With the confines of hardcore music continuing to widen with each passing decade, we currently find ourselves deep within the “metallic” age. Converting a collection of influence from metal/hardcore bands past, the metallic style presents itself through a thick and thunderous tone for the new age. Though the raw emotion still remains at its core, the intent to produce some of the most devastating breakdowns and implement more extreme elements, has made for an overall harder-hitting end result.
It’s through that expressiveness that Minneapolis, Minnesota-based chaos-chasers Wanderer, define their impact. On June 18, the band will be releasing their debut full-length, Liberation From A Brutalist Existence via Entelodon Records (LP) and Bad Mouth Records (cassette). Within their debut, Wanderer channels an existential gloom to produce ten brutal-natured hardcore tracks that guide the listener through a whirlwind of intensified, grinding soundscapes.
Ignited by the percussive build up of “Marionette,” a release of tension erupts into a turbulent, two-stepping fury. Switching gears immediately, Wanderer diverges into death metal territory in the speedy and to-the-point “Mind Leash.” Ruffled music patterns, erratic drum fills, and feedback feed into the band’s chaotic compulsions, as new vocalist Dan Lee communicates through utterly low-end growling.
Perhaps the most glaring difference heard on Liberation From A Brutalist Existence, compared to the band’s prior works featuring vocalist Brandon Carrigan, comes Lee’s death metal inspired vocal style. Paired with the album’s robust production upgrade, Wanderer is able to completely transform their raw and raucous roots, into something far more barbaric sounding.
As repressed torment is released through poetically charged lyrics, a sense of distress floods the album’s atmosphere. The feelings of agony and frustration associated with being controlled, trapped, and held down are unleashed through Lee’s vocals, as the idea of liberation becomes emboldened. Wanderer continues to build high tension in the punk flavored “Abrasion” and through the blasts n’ grooves of “Bloom.”
While disturbing dissonance erupts into a head spinning wall of sound in “Decay,” a towering heaviness claws at your skin through the trudging pace of both “Hellhole” and “Bourn.” Layers of devastation are revealed through sludge-drenched, meaty chugging, just to speed the tempo back up in the d-beat riddled death machine that is “Simone.” Lyrics of desperate approval and trauma, slice deeply through the horrifying screams of guest vocalist Mollie Piatetsky (Closet Witch), as discordance pummels its way through.
The album comes to a close with former vocalist Brandon Carrigan making a brief, yet crazed appearance in “Contended.” Beating you over the head with a concluding breakdown that gets slower and slower, the impact from Wanderer’s debut full-length proceeds to leave the listener completely rattled. From the discomforting lyrics to the bustling instrumental delivery, Liberation From A Brutalist Existence bursts with rage, as layers of strings work to produce a completely devastating overtone.