Saturday, 20 July 2019

Interview with Dom Smith (The Parasitic Twins) + Parasitic Rejects Split Review

(Photo Credit: The Parasitic Twins Facebook Page)

I recently interviewed Dom Smith (Drummer of Hull duo The Parasitic Twins) about the band, his work within the music scene that helps raise awareness for disabled bands members and fans and also about the bands they've played with and admire in the UK's alternative music scene as a while. Check it out below:-

1. You describe yourselves as “the fastest doom metal and/or the slowest grindcore band on the planet”. Do you prefer doom or grindcore and what made you both decide to go down the heavy path?

Dom Smith (Drums) - Man, that’s all Max (Watt, vocals and guitar). He’s a huge fan of metal and hardcore punk, so that’s where the heaviness comes from – his riffs and vocals are insane. The doom thing just comes from my style of playing, I think  - whatever that means! Ha!

The grind thing? I dunno. I like that we are part of that scene though, there are some insane bands about! I like grunge and alternative rock, so it’s always an adventure for me! I’ve found some lifelong friends playing in this type of band though! I’m all about the doom though!

2. You’ve announced that you’re going to be playing Taiwan Death Fest in October. How did that come about and is it your first trip to Asia as a band

DS - It is our first trip, yeah! So, our mates in CxDx applied to play and got on first because they are just mint, Death Fest were looking for more bands, and so we applied and got on, and so did Boycott, so it’s nice because it’s like a mini-tour and we can all hang out again, which we’re proper excited about. I mean, it’s just a holiday for the big lads! We’re looking forward to meeting some cool people, and seeing some ace bands. One thing’s for sure, guys…it’s gonna be MASSIVE.  

3. Are you playing any other shows while you’re out there?

DS - We do Thailand the night before! How freaking cool is that?

4. You’ve recently released a split with The Carnival Rejects. How did you first meet them and what has the reaction to the split been like so far?

DS - Max is in a punk band with James Briggs (the vocalist and guitarist for Rejects) called Rotting Monarchs, and I am also in a drone band with James Briggs called The Trembling Hellish Infernal Nightmare Generator (The THING), so there’s that! But no, we met those guys years ago in our old band, Seep Away. We did our first tour as The Parasitic Twins with them too. They are very sound as people, and I think people are digging the split. Obviously it’s two very different bands, but I like that! It’s…challenging for the listener! Ha! We’re currently planning a little tour to promote it in November, so watch this space!

5. You’ve started an initiative called “Wobbling About & Rocking Out” to help music fans who suffer with disabilities. Can you explain more about this?

DS - The idea behind Wobbling About & Rocking Out, or WARO for short, was formed when I was working at MIT in Boston, Massachusetts as a Storyteller/Journalist in Residence. These young people, the students there were, and still are developing the next generation of robotic limbs and world-beating stuff like that. Anyway, they have a really strong entrepreneurial mindset over there and it’s incredibly intense, but inspiring to be around. So, it got me thinking, is there more I can do in my time?

Most of my projects are about supporting young people, fundamentally - I currently work with Hull youth-led organisation, The Warren Youth Project, for example. Anyhow, when I got back to the UK, I noticed there was a huge gap in the market surrounding mental health and disability awareness in the Yorkshire area. I definitely wanted to do more around these two aspects. This was all inspired by my work on Soundsphere magazine, in that it was an opportunity to tell people's stories, only this time I'd be speaking to individuals that have overcome intense challenges, not just rockstars, and people in bands.

6. From your experience, what else needs to be done by venues and festivals in order to cater for disabled fans?

DS - I think that fundamentally it comes down to people communicating, you know? I think that there are initiatives now like Attitude is Everything doing fantastic work around changing perceptions as well.

For me though, the bigger venues like the O2 Academies now need lifts for access, as well as disabled toilets, and I personally have always had positive experiences with staff who have been more than willing to help me when accessing those. That said, I have heard a few horror stories, and I always say, no matter the size of the venue if managers and staff are not prepared to help, then they should absolutely be called out for that. 

