Album Review: Lunar Blood – “Twilight Insurgency” (RABM/Death)

Written by Melinda

>Lunar BloodTwilight Insurgency
> Red & Anarchist black metal/death metal
>New Jersey, USA
>Released February 18, 2022
>Bandcamp Link

Cover painted by Misanthropic Art Illustrations

“Killing us under cover of law all this violence takes its toll we’ll arm ourselves. Bars and clubs turn to armories new black coffins for old white men”

Absolutely uncompromising antifascist blackened death metal from a young New Jersey band. I say uncompromising because this isn’t your artful poetic thinly veiled approach to antifascism, but rather a very direct blunt approach to antifascism, the bloody hammer of antifascism. On Facebook their page is marked as a business: Funeral service & cemetery. Sometimes violence is the answer or at the very least, the idea of violence can be cathartic, so join me as I delve into this world of blood soaked coppers and bigots. 

Twilight Insurgency is absolutely soaked in gory themes about police brutality and cruelty to animals (from a vegan perspective, not a tongue in cheek exploitative one) to the point of coming off as goregrind if not for their more sludge ridden death musical style. There’s a whole mess of authoritative guttural vocals and chaotic drilling guitars to go along with these themes but there also is a slower grinding sludge tendency to the sound. There is an ear gripping groove here among the high energy blistering rhythms. It will stick to your ears filling them with glorious dirt, and for a certain kind of person – rightfully fill them with fear and dread.

There’s no filler or wasteful intro tracks on Twilight Insurgency, it’s an assault in perpetual motion. Even the short instrumental track “Ululating In The Depths” featuring a piano and incoherent distant screams brings a slow levity to the album that links “Gastrointestinal Industrial Complex” and “Wrath March” without missing a beat. The whole thing comes in at just under a half hour and I’m in awe of how well thought out this all feels for a debut LP. It flows in a consistent disgusting manner, as if oozing from an exit wound. The various samples used throughout from films (including the movie Chicken Run) are picked and placed in a masterful way, always contributing to the tracks without distracting the listener.

“Parliament of Trees” opens with a particularly impactful sample of Warner Herzog in the 1982 documentary Burden Of Dreams saying “It’s a land that God, if he exists has – has created in anger. It’s the only land where – where creation is unfinished yet. Taking a close look at – at what’s around us there – there is some sort of a harmony. It is the harmony of… overwhelming and collective murder. ” which is one of the most badass and thought provoking samples I’ve heard open a track. It seems we live in a world where violence is inevitable in all cultures, some being offensively violent and others being defensively violent. The overall instinct of the human race leaves the question of pacificism hanging in the air uncertain as those who do not practice violence are doomed to become victimized by violence. Cows and chickens are essential nonviolent and the most readily consumed creatures by the human race, so what does that say for political ideologies without violence? One thing is for sure, the fascist foot soldiers along with the politicians who hold their leash need to be stopped by any means, before violence and victimization becomes an irreversible way of life for all people, forever.

The album art is an interesting one to me because the idea of humanity devolving into a mad max post apocalypse is often used as a warning by those with too much to lose in this capitalist system. Without this or that institution they say, we will descend into bloody madness and an apocalypse of steel and leather. Maybe, or maybe the existence of institutions who endeavor to make us powerless against them have reduced us to that base need. The need to take whatever arms available to us in order to dismantle these harmful institutions. A game of numbers and improvised weaponry – indeed it would seem like an apocalypse – from the perspective of those who hinder the world with their greed and bigotry. To a world of people stricken by poverty and hate crime however, perhaps it would be closer to the beginning of something, than the end of something. If we appear as “savages” then it’s merely because they took everything for themselves and left nothing for us. We are far more resourceful than they could imagine. True savagery comes in the form of an immaculately clean uniform holding state of the art weaponry.

The track “Pig Hunter”, perhaps one of the most explicitly violent songs about cutting off the trigger fingers of cops, has guest vocals from Lex of Sunrot, who played a crucial role in the early days of Noob Heavy, helping me understand the responsibility a music journalist has to represent the artist correctly. Back in 2018 when I covered Sunrot’s fantastic sludge romp Sunnata, Lex had directly asked me to change an aspect of my article that was misgendering them, a conversation which I can mark as the precise moment I learned about gender diversity. A very important lesson to this website and my life as it helped to initiate us on the road I find myself in now four years later: myself a trans person with a gender diverse team of leftist writers. I’ve always been grateful to them for that and they are a seriously talented sludge vocalist who bring a lot of force to the two tracks they contribute to on this album. 

Bottom Line:

Not only is Lunar Blood for the most part politically aligned with my values (I’m simply not vegan) but their music is legitimately great and shows the promise of being a great force in the blackened death scene, a genre much in need of openly antifascist bands. Twilight Insurgency is an album for those with a strong stomach and a fighting spirit. In the words of Lunar Blood (from the track “Wrath March”): “…paint our bullets with a Rainbow speak that slur one more time / It’s hard to do with my boot pressed on your throat relishing in the pain of bigots”