Saturday 30 June 2012

Blood of The Spectre - Interview + S/T EP

Basingstoke metal band Blood of The Spectre are a band that's been getting a lot of media attention recently. I've seen them get column space in both Terrorizer and Rock Sound magazine's, to which I subscribe. They are another band in a long line of UK metal bands who are beginning to come to the fore.

I caught up with BOTS recently to find out what influenced them, what there take on UK metal and what bands they're repping:-

First of all, can you tell us a bit about Blood Of The Spectre and how you guys started?

It all started when previous bands fell apart and 5 mates just wanted to get together and play some tasty metal- kinda like most schoolboy bands! We’ve been through many member changes and it seems we’ve finally settled on the current line up but since the beginning we’ve always had positive responses and hopefully we’ll keep that going!

What are your influences, musically or otherwise?

Musically we all like to think we’re very open-minded. We love to listen and headbang to bands like Killswitch Engage, Limp Bizkit and Deftones, but a lot of the main influences you’ll hear in the Ep are more a mish mash of thrash in the likes of Sylosis and Viatrophy to techy death bands like Black Dahlia Murder Etc.

Your debut release has been out for a little while now. What has the reaction been like to it?
The reaction, in our eyes, has been incredible! We reached over 1000 downloads a few weeks back and had so much positive feedback online and in person. Still getting random people post on our Facebook wall saying that listened to it and enjoyed it. That’s all we can really ask to be honest, we put it up for free so more people can access it and listen… if you don’t like it- you can shove a tampon up your arse and leave it be! We write metal we enjoy and the fact others do is a massive bonus!

What has been the highlight for you so far?

We’ve had a lot of fun as a band whether it comes to playing gigs or going out partying! Our tour last year was pretty mental, being chased around by naked guys in Brighton, playing to a headbanging man and his broom in Wales or generally chilling getting high in a van! But I think the most memorable show for us has to be when we played the 100% stage at Basingstoke live. It seemed like all our mates came to our hometown filled up one tent in a massive field and went nutty! Was a massive high for us and we’re playing again this year so hopefully it will be equally as insane.

What are your plans for the future (that you can share with us!)?

Right now, we’re getting a tour booked for this September, playing shows wherever, whenever we can and righting for our next release! It’s all go right now and we just hope we can keep some hype up and really take it somewhere…

What do you think about the state of the UK metal scene at the moment?

This is a hard one for sure man! A lot of people/bands say its going to absolute shit right now, which I kinda agree with, however a lot of bands are just starting to get arrogant and lazy when it comes to… being in a band! It sounds extreme but, a lot of bands get big in their local scene and then think they’re the finished article and will go on to headline download just of the back of filling their local venue. So many people are all out for themselves when we should all help other bands, help promoters and anyone else, turn up to shows, network and really show support for others then yourself. However, there’s so many bands about, its impossible to cater for everything and everyone, but surely in a scene the more the better? Before I bore everyone with my rant, one thing I find is people that go to shows just never seem interested in anything “new” or from “out of town” we need to watch these new bands, there’s so much talent about and so much we’re missing out on just because we just wanna watch the bands we know. It probably seems like I’m being a massive cock right now! Aha sure its not all this extreme over the UK but we all need to pull our fingers out our arses and get to more shows and watch more small bands!........ rant over! Sorry haha

Which bands from your local scene should we be listening to?

There’s so many bands we would want to shout out too! Bands we’ve become close to our ones like “Entro-P”, “Doomed From Day One” or “Ageless Oblivion” But there’s also bands who have helped us out a great deal like “The Sorrow of Mastema” and Dan from “No Consequence” mixed and mastered our Ep!. Other young bands from our scene like “Eyes of the Fallen” deserve your time too… there’s so many bands we’ve met and played with along the way, I really can’t list them all because I’d be here forever aha! So sorry if we’ve missed you out but rest assured we love you all!

The Sorrow of Mastema - 

Eyes of The Fallen - 

Blood of The Spectre - EP 


1. Introduction
2. Darkened Majesty
3. Defeatist
4. Lexical Gap
5. Interlude
6. Dystopia
7.  End Era

The EP begins with an awesome intro track, niftily titled - Introduction. It's filled with technical drumming and guitar rhythms, smart breakdowns and a pretty bass heavy low end.

Darkest Majesty begins with some classic metal riffs and dual-harmonies. The vocals are deep raspy-growls and BOTS use thrash metal elements, which make them sound damn heavy! There's breakdowns too, and awesome sweeping guitar melodies throughout the song.

BOTS like to write epic, experimental metal songs though, as the song lengths demonstrate. They push plenty of ideas to the fore and sound very forward thinking, while nodding to the past.

Defeatist follows straight on from Darkened Majesty. This song is less indulgent but no less powerful. It's seems to embrace more of the bands thrash influences, with fast rhythms and twin guitar being the mainstays. In the interview above, the guys named bands like Killswitch Engage as influences, alongside modern UK death metal bands like Viatrophy, which is a pretty good benchmark for their sound.

Lexical Gap is filled with absolutely ferocious drumming and Meshuggah inspired riffage. It's pretty awesome and thanks to the production, everything sound clear, especially the pinch-harmonics embraced in the song. The more introspective passage towards end couple with the great solo, shows what the band are capable of when they take the foot off the gas slightly, which is to provide the listener with clever variation and atmosphere.

Interlude gives you brief respite thanks to the thoughtful, clean acoustic guitar that fills the speakers.

Penultimate song Dystopia starts with the kind of soundscape you'd expect from one of the big American hitters, but sounds authentically British at the same time. When the frenetic double bass and screams kick in though, it is a distant memory, as BOTS set about battering you with their progressive, modern metal sound. There are elements of hardcore amongst their music, but the rhythms and passages that BOTS employ, does make you pay more attention, thus proving this is not just a throwaway record.