One thing to remember though, as a fan is to pre-warn the venue, or festival when you book your tickets so that you can get an accessible seat, or a spot on the viewing platform. Like I say, in my experience, as someone that sometimes forgets when I go to shows as a fan, most venues will help and support, and find you a chair or space if they can, but like anything it's better to be safe than sorry! I do think more needs to be done to support the deaf community, but I've seen at some gigs, interpreters are now side-stage, which I think is really cool. There's an awesome emerging initiative called Elephant In The Room in Hull that WARO are going to be doing more work with to raise awareness in that regard.

With DIY punk venues like the ones my band(s) perform in, it's gotta be about conversation and educating. For me, in these smaller venues I don't mind climbing on stage and dodging wires! Unfortunately not everyone has that luxury, and or ability! For those venues, I would say that music fans, and bands need to be speaking to the venues as early as possible when booking a tour, or show and building that rapport - mentioning to the venue that you have these needs a band coming to play, or a fan coming to watch, so that the venue can then prepare to give you the best experience that it can. 

You might say that venues and/or festivals should already have that awareness as we are in 2019, but as far as I'm concerned, unless you (as a manager or gig promoter) have someone in your family, a friend or a partner who has a disability, then how are you going to understand what it's like? It is then, up to the people with the disabilities, wherever possible to start a conversation and educate these spaces on what needs to be done, to help future performers, and fans - whether that's a digital, or physical conversation is down to preference. Equally, I would encourage venues wherever possible to approach people with disabilities at shows to see if they might need support, but this does happen a lot of the time, in my experience. 

7. As a very active band on the domestic underground live circuit right now, what other bands have stood out for you?

DS - Oh, man. There’s so many bands that we’ve met through our time in Seep Away and TPT across not only doom, grind and punk but metal and indie too. So, let me think about some we’ve played with, and some we just really dig: Fenland Hardcore’s Throatpunch, as well as Pak40, NEWMEDS, Saltwater Injection, Bone Cult, Henrietta Lacks, Sellsword, NOUR, STILL, Mastiff, Three Day Millionaires, Battalions, Snakerattlers, Manscreams, Fidget, Negative Thought Process and Morass Of Molasses, alongside our families in Victim Unit, Boycott The Baptist and Clunge Destroyer that have helped and welcomed us into this scene.

Worth a mention are some cool indie and proper alternative bands too though - we’re friends with bands like Bull who are turning heads in York and all over, Witch of The East in Leeds, LIFE and Low Hummer in Hull, as well as Birthmarks, Pretty Addicted and Ventenner in London. There are a few for you to be on with, anyway!

Labels: Man Demolish Records
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 29 May 2019


1. The Carnival Rejects - Disengage
2. The Carnival Rejects - Seize Control
3. The Carnival Rejects - To The Bone
4. The Parasitic Twins - Autopsy
5. The Parasitic Twins - Feel Nothing
6. The Parasitic Twins - Spaceman (Babylon Zoo Cover)

With both The Parasitic Twins and The Carnival Rejects having such a close friendship as mentioned above in Dom's interview, a split release makes complete sense. It's also the first release to come from new Hull based label Man Demolish Records. It was released digitally in May.

Three quick-fire songs from both bands and The Carnival Rejects are up first with Disengage, which is a fast paced and melodic punk song in the vein of old-school bands like Bad Religion and Pennywise. I wasn’t expecting that! Seize Control flies by with awesome drumming that’s not complicated and riffs that borrow from rock/stoner as much as they do from punk. Final song To The Bone is a noisy affair with feedback and a definite heavy metal vibe, along with harsh vocals. Powerful and fun in equal measure. There’s a lot more to The Carnival Rejects than is apparent on first listen, so give yourself enough time to truly enjoy them.

