Sunday, 24 March 2019

Dianacrawls - Too Many Puppies (Primus Cover) Song Premiere


On March 28th, Canadian label No Funeral Records will be releasing its first compilation and today I'm thrilled to be able to bring you one of the songs that will be featuring on it. You can stream Too Many Puppies (Originally by Primus) and covered by self-confessed Canadian "Glitter-violence" band Dianacrawls below. They've managed to capture the mad-cap essence of Primus while making the song their own:-


As well as Dianacrawls, the compilation will feature both familiar and new bands including Karloff, Botfly and Burial Etiquette (also from Canada); Joliette (Mexico); Our Wits That Make Us Men and Gillian Carter (United States); and finally Piet Onthel (Malaysia!).

The compilation will be released on tape format as well as digitally and any orders over $40 made with No Funeral Records will receive a free copy!

Pre-orders are now up at No Funeral's online store here - https://nofuneral.storenvy.com/products/ and also keep an eye on their Bandcamp page for the digital stream too - https://nofuneralsound.bandcamp.com.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

The Wandering Ascetic - Crimson


Labels: Transcending Obscurity Asia
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 12 Feb 2019

Tracklist:

1. Eva Braun
2. I Sing The Body Electric
3. The Exorcism Of Mrs. Doe
4. The Gods Bleed!
5. Beast Of Burden
6. The Will To Live
7. To Hell, Back And To Hell Again
8. Here For The Good Things
9. Assassins
10. Orang Laut

It feels like a Friday night. I wish it was! That being said, I really don't have a reason to complain. I'm even happier due to that fact that I can actually sit down and write about something tonight. That something being the recent debut full-length from Singaporean black/death band The Wandering Ascetic. "Crimson" was released in February via Transcending Obscurity Asia (an imprint of Transcending Obscurity Records) and it comes a whole a whole six years after their first EP "Manifest Destiny". 

The Wandering Ascetic is billed as a black/death/thrash band and the trio is definitely heavy. The vocals and the drumming follow the black metal blueprint on opener Eva Braun, while the guitar work is groovy and melodic, which may throw you out. Thankfully it works well and adds a really listenable element to the song. The musical layers on I Sing The Body Electric drag TWA’s music in a more blackened direction but there’s still no escaping the more upbeat feel of their music. I know it seems wrong of me to say that, but there’s just something about it. I love hearing the genre interpretations laid out by bands from far flung countries and this record is no exception to that. 

That groove I talked about earlier adds a sludge/doom slant to The Exorcism Of Mrs. Doe and it’s great. So many different fusions of extreme sub-genres yet everything works in harmony. None of the songs on “Crimson” are especially long but TWA manages to shoehorn a lot into them musically. They retreat from the groove on The Gods Blessed! and head in a more occult direction with a stripped-down song that’s joined by choral chanting that sounds menacing at its best. It’s here that the bass guitar is also more prominent, proving once again how proficient these guys are with their instruments. 

TWA’s black/thrash attack unleashes itself on Beast Of Burden. It’s not truly bestial, instead taking more from thrash legends like Metallica and Megadeth over the likes of Revenge. The thrash continues on The Will To Live, which has a horror-like aesthetic to it (but maybe that’s just because of the rabid vocals) as the solo-work is impeccable and way more rock n roll than you might expect, even if the audible lyrics suggest something more sinister!

Before you know if you’re thrust headfirst into To Hell, Back And To Hell Again, which is the album’s shortest track and indeed goes by all to quickly, leading straight into Here For The Good Things (a terribly positive song title for a black/death/thrash band, but who am I to question). It might be an ironic song title but it’s still got punch and a dystopian view towards the end that’ll make you realise that the irony was used in quite an effective way.

Penultimate song Assassins is as barbaric as TWA gets in both tempo and outright delivery. The kick-drumming is more over the top that it’s been on the rest of the record, leading to a truly neck-snapping song. It’s left to album closer Orang Laut to provide one last dose of groove-laden black metal and it just goes to highlight the breadth of skill involved in this release and the trio that produced it. If you want something both extreme and catchy (dare I say it) then look no further. “Crimson” is a great record from yet another great talent from Singapore. 

You can stream certain tracks from "Crimson" via Transcending Obscurity Asia below:-



Peek below for the CD/T-shirts that are available via the bandcamp page below:-



Monday, 18 March 2019

Apostles Of Eris/Raining - Split Songs Premiere


Early April 2019 will see the release of this new split tape via Zegema Beach Records and Larry Records. I've been given the awesome privilege of being able to premiere a song by both Apostles Of Eris and Raining.