Final song End Era is the longest song on the EP, but is also the culmination of all of the bands influences and shows their song writing off brilliantly. Plenty of experimentation and instrumental layers are used too the record and make this the most well rounded song on the EP.

Overall, BOTS have managed to write a really impressive EP, full of hooks and music that should make people pay attention. They definitely deserve the exposure they're getting.

Now, to listen to the EP yourself, just click play below on the band's Bandcamp link below:- 

And, if that wasn't enough, you can download it for free from the same link.

As well as that. Check out the bands video for closing song - End Era below:-

Make sure you keep one eye on their Facebook page at for updates on that upcoming September tour!

Sunday 24 June 2012

Hellvetron - Death Scroll Of Seven Hells And Its Infernal Majesties

Hellvetron are an occult death/black metal duo from the US. Death Scroll... is their debut album and has been released by the mighty Hells Headbangers.

1. Sheol- Grave of Supernals
2. Abbadon- Wings of Perdition
3. Titahion- Foul Eaters of the Clay of Death
4. Bar Shasketh- Fathomless Pit of Destruction
5. Tzalemoth- Shadow of Death
6. Shaari Moth- Omimous Gate of Death
7. Gehinnom- Hellwomb of the Impure Hag Queens 

Opener Sheol - Grave of Supernals provides a frightening atmosphere as Hellvetron's brand of death/black metal comes to life. Their sound is perfectly evil, with low deathly growls, strange female chanting in the background and suitably old-school production. You can hear the guitar buzzing in the background and the hammering of the drums.

Abbadon - Wings of Perdition is played at a similar pace to the opener, with Hellvetron preferring a slower, more painful death. The music is definitely at the more extreme end of the spectrum. Conjuring up images of evil, human sacrifices and plagued demons, it's certainly not for the faint of heart.

Titahion - Foul Eater of the Clay of Death benefits from some great sounding guitar riffs that add a new level to the atmosphere that Hellvetron are conveying.
The feeling that they heap on the listener is pretty uncomfortable, especially if you're not used to this form of extreme music.

I'm reviewing it based on it's artistic merit and the musicality held herein.
The music is mainly mid-paced throughout, with buzzsaw guitar rearing it's head occasionally, but Hellvetron do prefer a dirgy, doomy inspired sound, which I actually quite like. A good example of this is in fourth song, Bar Shasketh - Fathomless Pit of Destruction. The drums are more prevalent in Tzalemoth - Shadow of Death. The crashing cymbals working in perfect harmony with those deathly growls and the haunting chanting.

The songs on Death Scroll... don't outstay their welcome. Some bands of this ilk do play overly long songs that lose their impact, but Hellvetron do seem to have nailed the formula. Their longest songs are at the start and the finish of the record, which makes a lot of sense to me. Shaari Moth - Omimous Gate of Death and Gehinnom -Hellwomb of the Impure Hag Queens end proceedings with two final blasts of evil, occult metal.

This record is definitely for those people who are diehard death/black metal fans. The old-school production suits the music well, but won't be too everyone's taste.
I personally like the fact that Hellvetron have fused doom elements into their music as it gives them a more refreshing sound. Enter if you dare!

You can stream the album via Hells Headbanger own bandcamp page below:-

There is also a link of the page so you can purchase either digital copies or physical CD/LP copies directly from the label.

Hellvetron don't use any forms of social media, however there a fan page on Facebook at You can find more information at the bands Metal-Archives page at

Black Hole Of Calcutta - S/T LP

If you're anything like me, there are some bands that you read about and think "yeah, they're why I got into heavy music", and Black Hole of Calcutta are one such band. A band that you can't pin down to any specific genre but a band that seem to embody everything you like about heavy music. So when I got asked to review their LP, I could hardly say no.

This is their latest LP, that was released in January, via Give Praise Records and I Feel Good Records.


1. Myth Of Progress
2. Age of Extinction
3. Truth is Never Told
4. Total Collapse
5. Cirrhosis
6. Genetic Control
7. No Turning Back
8. Nightmares
9. Educate
10. No Regrets
11. Arm The Hopeless
12. Vultures

BHOC start off with a sludge/Doom inspired track called Myth of Progress. It's a slow burn of an opening song, with bass heavy riffage and striking drum rhythms. It suddenly bursts into life about one and a half minutes in and spews forth, fast and angry grind/power-violence with crazily fast drumming, Punk-infused riffs and absolutely rabid screams. I love the slow riffs at both ends of this opener, purely for the atmosphere they give off.

From here of in, things get a lot faster. Age of Extinction is a sub two-minute punked-up blast that leaves no room for breath. Truth is Never Told follows in the same vein. Those screams are properly intense too. I've not heard any as angry as this for a long time. Total Collapse is forty seconds of grinding mayhem, bisected by sudden stops and brutal crusty doom riffs.

The riffs at the start of Cirrhosis are more akin to razor black metal riffs. There are so many elements to BHOC's music that you may as well forget about categorisation and just headbang! Genetic Control is another grinding mass of crazed screams and breakneck drumming. Thanks to the production here, the record sounds huge. The vocals are most prevalent, but when the other instruments are allowed space to breathe, the effect is huge. When all playing together, it's utterly mental!

No Turning Back is the fastest song on display, yet BHOC still manage to fill it with some brilliant, Mastodon inspired guitar. Nightmares starts off more mid-paced, with some more great punk elements, before unleashing more rip-roaring grind fueled madness. It's actually quite amazing how many different elements BHOC can fit into their songs. The different genre styles and pace changes are infused into their music with ease.

Educate just blasts along with no histrionics and No Regrets fuses itself to your synapse with the help of caustic screams and subtle progressive riffs underneath. The sound of the drums and specifically the cymbals add elements of disorientating madness.

This brings you to the final two tracks, the fast Arm The Hopeless, over in the blink of an eye and Vultures, which displays more of their hardcore sensibilities and just smashes you into submission. When I say hardcore though, I mean more of your Integrity/Strife style hardcore and not your tough guy, slam dancing stuff. The song finishes off the album the way it started, with more epic doom riffs and slower paced dirge.

