Austin Terror Fest Album Reviews

Seven platters spanning the spectrum of extremity

Austin Terror Fest Album Reviews

Genocide Pact

Order of Torment (Relapse)
D.C. death metal trio Genocide Pact throws bolts, rolls thunder, and growls menacingly as they drive stream-of-consciousness riffs toward undeviating devastation. On occasion, after numbing listeners with a consistent rumble of severe chordal drone, they drop dynamite and make space with soaring clusters of sparkling guitar work. Thematically, Order of Torment's apocalyptic cartography maps a system of bio-political control framed by chaos and crumbling infrastructure. Connor Donegan carries the weight with machine-brain drumming, but the trio's locked electromechanical grooves deliver the payload, dropped at the climax of songs like "Authoritarian Impulse" and "Blood Rejection." (Barracuda, Fri. 7, 4:45pm)
*** – Rick Weaver

Austin Terror Fest Album Reviews

Full of Hell

Weeping Choir (Relapse)
2017's Trumpeting Ecstasy broke this Maryland four, but fourth LP Weeping Choir collides hardcore and grindcore into a grander immolation of base genres. Eleven songs under 25 minutes each ignite their own micro-suites with opener "Burning Myrrh" fusing three excoriations: scream possession, screaming death, and eviscerating screams. That dominoes into the screamo prog of "Haunted Arches" and screamed/bellowed grunge of "Thundering Hammers." Industrial noise connects the shrieking, whether atmospheric ("Rainbow Coil"), blitzkrieg ("Aria of Jeweled Tears"), or deathly ("Angels Gather Here"), all of which coalesce into seven-minute funeral choral "Armory of Obsidian Glass." Screaming meemies. (Empire Garage, Fri. 7, 8:30pm)
**** – Raoul Hernandez

Austin Terror Fest Album Reviews

Pig Destroyer

Head Cage (Relapse)
Atlanta desecraters Pig Destroyer draw new blood where the old runs out on their sixth grindcore extermination. Named after a medieval torture device, now and for a limited time only with a bassist (he's already split with the band), Head Cage still calls in sludge for standout closer "House of Snakes" and doom on "The Torture Fields," welcoming new victims to a half-hour trampling of only fractions less hardcore pummel and black metal rage than ripped through the likes of catalog kill zones Terrifyer and Prowler in the Yard. (Empire Garage, Fri. 7, 11:15pm)
*** – Christina Garcia

Austin Terror Fest Album Reviews


The Destroyer – 1 (Grouch)
Robert Alfons' vision of a dingy, crowded dance floor thrums to life on his work as TR/ST, a project previously known as Trust. The Toronto native released the first half of the two-part Destroyer LP last month, yielding eight amorphous tracks with a metallic, sinister sheen. Some offer straightforward club bangers, while "Poorly Coward" unravels askew and unpredictable as one of the more interesting tracks on the album. The mellower "Wake With" and "Bicep" bop a synth-pop buoyancy, but ultimately feel uninspired. For TR/ST, the beats are both the throughline and lifeline. (Empire Garage, Sat. 8, 11pm)
**.5 – Libby Webster

Austin Terror Fest Album Reviews

Temple of Angels

Sophomore EP from Austin quintet Temple of Angels, Foiled simmers with pure moodiness. Bre Morell's cavernous voice anchors TOA's sound amidst a tangle of nervy, shifting instrumentals. Five tracks begin with "Star-Shaped Eyes," twitching anxiety and back/forth vocals, while centerpiece "Before I Want More" dips into goth theatrics and "100 Lilies" concludes with a wavering near-lullaby. A reverb-heavy jangle of angular guitar and propulsive drumming from Patrick Todd often floats to the surface (see "Silver Water") like thunder puncturing the astral ambience. (Barracuda, Sun. 9, 4:15pm)
***.5 – Libby Webster

Austin Terror Fest Album Reviews

Echo Beds

Buried Language
Controlled chaos – simultaneously intimate while also bursting at the seams – the second full-length by experimental Denver noise duo Echo Beds dwells in infinite layers. Employing oil drums, cymbal shards, and cassette loops, Buried Language never falls into a clear rhythm. Whispered vocals come and go, making it impossible to know when one sonic thought begins or ends, but that's what makes this so intriguing. It's full of anxiety and menace, and yet, you can't help but lean in closer and try to learn more. Intimidating but never once off-putting. (Empire Garage, Sun. 9, 6pm)
*** – Isa Jones

Austin Terror Fest Album Reviews


Emergence (Profound Lore)
Continuing to explore earthen elements, Colorado progressive metal crew Dreadnought ponders the naturally renewing force of fire for their new label debut. Album four builds on 2017's A Wake in Sacred Waves, a heavy rumination on water's power with elegant placement of their much-buzzed-about atypical instrumentals. Delicate vox cut through a bristling tangle of folk, doom, and rock on seven-minute opener "Besieged," and 12 minutes of "Pestilent" pinpoint Lauren Vieira's tranquil, balancing piano work. Like wildfire, Emergence breaks down Dreadnought's structure to build it up again. (Empire Control Room, Sun. 9, 7pm)
***.5 – Rachel Rascoe

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Full of Hell, Pig Destroyer, Dreadnought, Echo Beds, Temple of Angels, Tr / st, Genocide Pact

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