Thursday 31 May 2012

Immolith - StormDragon

Immolith are an old-school Black metal band from New Jersey, which I thought would be too sunny to spew forth evil bands. Guess I was wrong! They formed in the twilight months of 2008 thanks to Immolith's mastermind Isaiamon. StormDragon has been released through on CD and through Forbidden Records on tape.


1. The Invocation
2. Torch of Baphomet
3. Rites of The Blood Moon
4. Storm Dragon
5. The Ghost Tower of Inverness
6. The Obsidian Throne of Azazel
7. Hymns To The Countess
8. A Pact of Blood

The Invocation is an intro fit for invoking the vilest of spirits, with evil screaming and haunting but melodic chanting in the background. Torch of Baphomet demonstrates a pretty necro, old-school sound. The guitars are fast and melodic, the drumming is buried in the mix but sounds crushing and then you've got those high pitched, screeching vocals. The melodies played by the guitars sound exactly right here and when Immolith simplify things towards the songs mid point, you get thrash influences that shine through and sound awesome! It's not just a full-speed attack here, and sounds filthy enough to garner a place next to the genres best.

Rites of The Blood Moon features the essence of bands like Gorgoroth and Unleashed, plus of course the genres main protagonists Emperor. That's not to say that Immolith are merely copyists though, with their music still sounding unique in it's own way. These guys would seriously fit in at Damnation fest!

The more symphonic parts of StormDragon sound really, really good. Don't worry though, they're not modern Dimmu Borgir symphonic as there are no keyboards at play, but the guitars have that subtle sense of melody that you from symphonic Black metal. The title track's intro sounds like someone locked Metallica in a room and told them to right a song after listening to the entire Immortal back catalogue! I have to admit that I've often found it hard to take these kinds of vocals seriously, but they fit the music really well and too be honest, if you tried using any other vocals with this music, it would sound wrong!

The Ghost Tower of Inverness starts with a nice heavy, mid-paced chuck of riffs as well as some cool dual harmonies, in a track, which has some doom influences in it before the speed ratchets up again. Those slow riffs reappear later in the song and they manage to slip in a great sounding solo, which shows off their skill. This album so far has plenty of variation and with the good modern production not allowing the music to sound too clean, it's an exciting listen.

The Obsidian Throne of Azazel is one of the vilest songs on StormDragon. It's also one of the heaviest too with that pounding percussion and low end adding heft to the already frightening sound. This is also one of the longest songs on the record, so it shows off their indulgent side. I really like the guitar melodies and the use of the slower song structure, as it's a real advertisement for a band that can really play.

Hymns To The Countess is a majestic piece of metal, with a great heavy metal twist. In fact, the more StormDragon goes on, the more you get a sense of a band that doesn't just conform to the Black metal genre, but is able to adapt to subtly weave other elements into their sound to create an assured variation that should appeal to more than just Black metal fans.

The closing song A Pact of Blood sees that band going back to their necro roots, with layered guitar and emphasis on those screeching screams. The pace varies between galloping metal and more mid-paced breakdowns that sound like they accompanying armies to war. have struck gold with Immolith. They managed to spot a savage band that play well structured; clever songs and that make the genre their own. Immolith are a real surprise and one that you should take a punt on!

The whole of StormDragon is available for free streaming at Immolith's own website at

You can pick of CD versions of the record from at and you can pick up Cassette copies from both Forbidden Records at and Carrion Crawler Records at

Sunday 27 May 2012

Biipiigwan - God's Hooks

Well, it's nearly the end of a stunningly hot weekend here in Yorkshire, so that means it's back to daily grind tomorrow. I thought I'd throw out one more review for you in the meantime. Biipiigwan hail from Ottawa in Ontario, Canada and have released God's Hooks via Handshake inc. It was released in February this year through Handshake Inc's Bandcamp page, but was originally released back in 2010.


1. Beaches
2. Vegemite
3. In War
4. God's Hooks
5. Crimson Sword
6. Rhett
7. B'il Sabab

Beaches is a furious amalgamation of hardcore infused metal, with sludgy/doomy undertones. Biipiigwan bring forth lots of musical variation and ideas, but allow the music to breathe so it doesn't become too confusing for the listener. The pace changes from frenetic to slow chug are done with aplomb!

Second song Vegemite is just like the spread of the same name; thick and dark in tone. The vocals here are fairly minimal, with Biipiigwan wanting their music to do the talking. When the vocals to reappear, they're rasping, drawn-out drawls of anger.

In War starts with a sole plucked bass, which adds a real sense of low end when the song kicks in, during the opening verse. This song is more mid paced and shows a lot more of the bands sludge influence. It's also the longest track in display here, which is probably not a surprise. The dual vocals and trance inducing riffs make for an oppressive experience. The subtle melodic riffs towards the end of In War add nice variation to the song and hint at sunlight coming through the haze that preceded it.

The title track features more experimentation at the start, with some jazzy, improv riffs that lead into the main body of the song. There's also more melody amongst the guitar here, but low chuggy instrumentation, a rhythm section that bounces along sporadically and more of those disparate growls balance it out.

Crimson Sword sounds like it should be a power metal ballad, but it so isn't! It's a raging piece of noise that forces you to headbang and fills your ears with cleverly written music, instead of cheese! Again, it's mostly instrumental but works really well; especially when the lead guitar is allowed to stretch it's legs and add some flare to the music.

Rhett is a grinding delight. A lot speedier and nastier sounding to begin with, before Biipiigwan settle back into their sludgy flow. B'il Sabab closes it out this record, with one final blast of sludgy goodness. It sounds pretty upbeat too, which kind of belays the atmosphere on the rest of God's Hooks. This record is great fun, and it seems the perfect record to help you relax and forget about the impending drudgery of the week to come. Another thoroughly satisfying slab of metal then!

Good news, you can stream God's Hooks via Handshake Inc's Bandcamp below:-

It's available as a name your price download there and also from Biipiigwan's own Bandcamp page at You can also pick up a CD version directly from Biipiigwan's BigCartel page at

Check them out and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday 26 May 2012

Tomhet - Wanderland

This is another ambient release from Glorious North Productions, featuring Canadian Ambient/Black metal band Tomhet. This is also the second purely ambient release I've reviewed in the last couple of weeks.

