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Slow Death | ‘Hate Filled World’

Short, sharp blows are the ones you never forget.

Because you don’t expect them, and they’re over by the time you’ve registered them. And that was certainly the case when I came across this gem.

Spread out around Boston and Connecticut, Slow Death deliver noise rock influenced hardcore that makes the listener envisage The Accused working with Steve Austin (Today is the Day) for an album on Amphetamine Reptile records. That can only ever be a good thing.

Don’t be put off by the cover, which looks like something a third rate gore grind act would consider “tasteful.” It’s comic overtones vastly undersell the record.

‘Daggers of Hate’ sets the template for the rest of the record by chugging along at a steady speed while bassist/vocalist Randy Larsen spits out deranged diatribes about a “dead black forest/come to life/bound by fire/cut by knife.”

It’s a potent image that makes you think of The Evil Dead, but also the blood oath ritual practised by American teens as they sit in a wood, bonding over the journey they are about to embark on.

Couple this with a riff that straddles both noise rock (it’s tempo reinforces the staccato riffing) and metal territories (there is a nod to Entombed with the middle break) and a short running time, the listener knows they’re in for a great record.

The lyrics to ‘Hungry Rats’ are so simple, yet do such a solid job of evoking the New York often depicted in Lucio Fulci movies, while the climbing riff gives the feeling of a breaking point in the listener. The idea that they cannot take another second of this before lashing out at someone.

‘Vacant Lots’ are where The Accused comparisons begin to make sense, as the riff is sloppy, speedy thrash. Brilliant stuff, especially the atonal solo which, combined with the sturdy bassline competing for prominence in the mix, is harsh and to the point.

Coming in around the 20 minute mark, this is a record that is crying out for extra songs. Maybe a few longer ones really delving into bass driven post-punk territory, with extra distortion thrown in to add to the dissonance.

But, as it stands, Slow Death have made the mini LP of the year.

3 / 5 – Christopher Owens ::: 28/08/17

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