The Parasitic Twins take the music down a doomier path with Autopsy. Dual-screamed vocals, scathing riffs and full-power percussion are all present and the mix of fast and slow tempos show you exactly where they’re coming from. The mood is equally as foreboding on Feel Nothing, as the filthy undertones of sludge break through the recording and fill the room with rumbling feedback. As duo’s go, The Parasitic Twins are amongst the heaviest you’ll hear. The song ends abruptly and leads straight into what could be described as “the most random cover of 2019”. A dubious title but The Parasitic Twins cover of Spaceman by Babylon Zoo is so far removed from the original that it’s almost unrecognisable yet it works perfectly with their sound. 

This is definitely a split of two halves but both work really well together. More reasons why the UK’s underground, independent alternative music scene is so goo. Out digitally at the moment, hopefully if enough of you check it out it’ll get a physical release. 

You can stream "Parasitic Rejects" and grab it digitally via Man Demolish Records below:-

You can also find out more about Dom's initiative Wobbling About & Rocking Out (WARO) and interact with him here -

Thanks Dom for your time too.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Nuitville - When The Darkness Falls

Labels: Ashen Dominion
Formats; CD/Digital
Release Date: 10 June 2019


1. When The Darkness Falls
2. Cold Water
3. Recueillement (Amesoeurs Cover)

I'm not afraid to say that I enjoy Deafheaven and similar bands. Alcest too, although I appreciate that the two are considered poles apart by those who know their black metal better than I. Ukrainian blackgaze band Nuitville is one that I hope I can hold in as high regard and the solo-project's first release "When The Darkness Falls" is my introduction, having been released last month via compatriot label Ashen Dominion.

Choral and Stirring are not words used to describe black metal too often but Nuitville’s mix of BM and shoegaze is definitely considered so. Avant-garde but also heavy with plenty of melody and the sensitive use of harsh vocals on the opening title-track make it something very unique indeed. There are so many facets to this that it’s hard to describe in just one listen (I’m live-reviewing again).

Cold Water is more immediate in its delivery and also due to its shorter length, more urgent in the tempo department. That being said, it’s still really engrossing and enjoyable, especially when the clean singing takes hold. It’s hard to believe that this has been written and is being performed by one person. 

Lastly, Nuitville covers Recueillement by French black metal/post-punk band Amesoeurs and it’s a great fit for the band’s sound. The melodic riffs are more pronounced and the level of ambience is very uplifting. The air is hot and humid again tonight but this is perfect as it washes over with it’s cooling atmosphere and instrumentation. A short EP then but one that’s filled with great promise, both musically and stylistically. 

You can stream "When The Darkness Falls" and buy it on CD and digitally via Ashen Dominion below:-

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Scenes We Have Missed - State Of Dreaming

Labels: Self-Released
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 18 Apr 2019


1. Frames
2. L'appel Du Vide
3. Broken Shell
4. Pretend
5. Dead Men Walking
6. Modern Times

This is another first for me (I think), as melodic hardcore quintet Scenes We Have Missed is the first band I've featured from Turkey, that I can remember anyway. Vocalist Tan Basbakkal wrote to me a little while ago asking if I would spend some time listening to the band's latest release "State Of Dreaming" and of course, write about it. I'm feeling a lot more able to write on a regular basis now after a few weeks of flux, so this was the first thing I turned to. Scenes We Have Missed recently ventured out to Kharkiv (Ukraine) to play Kharkiv Hardcore Fest, which is awesome because music should cross boundaries and there should be no borders when it come to it.

Oh this is epic! Don’t let the gentle melodies fool you, Scenes We Have Missed performs really emotive and cinematic hardcore and opening song Frames is the best introduction to it. They’ve only been releasing music for eighteen months or so but everything about this seems to be really assured. L’appel Du Vide is mix of both Western music and Eastern influences/instrumentation. It’s wholly instrumental and it threatens to break into something heavy but teases you instead with semi-acoustic guitar and soothing soundscapes.

