Kia ora, comrades. Welcome to In Crust We Trust: Vol 16. You might have noticed that every new day seems to bring another new catastrophe. (Or yet another increasingly deranged soundbite.) Who knows what the world will look like when these words are published. But fingers crossed things haven’t devolved to the “Greetings from The Humungus! The Lord Humungus! The Warrior of the Wasteland!” point just yet.
Here’s hoping some of the music below helps to drown out the current madness. In fact, at this point in time, feel free to turn the volume way up and quadruple your recommended daily dose of noise not music. As always, thanks a million for stopping by. I appreciate it. Big time.
Don’t forget to scrub your mitts and pits, and I’ll see you on the flipside.
Phantom Hymn – The Future as Nightmare
Krigsulvar – Raw Demo
Phantom Hymn is a solo project from Portland musician Ian Makau (see heavy-hitters like Dödläge, Frecuencia de Muerte, Genogeist, and more). Phantom Hymn’s full-length debut, The Future as Nightmare, is chock full of sledgehammering songs, with high-octane crust and hardcore fueling jagged-edged numbers like “Dead End Dreaming” and “Forked Tongue Lashes”. It’s not all hefty and heavy crustcore around here though. Ice-cold songs like “Blood is Numbered” and “Lips of Wisdom” also see bitter threads of black metal woven into their Stygian depths.
Throughout The Future as Nightmare, graveled vocals claw their way through shadowy songs, and there are some doom-drenched tracks right here: see the ominous “Golden Chains”, “Cold Memories”, or “Momentum of the Past”. Intricate guitar lines and plenty of chest-crushing tension and release ensure The Future as Nightmare isn’t a one-note spirit from start to finish. Although, if you’re on the hunt for blast-force eruptions of raw hardcore, there’s definitely no shortage of that to be found.
Stampeding potency and gut-driven prowess lie at the heart of The Future as Nightmare‘s success. Phantom Hymn’s savage instrumentation and ferocious emotionality amplify the visceral nature of The Future as Nightmare‘s dark creative core. A trampling triumph, through and through.
Fellow Portland band Krigsulvar has ties to groups like Dödläge, Prohibido, and Aütocracy. Krigsulvar’s Raw Demo tips its hat to Discharge, Doom, and other stenchcore and d-beat inspirations like Instinct of Survival and Swordwielder. As it says on the lid, Raw Demo is achingly raw, but challenging walls of harsh noise are obviously welcomed around these parts. Barked vocals, lacerating riffs, and brain-drilling bass and drums add up to a full-bore blowout of gnashing and crashing mayhem. And Raw Demo is pitch-perfect for fans of ear-fucking maelstroms.
Warwound – WWIII
UK powerhouse Warwound announced they were winding up their career before the release of their latest full-length, WWIII. If it’s any consolation, WWIII is an all-guns-blazing finale, featuring some of Warwound’s most brutal-sounding songs. Warwound features members such as stalwart vocalist Rat Martin, and noted author and musician Ian Glasper. However, unlike some veteran outfits, who seem happy to coast on former glories, Warwound sound as fired-up and as pissed-off as ever on WWIII.
Tracks like “Bastards”, “People Are Shit” and “Note to Self (This World Is Fucked)” are full-force blasts of titanium-strength hardcore. In fact, while WWIII includes plenty of old-school punk, d-beat, and crust (all powered by relentlessly driving bass), the album also features significantly more seething crossover metal and violent metallic hardcore.
Some bands limp off the field, leaving their weakest performance in their wake. But Warwound are exiting as victors, with their heads held high. The band sound as relevant as ever on WWIII, and while the album might be the final entry in Warwound’s discography, it’s also the band’s heaviest and strongest release by a mile.
Life – Ossification of Coral (preview)
After – After (preview)
Minneapolis label Desolate Records have released a lot of mind-mangling punk and hardcore. I wrote about Humant Blod’s Flykten Från Verkligheten EP in the last volume of ICWT, which Desolate Records are set to release soon, and I’ve blabbed about plenty of the label’s other essential releases from bands like Alement, Hellish View, Zymotic, Extended Hell, and Fragment.
