Thursday 31 January 2013

Vigour - No Gods To Praise

Now onto something all the more darker. Vigour are a black metal band from Greece. Their debut album, No Gods To Praise has been gaining plenty of attention in the underground and the band are eager to get it officially released. They actually got in touch with me through Twitter, which is happening more and more now and I was eager to check them out as they were not a band I'd come across until recently.


1. No Remorse
2. In Memoriam
3. Seeds of Hate
4. Creation Of Failure
5. Fallen
6. Vigorous
7. Rape of Hope
8. Phantasmagoria

Vigour call themselves a melodic black metal band and on listening to the opening bars of No Remorse, I can see where they are coming from, as their riffs have that almost symphonic sound to them. The vocals are the other hand, are blasts of shrieking evil! They can seem over the top, in volume anyway and alongside the rest of the instrumentation, make for a head shatteringly devilish sound. Another thing that separates Vigour out is their majestic song lengths, where they prefer to let things organically take place as opposed to cutting things short for the sake of drip feeding listeners. They allow their song writing to take over.

As In Memoriam builds, it dawns on me that this is probably one of the heaviest black metal releases I've heard in a long time and while this type of black metal is popular amongst the more mainstream metal fan currently, Vigour's particular brand is very good. I know it's only the second song and I should wait a bit longer before writing a synopsis, but there, I've done it now! There's a lot of inherent technicality and subtlety amongst Vigour's sound too, with the guitars weaving subtle melodies that sit in the middle of the production, which by the way is very good and pitches everything a nice, loud volume. If you think this record is a brief encounter with the dark-side, you're wrong. It's a slow, painful descent into hell (in a good way!).

Vigour's symphonic sound reappears in Creation of Failure. The guitar-work in Fallen is some of the best on the record, especially during the extended instrumental passage in the middle of the song. The sky outside has begun to darken and the rain is pouring, which I guess is the desired effect when listening to No Gods To Praise! Vigorous is a bit of a misleading song-title, as while there are moments of over exertion here, the music stays a very a steady course and almost has you in a trance, such is it continued melody throughout. To be honest, my words may not be doing this record justice because as it closes with Rape of Hope and Phantasmagoria I am utterly transfixed. 

This was what I wanted, nee hoped for from black metal and thankfully it's been delivered by a band that shuns histrionics and just performs with honesty. Now, I'm going to put my best panda face on and scare people with heart problems (not really, I'm too nice!).

You can stream both Fallen and Phantasmagoria on Vigour's bandcamp page below:-

Let's hope that Vigour come to the attention of a label soon and get their album more widely recognised.

You can follow them on Facebook at

Borg 64 - Anywhere But Here EP

For years now, bands have looked to other countries for inspiration. None more so that the Swedish metal scene, due to the sheer number of bands who have risen from that part of the world. We constantly innovate, especially in the UK, daring to be different. This little insight brings me neatly onto the subject of this review. The band called Borg 64, from Lulea, Sweden. Borg 64 may have been better known in the past as a drum and bass act, but they turned their hands to hardcore punk soon afterwards and have staunchly refused to follow the pack, instead choosing the electronic sounds of a drum machine rather than a human. They released two records and then went on a seven year hiatus. Anywhere But Here is their new EP, due for release on the 18th of February through Discouraged Records.


1. Death To False Power Chords
2. Late Night At Quarks
3. Judge Jury Executioner Talkshow Host
4. Lulea

Well this unexpected. Crazed hardcore punk with a drum machine tuned to overdrive and tonnes of electronic gubbins thrown in. Opener Death To False Power Chords is just utterly mental. As a starting point for those who aren't familiar with Borg 64, think of Refused and Enter Shikari playing together and you'll be close, but that's a lazy comparison in my view. The 8-bit blips of electronics that pierce the music provide the melody here. The guitars are heavy and the vocals, while not being especially harsh, fit the music really well. Late Nights At Quarks is even more brain rattling. This song relies more on those blips and the drum and bass influences from Borg 64's early days.

I just can't get over the brazen ingenuity on show here. Stuff all of those crossover acts that have cropped up recently like The Browning and Eskimo Callboy, these guys are way better, more original and have integrity. The hardcore they inject into their songs is definitely inspired by their fellow hardcore countrymen and it's just refreshing to hear. Plus, you get over the drum machine after a very short time too! The EP is only four songs in length, with the title track also closing it. Lulea is probably the heaviest song on the EP, in terms actual hardcore punk. The guitars drive threw the whole track, providing bite and the odd bit of melody. 

