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  • Jason Hesley

Brodequin Streaming Harbinger of Woe!

For a band that's so closely associated with The Dark Ages, Brodequin sure carried the torch for underground metal during the early 2000s. Brothers Jamie and Mike Bailey carved their names into the rusty annals of death metal lore on just the brute strength of their debut. But after feasting amidst a festival of death, gluttons for punishment were left spinning in agony when the band disappeared without a bloody trace. 

Now, at long last, aural masochists don't have to wait and bleed for more merciless methods of execution. The Bailey brothers are back with a new drummer and the first new Brodequin album in 20 years.   

Harbinger of Woe comes out this Friday, March 22. But you can receive its full beating today by submitting to  Season of Mist's YouTube channel. 

Stream Harbinger of Woe:

Harbinger of Woe is classic Brodequin. The opening song pauses for a beat or two just to relish the cries from its captive audience. Otherwise, the album never relents in bludgeoning you with brutal death metal. There is nothing gentle about "The Fall of the Leaf", which whips by harsh enough to tear flesh from bone.  

Like all of Brodequin's harrowed discography, Harbinger of Woe finds inspiration in the most torturous inventions known to man. "Suffocation in Ash" leads us inside an ancient Persian torture chamber, where new drummer Brennan Shackelford mercilessly buries the sorriest of sinners under a fine hail of blast beats and pinging cymbals. 

But Brodequin brandish fresh instruments of torture on Harbinger of Woe. The vocals are still as dank and guttural as a dungeon, but Jamie mixes in ghostly screams that fade like blood splatter. And while Mike's palm-muted riffs still churn like severed limbs through a meat grinder, lead single "Of Pillars and Trees" branches out into tendrils of reverb that slowly tighten like a noose. 

As torturous as it sounds, Harbinger of Woe isn't inhumane. With a breakdown that drops with the decisive force of a guillotine, the title track cracks open the  tormented psychology of a clinically trained executioner. "He is despised and rejected / feared by most members of society", Jamie gurgles as if bound and gagged by his own microphone. 

"This album is a journey into a lost period of history where brutality and beauty coexist", he says. "Beauty, in the arts that were created, but also the beautiful brutality that was needed to engineer deadly devices like the brodequin”.  

Look away if you must, but amongst true sickos, Harbinger of Woe is bound to be regarded as a truly vile work of art.       

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