Tokyo five-pointed star of extremity KRUELTY returns with its second, Untopia, ‘Unknown Nightmare’ opening with a ritual type chant that lulls into a false sense of security, obliterated once the tune proper kicks in. Bulldozer riffs, one of the most addictive bass tones I’ve heard in too long and insistent drums bolster Tatami’s Straight Outta Stockholm vocal hysterics, the band moving deftly in and out of beatdown HXC, NIHILIST-ic stench and COFFINS crawl, and the first song ain’t even over yet.

‘Harder Than Before’ burns with a RINGWORM-like urgency, as frantic, but snapping into time to deliver a breakdown any other band would give their Champion hoodies for early on. Memories of basement party mayhem, 5 bands for $5 shows at Trumbullplex in Detroit, but snarling, vicious, nothing positive about this heaving mass of power currently assaulting my ears. Raucous and racing, ‘Burn The System’ follows the same pattern, but still maintains its grip on the throat, even when slowing to a jolting, jerking crawl.

‘Reincarnation’ chugs, mid-paced for the most part, but no less driven, the quintet dragging the whole thing into hardcore territory a few times before exploding into glorious cock rock [1:36-1:49] ala CRETIN, only to pound, pound, pound their way to the end just in time to enter the ‘Maze Of Suffering’. Many-limbed and menacing, slick with blood and carnage, yet syrupy, dank, a veritable potpourri of foul odor, this is the focal point of Untopia for me.

The title track harshly scrapes against the aural canals – as does most of KRUELTY’s sophomore effort, to be clear – but what’s truly intriguing about Untopia is the sub-genres this band has managed to wind around each other, stitch together like some Frankenstein’s monster of putridity, and breathe life into them, but still come off as natural.
Review By: Lord Randall

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