Hated One's "Ear Hunters" - 7/27/20 Edition (NEW FORMAT!)

“Beware! Ravenous, marauding metal acts are on the hunt and seeking fresh ears to overcome with their wicked, new music!”

Owner’s Note: As always here at Hated One, things rarely remain the same for too long. After spending the better part of a year consistently and faithfully issuing (occasionally two, but usually) three editions of “Six Bands You May Not Know, But Should” per month, not only has the cumbersome name become unconscionably constraining and unwieldy, but so too has the research and writing process for the entire series...

So, to streamline the process around here and to also give it a much briefer and less quantified new name and look, please dig into the very first edition of Hated One’s “Ear Hunters”, a gathering of acts with recent releases who are on the prowl for the ears of new fans! Enjoy, and thank you for reading! \m/

· Ice War (Ottawa, Ontario, CAN)

Release: Defender, Destroyer

Date: July 21st, 2020 (Fighter Records)

Genre: Speed/Crossover Thrash

FFO: Motörhead, Venom, Razor, Exciter, Hellripper

Intrinsically knowing a thing or two about ice, the new(er) Canadian speed project known as Ice War has been dropping singles, splits, comps, and albums prolifically since 2015, and the recent release of Defender, Destroyer just adds to their growing discography. Although raw in its production and here and there in the delivery, there is still an overabundance of truly vicious speed metal and punk-infused thrash contained within to make any fans of old school Canadian acts like Razor or Exciter happy. It is easy to hear that Ice War is right on the cusp of breaking, and Defender, Destroyer is only going to boost this act’s upward momentum. Rating: 83 / 100 (B-)

· StoneBirds (Lorient, France, EUR)

Release: Collapse and Fail

Date: July 24th, 2020 (Ripple Music)

Genre: Stoner/Sludge/Doom

FFO: Mastodon, Eyehategod, Cough, Yob, The Ditch and the Delta

Although birthed in the Brittany region of France, Lorient’s StoneBirds display an unmistakably heavy “Southern-American-Stoner-Sludge” influence on their latest full-length, Collapse and Fail, available everywhere now from Ripple Music. Not entirely Southern Stoner Sludge, though, StoneBirds also show off their post-metal/doom chops on many of the cuts that adorn Collapse and Fail, and it is this marriage of so many different elements from the same subgenre tree that gives StoneBirds their own sound and feel. A natural fit with fans of Mastodon or Cough, no doubt. Rating: 89 / 100 (B+)

· Derhead (Genoa, Italy, EUR)

Release: Irrational I EP

Date: July 24th, 2020 (Brucia Records)

Genre: Avant-Garde Black

FFO: Aodon, L’Homme Absurde, White Ward, Karg

Still in it's nascent, one-man stage, the idea that is Italy’s Derhead has apparently been kicking around since 2001, but only truly began to gain steam in 2016 with the release of their 2003 and 2013 demos. Since then, Derhead has kept to EP releases, including Irrational I, released this past Friday on Brucia Records. Containing eighteen minutes of dissonant-yet-harmonious black metal offerings in the form of two sphinxian cuts, “The End for Now” and “Corpses of Desire”, Irrational I is one stirring and sinister EP. Rating: 90 / 100 (A=)

· Valgrind (San Lazzaro di Savena, Italy, EUR)

Release: Condemnation

Date: July 27th, 2020 (Memento Mori)

Genre: Melodic Death

FFO: The Black Dahlia Murder, Amon Amarth, Wolfheart, Voices of Ruin, Battlesword

Named for the mythical entrance to Valhalla, Italy’s Valgrind are releasing their fourth studio album, Condemnation, today via Memento Mori, and while you’re more than likely unfamiliar with this act if you’re not from their home region, the release of Condemnation seeks to change all that. Punitive, partially blackened, and with a firm foundation built upon classic, Tampa-style death metal à la Nocturnus and Morbid Angel, the music of Valgrind is like a melodic amalgamation of all your favorite death metal bands at once. Chock full of great riffs and rhythms, Condemnation from Valgrind should garner this long-standing troupe some well-deserved adulation and attention. Rating: 93 / 100 (A-)

Thanks for reading, for checking out the bands, and be sure to tune in next month for more exciting installments of Hated One’s Ear-Hunters!


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