Review: Unreal City, Satyr/Sheol (Subversive Craft/Closed Casket Activities, 2019)

Pittsburgh, PA's Unreal City made a surprise return toward the end of last year with this three-song, 11-minute 7", presenting the group's first new material since the summer of 2017. Side A offers up both "Satyr" and "Sheol," bountiful in the Integrity/Ringworm-esque (musically, anyway) brand of Clevo-inflected metallic hardcore for which Unreal City is known. "Satyr" follows a relentlessly crunchy midpaced stomp, while the seething lyrics ("Who can wash away your pain, when you're gagging on faith again?") and gnashing pace of "Sheol" make it a bit more explosive. Both compositions are immediate keepers. Great production, too, compliments of the almighty Bill Korecky and the sadly-now-defunct Mars Recording Compound.

The B-side, "Heroine," is exclusive to the vinyl: a five-minute dark ambient experimental noise piece that works well at either 33rpm or 45rpm. There's sort of a cinematic quality to its eerie sense of subdued melody, which is quite nice—were this style to spinoff into its own side project, I'd certainly be curious to hear more.

The 7" is limited to 300 copies on random-colored vinyl (mine's a slightly marbled shade of opaque olive green) with screenprinted covers on either red, white, or yellow matte paper (100 per color); and the two-sided sleeve includes lyrics. Nicely done.

Look for a new Unreal City full-length later this year through Closed Casket Activities...

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