Monday 4 December 2023

Alex B Kurbis - never had a chance, mind. EP

Labels: Self-Released

Formats: Digital

Release Date: 01 Dec 2023


1. Onion Heart

2. Pedestrian Roulette

3. Something Nice

4. Plancton/Commute

Completely unexpectedly, a new EP was released by Swiss indie/emo/punk band Alex B Kurbis on December 1st. Considering the band's debut full-length Mondays And Tuesdays was only released in June, this shows incredible productivity (or just plenty of songs left over. Who knows!). Alex B Kurbis appeared on my radar earlier this year and I really didn't expect new music so soon. Guess I shouldn't have expectations. then they can always be smashed for the better!

There are just four songs on this EP but then again good things come in small packages. Opener ‘Onion Heart’ beats to the tune of old-school punk once again. The melodic, minimalist type that gets toes tapping and hips shaking. Happy and upbeat. We all need a bit of that.

There’s a tinge of folk on ‘Pedestrian Roulette’, which isn’t out of place during the gentle first half of the song. The second half is louder, complete with added vocal layers, distorted guitars and a great sense of rowdiness.

Nothing needs to last too long and Alex B Kurbis know that. ‘Something Nice’ brims with constant rhythm from the drums that holds everything else together. The rest of the instrumentation and vocals keep pace as if they were hitching a ride by grabbing the rear bumper of a fast moving vehicle. 

EP closer ‘Plancton/Commute’ is the outlier here as it contains more of an art-punk vibe, which isn’t anything new to the band. It works majestically in this song. Helping to expand on what’s already been. As the choir of voices ring out towards the end it reminds me of a family or a group of friends singing together in happy times, even if the feedback at the end tears that vision.

Another really enjoyable release from Alex B Kurbis, who seem to be settling nicely into a sound that’s warming and soothing. There’s a lot of soul here. Embrace it.

You can stream and purchase the EP digitally below:-

Alex B Kurbis -

Sunday 3 December 2023

Euclid C Finder - A Standard Basis For The Set Of All Discontent

Labels: Self-Released/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 26 Feb 2018


1. Morning Glory Memory (Quantico 3mph)

2. I Just Want To Live In A Banach Space

3. You Too Can Be A Toxic Avenger!

4. A Proof About Hungry Ghosts

5. October 31st, 1994

There's a bit of a strange explanation behind this review. I reviewed Euclid C Finder's self-titled EP back in November 2018 and around the time of it's release, Zegema Beach Records did a run of tapes for it that also included the band's earlier EP (this one), which was released digitally in February 2018. As I've already written about half of that ZBR comp release here (and it was going to be the next write-up in my ZBR roster series), it makes sense to focus on A Standard Basis For The Set Of All Discontent without repeating myself.

This marked the debut release for a mathcore/tech grind band that has grown in stature many times over in recent years (that’s even before you get to the new 2023 full-length). Made up of five songs that barely hit ten minutes and beginning with ‘Morning Glory Memory (Quantico 3mph)’, you’re greeted with the most angry mathcore you’ll probably ever hear. The grinding drums and hardcore-inspired guitar riffs are loud enough, but the vocals are delivered in such a way that they tower over everything else (at least to me anyway).

‘I Just Want To Live In A Banach Space’ follows immediately at frightening pace. It’s first thirty seconds are just a non-stop barrage of chaotic noise before Euclid C Finder breaks it up with an instrumental mid-section that’s top-tier powerviolence (at it’s slowest) and a stomping hardcore-punk close. It’s epic.

There’s one thing you can count on with a mathcore release and that’s the well thought-out (and sometimes obscure) song titles, like ‘You Too Can Be A Toxic Avenger!’. The metallic riffs and panic chords take full control this time, and they’re glorious in their jarring beauty as they’re woven into what could be best described as the aural equivalent of ADHD (and it’a totally fine by me).

It always amazes me how musicians can Inject so much intricacy into a sound that’s so violent, which for somebody who predominantly only listens to metal and hardcore, might come as a surprise. It might be because I’m not a musician myself. ‘A Proof About Hungry Ghosts’ illustrates the point I was trying to make perfectly as it flies by in just over a minute sounding so precise. You won’t find anything sloppy about Euclid C Finder.