In summary, this record may only have a playing time of about twenty minutes, but my god is it worth it. Thanks to the variation and skill on show, it seems to last a lot longer and is thoroughly worth multiple listens. Black Hole of Calcutta add another element to the grind/power-violence blueprint and strive to write music their way. Definitely ones to watch, if you're not yet familiar with them.

You can stream the whole LP for free via BHOC's bandcamp page below:-

You can also digital copies of the LP direct from the page.

You can also buy physical copies of this LP from the below labels:-
Give Praise Records -
I Feel Good Records -

Saturday 23 June 2012

Idylls - Farewell All Joy

I've spoken on this blog before about the wealth of quality bands coming out of Australia, but I've only really looked at the death metal scene in the past. I actually read about Brisbane based Idylls on Cvlt Nation a couple of months back and rather spookily, shortly afterwards Chris B from the band got in touch asking if I wanted to review Farewell All Joy. Farewell All Joy was released on the 16th of May through Monolith Records and Tenzenmen Records.


1. Funerals In Queensland
2. Paradise of Blood
3. Swine / Virgins/ Utopiates
4. Bombs Reign Youthless
5. Bastardized Harvest / Spring In The Badlands
06. Amps For God / Plague Hell
07. Violent Caves
08. Heaven's Transistors
09. Teenage Noose
10. Susy

Funerals in Queensland starts with jangly, indie/emo inspired guitar and off kilter rhythms. The screaming and the time signatures remind a lot of crazed grind bands like Birdflesh, but this has its own identity and hits with a huge element of surprise throughout it's short, sub one-minute time-span.

Paradise of Blood follows with more, almost jazzy structures, before going all out crazy. The instrumentation has that proggy feel to it and the band are really clever in that they don't go for all out heaviness, but use melodic textures to make the music a lot more interesting. Swine/Virgins/Utopiates is utterly mental. If Primus had written a grindcore version of the South Park theme song, I'd imagine it would sound subtly like this. It's those jangly guitars!

Each songs shifts into the next, which I really like, and the intro to Bombs Reign Youthless comes at you with a subtle hint of sludge. The drumming is incredible as well. It may to some, sound like all members are playing to different songs, but everything fits together perfectly and leaves you trying to pick out a rhythm or reference point, which is sometimes bewilderingly hard. Idylls do however, settle down at regular spots and change the pace, adding plenty of experimentation and variation as they go.

Bastardized Harvest, Spring in the Badlands represents a slower, heavier side to Idylls. The bass heavy sludginess, the low screams show a different side to them for the first half of the song. There's also an appearance of some spaghetti western inspired guitar as well. They finish up the song with more nerve jangling noise. Fast and with rhythms darting all over the place, yet with all instruments sounding clear thanks to a good production.

Amps of God, Plague Hell starts the second half of the record. This is one of their longest songs and again they sound heavier when they slow it down. The rumble of the bass and the steady groove of the drums pull things forward. The high/low pitched growls make it sound savage when used in unison. With Violent Caves, Idylls get back to their grinding best. The jangly guitars make a return as do the short blasts.

Heavens Transistors is one of the fastest songs on the record, with a ringing guitar solo slapped in for good measure and a great punky end to it. It leads straight into Teenage Noose, which is another song that really mixes things up, from groove to off-kilter time signatures and vocal effects, this has it all.

Final song Susy is the longest song on the record and just over four minutes. Purely instrumental, it starts with that Western inspired guitar, which conjures visions of a sparse outback full of outlaws and thieves. It has a real brooding atmosphere about it and you’re not quite sure what is going to come after every note and swathe of feedback. It's a calming way to end what's been an absolutely immense album.

Farewell All Joy only lasts around twenty minutes, but in that time leaves you absolutely speechless. The skill of each member to make something sound so together, when seemingly it's miles apart must be applauded. If you're a fan of cutting edge, experimental music that forces you to think, then Idylls are definitely for you.

You can hear two tracks from Farewell All Joy, Paradise of Blood and Swine/Virgins/ Utopiates, via Idylls bandcamp page below:-

If you've enjoyed this review and listened to the tracks above, you can purchase the record in digital for or in lovely vinyl form, from Idylls bandcamp page.

Farewell All Joy was put out by Monolith and Tenzenmen records. Links to their sites are below:-

Idylls can also be found on Facebook at

Wednesday 20 June 2012

A Wanted Awakening - Catharsis

This is a pretty exclusive review I've got for you. Lowell, MA's melodic death metal band A Wanted Awakening are due to release their album Catharsis, on June 24th and I've been given the opportunity to bring a pre-release review to you all.

Some time ago, I reviewed their EP Rebirth, which was awesome in it's own right. Catharsis features the tracks from that EP and along with newer tracks, forms the band full length, for which they are playing not one, but two release shows for!


1. Final Ascent: Exile
2. Misanthrope
3. Dehumanize
4. The Massacre to Come
5. Flameborne
6. Tempest
7. The Perseus Veil
8. Pilgrimage
9. Spiders.
10. Final Ascent: Exodus

Opener, Final Ascent: Exile flies at you with brutal death shrieks and guttural growls that sit atop of melodic riffs, off-kilter arrangements and savage drumming. There's a lot going on, but musical textures are used sparingly so they don't overpower you. The clean guitar solo and sweep picking are awesome and that band take their cues from different parts of metal’s varied spectrum, to increase their musicality.

The clean vocals add a great modern touch to the record. It reminds of the days when I was first getting into metalcore, when it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck! Just listen the vocal melodies and improv guitar at the end of the first song.

Misanthrope is the first track here that appeared on their EP Rebirth and it loses none of its quality. The Hispanic style guitar that starts things off, makes way for another modern classic. If you're a fan of melodic death metal, you'll find loads to get excited about here and might just find your new favourite band. The need to bring experimental layers into the music really gives you a sense that these guys are really accomplished musicians. Their mixture of aggressive and melodic dynamics work well together.

