A sea change seems to be afoot in the heavy music game. Young bands like Code Orange, Knocked Loose and now Nequient’s approach to the genre is to craft albums that pull from as wide a net of influences as possible and spinning that yarn into functional songs. On Wolves at the Door (Nefarious Industries) Nequient uses d-beat-laden Crust Punk as a framework, and stacks on Thrash, Grindcore, Hardcore, Sludge and Black Metal to create a collage of brutality.
This isn’t a novel phenomenon, bands like Cave In, Integrity, and Converge cemented ironclad legacies by embracing a barrage of styles in addition to their beloved Hardcore. What we have today, are musicians who are the product of growing up with releases like Until Your Heart Stops, Humanity is the Devil, and You Fail Me. A generation not so caught up in parking lot arguments on the virtues of single subgenres, as much as they want to chat about their love of both Bolt Thrower and Failure.
However, before we celebrate Wolves at the Door, let’s take the time to sing the praises of Chris Avgerin who plays the role of human tornado behind the drum kit. His approach on ‘Scorcher’ and ‘Cat’s Cradle’ is what I refer to as Ben Koller on Adderall. Every nook, cranny, and inch of the song is replete with cacophonous fills, blasts, and d-beats. His kinetic playing alone could’ve warranted a positive rating, but fortunately, he is surrounded by astute musical assassins. Guitarist Patrick Conahan adds some colorful and off-kilter shred to ‘Kakistocracy’ that recalls Mastodon’s vintage Blood Mountain years. Keenan Clifford loads up mounds of low-end gurgle onto the crackling punk/sludge monstrosity known as ‘Screaming Across the Sky.’
Does this sea change signal that all up and coming noise mongers will have to be well versed in all styles? Not sure, but it certainly doesn’t hurt Nequient.