It’s left to final song ‘October 31st, 1994’ to provide the most bizarre of EP endings. Much like when I first heard Capitol Swizzle Credit (thanks to Mathcore Index), this song hits me in exactly the same way with it’s initial burst of mad grind. Later on it settles slightly with some metallic (post?) hardcore vibes and draws to a subtly atmospheric close.

A Standard Basis For The Set Of All Discontent is now over five years old but age doesn’t affect it one bit. Hearing the first utterings of a band can set you off on a journey. The Euclid C Finder journey is fast and wild. You’ll want to retake it over and over again.

You can stream and purchase the EP digitally below:-

Euclid C Finder -

The ZBR tapes are long sold out but you can stream and grab the full comp digitally here:-

Zegema Beach Records -

Don't forget to check out Euclid's new album The Mirror, My Weapon, I Love You. I'll have a review of that one coming up in the near future.

Saturday 2 December 2023

LLEWELYN - Disposable Culture

Labels: Tomb Tree/The Ghost Is Clear Records

Formats: Tape/CD/Digital

Release Date: 10 Nov 2023


1. Heliophobia

2. Sway

3. Disposable Culture

4. Dorian Gray

5. Ritual

I'm doing that thing again where I write about a band of which I know nothing about. I mean, a lot of people reading this may not know about LLEWELYN as they're a newly formed band. When I saw their music being compared to Transistor Transistor, Chat Pile etc, I took notice. Their debut EP Disposable Culture was released last month on tape through Tomb Tree and on cd through The Ghost Is Clear Records. LLEWELYN features members from US bands Forever Losing Sleep and Moaded to name a few (thanks OPENmind/SATURATEDbrain).

I really don’t want to set foot outside today as it’s -5 degrees, but I have to. Until then though, I’m going to devour something new and LLEWELYN makes for the perfect weekend wake-up call with their melodic yet furious brand of noise-rock. Opener ‘Heliophobia’ is that peculiar mix of sludge/AmRep noise and structured post-hardcore. Blasting drums coupled with raspy screams, while classy guitar work provides melody underneath.

It gets more mathy on the cleverly named ‘Sway’, which is really hard to compare to anything else. It’s off-kilter and sassy but there’s also a menacing heaviness to it. Moments of psych and ringing feedback add to the aural chaos as well. The EP’s title-track ‘Disposable Culture’ comes at you from a punkier direction thanks to the addition of gang-vocals and a higher tempo. 

‘Dorian Gray’ is that kind of excitement-inducing song that usually comes before then end of a release, in that it’s calmer in style and tone to begin with, and while it does get louder/heavier later on, it remains more subdued. I like it’s poppier edge, which draws you into EP closer ‘Ritual’. At this point it’s best just to sit back and appreciate the music here. ‘Ritual’ isn’t a fast song, in fact the slower/noisier approach is better and it’ll keep you coming back to this release.

2023 is still producing some absolute bangers (even though I’m behind on a lot of stuff). The consistency of bands and labels has been insane and it’s not over yet. LLEWELYN have started strong with this EP. Let’s hope they reach more ears because this was great.

You can stream and purchase the EP digitally from bandcamp below, where it's also available to grab on tape from Tomb Tree:-

CD copies can be purchased from The Ghost Is Clear Records below too:-

Tomb Tree -

The Ghost Is Clear Records -

Friday 1 December 2023

Bolt Gun - The Warren 7"

Labels: Avantgarde Music/Starved Light

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 14 Jul 2023


1. The Warren Part I

2. The Warren Part II

It's the first day of a new month. The month that will also see us into a new year. It's a chance to gain fresh momentum, at least for me anyway. That's why I'm dedicating this day to writing and listening, and first up is the two-song 7" called The Warren by Australian ambient/black/doom metal band Bolt Gun. It was released in July via Avantgarde Music and Starved Light. It was billed as the precursor to Bolt Gun's newest album The Tower, which was released in October and it features the percussive might of Iggor Cavalera on drums.

Bolt Gun is made up of guitarist/synth/orchestral arranger Jon Vayla, vocalist A.T., bassist Val Macukat and saxophonist Claire Keet on this release.

The Warren is split into two parts, both being the same length. ‘The Warren Part I’ is immediately bleak but also bold thanks to the atmospheric instrumentation performed by Bolt Gun. Iggor Cavalera’s drumming compliments the sound perfectly, adding a slightly industrial tinge to the doom-laden tempo used. On hearing the synths and saxophone, I can understand how this came to be released under the Avantgarde Records banner. It’s heavy but also intelligent at the same time.