Dehumanize is a new song and has a more melodic sentiment, but gives way to more deathly aggression. The production of Catharsis isn't as immediate as that of Rebirth, with the instruments buried slightly underneath the vocals. That said, it is clear and doe not take anything away from the quality on offer. Those low, guttural growls are quite incredible and bring that a sense of evil too the record. The switches between brutal heaviness and more introspective passages are effortless. The length of the songs also help, as AWA are able to pack loads of variety into their songs, which makes the record a well rounded body of work.

The Massacre To Come features higher pitched shrieks and shows the versatility of the vocals in a very good way. Sometimes bands of this ilk do rely on the harshness of the vocals to carry songs, but AWA mix melodic and screamed vox that complement each other.

Flameborn includes more off-kilter clean riffs during the verses and the choruses sound epic! The drums are fast as well, but not constantly. They are fast during the full-on parts, but have enough groove not to sound overpowering. I've heard a lot of records this year so far, all of which I've enjoyed for different reasons, but this record has to be a contender for album of the year in my eyes!

When sitting down to do this review, I promised myself I wouldn't categorise AWA alongside their peers, as I believe that bands should be considered individual, where possible. That said, I've not always been the best at sticking to that mantra. All I'll say at this point is if you are open-minded and enjoy well produced, metal that doesn't rely on electronic effects but more honest musicianship, Catharsis will be right up your alley. Tempest is another one of their newer tracks and it embodies exactly what I've just said.

As the second part of Catharsis rallies on through The Perseus Veil, I just want to sit and appreciate the passion and skill that AWA put into their music. A surprise hits you towards the middle of this song, with some brilliant almost free form jazz guitar that fits right in and again shows the versatility of the guitarists.

Pilgrimage contains some sick pinch harmonic effects, stop-start guitar riffs and really powerful drumming, Twin guitar melodies and cracking singing just complete the package for me. Spiders is the penultimate song on Catharsis and one of my favourites on Rebirth. It seems to be more brutal here thanks to the vocals and definitely has an edge to it that I can't pin down.

Final Ascent: Exodus is the closing song and also the longest at just over 7 minutes, so very much AWA's most indulgent piece of death metal loveliness. The epic solo at the start shows as much as AWA close Catharsis in triumphant style, catching all the elements that make this record so good and letting rip with a sense of accomplishment that most bands are still to find. It's a brilliant way to end this album.

AWA have got a massive future ahead of them and with Catharsis under their belts, should be breaking through and grabbing fans by the bucket load. They won't stay a secret for much longer, so pick up this album now and say you heard it here first!

As I said before, Catharsis is released this coming Saturday, so head over to AWA's Facebook page -, for more details and make sure you pick up a copy when it comes out. Also, follow AWA on Twitter at - @AWA_Band.

They also have a Tumblr page at, so there's no excuse to say you were not informed!

Sunday 17 June 2012

Introducing - Forceps

To close out today, I thought I'd introduce you all to a sick Brazilian death metal band, that you'll be hearing more about soon. Now unless you've been living under a massive rock your whole life, you'll be familiar with Sepultura, Soulfly, Krisiun and others, but from underneath their shadows, there's one hell of a death metal scene over in Brazil at the moment.

Forceps are one of the bands who call that scene home and I was lucky enough to catch up with the guys earlier this month, to hear what they had planned for the rest of the year and to hear more about their scene:-

So guys, can you tell us a bit about Forceps and how you formed?

Forceps was born back in 2006 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil with the proposal of making aggressive music in that time. On that same year we released a single entitled "Disguising Hate". After a few line-up changes, in 2007 the band emerged with a different proposal and decided to take music in another level, a much more aggressive Death Metal, The result was the Demo entitled "Corporeality" which was released in 2009, after a great response from the public, the expectations for an upcoming material increased.

In late 2010 our formed drummer Hugo Bhering unfortunately left the band due to personal reasons and in early 2011 Emmanuel Ívan was announced as the new drummer bringing a very intense drumming and techniques. We were then ready to finish the writing process of the new EP Entitled "Humanicide”, which will be out this year 2012 by the records label Ossuary Industries.

What are your current plans for the rest of 2012?

We are now focused on doing some gigs to get back on track and also working on the release date for Humanicide, after that will have the Humanicide tour than we will get back in studio to work on the Next album.

You guys come from Brazil and apart obvious bands like Sepultura and Krisiun, what other bands and music influence you?

Here we got a pretty sick scene, but to pick a few of our most influences we have, Nephasth, Rebaellium, Ophiolatry, Vomepotro and Anopsy

What are your thoughts on the state of the global metal scene right now?

It's great, the metal scene grew a lot, and you get the chance to know a lot of bands and listen to loads of metal, that's badass! Our only thought is for the fans, support metal, go to gigs, get some merch, tell your friends and keep it always alive!

How do you think social media has helped bands like yourselves to get noticed by people, who otherwise wouldn't have heard of you?

Awesome !!! It's always nice to know people are diggin our music and head-banging to it, fucking sick!

You've had the privilege of playing with some pretty big bands in Brazil, what has been the highlight so far?

Yeah, playing with bands you've been listening too since high-school it's crazy as fuck! All gigs are always crazy haha, but playing with Krisiun was a blast for sure!

Do you keep up with your local metal scene in Brazil and what bands would you recommend to us?

Sure we do, any one in the needs of hearing some South American brutality, stick your ears to Vomepotro, Lacerated ad Carbonized, Lástima, Cruscifire, Ayin, Terrorgasmo, Hatefulmurder, Baga, Anopsy, Crunch Delights, Corporate Death, Flesh Grinder, Vociferatus, Gutted Souls, Unearthly, Nervo Chaos, Expurgo, In Torment! South American sickness for you all!!!

