Unearthing The Metal Underground: Toledo, Ohio's Hanging Fortress
Band Photo: Hanging Fortress (?)
A massive wave of younger hardcore bands and kids morphing into “Old School Death Metal” influenced bands has been flooding the American metal scene for a while now. Whatever their backgrounds may have been musically and in terms of influence, Toledo’s Hanging Fortress does indeed sound like a hybrid of modern, groove-based hardcore and classic death metal. The majority of such cross-bred bands sound good on paper, depending upon who you ask, yet the results are stale and forgettable more often than not. While the Ohio band in question isn’t pushing the envelope in any area, they stand out because of how catchy their testosterone-fueled death marches prove to be.
The Midwesterners have been in existence a couple of years, during which time they’ve released a pair of EPs and a single—until now, that is. Redefining Darkness Records is poised to release Hanging Fortress’ debut full-length, “Darkness Devours,” a seven-song banger that’s ripe with anger, barbaric blasting and rifflage, and caveman-like barking. Granted, while the barrage is intentionally Neanderthal-like, there’s a beauty in the simplicity at hand, one that’s not far removed from that which makes Jungle Rot so appealing. Songs like “Stab Wounds” and “Blood Mountain” are succinct and to-the-point, to say the least. They’re driven by purpose. If they stick to their guns, Hanging Fortress has the potential to become something really special.
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