Sunday, 24 June 2018

YELT - Conquer The Rot EP


Labels: Self-Released
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 21 Jun 2018

Tracklist:

1. Halloween Finger
2. Pile Drive
3. Squirt Don't Hurt
4. Crotch Rot
5. Fuck Community

I've been catching up on some much needed blog admin this morning (yawn) and I've also been trawling the web for obscure punk because I'm that way out. What I've found is that there's a glut of it on bandcamp so I thought I write about one such band this morning (and maybe another later if I have time). YELT is a band from Glasgow for which I know very little. "Conquer The Rot" is the band's second EP, following their 2017 tape "Wrong Hole". YELT plays a sludge/noise/punk kind of hybrid.

This is way heavier than expected. Halloween Finger kicks off with a wall of riffs and noise. It kind of reminds me or early AFI but with less melody and more feedback. The vocals are shouty, the tempo is mid-paced and the bass is heavy. The recording is cool because it’s got dirty, snotty UK edge to it. Pile Drive is spot on. From the buzzing bass to the guitar that pretty much lords over the rest of the music, it’s awesome. YELT fills Squirt Don’t Hurt with all kinds of strange guitar-based noise, turning it into a weird mix of heady psychedelic sludge and bruising rock n roll. It’s instrumental first half is replaced by snotty punk again in the second half. 

The sludgiest number on “Conquer The Rot” comes in the form of Crotch Rot (awesome title by the way!). I guess by now the punk descriptor may be considered redundant, but it’s still there. The song’s urgency is great and it leads you into EP closer Fuck Community perfectly, which is equally as horrid sounding (in a good way). The mix of up-tempo kicks and slow down tempo percussion with the dual-vocals make for a stark mash-up of styles but it all works. Call this what you will but punk comes in many forms and while this particulate form is slower and heavier than you might have expected, it’s still great and YELT deserves your attention for.

You can stream "Conquer The Rot" and grab it as a name-your-price download below:-

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Soul Attrition - Vashon Rain


Labels: Self-Released
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 13 Jul 2018


Tracklist:

1. Sinking
2. Thirteen
3. Remission
4. Fatal Flaw
5. Vashon Rain
6. Unexpected Affront
7. Euclid

This is the first time I've managed to write reviews on successive nights (I think) for a little while now and it feels good. This one feature an early listen to another record that's due out in July. Chicago's Soul Attrition is the solo-project of Escape Is Not Freedom bassist Josh Parlette, who kindly got in touch with me following my earlier review of the Escape Is Not Freedom/Dusk Village split from January. Soul Attrition is described as a post-metal/sludge/experimental band with Josh's influences ranging from Nirvana to Type O Negative and Thou to Godflesh (amongst others).

Solo-projects are usually the preserve of black metal (at least in my experience), so Soul Attrition is a welcome surprise. Album opener Sinking is gloomy and the Type O Negative influence is definitely there in the vocals. The music is heavier, but also melodic in a similar way to grunge. There’s also an industrial side to the instrumentation that pokes through when it’s at it’s fullest. So far so good then. Thirteen is equally as heavy thanks to the continuous driving riffs. They create a lot of atmosphere though and Josh’s singing is akin to the clean vocals of Chino Moreno. 

Remission sees Soul Attrition moving in a different direction, following the two previous songs and slowing things down a tad. The music isn’t layered with as much guitar noise initially and what guitar there is, sounds really calming. The vocals remind me a little of Brian Molko at times too. It’s not long before the music takes a heavier turn again, though you can be safe in the knowledge that it’s not going to go too extreme. It’s a glorious song that’s easy to get lost in, which is what I did during it’s second half. The audible shouted vocals that are present throughout the album are a nice touch and won’t frighten non-metal lovers away. They’re used well on Fatal Flaw when the volume increases in what I guess is the chorus (of sorts?). Soul Attrition also ends the song with a ridiculously good passage of post-black metal guitar work that kills it.

It’s difficult to underestimate the old-school influence on “Vashon Rain” and the title-track’s instrumental refrain adds an element of that. The album is also pretty expansive and it deserves the progressive tag it’s been given. The songs are lengthy at times but no too long that your attention wanes. Penultimate song Unexpected Affront is one that builds on the dynamic of anticipation followed by explosion. Everything sill leans heavily towards grunge/alternative soundscapes but they’re done brilliantly and don’t just sound like rehashed. Euclid closes it all out in suitably moody fashion, matching the atmosphere of the album opener while seemingly being more depressive (if that’s the right descriptor) thanks to it’s tempo.

