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It's usually a gamble to risk trusting another person's instincts, especially when said person has an unproven track record. Philip Cope is not that person. Whether making his own genre-defining music in Damad and Kylesa or producing touchstone records for everyone from Black Tusk to Withered, one can safely assume the guy knows what he's doing. So when he signed Norwegian underground upstarts Jagged Vision to his Retro Futurist label in 2014, then brought them to The Jam Room in South Carolina so he could record AND produce their debut Harvest Earth, well, it was worth checking out.

While Harvest Earth struck a more even balance between Scandinavian sludge and the band's stoner rock tendencies, Death Is This World is firmly rooted in floor-punching metallic hardcore. Other than a few moments of respite in the atmospheric acoustics that open "Emperor Of", the album rages wall to wall. The addition of guitarist Tommy Jacobsen ups the musical ante considerably; witness the nimble fretwork on "I Am Death" and "Seven Seals". Joakim Svela's drumming anchors the band's newfound direction, transitioning effortlessly between grind-level blasts and a lockstep Pantera groove. That groove is the one constant Jagged Vision have carried over to their current sound, and it complements the crusty, vicious streak the album is otherwise feeding from. "Feeble Souls" and "Serpents" are what may have happened if the guys in Lamb Of God grew up in Stavanger, Norway instead of Richmond.

Death Is This World may trace its roots to the furious anger of Ringworm or even the gritty melodies of The Absence, but overall its sound cannot be pigeonholed. That alone makes it something special, but a stepped-up game and memorable, headbanging songs? The metal world is your oyster.

Vocalist Urke has this to say about the record:

Death is this World is for us almost a natural phenomenon. It is songs that have sprung from us jamming together, and the contextual space revolves around the feeling of not fitting in to the mainstream society but not really giving a fuck. This world we have created is the death of creativity and humanity, and humanity itself is the death of life and the natural world. The circle will forever be complete, until we break it…”

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Death Is This World is out on March 10 via Fysik Format. Follow Jagged Vision on Facebook.

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