‘The Warren Part II’ begins with synthesised strings and subtle ambience that draws you away from Bolt Gun’s heaviness. Beyond that initial opening section, the song’s first half is a mix of improv noise and off-kilter guitar. The latter half sees that band’s more structured black/doom metal appearing again, as if out of thick fog. Their cinematic post-metal influences become more prominent and temper the piercing vocals, which sit deeper in the mix.

7” EPs like this are used to build suspense and excitement, both of which Bolt Gun successfully achieve here. As the music falls aways to silence, the calm it leaves behind gives a sense of euphoria. It forms part of a larger musical journey for the band yet as a singular entity, The Warren deserves a place of it’s own. Great release.

You can stream and purchase The Warren digitally from Bolt Gun below:-

Bolt Gun -

Physical 7" copies can be purchased via the links below:-

Avantgarde Music -

Starved Light -

Avantgarde Music -

Starved Light -

Thursday 30 November 2023

Komuso - Luck Will Be On Your Side This Week 7"

Labels: Adabana Records/Left Hand Label/Zegema Beach Records/Zilpzalp Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 14 Oct 2018


1. Still

2. Forgotten People

3. Extension

I've well and truly taken my foot of the gas recently. Life and work have sapped my energy but after taking some time to recharge the batteries, I feel ready to go again. Cue this beautiful 7" EP from Japanese screamo band Komuso. It was released a mere six months after the band's self-titled debut (self-released on tape and digitally by Komuso, while also being committed to tape by Damnfinetapes! and Zegema Beach Records). Luck Will Be On Your Side This Week was released digitally again by Komuso, while the 7" pressing came from Adabana Records, Left Hand Label, Zegema Beach Records and Zilzalp Records collectively.

This release is special to me due to it’s Dog Knights Productions connection (Left Hand Label is DKP’s sister label after all). Released shortly after Komuso’s self-titled EP in 2018, it stands as one of three physical releases from the band to date (according to Discogs). Opener ‘Still’ is a minimalist song that builds slowly in  the instrumental/vocal department until it’s closing sixty seconds, where Komuso kicks on with greater volume and dissonance. 

‘Forgotten People’ continues on in pensive fashion musically, just like the opener did. It’s very hypnotic/entracing, while also being musically outstanding. Way more post-hardcore influenced and progressive than you might have expected. The twin guitars of final song ‘Extension’ come as a surprise initially, and while up to now Komuso’s music has been somewhat gentile, harsh vocals finally make their appearance midway through. It’s a great way to end the EP, alongside ringing feedback. 

I don’t know whether Komuso plan to release any new music (beyond their 2020 split with Setsuko), but if they do it’ll be eagerly anticipated.

You can stream and purchase the EP digitally below, where it's also available as a name-your-price download:-

Komuso -

The final few 7" copies can be purchased from ZBR below:-

Zegema Beach Records CAN/INTL -

Adabana Records -

Left Hand Label Records -

Zegema Beach Records -

Zilpzalp Records -

Also stand by because I'll be reviewing some more recent music over the next few days (I promise).

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Crypt Rot - An Ancient Summoning

Labels: Brutal Mind/Dry Cough Records/Frozen Screams Imprint

Formats: CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 11 Nov 2022


1. The Work Of Worms

2. An Ancient Summoning

3. Arcane Rites ft Fiore Stravino (Fulci)

4. One Thousand Serpent Tongues

5. Pestilential Vortex

6. A Pit Of Snakes ft Floor Van Kuijk (Carnifloor)

7. Diabolically Reborn ft Larry Wang (Gorepot) & Ryan Wills (Seven Doors)

It's with typically great (or rubbish) timing that I choose to write about the 2022 full-length An Ancient Summoning by now deceased UK death metal band Crypt Rot. The trio called it a day last week. This, Crypt Rot's only full-length album, was released on CD via Indonesia's Brutal Mind and on tape via UK label Dry Cough Records in the UK and Europe, as well as in the US by Frozen Screams Imprint. It features guest vocals by Fiore Stravino (from Italian death metallers Fulci), Floor Van Kuijk (of Dutch tech-death band Carnifloor) and Larry Wang (of Taiwanese death/grind band Gorepot/Fat Tub Of Lard Records). There's also an additional guitar solo from Ryan Wills (of UK horror-themed death metal band Seven Doors).

