Based in and around New York City, Car Bomb has made its name over the past two decades as master craftsmen of metal that is as heavy as it is progressive. Stereogum described the quartet's third album (2016's Meta) as "a rhythmically abstruse variety of extreme metal... hallucinatory time-stretching noises... unpredictable detours into melodic territory." Guitar World stated, "the eclectic album bursts with complex arrangements, brutal, off-kilter riffs, and deep grooves." Kerrang! reviewed a live performance with these words: "Their psychotic turbo-thrash is disgustingly disorienting... one relentless onslaught of time-chopping violence."
Upcoming, fourth album, Mordial, will be self-released by the band on September 27th (with Holy Roar Records handling the European release).
Car Bomb has been honing its craft for a long time and has once again outdone itself, reaching new levels on Mordial. Punishing, baffling, and beautiful – for music designed to subvert expectations and deny easy resolutions, Mordial is an extremely satisfying piece of work.
At the core of Car Bomb is movement. Its churning, beyond-Meshuggah metal constantly shapeshifts, the center point constantly repositioning. Riffs appear to detune or spontaneously combust halfway through, and totally contrasting sounds pile up on top of one another into new and bizarre configurations.
Surrender to the nonstop motion, the calculated confusion, and one may find bliss – the aural illusions the band painstakingly sets up have a visceral effect. There is endless inspiration to be found here for musicians who can crack the codes, but Mordial is an album that can potentially rock anyone with ears.
Mordial sees Car Bomb embrace musical vibes from all across the map, more than ever before: moody hooks, shoegaze textures, Satriani-shred, and much more. Guitarist Greg Kubacki offers this insight:
"On our last record, Meta, one of the biggest surprises was 'Gratitude.' That was one of our favorite songs on the album, but we were hesitant to release it since it leans on a lot of our non-heavy influences. After seeing fans react so positively to it we felt like we could explore more of that vibe on Mordial. But then we thought, 'wait, what other sounds can we explore that we’ve always wanted to try?' With this particular record it really feels like the gloves came off, and that we were free to experiment with whatever we wanted to.”
Mordial was recorded by the band in Brooklyn at mixed by mastered by Ermin Hamidovic.
Having toured Europe all summer – an tour, followed by festivals – Car Bomb will return to headline Euroblast Festival in Cologne, Germany, on September 29th, and the appearance will serve as the official record release show for Mordial.
2) Fade Out
3) Vague Skies
4) Scattered Sprites
5) Dissect Yourself
6) Xoxoy (feat. Courtney Swain of Bent Knee)
8) Blackened Battery
12) Naked Fuse
Michael Dafferner - vocals
Greg Kubacki - guitar
Jon Modell - bass
Elliot Hoffman - drums
Mordial (2019, self-released in US, Holy Roar Records in EU)
Meta (2016, self-released)
w^w^^w^w (2012, self-released)
Centralia (2007, Relapse Records)
Photo by Randy Edwards