Virtuosity comes standard in most modern heavy metal, but when it comes to creating something larger than life and brutish, tone is far more valuable than recycled complexities. Take for example the new single and music video “Killdozer” by Lords and Liars – rather than presenting its intense sonic profile through a lot of mathy riffage exclusively, the tonal presence of the guitars, bass, drums, and even the lead vocal is as punishing as any searing solo could be. The tempo is shifty, the guitar parts guttural, and despite a hybrid melodicism few acts can balance with much success, Lords and Liars prove to be more than capable of doing just about anything they set out to here.
The heaviness of the riffs in this track is never negated by the sonic virtues of the percussion, which is another point at which this band separates their modus operandi from that of the mainstream. Although defined by its physicality, “Killdozer” has a couple of moments that feel indebted to the thoughtfulness of the old school in heavy metal as opposed to the blunt, force-first mentality of the last thirty years in particular. This is a band that knows how to blend the classic with the contemporary, and it doesn’t take more than a cursory listen of this song to verify as much.
This vocal is one of the more well-integrated components of the master mix, and I love that it never devolves into a retro Hatebreed-style barking as a result of the pressure it’s presented beside. There’s a lot less of a hardcore influence here than there is an NWOBHM-type machismo that could serve well in a heavier-toned capacity, such as it is in “Killdozer.” We’ll have to wait and hear what Lords and Liars produce next, but judging from what they’ve done in this instance, I think they’re on the right path towards developing smart, efficient songcraft untethered to any other movement in metal today.
The music video for “Killdozer” is chillingly simple, allowing for the band to spotlight the frills within the track as opposed to anything we’d be watching on screen. There’s been a lot of recent debate about whether or not a minimalist look like this can still capture the essence of the contemporary metal identity as well as it did say, fifteen years ago, but I think that when you’re dealing with the kind of straightforward assault this band is dishing out, it works exceptionally well.
“Killdozer” is undisputedly one of the more versatile extreme metal singles I’ve been spinning recently, and this new video for the song is by far reason enough to keep Lords and Liars on your radar as we head into the autumn season. Metal’s greatest heroes have always known how to throw down a wicked harmony beside instrumental ferocity when necessary, and this is a band that isn’t just capable of following the traditions of their predecessors but motivated by the notion of reshaping them for a new generation as well. This is a hot sound for an act more people need to be talking about, and I doubt many headbangers will disagree with me this September.
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