Friday 30 November 2012

Book of Job - Hamartia

For me, music has always been about discovery. The thrill of finding a band or record that nobody knows about or even just finding something ace, is what makes it so addictive. None more so than in the ever expanding genre of metal. However, with so much music around nowadays you sometimes miss out on gems. Book of Job are one such gem. I discovered these guys when I went to the Harrogate Fringe Festival "North Yorkshire Hardcore" all-dayer", that was held in my hometown of Harrogate in the summer. It was a day spread over near enough 12 hours, featuring both local bands and bands from further afield. Book of Job were one of those bands and they blew me away with there groove and unique sound.

Book of Job are a four-piece from Leeds, who signed to Italian label WormHoleDeath a while ago and are due to release their new album - Hamartia, on the 10th of December. I've been allowed to bring you guys a review of the record before it's officially unleashed. Read on!


1. Hamartia
2. 3 Hours
3. Of Libra and Scorpio
4. Pursuing The Cosmos
5. Lost In Utopia
6. Thought of A King
7. Father Cult
8. Madness is Murder
9. Feeding The Universe
10. Anagnorisis

Hamartia starts with the title track and an instrumental intro that leads into some awesome, tech-inspired metal. When the screams of vocalist Kaya Tarsus and the off-kilter guitar of Mike Liburd kick in, it's the groove of the band that hits you. This follows straight into 3 Hours. There's a decidedly retro feel to Hamartia and when I say retro, I mean when metal was techy and existed in the days before the fashion tag "djent" ever existed. I mean, when bands like Fear Factory ruled the airwaves. BoJ's sound is pretty all encompassing too, with plenty of elements going on to keep you happy.

There's the drums, which play at pretty furious pace, the bass, which emits a low-end rumble that fits the music well. The guitar switched between dissonant, ADHD style riffs and fuzzed out, syncopated leads and of course, those vocals, which are filled with plenty of emotion. Of Libra and Scorpio sounds more abrasive than the songs before it, with a volume that takes things up a notch when all the instruments are playing in harmony.

BoJ like to keep the atmosphere going throughout Hamartia, with introspective intros containing clean guitar, mixed up with feedback ridden moments. It's really cool to hear a local band playing this type of metal and bring something new to the current scene, that's been pretty much rinsed by our US cousins. It's extreme but it's also approachable, which shows that BoJ have an ear for writing good songs that will appeal to a wide range of metal fans, once it's released. The production is also pretty top notch, allowing all the parts to be heard clearly but not allowing the record to sound too over-produced. There's plenty going on in each song, but BoJ don't get carried away with overly long songs, which will no doubt hold your attention, even if you forgot to take your Ritalin!

The drumming in the opening bars of Lost In Utopia is head smashing! The pace is relentless and you can't help but bang your head furiously, if you can keep time!
The way the rhythms bounce and the time signatures switch makes it hard to keep up at times, but then who wants music that's predictable. There's also some subtle hardcore influenced mixed into the melee, which add a harder edge to the music sometimes, but doesn't detract from the overall effect on the record.

As you are dragged into the second half of the record, you’re greeted with some nice, chunky riffs at the start of Thoughts of A king, which again shows a different side to BoJ. They bring more clean vocals into their sound too. The modern touches littered throughout the record, highlight their skill and musicianship. Father Cult features some ace drum fills, which complement the changing time signatures. They don't settle into a calming groove, preferring to confuse and amaze at the drop of a hat. Don't get me wrong though, this ain't mathcore but it definitely ain't formulaic.
BoJ have recently got coverage from Kerrang!. which is no more than they deserve and just accentuates the current bigging-up of homegrown talent that seems to be prevailing in UK music publications. About time too!

When you get to Madness is Murder, you've been well and truly sucked in and the clean, melodic opening riffs of Feeding The Universe hint at great things to come. Those great things come in the form of a brooding, atmospheric song, which is definitely one of Hamartia's standouts. The final blow comes from Anagnorisis and it's the amalgamation of the band's writing and textures, which fills out the album's final beating minutes. It's a euphoric end to an album filled with exciting twists and turns.

With 10 songs on Hamartia, Book of Job has definitely chosen quality over quantity. They fill your ears with groovy, technical modern metal that may nod to recent genre leaders, but doe not ape them. They have their own sound and appeal, so won't stay a secret for much for longer.

Hamartia isn't streaming anywhere apart from on iTunes, but Book of Job have put an album teaser up on Youtube, which you can watch below:-

Visit WormHoleDeath at for more news on the album release and Book of Job, as well as Book of Job's Facebook  page at for tour news as it's announced.

Sunday 25 November 2012

Totem Skin - Totem Skin EP

I've been neglecting a lot of stuff recently, blog wise and have some stuff backed-up which I'm working through now, so an apology must go to these guys as well as all the other bands, who're are waiting for me to post some words up. The show must go on!

