French hardcore band Death Engine bill themselves as “violent and oscure noise” while their label Throatruiner Records draws comparisons between them and bands like Playing Enemy, Amenra, and even Swans. That’s a pretty tall order, and it’s one that nudged me to eagerly press play. What I found didn’t exactly meet my expectations, but that’s not a bad thing because Death Engine seared my ears off with their blistering metallic hardcore. Let’s just say that I wasn’t disappointed with what I found.
Less Swans transcendant noise worship and more Converge’s controlled hardcore chaos, Death Engine’s four-track EP is a tour-de-force containing some of the more brutal hardcore I’ve heard this year. The band sort of splits the EP between blistering hardcore punk speed and a more mid-tempo noise demolition. But no matter what speed they’re playing at the band finds a way to make the music sound downright apocalyptic. With massive guitar riffs, crashing drum hits, and primal vocal screams, Death Engine seek to bring the world down around them with this EP and they damn near succeed at doing it. This music crushes everything under its heavy foot and leaves nothing behind other than a cloud of dust and a ringing in your ears.