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The V13 Fix #013 w/ Lip Critic, Kerry King, Gatecreeper and more

From pop to metalcore, experimental grindcore to indie, each week The V13 Fix will bring you a roundup of all the new music worth hearing…

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The V13 Fix

Welcome to the latest The V13 Fix our weekly round-up of some of the best albums, singles and EPs to drop in our laps/inboxes this week. From pop to black metal to experimental pop to punk rock, there is something for everyone in this mix of new music. Check out and support all the bands and labels if you like what you hear and if there is a particular album you like, make sure you head over to Spotify and check out one of our specially curated playlists where there is more great new music added daily.

Alternatively, if you’re in a band or want one of your bands considered for inclusion get in touch. While we can’t guarantee every album or EP we receive will be included, there are still plenty of other ways we can support you.

So, without further ado, sit back, plug in your headphones and get this week’s V13 Fix of new music…

Cognitive
‘Abhorrence’
Metal Blade

The only problem I have with some technical death metal bands is the lack of feeling in their music. One band who don’t have a prCognitiveoblem in that area is New Jersey bruisers Cognitive. Of course, their fifth album Abhorrence comes steaming out of the gates with that familiar jackhammer delivery but where some bands stick with that clinical routine for forty-odd minutes, Abhorrence has so much more to it. The layers of cleaner vocals, the ripping leads, the mammoth grooves, the occasional Strapping Young Lad style vocal effects are simply flawless while the way which the band switch their heaviness from all out fury to slow, neck-snapping, sludgy grooves creates an album which anyone in a tech-death band should use as a blueprint.

Pick up your copy of Abhorrence online here.

Pallbearer
‘Mind Burns Alive’
Nuclear Blast

Someone once asked me what ‘heavy’ was and my answer was that heavy music doesn’t have to just be blood, guts and gore. Layne Stayley, Trent Reznor and Chester Bennington, some of the best songwriters in the last thirty years certainly don’t fit in that category. One band I would have joining them is Pallbearer whose music simply drips with emotion. Digging into themes of isolation, trauma and mental breakdown, the album sees the band build up from serene passages into crushingly heavy crescendos. A perfect blend of the gentle and calming with the dense and the bleak, Mind Burns Alive Pallbearer writing their most honest, vulnerable work to date. An album of many moods, shades and emotions, the Arkansas outfit have created one of the most beautifully heartwrenching albums of their career.

Pick up your copy of Mind Burns Alive online here.

Gatecreeper
‘Dark Superstition’
Nuclear Blast

Over the last couple of years, there has been a wave of new bands inspired by the sludgy, swampy classic era of death metal. Gatecreeper are one of those bands and this, their Nuclear Blast debut, shows that they’re one of the best. However, while steeped in nods towards the roots of the genre, Dark Superstition puts a modern hardcore/death metal twist on it, the whole thing enriched by a gnarly-as-fuck production. Howling over the top is frontman Chase H. Mason whose vocals could quite honestly be dropped on any of the genre classics and not sound out of place. As if to further cement their ties to the classic era, Gatecreeper invited support from Dismember drummer Fred Estby whose influence, along with Kurt Ballou’s magic touch only goes to further enhance this savage creation.

Pick up your copy of Dark Superstition online here.

Jinjer
‘Live in Los Angeles’
Napalm Records

Filmed and recorded in Los Angeles in December 2022, Live In Los Angeles shows precisely why Ukraine tech-metal outfit Jinjer are regarding as one of the most exciting bands on the planet. Featuring 16 songs, the set shows Jinjer at their most explosive. Touring in support of their game-changing Wallflowers album, the set shows not only the band at their most brutal but also how their expansive, layered sound isn’t lost when translated from the studio. Rightfully labelled as one of the most important bands on the planet, Live in Los Angeles captures the band at the crest of their popularity and with vocalist Tatiana recently commenting how she is struggling to find inspiration for a new Jinjer album, here’s hoping a playback of this set reignites that fire.

Pick up your copy of Live in Los Angeles online here.

Lip Critic
‘Hex Dealer’
Partisan

There are musicians out there who are constantly pushing the boundaries of their genre then there are artists like New York City outfit Lip Critic who, already sitting outside any pigeonhole, are simply smashing down musical walls wherever they turn. Their new album Hex Dealer is a suitably bonkers affair which, by track two, you’ll have given up wondering what is around the next corner. Excitable, stabby electronic punk, there are no two moments throughout the duration of Hex Dealer where Lip Critic repeat themselves, they just get progressively more chaotic and crazy. Using the cliche of expect the unexpected that is the only way you can approach this album because you’ll never be able to second guess what is coming.

Pick up your copy of Hex Dealer online here.

Kerry King
‘From Hell I Rise’
Reigning Phoenix Music

I think we were all of the opion that the debut solo album from ex(?)-Slayer guitarist Kerry King was going to have a certain tone to it. The singles probably didn’t dampen those preconceptions but, to metal fans at least, when you have a sound familiar to millions, why change a successful formula? Joined by Paul Bostaph (Slayer), bassist Kyle Sanders (Hellyeah), Phil Demmel (formerly of Machine Head) on guitar, and vocalist Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), King has kept good on his promise to keep playing. From Hell I Rise is a mixed bag of ideas from King’s impressive musical warchest. Themes of war and religion litter the debut while, musically, furious metal thrashers, punk ragers, King treads well-trodden paths. Some will call it predictable, some will lap up every moment of this album, it all boils down to your own personal take on Kerry King and Slayer.

Pick up your copy of From Hell I Rise online here.

Combichrist
‘CMBCRST’
Out of Line Music

American industrial metal crew Combichrist describe their sound as “aggrotech” and, having witnessed this industrial wrecking machine up close at Bloodstock Festival a few years ago, I couldn’t think of a more apt label for the band. Similar to their live show, CMBCRST feels much like a jackhammer going off inside your skull but without the visual aspect of this sensory onslaught. Where Combichrist stand out is how they manage to crank out a stream of dancefloor-ready beats while still managing to maintain a punishing level of brutality. Drilling through the likes of “Wolves Eating Wolves” and “Heads Off”, Combichrist flatten their way over anybody who stands in their way with little attempt to look back and check the devastation that remains in their wake.

Pick up your copy of CMBCRST online here.

Atena
‘Live From Parkteatret’
Indie Recordings

Celebrating the release of their fifth album Subway Anthem in 2023, Norwegian alt-metal band Atena took over Oslo venue Parkteatret for a release day party. Showcasing a career-spanning set as well as material from Subway Anthem, Live From Parkteatret is the recording of that show captured in all its glory. Featuring hits from the band like “Oil Rigs” and “Death Is All I Think About”, the Norwegian group also treat fans to renditions of brand new that day album tracks like “Ultra Ultimate Opus Power.” Influence wise, the almost cinematic metalcore of British bands like Bring Me The Horizon and Architects seep through their music and while this audio recording captures a perfect memory for the band and fans in attendance, you get the feeling that, to full appreciate the importance of this night, some form of visual aspect is needed for those who couldn’t be there in person.

Pick up your copy of Live From Parkteatret online here.

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.

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