Totem Skin are a three-piece hardcore band from Sweden, who contact me directly a while ago, about reviewing their self-titled EP. Now, I want whatever is in the water over in Sweden, as that country always cranks out amazing bands and I could do with a kick up the backside. Totem Skin released this EP around August of this year, which was self recorded and features elements of sludge and punk in it's sound.

Tracklist -

1. You Embrace Your Decay
2. Reap What You Sow
3. The Romans Make A Desert And Call It Peace
4. Tomhet Är Allt  
5. From Ashes Come Nothing
6. Seasons Don't Fear The Reaper, We Can Be Like They Are

Totem Skin begins with an atmospheric build up of rhythmic drums and feedback, before the crust-infused hardcore of You Embrace Your Decay, abruptly barges it out the way. When this happens, Totem Skin turn into a sprawling, writhing monster for a brief moment. Those hypnotic drums regain their prominent place in the music alongside more rousing guitar riffs, with subtle melody. The sound is very close to the good quality screamo/emo that's picking up pace at the moment. The guitar feedback and lowly, distant screams sound dramatic thanks to the great production. It's got a cathartic feeling to it, one of despair but also a feeling of relief at certain points. First impressions are really good.

Reap What You Sow is a more immediate addition to the EP, making more of Totem Skin's crust influences. The addition of some thick sludge riffs though make it stand out.
Proceedings get even faster on The Romans Make A Desert And Call It Peace. It's chaotic, punk-infused hardcore sound makes it hard to ignore. It all comes to a close with introspective passage of cleanly plucked guitar and subtle atmosphere. Tomhet Ar Allt, is sung in Totem Skin's native tongue and as a result the vocals sound more abrasive. The musicality is top notch too, with the instruments almost opposing the fevered screams, with their semi-melodic, almost jangly leaning. From Ashes Come Nothing begins with an indie inspired intro, but the descends back into dissonant chaos.

EP closer, Seasons Don't Fear The Reaper, We Can BE Like They Are, is an eleven and a half minute trip into your own psyche. It features pretty much all the elements that Totem Skin do best. Sludgy, mid-paced hardcore mixed with subtle melody and some really cool sampled sounds, which add to the brooding atmosphere. This is really beautiful stuff. The female spoken word sample that sits atop the lowly strummed guitar is a really nice addition. If you listen to the words, there's a meaning and a story to it, one of raw emotion and despair. It's quite stirring really.

For the last two minutes of the song, the emotions stirred up by the song are crushed by Totem Skins unabated hardcore and with utter sincerity, it ends, leaving you breathless.

This EP left me awe-struck. To hear why, check it out at Totem Skin's bandcamp page below:-

The EP is also up on there as a name-your price download.

Totem Skin are on Facebook at

Old Head - Maximum Rock

With things settling down a bit for me, no is the time for me to crank out more regular reviews as well as looking at new additions to my blog. I'm starting here with a review of record that was pressed in January of this year through Scottish label At War With False Noise. This is an intriguing record and you'll read why in the next paragraph.

Old Head play, in their words - "Maximum rock, metal, thrash and grind", which kind of leaves thing open until the point when you realise that amongst their ranks are Ryan Moll (guitarist) from Rumpelstiltskin Grinder, Dan O'Hare (bassist) from Total Fucking Destruction and Richard Hoak (Drums) from Brutal Truth, although vocalist MegaDan Tumolo is new to me. Basically it's four gents from Philadelphia, playing good ol' heavy metal.


1. Bleeder
2. Fat Man
3. Libertine
4. Kill, Kill, Kill
5. Almost Cut My Hair
6. Ungodly
7. Consumptuous
8. Rock N Roll Doctor
9. Stoner Grind
10. Ballad of Old Head

It's been a long time since any mention of traditional heavy metal was found on this blog. This is pure, unequivocal heavy metal, with thrash infused drums and screaming guitar solos. From the initial impressions of opening track Bleeder, people may make Megadeth comparisons, but that would just be lazy. You can tell though, that the majority of Old Head play in grind bands as the music is furiously fast at times, with a sense of disorganised mayhem flowing through it.

Fat Man (a Jethro Tull cover) starts with an epic intro featuring a great repeated riff and a high-pitched vocal scream. The song is a short one, but pack in fast drumming and a great, extended guitar solo. Old Head pack a lot into their music, for what is essentially standard rock n roll compositions, but turn into to much more with the thrash and grind backgrounds of these guys. Just listen to Libertine for yourself, my description of fast thrashing guitar solos, low-end walls of sound and crazed drumming backing up those over the top vocals, doesn't do it justice.