Apostles Of Eris began life as the solo-project of Nashville (now Richmond, USA) musician Jesse Mowery (of Dawn, Karoshi, Altar of Complaints, as well as many more). David Norman (Swallows Nest, The World That Summer and more) has since joined AOE and provides vocals on the split. The duo's song Mikey Got His Gun is rash but beautiful hardcore with subtle emo-whimsy.

Raining calls Dunedin (New Zealand) home and shares connections with Apostles Of Eris, as some of their members used to play with Dave Norman in a band called Emö Lendvai when he lived in the land of the long white cloud. Members also played or play in the likes of Sewage, Astronaut Club and Glorified!, as well as more. Their song Inoperant is a savage blast of emo-violence with multi-layered vocals.

You can stream both songs via my Youtube channel (embeds below):-




These songs fill me with excitement and I can't wait to hear the full split when it's released. Keep your eyes peeled on the various band/label links below for more news and pre-order info. The tape is only limited to 100 copies so you'll want to move fast!

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Musmahhu - Reign Of The Odious


Labels: Iron Bonehead Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 18 Jan 2019

Tracklist:

1. Apocalyptic Brigade Of Forbidden Realms
2. Musmahhu, Rise
3. Slaughter Of The Seraphim
4. Burning Winds Of Purgatory
5. Reign of The Odious
6. Spectral Congregation Of Anguish
7. Thirsting For Life's Terminus

Swedish death metal duo Musmahhu uttered their first inhuman cries in 2018 with the release of their debut EP "Formulas Of Rotten Death". It was released via Iron Bonehead Productions, who have now also helped to release the band's debut full-length "Reign Of The Odious". Musmahhu is indeed a mysterious entity; however, both of its members share both experience and bands, as well as links to Ancient Records.

With the wind whipping up once again outside, this feels like an apt soundtrack. Musmahhu presents an otherworldly persona and it’s immediately clear that the music is king as opener Apocalyptic Brigade Of Forbidden Realms begins. The drums are totally pummelling, while the guitar work is both frenetic and impressive. The vocals sit in the middle of it all and provide the level of hellish gloom that you’d expect. Following that opening onslaught, their call-to-arms of Musmahhu, Rise is ushered in with a solemn atmosphere before the battery takes hold once again. There’s more tempo changes present here, as Musmahhu flits between fast and sludge-like passages that are filled with subtle melody that has more of an impact than you might think. So far, this is very impressive. 

There’s no death metal I’ve heard in recent years that I could compare to this, and that isn’t a hollow statement either. I’ve been racking my brain and while there are plenty of old-school flourishes and smatterings of black metal present on Slaughter Of The Seraphim, it’s much better to enjoy this release as if it were completely in it’s own genre. The lengthy compositions thus far are compelling to say the least. At the mid-point of the album, there’s a short but equally torturous piece called Burning Winds Of Purgatory, which takes you deeper into the crazed minds of those behind the band. It’s does break things up a little while still allowing the record to sound uncomfortable (in a good way). There’s also some modern metal touches within it too, though these are buried amongst the death and only peer through the soil into the light.

The title-track brings things crashing down around you once again with no moment of rest. It’s this intensity level that makes “Reign Of The Odious” such a great listen. Yes it’s extreme in every sense, but sometimes that extremity is cleansing. If you’ve run out of records that force you to sit and take notice of their entirety then this is definitely for you. Penultimate beast Spectral Congregation Of Anguish is probably the most full-throttle song here with it’s utterly inhumane blasts and kick-drum frenzies. The haunting guitar/keyboard melody adds a further layer of density while the ghoulish deep-bellows and high-pitched shrieks bury themselves deep. Technical, challenging but also moving. 

It’s left to closer Thirsting For Life’s Terminus to provide some old-school Swe-death worship, with a mid-paced song full of riffs and true darkness. Yes there’s still a lot of percussive speed here but it retains the sort of presence that was honed by their Scandinavian forefathers. It rounds out an album that will leave your jaw agape and your saw neck wanting more. Fantastic stuff!