It seemed for a while that melodic hardcore was becoming a very staid sub-genre with a lot of bands sounding very much alike. Thankfully, it’s not the case here as there’s a genuine approach from SWHM to make their music unique and interesting, which is highlighted on Broken Shell. The recording/mixing/mastering is also really good, allowing for a fuller sounding release. Experimentation and progression are both key features of “State Of Dreaming” and the off-kilter vibes of Pretend wash over you effortlessly. Once again, its a big-sounding song with post-metal/post-hardcore textures. This must be mesmeric in a live setting.

I love getting lost in music and I’m well and truly lost in this. Penultimate song Dead Men Walking just flows brilliantly and while it’s tempo isn’t what you’d call fast, it doesn’t need to be to show it’s chops. There’s subtlety and maturity throughout and it flows straight into Modern Times, which is the record’s longest song. The lengthy instrumental build-up (that’s now customary with SWHM) is present and correct, as is the heartfelt vocal delivery. This is a really engaging release and one that deserves mush wider attention. Scenes We Have Missed proves why you should give a damn about new and independent bands/artists. Beautiful.

You can stream "State Of Dreaming" and download for a mere 1 Euro below:-

Scenes We Have Missed -

Scenes We Have Missed CD's can be ordered via Mevzu Records (though they have sold out of "State Of Dreaming" CD's) -

Friday, 12 July 2019

Lähdön Aika - Alku

Labels: Self-Released/Bunkkeri Records/Ramekuukkeli-Levyt
Format: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 17 May 2019


1. Huomisen Toivo
2. Matkalla
3. Kuka Sina Olet
4. Rauha
5. Pelko
6. Ainoa Tie

Goddamn! The last couple of weeks have been pretty frustrating as I've not been able to get into a proper writing flow. Changes will be made soon to allow me to focus on it more regularly, I promise. This review is one I've had in the works for a couple of weeks and features Finnish hardcore/doom/sludge/crust/all-the-genres band Lähdön Aika.The last review I wrote featuring this band was about their 2014 split with Frogskin, so it's been a little while. They self-released their latest record on CD and digitally, while Bunkkeri Records and Ramekuukkeli-Levyt released it on vinyl. Thanks go to Tuukka for sending me a CD copy.

It’s suddenly become hot as hell here and while I should be outside with a cold beer, I’m barricading myself inside as I finally have the chance to sit and listen to this beast. Lähdön Aika really hits the spot and the opening song on “Alku”, Huomisen Toivo rages with a mix of atmospheric crust, hardcore and supreme Scandinavian doom. The native lyrics and the barked vocals are set against spacey and bass-laden instrumentation that is off-kilter but also a lot of fun. Acoustic guitar opens Matkalla with a subtle poignancy before the tower of riffs kick in. The verses are stripped down with the vocals sounding more like a battle cry. That’s okay though as they work perfectly in a song that thrives on repeating passages and droning textures. 

These are most definitely tracks for music fans that don’t just get their satisfaction from instant gratification and Kuka Sina Olet is the second longest at just over eight-minutes. It’s hypnotising with a tempo that seems to get faster, though this may be an illusion to these ears. Either way, it’s heavy, claustrophobic and extremely rhythmic, though I wouldn’t suggest rocking any young child to sleep while listening to this! It’s in the instrumental passages that Lähdön Aika truly comes to life and Rauha is a great example of this. Again, it’s subtly stripped down yet it retains the band’s signature heaviness and poise. The recording/production/mastering also helps in that department as it allows the music to sound clear, while not losing it’s extreme impact. 

Pelko appears without so much as a breath and the layered doom that Lähdön Aika is so good at really sounds as if it’s been perfected here. They’ve really hit their stride on this one and while it’s not super abrasive or slow, it doesn’t matter one jot. Musically this is spot on. Album closer Ainoa Tie is positively short compared to those that came before it and it’s (relative) urgency is the perfect way to close out “Alku”. The metallic guitar work and prominent drumming is right up there, as it has been throughout while the vocals sound like a call-to-arms but not in a cliche way. This is a great record. The way that the extremity of it is tempered by the melodic layers and the consistent tempos make it a really enjoyable and engaging listen. Get at it!