I’ve been a fervent supporter of Dry Cough Records ever since the label’s first release and as with my previous reviews, I’ve always had physical copies close at hand. An Ancient Summoning being no different, as I ordered a tape copy as soon as it was available. On ordering, Crypt Rot was a new name to me but one that I took notice of straight away thanks to the artwork that adorned this release. Diving into opening song ‘The Work Of Worms’, you’re greeted with succinctly brutal death metal featuring slams aplenty and gnarly vocals that morph into pig squeals at times. I have no problem with those vocals when used in context and here they work perfectly.

The album’s title-track contains all the groove you’d expect from a tech-death band, alongside plenty of gore influence too. It’s noisy, bludgeoning and intense. For such a short-lived band, Crypt Rot knew exactly how to write stellar brutal death metal songs with just the right amount of melody and suspense. The first of the album’s guest vocal appearances comes courtesy of Fiore Stravino of Fulci of ‘Arcane Rites’. Fiore’s vocals add extra depth to a song that’s already pretty well layered with blasting death, while joining the excellent lead guitar work to make it sound a lot more old-school in delivery.

After the whirlwind that was ‘Arcane Rites’, ‘One Thousand Serpent Tongues’ follows in exquisite fashion, complete with duelling twin-guitars and slamming low-end/percussion. It’s properly engrossing, even with the slightly distilled song length. This is the best medicine to numb the thought of returning to work tomorrow morning and it’ll probably be blasting through my earphones on the commute as well, thanks to the excellent hit delivered by ‘Pestilential Vortex’.

The album’s final duo of songs starts with ‘A Pit Of Snakes’ and it’s additional guest vocals from Carnifloor’s Floor Van Kuijk. Those added vocals work wonders alongside the unsurprisingly insane musicianship. When brutal death metal is done this well, it’s hard to understand why it all can’t be just as good. Album closer ‘Diabolically Reborn’ with Gorepot’s Larry Wang on guest vocals, shows exactly why Taiwan’s (and Asia’s) death metal scene as a whole deserves more attention, while the guitar solo provided by Ryan Wills of Seven Doors once again highlights the breadth of talent that exists in the UK. 

Crypt Rot’s trio of Tom Hughes (guitar, bass, songwriting), Kyle Shaun Thomas (vocal, lyrics) and Justin Wallisch (drums) have crafted a fantastic death metal album, which doesn’t overstay it’s welcome (like others do). It might be their first and only full-length, but I implore you to grab a copy if it’s still available. You won’t regret it.

You can stream An Ancient Summoning digitally below, where it's also available to purchase in both digital and CD formats:-

Crypt Rot - @cryptrotband Instagram

Physical copies can also be purchased from the labels below:-

Brutal Mind -

Brutal Mind -

Dry Cough Records -

Frozen Screams Imprint - @frozen_screams_imprint Instagram

Wednesday 15 November 2023

Beige Palace/Cassels - Waterloo Sublet/About Not Writing Split 7"

 Labels: Human Worth/God Unknown Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 07 Apr 2023


1. Beige Palace - Waterloo Sublet

2. Cassels - About Not Writing

Some years ago now I went to an all day gig at The Brudenell in Leeds. The two bands that I remember from that day were Hoof Glove (members of Famine/Khuda at the time if my memory serves me right) and Beige Palace. Despite the foggy memory, coming across this split that was released earlier this year via London label Human Worth and God Unknown Records, memories came flooding back. Beige Palace is an experimental/art-rock trio from Leeds and London duo Cassels play a combination of arty post-punk/noise rock.

It feels very late in the day to be writing about anything noisy (especially as I’ve only recently complained to a neighbour about their tenant playing loud pop music at 4am on a weekend). Adulting aside, let’s dive into some noisy rock starting with Beige Palace and their song ‘Waterloo Sublet’. I think I must have seen a very early iteration of Beige Palace back in the day because I can’t remember them sending like this. It’s a somewhat minimalist song instumentation-wise, while the vocals are a mix of clean shouts and harsher screams. I love the multi-vocal approach. It reminds me of the warmth and experimentation that encompasses the rock/punk/heavy community in Leeds.