You can stream and buy "Reign Of The Odious" on all formats via Iron Bonehead Productions below:-



Sunday, 10 March 2019

V/A - Hardkore Dokument UK #1 7"


Labels: Kibou Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 05 Dec 2018

Tracklist: 

1. The Domestics - Cherry Blossom Life
2. Pizzatramp - The Only Good Tribute Band Is A Fucking Dead One
3. Grand Collapse - Dock
4. Wolfbeast Destroyer- Carved Into Bone
5. Rash Decision - The Shaman
6. Guilt Police - It's A Dirty Church But We All Love Filth

Technology may be our "friend" now but it can still be notoriously slow. While I wait for things to happen I have some prime listening time, so I'm getting down and dirty with the latest comp 7" from Kibou Records, focusing on 6 of the UK's best hardcore-punk bands. If you've been following the blog for a while you may well be familiar with both Wolfbeast Destroyer and Rash Decision, as they've both featured before. The Domestics, Pizzatramp, Grand Collapse and Guilt Police are familiar names but this is the first time I've listened to them, so again the comp format more than proves it's worth.

Opening band The Domestics have close ties to Kibou Records so it’s only right that they kick things off. Their fast hardcore almost crosses over to madcap PV on Cherry Blossom Life. Angry and rageous but with tight musicianship and a sense of fun too. There’s no tough guy core present on here and Pizzatramp delivers good old-fashioned noisy, driving hardcore on The Only Good Tribute Band Is A Fucking Dead One. In fact no song on here goes beyond two-and-a-half-minutes, so you’re in the right place if you like it fast.

Grand Collapse lull you into thinking they’re a melodic punk band before blazing a trail with powerfully screamed vocals and instrumentation that borrows from garage-punk on Dock. As a band, Grand Collapse really stands out, though there’s not a bad band on here. I featured Carved Into Bone by Wolfbeast Destroyer when I wrote about their split tape with This Ends Here in 2017, so I’m not gonna go into too much detail about it here. What you get with Wolfbeast Destroyer is driving crusty hardcore with a nod to Motorhead. 

Rash Decision is back with a new song in the form of The Shaman and following on from last year’s awesome album “Karoshi”, it’s yet again filled with rage and riffs. They’re fast turning into one of the UK’s best, which is what this comp has set out to showcase so it’s no surprise. Ending with the raw, bass-filled noise of Guilt Police and It’s A Dirty Church But We All Love Filth reminds you of the dirty underbelly of UK hardcore-punk and it couldn’t be better. It shows that less-polished doesn’t always mean sloppy and it rounds out a comp that’s filled with quality over quantity. This review might not be the longest I’ve ever written, but it doesn’t need to be. Let the music do the talking.

You can stream the comp and buy it on vinyl and digitally below:-



Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Violblast - Theater Of Despair


Labels: Hostlie Media
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 11 Jan 2019

Tracklist:

1. Trivialization Of Murder
2. Theater Of Despair
3. New Orphans Elegy
4. Martyrs Without A Cause
5. Secret Reality
6. The Shadow No Longer Rests
7. Prevail
8. Broken Scepter
9. Painless
10. Scopaesthesic

There's some serious thrash metal stirrings going on in Europe right now. From Portugal's Toxik Attack, whom I featured recently, thrash has found it's way across the border into Spain and into the laps of Violblast. Okay, so they've been peddling their wares since 2012 (initially under the name Betrayer) but 2019 could be their year, thanks to their second full-length "Theater Of Depair", which was released by UK label Hostile Media in early January. 

Violblast’s thrash is technical and has a lot in common with that of their Italian comrades. Trivialization Of Murder also borrows from UK bands like Onslaught, especially with it’s mid-paced delivery during the verses and the semi-audible vocals. The lead-guitar work is something all-together more skin shredding though. The title-track is a lot more savage than the album opener, with blasting drums making their presence heard amongst the confidently played thrash. Confidence is one of the obvious plus points here for sure. 

At times their riffing is more akin to war metal; however, they’re certainly more approachable and songs like New Orphans Elegy exhibit both sides of their sound, as well as some great modern touches too. Another European influence that looms large on this release is German teutonic thrash. The kind that Destruction and Kreator are famous for and you can here it during the brutality of Martyrs Without A Curse. There’s no let up during Secret Reality either, though the melody that Violblast injects into it save it from being a pure straight-ahead bang-a-thon (not that it isn’t heavy).

The second half of the album starts with breakdown-like guitar riffs on The Shadow No Longer Rests, which is amongst the most modern sounding songs on “Theater Of Despair”. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, as it serves as a great song on its own terms and proves that Violblast are more than worthy song-writers. There’s still plenty of time to sit back and appreciate their craft and Prevail is an apt song in which to do it, as it’s where they truly prevail (no pun intended, really!). They may only be two albums into their career at this point, but you wouldn’t know it on this showing. 

