Track Premiere: Negative Prayer – “Caged”
Veterans of the scene.
On March 1st, Chaos Records will release Self // Wound, the debut full-length from the recently formed PDX duo Negative Prayer. Though Negative Prayer only dates back to March 2023, the two members comprising the band possess between them the gamut of numerous histories and presents of punk and metal. Kyle House, who handles vocals, guitars, and bass in the band, has crafted riffs for current darlings Acephalix, Vastum, and Necrot, while at one time playing with the absolutely legendary Poison Idea. Proving Flannery O’Connor right that a Good Drummer is Hard to Find, Charles Koryn is currently poundin’ skins in, among others, Ascended Dead, Chthonic Deity, Funebrarum, Decrepisy (also featuring House), Thanamagus, as well as live stints with the likes of Morbid Angel and Incantation.
The duo’s upcoming record is a tirade of crusted-over death metal and brutal D-beat punk. You can hear the buzz of multiple Swedish sounds, slamming Anti Cimex into early Entombed to create an homage to band favourites such as Driller Killer and Wolfpack. Throughout Self // Wound, one finds a growling, snarling, spewing, wounding, and wounded caged animal with one goal: the “exorcism of systemic violence, violation, and dehumanizing social conditioning.” With a mouth dripping with the blood of those who celebrate, prop up, and fuel the “brutal system designed to traumatize, disempower, and exploit for profit and power,” Negative Prayer is nothing but a violent antidote, offering an eye for an eye and a fang for a fang form of sonic justice.
Today, we here at the Toilet are happy to premiere “Caged” from the upcoming LP. With a swaggering punk rock attitude befitting their later cover of Samhain‘s “Bloodfeast,” “Caged” is a modernized form of ’80s death rock and ’90s Swedish death-crust. It’s rock and roll, y’all, just, ya know, dripping with gore and horror. Explaining not just the track itself but the band’s raison d’être, the band writes:
“Negative Prayer is about rage, internalized violence, depression and anxiety. Being trapped in a body, a human cage.
A psyche wired to a nervous system brutally conditioned through
systemic violence and oppression to be a machine. Hell.”
This is the trauma of embodiment. This is the pain of carrying around a form that is befallen by psychical and physical woes. We trudge through life dragging behind us the accumulation of so many tragedies, personal and political, systemic and unavoidable. “Caged” encapsulates the desperation to rid oneself of the burden, of the accretion of so much brutality, by bringing to end the machinic forms of violence that keep us so fixed in a place of fear. We won’t transcend these battered forms ’til it all stops and we find what else there is in the rubble of it all.
In the meantime, keep your eyes clocked on Chaos Records bandcamp and stream this exclusive premiere.