I'm probably one of those rare fans who actually likes the whole trad heavy metal revivalists more than the real thing, which probably makes me a heathen, but seeing musicians who have wide ranges of tastes embarking on a band like Old Head is super satisfying and just shows that variation is definitely the enemy of boredom. It's also worth mentioning, as Kill, Kill, Kill flails forward, that the production on this album is pretty damn good too. Each instrument is clear but the mix is such that when all are playing in unison, this record sounds chunky as hell and pretty loud. It's how heavy metal should sound to me!

Almost Cut My Hair is probably my standout track on Maximum Rock. It sounds as though Old Head have settled into their stride on this song and have nailed their sound. The structure of the song, the instrumentation and the vocals are in harmony and it's just rockin! The second part of Maximum Rock speeds past at a faster rate. Old Head prefer shorter, more impacting songs now, Ungodly being the first. They follow their formula of old-school thrash inspired rock.

These guys still have their tongue planted in their cheeks though, just listen to the opening bars of Consumptuous. Rock n Roll Doctor is pretty over the top, especially with another big solo part way through. As Maximum Rock closes with Stoner Grind and Ballad of Old Head, you're left pretty out of breath. It's been an experience!

This album will obviously appeal to more people than it's members' more well known bands, but on it's own it's worthy of plenty of listens due to the musical quality. If you want some good old heavy metal and a good time, listen to Old Head.

Maximum Rock is up for streaming on Old Head's bandcamp page below:-

The CD is available from At War With False Noise at

Old Head can be found on Facebook at

Friday 23 November 2012

Moloch - Meine Ganze Hoffnung Stirbt

Those of you who've been following my blog for a while now, will know that I've been championing the ambient black metal of Ukrainian act Moloch at various points this year. Well I've still got three-full length records to review from this prolific artist, so here is the first of that trio. Meine Ganze Hoffnung Stirbt is a seven track, instrumental full length that was released in June 2011.

It was released on limited CD through Ashes of Paltry Souls and on limited cassette by Canadian label Cold Northern Blood. There was also a very limited wooden box set edition, which featured countless goodies as well as a special piano rehearsal tape from 2009.

Tracklist - 

1. Illusion des Winters 
2. Wenn der Herbsthimmel ergraut ist 
3. Meine ganze Hoffnung stirbt 
4. Ferne Wälder gehen im tiefen Herbstnebel verloren 
5. Meine einsame Essenz fliegt zu den Sternen 
6. Ein letzter Atem der Natur 
7. Ausklang 

This full length carries on Moloch's tradition of interspersing their cold black metal releases with ambient music. Opening track Illusion des Winters features the customary brassy ambience that seems to be a staple of Moloch's more laid back compositions. Once things that always gets me with this music is the subtle majesty of it. The powerful brass stands to attention then fades to allow the more classic piano to soak up the limelight.

The strings sit in the background to add mystery to the song and certainly make it feel more like a classical piece of music. It could very much be the soundtrack to a documentary that shows off the beauty and richness of a majestic, soaring landscape, such is it's quality. Moloch's decision to open this record with it's lengthiest track is a clever one too, as it sets the tone for the rest of record and helps the listener to settle in for the remainder. The harsh, cold wind sample ever-present, to remind you of the setting in which the music was recorded.

As Wenn der Herbsthimmel... demonstrates, Moloch's musical arrangements are simple and uncluttered but allow enough musicality for them to be appreciated by fans of more progressive, forward thinking music. Some might say I'm beard stroking a bit here, but the chances are, if you listen to metal or classical music, you will already appreciate this. 

There are no black metal flourishes at work on this record, like previous ambient releases from Moloch. The ability to release music which seems at odds with the evil, harsh persona that this act creates with it's black metal is enough to keep it relevant and undiluted. Much like Wenn der Herbsthimmel... before it, the title track is a piano piece, but with choral and stringed elements adding texture and emotion to the music. The majority of musical elements here are samples but thanks to the production, do sound very organic, unlike some which can sound fake and tinny when properly recorded.

Another point worth making about Meine Ganze Hoffnung Stirbt is that it has a great flow to it, thanks to the removal of the gaps in between songs. Sometime albums suffer because of ill placed gaps between songs, but Moloch seems to have kept the flow going right through this record by allowing songs to flow into one another with a less obvious start and finish point, making it sound like a cohesive whole.

Fifth song Meine einsame Essenz... seems to feature a slightly more menacing tone, with some lower tones and bass in the background. The textures are built up in this song, with the keys, strings and samples working alongside each other to create a more colourful listen. The haunting feel of the penultimate track carries the atmosphere forth, but not in an unnerving way. It flows peacefully along almost as if the previous track had not ended as it leads you to the final short outro, Ausklang.

