Tuesday 31 May 2011

Ending Quest - Vlad Tepes Demo

OK, so this may be a cliche, but what is in the water over in Scandinavia, because they keep up giving birth to some of the most savage and awesome heavy metal bands. Whether it's the whole new blackened punk/hardcore scene that is engulfing Norway or the constant stream of Swedish death metal that appear, it's huge!

The focus of this post is a death metal band called Ending Quest, from Stockholm. Ending Quest are made up of Stefan Nordström on guitar/vocals, Gustav Gunnarsson on guitars and Jonas Bergkvist on Bass. Unfortunately, as I write this, I am unsure of who is their drummer. Both Stefan and Jonas are members of fellow Swedish death metallers Desolator.

So onto the bands 2011 demo, Vlad Tepes. First Track, End This Mortal World, starts with feedback and then kicks into a slow, deep riff. Then the band gets straight into the faster stuff, with wailing guitars and blastbeats. The low roars of vocalist Stefan add to the foreboding sense of evil. The production is what you'd expect from a demo, but you can here the instruments clearly and the song is played with an energetic urgency. Title track, Vlad Tepes, starts where track one left off, with more blastbeats and some subtle
Slayer influences in there. The guitars driving all the while and the solo wailing like
it was played by Kerry King himself. The use of more melodic death metal touches in the song add an accessibility to the music, but not enough to dilute the overall appeal. Vlad Tepes goes straight into third track, Butcherknife Encounter (great song title!), and the pace is immediate. The band don't let up and the momentum serves them well. This is the sort of music that will do really well in a sweaty, basement club. The thrash metal elements to this song show the band have more strings to their musical blow. The middle of the track is made more atmospheric by some nice, but evil melody while the use of buzzsaw riffage
and a great rhythm section drive the music on. The band employ what is almost a breakdown towards the end of the song, but it only serves to make the bludgeoning worse (in a good way!). Coffin Worm is more of the same. The twin guitar attack is used in perfect harmony, adding good old-school influences to the bands sound. The song gets more chaotic towards it's closing bars, with wailing guitar, urgent blasts and more low, fast vocals. The final track by the band is Dark Immersion. It begins with what is almost a black metal scream, before picking up the mantle once more and blasting forth.
The band slow things down part way through and the drums are almost grooving along to the metal riffs. The slower riffs the band employ are even more evil than when they are blasting and add nice variation to their songs. They still employ Slayer influences within the music but are able to add their own take to the death metal blueprint. This is the longest track on the demo, weighing in at over 5 minutes, with a great melodic guitar section which brings to mind, bands like Dark Tranquility and Insomnium. The next two tracks are covers, starting with Scream Bloody Gore by Death. They are obviously one of the bands main influences. They give the cover their trademark sound and it makes you think about what the demo's from the original Swedish death metal scene would have sounded like in the early days (well those who were not around then, like me, anyway), and ending with Born For Burning by Bathory. Again, the band adding a modern twist to a song by one of the main influences of modern death/black metal. Pure evil!

Ending Quest are definitely a band to keep track of. If they keep producing demo's and records of this quality, they will be bothering the upper echelons of the death metal hierarchy very soon.

If you want to check out the demo, go to the following link to download it - Ending_Quest_[2011]_Vlad_Tepes.zip. Also, go and visit Ending Quest on their Myspace page at - http://www.myspace.com/endingquest.

Monday 30 May 2011

Fysisk Format Records (Norway)

Fysisk Format are a brilliant record label that operate out of Oslo, Norway. They are linked to local record store Tiger and are right in the centre of the Oslo metal scene. Fysisk Format pride themselves in releasing records by truly original artists, including some of the most exciting metal bands to come out of Norway for a long time.

They specialise is quality releases, including cassette, vinyl and special CD releases, including that of Kollwitz - Like Iron I Rust, which was released in a minimal card sleeve, to minimise impact on the environment.

A while ago, I caught up with Kristian from Tiger to discuss Fysisk Format:-

How is 2011 going for Fysisk Format? What are your plans for this year?
2011 has been a wild year so far. We kept releasing albums - nothing new about that - but what's different is that we all of sudden get responses from people all of the world who are into specific bands and releases on our label. The plan is to just keeping the releases coming and hopefully get as many of the bands out on the road as possible. We're looking for people who want to put on shows with our bands, so if there's anyone out there reading this who would like to host a gig with a Fysisk-band - be it diy-floorshow or arenas - give us a shout!