I think this EP sounds epic and it just proves that experimenting and not following the crowd is the only way to go. Heck, that's why I'm reviewing it! Unashamedly awesome!

This will be released on 10" vinyl in February by Discouraged Records and it's not streaming anywhere as yet, but you can get a taster of Borg 64 by checking out the video for Death To False Power Chords below:-

Keep an eye on Discouraged Records for more news if you like what you hear -

Borg 64 have their own webpage at, which is yet to be fully unleashed, but in the meantime you can find out more on Facebook at

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Revilers - Self Titled

I'm stuck inside today as the weather here is a load of pants, so I thought I'd get stuck into a bit of punk for a change. Massachusetts punk to be precise, is the name of Revilers. This is their self-titled debut album and it was released on the 27th of March 2012 via Patac Records with the help of some other labels in both the US and Europe. The press sheet I received with the record mentioned that Revilers have shared stages with the likes of Agnostic Front and Dropkick Murphy's amongst others, so this should be right up my street.


1. No Bullshit Reactor
2. Revision
3. Fifth Column
4. 1860
5. Control
6. Sick of Being Sick and Tired
7. Frustration
8. Quit My Job
9. End of The Road
10. All Ages
11. Negativity
12. First Law
13. BCR

I've been listening to so much crushing metal and grind recently that it has started to slightly all blur into one, so listening to some punk is not just a refreshing change but also a nostalgia trip for me, having got into metal through pop-punk and AFI-brand hardcore in my early teens. That being said, the last punk band of this kind I listened to was Opposition Rising and they are a tough act to follow.

What greets you on this album is pure, drunken sing along punk played with attitude and skills. Opener No Bullshit Reactor pretty typifies that statement. With a decidedly old-school vibe and a snotty attitude, Revilers don't take themselves too seriously. Fifth Column throws down a sense of bands like The Clash and Sex Pistols, but with some screaming leads. I love the guitar work during 1860 too, it's got really good melody but isn't complicated and works really well with the rest of the music.

I always find it hard to tell what effect an albums going to have on me until I'm at least halfway through it, this one is on different, but I can tell you that it's a riot. In a world where radio friendly mainstream pop-punk has taken over in recent years, when you do get something that's raw like this, it's always a huge breath of fresh air. It may not be totally original and some may even say that Revilers are plagiarising the old masters, but I say get over it an listen to it for what it is. 

I thought that Sick of Being Sick and Tired might have been a Papa Roach cover, which would have been fun, but alas it wasn't. It was a rip-roaring shout along song though, which would have left you hoarse in a live setting. Revilers rely on short, snappy songs to hammer home their point. There's really no point making punk too overblown or stodgy and that doesn't happen here. Quit My Job is an anthem for anyone who's sick of working for the man! 

As the record closes out you're left with a feeling a bit empty as it's great to hear a band enjoying themselves on record. Even though there are a whopping thirteen tracks here, it's not a long album at all and that's down to the quality and impact of the songs. If you want something to crank up on a Friday night, during your weekend pre-drinks you can't go wrong with Revilers. Brilliant stuff! 
You can hear it for yourselves here:-

Now, you can digitally download the record from Revilers' bandcamp page above or you can pick up physical copies from the labels who released. I've put links to them below:-

Patac Records and
Black Hole Records -
Contra Records - and
4Subculture Records -

You can also catch up with Revilers themselves on Facebook at

Monday 28 January 2013

Jar'd Loose - Goes To Purgatory

For this review, I've decided to pick something at random from the pile and that something is Goes To Purgatory, the debut album from Chicago sludge/metal band Jar'd Loose. Goes To Purgatory was released on July 10th 2012, via Cassette Deck Media. Jar'd Loose have been making a name for themselves in the US by playing alongside some pretty awesome bands, including The Atlas Moth and Tombs.