To here this album in it's entirety and download it or buy the CD, you can head to Moloch's bandcamp page below:-

You can also purchase CD editions from Ashes of Paltry Souls at and tape versions from Cold Northern Blood at

As always, you can find Moloch at and on Facebook at

Monday 19 November 2012

Let It Die - 7"

Today is a good day for Let It Die, as their debut 7" is released. It was pressed as a collaboration between Moshtache Records, Church of Fuck and Dead Chemists Records.
It's been pretty exciting to see these Kettering based PV monsters growing since the release of their demo and this record promises to be a short, sharp stab in the eye for anyone unprepared. To coincide with this evenings official release, here's my review. You can also read the interview I did with band way back in 2011 here.


1. Hangman Blind
2. Funeral of No Tears
3. A is A
4. Solitaire
5. Self Interest as the Engine of Progress
6. The Judge Is Guilty

This 7" is one I've been eager to hear for a while now and the slow building, sludge-infested intro too Hangman Blind does not disappoint. The guitars pump out riffs as thick as tar and the drums/bass drag you deeper into it, like quicksand. The vocals threaten to tear your face off, just like sand paper would, if it was covered in razors. It's chaotic and leaves you defenseless.

Funeral of No Tears jolts you with a brief blast of wailing feedback, before a short blast of hardcore brilliance which changes the dynamic of the record. This flows straight into A is A, which keeps things fast and brutal, with a subtle underlying metallic edge. The long/short aesthetic that Let It Die injects through their songs is cool, as it brings out the variation in their song writing and allows them to free themselves from convention.

Solitaire is a disorientating wall of feedback, but out of it springs a ray of light in the form of a ten second blast of PV infused hardcore, which swings you straight into Self Interest as the Engine of Progress. With a title that makes it sound like it could be from an obtuse prog song, it is an off-kilter moment of pure circle-pitting mayhem. It's got some great rock n roll inspired riffs if you listen carefully, but still stays hateful and sees the band flailing with abandon into closer The Judge is Guilty.

This is the longest blast you get, so just sit back and imagine you're being spun violently in a washing machine and you'll go someway to imaging the pace of this song's opening verse. It settles down toward the mid section, with some more thick, chugging riffs and crashing cymbals, before peaking at the point of utter madness. As it dies down amongst feedback and menacing church bells, you'll be found praying on the floor to a god that won't save you, as you're already beyond help.

Six epic, crazed songs with plenty of groove and heft make this a rewarding record. Let It Die pump a lot into just under twelve minutes. Don't let that purple vinyl fool you though, this ain't pretty but my god does it put a grin on your face!

Of course, you can stream this entire 7"for free at Let It Die's bandcamp page below:-

You can also download a digital copy too for just £3.

You can pick up vinyl copies from the following labels - 

Moshtache Records at
Dead Chemists Records at

Church of Fuck who also helped release this 7" have already sold out of their copies!

Let It Dies are at

Sunday 18 November 2012

Solothus - Ritual of the Horned Skull

My next review features Finnish doom/death band Solothus and their three track EP, Ritual of the Horned Skull. Solothus originally formed in 2007 and this was their first demo, released back in 2011 and currently the band are due to record a full length for Spanish label Memento Mori in 2013.

They have a cool touring pedigree too, having already toured Finland with Coffins and Hooded Menace, amongst others.


1. Throne of Bones
2. Embrace The Cold
3. Darkness Gathers Here At Night

Initial impressions of this demo are very good. From the slow build of the bass and guitars, which generate an oppressive atmosphere, too the moment the pace switches to a faster approach as those low deathly growls kick in. I've reviewed a few doom/death releases in my time on here and it's a genre I really respect. Solothus have a great sound too them, nicely metallic and majestic. There is something thought that I can't escape from with doom/death bands though. It seems to me that these types of bands favour the death element over the doom element and I'd like to hear some proper funeral doom type stuff once in a while! That said, Throne of Bones is a great opener, proving that Solothus have great quality and can play.

Embrace The Cold brings a new dimension to things, with an almost medieval intro guitar melody. There are some great subtle ideas and textures flowing through their music and it certainly makes you take notice. There are evil undertones but also warmth, thanks in part to the great sound that's been produced during the recording.
I can't believe that Scandinavia keeps on producing bands of this quality, I mean I know that they get grants in some areas to help them start, but there seems to be no end in sight, which is of course great for us fans!

Darkness Gathers Here At Night conjures visions of the band playing in the dead of night, in a graveyard or forest, invoking demons with every riff. It's pretty epic stuff, crawling from the speakers and wrapping its coils around you, threatening to pull you in! I love the leads here too. They sound brilliant and sit in just the right place, at times even lifting the atmosphere. As Ritual of The Horned Skull wraps up with it's final bars, you're left feeling cleansed and empty. The despair ridden music seeps into your pours and threatens you're very existence! This is only a demo, but it's really good. I urge you to invest your time in these guys!