Stream and buy "Alku" on all formats below:-

Vinyl copies can also be purchased via the labels below:-

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

YouTube Channel Update: Endform - Abattu (Full Album Stream)

I've very excited to be sharing the newest album from Canadian crust-punk band Endform. "Abattu" was release on March 1st and in now streaming in full via the YouTube channel. I'll have a review of this coming soon but for now you can listen to it there. Links to Endform's Bandcamp and Facebook pages are in the description so if you enjoy, please go and support them in any way you can.

The video is here -

Saturday, 6 July 2019

F.Emasculata - Take Me Home EP + Discography

Labels: Rip Roaring Shitstorm Records/Pumpkin Records/Autonomonster Records/Charlie's Big Ray Gun Records/Hell Hath No Fury Records/Back From The Dead Records
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 09 Feb 2019


1. Roadrunners
2. What's In The Jar
3. Field Trip
4. Season 10
5. The Great Mutato
6. Nisei
7. I'm A Medical Doctor
8. Little Green Men
9. Fire
10. E.B.E
11. Tooms
12. What Do You Want From Me
13. What Do You Believe
14. Black Oil
15. S.T
16. Erlemeyer Flask
17. F.Emasculata
18. Samantha
19. Pinck Parcel
20. Copy Song
21. Season 9
22. Nobody
23. Z - 15
24. Shane
25. X Files

Friday nights are made for old boxsets of cult TV shows. None more cult than the X-Files. This release from the best X-Files themed hardcore punk band in the UK, F.Emasculata, is the aural equivalent of said box set as it comprises their new EP alongside remixed an remastered versions of their first two EPs "The Truth" and "IAXFE". This CD was released by a heap of DIY and not-for-profit labels. 

The first six tracks on “Take Me Home” make up the new EP of the same name. After the humorous Mulder/Scully exchange at the start, EP opener Roadrunners is fast and angry with gang vocals and raucous hardcore punk instrumentation. That’s very much the modus operandi of F.Emasculata. Their music is fast and heavy and What’s In The Jar flies by too quickly, though their changing tempos make it worth it as they flit from fast to slow to fast. Field Trip is just a straight up hardcore punk song that’ll beat you around the head. The spoken word vocals of Season 10 are great and lead you into a song that’s more like a bar-fight anthem than anything you’ve heard. It probably wasn’t meant to be that way but it’s great all the same. The Great Mutato is the lead single on this EP and as hardcore songs go this is like AFI on steroids. EP closer Nisei is both off-kilter and caustic, which is the best combination and one that works so well.

Next up are the remixed and remastered songs from the 2015 EP “IAXFE”. This whole EP is fast with a powerviolence-like influence and an undisputed punk bounce. I’m A Medical Doctor and Little Green Men exhibit this perfectly. Fire is less than sixty-seconds long but musically it’s fuller than the length suggests, while E.B.E could be considered one of their sludgiest. Tooms has a post-punk vibe to it with the verses being punctuated by mid-paced heaviness. There’s a point in every record where songs go by in a blur and that point is reached when you get to What Do You Want From Me, but only because it’s over in the blink of an eye, just like What Do You Believe, which is rammed full of snotty punk attitude. It’s fucking great! The angular riffs are a welcome addition on Black Oil. There’s progression in them there strings. Penultimate song S.T is one of the catchiest I’ve heard by F.Emasculata while Erlenmeyer Flask just goes hard, but not in a tough-guy way. 

