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Sarin Reaper - Demo

Sarin Reaper. Photo by Ian Noah.
As someone lodged squarely between two generations (born in January 1997), I might not have a clear read on things, but from my observation, a lot of members of Gen Z rely heavily on nihilism to cope with modern life. Sure, there's groups like the Sunrise Movement and the Twitter savvy masses who aim to make life hell for anyone they deem a bigot, but in the face of a pitiful job market, endless systemic racism, institutional failures, and impending ecological disaster, it makes sense why scores of teenagers today don't see much of a future. The standard options for expressing that nihilism seem to be video games, drugs, and image board posting, but one Kansas City area group of youngsters is voicing its distaste the old fashioned way: extremely loud and fast guitar music.


Though I'm not as well versed in the realms of black metal and d-beat as some of my peers, to my untrained ears, Sarin Reaper seems to combine the two in a fairly unique way (no local bands, past or present, that I know of have combined the two at all). As someone who only personally knows one member of the band (Jame Mendenhall, guitarist and owner of Dirtbag Distro, the label that released this demo), it kind of reads like a band divided, with some wanting to play black metal and the others punk. Bands of this nature often sound like a jumbled mess, unable to commit to an idea, but Sarin Reaper has made it work. The lyrics are pessimistic and misanthropic (common themes of both black metal and d-beat), but lean towards the traditions of black metal due to their ornate imagery and use of five dollar words referencing mythology. The vocal style is also more metallic than punk, employing screams and growls rather than shouts and yelps.


While the vocalist (identified as L.I. in the Bandcamp notes) spins tales of Stygian altars and piteous aether polluters, the band is dishing out furious d-beat rhythms and squealing chainsaw riffs. To hear these two sounds intersect in this band is particularly fun because the songs last no more than two or three minutes while most bands that employ this vocal style and lyrical content write almost exclusively eight minute epics that are essentially metal songs that double as Ancient Aliens episodes (no hate is being directed at Blood Incantation -- that shit rocks sometimes). With Sarin Reaper, you're in, you get a gruesome poem about how ugly mankind can be, maybe one short mosh part, and you're out and on to the next one. The only critique to be made is that the band will occasionally fall out of sync with each other, but not in any way that's inexcusable. They're young and this is their first set of recordings. The playing is sturdier than any past release on Dirtbag Distro and this is arguably the budding label's finest release thus far.

Stream, download, or purchase a cassette below.


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