1. Last Living Roach
2. Rotten Tooth
3. Appendage
4. Busted
5. Hell's Mothers
6. Right Eye
7. Go Down with You
8. Coming Like a Nightmare 

My first impression of Jar'd Loose's sound is a little odd, as I've not heard vocal screams that high for a while. I guess I was expecting low growls, but different is good! Last Living Roach is a hard-hitting intro to these Chicago town beasts. They've got the chops and while the music is heavy, it's very listenable to and reminds me more of grunge to a certain extent. The thing you'll find with Jar'd Loose is that the vocals seem to overpower the music a lot of the time, and in doing so, a lot of the subtleties are missed. The instrumentation during the mid-section of Rotten Tooth is certainly worth racking up the volume for.

The chuggy riffs at the start of Appendage bring to mind Black Sabbath and even Swedish band Grand Magus, but those are just my lazy comparisons and you should definitely listen to Jar'd Loose on their own merits. There's plenty of different textures within Goes To Purgatory too and while Jar'd Loose tend to stick close to the stoner/sludge sound, they throw in off-kilter guitar and some nice instrumental passages, like in Busted. The song lengths vary depending on how much they want to rock out and the production pushes the music out at a decent volume. Busted gets decidedly heavier as it winds it's way through its five minute playing time and it's easy to get lost in the song.

Hell's Mothers marks the halfway point in Goes To Purgatory and it's a pretty apt way of describing Jar'd Loose. They certainly display plenty of devilish swagger during the song. Right Eye kind of comes across as a heavier Rage Against The Machine, certainly in the vocal department anyway. Penultimate song Go Down With You has a brooding intro and a menacing theme to it. The quieter instrumental parts, containing quiet spoken-word vocals bring show a more evil side to Jar'd Loose. The underlying melody in Coming Like A Nightmare is a really nice way to close the album. It shows the band in an assured light and helps the record end on a high.

The vocals may not be to everyone's tastes here but the album is well played, produced and would certainly get you kicking in a live setting!

Goes to Purgatory is up for streaming in it's entirety below:-

You can pick up digital copies of the album on their Bandcamp page above. You can pick up physical copies and other merch from their online store

They're on Facebook at

Sunday 27 January 2013

Rise After Defeat - Pragmatica EP

Rise After Defeat are a Hardcore band from Cagliari, Italy. They are part of the Strikedown Records roster, which subsequently is run by lead singer Carlo Articolo. Pragmatica is their second EP, which was released back in April last year as a limited CD EP and digital download. It followed their EP from the previous year, Maieutica, which was released as a 7". They've been hitting stages across Europe pretty much none stop over the last couple of years, including playing alongside Step On Memories, who I featured on here a good while back.


1. Emptiness
2. Hold Fast
3. Confession
4. Unknown
5. Stillborns 

Pragmatica is hard and heavy. Emptiness has that raging US hardcore feel to it, but it also has a great punk edge too. The riffs are metallic, kind of like the riffs on Gallows first album yet the vocals are screamed with true venom. The songs are quick and Rise After Defeat don't mess about with long playing times, with no song being over three minutes. The sinister melody put forth by the guitars makes it a hugely listenable EP. Hold Fast is a great example of that melody too. It shows that bands can create new or different strains of hardcore if they try!

The production on the EP is good too. It doesn't sound too polished yet it doesn't sound muddy either. The volume helps bring a new edge to the songs and stops it all from sounding watered down. Confession follows very much the same formula as the two previous songs and then Unknown hits you with ringing feedback and more edgy guitar playing. This is probably my standout track on Pragmatica. EP closer Stillborns has a sound closer to screamo but is filled with deep growling vocals. It switches pace mid-way through with the drums very much calling the shots.

It's a raucous and brilliant end to the EP, where Rise After Defeat highlight their will to experiment and progress. This is a darkly brilliant EP!

Now there's no excuse for you to ignore this EP, as it's up for both streaming and free download via Rise After Defeat's Bandcamp page below:-

If you want to pick up a physical copy of Pragmatica, there are merch packages on Rise After Defeat's own Bigcartel page here or you can buy the CD on it's own from Strikedown Records here

Rise After Defeat can be found at and on Facebook at

Saturday 26 January 2013

Before Their Eyes - Redemption

I sit down to this review having read news that these guys are splitting up, so this is very much a posthumous review, although Before Their Eyes are working on one final recording. For those unfamiliar, Before Their Eyes are post-hardcore band from Findlay, Ohio. They have released four albums since their inception in 2007 and have been part of the ever growing InVogue Records/Rise Records roster. With their final record, titled "The Finale", it seems that these guys are taking a darker turn. Redemption was released in March 2012.