This EP features eight tracks, including five tracks that also feature on Tomhet's split release with Ukrainian ambient black metal entity Moloch. The EP itself, comes in a DVD size case, with very suitably atmospheric artwork (don't worry, you don't have to adjust your screen). This release is also only limited to 50 copies, so won't be around for long.


1. Nebuleye
2. Beneath The Earth
3. Above The Skies
4. Khaos
5. Day Dreamer
6. Alice in The Dark
7. Silhouette of Khaos
8. Wanderland

Wanderland opens with Nebuleye, with lowly keys and programmed percussion.
This is a mere precursor to the rest of the EP though. Beneath The Earth starts off quietly, with haunting and otherworldly melodies and a sound akin to the wind blowing on a lonely moor. Much like the Moloch release that I reviewed recently, it's very dreamy music but it's a logical step for a band that plays black metal, with it's bleak atmosphere.

Wanderland appears to have a very modern sound, with programmed effects and instruments sitting beside the keyboard, with the music being written, recorded and mixed by Jonathan S, who is the sole studio member of Tomhet. Above The Skies follows in a similar vein, with what sounds like distant footsteps in the background. This is a very calm track, meandering along quietly for six minutes. Khaos again features those keys, this time though they're more layered and sit on top of some strangely creepy effects. One thing that strikes me about this EP is that it seems to be very improvisational in the way each song is arranged.

The second part of the EP starts with Day Dreamer, which actually sounds more menacing than the tracks that have come before it. It also sounds bigger, with more layered instruments and effects. It's also a short track though, lasting just over a minute. Alice In The Dark sounds very cosmic. The sound floats around you from the speakers.

Silhouette of Khaos and Wanderland finish this EP in, bringing it to a great end. The uniqueness of sounds in Silhouette of Khaos kind of brings to mind the musical equivalent of a kaleidoscope. Wanderland is actually very upbeat, with programmed beats and a pace not heard throughout the rest of the EP.

Again I feel I've listened to another unique body of music. Each song is different but seems to follow a story. If you currently listen to a lot of extreme metal, especially black metal, this type of ambient music will certainly sit right in your collection and give you something different to listen to, in the times when you're after complete escapism.

You can here Alice In The Dark, on the Glorious North Productions website at

The EP is also available to buy at

Tomhet can be found on Facebook at and via Myspace at

Sunday 20 May 2012

Seas Will Rise - Disease Is Our Refrain

I was a little excited when this record dropped into my inbox a few weeks back, because I'd heard a lot about this band and couldn't wait to check them out properly. For those of you who don't know, Seas Will Rise are a crust influenced hardcore band from Arizona and this is their debut album. They have previously released an EP, that was splendidly called Cagematch. Disease Is Our Refrain has been co-released by Man In Decline Records and Anxiety Machine Records. Seas Will Rise also features one of the founding members of Landmine Marathon.


1. A Sleeper’s Cell
2. In Dust and Blood
3. Wash Out and Rust
4. This Teardown Town
5. To Scratch Out a Life
6. A Wish for the Earth
7. Waves and Waves
8. Eviction Notice
9. Disease Is Our Refrain
10. Razed
11. Population Zero
12. In Warmer Graves

The first thing that springs into my head as opener A Sleeper's Cell kicks in, is how
heavy those vocals are. The music too is a great mix of fast hardcore and sludge inspired riffage, which rears its head from time to time. There's a great punk vibe to the music too and the songs themselves are short and too the point, which is what you want from music like this. In Dust and Blood screams passed in the blink of an eye, while Wash Out The Rust features a great guitar and more of the sludgy, slower riff sections. Towards the end of the track, Seas Will Rise just rock out, plain and simple.

This Teardown Town brings their crust influence to bear, with some rapid fire drumming kicking things off, before the song changes to a chuggier pace altogether.
This is rip-roaring stuff as you'd expect and should give today's mainstream metal bands a run for their money. That's not to say its mainstream itself though, but that it is well produced and should gain the band loads of new fans as a result. The drumming is really good throughout the whole record, underpinning the record with a great efficiency, while the guitars and bass pound away creating a unique sound that adds character to the record. There are some great dissonant riffs at play and the fact that the lyrics are audible helps the songs leap out at the listener. A Wish For The Earth being a solid example of this.

There's more punk inspired guitar at play during Eviction Notice, which shows that SWR are not afraid to vary their sound or use melody. The title track is one of the heaviest songs on the record, thanks to everything working together in simple yet effective manner. The fact that SWR don't over-complicate their music makes it better.
Razed starts with some really unnerving, wailing feedback and simple drumming that heralds in the song, which is instrumental for over half of it's length, then with the help of some really clever guitar, rips your face off. Population Zero speeds passed with more blast beats and double bass and some nice progressive riffing.

In Warmer Graves is the last song on here and compared to the rest, could be considered long. It’s the only song that breaches the four-minute mark, so you know it's going to be heavy. Listening to it as it kicked in made me want to circle around instantly, thanks to the incredible musicianship. The songs fades away to the sound of one last guitar solo and ends with some calming piano.

On reflection, this album is quite frankly awesome. It's got everything you need, a great modern production which allows the music and instruments to breathe, it's got enough ideas not to make it mainstream and those vocals are savage. Get this record and bang your head till the damn thing falls off!

Disease Is Our Refrain is available for streaming via SWR's Bandcamp page, but I've posted it below so you can check it out here:-

You can pick up vinyl copies of this record from Man In Decline records at and Anxiety Machine Records at

You can pick the record up through Bandcamp and through SWR's own  website at and follow the link to their BigCartel page. You can also visit them of Facebook at

Moloch - Abstrakter Wald

This is one of the newest releases to come from Glorious North Productions. It's another release by the prolific Ukrainian ambient Black Metal Entity, Moloch. It was recorded in 2010 during Moloch's first ever live performance 7 tracks, including to live versions of songs from Moloch's split with Tomhet, Where Winds Forever Cry. This tape is a remastered version of that recording and is limited to 100 copies only.

