In what amounts as no surprise whatsoever, the Profane Existence Single Series just keeps on delivering the goods.Broken Waves is the sixth P.E.S.S. release now and comes via Midwestern eardrum assassins Krang.
A few years ago I saw these guys at a sports bar in Wisconsin. At the start of their set the singer spewed something undecipherable about “ancient religions,” then pulled a lighter out of his pocket and proceeded to hold the flame to pages he had just torn from a bible. My reaction was as disbelieving as it was enthusiastic. I couldn’t help but shake my head at the sheer stupidity of starting a fire inside a bar, yet it was one of those briefly chaotic punk rock moments that bring pure joy to my heart and a huge smile to my face. Eventually the fire was put out and those of us that didn’t flee for the exits, fearing a Great White in Rhode Island-like disaster, were treated to some figurative face-melting thanks to these Chicagoans.
I love the way this EP was recorded. Unfortunately the rhythm section gets buried a bit in the mix, but for the most part everything works really well. The guitar work is first-rate. Weighty thrash riffs are peppered with erratic fills and soaring leads for a searing assault on the senses. The vocals are a bleach-gargled exasperation of anger and misery, and redolent of the crustier side of black metal. Everything is amplified just enough to give it a really crunchy, unrestrained air of noise that perfectly encapsulates the hellish intersection of thrash metal and crust punk.
Clocking in at just over four minutes, “Reclaim (De Aestus Espirit Et Tu)” is the most traditional thrash-leaning song on the EP. There is a sweet mosh part near the end that provides ample time for whipping your dreadlocks into a frenzy. “Arms Race Within Mine” manages to cruise through sub-genre cross-pollination in only a minute and a half. It opens with a murky sludge-core bassline that that leads way into big-sounding epic crust, before flaming out with some speed metal guitar noodling. The third and final track, “Death Mask” is similar in that time-honored galloping metal riffs and white-hot fills are met face-on with booming neo-crust patina.
Despite Broken Waves being released in June there is a subtle coldness to it, which soundtracks well as we transition from fall to winter. Then again that might be the witchcraft-y artwork that adorns the cover. Collectors will like that it comes in four different colors of vinyl: pink, yellow, mixed, and black.
8.0 / 10
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