Oklahoma wrecking ball Strangled pushed back the release of their self titled debut EP after successful drop of the anvil heavy “Mobilize” via the Slam Worldwide YouTube channel and has hit that 16k view mark. Recorded at Slamnasium Recordings by Mychal Soto and mixed by Bodysnatcher drummer Chris Whited at 1776 recordings, it should be obvious what’s coming.
The 98 second tone setting introduction of “Strangled” is a moment of darkness that’s designed to put the fear of God into the unsuspecting listener. When it kicks in, the full throttle Beatdown Deathcore riffage and pummelling kit work are immediately headbangable with plenty of hammers no doubt thrown in the crowd. The gutteral Slam roar is on overdose of hatered. Seamlessly bursting into “Kill” with no musical introduction before the the verse kicks in, the dual vocal tones give that Beatdown Hardcore underpinning to the bands savage guitar sound. It’s go hard or go home from the very start with a pounding kit sound of clean uncompromising quality and bursts of blast beats that give it a rise and fall flow. Use of the Slam vocal to bridge the Deathcore roared lyrics is the contrast in the sound that gets the blend right and create a more unique sound for Strangled. Four pissed off dudes bring “Mobilize” home with a torrent of venomous hatred. It’s Kublai Khan on steroids with some glorious tempo shifts that almost reach that Downtempo point towards the end, having threatened to tear an interplanetary rift in the space time continuum. The vocals are demonic and that Metallic Hardcore styling contrast between the vocals is incredible on this one.
Changing gears into “Broken Teeth” which starts off with more of a Beatdown Hardcore vibe of classic chord progressions and dual vocal screams at different pitches before guitar squeals that bring an instant smile and a Downtempo slow down to close. It’s masterful use of the less is more approach with riffs to get your head banging and bodies moving in the pit. Kicking back in with some seriously energetic aggressive kit work “Face Me” is another throat shredding unclean vocal attack with a mid-song Slam break of serious quality. There are little gems of nuance in each tune on the EP that come out of the mix over multiple listens, the shotgun pump click on this one being sublime. The rage on this one is vitriolic and the Deathcore bounce in the riffs is again slowed down towards the end but never reachs the Downtempo promise. If you’re after an EP of short sharp shocks then this one hits like a taser delivering a lighting bolt from the hand of God right up your backside. Blisteringly heavy and fantastic fun [8.5/10]