Forceps are currently writing their new EP "Humanicide" and once it's ready, I'll have a review on here, but in the meantime you can check out a song on their Soundcloud page below, for a taste of what's to come:-

Also, head over to their Facebook page for info on the EP as it happens at

Infernoh - War Tjard

Following on from my previous feature this morning, I've finally got around to reviewing this release from Infernoh and D-Takt and Rapunk. Infernoh are a crust punk band from Malmo, Sweden and War Tjard was released in March of this year. A promo CD version was sent to me a little while ago.


1. Dott Dar Ogat Ser
2. Er Mur Maste Bort
3. De Galna Och De Blinda
4. Driv Ut Giftet
5. Krossa Guds Kuk
6. Gamdregel
7. Lange Leve Mig
8. Strida For Vada?
9. Inferno
10. Kyla

Dott Dar Ogat Ser flies at you with some squealing guitar and then morphs into pure d-beat violence. The music is surprisingly clear, despite maintaining that rough edge that crust bands love. Infernoh's sound has a tremendous personality to it, with the guitars adding loads of melody and the band playing with epic abandon.

Er Mur Maste Bort has some real rock n roll sensibilities going on and with the lyrics being in Swedish, like the rest of the album, it sounds all the more chaotic. As you'd expect, the songs here a short and sweet. De Galna Och De Blinda has a great punk vibe to it, especially in the drumming at the start and the bouncing riffs of the intro. The vocals are screamed through a mic with an effect that makes them sound like are
coming through an old transistor radio, which gives them an authentic sound.

Driv Ut Giftet is probably one of the heaviest songs featured here. The use of ringing guitar feedback adds to the feeling of disorientation that you feel, the further you get into War Tjard. Krossa Guds Kuk flies past at the same break neck speed, with some great guitar leads and thrashing drums. It's just one constant battery of the senses!
Even though the songs are short, because Infernoh pack a lot into them they seem deceptively long.

Gamdregel heralds in the second half of the record with more ringing feedback and the bands familiar knack of putting a short, raging intro at the start of the song, before a brief moment of rest before two minutes of absolute mayhem! Lange Leve Mig in a down- tuned piece of crust that flies by in just over a minute of whirlwind guitar, rabid screams and crashing cymbals. Strida For Vada, features short vocal lines and some suitably angry guitar melodies in places.

Penultimate track Inferno is utterly mental too. Incredibly fast and head-bangable. It's left to Kyla to close out War Tjard in one last blaze of glory. This is your last chance to hear their ringing guitar, crazed vocals and blasting drums and my god is it worth it!

Overall, this is one hell of a record. Granted, it'll only be liked by those hardcore metalheads and crust fans, but they tend to be the most rabid fans and will lap this up.
I love it, purely for it's thrashing, squealing fun and the fact that underneath that wall of chaos, Infernoh are pretty skilled musicians who are writing and playing the music they want to play.

You can here the majority of the songs from War Tjard over at Infernoh's soundcloud page at

Infernoh also have a wordpress blog at and if you're into them, you can pick this up at D-Takt and Rapunk's site at

Hotet Från Skogarna zine and sampler

Well, this is a first for me. About a week ago, I received a small package from Sweden. Normally I know what they contain, as I've had correspondence from the sender, but not this time, so I quite excited. The package contained an awesome printed zine called Hotet Från Skogarna (The Threat Fro The Forests) and accompanying sampler CD.

Intrigued by the package, I set about reading the zine and also looked into it a bit more online, to find out what it was all about. The zine itself has been produced to bring attention to the punk and hardcore scene in Ostersund and it's surrounding area.

The zine itself have been produced as a collaboration between Sensus, Estrad Norr and OSD Mangel. The sampler CD I received with the zine includes 16 tracks, 2 from each band covered in the zine, but there are also vinyl versions of the sampler too.

The Zine
The zine itself contains interviews with eight bands, which I'll talk about later. Cleverly, the zine is in Swedish, but the creators have included all of the interview in English in the second half of the zine. The middle two page spread talks about the Hotet Från Skogarna project and the bands that were featured, along with links to where you can find them.

The interviews themselves follow the same format for each band. They talk about how o
the bands came to be, their sound and gets their thoughts on the local scene. It's a tremendous insight into a scene and it's bands, in a country where metal and hardcore seem to reign supreme.

One line in an interview sums it up for me. During the interview with Thräshers, the interviewer asks them about The Ostersund scene and how many bands that came from it have gone in search of success, and the answers kind of hit home - "I think it's harder to get around, if that's what you want, when you only become a band among hundreds".

This line for me sums up this zine and what it's creators and the bands covered herein are trying to achieve, it's a sense of unity and understanding that you get from being part of a small scene. That sense of community and the DIY ethic that binds the underground together. I think it's brilliant and I hope that more zine's like this are produced, as it gives a more personal insight into scenes and bands.

The Bands
Talking of bands, I wanted to mention them too, as they are the main reason for this zine after all.

Grundskolan play hardcore punk. They contribute two songs to the sampler CD - Lev Som Forr and Valfrihet. Obviously, the lyrics are in Swedish, but that doesn't stop you from enjoying the rip-roaring, original strand of hardcore that these guys play. They intertwine d-beat punk influences, rock n roll riffs and gang vocals, to give the songs their own identity and bite.

Make sure you head to their bandcamp page for a taste of their music -

Brottskod 11 are a band that I'd heard a lot about previously. These guys play a heavy version of hardcore mixed with d-beat crust. Their songs on the sampler are Samma Brott and Overvald. Brottskod 11 actually feature seven members, so you can imagine what they'd be like at a sweaty, house show!

The tracks here are intense, with an old-school sound which is perfect. Crushing, fast and angry to the last!

Brottskod 11 have their own blog at, and Bandcamp page at and are also on Facebook at

Moron Express are a punk band from Frösön. They sing in English and contribute Endless Road and Prick to the sampler. They play punk with that original Swedish tone and add welcome melody to the sampler.