1. Intro
2. Lies
3. Dream
4. Find
5. Everything
6 Redemption
7. Revenge
8. Revival
9. Surrender
10. Backstabber
11. Faith
12. Alive

After a short but brooding intro, Before Their Eyes launch into Lies with all the gusto of a modern hardcore band, with plenty of melody and a huge volume. The vocals are clean and there's a hint of pesky auto tune, but I guess that's the price you have to pay with this sub-genre. There is the odd scream but it seems that Before Their Eyes are initially holding something back. Dream has a big impact too and it seems to have harder edge, in spite of all the electronic gadgetry that's used in the song. The band are tight, the riffs are good and the song is really catchy. Before Their Eyes are a Christian band, but because I'm not intimate with the bible, I don't really sense much of the righteousness that you get with some bands of that ilk.

One thing I will say in BTE's favour is that they keep things to a point. The songs themselves never go beyond the four-minute mark and the song titles are limited to one syllable. Find is a saccharine sweet, melodic song, which veers from their post-hardcore leanings. It sounds as though they're aiming more for the mainstream rock chart, which is no surprise as they have entered the Billboard Heatseekers charts with their previous records. That said, this is the first song where they also use their heavier side, with both high screams and low growls. Everything is a bonafide chart bother-er, which leans more towards a ballad. Next up is the title track, which is actually the heaviest track that Before Their Eyes have presented so far. It's also the mid-point of the album and heralds a second half with more promise, in the hardcore stakes anyway!

Revenge, despite that auto tune, is a harder hitting song. They use some great angular riffs in the song, which are a pleasant surprise for fans of more forward thinking metal. Revival begins with an intro that sounds like it could be taken from a Fear Factory song! The song itself is just under three-minutes, which pretty much embodies this American post-hardcore style, but feature less clean and more harsh vocals. It’s a stonker! Sometimes albums tend to lose momentum and focus towards their middle/end, but Redemption seems to maintain it throughout, which is a good sign and shows that Before Their Eyes have a strong hold of songwriting and structure. The production on the record is very clean, as you'd expect and helps the musicians to propel their instruments above the technical wizardry that's employed here. Penultimate song Faith features a really catchy melody, which you may end humming constantly, depending on how self-conscious you are.

I'm not talking about each track here, as Before Their Eyes stick to a similar formula throughout Redemption, which to be fair does work for them. They’re very much a modern band, whose songwriting is squarely aimed at the popular end of the market. While this won't be to everyone's tastes, it is one of the better records I've heard in this sub-genre. Overall it’s a really good album.

I've been unable to find a stream of Redemption anywhere, but you'll be able to hear tracks on their Facebook page at You can buy Redemption from InVogue Records here

Thursday 24 January 2013

Opium Lord - The Calendrical Cycle - Prologue: The Healer EP

It has to be said that our fair music scene is in very rude health at the moment, as demonstrated by the reviews that I choked up last weekend. Opium Lord's new EP was meant to be my fifth review of that weekend, but it never came to be. It's only fair then that it should be my next one, so here it is.

Opium Lord has risen from the ashes of previous notable acts like History of A Hawk and has caught the attention of Thirty Days Of Night Records, whom are releasing their debut EP The Calendrical Cycle - Prologue: The Healer. They've also made enough waves in their short time together, to justify a support slot alongside the might Boris, so whichever way you look at things, it's all coming up Millhouse for these guys. This EP is the first part of a concept series which will also encompass their next two albums and is due for release on March the 11th.


1. Heroin Swirls
2. Street Labs

This EP spans two tracks of dark, oppressive sludge inspired metal. Opener Heroin Swirls whirrs into life with slow as hell riffs and crazed screams. The drums pound a measured beat that holds it all in place. There are moments of silence, of near as damn it, which build images of drug-addled trips and near death experiences. It's crushingly heavy, heady stuff and when the feedback rings out in the middle, it becomes even more maddening. That feedback delivers you to second track Street Labs in a close-to catatonic state. The jabs of melody that appear in this song slowly bring you round, but don't completely wake you from the nightmare. The almost black metal growls that manifest themselves into the song will have you praying for death. That melodic guitar I was talking about before is some of the strangest I've heard, thanks to the way in which it's played. It does however completely fit this unholy racket.

