Julien-K’s marketing blitz for their forthcoming fifth record Harmonic Disruptor is very much in full swing. It hasn’t even been a month since they dropped the title track as the choice for first single, yet they’ve gone and unleashed another to whet our appetites – “Shut Down Your Soul.”
If “Harmonic Disruptor” was aggressive, then this one is outright fierce. The machine-like ambient tones in the intro sound like the boot-up sequence of a Terminator, before things quickly burst into a high-octane, adrenaline fuelled track. The moment the chorus explodes in, there’s sharp escalation where everything is kicked up to 11, as a barrage of gritty, bulky industrial makes it’s presence known. From here, the song doesn’t let up, charging at an unrelenting pace, even during a more melodic segment. Ryan Shuck somehow lays down even harsher vocals than in the previous single, adding to the explosive nature of the track. There’s definitely an air of Ministry to the overall feel, as well as being a callback to old-school ‘Wax Trax’, yet it still has a razor-edge that captures Julien-K’s core sound. It follows a simple structure, but every element has been utilised to full effect, making it feel tightly coordinated. A greedy part of me wishes that the runtime was slightly longer, especially with the ear-shattering outro, but I guess they didn’t want the song to overstay it’s welcome.
The duo of “Harmonic Disruptor” and “Shut Down Your Soul” are already a mighty force, and they’re just two tracks from off the full record! It’s going to be a short one at 8 tracks, granted, but these singles show a ton of promise, and they make me confident that the end result will be fantastic. Short and sweet seems to be to consensus here, which I’m all for! Their influences may be clear, but they’ve so far forged them into their own identity, going for a much darker tone than in recent years, being the heaviest they’ve sounded yet. I cannot wait to hear what else we have in store for us. For now, why not check out the track for yourself via the video below (also epilepsy warning)!