Review: Wasted Death ‘Season Of Evil’

‘Brace yourselves…’ is the opening of the accompanying press release for the debut full-length from APF Records signed weapon of malcontent devastation Wasted Death.

Now having had a promising start to the new year blown out of the water due to some personal stuff I won’t bore you with, I’ll just throw out the old adage, when life gives you lemons… well fuck lemonade, my jug of choice in such times is sinus clearing, brutal musical relief.

Wasted Death 'Season Of Evil' Artwork
Wasted Death ‘Season Of Evil’ Artwork

Fortunately timed, comes the release of Season Of Evil, exhumed from the rabid minds of savage trio Charlie Davis (Beggar) on bass and vocals, Wayne Adams (Big Lad, Petbrick and JAAW) on guitar and Tom Brewins (USA Nails) on drums.

After three blink-and-you’ll-miss them EPs comes the foetid speed rush of their first (not so) long(er) playing salvo that sees their hardcore-laced, grind-dripping, punk-infused, d-beat thrash-fest to toss its hat in the ring defining what it means to be heavy in the modern era.

Leaning heavily into the horror genre in a manner similar to their labelmates TORSO, the nine tracks that make up the furious twenty-six minutes are littered with zombie references (writ large on the stunning cover art that adorns the record) and snarls with b-movie splatter.

Building from an atmosphere setting sample, opening number T-Virus creaks under muted sounds before it explodes into histrionic leads and cacophonous drums. A mid paced chugging groove with deep drumming fools you into momentarily thinking that for all their previous bark, the trio might just pull this punch. Wrong.

Promptly launching into some of the most jaw droppingly berserk noise they have ever conjured, the band put everyone on notice as Davis shrieks like an unhinged manic over tumbling drums, Brewins thrashing the kit to within an inch of its life, a trait that will continue for the rest of the album as the drummer puts in a possible all-time career best performance.

Adams also probably took time off for RSI after recording as his contribution is a schizophrenic dance of blurred picking, tortured, wailing lead notes and enough chops to cut through the neck of any mutated variety of Resident Evil style end-boss.

Wirehead continues the ferocious pace and keeps the tension high by pulling back and leaving Davis to howl over screeching feedback before returning to the neck snapping speed. Brain All Rot and Dogs On Hind Legs are filled with crack alley grime, the former recalling classic thrash and death metal on steroids with anvil heavy breakdowns that understandably sees them mentioning the likes of Extreme Noise Terror, Terrorizer and Slayer, whilst the latter features varying degrees of vocal style that range from guttural to feral.

hardcore-laced, grind-dripping, punk-infused, d-beat thrash-fest…

At the halfway point Wasted Death are generous enough to allow the listener to pick their melted brains up from the floor as Selfish Enough To Suck Air starts slowly with imperious drums and huge, swooping bends. Davis is once again in your face, spitting disgust and spite. Despite the comparatively sedate pace, the band crank the drama and get down and dirty, hitting with the impact of an earthquake.

After an obligatory sample, Stratofortress gets back down to business with a rhythm like a bucking bronco, or stampede of rhinos. As heavy as a falling skyscraper, this doesn’t quite capture the intensity of the start, but deftly switches between enough styles to keep things heavy but shows they are no one trick ponies and bring the dexterity of their talents to bear. At the conclusion of the second act, it’s Luke and Leia staring out at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. Only Han’s has been eaten by zombies, Chewie has been bitten and is taking Lando off on a suicide mission.

Nation Of Motherfuckers restores the tempo, Davis screaming hoarsely like Jeff Walker with a nail through his foot and roaring like the Balrog if it had a voice. The funky bass run in the middle can’t detract from the manic The Exploited punk and DRI crossover impact Wasted Death have at their disposal before Keeping The Lid On turns the screw further.

Once again Brewins is barely human in his ability to pummel and pound the kit in a way that is more than Cro-Magnon anger. In fact, the whole band deserve a hearty tip of the cap to not only deliver the unrelenting drive of the songs but have enough about them to ensure they throw something new and equally impressive at the listener in mere moments of the last one, ensuring this frenetic audio nasty never feels repetitive or any of the tracks overstay their welcome.

Featuring guest guitar spots from Green Lung’s Scott Black, the track named after the band’s moniker is an absolute gang mugging from an undead horde. Opting for the slower, groovier side of their arsenal, Wasted Death By Wasted Death leaves you with a hardcore bouncing anthem. They still have more BPM in the verses than most would care for as they are still going to go toe to toe with a djent band for heaviness and switch direction like an accomplished noise-rock artist, but they are also catchy and dare I say singable…

As is only fitting they end on a sample to close the circle, leaving you battered, bruised and wanting to replay it while rubbing your hands with glee at the prospect of a sequel.

APF Records head honcho Andrew Field said I might have to break out the thesaurus for this one and in many ways, he wasn’t kidding. Season Of Evil might not be a complete musical revelation, they have after all given us a full thirty-five minutes of some of the most evil and high octane extreme music released in a long time, but there is no denying the sheer sadistic joy in their debut.

Wasted Death are an absolute gem, and this latest release is highly infectious, I mean contagious. Shit. Maybe Fieldy was right…

Label: APF Records
Band Links: Official | Bandcamp | Spotify

Scribed by: Mark Hunt-Bryden