A lot is said about being impartial when it comes to covering the arts. Arts like film, painting, sculpture, grindcore… I’d like to think that anyone frequenting Heavy Blog knows that we while we do our best to take a look from every angle, sometimes we write about stuff that we love; no matter how much I try, it’s almost impossible to remain unbiased when I start smashing the Grind My Gears keys. Today is one of those days. Bled To Submission release their new EP Vermin this week but I harangued and chased them and dropped on dirty knees to ask to host an early stream. It wasn’t pleasant, but it’s for your benefit so you can thank me later.
Last October, the Nashville natives ruined my day in the most fantastical way possible when I first heard Only A Light Remains. Instantly in love with the blown out, distortion-soaked grindcore, I had to honour them in the only way I knew how – writing a bunch of words on your favourite heavy music blog. Now, more of the same, but we’re premiering new filth from the Southern sludge-grinders too. Vermin covers a lot of ground between its four tracks, throwing jabs and hooks from different stances and ultimately delivering a knockout blow to anyone unexpecting or unprepared.
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As an opener, “Shrapnel Gown” does a wonderful job of knocking the teeth out of your mouth. A short hiss of feedback the briefest of warnings before Bled To Submission do their tar dripping grind thing; not classically grind, not classically sludge, but somewhere perfectly placed between Revulsion and Black Sabbath. The ferocity of “Hysteria Swallowed” allows the band to move through the gears in rapid succession, maintaining their dynamic tempo and attack while allowing the gurgling bass and wretched vocals to spit death into your ears. Violence like this is so fucking addictive.
Much like Only A Light Remains, Vermin peaks with its longer form tracks. We’re not talking twelve-minute multi-movement epics mind, instead, these Tennessee noise merchants make the most of three and five-minute tracks – piling the mire and misery of epic doom compositions into two expansive and elaborate pieces. Closer “Ashen Palms” piles layer upon layer of unnerving dread on top of the bare bones of a simple but devastating riff; carefully considered keys underneath elicit a Lynchian vibe, but one Southern fried and left for dead in a dirty ditch somewhere just outside Twin Peaks, Tennessee. Fantastic stuff. I’ll leave you with words from Isaiah Rodriguez re: the EP you better be listening to right this second.
“With Vermin, we really tried to further our sound and create a more fluid and concise piece. We had a bit of a lineup change for this release and I feel like it definitely lent itself to a more diverse sound, without compromising anything. We’ve definitely grown a lot since our last release and I think that’s pretty clear. It also helps that we’re constantly surrounded by such amazing bands in our community. While Nashville is known for its country music, the hardcore and metal scene here is thriving like never before. With bands like Yautja, Pinion (RIP) and Chamber, it’s hard not to feel constantly inspired”