When Violblast hit the loud pedal, they take no prisoners. Broken Scepter is filled with urgency and quality musicianship that’ll stop you in your tracks. It doesn’t stop there either, as Painless is not only the quickest song on “Theater Of Despair” but it’s also the most vicious and is over before you know it. I guess that’a one way to keep the momentum going! Album closer Scopaesthesic begins with a meaty mid-paced (almost doom-like) intro but morphs back into a thrashing assault shortly afterwards. It’s a great way to end a very strong album. Violblast is definitely another name to add to your essential band list. They’ve certainly won me over!

You can stream and download "Theater Of Despair" via Violblast's Bandcamp page below:-



CD copies are available from their store here - https://violblast.bigcartel.com and from Hostile Media here - https://hostilemedia.bandcamp.com/merch.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

The Glorious Rebellion - Scholars Of War


Labels: Sludgelord Records
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 29 Mar 2019

Tracklist:

1. Turn Around, Bright Eyes
2. This Is Fine
3. Burn It Down, Lemon (Burn it Down)

On March 29, Floridian noise rock band The Glorious Rebellion will release their latest EP "Scholars Of War" digitally via Sludgelord Records and their own Bandcamp page. Since their formation in 2014, the trio has been garnering plenty of attention both in the press and on the stage, as they played alongside the likes of Jucifer, Black Tusk and KEN Mode (amongst others). It's been nearly three years since their last release "Euphoric" and TGR are ready to ensure that they've not be forgotten.

TGR’s rock is most definitely noisy and sludgy too. Turn Around, Bright Eyes is like stepping into a bar brawl with no chance of winning. It’s loud and there’s a fair bit of metal attitude coursing through it. It’s off-kilter and brutal thanks to the cacophony of authoritative instrumentation and powerful growls. It doesn’t get any calmer as TGR rips into This Is Fine. Again, it’s filled with off-kilter riffs and the kind of mentality that will make you slightly afraid of them. The atmosphere created by the feedback and those angry vocals won’t comfort you either.

Burn It Down, Lemon (Burn It Down) starts with a scathing blast of feedback before TGR fully launches into what is a nine-minute plus beast. Despite it’s length, the song flies by with choral backing-vocals, constantly driving aggressiveness and towards the end, they dial things back for a brief moment in order to at least take a breathe. This is a heavy release and one that’s bound to make an impact on anyone that hears it. The Glorious Rebellion is the soundtrack to all of 2019’s ills, of which there are plenty. You may as well bang your head and let it all out now.

You can stream This Is Fine via TGR's Bandcamp page below, where you can also pre-order the EP digitally if you're on North America:-



For us Brits and others, you can head to Sludgelord Records here - https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/album/scholars-of-war

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Ectovoid - Inner Death EP


Labels: Blood Harvest Records/Helter Skelter Productions
Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 18 Jan 2019

Tracklist:

1. Internal Inversion
2. Archaic Memories Unearthed
3. Isolation In Mind Continuum

Trying to encourage myself to venture out but not before posting a quick review. Sundays to the sound the raging death metal are always better, so here's the latest 7" from Alabama's Ectovoid. Released on vinyl, tape and digitally with the help of Blood Harvest Records and Helter Skelter Productions, it's the first recorded music to come from the trio since their 2016 "Four Doors To Death" split with Sabbatory, Trenchrot and Cemetery Filth. Just yesterday, they played Vimur's album release show and they've also been included on the line-up for Metal Threat Fest. which takes place in Chicago in July (I'll post the flyer for that below).

Three tracks of awesome USDM are a perfect way to start the day and without further ado, the festering Ectovoid sound envelopes you on EP opener Internal Inversion. It’s old-school approach with powerful drumming, rumbling bass and guitars that switch between chainsaw-like riffs and treble-filled solos more than match the evil vocal growls and shrieks. Like a devilish siren-song, it’ll draw you in and then eat you alive!

It’s remarkable how much volume is created by just three people but thanks to that and the production/mixing/mastering efforts, this EP sounds immense. Archaic Memories Unearthed includes elements of thrash and also modern death metal, making it less of an ode to OSDM and a whole new beast altogether. 

Third and final song Isolation In Mind Continuum constantly blasts and swings between subtle tempo changes that break up the barrage and sometimes drag it into doom/death territory. The musicianship is so precise, as evidenced by the soloing. It ends with ambience that’s drawn from the same dark place as Ectovoid’s raging death metal. This is a killer EP from one of USDM’s best modern day bands. 

You can stream and buy "Inner Death" digitally via Ectovoid's Bandcamp page below:-





Here's the flyer for the Metal Threat Fest as promised. Just look at that line-up!


