Thursday, 21 September 2023

Mithridatum - Harrowing

Labels: Willowtip Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 03 Feb 2023


1. Sojourn

2. Silhouette

3. Mournful Glow

4. Lower Power

5. The Passageway

This release from US black/death metal band Mithridatum is both a 2023 release and a debut one at that, so I don't feel so bad about being eight months late to the party (correction: I feel pretty bad). It was released via fellow US label Willowtip Records, who continue to champion the most technical and extreme bands currently around. Mithridatum is also made up of ex members of The Faceless and Abhorrent, so there's definitely pedigree here.

Harrowing is the perfect balance between dissonant, metallic instrumentation and raw vocals. That balance is exhibited by opener ‘Sojourn’, which is heavier on the death metal than the black to these ears. The journey into extremity and experimentation begins in brilliant fashion. 

The instrumental build up on ‘Silhouette’ is glorious. There is a lot to take in musically but when it’s this raging, who really cares. When the vocals of Geoff Ficco enter the fray, it’s hard to believe that Mithridatum is a  trio. The guitar work of Marlon Friday coupled with the multi-instrument approach of Lyle Cooper (guitar/bass/drums) breeds so much life and volume into the recording, especially with the blistering percussive battery that hits later on.

This album has blown me away so far and as third song ‘Mournful Glow’ crawls forth in a weird doom-like manner, I secretly wish there was an accompanying instrument-only version. Not because I dislike the vocals (far from it) but because the musicianship here is just so good! Expansive songs sound so much better when they’re totally immersive. Immersive is what you get throughout this album.

By now it’s no longer weird to call a five song release an album, especially when it lasts longer than most albums that feature double that of songs. ‘Lower Power’ sees Mithridatum at probably their most up-tempo and groove-laden. Both death and black metal can groove and indeed let light through, which is exactly what happens here. Granted the definition of light is somewhat skewed as the trio go full-on intense shortly after.

Album closer ‘The Passageway’ channels occult atmospheres through semi-whispered vocals, coupling them with the band’s progressive and precise technicality. The signature black metal vocals are joined by spoken-word passages and as the song’s tempo slows, choral melodies can be heard deeper in the mix, surrounded by swirling instrumentation.

Extreme music is constantly evolving and reinventing itself without actually straying too far from it’s early path. Bands like Necrophagist and Deathspell Omega lead the way in the 90s and in doing so, gave birth to the modern day marriage of death and black metal. Mithridatum follow a similar path, while also forging their own. Long may that continue.

Stream and purchase Harrowing on all formats below:-

Mithridatum -

Willowtip Records -

Wednesday, 20 September 2023

Black Wound - Wither

Labels: Dry Cough Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 30 Jun 2022


1. Bite The Blessed Hand

2. Oceans

I was literally planning this review as news dropped of Black Wound's debut album release. Needless to say, continuing to follow the trajectory of this Swedish death/doom band is something I was more than eager to do. Wither was released back in June 2022 via Dry Cough Records, who have been involved in both of the band's previous releases, including their split with Skullsceptre. This EP features two tracks and acts as a pre-cursor to that aforementioned full-length (which, is on sale now by the way!).

Drowning out the generic pop/r&b that’s being played by my neighbour below is easily done when hitting play on Wither’s opener ‘Bite The Blessed Hand’. Black Wound have made it their mission to create truly nasty death/doom, just as it was back in the heyday of the sub-genre. Here, it’s presented in an urgent manner thanks to higher instrumental tempos and genuinely blood-curdling growls/screams. 

The EP’s second song ‘Oceans’ is a very different beast, with Black Wound favouring a slower yet entrancing approach to their music. Murkier and much lower in every department, it feels and sounds much more akin to a funeral march initially. After a couple of minutes though, everything’s turned up a notch or five. That tempo change catches you off guard and while it’s one that retreats back behind the band’s lumbering doom as quickly as it burst forth, it makes quite the impact. 

I’ve always been somebody who appreciates slower doom, I feel like there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Black Wound. Their musical honesty and song-writing skill stands out like a beacon here, elevated by the mid-section of ‘Oceans’, which is surprisingly light and melodic. A touch unexpected but gracefully delivered with a hint of avant-garde instrumentation thrown in. 

