Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Woe - A Violent Dread

Labels: Vendetta Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 15 Mar 2019


1. A Violent Dread
2. The Knell And The World

Tonight's one of those nights where I just crave music that's heavy and ungodly. While no longer being anti-religious, Woe still satisfies that craving thanks to there now honed USBM. After starting as a solo-project back in 2007, Woe transitioned into a full band for the release of second full-length "Quietly, Undramatically". Two further full-lengths followed over the next seven years and now they're back once again with the EP "A Violent Dread". They've once again joined up with Vendetta Records (who helped to release their fourth full-length "Hope Attrition" in 2017) to release the EP on single-sided vinyl with a beautiful silkscreened b-side and digitally. 

If staring into the deep black chasm on the cover wasn’t enough then the instantaneous black metal of A Violent Dread will induce vertigo of the most dizzying kind. Rhythmic is may be but friendly it ain’t. All of the usual trappings are here but Woe exhibits levels of musical experience that only come after releasing four albums. The metallic and indeed melodic guitar work fights through the murk that’s applied by both the drums and bass, while the vocals sound as though they come straight from the vast abyss. It’s epic.

Form the intensity of the first track comes the atmosphere and post-metal textures of The Knell And The World. The instrumental build-up gradually becomes faster and more complex as Woe hits their blackened stride again. The post-metal influence is short-lived as the band heads forth with abandon and slays all in their wake. Thoroughly engaging and modern in their approach, they ignore the necro sounds that existed before them and make use of stellar production/mixing/mastering to bring their music to life. Layers of subtle melody hide within the song and it all comes together effortlessly. 

You’ll struggle to find two tracks that work together as well as they do here. Woe seem to be somewhat teasing you with this release but it bloody works. EPs don’t get as much attention as full-lengths when it comes to record-of-the-year but “A Violent Dread” should be included on merit.

You can stream the EP and buy it digitally and on vinyl though Vendetta Records below:-

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Please Give Me Your Opinions

I've always considered This Noise Is Ours to be an ethical blog (I.E. not charging for anything such as preferential coverage or asking for physical review copies from every band that submits material to me, like some sketchy blogs do online). I don't feel the need to do so, because I see it as a huge privilege to be able to do what I do and because at the end of the day, this is a hobby for me and I've always said that the minute it stops being fun, I'll shut it down. 

I've also toyed with the idea of making the blog a subscription only blog and about the best, most ethical way of doing this. Not because I want to make money (as I've always wanted it to remain as a not-for-profit effort) but because I always thought it was an unspoken rule that independent blogs like mine should remain free and accessible to all.

With that in mind, I want to canvass your opinions on an idea that I've been thinking about recently. The idea is to make This Noise Is Ours a subscriber only platform, whereby I would charge each subscriber £1 a year to access the blog and in return 50% would go to charity and the other 50% would be put back into the blog (for running costs) and towards helping to release music etc. I would ask subscribers to choose the charities that will benefit and I will also make sure that I work with labels and bands etc to offer subscribers extra perks as a result.

I would welcome your comments both here and on social media. Please bear in mind that this is only an idea right now and I am not going to do this without considering as many opinions and voices as I possibly can. The floor is yours.

Chuck Bass/Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket - Split 7"

Labels: Zegema Beach RecordsMiss The Stars Records/Chloromethane Records/Tief In Marcellos Schuld Records/Muttis Tapes
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 23 Apr 2014


1. Chuck Bass - Alba Varden Is A Ship
2. Chuck Bass - Range Of Motion
3. Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket - Ryggarna Mot Varandra Och Vi Fortsatter Ga

I'm back with another ZBR discography review, this time featuring the 2014 split 7" between German screamo band Chuck Bass and their Swedish genre-mates Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket. Chuck Bass formed in 2012 and called it a day in 2016. They released two full-lengths and a split tape, alongside this 7". VSAVSM (the abbreviation I'll be using for the rest of this review) are still very much alive, having also started releasing music in 2012. They have one full-length, four splits/comps and a digital EP to their name so far, though they are in process of recording a new full-length. I can't seem to find how many copies of this split were pressed, but it was a collaborative release by the five labels above.

