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xconsumetosatisfyx, “The Play of Life,” from xconsumetosatisfyx (Catalyst, 2018)

A friend tipped me off to xconsumetosatisfyx about two weeks ago, but I just haven't had time to rave about 'em until now. As soon as I loaded up their Bandcamp page, though, I was like, "Wait, holy shit, did they get Stephen Kasner to do their cover art? They did!" That was a good sign, of course, as was the fact that they blatantly refer to themselves as "vegan edge metal," which tends to bode well.

Sure enough, the tunes deliver. Think any respectable mishmash of top-notch vegan straightedge metallic hardcore from the '90s and beyond—liberal with the metal—and with enough of a modern aesthetic to avoid literally rehashing the past. It's got chugging aplenty, death metal riffs, caustic dissonance, a dark melodic side, some vocal variety, and even a few beatdown-ish moments, too. Songwriting-wise, "The Play of Life" was the immediate standout for me.

Having been released digitally back in May, I'm stumped (as usual) that it took so long for this self-titled EP to cross my path, especially after digging around to determine that the lineup features members of Safe and Sound and Judiciary, and Catalyst Records plans to do a physical release on 7" next year. For now, you can also stream the jams via Spotify and all that crap, but proceeds from digital purchases are being donated to a variety of animal rights organizations, at least one of which is the Central Texas Pig Rescue. Old man stream-hater that I am, I'll be lookin' out for that 7", for sure…