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Despite all the black and doom metal I ingest -- all those silky atmospherics I soak up so willy-nilly -- I still have a serious weak spot: proggy, unrepentant deathcore shit. Basically, the opposite. Maybe I consider it some kind of balance; that, or maybe my taste is metal is just all over the goddamn place and I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. All I do know is that there's this band Krosis and their upcoming second full-length A Memoir of Free Will is heavy as shit. Borrowing from djent, deathcore, technical death metal, brutal stuff and slam, Krosis have come up with a savage formula that wields significant heft while also being nimble and flexible. The new album isn't all blasts and breakdowns; the band actually conjures up some dynamics to breathe actual life into what would otherwise be the machinations of intensely furious cyborgs. Here's the penultimate track "Battles Are Won Within," the heaviest thing I've heard so far in 2020 (and probably will for a while).

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I mean, 30 seconds in and you know what you're getting here. But that's not a bad thing outright: Krosis delivers what they promise, and that's cutting-edge tech-death with oodles of groove and unabashed breakdowns. "Battles Are Won Within" is one of the heavier songs on the album for sure, but still not even the heaviest, which is saying something. The more I listen to it, too, I can sense already that this music is very love/hate, and that's fine with me -- it's a certain blend of extreme that might work for some but not others. But as antithesis to all the ultra-bleak dark-room music I gouge myself on, shit like this works wonders for my mood sometimes. Just unabashed aggression, filthy slams, and no fucks given.

Krosis, keep on ripping, and I'll keep on listening.

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A Memoir of Free Will releases February 7th via Unique Leader Records. The band is on tour; dates below:

2/6 Chapel Hill NC @ Local 506*
2/7 Winston Salem NC @ Breaktime
2/8 Asheville NC @ The Odditorium
2/9 Columbus GA @ The Plughouse
2/11 Lafayette IN @ The Spot Tavern
2/12 Pittsburgh PA @ Black Forge Coffee
2/13 Montclair NJ @ Meatlocker
2/14 Philadelphia PA @ Century
2/15 Virginia Beach @ West Beach Tavern
support by A Wake in Providence and God of Nothing
* No God of Nothing

A message from vocalist Mac Smith about the new single:

“Battles Are Won Within” is our modernized tribute to pioneers of 1990s death metal and innovators of the slam subgenre, including bands such as Suffocation, Internal Bleeding, and Devourment. We wanted to write an extremely heavy jam that is musically abnormal for us while still maintaining our stylization as a group, and we feel that this track turned out to be exactly that. We wanted this song to be as intense as possible and to overwhelm the listener with different dynamics of heaviness, as well as to try out our hand at complimenting classic styles of brutal death metal with a modern twist. Aggression, groove, riffs, slams, punishing vocals, you name it: this track has it all. As a death metal enthusiast, this one comes from a special place in my heart, and I hope everyone enjoys this track as much as I do! SLAM!

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