Saturday 31 March 2012

April 21 - The Hotel Ambush + Very Special Guests

This is happening in Swindon on the 21st of April. It's being organised by SouthWestHardcore.


The Hotel Ambush - (
The Argent Dawn -
Moments Before Oblivion -

They are still looking for another band to fill the final slot, so get in touch at if you're band wants on -

Wake The Dead - Meaningless Expectations

This is another one of the new Lockjaw Records releases that has surfaced recently. Wake The Dead are from Marseille and play modern, melodic hardcore. Meaningless Expectations is their newest release, which is out on sumptuous 10" vinyl.


1. Mon Rave Familier
2. Reaching The Sky
3. Bathed in Shadows
4 Sweet Words Fuck Your Throat
5. The Feeling Inside
6. As Swallows

Mon Rave Familier starts with a great clean guitar intro before Wake The Dead's brilliant melodic hardcore kicks in. They don't favour out and out brutality, instead going for tunefulness to compliment the screaming vocals and brilliant gang vox that make their sound so rousing!

There are some great punk influences in the song, especially towards the end where the drums and guitars pick up pace and bounce along, causing your head to bob furiously. Reaching The Sky has some No Turning Back influences to it, but is still very original. The vocals on this song seem a more angry and emotional, and you get a sense of vocalist Jeff’s veins wanting to pop out, when he's spitting out those lyrics.

Wake The Dead are very skilled musicians. The songs are frenetic and each have their own identity, for example, Bathed in Shadows has some great breakdowns that intersperse with some really clever, subtle progressive riffs and the rhythm section is equally as strong.

The songs are short and sweet and contain enough ideas and energy to keep you hooked. It's also great to hear a French hardcore band who don't just go for the throat with constant breakdowns and pummeling double bass, instead borrowing from the emo/screamo scene and as a result making their music sound heavier, without actually being so. Fifth song The Feeling Inside, being a perfect example of this.

The production of the record is really good as well. It's clear and precise with nothing out of place and all the instruments, vocals well balanced, which heightens the experience. Wake The Dead are on to a winning formula here. They are going to appeal to a wide range of metal/hardcore fans if this is anything to go by, and I'm certainly hooked!

So if you want to hear what Wake The Dead have to offer, you can listen to this whole record via their Bandcamp page, which I've handily posted below:-

You can also visit them on Facebook at and also visit Lockjaw records if you like what you hear, and order the record for yourselves at

Harrogate - My scene part 2

OK, so this marks the second part of my look into the metal/punk scene in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, where I currently reside. The first part was posted a few weeks back now, and featured some of the more notable bands to come out of Harrogate and begin making an impact.

This part delves deeper into the scene and looks at some of the emerging bands and the people that make things happen.

I'll start with Slaughterhead. These guys play death/thrash metal and feature members of Drowned In Flames, who were featured in the first part of this feature, as well as local punk bands Fuck With Fire and Ericbana, who I'm featuring a little later.

There hasn't been anything released by Slaughterhead yet, as far as I'm aware but they have posted some demo tracks and teasers of on Youtube, from demo songs they recorded last year. I've posted one below for you to check out.

Slaughterhead's Facebook page is

That brings me onto Fuck With Fire.

Fuck With Fire have probably been one of the most active punk bands in the local area. They've released several records, including splits with other notable punk bands like You, Me and the Atom Bomb and they've got a great live reputation, thanks to shows alongside the likes of Off With Their Heads and jaunts around Europe. More recently, members have surfaced in another great Harrogate punk band called Little Drafts.

Little Drafts started out as a solo project by the vocalist from Fuck With Fire, but has since turned into a full band, and they've started recording their first release. I been lucky enough to see Little Drafts in both forms, and I'm really excited by what's coming from them as their recording progresses.

You can keep up to date at

The hardcore end of the scene in Harrogate has been pretty much propped up by Ericbana. They've featured and feature members from many local acts including Slaughterhead and Fuck With Fire. They've been another band who have go out and about, playing alongside Leeds band The Plight and touring with Rash Decision, who they also released a split CD with, amongst others. They also feature members of the hardcore collective North Yorkshire Hardcore, who have been bringing punk and hardcore bands to Harrogate for over ten years now.

I saw them in February alongside Little Drafts, Sheffield punks Dry Heaves and Eagleburner. It was a great gig and it's what inspired me to do this feature!

As I was saying, NYHC is a collective that have been putting on shows in Harrogate for over ten years. In that time they've booked shows and tours with some great punk/hardcore bands including, End Reign from Durham, who are one the UK's most exciting hardcore bands at the moment and bands from further afield like Dutch band This Routine Is Hell and Belgian bruisers Sunpower. Details of the next gig are below:-

North Yorkshire Hardcore also have a Facebook page at

This brings me onto the more extreme end of the metal spectrum, starting with a fairly new Power-violence band called N.A.A. These guys released a couple of early demo track in digital form in the middle of last year which are well worth checking out. They've been through some line-up changes but are looking to record a demo, so keep an eye on them on Facebook at

This then leads me into the mysterious beast that is Glorious North Productions. This label was set up to release records by black metal and ambient bands and also to act as a distributor for hard to get hold of releases from across the globe.

GNP is very much independent from the rest of the scene in Harrogate, especially as it focuses on a very extreme end of the metal genre, but it's certainly well worth checking out their releases.

