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New Mitochondrion, New Hail of Bullets

Mitochondrion – “Insummation”

This one seems to be getting past a lot of people, which is strange. Mitochondrion‘s 2011 effort Parasignosis was one of the most critically fawned-over death metal releases of that year, which is saying something. (It was a good year.) The buzz for their new EP for Dark Descent, Antinumerology, has been much quieter.

I wasn’t quite as sold on Parasignosis as some. Underneath the album’s exotic, adventurous production, Mitochondrion sounded to me like a fairly conventional Northeastern-style death metal band. These cuts demonstrate that I was right in one way and wrong in another. The production on Parasignosis really was one of its strangest features, especially its overbearing vocal mix; “Insummation” does not share this feature. However, I was wrong about Mitochondrion’s musical weirdness. The Incantation-y foundation is there, but the edifice they build atop it is all their own. I love the gear-grinding slowdown at 3:30; it makes me think of limbs caught in machinery.

Listen below. Antinumerology is out now on Dark Descent.

Hail of Bullets – “Pour Le Mérite”

This song, on the other hand, sounds exactly how I thought it would. That’s okay. One does not listen to Martin Van Drunen bands to be surprised. One listens to Martin Van Drunen bands for the mighty riff.

I’m also not quite on the Van Drunen bandwagon, but you cannot fault the man’s taste in bandmates. Pestilence and Asphyx are both justifiable legends, and Hail of Bullets are well on their way. As ever for these guys, the thrashy opening salvo exists almost exclusively to set up the ensuing groove. This band’s guitar tones always rub me the right way; they’re dirty enough to make old vest guys happy, but still huge, precise, and imposing, like a skyscraper.

Hail of Bullets’ III: The Rommel Chronicles will drop on October 25th via Metal Blade. Check out the song below.

Doug Moore

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