You can stream Fatal Flaw prior to the album's release date here:-



Soul Attrition - https://www.facebook.com/soulattrition/

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Carnal Decay - When Push Comes To Shove 7"


Labels: Rising Nemesis Records/UKEM Records/Nice To Eat You Records/Sevared Records/Fat Tub Of Lard Records/Brutal Mind/Pathologically Explicit Recordings 
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 21 Jul 2018

Tracklist:

1. When Push Comes To Shove
2. Food For Thought (feat. Igor Fil of Katalepsy)
3. We All Bleed Red

2018 is throwing up some awesomely digusting extreme metal and there's none more extreme than this new 7" from Swiss brutal/slam death metallers Carnal Decay. Carnal Decay has been going since 2002 and since their self-titled demo, they've released a split, four full-lengths, another demo and an EP prior to this one. They've recently toured over in Japan. If it's good enough for them it's got to be good enough for the rest of us!

After the day I’ve just has, slam/death seems like the only proper medicine. Carnal Decay’s soon-to-be-released 7” will definitely help with any frustrations that might still be festering. It’s title-track is exactly the kind of brutal and stomping death metal that will appeal to both hardcore and metal fans alike. The pummelling drums, rumbling bass, technical riffs and deeply growled vocals make are perfect. 

While the opener seems slightly slower in tempo, Food For Thought is set to warp speed thanks to the superhuman kick-drumming. It’s also lengthier with solid breakdowns throughout. Igor Fil’s additional vocals are ace as well, which they should be given Katalepsy’s pedigree.There’s no let up as closing song We All Bleed Red attacks you from all angles and hammers home just how brutal Carnal Decay really is. This is catchy and infectious slamming death and the 7” format seems ideal, as the song-writing seems to have way more impact because of it.

This is another release that shows how strong the collaboration is between DIY record labels globally and it’s exciting to see UK label UKEM Records involved in it’s first overseas release, given the demise of it’s short-lived imprint Hells Hammer Music. Get this when it hits online stores.

Here's a little teaser of what you can expect from this release sonically:-



Pre-order info will be available from both the band above and the labels below:-

Rising Nemesis Records - https://www.facebook.com/RNRecords/
Nice To Eat You Records - http://www.ntey.wz.cz/ntey.html
Fat Tub Of Lard Records - https://www.facebook.com/FTOLRECORDS/

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Live Review: Ufomammut/White Hills/Mariana - Neurolux - Boise, ID 01/06/2018

I've tried to write the odd live review in the past on here, but because I was always too fond of getting into the bands (and the beer), I never took live reviewing that seriously. Thankfully, my friend Mikey over in the US does take it more seriously than me, so without further a do, here's a write-up of the Boise, ID leg of the Ufomammut/White Hills tour. I tried to find a flyer to add to this post but came up blank (if anybody knows of one, please let me know and I'll update the review).


When I came down to Boise, the NEUROLUX was a venue I wanted to visit. I’ve heard some cool things about that venue. So I was stoked to hear that UFOMAMMUT was coming to Boise during my visit. Along with White Hills and locals Mariana. I knew my first visit to the NEUROLUX was gonna be a awesome night.

Local band, Mariana, got things set up for this killer night. These blokes are a instrumental post-metal band, that can really create a atmosphere. I found myself getting lost into their music, and being in a totally new World. White Hills came up next. This is a 2-piece band from the New York area that plays post-punk, with some elements of industrial and swirl of noise. Their set was amazing and brooding. The singer/guitarist looked a bit like Alice Cooper, and has that commanding presence, that it just demands your attention. And the drummer (who also does vocals and synth) sounded amazing.  The way she pounded on the skins, it took control of you. And when her vocals comes in, it brings a new element. Then finally, Ufomammut takes the stage. This Italian band has been making a huge buzz in the underground scene. Their latest album, 8, has been a album that fans have been really high on. So with that being said, it was such a pleasure to see them live. Their set was a great combination of both new and early stuff. For anyone that is a long time fan, will certainly be satisfied.  The visuals were amazing. They really fit with the music. It had a bit of a apocalyptic acid trip.  It was something that you can really appreciate it, and wonder why they are signed to Neurot.  Hearing the music live was also crushing. Ufomammut just got on stage and just owned it.  The crowd was into it. Some were head banging. Others were just standing there, letting everything sink in. And right when we thought it was over, they come back out to play a couple of songs, and sent the crowd happy.

