Modern hardcore, in its most traditional strain, stems directly from the likes of Black Flag but exists now through a twisted evolution that people like me have attempted to label with absurd titles like emoviolence, powerviolence, and any number of “-core” affixed descriptors. However, one of the main common themes that can be found when listening to or discovering newer variants is a critical nucleus consisting of compact, ferociously brief songs that maintain a rapidfire pace just shy of grind, at least to these ears. Sometimes these include (extremely) brief breakdowns or mid-tempo breathers before flying off the handle again in a manic explosion of righteous vengeance and furious anger. One band that hits all of those elements and goes hard as fuck on their new EP is Entry out of Los Angeles, CA.
Much like their Italian peers in Destrage, Rome’s Element of Chaos is quirky as hell and completely unafraid to shift genres at the drop of a hat, all while maintaining a constant heavy edge. Though the band formed in 2007, they’ve flown under my radar until the band just released A New Dawn, an impressive and interesting take on prog-metal, metalcore, and even full-on video game music thanks to the album’s absurdly bombastic keyboard performances. The bulk of their sound is rooted in the chuggy riffing that’s come to be synonymous with so many modern prog bands, but there are also plenty of moments that harken to new-age Between the Buried and Me and Mr. Bungle as well, particularly one of the album’s most interesting and visceral moments, “Mutant Circus Manifesto.” With plenty of unbridled fury and cyclonic keyboard work that’d make bands like Last Chance to Reason and HORSE the Band nod their heads in approval, this is definitely some new metal to keep your eyes on.
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Spires of the Lunar Sphere exist in the niche field also occupied by Horse: The Band, Arsonists Get All The Girls and other heavy bands that mix diverse influences into their music. Here, we have a sick blend of grindcore, deathcore, retrowave synths, hip hop breaks, maritime piano and more. Deep breath now, here we go.