Chuck Bass has two songs on here, with their opener Alba Varden Is A Ship being heavy in the vocal department but melodic in the instrumental one. There are moments of introspection as well as the odd crescendo of volume, making this screamo very much in line with early protagonists in the genre. Range Of Motion is a more urgent beast, which is no surprise given it’s shorter length. Chuck Bass still manages to put a lot into it and the dramatic song-writing adds so much to their sound. 

VSAVSM’s screamo follows in the same vein on Ryggarna Mot Varandra Och Vi Fortsatter Ga. The native lyrics give the song a more caustic feel and it’s an unmistakable piece of Swedish post-hardcore. The acoustic guitar mid-way through is a surprisingly nice touch, as it sits alongside the screams during a passage that starts out as minimalistic and slowly builds in layers. Musically this is more calming, at least until the final few bars when a short burst of controlled violence calls an end to the split.

This split is only three tracks but it gives you a great idea of what both Chuck Bass and VSAVSM were/are like musically and that music is pretty damn fantastic. You can still pick up physical copies of this, so I’d recommend that you do. Stream and download it (name-your-price) below:-

Chuck Bass -
Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket -

As I mentioned, there are still physical copies of this split available from Zegema Beach Records below (as ZBR is the only releasing label currently active/or with an active web store):-

Zegema Beach Records -

Zegema Beach Records -
Miss The Stars Records -
Tief In Marcellos Schuld Records-

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Sweet Empire - A New Cycle

Labels: Shield Recordings/Umlaut Records/Bad Wolf Records/North Empire Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 01 Apr 2019


 1. Drones
2. Thoughts And Prayers
3. Grand Denial
4. V.K.T
5. Remains
6. Lucy
7. The Hunter
8. iHermanos!
9. Please Stay
10. Hidden Voices
11. Nihilist Nation

Honorary citizens of this little Yorkshire town (Harrogate) Sweet Empire are back with a new record, their third full-length "A New Cycle". The Dutch quartet has teamed up with Bad Wolf Records (France), North Empire Records (The Netherlands), Shield Recordings (Benelux: Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg) and Umlaut Records (United Kingdom) to release it on vinyl, CD as well as releasing it digitally. Despite my Internet connection being terrible for some reason, I'm going to attempt to get this review out to you.

Memories of watching Sweet Empire is small, crowded rooms in Harrogate are flooding back as I press play on “A New Cycle”. Drones begins the record in the best way, with Sweet Empire’s melodic punk ringing out. Their songs of resistance and upbeat music has always been a big draw and this is so much fun. Thoughts And Prayers bolsters that with plenty of sing-along moments and no complicated song structures or pretence. 

They’ve never been about long songs and that’s good, because it means that every one sticks in your head. Grand Denial is a prime example and it’s feel good factor is obvious. Alongside Antillectual, they’re the best punks in The Netherlands. That may be bold of me to say but I stand by it. Like Grand Denial, V.K.T is another urgent blast except this time it’s joined by added hardcore vox that adds aggression.

It’s back to the hummable, danceable punk on Remains. Sweet Empire don’t bother to solely ape the pop-punk big bands or whatever’s fashionable in punk. They play what they want and in doing so are worth way more, as Lucy proves. Their socially conscious lyrics provide an important message amongst the backdrop of melodic punk.

I definitely remember them being rawer than this live, but maybe I was just more inebriated than I thought at the time! Either way, I’d love to see them play The Hunter live as it’s full of energy. iHermanos! is the gang-like protest song that will probably get the biggest cheer though, as it talks of camaraderie and standing up to injustice.

Please Stay
is a political anthem akin to those of Strike Anywhere and it’s brilliant. The riffs really stand out on penultimate song Hidden Voices, yet more catchy guitar work and vocals that help to make this album so good. In fact, all of the instrumentation (and the production/mixing/mastering) brings it to life with a sound that’s clear and so alive. Album closer Nihilist Nation rounds it out with a party vibe that’s the backbone of Sweet Empire. No complications and no reason to ignore this. Sweet Empire does it again. Now, come back to the ‘gate!