At times there’s an inevitability that songs lasting over ten+ minutes will begin to decline in quality towards their conclusion, it’s not the case here. The latter third it filled with glorious instrumental prowess and a smattering of death metal influence. It concludes an EP that’s short but oh so infectious. 

I’m fast approaching that time of year where doom becomes my go to sound. I have plenty of records to choose from (thanks to Dry Cough and others), though Black Wound will be featuring high on that rotation when the likes of Primitive Man, Meth Drinker and Slave Hands have choked out all light.

Stream and purchase Wither digitally below:-

Tape copies are sold out.

Black Wound -

Dry Cough Records -

Tuesday, 19 September 2023

Binary - Commit More Arson

 Labels: Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 04 Jul 2018


1. Around Here We Mourn Our Young

2. Do You Know How An Angler Fish Works?

3. Nice Moleskin, You Can Write In That With Your Head Up Your Ass?

4. Dressed To Depress

5. This Song Used To Be A Phone Number

6. Like Us On Facebook To Make Us Hypocrites

7. It's Prince!

8. Dataloss

9. I'll Backhand The Fuck Out Of A Seagull

Binary were a US screamo band that came and went pretty quickly. From the release of their first demo in 2017, they released something every year up to 2020, when they sadly called it a day. Commit More Arson was their only album, coming on single-sided vinyl through Zegema Beach Records in 2018. It was followed by 2019's Say Your Prayers, No One Cares EP and 2020's Fall From Grace Face Down EP. Their final ever song appeared on a split flexi with Wounded Touch and The Burning Wind that same year. A short but very stellar discography. Oh and they played some really sick shows, and their Facebook page (which is still live) has reignited my love for stunning gig posters. I want to start collecting them!.

I’m writing this a little later than I usually would tonight. My rhythm’s all out of whack and sleep is also hard. I figured some intense skramz would do the trick and as openers go, ‘Around Here We Mourn Our Young’ is exactly that. The bass-heavy hardcore tones of the intro show things in a heavier light, as do the deeper-ish screams and percussion early on before Binary make shapes through both emo-violence and mathcore.

‘Do You Know How An Angler Fish Works?’ follows with the briefest of brief pauses, as feedback takes hold and sampled voices add atmosphere. Hitting full speed after more than a minute, Binary forgoes what could have been an epic post-metal song in favour of an equally great fast/slow hardcore one. In fact the more I listen the more it grows on me.

The fascination with lengthy song titles never fades and ‘Nice Moleskin, You Can Write In That With Your Head Up Your Ass?’ has to be one of my favourites so far, for sheer sassiness. If you were expecting sasscore though, you’ll be disappointed as it’s metallic hardcore leanings make themselves known in abundance, leading straight into the fast flowing ‘Dressed To Depress’ without a breath to spare.

‘This Song Title Used To Be A Phone Number’ is funny because binary code (from which the band takes their name) is made up of numbers. I’d love to know what those numbers were in this case. It’s a short song again but one that seems to be slower in tempo, providing a more claustrophobic sound. It’s definitely putting me in the mood for more doom/sludge in a funny kinda way. Poking fun at social media (and it’s influencers) on ‘Like Us On Facebook To Make Us Hypocrites’, Binary pretty much hit the nail on head. Making the most noise in the shortest space of time speaks volumes about the short attention span of today’s youth.

From here the dramatic yet melodic instrumentation of ‘It’s Prince!’ heralds a final third that’s (ever so slightly) more introspective. Penultimate song ‘Dataloss’ sounds downright dirty thanks to the bass that rules throughout. I need more bass-heavy screamo in my life!. It’s a damn good song all round too. Finishing with ‘I’ll Backhand The Fuck Out Of A Seagull’ (which is something I wanted to do multiple times while living in North Wales, but never did because animal cruelty), Binary dip into mathcore inspired riffs one more time. 

This whole album is far less complicated than I make it out to be musically. Binary wrote one hell of a hardcore record here and the screamo embellishments only make it better.

You can stream Commit More Arson and buy it as a name-your-price download from Binary's bandcamp page below:-

There are no more copies of the 12" available.