My favorite Desolate Records release thus far is 2013’s Violence, Peace and Peace Research, which is the last full-length from Japanese crust Godz Life. (FYI: I raved about Violence, Peace and Peace Research in the recent two-part In Crust We Trust: 2010s Essentials special.) Life’s third LP, Ossification of Coral, is due for release in the coming months, and once again, Desolate Records are co-releasing the album with a number of other labels, including Japanese label Punk Bastard Records and kick-ass Swedish label Not Enough Records.
Desolate Records have uploaded a preview track from Ossification of Coral onto the label’s Bandcamp page, and “Leaning Balance” confirms that Life will be delivering more frenzied and politically-charged crustcore. Expect flawless filth. Raw passion. And even rawer instrumentation. Plus, desperate calls to end the exploitation of nature and our fellow human beings. I don’t mind admitting that I’m (((quivering))) with excitement about Ossification of Coral‘s impending arrival. I hope you are too.
Desolate Records have also recently uploaded “Life Repeats”, which serves as a taster of what we can expect on New York band After’s upcoming, self-titled 7″. After features members from bands like Headsplitters, Extended Hell, and Vägra, so it’s no surprise to find that “Life Repeats” *fucking rips*. It’s 69 seconds of furious-sounding and furiously-paced d-beat and hardcore slathered in grit, grim, and gutter crust. All signs point to After’s 7″ being a 100% jaw-smashing knockout.
Disable – ...Slamming in the Depths of Hell
Atlanta trio Disable have been pumping out road-rash raw d-beat for a decade now. The usual suspects inform Disable’s sound (Discharge, Disclose, Broken Bones, etc) and the band’s thermonuclear ...Slamming in the Depths of Hell 7″ is duly noisy, nasty, and full of crude-sounding and coarse-grained punk. Everything here is corrosive enough to strip the skin from your bones at 20 paces, and Disable weld sawtoothed riffs to screaming noise as driving bass hammers their message home. It’s safe to say ...Slamming in the Depths of Hell is pretty much eardrum-bursting nirvana for fans of belligerent d-beat. High-energy. High-speed. Highly contagious. Get some!
Bombardment – The Sound of War
Bombardment are from Storvreta, Sweden, and the band’s debut, The Sound of War, features an apt array of artillery-strength d-beat and high-explosive raw punk. You can’t miss the echo of Why? or Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing here. But Bombardment aren’t trying to hide their influences. In fact, they’re succinctly summed up on Bombardment’s Facebook page: “Band Interests – d-Beat. Personal Interests – more d-beat”. And an avalanche of deafening d-beat is exactly what you get.
The Sound of War tracks like “War on Humans”, “Warmonger”, and “Electromagnetic Pulse” are blunt ‘n’ barbaric broadsides that sound like they could have been recorded in 1982. And songs like “Organic Weaponry”, “No Winners” and “War on Love” are bolstered by the healthy reserves of the hardcore ammunition stacked in Bombardment’s musical armory. The Sound of War is due for release via New Mexico label Blown Out Media, who have a knack for sourcing red-raw recordings that reject fussy adornments in favor of unfiltered and unrefined noise. The Sound of War definitely falls into that category. The album’s gouging riffs, barking vocals, and battering bass and drums rain down like a mortar barrage. It’s all decimating d-beat fit for diehards and novices alike.
Fuse – This Segregation Will End
Vile Spirit – Scorched Earth
UK label Quality Control HQ is a great source for the best NWOBHC in town. But not everything Quality Control releases is born in dear ol’ Blighty. Singaporean band Fuse recently released their 9-song This Segregation Will End 12″ via Quality Control. The band’s “Lion City Hardcore” is lean and mean and – with mainly women leading the charge here – free from macho posturing and tough-nut bullshit. Fuse’s songs see rapid-fire bursts of tight hardcore wound around Dahliah Kamal’s fierce vocals, and This Segregation Will End will suit fans of spiky rabble-rousing punk as much as devotees of stripped-down NYC or DC hardcore.