They are on Facebook at and on Bandcamp at

News From The Front are a politically charged hardcore band. Their two tracks here are Valkommen till Helvetet and F.O.I. Their sound is one of d-beat infused hardcore, with a really intense wall of sound from the guitars and heavy vocals in their native tongue. Their music is also off-kilter and has a slightly melodic sound in places. Really good!

News From The Front are on Facebook at

Djävulskap describe their music as "High-octane redneck punk rock". Their songs Knivens Kamp and Osd Blodbad include cracking melodic riffs and screamed vocals. Their songs are more mid-paced but have no-less impact. They fill their songs with groove and a great sense of rock n roll. The riffs during Osd Blodbad show this off perfectly, and the solo is classic!

Djävulskap are on Facebook at

 The Dead are a humour filled punk band. Their songs Ta Din Plats are Dom Som Tjanar Mammon are melodic Swedish punk, with it's own identity. The songs are short and remind me of bands like Millencolin.

They have their own blog at and are on Facebook at

Heroinmissbruk play a really heavy take on hardcore, influenced by bands like Carcass and Extreme Noise Terror. Their tracks Aprak och Full av Hat and Blandmissbruk are full of crusty riffs and fast, face melting hardcore in quick blasts.

You can Herionmissbruk on Facebook at

Thräshers round out the zine and the CD. They play an amalgamation of hardcore and thrash. Their tracks Skrotaldern and At Skit och Do! are great crossover inspired songs, with huge energy and clever musical layers.

They are on Facebook at and on Bandcamp at

So their you have it. Hotet Från Skogarna is a great zine, that clearly care about where it comes from and the bands it features. They want to take their scene to more people and with the help of the sampler, they can do the. The DIY element is also plain to see, so long live Hotet Från Skogarna!

You can find out more about the zine's creators by going to, and, but bear in mind that the websites are in Swedish!

Hotet Från Skogarna has blog page at and are on Facebook at

Saturday 16 June 2012

xCurraheex/Truth Inside/xUnforcex - One Common Goal In Sight 3-way split 7"

About a week or so ago, I posted a feature looking at straight-edge hardcore label Commitment Records and their UK offshoot Commitment Records UK.

One of their latest release has been this three way split between Manchester's xCurraheex, Florida's Truth Inside and xUnforcex from the Philippines. The 7" artwork is made up of a different cover for each band, as you can see above. Here's my review.

Track list:

1. The Fight Goes On
2. Got Your Back
3. I Opened my Eyes
4. Time to React

Truth Inside
5. Try Harder
6. Hospitality

7. Take A Stand and Rise Against
8. Refusing To Live By Your Lies

The first four songs on the 7" are from xCurraheex. The Fight Goes On is a great slab of English straightedge and a rallying call for hardcore fans everywhere. Got Your Back is a faster song, with great semi-melodic riffs. The great thing about xCurraheex is that the lyrics are always audible, which means you can shout along properly!

I opened My Eyes is a quick blast of hardcore with a great positive message and Time To React hits hard with cracking drumming and hard-edge riffing. This is what made me start repping xCurraheex. They don't mess around and don't fill their music with unnecessary textures or layers. They are straight to the point and because of that they have more impact.

Truth inside come next with their two tracks, and a sound with plenty of Florida style. Again the vocals are audible and the music is clear. Try Harder is a minute and a half of American straightedge at it's best. Hospitality is along the same lines, with cool gang vocals and lyrics that talk about the scene in a positive way and talk about unity, which is the whole point of this split.

It's left to xUnforcex to close out this split and I'm pretty excited to hear these guys, as I've not heard of them before. Take A stand And Rise Against is my first introduction into xUnforcex and what a song. It carries a strong anti-drug message as well, which I agree with and respect. Refusing To Live By Your Lies features more hard-hitting riffs to start with. The lyrics sing of a better life. It's a great song to end on, with melodic guitars and a hefty breakdown section.

I really liked the record. The messages of solidarity and positivity are what this split is all about. Too often, bands sing about negative stuff and it's the straightedge hardcore scene that is bucking that trend.

You can listen to the respective tracks from all three bands on their bandcamp pages below:-

xCurraheex - 

Truth Inside - 

xUnforcex -

You can purchase a copy of this 7" from the below stores:- 

You can also pick it from Truth Inside's BigCartel store, but it's down for maintenance currently. 

No Omega - Metropolis

Lots of you have read my previous feature and interview with No Omega and at the bottom of that post, I mentioned I was going to review their new record Metropolis. Well, here's that review.


1. Lives Worth
2. Breathe
3. Blunt Knives
4. Heavy Rain
5. Heartless And Cold
6. Rot
7. Harbringer
8. Metropolis
9. Eight Year Dream 

Metropolis begins with Lives Worth, which is filled with screeching guitar feedback and
is the first introduction to No Omega's energy filled hardcore. There's something about Swedish hardcore bands that really adds to the music. The song judders to an end with those cathartic screams. Breathe sounds epic, with the distant screams that sit in between the instruments, before coming to fore. The drumming here is awesome, just listen to the fill  about a minute in. The music really does relate to the bands theme of dystopia, with it's themes of hopelessness.

Blunt Knives is a fast, beast of a track. Again playing to the bands hardcore influences, with some nice metallic touches thrown it there. The introspective section about a minute in is a nice touch, and as the screams kick back in, you get an amazing sense of the emotion that was put into the record. No Omega don't just play at one speed. They mix fast paced hardcore with metal influences and show good awareness in the variation of their sound. Heavy Rain shows a punkier side to the band, with the bouncing drumming that rips through the song.

The production here gives Metropolis a good modern sound. The guitars and bass do sit a bit deeper in the mix, but shine when the vocals quieten. When No Omega are in full chat, it's the vocals and the drums that you can here more prominently. No songs here are to long either, with No Omega proving their point with short, sharp blast of energetic emotion and full on hardcore. When Heartless And Cold flies at you, you just want to go absolutely nuts! It's another full-force song. Rot is a quick fire blast of grind inspired core, which is over a quickly as it started, yet has plenty of musical layers in to make it feel much longer  than it's one minute and fifteen second length.