A lot happens across these two tracks and the EP acts as a taster for what's to come from the two full-lengths that Opium Lord has promised. I can't wait for them, if this is anything to go by!

The EP is currently streaming on the TDON Bandcamp page below:-

The EP is up for pre-order now as well at the Thirty Days Of Night store here -

Opium Lord can be found here

Sunday 20 January 2013

Heksed - Plague Embrace Tape

This band and this release will be familiar to you, if you purchased the 7" from Thirty Days Of Night Records in early 2012. Well it's been repressed by the awesome Church of Fuck on tape for the first time! 2013 sees Church of Fuck going through what's been dubbed as it's "Year of Strength". Building on the momentum it gained in 2012, it's going to be releasing more records and stepping up it's quality. This tape is it's first of four tape pressings this year, which will also be it's only four.

Compared to last years vinyl pressing, the tape version is furnished with two extra tracks. The tape itself only dropped through my letter box on Friday and boy is it good. The packaging is exactly as I've come to expect from CoF. Great full colour inserts with the song listed inside and a printed, double sided tape featuring the band logo and other motifs. With this is mind, I'm gonna do something that's a bit of a novelty to some; I'm gonna listen to the tape on my tape player.


1. Damned and Dead.
2. Waylands Knot
3. Suffer/Fear
4. Blodets Forbannelse
5 Det Brennende Lys
6. Heilbringer: The Prophet pt. 2

I'm listening to the tape on an old, dodgy Japanese tape/CD player my sister used to own. This one sided tape kicks off with Damned and Dead. The distortion from the tape player gives it a real authentic sound.
The metallic riffs thrown forth and the blood curdling screams sound immense. It's a completely different sound to the vinyl record too. Its sounds bigger somehow, but that's probably because I have a cheap turntable too. Next up is the quickfire Waylands Knot. Again it's angular in delivery and fast a hell, highlighting a chaotic energy that Heksed have harnessed to their advantage as when they throw in a screaming solo mid-way through, you lose your head!

Suffer/Fear is the third song that just stretches passed the minute mark. it's the third song off the original 7" and this time shows off some of Heksed's groove sensibilities alongside their off-kilter punk. Blodets Forbannelse was the sole b-side from the original 7" and shows a very different side to Heksed's sound. It's more in keeping I think with the sounds of Heksed's Norwegian homelands. The bass rumbles here and the song is more mid-paced. It's actually really heavy too, but features some great melody which helps it to sound really endearing too. Thanks to the piano there's an ambience not previously heard.

Det Brennende Lys is the first of two newly recorded songs to appear on this tape. It takes them back to their more chaotic sound. It's simply just thrashing crazed hardcore, with plenty of sludge sensibilities and brilliantly placed melody. Some would call it harrowing, I call it beautiful. Second new song and tape closer Heilbringer: The Prophet pt.2 features one of the best, screeching solos I've heard in ages. Heksed sound is unlike anything else and while some people have compared it to that of Holy Terror-hardcore, it's got it's own place in heavy music.

This tape was limited to 100 copies and is now sold out, so the only place you can get this is directly from Heksed themselves.

You can stream the first four tracks off the tape at Church Of Fucks bandcamp page below:-

Keep an on Church of Fuck at They've only just begun this year and will have more great releases coming later.

Pester Heksed at, to see if they have copies of this tape left and to hear about future records they have in the work

CorruptxMoralxAltar - Luciferian Deathcult

So, the review machine rages on. This is the new EP from Liverpool noise machine Corrupt Moral Altar. It  follows hot off the heels of their previous demo Needle Drugs, which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. It's been released by new Liverpudlian label Baitin The Trap Records, which is run by Iron Witch bassist Rick Owen and is the label's first release (god there's a few firsts on here today!). It's seven tracks of noisy, punk ridden grind that doesn't stick to any formula.