I will be reviewing a couple of their releases shortly, but in the meantime you can find out more by going to You can also hook up with them via Facebook at

So there you have it, it's not an exhaustive look at what Harrogate has to offer and there may be a third installment, but for now, check out these bands, labels and look out for shows happening, as you might be surprised!

Veloz - Sleipnir

OK, well this brings me to last of my reviews on 7" releases by Kent based label Parade of Spectres. This time, I'm reviewing the 7" by Boston, MA's Veloz. I bet you guys thought the only good thing to come out of Boston was Killswitch Engage and metalcore. Well you're wrong, as Veloz kick out some serious hardcore inspired jams, for the thinking man!

This 7" was put out as a dual release by Parade of Spectres and React With Protest. The artwork on the sleeve of the record in very intricate and brooding, the lyric sheet is hand written inside the sleeve and the music itself comes on a nice slab of black vinyl.


Side A - 

1. Wake The Plague
2. Killer Fiction
3. Yggdrasil

Side B -

4. Demon Parasites
5. Second Nature

The 7" itself feature 5 short blasts of raging hardcore noise, more akin to the harshest
screamo, as demonstrated by opening track Wake The Plague. The instrumentation is chaotic and in combo with the vocals, make for an intense listen.

Second song Killer Fiction incorporates some nice clean, off kilter guitar to add a sense of melody. There's a strong sense of melodic influences in Veloz's music, but it's put across in such a way that it takes a few spins to pick up on the subtlety of it.

Yggdrasil shows splashes of math-core within it's structure and the intro to Demon Parasites has glimpses of thrash in it, but I'm not going to compare Veloz to any other band, because I don't feel it would do them justice!

And so I hit last song Second Nature with a big sense of excitement, as much like the other 7"s I've reviewed recently, I've been blown away by Veloz and Sleipnir. The sense of melody mixed in with the chaos and hardcore inspired touches, make this record a thrilling listen, and while short, it's crammed with ideas that keep you hooked and concentrating to final note has ended. I'd strongly recommend you hunt this record down and buy it!

It's really cool to know that a place that I had known for it's metalcore heritage, is harbouring bands like Veloz, who have an identity and an originality beyond that of the "name" bands that come from their locale. The fact that they've also been brought to peoples attention by two great independent record labels, is even better. I sure Veloz will continue to product exciting music and I'll be waiting in anticipation for what's to come.

Veloz are streaming this 7" on their Bandcamp page at, but I've also posted it here, so you can listen to it -

There's also a couple of ways you can keep up to date with Veloz as well. They have a blog at and a Facebook page at Go drop by both pages.

Sleipnir itself can be picked up from the labels below, plus I'm sure there are distros that stock it too, so you should be able to pick up a copy -

Parade Of Spectres -
React With Protest -

Sunday 25 March 2012

Kicking Spit - Reality Dropout Tape

My second review is on the Reality Dropout tape by Kicking Spit. They are a rock band from New Brunswick, New Jersey. The song Reality Dropout is the single from their Negative Feedback LP, which is due to be released shortly.


1. Reality Dropout
2. Gone

Reality Dropout is surprisingly melodic and Kicking Spit's rock n roll influenced sound is really refreshing. It's got cool, old school punk undertones. The solos are rocking and the wailing feedback adds to the sense of a band going back in time,
to when rock was fun-fuelled and care-free.

Second song Gone is a bit thrashier and the driving guitars mean business. The garage punk sound is pretty evident in the vocals, but the metal influences do shine through in the music. If you want something different and are sick of the more brutal than thou stuff, you could do a lot worse than listen to Kicking Spit. This is rip-roaring stuff and not something that's being done a lot right now by other bands, so that would make Kicking Spit trailblazers!

Like the Obsessor tape before it, Reality Dropout goes by too quickly. You want to get immersed in some good time rock n roll, but it's over too quickly, so you'll just have to keep it on repeat until the LP arrives!

You can also hear this tape on the Tankcrimes website or below:-

This cassette is also available for download or on physical tapes from Tankcrimes at and Kicking Spit is on Facebook at

Obsessor - Sick Salvation Tape

So, I decided it was time a got a couple of Tankcrimes release reviews out to you. Obsessor is a mysterious metallic hardcore punk solo project, from Richmond, Virginia USA. Sick Salvation has been released as a two track cassette single. This is the second tape that's been released so far by Obsessor, but more are on the way.


1. Sick Salvation
2. The Demon

Sick Salvation is a thrash inspired hardcore track, with audible growls and buzzsaw guitar. It’s hard to imagine that one person recorded this! There are smatterings of Slayer and Celtic Frost influences within the music, it's evil but you can still bang your head to it. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and that's what’s great fun about it.

Second track The Demon has a more straightforward song structure, but is just as fun. It's got a distinctly old school feel to it, bringing back the days when thrash and black metal bands co-existed and when punk was dangerous. This would be awesome live. The guitar work in the song is brilliant and gives it a great melodic edge.

Overall, it's a short but sweet release, which gives you a great taste of what's to come from Obsessor. Perfect for keg parties, and talking of keg parties, the sun is shining here so that's given me a great idea!

Get yourself more acquainted with Obsessor below:-
There are various ways to get hold of these tracks. They are up for download on the Tankcrimes site via the music tab and you can by physical tapes via

Also, Obsessor are on Facebook, so you can keep up to date with what they're doing at Don't sleep on Obsessor!