Abstrakter Wald translates to Abstract Forest, which is very apt, as this set was originally recorded during a session in the Carpathian Mountains.


Side A -
1. Abstrakter Wald I
2. Abstrakter Wald II
3. Abstrakter Wald III

Side B - 
4. Abstrakter Wald IV
5. Abstrakter Wald V
6. Wo die Winde für immer weinen
7. Berge umhüllt von uraltem Nebel

Abstrakter Wald begins with the first of five tracks of the same name, which have been separated into five different movements. Abstrakter Wald I is the opening movement, featuring ambient strings and keys and the howl of the wind in the background, adding to the haunting atmosphere.

As Abstrakter Wald I builds, with it's drawn out bass line, that sits below the main melodies, it's obvious that this is very different to the more black metal output that normally comes from Moloch, but for those of you who've listened to previous records, you'll notice that there is ambient influences within the music, so this set of songs shouldn't come as a surprise. The soundscapes on show are dramatic yet dreamy and they do well to keep Moloch's mystical aesthetic in tact.

All of the songs here seem to lead into each other, as if they're telling a story. Abstrakter Wald III is subtler than the previous two tracks, but nonetheless still retains the mysteriousness that has been on show throughout.

I'll be honest and say that I haven't reviewed music like this before and have found it challenging, but I guess that is what this music is supposed to do. It's there to challenge people preconceptions about music that doesn't fit into specific genres or sub-genres

Once you've turned over to side B of this release, the fourth and fifth Abstrakter Wald movements greet you. These follow the same recipe as those before. Quiet and otherworldly soundscapes that transport you to another place entirely. At this point, you do seem to get lost in the music, and the songs do seem to blur into each other to show one cohesive whole.

You're also treated to two ambient tracks from Moloch's split with Tomhet that was released in 2011, but on this releases the songs titles are in German - Wo die Winde für immer weinen and Berge umhüllt von uraltem Nebel. These tracks follow the same formula too and when the tape comes to an end, you’re left feeling incredibly relaxed and in awe of this set on songs.

To think that someone synonymous with bleak, original black metal has the vision and conviction to produce something like this, just shows the breadth of originality that is still to be unearthed within the wider metal stratosphere. While this isn't metal, it can sure as hell be appreciated as it shares a lot of the values, namely originality and integrity.

You can purchase the Abstrakter Wald tape from Glorious North Production at It will also be released later in the year on CD.

The release will also be available from Moloch's website at

Moloch's Facebook page is

Saturday 19 May 2012

Fuck With Fire 10th Anniversary/CETA Fundraiser show

This gig happens on the 25th of May at the Empress Pub in Harrogate.

It's been set for two reasons. Firstly to raise funds for CETA (Chris's Ependymoma Treatment Appeal), which aims to raise money to help fund treatment and research into Ependymoma Tumours, which are a form of Cancer.

Secondly, it is to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of local Harrogate Punk band Fuck With Fire. Joining them at the show, will be fellow punk bands Pure Graft, Homebrew, Guilty Parties and The Grebs.

The gig starts at 7.30 and it's £3 on the door.

You can find out more about CETA here - and here

If you want to donate to this worthy cause, you can do by going to Just Giving at .

Also, you can listen all the participating bands here:-

Fuck With Fire -  
Homebrew -
The Grebs - 
Pure Graft - 
Guilty Parties -

The Facebook event page is -    

Veils - Clarity

This record was the second of the Tangled Talk promo packs that I lost, so again this review is late. Apologies to both band and label.

Veils are a four piece hardcore band from Cornwall. Clarity is their latest release, a five track EP that was unleashed at the end of January. This EP has actually sold out, but there hopefully should be a repress coming soon.


1. Standing Alone (Isolation)
2. Caves (Anxiety)
3. Stallions (Adrenaline)
4. Stronghold (Isolation)
5. Surrender (Clarity)

Clarity starts off with Standing Alone (Isolation), which is a real cathartic, slow burner of a song. It's melodic instrumentation reminds me of some of the early post-hardcore bands that cropped up in the early 00's. There’s no breakdowns and this very much intelligent hardcore, that verges of screamo.

This sounds really different to a lot of the hardcore/screamo that is out in the UK at the moment, which may have something to do with their location, on the tip of the South-West of England. Caves (Anxiety) is played with more urgency, but looses none of it's atmosphere or presence. I like the fact that Veils choose to play at their pace, not a pace dictated by the throngs. There's a lot of creativity here and true emotion, none of the music feels forced.

I like the fact that the vocals sound subtly distant at times and you get the sense they recorded this, while tearing up a live venue. Again, there are hints of LA Dispute in here, especially in the screamed ending to Caves (Anxiety). By the time you reach the end of Stallions (Adrenaline), you are well and truly sucked into Veils whole aesthetic.

They portray and brand of tortured souls, trying to shake off the demons of the past and move on, free of chains. Surrender (Clarity) signals the end of this release and the journey that Veils take you on. I for one love this band. I can't wait to see what comes out them when the release their album.

Clarity is currently streaming via Veils Bandcamp page below:-

If you like what your hear, you can download it from their Bandcamp page, by clicking on "Buy Now".

Also keep on their Facebook page at and Tangled Talk Records at for any repress news or updates on Veils new album.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

The Long Haul - Debtors

Earlier this year, I received an e-mail from Tangled Talk asking me to review two new releases. Those releases were the new records by Veils and The Long Haul. For some unknown reason, probably my own stupidity, I lost the e-mail with the press links on and couldn't retrieve them. So better late than never, I'm posting these reviews with the help of the streaming wonder that is Bandcamp.

So, The Long Haul are a Southampton based four piece hardcore band. Now I used to live not far way from Southampton, in Winchester and I know that the area has a pretty rad music scene and these guys certainly are a product of that.

This record, Debtors was released through Tangled Talk in February of this year, so it's been out a few months now.


