In witnessing the upward projecting jut of a newly formed band as they work from concept towards creativity and distinction with great drive some undeniable measure of invested fandom is bound to develop. Baltimore, Maryland death metal/hardcore punk hybridization Neolithic have consistently made tasteful and intelligent decisions with regard to what they’ll put to tape, and I’ve found myself a fan almost immediately as their first 7″ split with Martyrdöd dropped last year. They continue to find the connective rhythms they’re keen on between the two genres while moving towards an almost sludge metal infused sound. This self-titled EP comes with some greater development of Neolithic‘s brutal crust punk idealizations while still maintaining the edge that taste in early 90’s death metal and deathgrind provides. “War Discordance” probably speaks for itself well enough in terms of what is new here on ‘Neolithic’ but the hardcore beaten death metal of their ‘Cult of Ignorance’ (2018) EP largely lives on.
Who the hell are Neolithic? A five-man death/hardcore hit squad with members from Baltimore’s greater metal/punk reality with death metal (Putrisect), sludge (Swarm Of The Lotus), crossover/thrash (Pulling Teeth, and melodic hardcore (Ruiner) projects under their belts. It’d be fair to point towards bands like Ilsa, Acephalix or Mammoth Grinder for some general stylistic comparisons but all of those bands more or less miss the 90’s hardcore-meets-Bolt Thrower element that Neolithic bring. I’d point more towards Neuron (‘Gleichschritt’), Stormcrow (‘Enslaved in Darkness’), or Bombs of Hades instead.
“Perdition Chaser” is probably the most straightforward example of what Neolithic have been bringing since forming: Death metal riffs and tone tailored to transition between energetic hardcore builds and Martyrdöd-esque rhythms (“Pervasion of Oblivion”). As I’d mentioned, the sludge/crust sound of “War Discordance” feels ‘new’ to the party with this EP and I’d toss in “Entropy of Totality” as well in pointing towards atmospheric moments that keep everything from flying by too quickly as was the case with ‘Cult of Ignorance’. The sludgy crust, death metal sounds, and some guest ‘noise’ spots from Dylan Walker (Full Of Hell) and Kevin Bernsten (Developing Nations Studio) gel quite well together. Neolithic have put in some work in distinguishing themselves from the masses of death/crust bands active today but, I think they could go a mile further all the same. They’ve not yet hit upon any strikingly memorable tracks and this’d be that next-level thing they need to really stick in the mind. That said, the intensity and spectacle of their sound has grown immensely in just a year and it is very much felt. Moderately high recommendation. For preview “Myopic” feels like a choice hit of Neolithic whereas “Entropy of Totality” has the 90’s hardcore kid in me excited to be at the show.
Polishing stone-aged sledge. 3.75/5.0
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