This demo is posted on Solothus's Bandcamp page for free streaming and downloading:-


Solothus can be found via their website at and via Facebook at

Rat Faced Bastard - Self Titled EP

I've decided to do some random reviews today, from my review pile. I feel I've fallen a bit behind recently so I'm going to address that, by covering a few releases today. My first review features the debut self titled EP from Newcastle grindcore band Rat Faced Bastard.

These guys have been making decidedly murky, disgusting waves recently, which has included getting their debut EP into the UKEM webstore and recently pressing a tape version of the EP. They've also played some wicked shows with the likes of US grind band Kill The Client and everyone's favourite Arnie tribute act Arnocorps. This EP features eight songs of filthy, death inspired grindcore.

Tracklisting -

1. Meat Head
2. Branded Supremacy
3. Defiled
4. Gary Busey's Restraining Order
5. Crushing The Weak
6. Meat Harvester
7. Blind Devotion
8. Rat Faced Bastard

The EP starts with the sledgehammer to the face that is Meat Head. A riff fest with fevered drums and brutal screams, which leads directly into Branded Supremacy. There is a great punk attitude going on, but Rat Face Bastard are also able to switch the speed of their music from fast to slow and throw in some awesome screaming leads too. I'm only two tracks in and already it has everything I need!

Defiled is a more traditional song. I say that, as it's their longest song. It features swathes of death metal instrumentation and even some killer off-kilter, mathcore style guitars parts. Those vocals remain brutal throughout, with a kind of raspy tone to them. The fact that they employ slower tempos helps to break up the breakneck speed and provides variety that should keep extreme metal happy, from any part of the genre. Gary Busey's Restraining Order is an eight second grinding mess and reminds me of that Napalm Death song from Scum!

By now, you're halfway through the EP and have already your innards shaken out of you by the low-end, crazed drums and general mayhem. Crushing The Weak features an extended intro, before Rat Faced Bastard lurch back into some groove-laden grind. I'm constantly surprised by the quality of the grind coming from our shores, but I guess bands are so affected by the state of our country that they feel the need to express their anger in such a way! Meat Harvester grabs you by the throat instantly and drags you off to the slaughter. This must be what cows feel like as they approach the killing floor!

If you listen carefully, amongst the chaos, you can hear subtle jazzy flourished amongst the guitars, but these are very brief, like at the start of Blind Devotion. Also, it's worth noting that the drumming on this track is out of this world! Rat Faced Bastard is the closing track here and brings back their punk influence, for one more rousing thrashathon.

Again, like a lot of debut releases I've had the pleasure of listening too recently, the production here is great and fits Rat Faced Bastards sound perfectly. The guitars are clear not fuzzy, especially those great leads. The low end from the bass adds great heft and the drums don't overpower everything else. The vocals are pitched at the right volume too and it all fits together with aplomb.

This EP kind of confirms what we’ve known for a long time, that the UK is climbing over the heads of our continental and US cousins and proving our scene is diverse and brilliant! Is it wrong of me to say I'd love to see these guys smash the faces of everyone in Geordie Shore!

Now as I'm nice, you can check out this EP via Rat Faced Bastard's bandcamp page below:-

You may be able to pick up copies of the CD version of the EP from the UKEM Store at If you're in the US, you should be able to pick up CD copies from Tombs In The Valley Productions at

There is a tape pressing of this EP coming out shortly. There may also be a limited re-pressing of the CD version too.
To find out more, you can contact Rat Faced Bastard directly on Facebook at

Thursday 15 November 2012

Astarium - Ostracism of Anachoret

I've jumped back on the review train after a few days of silence, sorting out some boring life stuff, which as it happens. still isn't sorted. One positive things that came out of though, is a real thirst for metal of all shapes and sizes. Over the coming days, I'll have plenty of new reading material for you, including the next batch of updates for my "Records being released in 2013" page. But first, a review of a four song tape from Russian One-man black metal act Astarium.

Astarium formed in 2005 and has been releasing music very steadily since then, with three full lengths, three splits, two EP's, a single and two demo's so far. Sole member SiN plays all instruments and provides the vocals. This particular release was put out in 2011 on two limited cassette runs and one on CDr.


1. Birth of the Flame
2. Recantation by Death
3. Expelled Into Obscurity
4. Autumn Coda

Opener, Birth of The Flame begins with a subtle organ intro, played over the howling wind. This song is an instrumental, ambient introduction, which segues into a very dramatic stringed song midway through. This song to me sounds like the backing music to some evil nursery rhyme!

