Album: Immortal Nightmare
Label: Creator-Destructor Records
Genre: Hardcore, Death Metal, Death/Doom
Release Date: July 15, 2020
For Fans Of: Xibalba, Coffins, Moment of Truth, Grave
Japan is a country that has been a breeding ground for high quality hardcore and death metal, unbeknowst to many, since the early 90’s and the country continues to put out some of the best heavy music around to this day. It would be an outright lie to say that I have any history with Kruelty, however, I saw death/doom infused hardcore from Japan and was instantly interested, and man was I not let down by this at all.
Formed in 2017 in Tokyo, Japan, Kruelty have been extremely prolific since their inception releasing a string of demos, singles, EPs and splits that put some bands that have been around for much longer to shame. Taking influence from beatdown hardcore and bands such as Coffins and Asphyx, Kruelty have crafted a sound that is akin to a lot of the punk infused death metal bands that have been rising to popularity since the later part of the 2010’s. “Immortal Nightmare” is a three song EP released only a few months after Kruelty’s debut album “A Dying Truth”, which I had to check out after listening to this and cannot recommend highly enough. Where the full length focused on more hardcore and death/doom, “Immortal Nightmare” feels like it could have come straight out of Stockholm in the mid to late 90’s. Shit the last song is a Grave cover!
A band not afraid to wear its influences on its sleeves, “Immortal Nightmare” is definitely not breaking any new ground. In fact, this is a sound that is pretty damn easy to find in today’s heavy music scene. It seems that every other band is taking the hardcore sound and running it through an HM-2 to get a sound that’s heavy and mosh-worthy, but is often forgettable and derivative. Luckily for all of us this is not the case when it comes to this EP. There is one notable difference between this and a lot of the other bands doing this sound and it is the riffs. I can honestly say that the two original songs on this EP have more memorable moments than just about any other album with this sound that I have heard in recent memory.
The one negative that I have with “Immortal Nightmare” is the “Into the Grave” cover. There’s nothing really wrong with it but it’s also not really any different than the original. This is definitely a personal thing for me, but I have never understood doing a straight up cover of a song without changing anything. It’s never going to be as good as the original and oftentimes is flat out forgettable and gets a skip from me. But hey, it’s an EP so I guess if you want to have fun with doing a cover this would be where you would put it.
Is this gonna be my new favorite EP, or even one of the best of the year? Probably not. This is not anything new and it didn’t do enough to make me have a strong desire to return to it again. What I did get, however, was a much better than average project with two awesome songs filled with some fat and catchy riffs that I can add to a playlist and throw on at the gym or while driving. This was a really good first listen that introduced me to a band that I am now looking forward to listening to in the future. It is also responsible for me finding “A Dying Truth”, which I have been listening to like fucking crazy and may just end up being one of my favorite albums of the year.
Rating: 7 / 10
- Into The Grave (Grave Cover)
Total Playing Time: 15:24