They finish up with their 2013 debut EP “The Truth” and this set of tracks is by far the fastest. The song that bares their name begins in sludgy fashion but gets quicker and quicker, with loads of raw punk in their for good measure. That punk flows into Samantha, which is just angry. Pinck Parcel and Copy Song are dirty and grimy in a good way, with F.Emasculata’s rawness coming through for all the right reasons. Season 9, much like Season 10 on “Take Me Home” is over too quickly. The UK sound that’s on show throughout this whole release is great because it would have been easy for F.Emasculata to resort to a more American sound. Nobody and Z - 15 are prime examples of the snotty UK sound that courses through whole swathes on British punk. Its kind of an obvious statement to make I know, but there’s certainly no copyist crap going on here. F.Emasculata chose an original theme and ran with it. Closing songs Shane and then X Files need no explaining and with that it’s all over.

It’s hard to talk about a record that contains this many songs (I’ve tried here and probably failed), so don’t try and dissect it. Press play, crack open a beer (or whatever) and jam it loud. F.Emasculata’s punk is both vibrant and raucous, as it should be.

Stream and download "Take Me Home" below:-

According to the bandcamp page there is one CD copy left, so you know what to do.

If bandcamp is wrong, you can still buy copies from the below labels:-

Rip Roaring Shit Storm Records -
Back From The Dead Records -

Charlie's Big Ray Gun Records -
Back From The Dead Records -

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Sanity Control - Demo 2019

Labels: Self Released/Seeing Red Records
Formats: Tape/Digital
Release Date: 04 Feb 2019/21 June 2019


1. Hunt
2. Swarm

Polish thrash metal, but not as you know it! Sanity Control is a pretty new band from Warsaw and this is their first demo. They self-released it back in February but it's recently been picked up by US label Seeing Red Records, who've released it on tape. The demo features two fast as hell songs that are influenced by crossover and hardcore as well as thrash. 

It feels like an age since my last review but it’s good to get back to what makes this blog tick. Sanity Control got me excited as soon as I saw the cover for their 2019 demo and the music doesn’t disappoint either. Hunt sounds like a super pissed off and heavy take on Slayer when they were fresh. There’s a definite “Araya” rasp going on and the instrumentation is super solid all the way through. There are element of hardcore within the music but overall it’s just neck-snappingly good thrash.

Like the demo opener, second song Swarm doesn’t hang around as Sanity Control fill it with blinding riffs and authoritative drumming that almost swallows up those rasping shouts. There are metallic touches to their sound in places and they're a welcome nod to metallic metalcore before it morphed into over-produced Americanized ‘core. 

This demo is great but it’s too short in my opinion, though at least it’ll have you wanting more. Sanity Control rules and shows that Poland can do more than just death metal. Keep on going guys as heavy music needs more bands like you.

You can stream "Demo 2019" and grab it as a name-your-price download via their bandcamp page below:-

Tape copies can be purchased from Seeing Red Records here -

Thursday, 27 June 2019

YouTube Channel Update: Nathan Aeli - 18/05/15 Single Stream

Here's another quick YouTube channel update, featuring the new single from Swedish Indie/Emo/Pop project Nathan Aeli (that features a member of the awesome Young Mountain). This song will appear on the band's new album, which will be coming out later this year. Links to Nathan Aeli's Bandcamp and Facebook pages are included in the videos description and you can go straight to the video here - Please share the video if you like it and please subscribe to the channel for more to come! Thanks to Nathan Aeli for allowing me to share this song with you.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Primitive Man - Steel Casket

Labels: Crown & Throne Ltd/Tartarus Records
Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 07 Jun 2019


1. Fear
2. A Life of Turmoil

Sludge and doom metal makes up a pretty large swathe of my own record collection. With the likes of Moloch (UK), Meth Drinker (RIP) and Colorado (USA) juggernaut Primitive Man taking pride of place on my shelves. PM has always been one of the most caustic (no pun intended) and this EP, which was originally self-released by the band in 2017 has been re-released by Crown & Throne Ltd and Tartarus Records. In fact both labels released "Steel Casket" on tape last year and have only just recently committed it to vinyl. Featuring more noise/ambient elements, this isn't an easy listen.