Recantation By Death is the first time you get a sense of Astarium's black metal leanings. It starts with some cleanly played guitar alongside more instrumental effects. It's a very off-kilter intro section, which builds for about a minute. When the vocals kick in, they are low, almost spoken-word vocals. They are sparse and sometimes interjected by the odd black metal growl. The music is very much mid-paced and doesn't have that muddy sound you'd associate with black metal usually. It's well produced and all the instruments and effects sound clear. There are elements of doom metal hiding within the music too, especially during the sole guitar that rears it's head towards the end of Recantation By Death.

Astarium's symphonic elements make themselves heard during Expelled Into Obscurity. The haunting string style samples used underneath the vocals certainly a cool dimension to the music. I like the fact that each song has a different feeling and a different texture. They don't all follow the same format or blueprint. The lengths work well too. Having two six+ minute tracks sandwiched between shorter songs helps to keep you interested and wondering what will be around the next turn.

Final piece, Autumn Coda begins with icy horns and ambience, with the sound of elements rustling behind the music. SiN uses some different sound textures here to add something different to his music, with more electronic samples used in the right way, that don't take away from the music. Again, this closing track is instrumental, but rounds of this tape nicely. As the final bars die down, you are left with a feeling of calm. This is a varied and nicely product tape, from another one-man entity that adds something relevant to the Eastern European scene.

If you're into this kind of ambient black metal, you won't be disappointed.

If you're unfamiliar with Astarium, visit their website at and Facebook page at

Through the main website, you can download a MP3 version of Expelled into Obscurity. It's definitely worth doing to get a taste of what Astarium has to offer.

Saturday 10 November 2012


I'm going to start a post on my blog to notify people of new releases due out in 2013. It'll be a post that includes rolling updates, so everything is in one place.

If you want me to list any releases you are doing next year (that you can share), please e-mail me at Thanks. James.

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Tumbleweed Dealer - Death Rides Southwards EP

Before I get stuck into some more reviews later in the week, I thought I post about a band who contacted be directly through my blog (very rare!). They are Montreal based stoner/blues trio Tumbleweed Dealer. At the time they contacted me, they had this two track EP out called Death Rides Southwards, however since then they have announced that it'll be released as a three track EP via Moshpit Tragedy records. This however is now surprise, when you hear which bands their members have featured in. They include The Last Felony, Nefastus Dies, Vatican and Ion Dissonance!

Anyway, I'm reviewing the two track EP that they originally released unto the world.

Tracklist -

1. Death Rides Southwards
2. Crawling Through Cacti

Death Rides Southwards immediately sounds strangely soothing. The guitar melody and warm bass played by Seb Painchaud, lures you into a sense of calm and spaced out luxury. I mentioned above that Tumbleweed Dealer are a trio, but that is not strictly true. They are when live, but recorded they are a duo, completed by drummer Vincent Houde. TD's music is strictly instrumental, with none of the usual modern trappings, apart from being well produced. It's a welcome change from the distorted, murky sound that most bands of this ilk try to portray. In my slightly inebriated state, it sounds just fine!

Crawling Through Cacti follows the exact same blueprint as the title track. The musicians here prove they can play and bearing in mind the bands they've featured in before, they've gone in a different direction and this sounds all the better for it. This song is the longer of the two, but that's fine by me as I could listen to Tumbleweed Dealer all day. It's such a great blend of blues and rock, at the right volume and it just relaxes you to the point of becoming comatose. When I started listening to metal and punk, I vowed not to listen to instrumental music as I deemed it boring, but how wrong I was and thanks to bands like Tumbleweed Dealer, I can defiantly say that isn't the case.

They are in the process of recording a new album that will be out in 2013, so I for one, can't wait to hear it. If it wasn't for variation amongst metal and it's musicians, life would be very boring!

The aforementioned three track version of this EP can be bought from Moshpit Tragedy here -

You can listen to the two tracks above as well as their new one on Youtube via the videos below:-

You can also keep up to date with Tumbleweed Dealer on Facebook at

Sunday 4 November 2012

Black Trinity/Cancer Spreading - Split 7"

There's time for me to knock out a couple of quick reviews before my date with armchair sport this afternoon, so here's the first.

This is the recent split that was put out by Greek label Scull Crasher as well as the following collaborators -
Goodbye Mankind, Scimmia Bastarda, Sick Punk productions, Deathcrush distro, Zas records, Aback, Alcoholic Desaster, We Don't Fight It. It features Greek black metal band Black Trinity and Italian crust band Cancer Spreading. Both bands contribute a song each to this release and as they're both new to me, I was eager to check this out.