I've only just come across Fysisk Format after reading Terrorizer Magazine here in the UK. How are you spreading the word about your label and the great bands you are working with?I think most people get into our stuff just by word of mouth. I think that's how most people discover new bands nowadays anyway. Our bands are quite different from each other and seem to reach different kinds of people, but sometimes there are unforeseen relations between the bands and people who would normally not get into, for instance, a band like Next Life get into it because they like Kollwitz, or the other way around. I think the best way to spread the word is for the bands to get out there and play. All kinds of places and with all kinds of bands and just meet people and get to know their fans.

I recently bought Kollwitz's album, Like Iron I Rust, and I was blown away by the quality of the release and its packaging. What is your philosophy regarding your releases?Well, most of the ideas and input come from the bands, so for us as a label, the task is to interpret and undestand each band's politics, aesthetics and network and trying to do transfer that with as few compromises as possible to a representable format. Some of the bands do the artwork themselves, like Le Corbeau, Knuste Ruter and Arabrot. Others have friends and related dudes who do it for them. It is very seldom that we as a label need to come in and be proactive about the artwork. It's all about channeling quality in the purest possible form (The Fysisk Format New Age Mantra #1) hahahaha

Some of the bands you working with, like Kollwitz, Okkultokrati and Arabrot are starting to get more exposure and go on tours in the UK. Is the UK and important place for you to get your music/bands heard?
We don't think in territories - we go anywhere there's interest and enthusiasm. And it seems to be a lot of that in the UK. Its a good scene going on in Norway too these days, but its always good to get out and get some fresh air

How has it been to see Okkultokrati touring with Kylesa?Its cool, top props to Kylesa for taking the gamble and bringing along the beast of forest drugs and mayhem which Okkutlo-on-tour is. However black the Okkulto-sound is, they've got solid riffs and a primal rhythm to them that make them the perfect show opener.

What bands are you working with this year and what will you be releasing? On the horizon now is Hope I Die Virgin's debut album, the new Le Corbeau album and further on we have the new Next Life album and a split 12" with Arabrot and Okkultokrati

Can you give any tips about bands to check out from your local music scene and the Norwegian scene as a whole?
Yes, come over and visit our shop and I'll introduce you to all the good stuff!

As mentioned at the start of this feature, the bands/artists on Fysisk Format are quite wide reaching and will appeal to different metal and music fans in general.

Årabrot are a metal duo from Oslo, who's latest record Revenge is out now on Fysisk Format. You can listen to tracks and check them out on Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/ARABROT and on Myspace at - http://www.myspace.com/arabrot. You can also visit their website at - http://www.arabrot.com.

Aristillus are a young hardcore/screamo band from Oslo that weave indie style guitar into their music to add their own stamp to the music. Their release Devoured Trees & Crystal Skies is available now. Check them out on their Myspace page at - http://www.myspace.com/thearistillus and via Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/Aristillus.

Blood Command are a punk/hardcore trio from Bergen, which includes members of Jeroan Drive and who have just released their new record Hand us the Alpha Male through the label recently. Go listen like them at Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Blood-Command or Myspace at - http://www.myspace.com/bloodcommand.

Death is not Glamorous are a melodic hardcore band from Oslo, featuring members of Damage Control. They are about tour alongside Touche Amore and La Dispute in the UK. Check them out on Myspace at - http://www.myspace.com/deathisnotglamorous.

Di Kjipe are a Bergen based punk band. Their current LP Kor E Du No? is available through Fysisk Format now. Hear more on their Facebook page at - http://www.facebook.com/dikjipe and on Myspace at - http://www.myspace.com/dikjipe.

Dominic are a screamo band from Trondheim. They've been together as band since 2001 and their latest records Nord, is available now. Check them out on Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/dominicnord and on Myspace at - http://www.myspace.com/dominicdgb

Eskatol are a hardcore band from Oslo, which features members of Ingen Utvei, Cruoris, Betongbarn and Summon the Crows. Their split LP with Black Blood World is available through Fysisk Format now. Visit them on Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/eskatol.