Europe’s about to head into a heatwave that’s going to spread to the UK (Including North Yorkshire too) so it feels only right to listen to something truly oppressive to prepare yourself. The aptly named Fear is what greets you first on “Steel Casket” and it’s the haunting ambience and instrumentation that slowly takes hold. Quiet and meditative are not words you’d usually associate with PM but so far that’s what you get, though it’s obvious that something else is waiting around the corner. The noise is hypnotic as it progresses past the ten-minute mark. Fear gets no less disturbing beyond that point, with what sounds like flies buzzing around your ears and white-noise rumbling in the background, To be honest at this point it’s scarier than when PM are at full pelt. The recording that’s been achieved also adds to that notion, because it’s allowed PM’s sound to come alive even more-so than usual. Fear ends with doom funnelled through the most uneasy noise imaginable and its worth the wait if you’ve made it this far.

With your skin still crawling and with vivid images of being buried alive, A Life Of Turmoil offers no solace. Despite that bleak summary of initial thoughts, its an easier listen to being with. There’s a twisted Spaghetti-Western feel to proceedings and beyond that it’s harder to describe, because for those expecting the continuation of the noise-filled doom that ended Fear, A Life Of Turmoil threatens it and gets agonisingly close to it towards the end, but never quite delivers it. “Steel Casket” is billed as a companion release to that of 2013 demo “P//M” and it’s certainly true to that. The body of work that Primitive Man has given birth to over the years in undisputed. If you’re looking for their riff-filled sludge then look elsewhere, but if you’re open to the otherworldly noises that they create then this will sit well with you. A journey is one to describe it, but a nightmare might be more poignant.

You can stream "Steel Casket" and purchase it digitally direct from Primitive Man here:-

Physical copies can be purchased below:-

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Hanging The Nihilist - Crow EP

Label: Prime Collective
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 25 Jan 2019


1. Abandoned
2. Endless Crime
3. Filth
4. Forgotten
5. Hostile

I'm sure I've said this before but this year is going too damn fast! I can't keep up, so I'm resigning myself to the fact that I never will. I'm forever chopping and changing my review schedule but I have a master list of 2019 releases and this EP from Danish deathcore band Hanging The Nihilist was the next one on it. "Crow" is actually the sextet's debut and it was released earlier this year with the help of Prime Collective. It's available digitally. The band is due to hit the UK in early July to play at this year's edition of UK Tech-Fest.

Deathcore is still a thing and it still has a valid presence within the extreme metal scene. Hanging The Nihilist is one of the sub-genres newest protagonists and their sound is solid and definitely polished in the production department. EP opener Abandoned is filled with dramatic synths, breakdowns and vocals that range from deep growls to screeching shrieks. Not surprising elements given their chosen musical direction but it all fits together well. It’s easy to see why they’re playing UK Tech-Fest this year, as the song-structures on “Crow” are technical and rhythmically challenging at times. On Endless Crime, they resist the temptation to go djent and inject the song with warp-speed drumming and bucked loads of death metal.

If you’re familiar with “This Is Love, This Is Murderous” by Bleeding Through then this EP may bring back moments of nostalgia for you. That being said, Hanging The Nihilist is by no means copying any band and as Filth demonstrates, they have their own approach that’s rooted in classical music as much as it is in modern metal. I seem to recall that Russia had a pretty big deathcore scene some years ago, I’m not sure what happened to it though. Back to the here and now and Forgotten has the gnarliest deep breakdown in it and to my ears this is the heaviest song on the EP. It’s got more of an atonal sound/atmosphere going on too.

Closing song Hostile is a bruising way to end but the symphonic textures added by the synths do temper the brutality. Heaviness seems to be subjective amongst fans of metal and while ardent listeners might say otherwise, this is heavy and Hanging The Nihilist has done a great job on their debut. Hopefully with their next release they’ll loosen the chains and go for the throat, in volume/production terms. 

Stream and purchase "Crow" digitally below:-