Also out via Quality Control is Vile Spirit’s searing LP, Scorched Earth. The band’s first LP is a gigantic step up from Vile Spirit’s previous endeavors, and not only is Scorched Earth heavier and heftier it’s also darker and far more aggressive (both thematically and musically). Vile Spirit mix fuzzed-out, hard-as-nails hardcore with pitch-black metal, and Scorched Earth features breathless atmospheric intensity. Abundant energy radiates off every track here, and they’re all guaranteed rocket-rides into the heart of collapsing stars.
Disease – More Nightmares to Come
SZKŁO – They Watch Us Burn
Forclose – Fear of Bombs
Macedonia punks Disease are experts at fashioning hellish-sounding songs; see their Neverending War Crimes 12″, or their Distort Fucking World split with Earth Crust Displacement, which are both raw punk classics. Disease’s new More Nightmares to Come compilation is being released online to help the band try to recoup some of the expenses associated with their canceled Mexican tour, which was called off when COVID-19 arrived on the scene.
More Nightmares to Come collects a number of previously released (and newly remastered) tracks, along with a few previously unreleased live recordings. Ear-wrecking noise punk and rotten-sounding d-beat await, with torrents of caustic guitar and incomprehensible yowls being assailed by thumping drums. Disease’s newly remastered tracks are still an unmitigated assault on the senses, and More Nightmares to Come‘s live tracks are equally nerve-shredding. Of course, none of that’s a criticism. In fact, More Nightmares to Come delivers a veritable perfect storm of primitive noise for Disclose addicts and raw punk masochists.
Also lurking around the masochistic end of the punk rock spectrum is DIY Australian band SZKŁO. The group’s self-titled 2019 debut was a shrieking cacophony, and SZKŁO’s new EP, They Watch Us Burn, is also hideous to behold. Ultra-distorted crust and head-splitting d-beat tussle it out with lo-fi hardcore, and They Watch Us Burn‘s abrasive tracks feature blown-out vocals and blaring instrumentation that basically out-shitnoise the Shitlickers. Psychotic shockwaves, for the headcase in all of us!
New Jersey band Forclose’s 3-song Fear of Bombs EP was “played, recorded, mixed and mastered by Seanie Underage”, which makes it a solo project from fruition to completion. Like Disease and SZKŁO above, Forclose exhibit plenty of piercing Kawakami worship as d-beat and raw punk collide at top speed. Rough-hewn instruments and desperately howling vocals roil and boil in Fear of Bombs’ grotesque-sounding songs. Think bleeding-raw cathartic noise for hope-hemorrhaging times.
Atomkrig – Fire and Brimstone
Liktal – Morgondagens Öde
I discover a lot of the music I cover round here via late-night YouTube sessions where I obsessively click play on every video posted by great channels like Billy Crustie, Felopunk, No Deal, and Grindwar. And that’s exactly how I stumbled on the new releases from Portuguese band Atomkrig, and Swedish trio Liktal.
Atomkrig’s third release, Fire and Brimstone, makes excellent use of crust’s heftiest/heaviest components. The album’s barrelling tracks feature the momentum and weight of runaway boulders, and it’s no surprise to see Fire and Brimstone end on a cover of Doom’s “Natural Abuse”, given Doom and kin are such palpable influences throughout. Raw-throated vocals and booming instrumentation mean Fire and Brimstone features plenty of crunch and punch. And if you’re looking for 21st-century crust that’s honed its vintage influences to a lethal edge, Atomkrig have plenty to offer.
