Sunday, 18 December 2011

Savour Your Scene Records


I love finding out about new, independent records labels that have been formed out love for the music, who really believe in what they do and who care about the bands they release. This is all true for Savour Your Scene Records. Only formed in September of this year, by Stephen Currie of Irish hardcore band Gacys Threads. Stephen wanted to put his knowledge of the underground hardcore/metal scene to good use, to help bands out in his local scene.

The label works hard with other label in Ireland and across the rest of Europe, especially with like minded Irish label Grindscene Records. SYSR has also been getting some pretty good promotion recently, as their band By Any Means managed to get a track on the Terrorizer Magazine cover mount CD, and being a subscriber myself, it's cool to see the promotion of labels and bands from both sides.

While I'm here, I've posted three reviews below of SYSR's first three releases for Gacys Threads, By Any Means and Ilenkus. Hope you enjoy them.

Gacys Threads - The Ignorance of Purity


Gacys Threads are Stephen Currie's band, the founder of Savour Your Scene Records. They've been going since 2007. They have been very busy since their formation, self releasing a demo, and 2 four track EP's before this one. They have also made their presence felt on the live scene in Ireland, supporting bands like Parkway Drive and Fear Factory!

The first thing that springs to mind, is the modern, clear production. The first track is the title track, and it's really just a precursor to what is about to come. It builds with clean picked guitar before the screams of vocalist Aaron Vance are unleashed for the first time.
 The EP kicks in proper on the second track "Hope bleeds into despair". It's a heavy affair, with blasting drums and ferocious vocals. The clean picked guitars, adding originality to the sound. Off-kilter guitar adds some progressive touches, reminiscent of many of today's experimental hardcore bands, which Gacys Threads have shared the stage with, including the likes of August Burns Red and Retox. There are some Dillinger'isms to the music, which is definitely on bad thing.

The longer the EP goes on, the more the sense of experimentation grows. More guitar riffs are used and the songs move between passages and time changes perfectly. The anguished screams give you sense if impending madness, as the band kick on, laying waste to all in their path. I can imagine people going nuts to this in a live environment and Gacys Threads prove that you don't need to go on an all out blast offencive to sound heavy, they manage to do it with clever musicianship.

The five tracks here certainly make you appreciate the talent that we have on our own shores, which is more than enough to take on of our continental cousins, or those across the pond for that matter. I'd recommend you to check Gacys Threads out if you're a fan of clever, forward thinking hardcore. There's no adolescent, per-puberty stuff going on here!

To find out more about Gacys Threads, visit their website at http://www.gacysthreads.com and their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/gacysthreads. You can also buy merch from them via BigCartel at http://gacysthreads.bigcartel.com/.

You can listen to the album here via bandcamp:-





By Any Means - Built on Respect


By Any Means are, like SYSR, from Belfast, Northern Ireland. By Any Means pride themselves with carrying the hardcore baton in their local scene. This release has been SYSR's second release.

The records immediately hits you, By Any Means are more angry and offer forth more straight up hardcore. The first track is an instrumental opener, before the record kicks in proper, with all it's might. It's driving, angry hardcore at it's best, with a hint of thrash thrown into the mix. The solo in second track "My Anger, My Gift" is a nice touch. They get into their stride on third track "Mercury Rising", which is also the longest track on the record at just over five minutes. The title track of the record, "Built on Respect" is raging and more urgent in it's delivery.

There is a crossover element to the By Any Means' sound, which shows they have more to offer than straight up hardcore. It has a kind of Sepultura/Soufly vibe to it, which is pretty cool. There are no tough guy breakdowns in this, it's honest, original hardcore. The band do employ gang vocals in the song "Hardcore Pride", which is reminiscent of something Hatebreed would put out. Their use of spoken word samples also adds another dimension to the music. It's an Insane, metallic whirlwind of an album. This should appeal to quite a diverse metal audience, with it's hardcore, metal and crossover elements.

The last track "A Declaration of War" is heralded in by an air-raid siren and some
awesome guitar effects, before settling into a chuggy, cathartic verse. This is probably one of the  heaviest tracks on the record. It's a crushing end to an impressive album. It definitely shows the diversity that is alive and well within the Irish metal scene, and one which i'll be keeping an eye on for sure.

Take the time to check out By Any Means on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/byanymeanshc or via Myspace at  http://www.myspace.com/byanymeanshardcore.

You can listen to the album here via bandcamp:-





Ilenkus are from Galway and are a completely different beast altogether. These guys formed in 2010 with the goal of making post-metal in the vein of bands like Mastodon and Isis, and have had the pleasure of sharing stages with bands like The Ocean and our very own Rolo Tomassi.

This record "Rule By Thieves" is SYSR's third release. Ilenkus have a very full on, heavy sound. The band is a totally different prospect to the other bands on SYSR. They sound experimental, but with low growled vocals and have an almost Mastodon quality to them.
Some of the vocals are sung and it brings to mind "LD50" by Mudvayne, which is no bad thing. The songs are longer and the production is very commanding and involving. There are plenty of off kilter riffs and different vocals, from deep almost haunting singing, to screaming and something akin to spoken word shouting as well. The rhythm section manages to keep up well, underpinning the galloping sound that Ilenkus creates.

This record is pretty insane, there are so many elements to it, it takes time to take it all in, but it is worth it. It requires you to concentrate, so those of you with a short attention span need not apply! It's noisy as well, and the kind of mental work out that most people are afraid of.

The instrumentation is quite brilliant, especially the way Ilenkus tie it all together to ensure the music rolls on, without any breakup or confusion. The variety is good and it certainly grabs you by the throat. The dual vocals also add extra weight to what is already a heavy record. The quiet/loud dynamics of some of the passages on the album are very well done, especially to help stop the onset of migraine's due to the sheer wall of sound that emanates from the speakers during the playing of the record.

Sixth track "Cerebral Anomaly" which last just over nine minutes and is one of Ilenkus's
most ostentatious tracks. It encompasses all of Ilenkus's
which bring some respite.

Seventh track is a lot more urgent, especially as it's half the length as the previous track, but it's still crammed with ideas. The last track "Great Divide" is the beast at almost fifteen minutes long. It's their most opulent track and a fitting end to a record which is more like a journey though minds more dangerous and damaged than your own.

Ilenkus can be found via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ilenkus .

You can listen to the album here via bandcamp:-


So here you have it, a very diverse and forward thinking record label with three incredible bands amongst their ranks, all worth keeping an eye on in the future.

They also have a compilation that can be downloaded via bandcamp for free, which showcases bands from their local Irish scene. Just go to:-

http://savouryourscenerecords.bandcamp.com/album/sys-records-vol1

Also, make sure you visit them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Savouryourscenerecords and visit their own website at http://www.savouryourscene.co.uk/ where can find more information about them, their bands.

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