Hissing's Southern Lord Debut Is Dark, Atonal Death Metal Perfection

Stream the brilliant new EP from Sunn O)))'s new favorite death metal band.

May 19 2016, 5:47pm

The first time I heard Hissing, I stopped everything I was doing and listened. My first exposure to the band band via their 2015 self-titled EP (get a taste on Bandcamp), and as soon as the last note sounded and I'd picked my jaw up off the floor, it seemed like they were everywhere—solidifying tourdates with Sunn O))) here, signing to Southern Lord there.

The music demanded my attention in a way that most doesn't, all the while drawing on a very familiar trope—that oh-so-au courant "cavernous murk" vibe that's been running rampant through the state of death metal for a good few years now. Of course, there's a lot more going on here than mere Incantation aping. Most notable is their partiality for disgusting sludgy dirges and atonal, textured quality of the guitar work, which is rendered unexpectedly clean on their latest release thanks to the efforts of Bone Sickness' Rusty Graeff (who recorded the songs), Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (who handled mastering), and the band itself, who oversaw production and mixing.

For their latest move, Hissing—which is comprised of bassist/vocalist Zach Wise, guitarist Joe O'Malley, and drummer Sam Pickel—will release a new seven-inch via Southern Lord on June 10. If that second name sounded familiar, it's because O'Malley's older brother is named Stephen, and clearly, the two share more than blood.

The EP's two tracks, "Cairn" and "Husk," plumb the depths of human agony and anxiety, and will leave you wanting more. Stream them both below, and cop the vinyl from Southern Lord for $.6.66.

Catch Hissing on tour with Sunn O))), and Big|Brave in June, and elsewhere:

06/06/16 The Ready Room – St. Louis, MO w/ Sunn O))), BIG | BRAVE
07/06/16 Thalia Hall – Chicago, IL w/ Sunn O))), BIG | BRAVE
08/06/16 Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH w/ Sunn O))), BIG | BRAVE
09/06/16 El Club – Detroit, MI w/ Sunn O))), BIG | BRAVE
11/06/16 Theatre Fairmount – Montreal, QC w/ Sunn O)))
18/06/16 Hindenburg – Vancouver, BC @ Covenant Festival II [info]
05/08/16 Highline Bar – Seattle, WA w/ Come To Grief, Bell Witch

Kim Kelly is wishing for more Hissing on Twitter.