Mutually Assured Destruction, Hexer (Creator-Destructor Records, 2024)

Southern-fried guitar riffs seen through the sonic lense of Black Sabbath and their acolytes isn't a new thing. You don't have to look further than Corrosion of Conformity, Down, and Orange Goblin for examples of the style.

One of the current bands cut from the same cloth is Mutually Assured Destruction. 

The band's 2022 debut album, Ascension, showcased their penchant for big fat guitar riffs and mid-paced groove.

Though they have roots in the hardcore scene, Mutually Assured Destruction would not sound out of place on a tour with any of the aformentioned bands above.

On their new Hexer EP, the Richmond, Virginia group lean harder into the heavy metal side of their sound, but the Birmingham, England-meets-New Orleans, Louisiana spirit is still very much alive and well in what they're doing. The title track opens the 3-song 7" with intent, dropping a guitar riff that could have been on Deliverance, a true classic of this style of hard rock.

The guitar cookout continues with the slithering "Forlorn," a track that definitely has a crossover hardcore thing going on its approach.

"Between Two Fires" closes out Hexer with some more metallic flair. Vocalist Ace Stallings' gruff vocals sound tough against the stomping rhythm the song rides along to. I can easily picture a mosh pit opening up for these songs if Mutually Assured Destruction play them at one of the many festivals the hardcore scene has been putting together in the last few years.

The sludge x hardcore connection is real here!

Photo: Steve Levy

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