Saturday 24 March 2012

Hungry Lungs - S/T 7"

So, this is the third 7" review I've done in recent weeks, on records released by Kent based label Parade Of Spectres, as well as five other labels from around the world, who collaborated to get this release out to a wider audience.

Hungry Lungs are a 5-piece hardcore band from Germany and this is their first 7" vinyl release, after the demo cassette they released in 2009. The first thing I was drawn to with this release was quality of the artwork. The gold on black finish giving the packaging a real sense of quality and the record itself, looking great in gold.


Side A

The Heaviest of All Weights

Side B


Opener Koerperjuenger, sees Hungry Lungs spill forth with a wall of rage, channeled through their instruments and some intense screaming. This is brutal, jarring stuff but it does have some real subtle qualities, like it's pace changes and some really good guitar melodies that creep through.

The Heaviest of All Worlds is exactly as the title suggests. The pace is more measured than their opener, but the song is no less chaotic and it breaks with a squeal of ringing feedback, before a brief, spoke word sample breaks up the chaos. The song then launches back into life and batters you once more with a quick flourish of abrasive, hardcore.

Philister on side B, is a bit of a different beast. What start like the songs that have come before, morphs into a slower, broodier piece with some great doom inspired riffs that finish this 7" off in style.

This is the first time I have been exposed to Hungry Lungs and their brand or hardcore, but It's safe to say I'm sold. They are another positive addition to the string of great hardcore bands that are currently rising up from the  underground in Germany. Along with bands like Planks and Lentic Waters, I think you'll agree that there is more great stuff to come from the German scene, and I'll be keeping my eyes peeled!

You can hear the records opener on Hungry Lungs bandcamp page here:-

If you want to hear more of this 7", you may still be able to pick a copy up from the following labels:-

Parade of Spectres -
React With Protest -
Contraszt Records -
Win Htein -
Farblos Records -

If however, you can't get a copy of the record, Hungry Lungs are offering it as a free download on their Facebook page at

Thursday 22 March 2012

Uzala - S/T

I've found myself recently getting into a lot more doomy, sludgy stuff. I think it might as a way to balance some of the faster bands I've been listening, but I'm glad I've had the chance to check some of these bands out in recent months. I mean on this blog alone, I've reviewed records by Kollwitz and Within The Fall, and I found myself checking Procession too. Uzala are the latest band to drop into my inbox, so I couldn't wait to hear them.

Uzala are a mighty four piece from Boise, Idaho USA.


1. Batholith
2. The Reaping
3. Ice Castle
4. Fracture
5. Wardrums
6. Plague
7. Gloomy Sunday
8. Cataract (Cassette only)

Opener Batholith begins with a single guitar playing an already, almost hypnotic riff, before the doom kicks in. The sound is quite haunting, especially when the siren like vocals of Darcy Nutt rise out of the murky depths forged by the band. As with most doom records, the instruments do most of the work and the production has a certain, smoky vibe too it.

Second track The Reaping seems to be even slower and it sounds like the record was recorded entirely live, with no unwanted effects of embellishments. It's a hallucination inducing song, with the low end coming to the fore to add a buzzing, spitting heft to Uzala's sound. The solo during the song is really warming, before it reaches the slow, churning depths again as it comes to a close.

Each song on this record has a different feeling to it. All the parts seem to tell a story and play tricks on your senses, especially if you’re listening to it in a darkened room.
Fracture is a surprise, the riffs are like 70s prog, but the vocals are like a possessed black metal hybrid, but seems to work really well.

The album turns into something else part way through, with those black metal-like vocals making an appearance in fifth track Wardrums. This time with the addition of those haunting melodic vocals and the slow doom riffing, you've got the perfect recipe to join the coven!

This album is journey best not experienced alone. It's twists and turns may well drive you quietly insane those trance inducing riffs, only to bring you back to consciousness with those hauntingly good vocals that pierce the wall of sound. This is the sound of a band playing to their own beat, challenging the conventions of what a doom metal album should sound like.

Some of the melodies that are conjured in the riffs are really top draw, like at the start of Gloomy Sunday. The rumbling of the bass and the anchored quality of the drumming bring it all together. By last song (cassette only) Cataract, you are left alone with Darcy Nutt's siren like vocals, to contemplate what you have just witnessed. Uzala are and will be something special and the more people who take note of them, the more will be grabbed and hooked under their spell. This record is a true look at how subtly different elements can be brought together to create a quite spectacular body of work!

This record is being streamed in it's entirety via Uzala's bandcamp page, so please check it out -

Also, be sure to drop by Uzala's Facebook page at and if you want to buy their record, you can buy digital copies from the bandcamp page above or you get vinyl copies (if there's any left) via At War With False Noise at and you can pick up cassette version from Witchsermon at

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Please help me out!

I'd like to hear from bands and labels I've featured up to now, as I'd like feedback on whether my blog has made a difference to them. I started this solely as a hobby to help me discover new bands, and it's certainly helped me do that. It's grown beyond my expectations over the last 18 months, through pure word of mouth mainly.

I didn't think I'd get a chance to feature/review/interview the awesome bands and labels I have done, and I didn't expect them to come from all over the world to ask to be feature! So if you're reading this and I've put you on my blog, please get in touch with me via my e-mail - and give me feedback. Plus if you're a music fan and you want to give me feedback, please do so! Thanks.

