Úzkost – Blood Debt (self-released, 21 August 2020)
Hello out there, friends and faithful readers who have been bearing with us as we have been going through a bit of a slow period in terms of writing output! For those who don’t watch television or read newspapers or spend all day doomscrolling Twitter (that last one has been my personal sickness lately), sorry to have to be the one to break it to you, but the entire world is crumbling to shit.
In entirely unrelated news, earlier this week I got a notification that this website’s domain registration was renewing (marking the eighth anniversary as an official “dot net” site, and putting us a few mere weeks away from our ninth anniversary operating under the Valley of Steel name), which reminded me that I have a self-assigned duty to share my musical discoveries with the good people of the internet.
Frankly, it’s been pretty difficult lately to get excited about anything or to focus attention on anything that isn’t the constant stream of negativity and hatred that surrounds us all. But I’ve managed to drag myself away from the harsh misery of 2020 America just long enough to write up some words about this new single and video that was released two weeks ago by local (Pittsburgh) band Úzkost. And as a bonus, both song and video happen to be a strikingly apt reaction to all that negativity and hatred!
After spending a decade as Slaves BC, performing music that has been continually adapting from metallic hardcore to somewhat blackened hardcore to mostly blackened metal, the band recently rebranded as Úzkost, a Czech word meaning anxiety, distress, or anguish. And at the same time, have fully transitioned their sound into a pure hellish nightmare.
The new song “Blood Debt,” their first released material under the new name, is quite honestly four minutes and seven seconds of anxiety, distress, and anguish. Plain and simple. And as you can see above, the accompanying visual element (produced by Pittsburgh-based horror filmmakers Broken Clock Entertainment) looks as terrifying as it sounds, while also bringing that cover art (created by band founder/vocalist/drummer Josh Thieler) into horrifyingly — yet very satisfyingly — grim reality.
You can download the new single, plus all of the band’s previous material (most of which has been written about, glowingly, on this site), by visiting their Bandcamp page below. Don’t forget that today, and the first Friday of every month, Bandcamp is waiving their own fees so that all of what you pay ends up going straight to the artists!
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