It was a really fun night with three amazing bands.  Each one had a role and they did it very well. To finally see Ufomammut was really great. Hearing people talk about their live set, made me want to catch them live. But I was really excited to see the visual, as I’m a dude who is really big on that.  Everything I heard about them, they lived up to it. And they really appreciate the people who made the trip to see them perform. White Hills was a huge surprise to me. Didn’t know a band like take would go on tour with Ufomammut. But they were a awesome addition. Their stage presence was very mesmerising. They had their own thing, and to me that’s what kept the show going fun and diverse. And it was great to catch a local band in Mariana. For a while I’ve been having my ears on the ground, when it come to the Boise scene. Every band that I’ve heard come from their has not yet disappoint. The NEUROLUX was at a awesome spot. Just across from the Alaska Center, where Radio Boise is at. And next store is The Record Exchange. One of the best record shop in town. The crowd was great. The staff was awesome. And the music was loud. It was a amazing night in Downtown Boise.

Mikey also documented the show in both still and moving forms. You can check out some of his photos and videos of each band below:-

Mariana







White Hills







Ufomammut







If you liked this live review, there will be another coming from Mikey very soon. Cheers man!

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Cruentator - Ain't War Hell?


Labels: Xtreem Music
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 10 Jan 2018

Tracklist:

1. Merciless Extermination
2. Tyrants Of The Wasteland
3. Barbaric Violence
4. Evil Is Prowling Around
5. The Nightstalker
6. Marching Into A Minefield
7. The Shining Hate
8. Cluster Terror

The sudden urge to check out new thrash metal has been calling me all day, so what better way to scratch that itch than with Italian quintet Cruentator and their debut album "Ain't War Hell?". It was released in January via Xtreem Music and is the band's debut record. Cruentator formed out of brutal death metal band Bowel Stew in 2015 and their influences include the likes of Demolition Hammer, Kreator & Sodom to name a few. It sounds like this is going to be a lot of fun!

Cruentator’s thrash is definitely as furious as their bio suggests. Opening song Merciless Extermination is fast, with a volume to match, though the guitars are slightly buried underneath the drums and the vocals initially. They do have chops though and an eye for a solid thrash solo. They absolutely pummel on Tyrants Of The Wasteland. There’s no bowing down to outside influences, as their Italian musical flair shines through via a barrage of intensity and musicality. Probably the most aptly titled song on “Ain’t War Hell? is it’s third track Barbaric Violence. It describes the band’s sound perfectly and while it will never be as heavy or as bestial as black-thrash, it isn’t trying to be. Cruentator is happy to lay waste with something more teutonic and at times, melodic. They also manage to pump a lot of music into their songs, in spite of them only averaging about four-and-a-half minutes a piece (roughly, as my maths is crap). Evil Is Prowling Around drags you towards the album’s midway point in ridiculous fashion. 

It’s latter half isn’t any more laid back as The Nightstalker flings itself at you with guitar work that sounds like a Howitzer gun with Mille Petrozza at the helm. It’s ace is what I’m trying to say! Keeping up the war theme, Marching Into A Minefield takes their teutonic thrash influences even further with a song that’s inspired by war itself. The riff that opens penultimate track The Shining Hate is simple yet gloriously catchy and it sums up the pleasure you get from listening to Cruentator. They’ve clearly been devoted disciples to thrash metal over the years and while they may not be reinventing the wheel with their debut album, that doesn’t matter one jot. It’s a proper thrash metal album done extremely well, especially considering it’s their first. Closing number Cluster Terror is a great way to end the album, as it’s filled with the urgency to match it’s shorter playing time. It’s with that punchiness that Cruentator finish etching their way into your brain. As I mentioned earlier in this paragraph, this is a really well put together album from a band that are enjoying their music. Thrash is fun and Cruentator don’t need to be anything else. 

You can stream "Ain't War Hell?" and purchase it digitally below:-




CD copies can be purchased from Xtreem Music here - http://www.xtreemmusic.com/shop/

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Fistula/Hemdale - Split 7"


Labels: Patac Records
Formats: Vinyl
Release Date: 08 Jun 2018

Tracklist:

1. Fistula - Whore Cancer
2. Hemdale - Miley

Here's the latest split 7" to make up Fistula's 20th anniversary series, that's already featured splits with Come To Grief and 16. This time Ohio's death/grind institution Hemdale join them. Hemdale's song is an ode to Miley Cyrus, which gives you a clue about their sense of humour, while Fistula's is about a previous acquaintance who bit off more than they could chew. Fistula will be coming over to the UK in October/November with Grime and to continue the celebrations, there will be a few more releases before the year is out.