Swedish band Liktal’s members have backgrounds in death and black metal, and they ramp up the thematically hateful and sonically pulverizing elements on the band’s Morgondagens Öde debut. Liktal’s self-styled “deathpunk” includes plenty of kängpunk’s feral bite too, and Morgondagens Öde sounds formidably nihilistic overall. I don’t speak Swedish, but I’m guessing dystopian scenes and the bleak issues haunting humanity are the focus here. Musically, Morgondagens Öde‘s dark and thundering metalpunk draws from the heaviest end of the crust and stenchcore nexus as much as the grimmest corners of blackened death metal.
Permission – Organised People Suffer
I’m forever playing catch-up with UK label La Vida Es Un Mus. Last month I covered two releases from the label (Muro and Orden Mundial’s A+ gravel-gargling split, and the latest hell-for-leather EP from Irreal), but the hits just keep on coming. Look out for new releases from Regimen de Terror, Sial, and Kohti Tuhoa in next month’s ICWT. But, for now, it’s the turn of London band Permission.
Permission’s latest offering, Organised People Suffer, features hurtling shards of serrated hardcore, coupled with plenty of sharp swerves. Permission have always sounded like outliers with their idiosyncratic take on steel-tipped hardcore being as relentless as it is unique, and there’s certainly as much intensity as there is insanity and ingenuity boiling in the manic heart of Organised People Suffer. It’s a thrilling release underscoring Permission’s greatest strengths; namely, the band’s ability to sound as weird as they are wild – and as offbeat as they are on-point.
Hardcore VictimAustralian label Hardcore Victim recently uploaded the bulk of their catalog onto the label’s Bandcamp page, which puts a bunch of feisty punk and hardcore previously only available on 7″ directly into fans’ hands. Over the past decade, Hardcore Victim have released a lot of great music, but I can’t detail every release right here. Instead, I thought I’d point to some of my favorites, just to get you started, if you haven’t sampled Hardcore Victim’s wares already.
Number #1 with a bullet is Australian band Enzyme. Start with the band’s demo, move on to their Abuse of Power and Piss on Authority EPs, and don’t skip Enzyme’s excellent Permanent Damage split with Japanese noiseniks Zyanose. Enzyme are electrifying, off-kilter, and imaginative Their psychedelic crust and aberrant hardcore is like a mutant mix of Kromosom, Confuse, and Les Rallizes Dénudés. Zyanose? Well, what’s to say? The rightly revered (and tinnitus-inducing) noise punk legends ended their career late last year, and Zyanose’s uncompromising attitude was always matched by their sheer insanity.
And speaking of insanity, you should definitely press play on Ferocious X / Sistema en Decadencia’s withering Värld Av Skit split. (As well as Sistema en Decadencia’s Ganancias de la Guerra EP). Japanese band Ferocious X wrestle with pure audio chaos and their split with like-minded Australian band Sistema en Decadencia features blistering tracks bound by the common goal of destroying your sanity. Raw punk, crasher crust, mangel, d-beat, and hardcore are ground up and spat out. FYI: Sistema en Decadencia’s Ganancias de la Guerra EP is equally confrontational and also spilling over with acid-dripping corrosiveness.
The misanthropic and muck-splattered split between Japanese crasher crusties Zikade and Malaysian crust punks Braincell evokes the subterranean stench-punk vomited up when Peaceville reigned supreme. Doom, Deviated Instinct, and other rank ‘n’ rancid inspirations appear (like Sore Throat and Antisect) and Zikade and Braincell do a marvelous – and malodorous – job of delivering rotten-toothed old school crustcore.
One more? Try Hävittäjät’s Hätätila LP. Havittajat are based in Melbourne but they’re all about capturing the fury of 80s Finnish Hardcore. (Kaaos, Mellakka, Riistetyt – you know the deal.) Hävittäjät channel their Finnish obsessions through a crust-caked filter, so there’s plenty of scabby filth coating the band’s raging guitars and off-the-chain oomph. PS: Hävittäjät’s self-titled EP, also available via Hardcore Victim, is a red-hot riot too.