Judiciary waste no time introducing themselves on Flesh + Blood, so I will follow suit. The Texas outfit return with 31 minutes of unbridled chaos. The band has named influences of the metalcore and thrash variety, and it’s been mentioned enough that they’re also peers with Power Trip. For our purposes here, though, the iteration is to note that the two groups share Arthur Rizk as producer. With Arthur at the helm, Judiciary have minted a scorching metal record .
The success of Flesh + Blood comes from the band’s balance of simple and straight-forward hardcore with turned-up-to-11 metal edges. You can have the more intricate riffs and lead work of “Paradigm Piercer”. You can have breakdowns and kick drums delivering straight 16th notes until you’re relieved by its half-timed counterpart. You can have the chugging the never fails at the end of “Eschatos Hemera”, the fitting finale of the affair, delivering all aspects that make up Flesh + Blood. Dissonant guitars, anthemic drums, sludge and note-heavy leads, all the stars are here. There’s even a curveball of clean vocals over a more melodic section before the final bludgeon.
This balance allows Flesh + Blood to pulse forward with the same urgency of every throaty scream and still not feel overwhelming or stale. It has to be said, though, if Judiciary excels at any one thing, it’s the exercise of riffs. They are, in a word, nasty. It’s a half-hour child of groove metal and hardcore punk to help fill that Every Time I Die hole in your heart. This is obviously not a comparison of the two. But as with ETID’s swansong, it goes without saying that it always helps having Will Putney mix your work.
To the Lubbock quintet: when you’re done banging your heads, take a bow.