Delaware hardcore up-and-comers and Revolver favorites Year of the Knife were all set to hit the road this spring in support of Code Orange. They also had a new album in their back pocket — their first proper full-length — which they had completed in January with producer, engineer and Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou at his GodCity studio in Salem, Massachusetts. Then the COVID-19 pandemic swept in, leaving YOTK's plans in shambles.
The straight-edge quintet — Tyler Mullen (vocals), twin brothers Aaron and Andrew Kisielewski (guitar and drums), and husband and wife Brandon and Madison Watkins (guitar and bass) — adapted quickly. In March, they livestreamed a special show, dubbed "Total Incarceration," from New Jersey's Landmine Studios tonight, and now, they've finally officially announced the aforementioned album, Internal Incarceration, for an August 7th release via Pure Noise Records. (You can pre-order it here.) The news arrives along with the LP's venomous lead single, "Virtual Narcotic," a crushing metallic hardcore anthem lamenting modern society's addiction to social media, as well as the song's frenetic, collage-style music video. Watch and listen above.
As we reported in our 2018 profile of Year of the Knife, the band are driven in their music and message by harrowing real-life experience. "Straight edge is so much a part of who we all are … every member has been touched by loss due to addiction," Madison told us. "For me it was about taking control of my life when I felt like I had no voice as a child. I watched both of my parents suffer and struggle and become complete strangers to me through their alcohol and pill addictions. You never get over the feeling of watching the people you love destroy themselves. It's sad, but so many straight-edge kids and people within hardcore understand that truth — and maybe that's what drives them here in the first place."
See Internal Incarceration's cover art and track listing below.