Cassels are a new band to my ears but one that immediately strikes me with the stark sound of their song ‘About Not Writing’. It goes from cocky London indie/spoken-word to dissonant noise and back with ease. It reminds me of early Franz Ferdinand in places, which is where the post-punk similarities come about, except they’re much heavier towards the end. I really don’t know how else to describe this song. Cassels definitely deserve more research/listening if you haven’t heard them before.

This split release demonstrates just how diverse the DIY/grassroots music scene is in the UK. Both Beige Palace and Cassels approach their craft from different angles, yet they both compliment each other. Despite there only being two songs on this split, that’s still more than enough to get you started. Another great little 7”. We need more of these.

You can stream and purchase this split digitally below from both labels, where it's also available to buy on 7" vinyl:-

Beige Palace -

Cassels -

Human Worth -

God Unknown Records -

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Respire - Debut

Labels: Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 01 Oct 2018


1. Aeterna

2. Nox

3. Lux

4. Nihil

5. Anthems For Falling Stars

Respire is a band/collective that I've admired for so long, ever since I first heard their music. In a similar way to my admiration for Infant Island I guess. This Zegema Beach Records compilation release, simply called Debut, was committed to tape in 2018 (the same year as both Denouement and Memorial (An Accompaniement)). It gathered together Respire's first ever recording, the four song Demonstration as well as the stand alone song 'Anthems For Falling Stars', with which it shares cover art. Sixty four copies were made with two different coloured/painted jcards. All are long sold out.

The one thing I immediately noticed when hitting play on this release is that each song gets longer after opener ‘Aeterna’. A small detail maybe but one that builds intrigue I think. Providing a glimpse into the beginnings of Respire, it’s very instrument heavy, containing brass alongside the bedrock of drums and guitars, accompanied by a French language sample (at least I think it’s a sample!). ‘Nox’ is where that mix of post-hardcore and black metal was first forged, in all it’s raw beauty. Some might say it was ahead of it’s time maybe, but the fusing of screamo with a more experimental/avant-garde approach set Respire apart at the time, as it still does.

Listening to ‘Lux’ becomes such a euphoric experience the longer it goes on. It’s once again a heavily instrumental song and it benefits from so much musical ingenuity. Finding the words to adequately describe it, especially as it appeared on the band’s first demo is hard. I currently sit in my front room surrounded by so many records, cd’s and tapes yet I’m completely transfixed, and in the moment thanks to this comp. That’s how it should be.

‘Nihil’ was the final song on Respire’s Demonstration and it’s where things get somewhat heavier. The cold harsh black metal influence is toned down though thanks to the soothing brass and gentle introspection that fluctuates throughout. I must also add that the use of glockenspiel, while less noticeable in this song, adds further warmth to the music. Utterly immersive, emotive brilliance. 

Debut ends with the longest song on the comp ‘Anthems For Falling Stars’, which was described by the band as an “off the floor demo of an abandoned song”. It sees Respire adding more spoken-word vocals to their music alongside their more customary blackened blueprint. It’s still melodic and orchestral, showing a very gradual change in sound if anything. 

Physical comp releases like this are more and more relevant now. Yes there’s an importance to having music online and readily available, but nothing can beat the feel or look of a release that’s been lovingly crafted by either band or label. I doubt this will ever get repressed so enjoy it in whatever way you choose. It’s fantastic, however you listen to it.

You can stream and purchase both Demonstration and 'Anthems For Falling Stars' digitally from Respire below:-

Debut is available to stream and purchase digitally from Zegema Beach Records below too:-

Respire -

Zegema Beach Records -

Thursday 2 November 2023

Infinity Ritual - II EP

Labels: Self-Released

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 03 Nov 2023


1. FCG (Intro)

2. Succession

3. Earthdriver

4. Deceivers

5. Stones

I decided to pick something at random this evening and it just so happens that it's due to be released tomorrow (or today if you're in New Zealand and other Southern Hemisphere nations), which Infinity Ritual are. They're from New Plymouth, NZ to be exact and II is their latest EP, which follows their 2022 debut EP. II will be/is available on vinyl, CD and digital formats. All self-released!

After a day that started with me thinking it was Wednesday (thanks alarm clock!), it feels nice to be sat here digging into some good old groove-laden stoner rock. EP opener ‘FCG (Intro)’ is described as an extended introduction to second track ‘Succession’ and is only available on the vinyl version. It’s a nice psych/cosmic intro that sets the scene. I still don’t get the reasoning behind putting extra songs or music on some formats but not others. Maybe I never will.