Tracklist -

1. A Bleak Existence (Black Trinity)

2. A New Dawn's Prophecy (Cancer Spreading)

Starting with Black Trinity. They kick things off with a menacing black metal intro of groaning noises and church bells, before their necro sound kicks in. It's subtly anthemic black metal with blood curdling screams. The instrumentation sits below the vocals and underpins them nicely. It the sort of black metal that could be used to get troops ready for battle, such is it's intensity. The vocals can't be made out, due to their shrieking volume, but the overall sound that Black Trinity produce is really good and the production gives it a massive sense of authenticity and charm. It's also great to here some black metal from another part of the world, that isn't trying to be especially Scandinavian.

Cancer Spreading are a different beast altogether, with a crust-ridden song, which is half the length of Black Trinity's offering. The guitars chug along at a decent pace and the drums are furious. The vocals are low and there are some nice, screaming solos to keep you entertained. The vocals do lean slightly towards black metal, but there's also a death metal element to their sound too. It's really cool when two bands with varying sounds get together a release something, as it gives fans an opportunity to listen to bands they wouldn't have otherwise heard.

A great split from two different stylistic bands, which gives you a good excuse to take the left hand path and bask in unholy music from two awesome European bands.

You can stream and download this split for free via the Scull Crasher bandcamp page below:-

You can also pick up physical copies of this release from Scull Crasher Records at

Goodbye Mankind can be found at
Scimmia Bastarda are at 
Sick Punk Productions are at 
Death Crush Records/Distro are at
Zas Records are at
Aback Records are at
Alcoholic Desaster are at
We Don't Fight It are at  
Black Trinity have blog at
Cancer Spreading are on Facebook at

2 years....who would've thought it!

I figured I ought to write something about my blog reaching the young age of 2 years old. Here goes.....

For a hobby, this blog has grown way beyond my expectations. I never set out with a plan for world domination or anything and I'm still developing m craft, but through it's initial build up as Stay Ahead to it's transformation into This Noise Is Ours, the reception has been amazing.

I still get really excited when new music drops into my inbox or I get comments from people and feel happy that I can reach people from across the globe. Though my posts have been  a bit more sporadic of late, I'm not slowing down and in spite of not having the time I'd like to dedicate to the blog, it will carry on and I will review everything I get until such a point that people start to get bored of!

Stay tuned, as it's starting to explode, so there'll be tonnes more coming your way. Thanks for your support so far.  

Saturday 3 November 2012

Wax Comes Home!

This is the second of my recent label features and focuses on Irish label, Hell Comes Home, who are doing things a little differently. The label has been putting out awesome split 7"s, each featuring special tracks from the some extreme bands from across the globe and a subscription offer to boot.

HCH are currently on the first volume of splits and as I'll go through later, they are pretty special, especially if you're familiar with the bands included, but even if you're not and are just a fan of heavy music, you'll find something rewarding amongst them. I caught up with project creator Joel, to find out about HCH's beginnings, what inspires him and what his dream split 7" line up would be:-

It seems that you've settled on a great idea with Hell Comes Home. Can you explain how it came to be and what influenced you?

As far as I can remember I have always been involved in a way or another in music. I played in bands, organised shows, published a zine, and managed a label, some of these until I emigrated from Switzerland to Ireland. That was a few years ago. My experience running a label had taken a lot out of me, and left me with a lot of frustrations and I didn't want to reproduce the same experience. On top of that it'd been a few years that all you could hear was that the "music industry" is not what it used to be with people's listening changing dramatically. So if I was going to start another label (which was kind of impossible to avoid) I was going to try to do things a little bit differently. I have always been a huge fan of vinyl records, and I somehow got the idea to create some kind of a hybrid of the Sub Pop singles club and the Cry Now, Cry Later double 7" compilations released by Pessimiser. It seemed like a great idea at the time. An opportunity to collaborate with bands I love and to discover other bands full of potential. By subscribing people would come across some bands they most likely didn’t know, and hopefully they would start following them… I don't really consider Hell Comes Home as a label, even though it is one. It's more like an umbrella for one off projects and I'd like to keep things as open as possible as to what I will do with it.

I like labels/bands that carry a single aesthetic and don't alter it, building an aura of mystery and integrity. Is that something that you feel is important, or do you just let the music and bands shape that for you?

I agree with you. I think the key is to find the right balance between complete control of what you release and taking risks with bands or graphic designers/illustrators, or people in general that you will collaborate with. As long as you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, it's easier to make sure everything is going in the right direction. At the end of the day, music is what matters the most, everything around has to highlight it and not distract from it.

You've managed to release a lot of split 7"s, featuring some cult bands. How did you manage to get them on board with the idea?