1. Play Stupid Games And Win Stupid Prizes
2. Stray Dog
3. Politics Is A Bargain Between Beggars
4. Power Whore
5. Flattening Of The Cultural Pyramid
6. Profondo Rosso
7. You Don't Have To Go To Clown College

Luciferian Deathcult shares three of it's tracks with previous demo Needle Drugs. It start though with a new track. Play Stupid Games And Win Stupid Prizes is tantamount to aural terrorism. The almost screeching vocal mixed with the constant guitar and drum battering sets out CxMxA's stall early. Stray Dog should be familiar to those who've checked out their Needle Drugs demo. It begins with a short, sludgy intro before CxMxA launch into a groove. For a song that's less than two minutes long, it's full of passion and ideas and seems to last a lot longer. You probably won't find a heavier song this year.

Politics Is A Bargain Between Beggars is another the song that first appeared on Needle Drugs. CxMxA launch straight into before Stray Dog have even finished, so to keep their momentum up. They throw in more of their groovy, doomy influences here and the lower vocals add a real moody atmosphere to the record. Power Whore is the second of four new tracks on Luciferian Deathcult and it the first of a trio. It seems more stripped down to begin with, featuring a single chuggy guitar riff during the opening verse, but it's long before CxMxA hit the full power switch again. Flattening The Cultural Pyramid is the next newbie and it seems more immediate straight away. There's some great guitar dissonance on show, which creates something akin to melody, but only briefly.

At this point it's worth noting the production of the EP, with allows it to both careen along at full pace and still allows each band member to be heard on their respective instrument. On a heavy record like this, sometimes the control on the recording is lost, but not here. Profondo Rosso closes out the new material with aplomb. Low and heavy. It's like the sloth of the group, compared to the rest of the EP, as it drags itself along. The guitars are very much the focal point again and compete with the vocals, which in turn brings the volume up to neighbour annoying levels.

Luciferian Deathcult closes out with You Don't Have To Go To Clown College, and with it the last embers of your hearing. I said this when I reviewed Needle Drugs, but I've not come across a band this heavy for quite some time. They prove that it's not all about super-human double bass drums or breakdowns and stick to their own blueprint throughout. In conclusion, get this record before is sells out, as it's gonna!

Luciferian Deathcult is streaming on Baitin The Trap's bandcamp page below:-

You can pick up the CD from Baitin The Trap Records here -

Corrupt Moral Altar can be found on Tumblr at and on Facebook at
Baitin The Trap are here -

Iron Witch - Hangover Suicide 7"

I first heard about Iron Witch when I caught wind about a 7" release through Thirty Days of Night Records. That 7" was Post Vegas Blues, witch was unleashed towards the back end of 2012. Up until that record, Iron Witch had released an EP called Single Malt, with was released on CD by Witch Hunter Records. Iron Witch are another band that has risen from the undergrowth in the flourishing Liverpool scene. Hangover Suicide is their latest 7", featuring two tracks. It's also the first release for another new label, Derbyshire based Endtyme Records.


1. Death Was The Colour
2. Hangover Suicide

Hangover Suicide starts with the most jarring, unnerving feedback possible as opener
Death Was The Colour whirrs into life. It's four and a half minutes of low-down and dirty sludge
which will probably make you wish you had whiteyed after that last toke. The song is split in two by more of that harsh feedback, before Iron Witch lumber back into life and continue to crush you. With the kind of groove that would make bands like Sabbath happy, it's not all just about gut-wrenching low-end as these guys can play.

Title track Hangover Suicide is the b-side on this 7". It's less straightforward in it's sound, with Iron Witch playing with different time-signatures and guitar effects. It just add to the feeling of claustrophobia though. It kind of feels like the walls are closing in around you. The unsettling nature of Chris Fane's vocals certainly don't make easy listening, but then again you don't want easy listening. You want to be held at the edge of your seat, you want to be left feeling jumpy at the slightest creak or noise and most importantly, you want to be left knowing that you've just witnessed something with heart, soul and emotion, even if it is black!

Iron With achieve all of those things with Hangover Suicide and continue to plough a furrow of their own, of which everything else falls into. It's like a black hole or downward spiral for which you will never recover!

This 7" is not streaming anywhere, so you'll just have to keep your eyes on Endtyme Records for news on when the pre-order is going live -

Endtyme Records can be found at
Iron Witch are at and at

Unsacred - Three Sisters Tape

Virginian blackened hardcore band Unsacred have just released their Three Sisters EP on cassette via new UK label Invektiv Records. Three Sisters was originally released last year on CD by Broken Limbs Recordings. Their only previous release was a limited cassette entitled Where The Light Dims, that was unleashed in February 2012. In recent times, Unsacred have played alongside tonnes of bands you might recognise, including the likes of Skeletonwitch, Gaza and more recently Triac, so they've obviously got the chops! Three Sisters spans four tracks of crusty, black metal ridden hardcore.