You can stream "A New Cycle" via Sweet Empire's Bandcamp page below, where it's available to buy on all formats:-

You can also grab the LB/CD from the links below:-

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Premiering: Chivàla - Materia E Memoria (Exclusive Premiere)

I'm excited to be able to bring you a new song from Italian screamo band Chivàla. It's due to appear on a new four-way split record that will also feature US bands Lytic, Amitie and Pique. No release date has yet been set for the split, but it will be released via Zegema Beach Records (Canada/US), Moment Of Collapse (Germany) and Shove Records (Italy).

Chivàla continues the long tradition of great Italian screamo bands (Raein, Shizune, Ojne etc) and this is the quartet's first new song since the release of their debut EP last year. You can stream their new song Materia E Memoria below:-

You can also hear exclusive songs from Lytic, Amitie and Pique via the publications below:-

Lytic, Amitie and Chivàla are all playing at this year's We Built The World And Miss The Stars Fest VI in Germany on May 10th. Check out the event page here -

Amitie and Chivàla are then due to play Ultimate Scream Fest '19 in Poland on May 12". The event page is here -
Last but not least, both Lytic and Chivàla are teaming up for a tour around Italy in June, check out the tour flyer below:-

Keep your eyes peeled on the below pages for more news on the split:-

Monday, 8 April 2019

Vale Of Pnath - Accursed

Labels: Willowtip Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date; 17 May 2019


1. Shadow And Agony
2. The Darkest Gate
3. Skin Turned Soil
4. Accursed
5. Audient Void
6. Obsidian Realm
7. Spectre Of Bone

Following my quick-fire review of UK melodic death metal act Foul Body Autopsy over the weekend, I wanted to carry on in the same vein and when I noticed the name Vale Of Pnath peering at me amongst a barrage of emails, I knew what I had do to. Vale Of Pnath is a band that I've been familiar with for a long time. Dating back to 2006, they've made waves with Tribunal Records and more recently Willowtip Records, who've been a safe haven for many a tech-death leading light in recent years. Three years on from second full-length "II" come this new EP, which should show 2019 what true US tech-death is. 

The Willowtip Records I remember was the one featuring Crowpath, Carphanaum and Arsis. The label fell off my radar for a while but thanks to Vale Of Pnath and their latest EP, the label is well and truly back in plain sight. The ambient/electronic opener Shadow And Agony is fearsome as it prepares you for the bludgeoning to come. Vale Of Pnath does not disappoint as The Darkest Gate reigns over you with pummelling drums, high-pitched shrieks and bass/guitar fretboard mayhem. This is extreme in every way, yet VoP manages to throw in plenty of melody to ward off those evil demons.

This is a slickly produced record it has to be said, but not the detriment of VoP of their chosen sound. Skin Turned Soil features subtle electronic/symphonic elements that nestle beneath the other instrumentation and who’s textures really help bring it all to life. There’s no rest between Skin Turned Soil and Accursed. On Accursed VoP manages to fit an insane amount of music into not much time at all. Most of that time is filled with absolutely barbaric kick-drumming and precise guitar-work that proves exactly why the band is praised so highly. 

After the brief but creepy ambience of Audient Void, it’s back to the intensity with penultimate song Obsidian Realm. The break in VoP’s death metal actually helps their music to stand out more and its no exception here. Longer in playing time and more technical from the off, it’s hard to keep up and even with the melancholic mid-section, there’s no solace to be had. “Accursed” acts almost like a throwback to when technical death metal was snapping at the heels of it’s more mainstream melodic cousin. That’s not a disservice though, as this is both brutal and infectious at the same time. 

EP closer Spectre Of Bone takes things to a terrifying conclusion. Terrifying only because of the virtuosity of the band’s playing. Song-structures throughout this EP are perfect and nothing so far this year in tech-death terms gets close to “Accursed”. Vale Of Pnath has already proclaimed that 2019 will be their biggest year yet and it’s hard to argue with them after hearing this. Absolutely brutal. Just you try and keep that grin off your face while blasting this!