Hidden Hospitals - EP 001

I've been writing this blog about heavy metal for at least 18 months now, and recently I've been discovering bands and records from across the spectrum. From the harsh noise of Sutekh Hexen to the pop-mosh stylings of Famous Last Words. Before I hit the metal hard in my next few reviews, I thought I'd leave you with this little EP.

Hidden Hospitals are an alternative rock band from Chicago, USA. Now I know what you're thinking here, alternative = nu-metal. Well your wrong! Read on.


1. Atonement
2. One to Ones
3. Controlled Chaos
4. Swan Dive
5. Poet & Liar

EP opener, Atonement hits you with the kind of clean, clear production that could make it a regular on mainstream radio. Hidden Hospitals sound is unique to my ears, but seems contain nods to bands like Thrice (in their more melodic phases) and riffs that occasionally remind me of Paramore, in the experimental, not what you'd expect sense.

This isn't emo though either, it's more akin to proper rock and I'm glad to say a lot more than a boring, plinky plonky indie records. Hidden Hospitals play short, sharp songs that have a great impact but don't impose to the point where they get boring. They've got other influences in them too, like in third song Controlled Chaos, where they use some heavier riffs to add crunch to their music, and there's also a subtle Deftones influence hiding below the surface too.

They're great songwriters and instrumentalists to, just listen to jazzy guitar lines at the start of fourth song Swan Dive, which segues into some really good drum rhythms and dreamy vocals harmonies. This makes their sound very palatable too people who like mature, intelligent music, whether metalheads or not.

This EP is a the melodic tip of what I listen too, and it's really amazed me. To think that Hidden Hospitals contains ex members of Damiera, who used to be signed to well renowned US label Equal Vision and toured with Fear Before The March Of Flames, surprised me, but I can see the progression in their sound. It just proves that a slight musical change of direction for both artists and listeners can be fulfilling and in Hidden Hospitals, you have a band for the future. I for one, can't wait to see how they progress!

You can stream this EP on their Facebook page at and also, they have a website at

Sunday 18 March 2012

Attack Attack! - This Means War

Attack Attack!, for those unfamiliar with them, are a modern metal leviathan from Ohio, USA. They are currently signed to one of the fastest growing record labels in the US, Rise Records and to quote some stats at you, they have over 1.4 million followers on Facebook. This Means War is their third album.


1. The Revolution
2. The Betrayal
3. The Hopeless
4. The Reality
5. The Abduction
6. The Motivation
7. The Wretched
8. The Family
9. The Confrontation
10. The Eradication

Well opener The Revolution is something of call to arms. It's full of breakdowns underneath the bitter screams of their vocalist, which makes the poppy, cleanly sung chorus all the more unexpected. It's got an undeniable sheen to it and it reminds of when post-hardcore started to become more popular amongst conscious music fans. It's that mixture of heaviness and melody, that  sucked me in when I was younger and spat me out amongst the grindcore and hardcore I spend most of my time listening to now.

Those screams at the start of The Betrayal are pretty caustic and full of emotion, and the driving instrumentation is full of energy. It's a more straightforward sound than I was expecting, letting their songs and music do the talking for them. Attack Attack! stick to a formula that they're familiar with, but one that does prove to be brutal on the ear. The heavier direction does endear this album to me more. The use of effects add to the music, without being overpowering and there are some really good riffs hiding underneath the screams, with the bass audible in the mix, adding a bit of heft to the low end.

In a live setting, I bet the energy of these songs really translates. I can't imagine many people staying still during an Attack Attack! live set. Again, this is a band that strangely, I'm not hugely familiar with, especially as they seem to be on the tip of every major alternative magazine's tongue at the moment. This Means War has throwback to a lot of older, influential bands lurking amongst the modern production. There's Djent inspired riffs, and moments of (good) nu-metal in places (I'm inclined to say Fear Factory), but you can make you're own mind up. This the kind of screamo that will find it's way onto mainstream radio and is already on heavy rotation on the music TV channels, so will therefore be getting in the heads of impressionable kids, who will be led onto heavier stuff as they get infected (subliminally) by it's beats and grooves.

This chorus of sixth song The Motivation is really good. It's melodic, but without being cheesy. All the songs here follow the same formula, so there's nothing unexpected to catch existing fans out, and enough to help gain them new ones as well. I'm really surprised by the progression in the music, especially on songs like The Family The guitar parts are poly rhythmic, which is something I was expecting from Attack Attack!. This Means War seems to get heavier as it progresses, but it's emphasised by those choruses, that seep with brilliant pop sensibilities. I actually really like this album. Okay, it's repetitive streak may annoy some people, but I think there's enough variation (like the dubstep in penultimate song The Confrontation) , to give an extra bite. I'm all for bands experimenting with new sounds and influences, as that's what drives metal forward.

Attack Attack are clearly still maturing as a band, but if they carry on as they are, they will surely breakout of the confines of their genre and in doing so, will inspire new bands and fans along the way.  So, no matter what type of metalhead you think you are, give this album a chance, your never too cvlt for something new and different!

Be sure to visit Attack Attack! on their Facebook page at, where you can listen to songs from This Means War. Also visit their webpage at

I you like what you hear or you;re just curious, you can support them and Rise Records by buying This Means War from

Saturday 17 March 2012

Famous Last Words - Pick Your Poison EP

It's not that often that I review records by so-called trendier bands, but then again I'm trying to help bands and my blog reach new audiences, so it's not such a bad thing. This seven track EP is by Michigan based, screamo band Famous Last Words and was released on the 17th of January this year.


