Artist: In the Act of Violence
Album: Supreme Hate – EP
Sometimes, when discovering a new band or album, you aren’t sure what you’ll get until you press play. Many albums by many artists defy being “judged by their cover,” as mysterious names and bizarre band names make it difficult to guess what sound you’re about to steep yourself in. As you might as guessed, In the Act of Violence aren’t one of the aforementioned mysterious bands. Before you even press “play” on these Toronto Titans of devastating deathcore, it’s safe to bet you know exactly what you’re in for: carnage. With their latest EP, Supreme Hate, what you see is what you get—crushing heaps of bitter, bold brutality as catchy as a virus and as crippling as a sledgehammer to the spine. Supreme Hate is a display in lacerating aggression that defies “progression” and “technicality” in order to deliver violence craved by concert-going mosh fanatics worldwide, unleashing nothing but pure warfare in its wake.
In the Act of Violence do their name perfect justice, inciting nothing but pure brutality throughout the entirety of Supreme Hate. There is not a decorative frill or superfluous flourish throughout the blistering, brief display of brutality that these Canadian crushers bring to the table—instead, they go directly for the throat, ripping out the listener’s jugular and smashing it underfoot. Beginning with a jarring, quick riff from guitarist Steve Boudreau and roaring away at a mile-per-minute throughout its runtime, In the Act of Violence instill pummeling, punchy heaviness that could turn elementary school playgrounds into enormous mosh pits. “Worthless” sees Boudreau stealing the show, kicking off the track with a raunchy riff that is just peppy enough to two-step to, but more than heavy enough to bang heads. Meanwhile, percussionist Joey Fernandes hammers his kit with hurried ferocity, working side-by-side with bassist Steve Grande to gore the listener with meaty, monstrous heaviness. “Sick Inside” and “Chicago” displays this brilliantly—as several times throughout these tracks, Boudreau takes the back seat and chugs away overtop of Fernandes’ fleet footwork and brisk patterns, as Grande coats every thwack of the kick drum with a thick layer of grime. If the crowd-kill anthem “Worthless” wasn’t proof enough, by the time the listener gets through the end of “Emerald City,” it will be perfectly clear: this quartet aren’t here to impress the listener with technicality or ensnare their ears with dynamic, enthralling lyricism—they’re here to split heads and break bones, something they do with polished, perfected ease.
Supreme Hate is just that—visceral, palpable malevolence at its most pure. This is true instrumentally and vocally, as frontman Ken Coull lets loose with monstrous growls and bitter, harshly barked mid-range yells packed with lyrics that redefine “anger.” Whether the party-tinted “Sick Inside” catches the listener’s attention, or the brutal bellows in “Chicago” appeal to the listener’s penchant for yester-year’s heavy music themes, there is no doubt that some passage on In the Act of Violence’s EP will stand out and captivate the listener’s base instincts. Coull crushes every syllable with low, grisly vocals that serve as a perfect match for the EP’s low, lurid instrumentation as well as the EP’s overall message. “Emerald City” is another exceptional example, where the musicianship dives to previously unexplored depths, Coull’s growls get murkier and murkier, grating away at the listener’s head like a powerdrill steeped in either ear.
If you have a difficult time appreciating music that doesn’t pull out every stop imaginable to be as unique and genre-defying as possible, maybe you’re better off skipping In the Act of Violence. However, if you’re the type that can throw down to anything, anywhere and at any time, then Supreme Hate might just be your new theme music. Attempting to be nothing more than fun and furious, this quartet of ruthless musicians have crafted a bare-fist, bloody-knuckle beatdown deathcore release that won’t stop until the listener is nothing more than a corpse. While points of the brief release border on monotony and the production leaves something to be desired, In the Act of Violence are a band redeemed by succeeding at doing exactly what they wanted and nothing more. If you still aren’t convinced, perhaps try and a closer listen to Coull’s bitter, bone-snapping lyricism and immense delivery on “Worthless”: if you’re still a skeptic, chances are, they’re directed right at you.
For Fans Of: Bodysnatcher, Rex, Genocide District, Emmure
By: Connor Welsh