Onto first song proper ‘Succession’ though, which is filled with top-drawer doom/stoner riffs, classy percussion and dual clean/harsh vocals that all add significant volume to this trio. Infinity Ritual’s sound so far has a nostalgic element to it, at times taking cues from early UK doom pioneers and gothic influences as well. There are similarities to the likes of Electric Wizard and Orange Goblin, but also Anathema and Paradise Lost too. 

‘Earthdriver’ dials up the stoner rock vibes with semi-clean vocals, all-encompassing drum work and a downright dirty guitar solo that seems to last for almost half the song, leading you into hallucinatory territory. New Zealand had always been great at producing bands in a similar vein to Infinity Ritual, with 8 Foot Sativa and Beastwars springing to mind immediately. The thing that catches me off guard here though is the nu-metal/grunge undertones that are present during ‘Deceivers’ (think Mad At Gravity, Spineshank, early-Hoobastank). 

I’ve mentioned way too many other bands in this review already so I’m gonna stop, because I’m not trying to pigeonhole Infinity Ritual, instead I’m trying (badly) to paint a picture of how varied and strong their music is. Talking of strong music, ending with a near twenty minute song that takes up an entire side of vinyl is a perfect example of that. ‘Stones’ is that song and it’s the slowest, darkest number on II, which is unsurprising. It’s largely instrumental and shows even more of Infinity Ritual’s musical, song-writing skill. Things get a bit weird for a short time before one final short blast of the band’s full-throttle stoner.

Listening to this EP has awakened something inside me (without sounding twee). It reminded me why I truly connected with heavy music in my mid-late teens even before I started writing about it online. There aren’t many bands that can genuinely do that! Infinity Ritual haven’t just released another record destined for the ether, they’ve released something special.

You can currently (at the time of writing) stream 'Earthdriver' on bandcamp below, as well as on other streaming services:-

Keep an eye out for vinyl/cd/merch drops here -

Infinity Ritual -

Tuesday 31 October 2023

Geist - Blueprints To Moderate Sedation

Labels: Cursed Monk Records/Black Omega Recordings/Trepanation Recordings

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 20 Sep 2023


1. Future Eaters

2. Peeling Wax

3. One Less Leech

4. Vessel Of Nothing

5. Panic Addicts

6. Help Less

7. Mass Instruction

8. Every Aching Bone

9. Terminal

10. Leech Chewer

It's safe to say (once again) that I am completely out of my rhythm. Still, I'm hoping that this Halloween night will be the catalyst to reverse my lack of productivity. It helps that my accompaniment comes in the form of UK hardcore-punk/pv band Geist. Their latest full-length Blueprints To Moderate Sedation was released in September with physical copies coming courtesy of Cursed Monk Records, Black Omega Recordings and Trepanation Recordings.

The pitch-black/dank facade I look out on is almost perfect this evening, especially when it’s set to the new Geist record. Album opener ‘Future Eaters’ is a bleak hardcore song filled with frenzied metallic riffs, a venomous low-end and intense drumming, while the vocals instantly grab your attention thanks to their powerviolence crossed with old school hardcore-punk delivery. ‘Peeling Wax’ sees Geist compress their sound and song-writing (not for the first time) into a sub two-minute blast, except this time there’s more math subtlety, if that’s even a thing.

The slower tempo that greets you on ‘One Less Leech’ brings back everything that’s great about UK powerviolence for me. That thicc guitar sound, sludgy atmosphere and the constant anticipation of a huge shift in pace. That shift comes and when it does it’s fantastic. Geist’s ability to change course musically is brilliant and that course changes again with ‘Vessel Of Nothing’, which slows and lowers the mood even further. I guess if Eyehategod and Blood Incantation collaborated, it might be akin to this maybe?

‘Panic Addicts’ sets you back on a more familiar path with a short and succinct blast of hardcore, while ‘Help Less’ and it’s downtempo atmosphere paints a bleak picture, critiquing on the current social and economic environment in which we live. As human beings we’re inherently selfish and this song reminds us so. 

Given how the last few years have gone ‘Mass Instruction’ is an apt song-title and while people are still divided, life goes on. I’m just thankful that music like this is still being released, as it proves that there is still freedom of thought in society (despite what religious bigots and conspiracy theorists tell you!). ‘Every Aching Bone’ moderates the anger within only slightly, with a more straight-forward outlook. 