Binary -

Zegema Beach Records -

Thursday, 14 September 2023

birthsite - birthsite

Labels: Middle-Man Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 18 Nov 2022


1. push

2. weight

3. stare

4. lyos

I have been back in the day job for four days now and already I want another holiday! Beggars can't be choosers though and I have to make do with what I've got, which is where the escapism of the blog comes in. Tonight I'm writing about the new one woman project from Edie Quinn (Middle-Man Records, Coma Regalia, etc). The four songs that make up this self-titled EP were originally released in November of last year via Patreon before being committed to tape in May. I'll provide a link to Edie's Patreon page later on in the review (as well as the usual bandcamp/label links), as she needs support right now.

Solo skramz is wholesome skramz. birthsite provides the perfect mix of caustic screams and melodic instrumentation on opener ‘push’. You can immediately pick out the project’s lineage but also detach it from the same. ‘weight’ contains lovely acoustic guitar, which isn’t usually a staple of the sound but the gentler tones add to the harsher elements of birthsite’s music. Even if they’re not used throughout the entirety of the song, they still make it beautiful.

Edie’s characteristic guitar melody flows through ‘stare’ effortlessly and even though the song itself doesn’t last more than ninety seconds, it fells way longer. EP closer ‘lyos’ is much more vivd in tone, building in volume while also containing gentle clean singing that hasn’t be present up until now. Giving way to truly dramatic and cleansing post-hardcore is no bad thing, especially when it’s this good.

It’s been said here before but good things come in small packages. It remains to be seen whether birthsite is a one release project or one with more longevity. Whatever the direction, this release is killer!

You can stream and purchase birthsite on tape, as well as digitally below:-

As promised, here's Edie's Patreon page -

Middle-Man Records - /

Wednesday, 13 September 2023

Kommandant - Titan Hammer

Labels: Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundamentum/Maltkross

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 20 Jan 2023


1. The Arrival

2. Titan Hammer

3. Atlantean Deathmarch

4. Siberian Overthrow

5. Sublimation Of Resistance

6. Spannungsfelder

7. The Sentinel

8. Mechanised Annihilator

A week without writing/being tethered to social media has been very much needed. I did promise in my last post (or the one before) that I'd try to write about another release from 2023 and here it is. Titan Hammer by US death/black metal band Kommandant was released in January via ATMF, the Italian label that's host to the likes of Lustre, Falaise, Titaan amongst others. 

Kommandant formed in 2004 (according to Discogs), before releasing their first demo Iron Hands on Scandinavia in 2006. They subsequently release another demo, an EP, six splits, two compilations and four full-lengths prior to Titan Hammer.

If you want martial/intense black metal then look no further than Kommandant on Titan Hammer. Album opener ‘The Arrival’ is aptly named because it marks the arrival of Kommandant in blasting, brutal fashion. Industrial in places, it’s amongst the fiercest black metal of the year so far (yes, I’m aware that more black metal has been released since January!). With that being said, the authoritative percussion and bass, coupled with the unexpectedly melodic guitar work seems to enhance the already ice-cold vocals.

The title-track ‘Titan Hammer’ continues the blasting intensity (that will no doubt be a huge element throughout the album), whilst growing in urgency. The organic percussive sound that builds towards the song’s end Is delightfully grim. There are some more obvious martial elements to Kommandant’s black metal and the slow (death)march of ‘Atlantean Deathmarch’ exhibits their flare for weaving tempos that appear slower. The blasts still disguise it though.

‘Siberian Overthrow’ drags you back in a more rabid direction. It’s a sound that reminds me of icier bands like Immortal, if they crossed paths with Blut Aus Nord and Krieg (maybe?). Kommandant’s death metal influences, which were fleetingly mentioned in the opening paragraph are few and far between so far, at least to my ears.

I can really get behind the percussive might of ‘Sublimation Of Resistance’, especially as it sounds a little more on the experimental side of the spectrum. At this point I’ve gotta say that I’m not trying to make this review into something it’s not, so I’m going to try and stop with the (not so) semi-intellectual speak, because that’s one thing I ain’t. I want barbaric, insanity inducing noise from music at times and it’s delivered here perfectly. 