1. Lenders
2. Holes In The Ground, Bliss In The Sky
3. Puppets and Wires
4. Blank Canvas
5. Debtors
6. Anhedonia (Live Bonus Track)

At this point, I'll mention that on the vinyl release there is a bonus track, but as I'm reviewing it straight from Bandcamp, it's not available, so you'll have to buy the record to hear it.

Debtors starts in a sedate fashion with the guitar lead instrumental Lenders.
Holes In The Ground, Bliss In The Skies is played with nonchalant abandon, which is kind of par for the course with bands south of London. Plenty of attitude! That said, they do through some pretty cool ideas into the mix, with some great riffs and forward thinking time signatures. True to form, there are no obtuse breakdowns to spoil things either.

Puppets And Wires sounds like it was recorded during a sweaty basement show. The sound is raw and it brings across a sense of energy that is lost from some releases of this ilk. I really like the melodic aspect to The Long Haul's music too, it reminds me of some of the old screamo bands I used to gush about to my mates when I was younger. There's also a great punk sensibility on show too in the music, which lightens the oppressive feeling of those caustic, emotive screams. There’s also a hint of LA Dispute at the end of Puppets And Wires too, which is no bad thing in my eyes.

TLH play a different strand of hardcore to that of many of their peers, which helps set them apart and brings more positive variety too the scene. The music is huge and has a real sense of honest atmosphere. I don't know why these guys have been under my radar for so long.

Blank Canvas plays host to that atmosphere I was talking about, with melody and quieter moments punctuated by those audible screams, where the lyrics can be heard as well as the feeling. There's a great sense of experimentation and variation on display, with some clever riffing adding different elements to TLH's sound as well.

The last song is the title track, Debtors, which is the most hardcore song on the record. It's fast and frenetic pace adding a real sense of urgency to the end of the record. It takes the urgency and ideas of the preceding songs and steps up a notch. There's still introspective moments, but not as we know them.

The bonus track is a live track called Anhedonia. It seems to embody what this band are about. It's pretty gnarly and from listening to the other tracks, this gives you a great impression of what TLH sound like in a live arena.

You can buy both digital and vinyl copies from Tangled Talk at and respectively.

You can hear the whole record via The Long Haul's bandcamp page, but I've linked to it below so you can listen to it here.

The Long Haul are on Facebook at and Tangled Talk reside at Spread the word!

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Wizard Rifle - Speak Loud Say Nothing

Wizard Rifle are an awesome duo from Portland, Oregon. They've been around since 2009, playing their own brand of eclectic metal influenced by everything from Lightning Bolt to The Stooges. They also tour hard!

Speak Loud Say Nothing is their debut record, featuring five songs and it's been released by the awesome Seventh Rule Recordings. It also has some of the craziest artwork I've seen in ages, which was designed by Sam Ford, who is one half of this duo.


1. Tears Won't Soften Steel
2. Frazetta
3. Megatherium
4. Nobody
5. Leathery Gentlemen

The album starts with Tears Won't Soften Steel, which begins with some really cool laid-back guitar but then bends into some pretty incredible guitar. Spoken word vocals ring out above the racket before dual vocals break out. This is certainly unique stuff, with plenty of heavy riffs, pounding drums yet really cool melodic vocals. It kind of reminds me of Primus in a roundabout way. The music is pretty fast as well, striding along at a pleasing pace and considering Wizard Rifle are a duo, they make a heap of noise. This is definitely thinking mans music! The time signatures used are what you'd expect to hear from a band like Mastodon, but this has a great party vibe to it too, as well a subtle stoner influence.

Frazetta has a more rock n roll sound to it, with some far-out vocals and riffs that bounce back and forth, like a child with ADHD. The slower section towards the middle shows that the bands heavier side, with some great sludgy riffs and drumming that adds tremendous impact. The music dies down to reveal a sampled interlude, before the emergence of some great clean riffs that make you want to shake your hips!

Megatherium builds slowly with clean picked guitar and soft drums, before being elevated into the song you want it to be! Heavy and rocking, just like its name suggests. There's more of that prog and sludge influence in the opening two minutes as they slow the pace down completely, to a bruising slow burn.

Think of all the best slow, space doom/stoner songs you've ever heard and multiply the feeling you had by 10, as this is one of those song that will leave the hairs standing on the back of your neck. It's the groove that's weaved in by Wizard Rifle that really makes it this song special. The skill of these musicians cannot, nay, will not be contested. This is only the mid point but already you've been subjected to hip shaking metal infused rock and skull-crushing heavy metal. I know I've tried, but it's futile to even try and categorise Wizard Rifle. You will just fry your brain trying.

Nobody comes at you with a wall of heavy riffs and pounding from those cymbals in the background. One thing I've noticed as this record's gone on, is that the level of heaviness and experimentalism has shot through the roof. It's testament to this duo that they haven't been consumed by their urge to experiment, and have created a record of incredible twists and turns while keeping it all really focused. Some other bands like this just sound messy, but Wizard Rifle doesn’t and knows exactly what they're doing.

Leathery Gentlemen is the last song and a ten-minute descent into madness. With crazed vocals and off-kilter guitar/rhythms, which work to enrich all of your senses. The vocal harmonies work well to juxtapose the thrashing drums and guitar throughout this song.

Like most of the music I've reviewed recently, this is the first music I've heard by Wizard Rifle, and I'll be honest and say I wasn't expecting anything like this. It's just refreshing to hear something so original and I'd go as far to say both Wizard Rifle and Speak Loud Say Nothing are vital! Hats off must also go to Seventh Rule for bringing these guys to my attention and I sincerely hope that they start to get the recognition they rightly deserve, as this is immense.

Luckily for you, this record is available for streaming on Wizard Rifle's Bandcamp page below:-

If you like it, which you should, you can buy a digital copy direct from their Bandcamp page or you can buy a digipack version from Seventh Rule at

You can also visit Wizard Rifle on Facebook at

Saturday 12 May 2012

Inferion - The Desolate

I've been covering a lot of extreme metal recently from different corners of Europe. Bands from the across the spectrum, with different influences, sounds and aesthetics. It's the turn of our cousins from the US now to show us what they're made of. The first band I'm going to cover on this quest is Miami based Black/Death duo Inferion.