Friday, 1 March 2019

INTRCPTR - II


Labels: Pax Aeternum Digital
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 01 Feb 2019

Tracklist:

1. Dusted
2. D.I.W.I.W.Y.L.

It's finally the end of the week and I wanted to reach for something a little off the beaten track. L.A. duo INTRCPTR are that something and "II" is their second offering. The band, featuring members of Pelican and 5ive, released this two-track record digitally via new Dark Operative Records imprint Pax Aeternum at the beginning of February. Without anymore waffling from me, let's get into it...

It’s always exciting to hear what two members of already established heavy bands are able to come with when they jam together. INTRCPTR are a little passed the jamming stage it has to be said, but this is still something to behold. Dusted is an incredibly groovy instrumental filled with doom, noise, riffs and fantastic percussion. Both Ben Carr (guitars) and Larry Herweg (drums) leave no holds barred as they take you through layers of cleansing sound.

Obviously, their musicianship was already held in very high regard given their resumes but as instrumental music goes, this is genuinely compelling. D.I.W.I.W.Y.L. is no less entrancing and its tempo matches that of Dusted, keeping the momentum high. It’s noise levels seem to rise up during the mid-section and then fall away to reveal incredibly technical guitar/drum work. Some may consider instrumental music to be safe and simple, but INTRCPTR prove otherwise and floor you with ease. 

This release may be brief but it’s one that you’ll go back to over and over again. 

Stream and purchase "II" digitally below:-



Thursday, 28 February 2019

Toxik Attack - Assessinos Em Serie


Labels: Hellprod Records
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 31 Jan 2019

Tracklist: 

1. Thrash Maldicao
2. Seita Do Punhal
3. Loucos Pelo Old School
4. Prazer De Matar
5. Assessinos Em Serie
6. O Sanguinario
7. Morte Toxica
8. Detidos Pelo Metal
9. Pentagrama De Sangue

I'm keeping it heavy tonight with Portuguese thrash metal band Toxik Attack and their debut album "Assessinos Em Serie". This speed metal loving quintet from Braga released their album with the help of Hellprod Records at the end of January, following their previous 2014 demo "Brutal Attack" and their 2016 EP "Thrash On Command". Much like death metallers Ravenous Death last night, Toxik Attack worships at the alter of the old school. So much so in fact, that they're due to support Agent Steel in Lisbon in May. 

That cover art tells you all you need to know about Toxik Attack’s thrash antics and they waste no time in showing off their musical chops. Opener Thrash Maldicao is pure madness with the kind of semi-clean/theatrical growls that Death Angel would be proud of. The instrumentation is solid as well with precise drumming and riffs inspired by the best in the business.

While their music is considered extreme, it’s not super heavy. Seita Do Punhal illustrates that with the help of a madcap vocal delivery that sometimes crosses over into glam territory. When they gallop though they gallop well and with plenty of groove. It’s really cool to hear metal like this presented in Portuguese, not that I can translate it. Loucos Pelo Old School just continues to up the quality stakes on “Assessinos Em Serie” as Toxik Attack rip through just over four-minutes of good old thrash that really does nod to the old school. 

From here they up the urgency levels on Prazer De Matar and with it the energy levels (as if they weren’t energetic enough already!), with the help of belting drums, gang vocals and increased tempos. It’s over all too quickly and it leads immediately into the title-track, which is equally as good. Toxik Attack have a bit more bite when they’re really going for it but this song is their calling card and it’s progressive touch is great.

The high-pitched screams at the start of O Sanguinario do bring to mind Tom Araya and his vocal delivery, but that’s where there similarities to Slayer end for me. Yes their riffs are inspired by the thrash legends in places but I think Toxik Attack do have their own take on the sub-genre and are confident enough to let it show through. Morte Toxica is one of their more melodic songs, especially in the vocal department while the theatrics aren’t forgotten about either. The further you get into “Assesinos Em Serie” the more entertaining it becomes. It’s definitely one for both true speed/thrash fans and for those who want an introduction to the sub-genre’s modern exponents.

Things get silly on penultimate song Detidos Pelo Metal, where piercing high-pitched screams rule the song as it flies by in the blink of an eye. Album closer Pentagrama De Sangue is Toxik Attack’s attempt at a thrash balled, complete with dramatic organ and male-voice choir, but it doesn’t stay that way for too long, as it’s their final chance to rip into some grooving and neck-snapping thrash goodness. This album is great. It’s not too lengthy and Toxik Attack manages to retain both momentum and your attention throughout. It looks like thrash metal is alive and well in Portugal! Obrigado!

You can stream the album and grab it on cd or digitally below via Hellprod Records -