Henry Kane
Age of the Idiot

Nothing like a little world chaos and a global pandemic to really get the blood pumping, amiright?!

Maybe it’s just the lingering threat of societal collapse talking, but I think crust and grindcore is really on the cusp of having a moment. It’s that raw mix of anxiety-ridden rage, irremovable pessimism, and willingness to watch everything burn to fucking the ground that makes this a perfect time for grind to take center stage. Also, your average grind song is perfect for timing out proper hand-scrubbing practices (goodbye, birthday song – Hello, Napalm Death!).

So maybe it’s just the right timing and the right social environment, but Henry Kane’s appropriately titled Age of the Idiot is sounding REALLY fucking good right now.

The brainchild of Jonny Pettersson (Wombbath), Henry Kane is a pummeling, one man wrecking crew. Buzzsaw guitars, relentless drums, and guttural, bellowing vocals come together for an all-out sonic assault that lay waste to just about fucking everything.

Truth told, it takes a couple tracks for the full scope of this project’s total fury. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like the first 5 tracks here are boring by ANY stretch of the imagination; after a frenzied open to “Tidens Tand,” Pattersson abruptly slows things down to a plodding, doomy stretch that captures your attention with straining, tortured vocals before reaching back to grab you by the throat with a full-on grind attack. “Veil of Hatred” and “Embraced by Nothing” rumble along at more death metal-like paces, choosing to pummel you with a barrage of hefty grooves and riffs rather than the surgical knifework of the grindier offerings.

But it’s on the title track that this album REALLY hits its stride. After an ominous, building open, the song breaks out into one of it’s punkier, crustier sections, before opening up into some HUGE riffing and stained, chaotic vocals that’s somewhere in between Anaal Nathrakh and Belphegor in terms of it’s sheer destructiveness and lack of care for the wellbeing of your ear drums. It totally knocked me on my ass the first time I heard it, and still does with every successive spin. I know it’s tired and cliché at this point trying to find the “new Nasum” or compare any modern grind act to the legendary outfit, but listen to the last bruising minute of this track and tell me they don’t immediately come to mind.

Things just keep building from there. After another sub-2-minute grinder, “Entranced in Nihilism” is a surprisingly sprawling, moody affair that takes you on a four-minute (!) journey through about every cellar-dwelling, cavernous form of extreme music. After a few weeks sitting in a front-row seat and watching the world go fucking bananas, the guttural chanting of “WELCOME! TO THE DARK! WELCOME! TO THE END!” really just burrowed itself right into my brain like an apocalyptic earworm.

The whole thing is just balanced really beautifully. Breakneck ragers like “My Sweet Escape,” “No Road to Redemption” and “Liar Oh Father The Liar” could easily become overwhelming; dropkicking your senses into a blender beyond the point of being able to tell one track from another, if they weren’t countered with more meaty, ground-and-pound tracks like “By The Virtue of Hate” or “Keep Us From The Truth,” not to mention the refreshingly upbeat, surprisingly catchy “Take it back.” Everything is laid out perfectly to maximize the highs and lows of every track, and the end result is a deeply satisfying, disturbing, and timely doomsday soundtrack that hits all the right notes in all the right places.

As I’m sure you’re well aware, we’re in some pretty fucking wild times! The rate with which shit seems to be escalating would put Ron Burgundy on the damn floor. So if we really are hurdling ourselves towards a post-apocalyptic Mad Max-ian hellscape, I’m glad I’ve got an album like Age of the Idiot to serve as an appropriate backdrop. If we make it to the end of this God-forsaken year, there’s a good chance I’ll be mentioning this as one of the year’s highlights. So stock up (without being a TP-hoarding Neanderthal), wash your goddamn hands, hunker down and keep calm. Henry Kane is here to help us get through this together.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
April 29th, 2020

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