Before you know it, penultimate song ’Terminal’ is upon you with it’s sampled, bass-heavy intro and off-kilter sludge that follows. It’s harrowing to say the least, but also sort of euphoric at the same time. There is a pleasure to be had from listening to extreme music and this hits the sweet spot. Closer ‘Leech Chewer’ rages even when It’s dialled back to mere feedback. 

It’s been one hell of a journey during these ten songs. When two working days have already felt like five, there’s not much room for rest. Blueprints To Moderate Sedation does nothing to turn off the overactive mind and mine’s racing a mile a minute. It’s a fantastic record and hopefully it’s battery will lead to peace.

You can purchase the album digitally and on vinyl/tape formats from Geist below:-

Geist -

Copies are also available from the labels below:-

Cursed Monk Records -

Black Omega Recordings -

Trepanation Recordings -

Cursed Monk Records -

Black Omega Recordings -

Trepanation Recordings -

Friday 20 October 2023

Nionde Plagan - Reflektion

Labels: Damnfinetapes!/Moment Of Collapse Records/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 22 Feb 2019


1. Bekannelser

2. Rex

3. Prestationer

4. Trots Allt!

5. Premisser

6. Maskinerna

7. Alienation

8. Diskrepans

It's mad to think that Swedish post-rock/screamo merchants Nionde Plagan have been making music for over a decade now. Reflektion was released in early 2019, though physical versions seemed to come earlier in 2018. It followed their 2017 split with The World That Summer and proceeded their latest full-length Transformation, which was released a year ago. Tape copies that accompanied Nionde Plagan on tour were provided by Damnfinetapes!, while the vinyl pressing was handled by Moment Of Collapse (who also masterminded the CD release) and Zegema Beach Records, though ZBR aren't credited on Discogs for some reason.

Storm Babet is currently making it’s way across the UK and people have been advised to hunker down. I’m keeping warm and dry with a glass of red and the friendly tones of Nionde Plagan’s 2019 full-length Reflektion. Album opener ‘Bekannelser’ is a song that best demonstrates just how beautiful Swedish screamo can be. Composed and delivered with great sensitivity. ‘Rex’ moves and shakes like all great modern day indie-rock songs, while the vocals lay to rest any notion of the band easing off, thanks to the pure emotion they convey.

The slightly muddier sound of ‘Prestationer’ only comes about because of distortion in the guitars. It adds a rawness to the music that’s not been prevalent so far. There’s more urgency and drive throughout the song, with abundant melody keeping pace as well. The songs so far have hovered around the four+ minute mark but there’s always room for something more expansive. Enter ‘Trots Allt!’, which is the first of two songs that break the ten minute barrier, demonstrating NP’s post-metal side. When I talk to people (who only know mainstream chart music) about lengthier songs like this, I tend to get the same response. One of confusion and sometimes fear. I’m not a gatekeeper by any means, I just appreciate thought provoking music such as this. 

‘Premisser’ signals the second half of Reflektion and it’s more immediate. Tempo-wise, it’s not any faster but I guess the shorter length makes it seem that way. I kind of wish it was longer though. The way ‘Premisser’ flows straight into ‘Maskinerna’ without a pause, reveals superbly precise drumming and big riffs. The vocals sit slightly deeper in the mix here, though probably not be design. They’re just a tad buried by the sheer heft of the musicianship, which is absolutely epic.

Again, what is it with the extremely catchy rock influence that takes over penultimate song ‘Alienation’! It’s so infectious and masks NP’s screamo in such a way that it could even fool casual rock fans, as least that is until the song’s latter half when it takes a much heavier turn. Final song ‘Diskrepans’ goes long just as ’Trots Allt!’ did earlier. Even sitting here with the volume turned up I can still here the faint the sound of the wind outside, which only adds to the atmosphere that Nionde Plagan weaves. Undeniably brilliant from start to finish. Note to self: don’t take an extended break halfway through writing a review. 

You can stream Reflektion below, where it's also available to purchase digitally or on one of the five remaining CD copies (you should definitely purchase one) via Nionde Plagan's bandcamp page:-

Nionde Plagan -

Physical copies are also still available from the label stores below:-

Moment Of Collapse Records -

Zegema Beach Records -

Moment Of Collapse Records -

Zegema Beach Records -