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Someone should have warned God to keep his enemies close because Ricky Hoover’s been biding his time and sharpening his blades. The former Suffokate vocalist swapped his mic for a straight razor, tour life for family life and, yes, those huge stretched ears for comparably large muscles. In short, Hoover is ready for war.

And a decade is a long time to hone any plan of attack. Pandemic boredom brought to life the long-dormant desire to create music. The music would surely be deadly, but tech death desires faded as he began writing with guitarist Chase Wilson. Hoover floated the idea of blackening their deathcore but was met with indecision from the rest of the band, now rounded out by guitarist Cory Walker, drummer Parker Adsit and bassist Taylor Adsit.

The Devil would have his day, though, as the genre made its way to the group’s Instagram bio. Hype for the sinister sound grew, and so they dove in. Johnny Ciardullo (Carcosa/Angelmaker) would help with orchestrations for lead single “Behind the Hand of God,” with the band taking the reins from there. The result is a sound that’s equal parts hellfire and the haunting souls that swirl around it, with Hoover’s bellow personifying the mouth of Hell like never before.

It’s a duty he carries out with pride, weaponizing his fury against religion. “Behind the Hand of God” is an opposition to those who justify their ill actions by cowering behind their deity, like a child hiding behind their parent. There’s nowhere to hide anymore.

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