Haust are probably one of the more well known bands on Fysisk Format, having already visited the UK alongside Rotten Sound, Trap Them, Gaza and The Kandidate earlier in the year. They are also members of the Black Hole Crew, which includes other Norwegian bands Okkultokrati, Next life, Drugged SS, Dark times, Blackest woods and Sumar. Get into them on Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Haust and on Myspace at - http://www.myspace.com/haust.

Hope I Die Virgin are an indie/alternative band, and give you an idea of the variation of bands on Fysisk's roster. Join them on Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/HopeIDieVirgin.

Kaospilot are another hardcore band from Oslo. Some of their members have recently formed the band Soul Mountain to explore different musical Ideas. Check Kaospilot out on Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kaospilot and on Myspace at - http://www.myspace.com/kosepilot.

Knuste Ruter are an Oslo based punk band. You can their CD Gjennom Veggene from the label now. Check them out on Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/Knuste-Ruter and via Myspace at - http://www.myspace.com/knusteruter.

Kollwitz have already been featured on this very blog, alongside a review of their quite brilliant album Like Iron I Rust, so go read that while you're here! The band play hardcore interspersed with slower, almost doomy atmospheric sections. Like them on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kollwitz.

La Casa Fantom are an experimental hardcore duo from Rælingen in Norway. Their latest release Selection by Elimination is now available through Fysisk Format and through their own label Iskrem Plater (IceCream Records). If you want to find out more about the band, go to their website at - www.lacasafantom.com.

Livstid are a crust-punk band from Bergen in Norway. You can currently get their split with Hungarian punks Human Error, through the label, but they will have a new record out soon. Go check them out on Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/Livstid and on Myspace at - http://www.myspace.com/livstid.

Manhattan Skyline are another band from the Oslo scene signed to Fysisk Format. They are a mathcore band who use a number of different musical influences in their songs, including Jazz and experimental electronica. Their album Curses available through the label now. You can check them out on Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Manhattan-Skyline and on Myspace at - http://myspace.com/manhattanbitches.

Nernes/Skagen are a experimental metal duo featuring members of fellow Fysisk Format band Arabrot, from Oslo. Their recent release Confession is out now. You can find out more about on Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/NernesSkagen and via Myspace at - http://www.myspace.com/conceptvirus.

Next Life are an experimental metal band, who use experimental samples in their music. They have various records available through Fysisk Format, including their Ressurection CD. You can find them on Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/pages/NEXT-LIFE and on Myspace at - http://www.myspace.com/next_life.

Obliteration are another slightly more well known band that have been on the Fysisk Format roster. They have toured in the UK with the UK's own Ramesses and their album Nekropsalms LP gained critical accliam amongst the UK underground. Check them out on Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/Obliteration and via Myspace at -  http://www.myspace.com/obliterationnorway.

Okkultokrati are another member of the Black Hole Crew, alongside label mates Haust. They recently toured the UK alonside US behemoths Kylesa. Their latest releases No Light for Mass and Ingen Veit Altare out on Fysisk Format now. Listen to them now on Facebook at - http://www.facebook.comOKKULTOKRATI and via their blog -  http://okkultokrati.blogspot.com/.

Siste Dagers Helvete are a punk band from Moss in Norway, who've been around since 1983. They have a discography record out on Fysisk Format called Hele Helvete (83-09). You can find out more about them on Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Siste-Dagers-Helvete.

Snöras are a more traditional punk band from Norway. You can pick up their latest record Plague Water up via Fysisk Format. You can check them out on Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/Snoras and on Myspace at - http://www.myspace.com/snoras. They also have their own website you can visit as well at - http://www.snoras.org.

If you want to listen to some of the music from the above bands, you can go and visit Fysisk Format's website at - http://www.tigernet.no/shop/fysiskformat.php.

So, if you're bored of the cooky cutter mainstream metal and want to listen to something with both variety and venom, listen to any of the above bands. Fysisk Format are a lable that are doing things properly and deserve your support, I know they#ve got mine!

Sunday 29 May 2011


Keep an eye out for a new feature on Fysisk Format records from Norway and more awesome bands, coming soon!

Thursday 26 May 2011

August Ruins - The Ghost and The Gasoline

This is my second feature on a band from American label From the Depths Entertainment, as I've already featured Austrian band Almost Failed. This time it's the turn of Pittsburgh punk band August Ruins.They formed in early 2009 and have since recorded a demo and this record - The Ghost and the Gasoline.