Fistula’s Whore Cancer features a sample from the video that inspired the song and it gives it a palpable sense of anger and pity. The song is filled with groove-laden riffs, bile-filled vocal rasps and a deep and dirty low-end/rhythm section. The guitars are mighty here and as far as sludge goes, this is top quality. 20 years in the game has obviously treated Fistula very well indeed.

Hemdale’s side is filled with murky, intense grind. Everything about this song screams old-school grinding madness and there’s no pretence or electronic wizardry going on. Hemdale switches tempos and rages in both fast and slower modes, while the vocals are delivered in such a vicious way that you forget your actually listening to a human being. The samples used throughout just make it all the more bizarre.

You’ll find it difficult to keep the crazed grin off your face as this split comes to an end. If you thought that having a sludge band and a grind band on the same split wouldn’t work, you’d be wrong. Both Fistula and Hemdale have been bands for a similar amount of time, so this feels like a milestone in a way. Great stuff.

Fistula is currently out touring so Patac Records is closed; however, you can still order this split via the label's webstore and all orders will be posted once everything is open again - https://www.patacrecords.com

Friday, 8 June 2018

Sense Offender - I


Labels: Self-released
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 16 May 2018

Tracklist:

1. The Sound Of Braille
2. Prophet-Less
3. Starving Pigs
4. Anointed With Seizures
5. Weigh My Pieces

Northern England's ability to produce ridiculously heavy and caustic bands over the years, has provided us with plenty of filth-ridden metallic noise. Sense Offender is another name to add to the ever growing list. This new band features members who were affiliated with the likes of Crossburner, Cholera etc. "I" is Sense Offender's debut EP and it's currently available digitally, with a label release in the works and they're due to play some UK shows with the mighty Hexis in August.

Sense Offender could not have chosen a more apt moniker, as EP opener The Sound Of Braille begins with some piercing noise that will rattle your bones and turn them to dust. What follows is just as crazy with roared vocals surrounded by glitchy electronics and guitar feedback. Their grinding, heavy hardcore makes a proper impact on Prophet-Less. It’s technical and extreme in every sense of the word, with an unrelenting pace that's later replaced by off-kilter, down-tempo riffing. Starving Pigs plays on the band’s sense of urgency with some of the meatiest riffs this side of the likes of Trap Them and Cult Leader. 

There are also hints of Skinsuit when listening to Anointed With Seizures thanks to the experimentation and song-writing that are present, while the melody that’s on offer is foreboding and creates an atmosphere that would sit well on an (early) Dark Tranquility album. EP closer Weigh My Pieces is an example in controlled chaos with an emphasis once again on progressive hardcore with black metal and sludge-like overtones. “I” features five unrelenting songs that come and go in a blur. The less is more approach definitely works in this corner of hardcore and Sense Offender nails it. 

You can both stream and purchase "I" digitally below:-



You can keep up to date with physical release and future recording news below:-

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Crève - S/T EP


Labels: Left Hand Records/SMYT Records/Vorax Records/Hecatombe Records/ZAS Autoproduzioni Records
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 05 Jun 2018

Tracklist:

1. Crève La Fin
2. Crève De Foi
3. Crève De Comptoir
4. Crève Les Yeux
5. Adam Et Crève 
6. Crève Charogne
7. Attrape-Crève 
8. Harsh Ou Crève 
9. Crève-Coeur
10. Crève Tout Court

I've been receiving a lot more contact directly from bands recently and for the rest of this week I'm trying to focus on some of those bands. I was intrigued when I received a promo from French hardcore/pv band Crève, because it turns out that I've featured past music by one of Crève's members before, but I can't remember who. If you're reading this Reu, please give me clue! Anyway, Crève is a new band that originally formed as a duo but is now a trio. They're from Pau in the Pyrénées and this is their self-titled debut EP.

France has been producing some savage hardcore/pv bands in recent times. Just look back to how good Moshpig were when they toured the UK with Immortal Bird last year (if you were there of course!). Crève is another reason to get behind our closest cousins on the mainland. Opener Crève La Fin is angular, noisy, fast and groovy all in one go. There’s a rawness to their sound that seems to magnify their energy levels on this recording. Crève De Foi is heady mix of punk and hardcore that spills out into something much more metallic and chaotic. The pit-inducing frenzy caused by Crève De Comptoir may be short but it’s too the point.

Crève is bound to be compared to bands like Water Torture and Lugubrious Children but they have their own sound and it’s very obvious on Crève Les Yeux. The feedback, the drumming and the off-kilter song structures help to keep things noisy, yet there’s still a real element of control in the band’s performance. That control is on show again during Adam Et Crève, which appears at first to be mid-paced when held up against the EP’s previous tracks. That is an illusion though. The stop/start bursts on Crève Charogne split it into two parts, with the second one being a blur of refs and rabid screams. 