The Desolate is their most recent release, self-released by the duo on January of this year.


1. Among The Twilight
2. Forgotten Ethereal Visions
3. It Began With Blood
4. The Killing Process
5. Moment of Anger
6. Numerous Lacerations
7. Purest Evil
8. Underlife
9. Withering Deities

The Americans have always had a certain way of spewing forth disgusting slabs of Black/Death metal and Inferion are no exception. Their vocals are raw but the sound of their record is very clean and heavy. If first song Among The Twilight is anything to go by, they seem to get a good balance between harshness, brutality and musical skill. They don't go for all out speed or aggression and behind the percussion and vocals, the music at times hints towards a more atmospheric, ambient path. They take their influences from their European peers at points on this record and don't sound like they want to bite the head of a poor unsuspecting mammal.

The varied lengths of their songs seem to be well judged too, as they are able to present enough ideas and variation to satisfy even the cvltest genre followers. The Black metal side of their sound doesn't outbalance the death metal side so will keep fans of both camps happy. For a self-released effort, this is damn good. They seem to have dodged many of the trappings that plague bands that do it themselves, meaning that they come across as sounding very accomplished and because of the production, the listener doesn't need to put too much effort in to appreciate them.

It Began With Blood helps to crush the myth that duos don't make as much noise as a full band, as the sound here is big, with crushing drums and great guitar harmonies. The atmospheric riff and wall of noise towards the end of the song, really bringing out the Black metal leanings of Inferion. They are able to layer the guitar so it sounds like there is more than one guitarist, that adds to the overall presentation here. The double bass work during quieter moments of The Killing Process works really well and helps to keep the music in check, with more rhythmic blasts taking over from the battery that came before.

Scene purists may find too many modern touches in Inferion's music, but they would be the one's missing out, as for a band to go in this direction, they must have conviction and vision, which Inferion do. By not skimping on the quality of their delivery, they are able to achieve maximum impact.  The clean guitar riffs at the start of Moment of Anger are great to behold. This is also one of the fastest songs on The Desolate, in terms of speed. They keep the battery up for just over four minutes, with only subtle, short tempo changes bringing minimal respite. Halfway through, they do slow the guitars down to give the impression that the pace is changing, but the double bass still thrashes away in the background which gives an indication of how hard drummer Nick Reyes is working.

Numerous Lacerations sounds like it should be a nasty piece of Carcass inspired death metal, but in fact it's a very clever piece of Doom/heavy metal inspired instrumental metal, with the melodic guitar that creates the main atmosphere here. It seems to build up before both guitars fade in and out, with subtle swathes of noise adding more feeling to the song. This heralds in Purest Evil, which is a return to the pace of earlier songs. The texture on show here, brings back images of evil incantation and rituals, which again is imagery associated with Black/Death metal to a certain extent. I hear some rock n roll inspired riffs in the middle of this too, but maybe that's just me getting too into it, you decide!

And so we've reached the final point of the album. Underlife begins with some dirty, dual vocal screams and brilliant traditional twin guitar, perfectly balancing the chaos of the percussion. The great thing about The Desolate and Inferion as a whole is that they don't seem to promote the whole "Worship Satan, Denounce human existence" idea. They are able to sound despairingly heavy without ramming that ideology down people’s throats. The closing bars of Underlife bring it to a close like an unforgiving whirlwind. Withering Deities is the albums closer and embodies what Inferion set out to achieve with The Desolate via clever musicianship and originality. It's a great advert also for many of the forward thinking extreme metal bands in the US, who have as yet been untouched by the commerciality of Black Metal at the moment.

If they stay the preserve of real fans they will prosper into an amazing force and will only grow with the integrity that will bring. The fact that this has been one of my longest and most detailed reviews says a lot about the quality on display here!

To hear what all the fuss is about, you can stream The Desolate in it's entirety via Inferion's Bandcamp page below:-

There is also a link on the page that you can follow to buy physical copies of The Desolate.

Inferion's Facebook page is

Grace - New 7"

You'll remember a while ago, I reviewed the Grace/Tide Of Iron split 7" here, well Grace have just announced the release of their new 7". It's a three tracker, released through Hemlock Thirteen.

It comes in to colours, Sky Blue and Black. Each records comes in a specially designed box, with a stenciled B-side, a 9-song download card and free stickers/patches. The Sky Blue 7" is limited to 200 and the Black 7" is limited to 300.

There's also a super limited special pack out, featuring both colours and all of the above, plus a specially designed one-off T-shirt, all housed in a specially designed box as well. These are limited to just 45. I've ordered mine already, and these won't be around for long so hurry up and order!

You can pick up either of the above via Hemlock Thirteen at Get on it!

Friday 11 May 2012

New blog

I've set up a new blog entitled - This Ain't No Fetish. Check it out at

It's where I'm going to document me record collection and so far I've put four details about four of them up. Please feel free to comment here, on the new blog or on Facebook, if you're interested is vinyl records! Thanks.

Thursday 10 May 2012

Mammut - Homunkulus EP

The first thing that struck me about the EP was the striking image on the cover. I don't know whether this is Mammut's way of setting the scene, but it does a damn good job nonetheless. As you may have already guessed, this is the debut EP by Swedish Doom/Sludge band Mammut. They are a five piece based in Stockholm.


1. Homunkulus
2. Grottan
3. Syndaflod
4. Vulkan

Homunkulus is the title track of this EP and starts with a sampled, Swedish language spoken word passage. Once this has faded out, Mammut start to kick out the jams. These riffs are pure old-school rock n roll and the lyrics are in Swedish, to give the record an authentic twist.