The final third of Metropolis starts with Harbringer which has a huge impact, with the help of a pretty hefty low end and some low growls making themselves heard during the song. The title song blasts along at the same pace, not letting you have one brief moment of rest. It contains some great melodic guitar, which gives the music a great atmosphere and one of euphoria, especially amongst such an emotional and tough journey as the record has been to this point.

Final song, Eight Year Dream is the longest song on Metropolis, at just over five minutes. This is the final blast of emotion from No Omega. It's immediately a more mid-paced song. The guitars and drums sound heavier and the vocals are roared out as if they're the last words they will ever sing! There are subtle parts in this song, inspired by fellow countrymen Cult Of Luna, which add to the despair felt within the record. This song is probably one of the best on Metropolis. It's dark, desolate and uses up every spare ounce of emotion from within the band to create something really heartfelt and strangely life-affirming.

Overall, Metropolis is a journey from the despairing knowledge of a world ending, to the euphoria that comes when it's all over. No Omega have crafted a modern hardcore record that touches the post-hardcore roots that Sweden is known for, as well showing the originality of the band as a collective whole. This should catapult No Omega even more into the consciousness of the wider metal/hardcore community, and god knows they deserve it!

You can stream Metropolis on No Omega's bandcamp page below:-

You can either buy a digital copy or CD copy direct from the bandcamp page as well.

 Metropolis is also available to buy in various formats from the following labels:

Thirty Days Of Night - (125 copies on Black vinyl)

Monument Records - (CD and Solid Grey vinyl limited to 175 copies)

Get This Right Records - (175 copies on Transparent Blue vinyl)

No Omega can be found on Facebook at

Sunday 10 June 2012

Commitment Records/Commitment Records UK

This feature focuses on Dutch straight edge hardcore label Commitment Records and it's UK distribution arm Commitment Records UK.

Commitment Records was started in 1996 with the sole aim of releasing and distributing records by straight edge bands from across the world. At the time, more and more straight edge bands were coming to the fore.

The first record they ever released was a live 7" by Youth Of Today, of a show that was recorded in Amsterdam from 1989. Since then they have gone onto release countless other records by bands including Vitamin X, xCurraheex and most notably a 6 7" box-set featuring 41 straight edge bands from 41 different countries called - More Than The X On Our Hands.

Commitment's most recent release was three way split 7" from Manchester's xCurraheex, Florida's Truth Inside and xUnforcex from the Philippines. I plan to review this record very soon, so keep a loot out.

Commitment Records UK
Commitment Records UK was set up very recently by a member of xCurraheex, to help promote the records of Commitment Records alongside promoting other straight edge bands.

One of the initiatives that has been set up by Commitment Record UK is to release a limited run of split cassettes, each featuring a straight edge band from the US and one from the UK/Europe.

So far two have been released.

1) Better Times/Eisberg - Split (Limited to 50 copies)

Better Times are a five-piece sXe hardcore band from Buffalo, New York.
Eisberg are an sXe hardcore band that features members from across the UK and Europe.

2) Enough/Iron Curtain - Split (Limited to 70 copies)

Enough are an sXe band from Nashville, Tennessee.
Iron Curtain are from London.

There are 3 more tapes due to be released but the quantities are unknown.

3) Step Aside/xCurraheex - Split

Step Aside are from Tucson, Arizona.
xCurraheex are from our very own Manchester.

4) Search Bloc/Dead Mans Chest - Split

Search Bloc are from Cleveland, Ohio.
Dead Mans Chest are from also from London.

5) This tape's line-up still needs to be completed.

You can pick up the first two tapes now from Commitment Records UK at

Also, if you're in the UK you can pick up Commitment Records releases directly from the store above. Also, you can go directly to Commitment records if you're outside the UK at

You can also find both Commitment Records and Commitment Record UK on Facebook at:-

It's great two see two labels sticking to their guns and releasing true, positive hardcore records by bands that pride themselves in the messages they deliver. Make sure you check both labels out, spread the word and pick up some records/tapes.

Saturday 9 June 2012

Bloody Gears - Frozen Rain 7"

My second quick fire review is of the new Frozen Rain 7" by Boston punk band Bloody Gears.


1. Frozen Rain
2. Bite The Hand
3. Tragic Mistake

The title track Frozen Rain starts of with sole guitar riffs and bass buzzing in the background. The vocals are gruff in delivery and there's a subtle hardcore undertone to their sound. This is a long, brooding song and the sound of Bloody Gears is very different too Big Eyes, who I reviewed before.

Bite The Hand has a more garage-punk sound and it immediately a faster song. It does sort of remind me of very early Offspring. Third and final song Tragic Mistake sound upbeat, with the gruff punk singing and melodic guitars. It has that old-school punk feel to it, like I already mentioned.

Again, this a release that shows the length a breadth of Grave Mistakes expanding roster. It's a short, sharp collection of moody punk-rock that deserves your attention.

You can stream the entire 7" at Grave Mistake's bandcamp page below:-

Once you've listened to it, go and buy the 7" from the Grave Mistake online store.

Bloody Gears can be found at

Big Eyes - Back From The Moon 7"

I thought I'd do a couple more quick fire reviews, so I'm bringing you two news releases by Grave Mistake Records. This first one is the new two song 7" by Seattle based rock n roll band, Gig Eyes.


1. Back From The Moon
2. I Don't Care About Friday Night

Back From The Moon starts with some cool jangly guitar and upbeat drumming.
The female vocals give the music a different edge and reminds me of cool summer movies. It's got a retro feel about it and shows off Grave Mistakes eye for varied and interesting acts. B-side, I Don't Care About Friday Night has a fast, punky sound. It's got a punchy melody to it and due to it's length, has a more in your face impact.