August Ruins are - Mike Sebula on Bass Guitar and Lead Vocals, Eric Sebula on Lead Guitar and/ Vocals, Reggie Little on Rhythm Guitar and Vocals and Kory Caldarelli on Drums.

So to their EP The Ghost and The Gasoline. They kick off with Forfiet and Deny and it starts of with galloping drums and a sound that is inspired by the likes of Billy Talent and brings to mind latter Goldfinger.They have cool riffs and solos which add a lot to the music and the band play with a heft that shows they are influenced by more than just pop punk.
Bleed with me is played with great energy, which I can see many a fan pogoing to in sweaty clubs. Again it's really melodic and has a hint of early Offspring to it. The effects used in the vocals on the song add some bite to the song and the vocals have a gritty edge to them, all the while held together by great instrumentation. Don't turn away is another great pop-punk song. It's polished but sympathetic production keeping the listener hooked and interested. The structure is good and it brings to mind a lot of the bands from the late 90's early 00's. This is slightly slower than some of the songs on the record but it shows a slightly different side to August Ruins, which shows they could become a great prospect amongst the raft of pop-punk bands coming out of the US at the moment.

Our Endless War starts off as the title suggest, with an urgency that shows the band
mean business. This brings the pace back up after the previous song and shows a slightly more metal side to the band. I can traces of Rancid and bands of that ilk in the song, which is a welcome change, and shows they are not trying to be too commercial. Their fifth track is an instrumental which again sound more metallic and meaty. The twin guitars in the song are a great touch, cause after all, we all love a bit of melody. Final track What you don't know is the last chance for August Ruins to show you what they're all about and they use the opportunity well. It is a final slab of gritty. melodic punk. More driving guitars, all held down by the rhythm section. Some nice bluesy guitar touches as well, bring in variation and add an extra string to their bow.

It's great to here a band playing punk for a change and not trying to be all emo or macho. They are playing music that they want to play that they would listen too as fans. The production is clean and clear, which allows each individual instrument place to breath and be heard, which adds depth to the record. If you want to listen to something during the summer months to bring your spirits up after the long hard winter, you could do a lot worse than checking out August Ruins.

If you want to check out August Ruins, you can do so at their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/augustruins, their Myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/augustruins and you can listen to their songs at http://www.purevolume.com/augustruins or http://soundcloud.com/ftdentertainment/sets/august-ruins-the-ghost-and-the-gasoline/.

Also if you want to check out their record label and the other bands on it, go to http://www.facebook.com/fromthedepthsentertainment and check out their blog at http://fromthedepthsent.blogspot.com.

Saturday 21 May 2011

Colossus - Spiritual Myiasis EP

So time for something different. Colossus are a three-peice sludge metal band from Stockholm, Sweden. They're not you're traditional sludge band though, as their music a more progressive, but no less hypnotic.

Colossus are made up of Niklas Eriksson on Guitar & Vocals, David Axman - Bass and
Thomas Norstedt - Drum. These guys show another face of the ever expanding Swedish metal scene.
This brings me onto their three track demo - Spiritual Myiasis. On lead track Parasite, they begin with progressive, buzzsaw guitar riffs and an offbeat rhythm section. The vocals arefit the music really well, not too aggresive or deep and remeniscent of Mastodon or High of Fire. You can tell that this is music from a cold ravaged landscape, as there is almost a despondency to it which we've come to expect from sludge influenced metal. They are of the ilk that let their instrumentation do a lot of the talking, and this is true of the second track on the demo, The Gnawing. The band get more brutal at the start of the song and then move into their progressive best again, with vocals thats bring to mind At the Drive-in. The song title being very apt, as the song does gnaw at the listener and makes them take note, especially of the drum solo part way through, which is good as this is the longest track on the demo. The band rock out more towards the end of track and include some decent guitar melodies that herald the end of the song. Third track Eternal Return, is more of a straightforward sludge song, with that deep and slow guitar sound in the intro and a wailing lead as the song slows for the verse. The conventional sludge in the song sounds awesomely heavy, as the band moves to disorienate the listener with more progressive moments mid way through the track. The extended instrumental four minutes in is a nice touch, before moving back to bludgeon the listener.
This is a really impressive demo and shows a band very adept at weaving different influences into their sound. The production is what you'd expect from a sludge demo and adds a lot to the songs. This is very promising and it'll be good to see what Colossus come up with for future releases.
If you want to listen to Spiritual Myiasis, head over to Colossus's Soundcloud page below.

