…But The Shadows Have Foes cut straight to the core on their 2018 release, Infernal Kings! You Rule But Ruin!, out now. The full length quickly proves an exercise in brutal but somehow inviting noise, with the band twisting and monstrously contorting before the listener. The outfit does maintain a sense of melody and drive – this isn’t drone or pure sludge – but their presentation remains thick, to say the least. There’s little escape, if any.
Reading the lyrics helps “makes sense” of the complex output. The themes shared in the vocal work hit as brutal and biting, letting few of those “out there” off the hook. Even those who advocate for freedom get scrutinized, since the listener points out how many use their freedom to enact ill.
The band proceeds from those points into a storm of thrilling musical muck, cutting out a path for the listener straight through the middle of the aforementioned societal ills and all their metaphorical societal implications. The singer doesn’t mill around and seek some kind of common ground with the ills, as some “punk” bands might. Instead of compromise or contemplation, they and the rest of the band alongside them charge right on through, hoping to not drown on the way.
Sometimes there’s light in the midst of suffocating darkness, and sometimes, there’s not. This realistic sense pervades the at this point newest release from the driving metallic outfit in question here, helping their music to hit home even if it’s not got the “highest” level of presentation available. The musicians at work here remain close to the heart of music – and humanity at large, to be metaphorical again- and they’re trying to capture some of the blood sputtering from its burst and pierced vessels. There remains an angst through it all that connects their complicated, entirely unpredictable music solidly to the human experience – what are we going to do next?
Listen below, via Bandcamp