1. Labyrinth
2. Starting Over
3. I'll Get You Next Time Gadget
4. This isn't Blackmail, This Is War.
5. Interlude
6. Snowmaggedon
7 Bob Cox Lives In Ohio

Labyrinth starts with a breakdown infused, electro build up reminiscent of Enter Shikari. They use a mixture of screamo and cleanly, sung vocals and musical effects to add even more of a modern sheen to their sound. The production is good, and despite all the gadgetry on display with the samples and effects, the hardcore inspired instrumentation is allowed to breathe.  The modern sound of the album will probably annoy more traditional metalheads, but it's a good bridge for new fans between the mainstream and the underground.

Second track Starting Over is more straightforward initially, with the hardcore vocals that kick things off. The song follows a more tried and tested structure than the opener, with a screamed verse followed by a sung chorus, breakdowns and more dance elements. Whichever way you look at it, this album isn't subtle about its use of modern influences.

The post-hardcore influence singing adds a nice touch of melody to the record. The effects can make it a bit disorientating some times, but that soon dissipates. I have to admit, the use of vocal effects in I'll Get You Next Time Gadget, are not my favourite, but that's my opinion and I'm only one person.

The band do show some heavy metal influences on the record, with the inclusion of some nice guitar harmonies, like the ones on fourth song This Isn't Blackmail, This Is War. Fifth song Interlude is just that, an upbeat dance inspired interlude. Their penultimate track Snowmageddon is actually the most brutal track on the record and brings their mosh credentials to the fore. Final track, Bob Cox Lives In Ohio is pure pop-punk loveliness from the start.

I think Famous Last Are Better when they're not fitting too many different effects into their songs, but I appreciate they're catering for a certain market with this EP.
It's a great start and they show great promise, so I'm looking forward to seeing how their sound progresses as they release more music.

You can check out Famous Last Words at, where you can stream Pick Your Poison in it's entirety. Also head over to where you can purchase the album if you like what you hear.

Hexis - X 7"

This is the my second Parade Of Spectres release review. This time on the new seven inch from Hexis, who are a four piece extreme metal band from Copenhagen, Denmark. This was a five way split label release by PandaBanda Records, IFB Records, Maximum Douglas Records, Orchid Scent Records and of course Parade Of Spectres.

The seven inch is packaged with a haunting cover featuring the inside of a grand church, in black and white. The record itself  is a one sided black vinyl.


1. Evinco
2. Aspernatio
3. Procella

Evinco starts with an all-encompassing guitar sound, slow in pace but high in volume. They use wailing feedback before they pick up the pace and unleash their full stride; with that incredible guitar sound and fever pitched growls and tortured screams. Aspernatio is a lot faster. The black metal inspired riffs, providing the base for a destructive piece of extreme metal. Again the vocals are menacing, and sit nicely in the mix, not overpowering the music but high enough to be heard over the wall of sound created by the rest of the band. Third track Procella is the shortest track of the three, and it again demonstrates their black metal influence. The guitars this time appearing to have more melody, and the crashing symbols in the background adding more chaos to a record that merely wets the appetite for more.

The impact is short and sharp, which is good, as Hexis clearly don't believe is messing around. That mixture of black metal, hardcore and screamo fills your ears as soon as you press play and makes your senses work overtime for the five or so minutes that this record last for. It shows a band following their own blueprint and not someone else's and makes a nice change from the industrial metal that is more commonly associated with Denmark.
This is caustic, noisy but intricate stuff and demands repeat listens for you to take it all in. Hexis are due to unleash more material later in the year, so keep you're eyes peeled.

To here this record for yourself, go to Hexis' bandcamp page below:-

If you like what you hear, you may still be able to pick copies of the seven inch up from these labels -

Parade of Spectres -
IFB Records -
Panda Banda Records -
Maximum Douglas Records -
Orchidscent Records -

Also head over to Hexis' Facebook page at

Friday 16 March 2012

Horrors That You've Seen - Breaking Hearts

This is the debut album from Horrors That You've Seen, who hail from Edinburgh and play doomy, sludgy-hardcore. I actually featured these guys here, in August last year.


1. Graves
2. Drop Dead
3. Forget You Past. Bury Your Future.
4. Reality (Is All I Have)
5. Sinking Ships...
6. ...Breaking Hearts
7. Expectations
8. Fleshmarket
9. Worthless Idols
10. Doomed
11. Item 9

The album starts with the appropriately named Graves, with a sinister, repeated riff. The rhythm section and second guitar are hidden in the mix a little and it's only around the 2-minute mark that they kick out the jams, with a heavy slab of doom infused hardcore. Second track Drop Dead has a great old punk vibe to it, and is a lot more instant. It's got some great, wailing guitar and thunderous instrumental parts that perfectly match the anger in vocalist, Graham Caldwell's screams.

I like the variation in the pace of the tracks early on in this record. From the slow build of Graves, to the immediate hit of Drop Dead, to the more mid paced third track Forget Your Past. Bury Your Future. The production of the record is exactly as you'd expect from a dirty, sludgy punk band. It's rough around the edges and that's what gives it its charm.

I hear hints of Unsane and Cancer Bats in the music, but also influences of some of the bands they've shared the stage with, like Dead Swans and Brutality Will Prevail. That means an awesome, varied sound and one, which will no doubt cause chaos, in a small and sweaty pub backroom.