The eery, bass-heavy instrumental ‘Spannungsfelder’ is a strangely welcome beast and while it’s shorter than other songs on Titan Hammer, it provides a moment of breath before Kommandant flies headfirst into penultimate song ‘The Sentinel’, which is devoured by the percussion and vocals, leaving the haunting guitar work nestling unfairly in the background.

That guitar work is more prominent again on album closer ‘Mechanized Annihilator’ and as album closers go, it’s frighteningly tight. I know that no band intends for their album to become looser towards the end but the controlled and proficient manner in which Kommandant calls time on Titan Hammer is excellent.

Unapologetic US black metal has never sounded so good.

You can stream and purchase Titan Hammer digitally via ATMF below:-

You can also purchase the album on CD and vinyl from ATMF below, alongside other merch and releases from Kommandant:-

A tape version has also been released via French label Maltkross -

Kommandant -


Maltkross -

Sunday, 27 August 2023

Coarse - I

Labels: Secret Nature/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 28 Mar 2018


1. Shed

2. Hoax

3. Only Death

4. Separation Is Survival

5. In Peril

6. No Heart

I've been neglecting newer 2023 releases recently. I'll have some write-ups coming up next after this one. Fast and chaotic hardcore from NY, USA duo Coarse. This EP was released on 2018 and was Coarse's debut. It was released digitally by the band before Zegema Beach Records did a 7" pressing (alongside Secret Nature according to Bandcamp, though I can't find any information about them). 300 copies were pressed, including 20 with a special alternate cover for the band's Japanese tour. 

Coarse’s sound on opener ‘Shed’ is not unlike Every Time I Die crossed with the more experimental approach of Knut. Instumentation that’s made up of chaotic percussion and mathy guitar alongside dual-vocals that are sassy and deep respectively. As a duo, Coarse’s music is very full sounding. The recording is loud and ‘Hoax’ is a battering ram of a song from start to end. Even featuring some juddery emo-violence. 

With this being an EP (and 7” release), the songs are shorter in length and more to the point. ‘Only Death’ gathers together both mathcore and metallic hardcore in one succinct package. The thought-provokingly titled ‘Separation In Survival’ is the noisiest piece of music here and subtly brings to mind the more industrial/harsh noise elements of Full Of Hell.

Penultimate song ‘In Peril’ hits top gear right away and doesn’t let up at all. Coarse are (or were) one hell of a unit sonically. Blistering low-end blasts added to the duo’s hardcore intensity work a treat. It reminds me of Scotlands Godhole (look them up!). Closing the EP out with ‘No Heart’, things start in avant-garde fashion before quickly morphing into utterly chaotic grindcore. Melody penetrates both the low-end barrage and the frenetic vocals, before everything stops dead. 

Six songs that go by in less than ten minutes. No meandering, no hanging around and no fuss. Coarse did release a four-track EP in 2019 but I don’t think it saw a physical release so this is one for the archives, if you’re lucky enough to own a copy. Fantastic stuff.

I is available to stream and purchase digitally via Coarse's bandcamp below:-

The EP is currently on sale at a discounted price via Zegema Beach Records below:-



Zegema Beach Records -

Tuesday, 22 August 2023

Howye - No Suffocating

Labels: Polar Summer

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 09 Dec 2015


1. Comes And Goes

2. Kamchatka

3. Hide And Fight

4. Unnecessary Sediments

5. Bleeding

6. Blow Sky High

7. No Suffocating

8. Receiving Line (Title Fight Cover)

Not done one of these Polar Summer posts for a little bit. Also, please can you remind me not to start anymore of these label roster review series thingies. I've got enough on with those I'm already committed too, alongside my sporadic schedule. For those who missed my first two reviews in this lil series, I went a bit crazy about Russian DIY label Polar Summer earlier this year. I subsequently started listening to their back catalogue and even ordered quite a few of their physical releases from a European distro (Dingleberry Records). I have 14 Polar Summer releases in my collection currently, which barely scratches the surface but I'm still stoked about them!