Parasite by Colossusstockholm

You can check Colossus out on their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/colossusstockholm or at their own website www.colossus.se.

The Vultures are circling - Vultures In Vivid Colours

So, as I carry on my look at the Yorkshire metal scene, my latest feature is on Vultures In Vivid Colours, another band from the fertile scene in Hull. These guys form part of a growing scene which also includes other up-and-coming bands including Outspoken Silence and Beneath the Eyes of Eternity, to name a couple.

VIVC formed in 2008, out of the ashes of another local called Reign of Chaos. They are influenced by the likes of  Norma Jean and Poison the well. The band is currently made up of Vocalist - Ben Middleton, Guitarist - Nick Milner, Bassist - Zak Foster and Drummer - Rob Johnson. The guys are also about to announce a second guitarist. They are about to embark on a tour in June, which will take them to Edinburgh and Middlesborough amongst other, with We Shot the Groundskeeper and Allure in Grace.

A little while ago, I caught up with guitarist Nick Milner to find out more about VIVC:-

So guys, how's it going?

Its going splendid thank you. Things are taking there time but the creativity is flowing 
and we are in the late stages of writing our new set. we are all super happy with how things are sounding.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?
we'll be dusting off our gear and hitting up the local venues end of June 
with our new drummer Rob Johnson and a yet to be named new guitarist. 
you should hear some demo tracks before then maybe even a video or two.
then its tour, tour, tour. gig, gig, gig. its been 6 months since our last gig
and we are missing it a ridiculous amount so we plan to make up for lost time
and show people this bands far from dead. 

You've already got a summer tour sorted. Tell us a bit about that and the bands you're playing with?
yer, we hit the road July 24th with our boys in Allure in grace and We shot the groundskeeper we are super stoked to be touring with these guys, Allure in graces E.P is awesome and the WSTG lads are good buds so its gonna be a hellish 2 weeks for the kidneys. when Rob and Mat get together I'm sure all kind of hell is going to break loose!

How did you end up forming VIVC?
Oh man this takes me back a bit i think it was around September 2008 that the name first came up i joined a local band called reign of chaos with a couple of guys id hardly met before they said to me they only had two shows left and then they wanted to rename and reform, and that's where VIVC was born they were fun days and for a few of us the first time we'd been in a constantly gigging band. hanging out at chocolate factory.
the members have changed slightly (Sam and Chris now in Beneath the eyes of eternity and Mat now in Demoraliser) but we've always had fun throughout and we always plan too this band has given me some of the best friends I've ever had.

Have you got plans for any releases in the near future?
Most definitely we'll have a few tracks online within the next 2 months and then once were back from tour we'll be hitting the studio to record our first release to tour off the back of again later in the year. Its gonna be a fine blend of face punching heaviness and calm soothing interludes. something to fuck too and something to fight too.

I read somewhere that you guys are going in a different direction with your music. What made you decide to progress from your current style?
the band has always been about individuality, we all have our own individual tastes and preferences. we've done the whole metalcore thing 
and even touched on melodic hardcore but the style we are heading towards now has always been somewhere we've wanted to be. i guess now there's a harmony in the band and we all want the same thing. I don't wanna compare us to other bands but i will say its a much more maturer sound then previous. we've dropped the constant riffs and created stuff that we can enjoy ourselves a lot more too while playing and I'm sure the kids in the crowd are gonna have a lot more fun to it. its like nothing anyone else is playing in Hull at the minute.

Can you guys give your tips on bands to check out this year from your local scene?
Locally check out In Sincerity, Beneath The Eyes Of Eternity, The lads in Hand&Cleaver, The Tyrannical Legends that are Outspoken Silence, Curses from Leeds one of my top 10 bands at the minute and you wont be able to avoid the freight train that is Demoraliser them Lads are tear shit up this year.