Mammut focus on the more melodic side of Stoner Rock, but do incorporate some heavier, Mastodon-esque riffs into their sound. The band has an incredible ability to create dreamy, yet rocking songs and keep an eye firmly aimed at traditional heavy metal values. The production also does a great job of adding warmth to the EP, which is missing from some other traditional heavy metal records. It allows both vocals and instruments to breathe. The end to Homunkulus is a surprise, as much like Black Sabbath used to do, Mammut change the pace, speed things up and get heavier towards the end of the song. It's a great thrash close to an assured song.

Grottan is a slower paced song, but with the melodic vocals of singer Johan Eliasson, it's very listenable. Again, part way through, they switch their attention to a more upbeat tempo and bring in some nice mean riffs and even some growled vocals.
Mammut's music never sound cheesy or contrived, which I think has a lot to do with them keeping things traditional and singing in their native tongue. Listen to Syndaflod to get a sense of the kind of awesome melody that they put into their songs.

The solo and twin guitar melodies during Syndaflod are also real quality and when they slow things down, the Doom/Sludge influences really start to shine through and give the music a real heft. Vulkan rounds out this EP, with one last thrilling blast of Swedish Heavy Metal. It has it's own character, as do the other songs here, with it's brilliant vocal melodies and Stoner inspired riffs.

The whole of this EP is original and inventive. It's never sounds like Mammut are trying to merely emulate their influences, but are actually weaving them into their own sound. They are all really skilled musicians, which really shouldn't come as a big surprise, as they are from Sweden. I really hope that we see more from these guys and that a label snaps them up very soon, as they are too good to be left in the cold!

You can stream and download the whole of Homunkulus for free via Mammut's Soundcloud page at

You can also keep up to date with what's happening in their world via their Facebook page at

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Opposition Rising - Aftermathematics

Opposition Rising are another addition to the ever brilliant scene hardcore/metal scene in Boston, Massachusetts. Aftermathematics is their debut release, which has been released in cooperation by a whole bunch of labels including Opposition Records, Active Rebellion, Crash Assailant Records, Pirates Press Records, Riot Ska Records, Rodent Popsicle and Tankcrimes.

Opposition Rising are all about doing things their way, with a little help from friends from time-to-time.


1. Rising
2. The Rich are Killing The Poor
3. F.T.W
4. Pink Slip Murder Suicide
5. Total Annihilation
6. Tell 'Em Nothing
7. Brick By Brick
8. Debt Sentence
9. Everybody's Lying To You All The Time
10. Destination Apocalypse.

Aftermathematics kicks off with Rising, which is a short, sharp blast of thrash inspired hardcore punk. Each song here follows the last in quick succession. The Rich Are Killing The Poor is an attack on the greed of the rich among us. The sound of the record is old-school, with the vocals sitting up top in the mix, but when the instruments are left to do their bit, they sound really clear. The guitars and drums thrash along, and I really like it when the bass can be heard, like at the start of F.T.W.

Those vocals give the record a really heavy, aggressive edge, but there are some great punk touches, like the riffs at the start of Pink Slip Murder Suicide. Total Annihilation strangely reminds me of Hatebreed, it must be the brutality of it. Please don't lynch me for saying that!

This record is riotous fun all over though, and I have visions of absolute chaos when Opposition Rising plays live. They've got such a great vibe, which will appeal to fans of different metal. Brick By Brick sounds has another great set of punk-inspired riffs, which are great to skank to!

In spite of the similarities to existing genres I mentioned above, I find it really hard to categorise Opposition Rising. Just take for example the verses in Debt Sentence, where there’s a great ska influence, which is killer. These guys are really talented musicians; being able switch between hardcore, punk and ska with minimal effort, yet keep the pace up and the music heavy. It's pure punk mayhem!

I'd strongly recommend you to pick up copy of this record by any means possible. It's a great mix of styles and will have your heads bobbing and your hips shaking!

You can listen to the entire record via the band's bandcamp page below, where they are also offering it up for free download:-

You can also find out more about Opposition Rising and contact them via their website at and via their Facebook page at, although if you want to contact them, do it via their website.

You can pick up their record on vinyl, in different colours from the following labels:-

Opposition Records (Their own label) -
Active Rebellion -
Crash Assailant Records -
Pirates Press Records -
Riot Ska Records -
Rodent Popsicle Records -
Tankcrimes -

Sunday 6 May 2012

Breag Naofa - Breag Naofa

Breag Naofa are another band that I have recently been introduced to. The name itself, is Gaelic and translates to "Holy Lie", but the band themselves come from Seattle. This is their debut self titled record that was released via Panic Records earlier this year.


1. I
2. II
3. III
4. IV

Breag Naofa are described as a post-hardcore band, in the same vein as bands like Cult Of Luna and Isis. Initially, I sounds huge, with a wall of riffs and pounding drums. The music is very atmospheric and as the vocals kick in, the hardcore roots of the band kick in. Breag Naofa features members of US hardcore bands Trial and Love Is Red, so have a pretty damn good pedigree.

This album has some great metallic moments, and is nicely downtuned. I stretches for just over ten minutes and reminds me of a lot of the UK hardcore bands I've been listening to recently, who are influenced by darker, more original bands like Integrity and Strife. The music here is creative and original, with plenty of clever instrumentation. They don't have the loud/quiet aesthetic of bands like Cult of Luna or Isis, but with the dissonance and heft in their music, they do have an incredible sound.

II shows off the production of the record. Clear yet with enough character to make it standout. Breag Naofa rely on those mighty guitars to power this beast along, with occasional Sludge and Doom sound bites, as well as occasional smashing, cymbal led drums that underpin it all. The noise levels in II increase as it progresses, even when the pace slows down. There are some nineties hardcore/screamo influences in the music too, like the introspective passage half-way through II. The cleanly plucked guitar and bass that comes to the fore highlights Breag Naofa's creativity and progression and the hard-hitting dynamics that come in later on, jolt you back to life and make you realise
your listening to something  altogether different and unique.

Out of all the different iterations of Hardcore, I think that this is my favourite. I like the way that different sounds and melodies are displayed alongside more traditional hardcore structures, and the fact that  it's played outside of normal genre  limits, by bands who truly want to challenge the genre and it's listeners.