Attempting (and failing) to flex aside, I'm trying to write this review series in release number order and this one is ps#3. It features eight tracks by Tomsk, Siberia's Howye, which I think is the band's only release to date. I can't find any others anyway (please reach out of there are more). Howye plays (played) emo/shoegaze and even covered US punk band Title Fight.

Life’s rich tapestry set to music would probably just sound like white noise used as part of sedition or torture, such is the bleak reality that we currently exist in. Looking back seems apt then as this is exactly what I’m doing. No Suffocating was originally released digitally by Howye in December 2015 before Polar Summer committed it to tape the following year. Having not known what to expect from the first two of PS’s back catalogue, this release is no different. Slow, melodic and clean tones greet you on opener ‘Comes And Goes’. It’s song-title also describes the meandering waves of instrumentation and vocals that make it. Introspective but also very enjoyable, with a smattering of dower post-punk thrown in for good measure.

‘Kamchatka’ begins like an upbeat punk-rock song upon hearing it’s first bars, but it soon retreats, leaving more instrument-heavy emo/shoegaze in it’s wake. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing at all. There’s plenty to dive into here and despite the deeper position of the vocals in the mix, when the guitars let loose they light things up. The more time you spend with the album, the more it’s layers and melodies wash over you. ‘Hide And Fight’ glides along in an early morning haze of bright treble and subtle dissonance, only clearing to bring you back to reality for a second.

The songs on No Suffocating don’t last all that long, leaving their mark succinctly. ‘Unnecessary Sentiments’ is the perfect example of that. It’s hard to accurately describe why but it’s easier-listening sensibilities flourish beyond words. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. As before, the album’s latter half is equally as pensive in places. ‘Bleeding’ eschews any images of gore and instead offers a life-affirming glimpse into a group making music that they believe in, that’s authentic and emotive.

‘Blow Sky High’ is a little more on the art/avant-garde end of the spectrum and I love it! Maybe it’s just how it hits me but I could think of worse songs to draw listeners back in than this one. The album’s penultimate song is the title-tack ‘No Suffocating’ and the double-layered harmonies coupled with the more up-front percussion lays down a real marker for what Howye could have been. To think that a band this good could exist in a corner of the world so cold and bleak is mind-blowing to me. 

Closing it all with their take on Title Fight’s ‘Receiving Line’ gives a subtle clue as to the band’s collective age when writing/recording for this album commenced, but it also shows that they can make a song their own in a beautiful way. Nothing else needs to be said really. What are the chances of scoring this on tape in the wild?.

You can stream and purchase No Suffocating as a name-your-price download from Howye's bandcamp page below:-

Tape copies are long sold out.

Howye -

Polar Summer -

Sunday, 20 August 2023

Orbit Cinta Benjamin + Flirt - Split Premiere (full stream)

Tomorrow marks the release of the brand new split between Malaysia's Orbit Cinta Benjamin and Germany's Flirt. Tomb Tree will have 50 tapes across 3 different variants, while an LP pressing is being handled by Major Label, SM Musik, Bad Health Records, ZilpZalp Records and Salto Mortale Music.

Thanks to Tomb Tree, you can stream the entire split below:-

Orbit Cinta Benjamin includes former members of Utarid and Ellisebelle Tears. The quintet have been active for quite sometime too, as they released their first demo in 2006, which was followed by a self-titled EP, a split CD with fellow Malaysian post-punk/emo band Killer Calculateaur and a 6-way split LP in 2008 with Arse Moreira, Eucalypt, Amalthea, Dodewaard and Hiro (information was taken from Discogs, so I can't confirm it's correctness).

Flirt released their first demo in 2019 and include members from Tiger Magic. As far as I can tell, this split will be their second release to date (please correct me if I'm wrong).