The idea was to start with a series of 12 splits 7" compiled in a box set. I wrote down a list of bands including some bigger names, that of course didn't even get back to me, or that politely declined due to bad timing, etc. Once I had the first few bands on board it got easier to complete the line-up. Other bands also recommended some bands. For example Unearthly Trance where one of the first band I contacted and they were super quick to agree to take part, and they offered to do the split with Coffinworm, which I wasn't familiar with at the time. I love their music now. Unfortunately Unearthly Trance had to cancel because they were taking a break/splitting, I'm not really sure… After informing Carl from Coffinworm, he proposed to do the split with Fistula. Corey accepted quicker than lightning. In all I think this took 24 hours, from the moment I received the email from Ryan of Unearthly Trance. And the split turned out class! This pretty much sums up how much convincing I had to do. Either the bands were into or not, and that was it. Every band has been great to work with! I'll definitely appreciate their patience forever, because I was probably the only one struggling to keep up with the project, but that's another story.

What would you say has been your proudest achievement since starting Hell Comes Home?

That's an easy one! Having released 12 splits with 24 bands from all over the world. Which was pretty much a 2 years long project, so it's a great achievement to see the end of it. And all of this so far, without compromising on anything. It was all well worth the time, effort and money put into it, considering all the bands took the project seriously and provided some amazing songs.

Do you have any future plans for the label (that you can talk about)?

No, not at the moment. I'm contemplating doing a second series of splits or something of the like. I don't know yet for sure. I will be a daddy soon, so that will be the priority for a good while. But who knows…

The packaging for each record looks stunning. Can you explain a bit about the process that goes into creating it?

Kuba Sokolski ( created the artwork for the 12 splits - he is an amazing artist from Poland. I came across his work while I was looking for someone to design the records. If I remember well, all I wanted is a similar theme that would link all the records together and make them part of a whole, with no information on the front in order to give the art the full spotlight. And I think he did an amazing job.

If you could put a split out for any two bands, who would they be and why?

Oh man, I would definitely have Kiss It Goodbye on one side. Actually I would have them on both sides, because I don't see any other band that could match with them. Kiss It Goodbye is THE band that got me into heavier, darker, more intense, more everything side of hardcore and music in general. Before that I was mostly into fast stuff (back then, that was my main criteria to like a band). Their album is the must powerful thing I have heard to this day. Every time I listen to it I get shivers down my spine, and I can't do anything but sit and listen and get immersed in their music. They're just unreal. Best band ever!

If I really have to pick a second band, I would say Meatjack, because they were completely overlooked and their album "Days Of Fire" kicked my ass. Amazing.

I'm eager to hear what you think about the current metal/hardcore scene and which bands are inspiring you at the moment?

That's a tough one. I think there is an incredible amount of great bands out there, the problem is that there is so much stuff available that it sometime takes a bit (by that I mean, a lot) of digging before you get to the gem you were looking for or were hoping to find. I'm always curious to check out new bands or new albums by bands that have been active for a while. But I have to admit that out of everything I give a listen there is only a small portion of it that I will keep listening to and that will strike a chord.

What inspires me at the moment ? Eagle Twin for the heavy side of the things and Pig Destroyer for the brutality. Both bands released impressive albums this year. Otherwise I'm looking forward to the new KEN Mode album, and I'm sad to hear that Knut split.

Ireland has a pretty strong scene. Are there any local bands that we should pay attention to?

Yep, I could definitely recommend you give a listen to Rites, Bacchus, Them Martyrs, Rest, Drainland and Trenches. That's a good start I think, but don't get me wrong, there are it all plenty more!

Now, as I mentioned in the opening section of this feature, the first volume features 12 split 7", each featuring two bands and thanks to the artwork by Kuba Sokolski, it all fits an aesthetic theme. Below, I thought I'd list the splits in the order the released to give you an idea of what I mean:-

HCH001 - Kowloon Walled City/Thou
HCH002 - Suma/Ultraphallus
HCH003 - Dephosphorus / Great Falls
HCH004 - Akaname / Lesbian’s Fungal Abyss
HCH005 - Pyramido / Union Of Sleep
HCH006 - Burning Love / Fight Amp
HCH007 - Coffinworm / Fistula
HCH008 - The Swan King / Tellusian
HCH009 - Dukatalon / Rites
HCH010 - Black Sun / Throat
HCH011 - Dopefight / The Fucking Wrath
HCH012 - Dead Elephant / Rabbits

The subscription box set that is available featuring all 12 7" has been limited to 250, as have the individual copies of each one. You can purchase both the subscription pack or the record singularly from the Hell Comes Home online store at

As well as that, you can stream every single one of the above 7"s over at I've been informed that it would take 2 hours for you to listen to them all back-to-back. I've also linked the latest release below for you to listen to, via their Bandcamp page:-

Dead Elephants/Rabbits - Split 7 "

Also, You can keep up to date with Hell Comes Home on Facebook at

So there you have it, a project more than a label, which prides itself in releasing really collectable, exciting records featuring some of the best underground bands while maintaining an image of integrity and mystique. There should be more like this!