III is almost a call to arms in the sheer heft and brutality of the song, Now, it's not brutality in the sense that it's horrendously fast or unlistenable, but in that fact that it just sounds mightily loud. Breag Naofa manage to fashion a sound that is simple yet effective here, the combination of vocals and instruments working in harmony to create something consistently good. I like the final part of III, with the high-pitched guitar melodies and segue into the final verse and ending.

IV is the final song on this effort and it has a very different feel to it from the rest of the record. The cleanly plucked guitar at the start gives it a folky sound.  It's also the longest song on the release, which means it's pretty indulgent, but in a good way. The majority of the song is instrumental and adds a climactic end to what's been a pretty incredible record.

Overall, I really like this record. As I said above, it's pretty much my favourite iteration of Hardcore, due to it's creativity and musicality, which Breag Naofa manage to pull off brilliantly. If you haven't heard this band yet, make sure you check them out real soon. They won't stay a secret for much longer!

You can listen to tracks II and IV via Breag Naofa's Bandcamp page below:-

If you like what you hear, you can buy their record from the Panic Records Estore at

You can also check out more about Breag Naofa on their blog at and on their Facebook page at

Profetus - ...To Open The Passages In Dusk

I've not covered much Doom or even Funeral Doom for that matter. That changes with this review however, as I try to dig deeper into the mire of the many metal sub genre's, to unearth some extreme gems.

Profetus are Doom band from Tampere, Finland, who combine elements of Funeral Doom into their sound and have created this four track release that spans almost 60 minutes. The record has been releases in various formats by Weird Truth Productions, Rusty Crowbar Records and Contagion Releasing.


1. When Autumn Cries A Fiery Canticle
2.  The Watchers Dusk
3.  The Shoreless
4.  Burn, Lanterns of Eve

The first thing that hits you on opener, When Autumn Cries A Fiery Canticle, is the sound of the organ's long, drawn-out notes and the spoken word vocals of A.Makinen. The music is slow to build, with the organ dying away and revealing quiet guitars that build to more of a crescendo along with the drums. At this point, whispered, low vocals begin to fill the airwaves, complemented by the instrumentation. The sound of the twin guitars make the overall sound more powerful, only being punctuated by moments of quiet solitude and brief ringing feedback.

This is a record that requires patience from the listener. It's a slow moving beast, with subtle intricacies that reveal themselves on multiple listens. The only clue that this has
a leaning towards extreme metal is in the deep, growled vocals that add a sinister feel to Profetus's sound. As the song winds on, the sound level increases, as the guitars and organ are layered more and more subtle melodies creep into the music. As the organ heralds the end of the first passage, my first impression is that this is something special.

The Watchers Dusk is more if an instrumental affair. The sound of the organ and the cymbal at times is calming, before the odd growl permeates the music and then dies again. Profetus's music follows a very prescribed formula, so to those not familiar with Doom or Funeral Doom for that matter, all the songs may sound similar, but the songs do follow a path or theme, and each have their own subtle differences and variations.

The Shoreless builds into a wall of sound from the start. It's sound grander and has more of an impact. The thing that amazes me is the incredible focus of the band to not only create such an epic body of songs for this release, but that they do so without compromising their mysterious image or influences. Profetus start to flex their muscles on this track, with some nice drum fills adding variation to the slow burn of the song.

Burn, Lanterns of Eve is the final piece of despair ravaged Doom from Profetus, and as a result, it sounds even more evil than those that have come before it. This has a strange, euphoric edge to it, like the feeling you get when you reach a point of ecstasy and for a brief moment, you reach another world. This is the first opportunity to hear some melodic, clean Doom inspired singing, which is both haunting and majestic at the same time. As a first introduction to Profetus, this record has surprised me. It held my attention throughout with great skill and bombast and it made me want to seek out and listen to similar bands. Like my new found appreciation for Black metal, this record has given me a new found appreciation for Doom and it's sub-genres.

You can find Profetus on Facebook at and on Myspace at, where you can listen to the whole of this record.

You can purchase it on vinyl from Rusty Crowbar Records at, from Contagion Releasing at and on CD from Japanese label Weird Truth Productions at

Saturday 5 May 2012

Dead And Divine - Antimacy

Dead And Divine are a five piece modern hardcore band from Ontario, Canada who are currently signed to UK label A Wolf At Your Door Records, the label that's brought bands like Mallory Knox and Hildamay to wider audiences in recent times.

Antimacy is their latest release, and has been getting them wide acclaim. This also marks the final record that Dead And Divine will be releasing, as they have recently announced they are splitting up after 10 years of tearing it up. This review then will hopefully be a fitting tribute to them.


1. Asphyxia Fiend
2. Grim Love
3. Slumlord
4. Antimacy
5. Midnight Society
6. Cult/Misleader
7. Carcinoma
8. It Sleeps In Bliss
9. Ditchpig
10. Nothing Is Alright
11. Teenage Rot

Asphyxia Fiend is a huge hardcore track, with off-kilter riffs and big hardcore screams from vocalist Matt Tobin. A short, slickly sung chorus adds a modern sheen to their sound and add layers to this modern slab of hardcore. Grim Love follows pretty much instantly. The drumming at the start is fast and punk-ridden. The aesthetic that Dead And Divine present, is one of anger and riff-tastic energy. There are hints OF Every Time I Die amongst Antimacy, which isn't a bad comparison. The songs are just right in length as well and along with the clean, modern production, certainly hit the spot.

There's a great southern rock vibe about Antimacy as well, especially in Slumlord. Title tack Antimacy has more of metal feel to it to start with, and has some great, almost introspective musicianship before that knee-trembling, Deftones inspired chorus drops. The riffs in Antimacy are what sets it apart from other peer's records at the moment, with the hard hitting, simplicity that makes the it sound heavy as hell! Dead And Divine at times remind me of awesome bands like Hopeafall and Cave In, in some of the melodies the weave into their choruses, but they have an originality of their own, which makes you stand up and take notice.