Obviously, this 7" is short in length but it's a good introduction to the band. As a trio, they make a great sound and I'm looking forward to seeing .what comes from them in the future.

If you like, it you can purchase a digital copy directly from the bandcamp page or you can a physical copy of the 7" from the Grave Mistake online store. Go ahead and listen to something different!

Big Eyes can be found at

Shroud of Despondency - Pine

Shroud of Despondency are a band that I've read a lot about since I started scaling the precipice of the metal scene. They are a band I always found quite mysterious and interesting, so when the chance came up to review their latest album "Pine", I got a little excited.

Shroud of Despondency are a black metal band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Pine was self released by the band in March of this year.


1. Wanderlust(Winged Seed in the Breeze)
2. Overshadow
3. New Trees
4. Wanderlust(Moist Soil)
5. The Great Sadness Descends
6. Half Open Gates
7. Wanderlust(Sapling)
8. Light Words, Dark Graves
9. Nameless End
10. Wanderlust(Lightning Precedes Fire)
11. The Unchaining of an Animal

Pine begins with Wanderlust (Winged Seed in the Breeze), which is the first of three songs of the same name. It begins with a brooding, haunting intro featuring acoustic guitar and the sound of rain falling. There are also strings and other instruments playing underneath. This is an instrumental intro to the album, but shows already that Shroud of Despondency are not afraid to use different instruments to create a different sound.

The song fades with a piece of spoken word, which leads you straight into second song Overshadow. This is the first time that you get to witness their black metal first hand on Pine. It's quick fire stuff, with bruising drums and clever riffs buried underneath those high-pitched screams of vocalist Ron Blemberg. SoD use clean riffs to good effect, which takes the edge off their crushing sound and shows more subtle influences and good musicianship.

There are more traditional metal influences at play here. Some of the riffs follow a traditional structure, but they are interspersed with slower, off-kilter sections.
The use of dual low/high pitched growls brings in death metal influences too. SoD also believes in musical indulgence, with the majority of tracks on Pine passing the five-minute mark. The great thing about this record is that it's not all fire and brimstone, but varied and throughout, and despite SoD's obvious denouncement of life (just read their Facebook bio) they obviously have very musical brains. I also like how each song leads straight into the other, without a pause.

New Trees varies in it's pace, being slower from the off. They use twin guitar melodies amongst their black metal attack to add texture to the music. The melodic guitar solo has a subtle Middle Eastern sound to it as well. Towards the end of New Trees, SoD pick up the pace with a whirlwind of wailing guitars and thrashing drums, before returning to normal as the song closes out. Wanderlust (Moist Soil) is another interlude of sorts and follows on the first song. Again more strings and different instruments are used to carry on the story here. I especially like the laid back drumming that sees this song out.

The Great Sadness Descends follows immediately with some more great dual-guitar. This song has a nice sludge groove to it, with chanting like vocals in the background. This is more if a sermon like track and a slight departure from their earlier tracks.
I really like it and think it fits in well with the rest of the record. It's sound is upbeat and the rock n roll inspired solo is a nice touch of balladry.

SoD are back to normal in next track Half Open Gates, as we reach the second half of Pine. The speedy black metal is back, as are the dual death/black metal vocals.
The variation on show here is great, as I've already said. This will appeal to more than just black metal fans and thanks too the production, it's clear and precise. Just listen to the musicality during the second half of Half Open Gates, if you don't believe me.

It's so easy to get lost in the music here, as the layers and textures that are woven into Pine are brilliant. Wanderlust (Sapling) is the third of the Wanderlust interludes and flows majestically through just over three minutes of instrumental ambience. The screams during Light Words, Dark Graves are absolutely rabid and probably contribute to one of the heaviest songs on Pine. Nameless End is a dirge of a song, with a hefty low end. The sound and the vocals are pure evil!

The final Wanderlust interlude is another welcome change of mood, and leaves you with a great sense of expectation as it heralds in the final song on the record.
And so it's too the final song and this is a surprise. The Unchaining of animal is played with acoustic guitars and clean singing. This is a great way to end a record that has been full of twists and turns. I'll admit, it was not what I was expecting but then that was the idea. It's got a country and western feel to it, but that's more today with the instrumentation and at over six minutes long, it tells it's own story.

On reflection, Pine is one hell of an album. You simply can’t label it as just plain old black metal as there is so much more on show here. You really have to listen to it multiple times to appreciate it all, which of course I will!

The whole of Pine is available for streaming via SoD's bandcamp page below:-

Give it the attention it deserves and if you like it, you can download it or purchase a CD copy of $8 directly from the bandcamp page.

Shroud of Despondency are also on Facebook at

Thursday 7 June 2012

Tellusian - Scania EP

This is the two track EP by Swedish grindcore band Tellusian. This band have got me quite excited due to that fact that it feature members of ex-Willotip band Crowpath. This has been released as a 7" by Handshake Inc.


1. Karnival
2. Eight Years of Rest

Karnival starts with some pensive guitar before Tellusian's take on grind infused metal flies at you. This is really groovy, off-kilter stuff that doesn't actually bear much resemblance to grindcore at all. It's fast in place but also incredibly musical, especially with the clean guitar that's employed here. The vocals however are pretty heavy, which does befit the music.

Eight Years of Rest follows in a similar vein and shows off Tellusian's progressive side. From what I remember of Crowpath, they were pretty fast, but these guys are a lot different. They even manage to throw in some twin guitar melodies, amongst their other ideas. This song is full of meaty riffs and like Karnival before it, is well worth a listen.

Overall, two tracks just aren't enough I'm afraid! The musicality on show here is incredible and I for one can't wait for Tellusian to bring out a full length.

Make sure you head by their bandcamp page below and listen to the songs, as they're streaming now:-

Also, head over to Handshake Inc at for details on how to purchase a copy of the 7".

Tellusian are on Facebook at as well.