You can stream the title-track "Accursed" via Vale Of Pnath's bandcamp page below:-

You can pre-order the EP on all formats (vinyl, cd and digital) above too.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Foul Body Autopsy - The Unquiet Dead

Labels: Self-Released
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 06 Mar 2019


1. Consumed By Decay
2. The Impending Darkness
3. Searching For Sanctuary

I can't believe its been six years since I first featured Leicester one-man death metal machine Foul Body Autopsy. That review was about the band's 2013 EP "The Epidemic Sickening The World" and you can read it here. Fast forward to 2019 and FBA offers a teasing EP in the form of "The Unquiet Dead". FBA has played Bloodstock Open Air twice and has shared stages with heavy hitters like General Surgery and Thy Art Is Murder, so it's a mystery as to why the band isn't more well known. Hopefully this EP will change that.

The first thing that strikes you when hitting play on Consumed By Decay and the melodic intro, which is quite symphonic (in a similar vein to Dark Tranquillity). The remainder of the song is very strong and it’s mid-tempo nature allows FBA to focus on making it catchy and precise. It’s accessible to those venturing into death metal for the first time but it’s by no means a pop song, just remember that. The extremity ratchets up on The Impending Darkness. The percussion is faster and there’s a great off-kilter technicality to it. The growls are dragged deep from the old-school and it’s urgency is obvious. This is certainly more old-school death than modern day melodic death.

Closing song Searching For Sanctuary once again follows the same path as the EP’s opener and there’s no complaining as the catchiness is back and the song-writing is stellar. It’s hard to believe that it’s all come from the head of one person but Tom’s a seasoned vet at this now and it shows. The production that was done by Russ Russell adds a sheen that makes it sound even better, especially where that melody is concerned and the solo towards the end is class. Yes, this may feel like a bit of a teaser, but it’s good enough to standalone and it does just that. Don’t be fooled by the extreme logo and cover art, this isn't your standard blastbeats and gargles affair. Give it your full support!

Stream "The Unquiet Dead" and grab it as a name-your-price download, on CD or both below:-

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Singular - F.E.I.A.R

Labels: Terr-Records/Tenzenmen
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 07 Apr 2019


1. Comrade
2. Iron Heart
3. Man Of Escape
4. Cyberpunk
5. Cicada 3301
6. Plagiat
7. Dark Thought
8. Heat
9. Heaven Is For Heroes
10. Siren
11. W.Kemmler

This week is taking it's toll on me. I wasn't going to do any writing tonight but I received an e-mail today from Mashi, whom I know from Malaysian post-hardcore band Cantilever (by the way, I have some tape/CDr copies of the Cantilever EP If people in the UK want one). Mashi is the sole member of Singular, which is a grind project and F.E.I.A.R is the band's first full-length. It's being released on pro CD via Terr-Records and Tenzenmen very soon. At this point I should make it clear that Singular is a fully functioning live band too, so you should book them (if they tour your locale!).

Grind is just what I’m after this evening and you can’t get any noisier than this. Comrade opens “F.E.I.A.R” up with grind of the angular and technical persuasion. It’s fast and awesome. There’s no time to breath between songs as Iron Heart blasts through just over one-and-a-half-minutes of mental noise, though it feels like much longer. I’m loving the instant stop/start between tracks and Man Of Escape is a rager. The screams are throat-scraping and the instrumentation could’ve come from the likes of Napalm Death or Water Torture, albeit with a slightly more melodic edge. 

I was a bit worried when I saw that Singular had a song called Cyberpunk, but thankfully it’s not terrible. In fact it’’s an atmospheric instrumental piece with the sound of rain falling in the background, which adds a layer of ambience that’s often missing from records this extreme. The true shock to the system comes in the form of Cicada 3301, which contains some of the most jarring riffs on the record. Off-kilter for the most part but also combining the band’s obvious love of punk. 

This album absolutely flies by and when Plagiat drags you into the second half, it does so in bludgeoning fashion. Its one-minute playing time leads you into the jarring guitar tones of Dark Thought, which is equally as urgent in its delivery. The layers of feedback only add to its immediacy. At this point in time it may be too easy to call this a grind record, as Singular adds more elements to the music, such as post-hardcore (that may be unsurprising though if you’re familiar with Cantilever).