There’s a lot of punk influence flowing through Attrape-Crève and as the band accelerates in tempo, they also stop on a dime, making it sound like it’s one song made up of four shorter, more furious ones Harsh Ou Crève is as it suggests, hash. It’s the first time that the band drops into harsh, bass-heavy noisy territory a la Full of Hell or Necro Deathmort, but it’s well worth it. They retreat back into more familiar hardcore/grind territory with the obliterating Crève-Coeur, which tries to prepare you for EP closer Crève Tout Court. The final song is as sludgy as Crève gets on here. It’s slower pace and thicker sound is much needed and it caps of a release filled with intensity and power. C’est bon!

You can stream and download the EP below:-




CD copies can be purchased directly from the band here - https://crevepv.bigcartel.com

You can also stream and purchase the EP from the below labels:-

ZAS Autoproduzioni Records - https://www.facebook.com/ZAS.AUTOPRODUZIONI

Monday, 4 June 2018

Locktender - Friedrich


Labels: I.Corrupt.Records/Middle-Man Records/Zegema Beach Records/Deadwood Records/Utarid Tapes
Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 15 Jan 2018

Tracklist:

1. The Monk By The Sea
2. View Of A Harbour
3. Wreck In The Sea Of Ice
4. Seashore With Shipwreck By Midnight
5. The Chasseur In The Forest
6. Morning Fog In The Mountains
7. Winter Landscape
8. The Abbey In The Oakwood

Ohio's Locktender ended their four years of silence earlier this year, with the release of "Friedrich". It tells the story of a Monk who eventually killed himself through loss of faith, while drawing inspiration from the artwork of 19th-century German landscape artist Casper David Friedrich. Having been released on vinyl initially, it was released on tape in May. I've already been jamming the album prior to writing this review, which isn't something I usually do but I was sucked in.

This feels good. The escape from reality that’s provided by music is unparallelled and Locktender goes the extra mile to make their’s that bit more special. The Monk By The Sea is the melodic opener you want and while the crunching riffs/percussion/vocals remind you of the band’s hardcore leanings, there’s way more to it all. The introspective passages filled with guitar melodies and the clean singing that towers over the recording at times, are layers that just belong. View Of A Harbour is a short piece that definitely conjures up images of sitting staring out over a coastal vista, with no cluttered thoughts to worry about. It flows into Wreck In The Sea Of Ice, which is filled with palpable emotion and anger from the vocals, while once again the melodies play out over minimalist drumming, There’s still loud dissonant screamo present but it’s very cohesive as opposed to being stop/start. Locktender’s lengthy instrumental passages are a pleasure to behold, like the one that forms the first sections of Seashore With Shipwreck By Moonlight. It’s spacey, calming and reminds me a lot of the music contained on “Feathers” by Duct Hearts at one point and then early-00’s post-hardcore the next. It builds up throughout and eventually explodes into something akin to emo-violence/hardcore towards the end. it’s wonderful. 

The second half of “Friedrich” is a post-hardcore/metal feast thanks to The Chasseur In The Forest. The vocals definitely hit you from a more extreme place, while the shorter running time and layers of sound offer a lot of impact, which other albums miss within their mid-sections. They’re back to their cinematic best on Morning Fog In The Mountains, with the calm/chaotic dynamic working so well. “Friedrich” is an album best enjoyed in a full sitting and not in fits and starts. Even though the song-titles seems as though they were chosen at random, the songs themselves follow on with ease. Penultimate song Winter Landscape is the album’s longest and one of it’s most thought-provoking as well. The beautiful isolation that you feel during it’s mid-section is hard to ignore. It’s like staring up at the night sky, inspired by just how huge the universe is other than just focusing on your small part of it. It’s taking that step back that makes the difference. Following that was always gonna be difficult so Locktender goes in a completely different direction and fills The Abbey In The Oakwood with off-kilter hardcore and screamo that smashes the wonderment into smithereens and replaces it with distant anguish and subtle black metal-style morbidity. 

I’m annoyed that I didn’t give this more attention earlier on in the year. It’s utterly glorious and shows that the time Locktender spent silent hasn’t affected them musically. in fact, it’s probably allowed them to open up and explore further, which has made for an outstanding album. Nothing more need be said. 

You can stream "Friedrich" and get it as a name-your-price download below:-




Physical LP and tape copies can be purchased from the links below:-

Zegema Beach Records - http://www.zegemabeachrecords.com
Deadwood Records - https://www.deadwoodrecords.de