A scathing sonic takedown of consumption and greed, the brand new single Rat King from Aussie sludge metal lords Lo! marks a monstrous step closer to the quartet’s forthcoming album The Gleaners, out April 7 via Pelagic Records.
Armed with a gritty accompanying music video, directed by Lo!‘s very own Carl Whitbread and premiered on Everything Is Noise, Rat King dredges Lo!‘s trademark blackened wares alongside thematics steeped in monstrous origins.
“A Rat King is a rare monster created by nesting rats that through crammed and overpopulated conditions become entangled in their own tails, slowly starving to death unable to free themselves or work together to survive,” shares the band.
traditionally seen as a poignant symbol for greed, plague and societal disease, “Consumption as a saviour” complex makes us all rat kings, bound together in greed,” the band continues. “We have eaten beyond our means and we lust for more through capitalism and refusal to stop a feast that is coming to an end. One of the album’s core characters is given its dues.
Lo! herald the end of the existing order of things, executing crushing judgement upon those tyrants who put the poor to powder.
On The Gleaners Lo! firmly continue in the vein of their much-lauded third album, setting an over-arching storyline with multiple characters to a symphony of sonic death and destruction. “Vestigial opened up the writing arena for Lo! in many ways,” explains guitarist and main-songwriter Carl Whitbread about the predecessor of The Gleaners. “We created an album of anthems without losing the groove or viciousness of performing live, using defined characters and themes that are revisited and interwoven across the record, while also experimenting with atmospheric and cinematic samples to breathe life into the recording.”
From afar, The Gleaners would seem like a fair breeding ground for conspiracists, and it does make a grander scheme of things seem plausible, both for skeptics as well as free thinkers. However, don’t be deceived! At the base of The Gleaners lies a hardcore search for freedom and truth that leaves nothing to the imagination. From the one-two punch of album opener Our Fouling Larder and Salting the Earth to the d-beat destruction of Rat King and the massive culmination of Cannibal Culture, Lo! leave you little opportunity to catch your breath. Even the more atmospheric tracks like Pareidolia or the title track feel crushingly heavy not despite but because of their slower pace. Above all, this record is nothing but a firm rattling of your cage – and who could expect something else from the minds of this Australian quartet who have been churning out nothing but stellar sludgy blackened hardcore over the past twelve years? Like a Hieronymus Bosch painting, the storyline of The Gleaners has little of a focal point, the characters crawl all over the place – its chaos is complete – but somehow its impact is phenomenal. Lo! have gone and done it again, creating a terrifying vision of the infernal madness of our reality that shakes you to your core!