“We have such sights to show you!” – Hellraiser, 1987

Welcome to the fifth edition of Cryptic Passages, a weekly column in which I, Eric Nguyen, will be presenting for your torture, some of the most brutal, unrelenting, and hate drenched pieces of audio I’ve found journeying through the misanthropic plains of the internet. Three satanic passages await you in the cryptic chasm…after the jump.

Passages I: Lewistown, Pennsylvania’s Benchpress are all three of these listed things: a) the latest and best incarnation of Led Zeppelin, b) the second band I’ve found named after some aspect of physical exercise and c) one of the hardest contemporary hardcore acts based out of an area that has given us the likes of groups such as Code Orange Kids, Full of Hell, and Agitator. Their debut EP released in March, Stay Hated, bears testimony to that fact and their newest material on Toxicbreed’s Funhouse Casa De Diversion Vol. III demonstrates corroborating evidence. Heavy as fuck metallic hardcore is all you will find here replete with mosh parts, breakdowns, and the rare hardcore solo in tow. Stream and download for free the group’s debut EP, Stay Hated, below and pick up the vinyl here if you have the funds.

Passage II: Themed after the 70s based UFO cult Heaven’s Gate(whose members committed a mass 39 person suicide in 1997) , the New York based Recycled Earth are a hardcore group with a understandably darker flair to the usual metallic hardcore strain. Soundwise, the group draw to mind a more malevolent sounding Stay Cold-era Trapped Under Ice mixed with the hard as fuck Detroit, Michigan hardcore Cold As Life. Stream the group’s debut EP/demo, No Burial, below and decide for yourself. This is no doubt one of the hardest demos of the year.

Passage III: The Bristol, UK Cage match cinemagrind act Graf Orlock in method. With songs themed after film, the only difference is that Cage appropriately theme all of their music after the works of eccentric veteran actor, Nicholas Cage. Do not mistake novelty for musical skill however. Cage fucking shred. Musically, they call to mind master deathgrind act Pig Destroyer in their ability to masterfully intertwine hardcore and grindcore into an accessible and dense mesh and the group spare no time in assaulting your ear drums. Stream Cage’s holiday themed EP, Saint Nicolas, below with songs of course themed after three of Nicholas Cage’s holiday films and download it here.

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