These guys are the reason I love underground acts some much, because they play with the passion and energy that most of the big, established bands lack now and with every listen to their record, you think they recorded while playing to a room full of stage diving, head-banging metalheads!

Fifth track Sinking Ships makes you believe your heading to a watery grave, while the title track follows straight afterwards with the same passion and murderous intent.
The doom-laden riffs at the mid point of the title track are brilliant and the ringing feedback adds a sense of claustrophobia to it all. If people don't think Gallows are the same now, they should get into Horrors That You've Seen, as they could take their mantle!

As you pass into the second half of the album, you've already been on one hell of a journey, but thankfully, due to the audible vocals, you don't feel bruised and battered and on seventh track Expectations, HTYS begin to be more experimental with their sound, introducing more laid-back clean guitar and some sweet glimpses of discordance. The short sharp thrash inspired section towards the end pave way for lonely screams and sick NOLA inspired riffs. Fleshmarket has a great rock 'n' roll vibe to it, but is one of their fastest songs. HTYS really start to flex their muscles towards the end of the record, with Worthless Idols being a hellish piece of hardcore and doomed being exactly that.

So to round this review off in style, Breaking Hearts has to be heard. Horrors That You've Seen are another reason to support hard-working, British bands at the moment, purely for the variety and ingenuity that they show. Plus that fact that there are awesome homegrown labels like Dead Dead Dead Music putting this stuff should be reassurance enough that our scene is in very good hands.

You can listen to Breaking Hearts for yourself via Bandcamp below:-

If you like, it's up there as a "Pay What You Want" download. You can also buy a physical CD release of the album at their BigCartel store at You can also pick it up from Dead Dead Dead Music at

Just do me a favour, and check this album out!

Sunday 11 March 2012

Beau Navire/Republic Of Dreams - Split 7"

This is the first review I'm doing of releases by the brilliant Kent based label, Parade Of Spectres. This is the split 7" from Oakland, CA's Beau Navire and new German band Republic of Dreams. The record has been co-released by a number of labels, including IFB, Pure Heart, Moment of Collapse and Inkblot, alongside Parade of Spectres of course.

The copy I received is on black vinyl and is comes in a cool sleeve, which is different to your normal vinyl sleeve, as it open out to reveal the record inside.


Side A - Beau Navire -
1. Phalanx of Lenses
2. Ghostlike

Side B - Republic of Dreams -
1. Golden Parachutes For The Carpetbaggers, Austerity For The Rest
2. It's Still Fucking Personal
3 A Refuge Becoming Utopia.

Beau Navire's side of this split starts with Phalanx of Lies starts with some great, melodic, clean guitar which leads into some high pitched screamo. The vocals seem to be buried within the music which is good as it allows the tuneful instrumentation to shine through.

This is proper screamo, and I don't mean to generalise it, but the jangling guitar riffs make it standout from copyists. This is more apparent in second song Ghostlike, which is a longer song, but the impact of the difference between the vocals and the music is greater. It's almost as if it's uplifting and were you to block out the vocals, you would be left with really chilled out indie. I think the vocals add a chaotic side to Beau Navire's sound though. It jolts you into life, it makes you feel on edge. Nothing is quite what it seems in this world, and Beau Navire prove that in abundance.

Republic Of Dreams side begins with a song with one of the best titles I've seen in ages - Golden Parachutes For The Carpetbaggers, Austerity For The Rest.. There sound is much faster and immediate, but with the same high pitched, buried screams as Beau Navire. The music is still melodic but is more chaotic. There are three songs on there side of the split and the first one rushes by in the blink of an eye.

Again, Republic of Dreams, like Beau Navire, rely on indie instrumentation and allow the vocals to sit deep within the music. The production lending to this by helping the music to tear forth with abandon. There reliance on chaotic blast beats and semi stop-start passages add variation, but it's all over too fast.

Repeat plays of this EP are a must for you to get the full experience. If you're into post-hardcore bands, this is your next step towards more meaningful, heart-wrenching music. It leaves you with an impression and imprints a sound of beauty upon you. If you can pick up a copy of this record, do so and breath it in!

Go an familiarise yourselves with Beau Navire at and Republic Of Dreams at

Also, you can pick up the release from,,,, and

I Stared Into The Forest - Society Discontinued

This is the second record I've been sent by Fading Halo Records. While reading up on I Stared Into The Forest, it turns out they are from the same Romanian city as Coins As Portraits, a place called Brasov, which must have a pretty cool music scene, if it's managed to produce these two bands. I Stared Into The Forest are a metallic hardcore band and Society Discontinued is their first release.


1. Watching The World Collapse
2. Sloth Machine
3. Locked In part 1
4. Locked In part 2
5. Clean Up The Snow
6. Sore Monday

I Stared Into The Forest create really angry, blackened hardcore. It's very reminiscent of the kind of hardcore that's coming out of the UK at the moment, but it has flourishes of other influences mixed into to it as well. It has changing time signatures, fast drumming and the guitars seem to be strangely melodic.

Songs such as second track Sloth Machine seem to verge more on modern metal, with chuggy guitar, before changing direction and morphing into a heavier version of post-hardcore screamo. I'm not trying to pigeonhole them though, as it's up to you to take the music for what it is. I like the subtle melodic riffs that they through into the track, and even some dirty Pantera inspired riffs briefly appear.