The quality of this record is amazing, especially in the instrumental passage in penultimate song Nothing Is Alright. It's full of emotion and at times is god damn euphoric in the senses it instills in you. Teenage Rot is you last chance to thrash along to Dead And Divine on Antimacy. It's the last rip-roaring slice of modern, melodic hardcore from a band with incredible heart and skill.

Even if this is their last recorded output, it's a fitting album to leave on. Full of swaying abandon and classy licks. Here's to the last ten years and the positive legacy Dead And Divine are leaving behind!

You can pick Antimacy from A Wolf At Your Door's online store at Dead And Divine's Facebook is Go and persuade them to carry on!


You've probably read this from me already in the past, but I'm genuinely amazed at how the global metal scene in expanding at the moment. None more so is that evident, than in my continually growing record collection. If it's not vinyl records, it's cd's and demo tapes. I'm not talking though about mainstream metal, as I kind of come to despise it in some ways. I'm talking about the underground, independent DIY scene.

DSDNT typify the above paragraph. They're a local band from Leeds, who were cool enough to send me their EP to listen to and review. This type of band was why I set up this small blog in the first place and why I love doing this.

So onto DSDNT then. They are a four piece hardcore band, who recently released this cassette EP through Scottish label Dead Dead Dead Music. The tape itself came in a clear case, with great simple, but striking artwork and a clean, bright white cassette. The EP is made up of five tracks.


1. Begin/Turn
2. Conform
3. Numb
4. Break
5. Escape

This is great hardcore which fits in really well with the current uprising or angry, dark hardcore that's tearing Britain a new arsehole at the moment. The Opening song Begin/Turn is a perfect example of this, with really heavy, slow riffs and then the low, screamed vocals. The sound is heavy and is complemented by the production, which actually fits their sound really well.

They throw in some clean riffs into their songs which complement the driving heaviness that they achieve, just listen to Conform. The song structure is designed for out and out heaviness. Not too complex and has an ace rock n roll vibe to it. Numb is darker  in it's delivery, with some great slow riffs and blasting drum abuse.

The last two tracks, Break and Escape continue in the same vein. DSDNT have the wherewithal to write short, sharp songs which have loads of impact, even after the music has stopped. This is pure, DIY hardcore from a bunch of lads destined to rise through the ranks and leave pretenders in their wake. Long live the underground! The mainstream can FOAD!

You can stream DSDNT's EP on their bandcamp page below:-

You can also buy a physical copy of the EP from their Bigcartel page at and their Facebook page is

Thursday 3 May 2012

Yog - Half The Sky

Yog are a grindcore band from Neuchâtel, Switzerland who are signed to Division Records. A while ago, I featured their Swiss labelmates Unfold, and was really impressed, so couldn't wait to listen to what Yog had to offer. Admittedly, it's taken me a little longer than I would have liked to get this review out, but at least now, I can Half The Sky the column space it deserves.


1. Needle In Black
2. 92%
3. Solar Nature
4. Calculate The Plan And Escape

5. Fist Fuck On The Way Home
6. I Shall Scream A Beginning
7. Plastic Child

8. Ugly Liars Behind Baby Masks
9. Adam Wanted To Stay The Only One
10. Breaking The Spell
11. Stones
12. We Need Your Opinion (Just in order to ignore it)

The guitar into at the start of Needle In Black makes you think you are listening to something far more saccharine than you're about witness. No sooner has the intro ended, that Yog's brand of hardcore inspired grind begins. It's fast and has some really great mathcore touches. It's very angular and dissonant, but with the occasional glimpses of warp-speed drumming, Yog keep you on your toes. Needle in Black fades out to reveal 92%. This song is all the more intense. It's really hard to pin down, as the music changes at the blink of an eye, no two riffs or rhythms are the same at the start. Yog do pull out some groove towards the end of the song, but leave you exhilarated and ready for more.

Solar Nature shows off the musicianship of the band, going from all out grind madness, to traditional song structures with consummate ease. Some of the rhythms from the drums are something else, obviously played by a drummer with more than just ability. The guitar and bass also work really well with the percussion, pulling off some jazz inspired time signatures and passages that require complete concentration from you. The vocals too are as passionate as you'd like, especially in Calculate The Plan and Escape. I do hear glimpses of At The Drive-In within their music, as sometimes there are subtle glimpses of cleaner riffs.

The amusingly titled Fist Fuck on The Way Home is just that. Absolute chaos, with the odd falsetto scream chucked in for good measure. The production on the album is really good. It's loud and helps each part standout well, to help Yog achieve there aim of blowing your head off. They throw in something akin to a breakdown in I Shall Scream A Beginning. The songs are a mixture of lengths, Yog don't go for all out blasts, but don't take things too far, cramming enough imagery and variation into each song.

Plastic Child is an instrumental track gives you time to get your breath back, before the sound levels build up to almost deafening levels and then die away as quickly as they came. It also signifies the midway point in Half The Sky. If you’re at this point, then you’re obviously a seasoned vet when it comes to extreme metal. You've buckled yourself to experience more forward thinking nuttiness. Ugly Liars Behind Baby Masks is a great song, containing some brilliant ideas including blood curdling growls and vocals which sound like groans, which show that Yog have a sense of humour.

Adam Wanted to Stay The Only One sounds like a sarcastic way of saying that the planet is overcrowded, and Yog could clear away a few none believers with this glorious racket. Breaking The Spell goes by far too quickly, being the fastest song on Half The Sky. It also brings you to Yog's final two salvos. Stones and We Need Your Opinion (just in order to ignore it). Stones is a mental song, which sloes right down till only a deafening cry of feedback is left. We Need Your Opinion (just in order to ignore it) is the song with what could be considered the most traditional structure but it doesn't disappoint, as no sooner has the spoken word sample finished, does it kick in with one last blast of mathy-grind.

This is experimental and I know I've referred to it as grind, but it feels unfair to label it. It's original and inspired. Yog are another example of the incredible forward thinking presence of the Swiss extreme metal scene right now. They can only more forward and bring the rest of us kicking and screaming with them!

Yog have a website at and a Facebook page at You can purchase Half The Sky from Division Records at or via their Facebook page at