Though it’s been a year and a half since Justice For The Damned released their Dragged Through The Dirt album, their new single “No Brother, No Friend” shows they’re as strong as ever in their signature dark and punishing territory.
Though not (yet?) confirmed as part of a future release, guitarist Nicholas Adams shared that the Sydney quartet had worked with Will Putney (mixing and mastering) and Clayton Segelov (production and tracking) from The Brain Recording Studio on bringing the single to life. Referring to working on the track as a “surreal experience”, Nicholas considers “No Brother, No Friend” to be the band’s finest work to date. He also shares that Justice For The Damned continue to work on a follow up album to Dragged Through The Dirt.
Visibly and audibly unsettling from the outset, relentless drums and an eerie riff set the scene for raw confessions of hate courtesy of the vocals. Not just hate though. This is oppressive, soul-sapping distaste, to the extreme of wanting to completely escape and hold no connection whatsoever with ‘excrement-vomiting filth-spewing’ humanity. The distaste spills out into life itself, fueling a desire to have not existed at all, with every bridge ever made burned behind them. To never have their life marked with a headstone, nor to be respectfully honoured as ‘brother’ or ‘friend’ in a heartfelt eulogy.
“I’ve turned my back on the world that bore me
I am no brother, no friend”
Fittingly everything is dark and haunted in this world, where light is shunned and shadows are more familiar. Characters find themselves entrapped and buried, with Death prowling, coming closer, and breathing down their necks. The only ‘light’ seems to relate to their demise.
Musically it’s just as buried, where savage vocals work hard to prove they exist amongst punishing riffs and unbelievably hectic drumming intensity. Tough to know which element to pay attention to, we’re as aggressively sonically suffocated as much as is being expressed lyrically. The guitar work on this track is a stand-out for me, from the taunting melodic riff that comes up for air in the introduction, to the searing solo (around 2:20 mark) in amongst blast beat city, not to mention the unyielding steadiness throughout that keeps this hate machine rolling on and digging deeper, with sliding and sharpened accents.
Watch “No Brother, No Friend” below via its music video (courtesy of Kieran Ellis-Jones). Justice Of The Damned might even be playing it live on their “Survival Of The Riffest” tour with Alpha Wolf. Tour kicks off this Friday and you can scope dates and details on that HERE.