Artist: A Night in Texas
Album: Global Slaughter
There are no shortage of ways in which the behavior of human beings is self-destructive. War, living in gluttonous excess, the subjugation and enslavement of others—the list is endless, and a vast majority of them have been the topics of artists and albums for years now.
In short, mankind’s borderline suicidal nature is nothing new.
Enter Australian deathcore giants, A Night in Texas and their sophomore full length album, Global Slaughter. Taking a slight detour from their standard fare of sacrilegious content and blasphemous brutality (keyword: slight), the outfit are closing out 2017 by using their ultra-aggressive style of bewilderingly heavy music to shine a light on mankind’s wrongdoings in a somewhat different light—environmental destruction and the over/mis-use of power. In what stands to be their strongest release yet, A Night in Texas deliver technically sharp and sinister styles of belligerent brutality throughout the onslaught that is Global Slaughter. Laden with grisly grooves, lacerating leads and machine-gun percussion enough to appeal to lovers of any sort of extreme metal, A Night in Texas give 2017 a run for its money, encouraging those making their top-ten lists for the year to wait just a little longer.
Combining symphonic segments amid entire oceans of oppressive heaviness, A Night in Texas take the tried-and-true approach to deathcore and add a distinctly Australian flair. Songs like “The Moral Decay” are excellent examples of the band roaring on all cylinders; with percussionist Anthony Barone leading the charge. While it might not be a technical term, I’ll be frank: Barone’s drumming is nuts. With his hands and feet flying at what seems like a million beats per minute, there is never a dull moment when it comes to the band’s percussion. Even when Barone is hammering out sludgy, slow breakdowns, he remains interesting—this is evident at the end of “The Moral Decay,” just as it is throughout the groovy number that follows and the introductory track, “Global Slaughter.” Barone works with bassist Luke Adkins to make things even beefier—as Adkins rumbles alongside Barone’s ferocious kick drum, adding heft to every second, while still lending some lurid, deep tones to the lacerating leads laid forth by guitarists Angus Gasson and Cory Judd. Gasson and Judd are, akin to Barone, unstoppable. Every track holds a strong balance of brutalizing breakdowns and quick, scathing riffs—with a fair number (especially “Death March”) holding some sprawling, melodic sections as well. Gasson and Judd work diligently to ensure that Global Slaughter doesn’t stagger into the same pitfall Of monotony and mediocrity their debut full-length effort did—giving every track a unique feel, be it spiritually oppressive and bleak or quick, punishing and pissed. Where the act have always been incredibly talented musicians, Global Slaughter stands to be the first proper release that sees them evolve into excellent songwriters as well.
Global Slaughter would fail to bear the intoxicating and eerie message of impending worldwide annihilation it so proudly boasts, however, were it not for the unbelievable talents of frontman Ethan Lucas. With piercing shrieks that rival the finest vocalists worldwide, and a proclivity towards gut busting bellies to boot, Lucas’ work throughout Global Slaughter is magnificent to a point that it’s verging on impossible to choose tracks that stand above others. From the first seconds of “Global Slaughter,” Lucas establishes himself as an immense talent; and the evidence only piles higher as Global Slaughter keeps on killing. “War Born” is another great example—loaded to the rafters with some of Lucas’ finest moments, just as “Harvested” sees not only Lucas on his A-Game, but Shadow Of Intent’s Ben Duerr joining him as well. Even if you struggle to fully enjoy the band’s boisterous and bold instrumentation, A Night in Texas’ vocal element leaves little to be desired.
Global Slaughter is intense and intelligent—an album that takes A Night in Texas’ ability to be immensely technical (as proven by their previous efforts) and combine it with a more fluid and comprehensive writing ability. The result? Something that doesn’t hit hard the first time, but quickly decay into monotonous forgettability, but, instead, something that hits hard and keeps hitting. Blow after blow, riff after riff after ruthless, spine-shrinking breakdown, A Night in Texas prove their worth with immense numbers like “War Born” and “The Moral Decay,” as well as many others. Elegant at rare moments that provide a much-needed repireve from the ruthlessness of the album’s meaty majority, Global Slaughter is a conceptually-based, completely crushing display of everything it means to be extreme, without sacrificing touches of tact and solemn, smart sensibility.
For Fans Of: Aversion’s Crown, I, Valiance, Boris the Blade, Oceano, Hollow Prophet
By: Connor Welsh