Heat sees Mashi’s first true attempt at clean vocals on “F.E.I.A.R” and they work really well, given the relatively sedate nature of the opening passages of the song. It’s a moody number that quells the ferocity somewhat and lets you take a breath. It’s back to the maniacal soundscapes with Heaven Is For Heroes, which is made up of a repeated guitar/percussion sequence that takes you into Siren without so much as a warning. 

Siren sees Singular going back to its grinding best. It reminds me of when I first heard bands like Coins As Portraits (Romania). Chaotic and brilliant all in one. The guitar work at the end even sounds like an air raid siren (I suppose that was the intention). Album closer W.Kemmler is just as intense but with melody that seems to sooth things a little. I’ve said here before that those bands outside of the bigger scenes are making the best noise and Singular is definitely up there at the top. Don’t miss out.

You can stream three tracks from "F.E.I.A.R" via Singular's bandcamp page below:-

You can also pre-order it digitally above too.

You'll be able to get CD per-orders from the labels below:-

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Winter Dust - Sense By Erosion

Labels: Time As A Color/Dingleberry Records & Distribution/Voice Of The Unheard Records/E Un Brutto Posto Dove Vivere/La Speranza Records/Backwater Transmission
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 09 Nov 2018


1. Quiet January
2. Duration Of Gloom
3. All My Friends Are Leaving Town
4. Furnace
5. Composition Of Gloom
6. Disharmony
7. Cruel June
8. Stay

The clocks have gone forward and we're now heading into British summertime here in the UK. The morning's are lighter earlier and the evenings lighter for longer. It feels right then to be waving goodbye to the colder months with this new full-length from Italian post-hardcore band Winter Dust. Having been released digitally in November of last year, it's now seeing a full physical release on both CD and vinyl via the labels above. I was lucky enough to be sent a digipack CD copy to review, thanks to Time As A Color, who you should be more than familiar with if you've visited this blog before. Winter Dust's first music came in 2011 on the EP "Existence" and since then they've released a full-length called "Autumn Years" (2013), another EP "Thresholds" (2015) and the digital single Cruel June, which appears here. They count Envy, Russian Circles and Converge amongst their influences, so this should be exciting.

The post-rock and post-hardcore sub-genres continue to flourish, as bands explore both the more accessible and more inaccessible edges of the musical sphere and Winter Dust provides an accessible opener in the form of Quiet January, which is filled with introspective and cinematic instrumentation and spoken word samples. What follows is the slow building Duration Of Gloom, with spacey musical textures that harness a great sense of anticipation. It’s agonising anticipation that is sated not long afterwards as Winter Dust’s volume rises and the first glimpse at their hardcore comes into view. It’s sensitively delivered and the added aggression does not detract from the instrumentation in any way. Gloriously crafted post-hardcore.

There’s a real poignancy to All My Friends Are Leaving Town, which is magnified by the sedate instrumentation and quietly sung vocals during the opening two minutes. Even when the song gets heavier, Winter Dust manages to make it sound both lovely and huge (in a cinematic way!). Just let it whisk you away. Furnace might at first sound like an experimental drone song, but it’s not long before the looping sounds give way to more of what the band does best. The majority of its six-minute playing time is made up of fantastic instrumental passages, showing off the post-metal influences that Winter Dust wear so well. The vocals are present, but only in the form of brief screams that are equally as enjoyable and that briefness makes them standout.

The second half of record takes over with the short Composition Of Gloom. It’s melody is drenched in melancholy but also a healthy dose of early-morning sunshine (if you get where I’m coming from with that analogy). That early-morning sunshine/dreamy feel reverberates around the entire room to the sounds of Disharmony. You’d think with a title like that, it would be aggressive and caustic but it’s not. Again, the instrumentation takes centre stage and paints more pictures that words ever could.

At this point in the album, as penultimate song Cruel June plays, I feel it’s pointless me trying to find other ways to describe how good “Sense By Erosion” is. In a time when even sub-genres such as post-hardcore and post-metal have embraced modern and increasingly more fashionable ideas, it’s refreshing to hear a band that focus on the music and who make it sound so real. Closer Stay features swathes of piano and orchestral strings to illustrate that and to really embrace the feelings and emotions that both went into creating “Sense By Erosion” and those that radiate out at the other side. What an incredibly body of work this is. I don’t know if it could be considered for release of the year, but it really should be.