The production is really good as well. The music is clear and precise, but it does have a sense of foreboding about it. This EP is definitely worthy of sitting in the higher echelons of the current hardcore crop, purely for it's quality and heaviness alone.

No songs outstay their welcome, quite the opposite actually. The EP is at the kind of length where the band let you hear just enough, but not too much, so you stay hooked and want more. It's brutal stuff, but it's played by a band with obvious skill. They don't believe that faster is heavier and as a result sound even more ferocious. The rhythm section holds it all together, commanding the tempo changes and prevents the music from staying the same for too long.

The guitarists also use different influences to weave different musical textures into the songs. It's a more modern approach that works well and helps to back their vocalist's
rabid screams.

In summary, this is a great introduction to a band that I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot of in the future. Also, hats off have to go to Fading Halo Records, for along with Coins As Portraits, providing to bands that are stylistically different but complement each other so well and proves that they are looking to create a strong a varied roster.
You can stream this record on ISITF's bandcamp page at and you can find out more about that band at

As well as this, go to the Fading Halo Records site at where you can download both this and Coins As Portrait's EP, and if you like them you can buy physical copies from the label. They also have a Facebook page at

Saturday 10 March 2012

Coins As Portraits - Form and Structure. Storm and Fracture

I got an e-mail a while ago from a label called Fading Halo Records, to ask if I could review a couple of their releases. This was the first one, but a band called Coins As Portraits. I hadn't heard of these guys, so what better way to learn about them, than to review their record.

These guys are from the cold, depths of Romania. They're a four piece and this is their first release.


1. Great Numbers
2. The Curator's Brush
3. The Plot
4. The Human Predicament: Part I
5. The Human Predicament: Part II
6. Overcome By Assumption
7. Solipsism

They are billed as an experimental Grindcore band, and that's exactly what they are.
Strange off kilter rhythms and low/high pitched growls are the order of the day.

The EP is only fifteen minutes long but Coins As Portraits weave so many ideas into their music, that it seems to last much longer. From pace changes, to cleanly plucked guitar, to strange breakdowns, it's all hear. It kinda reminds me of Birdflesh in a roundabout way, in that it's a clear attempt to be different and brash.

Musically, it's very stop-start in places, so it's hard to nail down a rhythm to follow, but that to me is a good thing. It shows that Coins As Portraits are not following a well trodden formula, and want to challenge people that listen to them. If The Dillinger Escape Plan had gone the other way after The Running Board, this would be their sound.

The death metal influenced vocals add an extra element to their sound, and the slower elements to the music also help to make it more than just another Grindcore record.

This is extreme stuff and not for the faint-hearted. If you like Grindcore and experimental extreme metal, you'll love to get your chops around this. It's amazing that such forward thinking music can come out of almost anywhere at the moment and knock you sideways. I really didn't know what to expect with this one, but I'm proud to say it's awesome! Hats off to Coins As Portraits for leaving such an impression with their first release. 

Make sure you investigate these guys further at and also pay Fading Halo a visit at and find out more about Coins As Portraits and their other artists.

News - Every Time I Die video

Every Time I Die have recently released their video for the song Revival Mode, which is off their new album Ex Lives. You can watch it below:-

As well as this, they have announced they are to go on tour in Europe in May, which will include Cancer Bats, Set Your Goals, Make Do And Mend and will see them take in dates at the UK's own Slam Dunk Festival. The full dates are below:-

Tue 01 May Germany Cologne Underground
Wed 02 May Germany Frankfurt Batschkapp
Thu 03 May Germany Stuttgart Universum
Fri 04 May Switzerland Zurich Abart
Sat 05 May Germany Munich Backstage Halle
Sun 06 May Austria Vienna Szene
Tue 08 May Slovakia Bratislava Randall Club
Wed 09 May Czech Republic Prague Rock Café
Thu 10 May Germany Schweinfurt Stattbahnhof
Fri 11 May Germany Berlin Columbia Club
Sat 12 May Denmark Copenhagen Pumphuset
Sun 13 May Sweden Stockholm Klubben
Mon 14 May Sweden Gothenburg Sticky Fingers
Tue 15 May Denmark Aarhus Train
Wed 16 May Germany Hamburg Knust
Thu 17 May Germany Bremen Lagerhaus
Fri 18 May Germany Hannover Faust
Sat 19 May Holland Eindhoven Dynamo
Mon 21 May Russia Moscow Plan B
Tue 22 May Russia St PetersburgArktika
Wed 23 May Finland Helsinki Nosturi
Sat 26 May Slam Dunk Leeds (exclusive)
Sun 27 May Slam Dunk Hatfield University (exclusive)
Remember to go to to keep up to date with future tour dates and news.

News - The Orchard - Haggard & Hanging video

Staffordshire hardcore band, The Orchard have just released the video for the song Haggard and Hanging, which is off their new EP Dead Town.

You can hear tracks and read more news at

News - Palm Reader video and EP

Woking, UK band Palm Reader unleash their debut self titled EP, next Monday. Prior to it's release, they've put this video up for their first single, Seeing and Believing are Two Different Things.

