Thursday 29 June 2023

Radiant Knife - Pressure (Album Review)

Release Date: July 14th 2023. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: DD/Vinyl

Pressure: Tracklisting


Ghost Samurai

Phil Collins Was Right

Give Yourself Away

Sunsets From Space


His Capa Was Detated


Demon Legs


Stephen Sheppert - Guitars/Vocals/Keys

Greg Travasos - Drums


Psych Doom Metallers Radiant Knife return with their new album Pressure and follow the same route as the two albums they released back in 2020. One album was more Post-Rock/Post-Doom focused with the other being a heavier style of Doom/Sludge Metal with Prog Rock tendencies. Pressure combines those two albums creative elements for a highly technical blend of Prog Metal, Doom Metal, Sludge Metal and Psychedelic Stoner grooves. 

The album opens with the fast paced sounds of Slumber with Radiant Knife almost playing a softer grindcore aspect to their music which reminds me of Genghis Tron (Board Up The House era) and the number of thrashy beatdowns allows the Electronica aspect of their sound to become more central towards the later stages. Vocals are easy to understand despite the volatile nature of them. Though, the album's main strength is the technical brilliance residing within their music. Fast-paced and violent but one that allows the band to play Sludgy grooves reminiscent of Mastodon and Torche. 

Second song Ghost Samurai continues with the Thrash/Doom/Sludge/Electronica sounds with harsh Industrial beats and catchy almost "POPPY" based vocals. Another wicked creative choice that allows Radiant Knife to stand apart from their peers. Flashes of Ambient, Post-Rock and Psychedelic noises quickly work their way into Radiant Knife's take on melodic Doom Metal. The "Stop, Start" delivery of their music is quite unforgiving at times with the sludgy jagged grooves portraying a band not afraid to experiment with their music but still having a highly unapologetic "mainstream" and intense "underground" sound at the same time.

Third track Phil Collins Was Right sees the band in a more reflecting and perhaps self aware mood. This track embraces similar ideas and themes that Phil Collins used within his music though mostly with the vocals and lyrics. The grooves are entirely a different story with Radiant Knife laying down some of the most addictive, intense, progressive and multi-layered sounds on the album. Ambient, Post-Rock, Post-Doom and Trippy Sludgy atmospherics make up one of the standout tracks on the album. The creative and sonic experimentation on this track alone makes this album such a must have album.

Fourth track Give Yourself Away is more a Sludge/Stoner/Thrash odyssey with the Tech Metal aspect working superbly with the Psychedelic and Cosmic parts that appear. The song is more at home when Radiant Knife plays their multitude of different Technical Breakdowns and Thrashier passages. The vocals are superbly delivered yet again though the lyrics aren't the strongest here but the inspired  Ambient elements and sludgier based music allow this track to still be one of the highlights contained on the album.

Fifth song Sunsets From Space lays down on the Electroncia aspect but fuses a more Industrial/Post-Metal delivery to their sound. This song allows Radiant Knife to show their technical prowess yet again with some of the best instrumental work on the whole album. It's quite a refreshing change of pace with the band focusing more on their actual technical and musical ability. The song still has moments of warped Psychedelic noises and glitches before exploding into an extended instrumental jam that has influences of Torche and Mastodon within. Perhaps my favourite track of the album.

The album goes fully into Doom/Sludge/Industrial Metal overdrive on the second half of the album with the more intense and aggressive sounds starting to emerge on tracks such as Mortals, His Capa Was Detated and Demon Legs. Though, it's good to hear that Radiant Knife manage to play that warped style of Electronica, Psych and Stoner grooves with the odd "POPPY" interlude that makes the whole album such a wild trip.

With thrilling production values, Pressure not only allows Radiant Knife to deliver their strongest album to date but one that will allow the band to make themselves more wildly known within the whole Underground Metal scene. This is an absolute BEAST of an album and another AOTY contender.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Earsplit or the promo.

Pressure will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl from July 14th 2023.


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