Both bands contribute four songs to this split and the tracklisting is below:-

Orbit Cinta Benjamin

1. Essence

2. Four Corners

3. Harbinger

4. Chalice


1. Amazon Crime

2. Morsch

3. Trist

4. Einfach So

Orbit Cinta Benjamin -

Flirt -

Keep an eye on Tomb Tree's online store for the tape drop tomorrow -

Also, if you want vinyl copies, head to the labels involved in that pressing below:-

Major Label -

SM Musik -

Bad Health Records -

ZilpZalp Records -

Salto Mortale Music -

Bad Health Records -

Salto Mortale Music -

Tomb Tree -

Friday, 18 August 2023

White Nights - Into The Lap Of The Ancient Mother

Labels: Iron Bonehead Productions

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 24 Apr 2020


1. Litha

2. Drift From Irminsul

3. Bölthorn

4. -

Nobody really knows much about mysterious black metal/doom/death rock band White Nights, apart from that they (or it) are from the US, maybe. Steeped in psychedelia, Into The Lap Of The Ancient Mother was the first recorded material to come from White Nights in 2020. The fact that it was released by Germany's ever consistent Iron Bonehead Productions shows that it was and still is worth a lot of attention.

This evening calls for something a little on the weirder side. White Nights follow their own path on opener ‘Litha’, where austere German sounding spoken-word vocals join instrumentation that’s part black metal and part martial industrial, to my ears anyway. I was expecting more psych but one can’t be too choosy.

Given Iron Bonehead’s connection to the likes of Pa Vesh En, Aparthiva Raktadhara and Rope Sect, this release shouldn’t come as a surprise. ‘Drift From Irminsul’ isn’t necessarily a reflection of the aforementioned bands but it does have some similarities, while also having a much greater psych/rock influence.

‘Bölthorn’ is the EP’s longest song and it begins in a subtly anthemic way, containing more melody and brightness than expected given the coldness of White Nights as a whole. It’s an otherworldly mix of euphoria and dread all at the same time.

EP closer ‘-‘ is a looping-sample filled outro that kind of cuts through the mesmeric momentum gained throughout. If you were expecting a release with more noise you’ll be disappointed but if you hit play because you’re adventurous and appreciative of the art that’s put into extreme music, then this is for you.

You can stream and purchase the EP digitally below:-

CD and vinyl copies are still available from Iron Bonehead Productions below:-

Wednesday, 16 August 2023

Blue Youth - Dead Forever

Labels: Grind Central Records/Santapogue Media/Suspended Soul Tapes And Records/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 08 Jun 2018


1. Black Lung

2. Delusional//Unapologetic

3. Water Well

4. So Seizure

5. (The Worst Of It Is) You

6. Pause For Death

7. Succubus

8. Dead Forever

Adulting constantly gets in the way of good things! One such thing is time I'd set aside to relax with some great, heavy noise from Canada's Blue Youth. Bloody household appliances! Calm is restored though and there's still plenty of time for me to dive into the band's 2018 album Dead Forever as part of my ongoing ZBR roster review series. 

Blue Youth aren't active currently and Dead Forever makes up their second only physical release, having been pressed on vinyl by all of the above mentioned labels as well as being pressed on tape by Grind Central Records. 

The time for noisy punk/rock has come and hearing the opening bars of ‘Black Lung’ is the midweek wake-up call I needed. Stylistically, it’s difficult to place Blue Youth with their mix of clean vocals, euphoric screams and up-tempo instrumentation. I guess at a push I’d liken it to Australia’s Jet crossed with Sweden’s The Hives and countrymen Cancer Bats. 

One thing I love doing is reading Bandcamp’s recommended bands at the bottom of the page when listening. Blue Youth’s page recommends Whores, Chat Pile, Twin Drugs amongst others, which is pretty good company especially when you consider how good the bass-heavy ‘Delusional//Unapologetic’ is. There’s a bit of sasscore later on as well, which turns into something heavier towards the song’s close.

‘Water Well’ is an atmospheric short-player that curtails some of the album’s early momentum a little bit. I think these songs do play their part on records but can sometimes be a bit out of place. Here it make sense as it leads brilliantly into ‘So Secure’ and with it, another (maybe poorly placed) comparison. That comparison is Turnstile, purely based on the key of the clean vocals that adorn it. I’m probably way off the mark again but hey ho, it’s great all the same.

The stirring piano that opens up ‘(The Worst Of It Is) You’ belies what is a gloriously (and seemingly) mid-paced take on garage-punk/rock. It’s anthemic all around. How Blue Youth isn’t bigger I’ll never know! You might think that ‘Pause For Death’ is an ominous song title, and I guess it does lend itself to a song that’s equally as dark, but it also draws you in further than you were expecting. 

