Artists: Wicked World and Beyond the Aftermath
Album: Sewer – Split EP
Sewers have a pretty bad reputation—and for good reason. They are cesspits of bacteria, grunge, filth and putridity. In sewers, vile is the new black. Putrefaction is king and currency, and it is impossible to look anywhere or at anything without seeing it. Like I said, they have a bad rep…until now. Immerse yourself in the latest split release by Wisconsin warriors Wicked World and Northern Virginia downtempo devastators Beyond the Aftermath. This dynamic duo of all things hectic and heavy team up to provide an experience that spans every style of deathcore from blazing speed to brutalizing heaviness in an effort to give the listener a comprehensive display of crushing aggression that will satisfy any palate in search of punishment.
Artist: Wicked World
If you’re familiar with Wicked World, then you’re familiar with the fact that they are among the most diverse deathcore acts to tear up the underground. The product of influences ranging to early metalcore to modern death metal and deathcore, Wicked World combine thrashing speed and tremendous aggression with brilliant lyricism and ingenious song structure. Sewer is a fluid continuation of the band’s debut release, As I Decay, and sees the band diving even deeper into the rabbit hole they began with their first endeavor. “One With the Abyss” is a speedy, sinister and mosh-friendly show of force that could start circle pits in a senior living center. Here, jarring, metallic percussion is a ferocious foundation for lacerating riffs that dive into skin-peeling breakdowns with little more than a moments notice. “Save My Soul” is a slightly different—but equally intense—experience. Here, frontman Alex Miller—assisted by bassist Matt Tucholke–steals the show, showcasing his full arsenal of awe-inspiring vocal techniques, with Tucholke jumping into a harshly-yelled but half-spoken plea during the climax of the introspective and intimidating anthem. “Save My Soul” is Wicked World stepping out of their comfort zone and dragging the listener with them, dominating the entire track with immolating riffs and bone-splintering slams that sound something like a hybrid between No Zodiac, Devourment and I Am.
For Fans Of: No Zodiac, Drowning, 2X4, I Am
Artist: Beyond the Aftermath
As Wicked World’s half of Sewer draws to a close, the listener is given mere seconds to catch their breath before Beyond the Aftermath submerge their skull in filth once more. Where Wicked World specialize in yesteryear’s deathcore and death metal stylings, Beyond the Aftermath are a contemporary display of crushing anger and aggression that the listener craves. “Parasitic” and “Worthless” are a renovated and refined style of chug-friendly crush in comparison to the band’s previous endeavor, DEAD. Don’t let that dismay you, however, as the material let loose by these vile Virginians is still spine-smashing from the first second to the last echoing note. Built upon rock-solid and cement-strong percussion with writhing bass grooves and guitars heavy enough to grind bone to dust, Beyond the Aftermath are every bit as heavy as the listener could want or would expect. “Worthless” is an excellent display of directed aggression, while “Parasite” is a more scattered and dissonant display of downtempo mastery, with the band including speedy fills and two-step friendly grooves to keep the listener’s heart pumping at a bare minimum speed. While it is a brief glimpse at the more mature Beyond the Aftermath, it remains just as dense and disastrous as the band’s full EP.
For Fans Of: Bodysnatcher, Nautilus, Traitors, Willowbrook
In addition to four original songs, Sewer sees both bands paying homage to their influences, covering aSystem of a Down (“Prison Song” by Wicked World) and a Suicidal Tendencies (“Subliminal” on Beyond the Aftermath’s side) track. These covers give the band’s chances to further their variety and exposure—especially where Beyond the Aftermath is concerned. Only attentive listeners would be able to tell that this song was originally by another artist, as the band truly embrace it and make it their own, adding dissonance and devilishly low tuning where previously there were none. These songs take something the listener knows and turns it on its head—much like what Wicked World does for heavy music and what Beyond the Aftermath does for the listener’s sanity. Together, this duo create a perfect example of a split—combining two different but complimentary styles of crushing music with a twist to keep the listener coming back for days (or until they release new individual releases).
By: Connor Welsh