Also starting Monday, Palm Reader will be heading out on tour to promote their new EP:-

Monday March 12th - Old Blue Last, London
w/ Lets Talk Daggers, The Catharsis
Tuesday March 13th - Buskers Bar, Eastbourne
w/ Lets Talk Daggers
Wednesday March 14th - The Star Inn, Guildford
w/ Lets Talk Daggers, The Catharsis
Thursday March 15th - Music Box, Salisbury
w/ Lets Talk Daggers, The Catharsis
Friday March 16th - The Oakley Arms, Cardiff
w/ Lets Talk Daggers
Saturday March 17th - The Sanctuary, Burnley
w/ Lets Talk Daggers
Sunday March 18th - House Party, Hull
w/ Lets Talk Daggers
Thursday April 12th - The Grosvenor - Stockwell, London
w/ We Are Fiction
Friday April 13th - The Vault, Rugby
w/ We Are Fiction
Saturday April 14th - Penny Whistle, Northampton
w/ We Are Fiction
Sunday April 15th - Satans Hollow, Manchester
w/ We Are Fiction
Monday April 16th- TBC, North/Midlands
w/ We Are Fiction
Tuesday April 17th - The Intake Club, Mansfield
w/ We Are Fiction
Wednesday April 18th - Soundhouse, Leicester
w/ We Are Fiction

You can keep up to date with Palm Reader at and if you like what you see/hear, make sure you go to and buy the EP.

Thursday 8 March 2012

Sutekh Hexen - Larvae

I thought I'd get myself in the mood for this weekends hardcore reviewing, listening session I've got planned by reviewing something, and what better way to start that with Sutekh Hexen's latest LP, Larvae.

To me, Sutekh Hexen are one of those mysterious bands that make you more curios about them as they tear along, on a sonic trajectory that breeds respect and reverence, all in one shot.

Track listing:-

A1. Isvar Savasana 
A2. Lead Us In Warfare 
B.   Let There Be Light
Isvar Savasana begins with eerie intro that slowly builds with an unease that makes you wonder what’s coming. There are strange sounds and effects nestling underneath the plucked guitars and strings that make up the slow building first track.

The song bursts into life, with what is a cross between white noise and layered, whispered screams, which adds to the unease, before the song kicks in with jarring, unnerving screams over the top of the noise. There are no drums as such, pinning down the music; it's left to the building and fading effects to tell the story here.

It's very much experimental and very hard to categorise, not that Sutekh Hexen want to be categorised. The production also add to the feeling of unease, by merging all of the different sounds together, into a whole that could drive some listeners away. This is not meant to be easy listening; it's harsh noise with bite and bile!

Lead Us In Warfare begins with building, fuzzy guitar and bass. More screams can be heard within the mix, this time more audible but no less disconcerting. I can imagine that their music would be a wholly otherworldly experience in a live setting.

Let There Be Light is the third and final song on Larvae, clocking in at around fifteen minutes. It still has the borrowing noise at it's heart, but the addition of some calming, cleanly plucked acoustic guitar adds a sense of light, trying to peer through the darkest of clouds. The whispered, spoken word adding a haunting element to proceedings. The song meanders along at a slow pace, luring you into a false sense of calm and reflectiveness. There's almost medieval sense of melody to the guitar that moves along, quietly.

The final burst of feedback ridden noise, swathes over you like a suffocating cloak, entrapping your senses in a ever closing circle of despair and frailty, before slowly fading to leave you in a trance ridden state of flux between reality and nightmare.

This is my first introduction to Sutekh Hexen and I'm certainly intrigued by their creativeness and lack of wanting to follow the flock. I'm not sure what to say about this record and indeed Sutekh Hexen in closing, other than this record has to be listened to and appreciated on it's own and not compared to anything that's come before it. It's a unique, evolving beast that cares for no man!

The LP is already sold out, but you can pick up a CD version through Handmade Birds at

News - New Cerebral Bore track and tour dates

A new track from Glasgow's death metal beast, Cerebral Bore is now up on Youtube. The song, titled - Horrendous Acts of Iniquity, is available to listen to via Infidel Amsterdam's Youtube Channel.

You can also watch it here:-

Cerebral Bore are also due to play a number of dates in the UK alongside Suffocation, Cattle Decapitation, Hate, Blood Red Throne and Sephirah. Check the flyer below:-

Their new album - Maniacal Miscreation, is now available worldwide. Visit for more news.

News - Hollow Earth sign with Panic Records

Hardcore band Hollow Earth have just signed to Panic Records, and will be releasing their EP - We Are Not Humanity, on April 17th on CD, Vinyl and digitally.

Watch out for review of the EP here fairly soon.

You can listen to two of the track from their EP via their Facebook Page at and visit for more news as it comes in.

News - New I Call Five shows

Pop punk band I Call Fives have just announced another six shows, starting on the 25th of March, alongside The Sheds.

3/25 - Barrington, IL @ Penny Road Pub 
3/26 - Covington, KY @ Bangarang's 
3/27 - London, OH @ Club Soda
3/28 - Pittsburgh, PA @ The Smiling Moose 
3/29 - Turnersville, NJ @ Whitman Square Men’s Club 
3/30 - Binghamton, NY @ Mirador 

The shows will coincide with the release of their new 7" Someone That's Not You, which will be released on the 20th of March through Pure Noise Records.

Before that though, they are due to play five dates on the Pure Noise Records Tour:-

Mar 20   Bogies, Albany, NY                     
Mar 21   The Coconut Lounge,  Kenmore, NY                  
Mar 22   Hardluck Bar, Toronto, Canada                       
Mar 23   Euro Gyro, Kent, OH                         
Mar 24    Misfit Lab,  Fenton, MI  

I Call Fives will also be releasing a full length record in the summer.

For more information and tour news, go to and