You'll hardly hear anything more aggressive than this.
Arizona's LANGUISH gave birth to a monster, a deathgrind monster that has made waves in the underground for its apocalyptic delivery over the course of 15 blood pumping tracks. This monster is known as Unworthy and it made its way into the hands of fans across the world earlier this year, earning the #30 spot on our Top Albums of 2018 list for its ability to encapsulate rebellion against oppressors in an unforgiving manner.
The relentless four-piece is made up of vocalist Sean Mears, bassist Ryan Bram, guitarist Matt Mutterperl, and drummer Zack Hansen, all of which also play in Arizona bands GATECREEPER, NORTH, or TERRITORY. As active as each musician is with the other bands, LANGUISH is an entity of its own, delivering relentless energy through the means of filthy riffs and a big 'FUCK YOU' attitude. Their latest outing Unworthy resembles the band's evolution from a two man operation to a four member arsenal of musical extremity. Simply put, LANGUISH is a force to be reckoned with.
We talk to drummer Zack Hansen about the band's Prosthetic Records debut, their upcoming run of shows on the West Coast, and what we can expect in 2019.
You’re coming off the release of your crushing sophomore record Unworthy. How does it feel to finally have the record out after months if not years of writing and recording?
It feels really cathartic. Sitting on a record is really frustrating, we finished writing it almost 2 years ago now so to have it out in the world is great. There's always that period of time where you're waiting on mixes, and then mastering, and then the label and manufacturing the vinyl and figuring out a release date. It's a lot of shit to deal with just for an album to come out.
We ranked it among the top records of 2018, which was not easy considering how many quality albums were released this year. It has also been raved about on multiple metal news outlets and blogs. How does it feel as a band to receive said accolades?
We're really stoked people are into it. As we were writing and recording we felt that we had something decent on our hands and to see it receiving accolades is very fulfilling. Honestly, we like the record and we enjoy performing the music so even if no one else was into it, at least we are.
It’s been three years since your debut record Extinction, three years that have seen the band evolve with a new logo, lineup, label and sound. Where do you see yourselves now as a band, in comparison to where you were 3 years ago?
3 years ago we were still forming essentially. Extinction was mostly written by just two people and the others came and added layers after the fact. We hadn't played any show or had any expectations whatsoever for the band. Now we are a cohesive 4 piece lineup and we have a solid writing process. The band is extremely democratic, so we all weigh in on decisions regarding sound, art, shows, pretty much everything. We talk daily about how fucked up the world and our country is, and we find a lot of inspiration and shared hatred in that.
The release was handled by Prosthetic, who’s known to have a heavy arsenal of artists under their banner. Does it motivate you in any way to have their support?
Prosthetic is great to work with. North is signed to Prosthetic and that had a lot to do with our decision to go with them to release Unworthy and any follow up records. We know what to expect with them and we have a great line of communication already established, which really is key to a band/label relationship. They also release so much heavy shit as well, so that helps with name recognition and everything that come with being on a shared roster with so much good bands.
From Raze to Famine, Unworthy gives listeners little to no breathing space, making for a fucking intense listening experience. Musically speaking, was the goal to bombard listeners from start to finish?
We definitely had no intention of letting up on Unworthy. There's the title track in the middle, to give the listener a slight break and catch their breath for a minute or two, before the second half of the record, which may even be more intense than the first. We wanted to release an old school death/grind album that just fucking kills you for a half hour. We feel there is a good variety on the album as well. It's not just the same song 15 times.
Seeing as the record embodies pure aggression and ferocity, would you say that there was any particular musical or personal influence that went into the making Unworthy?
I know Matt was influenced by a lot of old school grind, like Napalm Death and Nasum, while Ryan and Sean are encyclopedias of death metal, so they always bring something new and old to the table. The band itself is a reflection of our current times. Just how fucked the planet is and the coming downfall of humanity as we know it, combined with our hatred of the president of the United States and other government officials.
You’re all in other bands, those bands being Gatecreeper and North. Do you keep each band as a separate entity or does your work in either band influence one another?
Each band is completely a separate entity. The only overlap really is members. We feel it's really important that Languish stand on it's own as a band with our message and music.
Matt put together the cover art for the record, illustrating a hooded skull ready to obliterate a planet as black holes and explosions occur in the backdrop. While art is always to open to interpretation, would you say that this depicts the record’s big ‘FUCK YOU’ message to those high up the political and economic chain?
The art is definitely open to interpretation but at the same time you get the gist of what we were going for. As I said above regarding our government and the bourgeoisie, it's a big fuck you to the controlling class. A "thanks for destroying the planet, assholes."
You celebrated the release with a couple of shows in Arizona. How were the shows and how was the hometown reacting to the new tracks live?
The shows were killer, people love the new album and it's good to see new and old faces at shows, people that have only just discovered us from Unworthy and our friends coming out to support. Not to mention we had amazing bills, with Fister and Aseethe, who are two of the heaviest bands in the country and let us hop along on their tour for the Arizona dates.
You’ll be hitting the West Coast for a short run of shows next week to support the new record. What tracks from Unworthy will you be ripping through?
Expect a plethora of Unworthy. We did the full album in Tucson and it's a fucking monster. We'll be keeping to a tight 10 song, 20 minute set, with different rippers every night. Expect the hits.
As Languish continues to grow and you begin to play more shows, are there any bands you'd like to tour or share the stage with in the future?
Personally, it's always great to tour with friends. Doing these dates with Fucked and Bound is a privilege, I love those people. Primitive Man, Outer Heaven, Infernal Coil, Of Feather And Bone, bands who we like as people and have released sick records in the last year or so. It'd be great for some of the Euro Prosthetic bands like Venom Prison, Leeched, or Dragged Into Sunlight to come over and do some dates with them. I'd like to tour with Lingua Ignota, who is incredible.
I spoke to Ben Hutcherson of Khemmis and Glacial Tomb earlier this year and he was ecstatic about Unworthy and the possibility of having Glacial Tomb tour with Languish. Any chance we can see that happen in the months to come?
Ben is awesome, really good dude. North first played with Khemmis in 2014 and we knew they were destined for good things. Glacial Tomb would definitely be a great band to tour with. We've known Connor for years too, I first saw one of his bands probably 15 years ago.
What comes next for Languish? Any big plans for 2019?
Next up is more select touring and writing for a new record, as well as preparing for the inevitable end of humanity.
Zack confirmed that you can 'expect a plethora of Unworthy' on these upcoming shows, so what are you waiting for? Get your calendars sorted the fuck out because this is one you won't want to miss.
Join Heaviest of Art for a night of madness at the THE BLVD in Los Angeles as local hardcore acts BLACK NOTEBOOK, CAVITY, and BENOIT join LANGUISH and FUCKED & BOUND, courtesy of Metal Assault LA. Enjoy the show poster below for dates.
LANGUISH's ferocious sophomore record Unworthy is available now via Prosthetic Records. Stream the apocalyptic lead single Unholy Land below and stream the album in its entirety on Bandcamp. You'll be begging for mercy right after.