It’s difficult to gauge just how much a Juno win contributes to the career of a Canadian metal band, since most groups in that genre generally make their way towards success well under the radar of mainstream recognition. That Winnipeg trio KEN Mode nabbed an award for their 2011 album, Venerable, was at least proof that their uncompromising brand of thrashy post-hardcore was turning a few heads.
Their follow-up, Entrench, might just snap a few necks: From the swirling buzz saw riff of opener “Counter Culture Complex” to the Jesus Lizard–style breakdown in the middle of “The Terror Pulse” to the doomy chug of “Daeodon,” this album hits all the apexes of modern heavy music.
Even if KEN Mode show a little too much emo with “Romeo Must Never Know,” it works just fine in the context of Entrench, where the track provides a rare moment to catch your breath in the throes of an exhausting listening experience.
Playlist picks: “The Terror Pulse,” “The Promises of God,” “Counter Culture Complex”
KEN Mode play Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor St. W.) on April 13.