Hardcore upstarts Year Of The Knife have announced their upcoming debut full-length, Internal Incarceration, due out August 7th from Pure Noise Records. The Delaware-based band excels at crafting unrelentingly heavy, metal-influenced hardcore with deeply human and socially- conscious lyrics, and Internal Incarceration takes these strengths to new heights. Recorded by Kurt Ballou (Converge, Code Orange, Nails), the album sounds as raw and visceral as the subjects of its songs, which often find vocalist Tyler Mullen working through the challenges of loss, grief, and addiction with compassion to match the furor of the music.
The album’s first single “Virtual Narcotic” captures so much of what makes Year Of The Knife impossible to ignore. Opening with a vicious metallic riff, the song launches into a blistering lament of modern over-reliance on social media that culminates in an undeniably crushing breakdown. The band also shared a second song from Internal Incarceration, “Sick Statistic” a new version of a previously released compilation track that takes an empathetic view of the opioid crisis in America.
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While Year Of The Knife’s lineup includes actual familial connections—the band is made up of Mullen alongside twin brothers Aaron and Andrew Kisielewski on guitar and drums, and husband and wife Brandon and Madison Watkins on guitar and bass—their approach to the band is rooted in the idea of chosen family. Year Of The Knife are motivated by an attempt to maintain control over their circumstances in the face of life’s many hardships, including the loss of family and friends to addiction. Madison explains, “Almost every straight edge person I know has been touched by loss. Those experiences can make you feel alone, but they’re something a lot of people within hardcore have gone through and can relate to. People that gravitate towards this music often have this darkness in their lives, but hardcore can be a beacon where they can find community and relief. It can be a really incredible outlet for getting that negativity out and finding people who understand you.” Internal Incarceration directly confronts that darkness, redirects it into music and lyrics, and provides the band with one of their most powerful traits: their ability to channel pain and aggression into something cleansing and connecting.