You can currently download everything the band have ever recorded at this Mediafire link - http://www.mediafire.com/?ezntwhhtzn4.

Also, if you want to find out more about Vultures In Vivid Colours, you can find them on Facebook at - http://www.facebook.com/Vultures-In-Vivid-Colours, Myspace at - http://www.myspace.com/vulturesinvividcolours and you can buy merch at their BigCartel page at - http://vulturesinvividcolours.bigcartel.com.

So check VIVC out and listen to their music, as these guys are another great excuse for you to listen to homegrown metal talent!

Sunday 15 May 2011


Join me on Twitter at @StayAheadBlog for news and updates and general heavy metalness!

Forged of Flesh - Overthrow the Kingdom

A couple of weeks ago now, I was contacted by Jon Baldizon, lead singer of up and coming US Death metal band Forged of Flesh, who told me that they had released an album and wanted people to check it out. He also told me that the bands CD release show was played alongside 3 Inches of Blood and Skeletonwitch, so that made me take even more notice.

To give you a bit a background about the band, they formed in the middle of 2010, ready to unleash their take on death metal on the unsuspecting metalheads far and wide. Forged of Flesh is made up of Jon Baldizon on Vox, Dustin Taberski on Drums, Abomb on Bass and Guitarists Matt Slomski and Rex Gard.

The album itself begins with a intro of piano and strings to build the atmosphere for the listener before jumping into the first track proper Wrapped in undead flesh. The band then move into the straight up blasting drums and rasping vocals that death metal in renowned for. The guitars are crunching before moving into a really good solo about halfway into the song. The double bass comes thick and fast, and helps add to the sense of battery you get from the band. Third track The End All starts at a slightly more sedate pace before moving into nice sweeping leads and almost modern Swe-death vocals. This is reminiscent of what Trivium would have sounded like if they had stayed heavy, but that's a lazy comparison as Forged of Flesh are a much heavier prospect. Fourth track Fight the Hordes, starts with an almost folk metal riff and it is the first time the bands power metal vocals come to the attention of the listener. They are not overused, so don't become cheesy and actually add to the music. They also employ more guitar solo's to add variety to the song.  

The Ash Engulfs the Sun is the fifth track on Overthrow the Kingdom, and the band employ singing here to change the pace slightly before moving into sixth track, With Blood Stained Blades. With this track, the band moves back into bludgeoning mode, but the fact the vocals are not low in the register like most death metal seems to be, makes it more enjoyable and the solo shows the dexterity of the guitarists. The European influenced touches are nice to hear and show that Forged of Flesh want to appeal to a wide range of listeners. Track seven, Cry Havoc shows off more of the bands musicianship and proves that they clearly have a more diverse set of influences than your average death metallers. The kick drumming at the start is almost mesmerizing at times. Final track, To The Depths starts with an almost Egyptian sounding riff before moving into a more galloping section. The pace then picks up again for one final blast and a frenetic close to the album, containing another sweeping, wailing solo and a constant battery from the rhythm section.

Overall, Forged of Flesh are a really great band and Overthrow the Kingdom is an album varied enough that it makes you wonder how long it'll be before these guys start getting wider attention.

If you want to check them out, head over to their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/forgedofflesh or their Myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/forgedofflesh. You can listen to the song they've posted and if you like what you hear, head over to their BigCartel page at http://forgedofflesh.bigcartel.com and pick up a copy of the album or buy some merch.

Saturday 14 May 2011

Introducing - Nekroholocaust

Okay, so most of you are familiar with the the European and American death metal scenes, but there is also a popular and expanding scene over is South East Asia. Nekroholocaust are form part of the Philipino death metal scene. They come from Bacolod City and have been together since 2004.

Nekroholocaust are Bertram Vidaja on Guitars, Francis Albesa on Drums and Jap Decena on Vocals. Nekroholocaust have released 2 demos to date, Raped afterbirth 2010 and Demo 2011. They are also planning to release anothewr EP this autumn and the a full length record in the future. They have also appeared on a number of split CD's and compliations. You can get details of these and the labels they are available through by going to the bands Facebook page at - http://www.facebook.com/nekroholocaust or their Myspace page at - http://www.myspace.com/nekroholocaust.

