2018)
Apocalyptic crust punk for fans of Amebix. Two songs, six minutes, $5.
Quick Hits: Auric Records—Excruciation, Babylon Asleep, Heavydeath, and Stig .C. Miller
A high-quality set of predominantly doom/death-driven split EPs from this Swiss imprint.
Quick Hits: Upstate Records—One Down, No Convictions, Embrace the Hostility, and Penitentiary
From the U.K. to Indiana, four high-quality metallic hardcore bands worthy of further exploration...
Labor Hex, Lost in Calling (Self-Released, 2018)
Boston quartet dishes out top-shelf angular post-hardcore with the hammering oomph of noise rock.
Shinobi, The World is Mine (Self-Released, 2018)
Still one of the finest grungy/indie/alt.-rock outfits you're (probably) not listening to...
Jukai, Prologue (Trip Machine Laboratories, 2018)
Early demo collection from top-shelf metallic hardcore up-and-comers out of Long Island, NY.
Tetelestai, Crvsh Svtvn (Self-Released, 2017)
Intense metalcore of the decades-old Solid State/Hydra Head variety.
Quick Hits: Upstate Records—Volume I, Nailed Down, and Organharvest/Comic Arson
From pummeling metallic hardcore to shredding death metal, this label will be one to watch...
Omega Diatribe, Trinity (Metal Scrap, 2018)
Top-shelf "extreme groove metal" packed with hulking rhythms and sinewy, psychedelic leads.
Dødsleie, Dødsleie (Subversive Craft, 2018)
Impressive and well-balanced black metal featuring members of Unreal City and Broken Cross...
Rot in Hell, A Thick Rope and a Strong Branch (Neuropa, 2017)
Woefully underrecognized "neo-folk" artistry tendered with grave earnestness...
Sea Lilies, Soonest (Tired as a Chicken, 2018)
Dischord-styled post-hardcore meets mature pop-punk (and more) on what I'm already proclaiming one of my favorite releases of 2018...
A Track-by-Track Initial Reaction to Vegas' Digital Affairs Neurotic + Stream "Gift of Oblivion"
Long-awaited sophomore full-length is a surprisingly diverse—and memorable—contribution to the Vegas maelstrom...
Cruelty of the Heavens, Somewhere Between Paranoia & Depression (Self-Released, 2017)
Another year-end best from the finest and most underrated band that you REALLY ought to be hearing more about... (Photo: Sydney Carlson)