Make sure you stream "Sense By Erosion" in it's entirety below, where it's available to purchase on vinyl, CD and also digitally:-

It's also available from the lovely labels below:-

La Speranza Records -

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Bastard Noise/Xiphoid Dementia - Human Extinction Engine

Labels: Scry Recordings/Phage Tapes/Existence Establishment/Terror
Formats: Vinyl
Release Date: 01 Mar 2019


1. Xiphoid Dementia - Malevolence
2. Xiphoid Dementia - Spirals
3. Xiphoid Dementia - Fangs
4. Bastard Noise - Avenge The Global Animal Holocaust By Any Means Necessary
5. Bastard Noise - Mandatory Human Exit
6. Bastard Noise - Cries From The Pterosaur Graveyard
7. Bastard Noise - Extraterrestrial Spring Evening

Tonight's review material is one that I approach with great caution. It features music from long-running US electronic/industrial project Xiphoid Dementia and Bastard Noise, the noise alter-ego of legendary power-violence act Man Is The Bastard. This split was released on vinyl at the beginning of the month via Scry Recordings, Phage Tapes and Existence Establishment in the US, as well as Terror from Lithuania. Egan from Existence Establishment was very kind and sent me over a copy of the record, which came on brown vinyl with red, white and black marbling. 

Side A belongs to Xiphoid Dementia and opener Malevolence is filled with scary noise-scapes and electronics that are akin to Author & Punisher. It’s a song layered with various elements of torturous noise that in turn are joined by equally harrowing spoken word samples. The subject matter of the sample here will give you chills and a genuine sense of horror, more so than any fictional horror movie could ever do.

Lengthier compositions are prevalent within this sub-genre and after the near seven-minute opener, Spirals surpasses that mark with a haunting ambience that’s stripped-back and minimal. It may still be early in the song at this point but it’s still enough to put your subconscious into overdrive. The further you get into Spirals, the greater the feeling of foreboding peace becomes, until more of the chilling samples emerge. Journeys without words can sometime be even more vivid and this is no exception.

Orchestral textures give XD’s final song Fangs a much more musical feel, in a traditional sense. It follows the theme laid out by Spirals and reminds you that all is not well. You may think that you’re of sound mind and body but this will convince you otherwise, even as the dark-jazz instrumentation drags it to it’s conclusion. 

Bastard Noise begins with Avenge The Global Animal Holocaust By Any Means Necessary, which is  a song aimed squarely at those who kill animals and it’s genuinely terrifying glitchy, screech-laden noise that I’m scared to turn up too loud. The vocals are deep growls that at times are whispered and are shrieked at others. Structurally it’s way more chaotic and abstract than XD’s offerings but that’s no criticism. There’s nowhere to hide.

Mandatory Human Exit is the first of two short numbers from Bastard Noise and it’s the last one with vocals. Minimalist and with an undercurrent of white-noise that’s difficult to escape from. High frequencies and piercing electronic sound manipulation that brings to mind a broken ADSL line, while being indulging also. Following that, Cries From The Pterosaur Graveyard delivers images of a futuristic re-awakening of the dinosaurs from their infinite slumber. 

From there, a chill wind blows over you as Extraterrestrial Spring Evening plucks you from the earth and drops you onto a distant and dystopian planet where only your thoughts keep you company. Whalesong-like electronic noises dominate this final track alongside more distant ambience. Providing a time for reflection is very clever and that reflection is needed, as you try to soak up what is both alien and comforting.

I’ve always skirted along the edges of the harsh noise/power-electronics genres, afraid to jump into the deep perilous waters but hearing this collaboration, it makes more sense to me now. Both Xiphoid Dementia and Bastard Noise show that their collective experiences both as musical projects and beings on this earth, have helped to forge ornate and thought-provoking soundscapes.

You can stream Mandatory Human Exit by Bastard Noise as well as Xiphoid Dementia's Malevolence below:-

You can buy vinyl copies from the labels below:-

Existence Establishment -