Musically, Nekroholocaust are influenced by a lot of death/grind bands including Devourment and Suffocation, so their music is pretty brutal and fast. The band currently have a couple of tracks up on their myspace page for you to listen to, but of you want to get hold of their demo's or comps, you'll need to get in touch with the band deirectly.

You can also check them out at Soundclick at - http://www.soundclick.com/Nekroholocaust and at Reverbnation at - http://www.reverbnation.com/nekroholocaust.

It's well worth taking the time to discover these guys and other bands from South East Asia, as they are producing some of the most brutal death metal and grindcore that you're likely to find at the moment.

Monday 2 May 2011


We all know about the role that Sweden has played in shaping metal as a genre for many years now, from the first rumblings of the Swedish death metal scene to their contribution to the hardcore scene in recent years, so when Victor from Swedish band Alenah got in touch, I knew I had to check them out.

Alenah is made up of Isac Elingbo on vocals, Erik Winberg and Oscar Salman Prim on guitars, Victor Johannessonon on bass and Johan Glimmersten on drums. The band started properly in eary 2010 after releasing a couple of demos to help them find their sound.

Eventually the guys found that sound, which is heavily influenced by 90's screamo, but in Swedish.

These guy have been very productive since they formed, having released an EP and a single that you can find on their bandcamp page.

Their new release is a digital only single called - Mitt Waterloo, which was released in April of this year.

The title song, Mitt Waterloo, starts off with an introspective build up before Alenah unleashes their mash up of 90s screamo and hardcore. The instrumentation is melodic and almost euphoric and with the vicious Swedish vocals, the song sounds very abrasive and urgent. About 3 minutes in, the music changes pace and slows down, interjected by the odd anguished scream from vocalist Isaac. Alenah show a good use of atmospherics to make the track more foreboding and gives you a sense that Alenah have more in their locker.

Their second track, Ett Dödsdatum Satt, starts with a more instant smash to the head. The song instantly has more energy and shows a more urgent side to the band. It highlights the bands love of chaotic hardcore, and angular riffs, all pinned down by a very capable rhythm section.

Their earlier release, Sotiga Liljor I Seine, is a five track EP that was released in May 2010.

First track,  Dödfödd, is a mid paced track, but it still holds a lot of urgency thanks to the vocals. Alenah show more good variation, with the slower paced parts moving into faster sections. The angular riffs are present, which gives the sense that there is a nod to Refused and Botch in there, and it all ends very abruptly with some brief feedback. It leads straight into second track, Monstret. This song includes more galloping drumming than before, this moves into a sampled mid section before the band slows down again, to almost doomy proportions, reminiscent of bands like Strife and Norwegian newcomers Kollwitz. Third track Vindspel's instrumentation, especially the guitars provide more of a poppy tone,
before leaping back into their angular hardcore. The melodic riffs prove a nice touch and add something to the abrasive vocals to make the listener pay attention. Fourth track, Smittan, is more chaotic and is one of the bands more chaotic songs. The pace changes are again used to good effect to before moving straight into track five, Råttorna, which is the last track on the EP. Again, Alenah employs lots of different elements into the music,
with more melodic guitar parts. The song is built around the same riff which, towards the end of the track melds into feedback and along with the samples, melts away leaving the reassurance of silence and the feeling that you have survived the chaos.

Overall ,these to releases ares a clue to the direction in which Swedish, and Scandinavian bands are taking hardcore. It's a very different beast to that of our US cousins, and is a welcome sign of things to come.

If you want here more from Alenah, the songs from the new single and EP are available to stream and download via bandcamp at http://alenah.bandcamp.com/. I have included them below as well.

Also if you want to stay in touch with what Alenah are doing, visit their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/alenahswe and they are even on Spotify at the following link http://open.spotify.com/alrenah.

Sunday 1 May 2011

Music reviews and gigs

I thought it might be cool to start doing more reviews on music that bands have out, as there is loads about. If your in a band and want your music reviewing, give me a shout on Facebook at this links - http://www.facebook.com/stayaheadblog or by e-mailing me at stayaheadblog@yahoo.co.uk. If you want to incorporate a feature into the review, let me know.

I also want to start posting gig listings, flyers and even reader submitted gig reviews, so if you've got gigs/flyers sorted or if you've been to a gig and want to let people know how awesome it was, get in touch and I'll post in on the blog!