The devilish ‘Succubus’ is a song of many parts, from raging screamo to off-kilter progression and driving rock. The fact that it ends on a dime with no notice only adds to it’s allure and before you know it you’re being greeted by the album’s title-track ‘Dead Forever’, which rounds things out with Blue Youth diving back into their noisy/rocking best.

Dead Forever is over far too quickly. It completely puts to shame those albums that are twice as long. Blue Youth may be gone (I don’t know) and if so, they’re not forgotten. Their sound is personified in these eight songs and more people should hear them. Enough said.

You can stream and grab Dead Forever as a name-your-price download or pick up a first-run tape from Blue Youth below:-

If you want a vinyl copy, the only place to pick it up from is Zegema Beach Records. There's a single copy left on their Bandcamp page:-

Copies are also available from the  ZBR CAN/INTL store here - and the US store (both vinyl and tape) here -

Blue Youth -

Grind Central Records -

Santapogue Media -

Suspended Soul Tapes And Records -

Zegema Beach Records -

Sunday, 13 August 2023

Gnasch - Low Slow Woe

Labels: Self-Released

Formats: Digital

Release Date: 17th May 2023


1. Low

2. Slow

3. Woe

After an impromptu week off it's time to wind myself back up to a return to the day job and more importantly, the blog. I have tried to get on top of my inbox but as this evening's review demonstrates... I've failed. I must wholeheartedly apologise to Bristolian sludge/doom band Gnasch for that, as Russ (vocalist) took the time to write to me back in the latter half of last year. The band's debut demo Spite At The End Of The Tunnel was released back in August 22; but I've chosen to review their more recent EP Low Slow Woe, which was released in May of this year.

Gnasch formed in 2021 and features drummer Samuel Smith (Woodland Creatures), guitarist Will Turner Duffin (Row of Ashes, ex-Sonance) and vocalist Russel Barron (ex-Body Harvest, Warrior Pope and Vyral). Additionally, this EP features guest vocals from Jörgen Sandström (The Project Hate MCMXCIX, ex-Entombed, Grave and more) on songs 2 and 3 and additional guitar work from Nicklas Rudolfsson (Necrocurse, Runemagick, ex-Sacramentum and more) on all songs.

Gnasch brings out the hatred-of-mankind feeling that’s been festering within me since yesterday (for reasons I won’t go into). EP opener ‘Low’ is sufficiently heavy, reminding me of old Sea Bastard and On Pain Of Death while also being melodic and short enough not to allow things to linger. To my surprise, Gnasch played alongside LockerSludge back in April, a band I fondly featured here many moons ago. It’s great to see that they’re still going.

Anyway with that bit of nostalgia aside, ‘Slow’ is up next and it’s a bit of a beast in both sound and song-length. It’s no big surprise that there’s a nod to slam given Russ’s previous endeavours in death metal band Body Harvest (Comatose Music alumni). That nod is delivered drenched in sludge though, so don’t be fooled. Proper detuned riffing, ringing-feedback, trance-inducing drums and dread-filled vocals all combine to great effect. In the paragraph above I mentioned two bands that were affiliated to the early days of Manchester’s Dry Cough Records. That wasn’t on purpose but I reckon Gnasch would be right up Andy’s street. 

EP closer ‘Woe” is more uptempo, while really benefiting from the added Swe-death vocal and guitar work delivered by both Jörgen Sandström, and Nicklas Rudolfsson respectively (more so than before).The atmosphere that’s created leans towards death metal again, unsurprisingly, yet Gnasch lose none of their authentic sound either.

It’s easier than ever for bands and musicians to collaborate across great distances, and to be honest metal now is better because of it. I’m beginning to feel a bit guilty for not starting with Gnasch’s first demo but  their latest release is still a great place to begin. There’s a new EP on the way apparently, so now’s the time to get acquainted. Top stuff from another really promising addition to the UK underground!.

You can stream and purchase Low Slow Woe as a name-your-price download from Gnasch below:-

Gnasch -