Like every other touring band in the world, Delaware straight-edge crew Year of the Knife have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shutdown of the live music circuit. This past spring, they were scheduled to hit he road with Show Me the Body and Machine Girl as the support acts on Code Orange’s big headlining tour for their acclaimed new album, Underneath. Year of the Knife also had their own new LP — their first proper full-length, the follow-up to last year’s compilation album, Ultimate Aggression — which they had wrapped in January with producer and engineer (and Converge guitarist) Kurt Ballou at his studio, GodCity, in Salem, Massachusetts.
The metallic hardcore group — comprised of Tyler Mullen (vocals), twin brothers Aaron and Andrew Kisielewski (guitar and drums), and husband and wife Brandon and Madison Watkins (guitar and bass) — reacted the strange new state of the world swiftly. With the spring tour cancelled, they livestreamed a special show, which they titled “Total Incarceration,” from New Jersey’s Landmine Studios with the help of hardcore videographer extraordinaire Hate5six, and earlier this month, they officially announced their debut album, Internal Incarceration, for an August 7th release via Pure Noise Records. (It’s available for pre-order it now.) The news came with the premiere of the LP’s lead single, “Virtual Narcotic,” a raging diatribe against the modern world’s obsession with social media. Today (June 29th), the band unleashed another new song, “Manipulation Artist,” which revolves around more personal subject matter.
“This song is about questioning your own sanity while you are trapped in a cycle of abuse from a manipulative, toxic partner,” Mullen explained. “One day of happiness overshadows the pain until it starts all over again.” Blast it, and see Internal Incarceration’s full track listing, below.