Though the embers of last summer’s Void of Illuminance EP are still burning, Jacksonville’s crossover hardcore brutes Mindfield have returned. The quartet’s latest eponymous release is an absolute monster. Formed in 2015 and, apparently forged in flames, the band has clearly pierced the right eardrums, having decimated stages across the lower forty eight with Incited, HOODS, Lowered A.D., and the mighty All Out War.
Having first caught wind of their unique savagery on an Upstate Records compilation, I was prepared for this to rule, but Holy. Fuck. This is essential. Having recently been featured on the recent Hardcore Twitter baiting Kerrang, their bilious gospel has even reached distant shores.
“Violent Nature” is the cold-hearted lead single from the impending devastation that is their S/T EP. Beginning on absolutely pummeling form, we’re immediately gifted a putrid squeal of guitar that announces something altogether more menacing. Anvil heavy crush grooves abound and the fret acrobatics that pepper the intro are swallowed whole by devastating vocals. Pugilistic vibes are all over this one, y’all, most notably in the desperately yawped backing vocals laid like a slab atop the bellicose bellow of Nick’s lead bark.
Barely a minute into the track there’s a seamless segue into an unsettling bass-led bit, the mood and change of pace a welcome way to flex their most vicious moments. Mindfield here manage to condense myriad styles and passages into a sub three minute rager. The respite of this quickly passes, however, and the Trojan Horse carrying what follows erupts into flame. The harrowing screech and triumphantly hateful riff that follow are nothing short of perfect, landing them in the company of both hardcore contemporaries and luminaries alike.
Mindfield certainly draw inspiration and influence their godhead forebears in Merauder and All Out War. As much as they’ve clearly absorbed lessons from the Master Killers themselves, there are elements of Teutonic thrash a la Kreator and Sodom, eschewing the zaniness of first wave thrash in favor of their deadly serious German counterparts.
As readily as they’ve likely consumed NYHC, there are marks of the squealer peeking around the corner as well. Splitting the difference between technical prowess and blunt force trauma, their street ready sonics recall heavyweights like Purgatory or Penitentiary.
It’s the vocals that ultimately find Mindfield sitting squarely in the hardcore camp in that they’re impossibly menacing, the hellish strength of the approach nods to early Hatebreed or its current purveyors in Trail of Lies. Their brutishness tests the listener in the best of ways, daring you to move the immovable object in your path.
Mindfield recently signed on with Bullet Tooth, a label owned and operated by Trustkill Records founder Josh Grabelle, so stay tuned...