It's been some six years since renowned misery guys Kevin Martin won plaudits for London Zoo, a typically dark, intense and aggressive full-length that showcased his unique ability to blend dubstep, grime, dancehall and dub techno textures into nightmarish new shapes. Angels & Devils, his belated follow-up, is intriguingly different. While the second half of the set is blessed with plenty of robust, floor-friendly riddims (each blessed with vocals from a range of impressive collaborators), the first half is an altogether more downbeat affair. In fact, it's these moments - the droning, dub-inflected ambience of "Pandi" and the bluesy, soundscape dub-soul of "Save Me" - that hit home hardest.
Dropping a searing package of badness ahead of the forthcoming Angels & Devils album, The Bug is back in business with some apocalyptic gutter bass of the highest order. "Freakshow" matches the leering delivery of Danny Brown with the sinister croon of King Midas Sound's Kiki Hitomi over a horn-laden trap swagger to devastating effect. "Louder" pits Flowdan in the depths of a nauseating half-step march, while "Dirty" takes the London MC into a barrage of equally nerve-jangling drum rattles and alarm-clanging stabs. Long-time Bug collaborator Daddy Freddy rolls up his sleeves for "Kill Them", anchoring the dread stomp with a fearsome growl as anthemic as it is nihilistic.