There’s something about that New England attitude that I love. Its no-nonsense, get-the-fuck-on-with-it attitude is something that I have admired for a long time. I also love it when I can feel that in the music. Some of my favorite acts in the current metal and hardcore scene call this region home and when the reflection of that classic demeanor is oozing from every note, it’s a real treat. I think I can safely call Lunar Blood the newest entry into my ‘Yankee Pantheon’. Their love of that classic HM-2 tone, hardcore bawdiness, and adoration for both black and death metal put them in a pretty unique position stylistically and the fact that all of this coalesces into something that’s not only technically proficient but also just fun as hell makes this whole package that much more attractive.
Twilight Insurgency blasts off in true hardcore fashion with feedback and a movie sample, in this case, the classic, ‘Sometimes dead is better’ line from Pet Sematary before the opening riffs to “Putrified Rot” burst into existence. It’s a punchy track that’s loaded with noise, blast beats, and little rhythmic shifts that occur along the way makes this a really exciting way to open the record. Right from the start, you can feel the love for the mid-tempo death metal with some slower, chuggier moments, and if you can mix that in with all of the chaos of hardcore even some black metal sensibilities, I think you’ve got something pretty special on your hands.
Another layer that Lunar Blood manages to make space for is their strong social and political commentary and to be fair it’s a very thick and visible layer. “Gastrointestinal Industrial Complex” while beginning with a hilariously placed Chicken Run sample, goes on to rail against factory farming. This is just one of many themes touched on and the list goes on to include racism, police brutality, and a dose of nihilism from a sampled quote by Werner Herzog. Musically things are just as diverse and played with just as much conviction as with the somewhat pensive “Parliament of Trees” where the mood shifts to sorrow and the tempo slows drastically, before sliding into the even murkier “Gnawed.”
It can’t be understated just how diverse, talented, and menacing this album is. The transitions from one stylistic motif are effortless and feel amazingly natural throughout this album’s run of 26 minutes and the constant motion of dynamics makes the brief runtime feel even quicker. There’s no denying the attitude, message(s), and power of this band, and having the foresight to keep things dynamic and succinct are real signs of maturity.
Lunar Blood are among the new breed of extreme metal bands that take all of their favorite things and put them in a pressure cooker. But instead of a mismatched gumbo of unwieldy ingredients, you get a spicy, gourmet meal. I was initially excited by the artwork, the attitude, and the proficiency of the band, but the more I listened to Twilight Insurgency the more I realized this was no fluke and no accident; this band knows what they’re doing. This is an exciting band and one that I hope will stick around for years and keep giving us their potent, trademark insanity.