1. I Carry The Weight Alone
2. Lethe
3. Abasement, Loss and Regret (Three Sisters)
4. Torch Circle

A I Carry The Weight Alone rings out from your speakers, the loud almost sludgy guitars envelope you
before Unsacred blast forth with their black metal influences crust. It's furious stuff and as the extended intro dissipates and the vocals come in for the first time, their sound twists into a fast, noisy strain of hardcore. The riffs add some subtle low melody to the songs and have plenty of heft, which they need to have, when competing with the rhythm section and those vocals. Lethe follows on immediately after and it has more of a symphonic black metal leaning in some if it's instrumentation. It absolutely rages from start to finish, with Unsacred sometimes settling for mid-paced sections to hammer their point home. You can certainly hear why these guys have been playing with the likes of Code Orange Kids and Full Of Hell recently. Yes the sound sometimes muddies when everything is going at full pelt, but it's not full-on chaotic. Unsacred do possess a mature sound, with clear instruments thanks to the production job.

Abasement, Loss and Regret (Three Sisters) is a furious two minute beast. That symphonic element is alive again, as is the crusty hardcore sound which makes this tape so good! It's over all too quickly as the last bars fade to reveal tape closer, Torch Circle. Torch Circle see Unsacred change their dynamic, with a calm but haunting intro featuring cleanly plucked guitar played to a background of gusting wind. There's a subtle ambience to the song, as the cymbals crash and the disappear almost a random. After the song slowly builds to a crescendo and three and a half minutes, all the pent up energy is unleashed in the form of probably their gloomiest song. The almost droning, trance like treble from the lead guitar which competes with the vocals for your ears, is astoundingly good. The feeling of impending doom created by Unsacred never lets go of you as it pulls you forward. The sound level seems to increase throughout until the sound that is pouring from you speakers is surrounding your whole world and closing in on all you hold dear!

Never has this sort of music been about instant gratification and with bands like Unsacred releasing material of this quality, you can throw away your mass-produced, corporate rock and listen to something that stirs up real emotion, thoughts and images. This is primal and Unsacred are amazing!

Three Sisters is streaming below:-

The cassette version from Invektiv Records is limited to 50 copies and can be purchased from their webstore at

Broken Limbs Recordings still have CD versions of Three Sisters left, featuring different artwork at, if you live in the US.

Usacred can be found at or at
Invektiv Record are at and at
Broken Limbs Recordings are at and at

Thursday 17 January 2013

Knife Crimes - Complete Discography

This short lived Manchester band were/are something of an enigma. Knife Crimes burst forth at the back end of 2011, released a demo tape through Church Of Fuck which sold out in record time, destroyed live venues with the likes of Integrity and Xibalba and the disappeared back into the undergrowth at the end of 2012. This complete discography was released around the same time as a posthumous release and features all of their recorded output.


1. World Past Saving
2. Field of Flames
3. Heathen Reign
4. Cold Cross
5. Burnt Eden
6. Death Hymn

Knife Crimes certainly made one hell of an ungodly racket. World Past Saving in my view should have been renamed Ears Past Saving. It's hardcore with on sense of the modern day trapping of "popular core" and brings to mind early Deathwish bands like the chaotic early sound of Converge mixed with Cursed. The vocals cry out through crazed screams, the feedback whirls around you like an eternal tornado and the drums pound like a demonic metronome!

Field of Flames takes on a more thrashy form after the sludge ridden intro. Those crossover elements and gang vocals remind me why I love their demo tape so much! At one point, vocalist Oliver screams "I Want To Watch The World Burn" and if it had while these guys were still together, this song would have heralded the end. Knife Crimes use the blueprint of metallic hardcore and throw in British flair, anger and brimstone all in the name of atavistic hardcore. Heathen Reign shows an anti-religious streak, not only in the song-title, but also in the way they deliver this aural beating.

Their songs gradually get more tar thick with sludge, the further they and with it comes the feeling of utter uselessness and despair.  Cold Cross features intermittent slabs of low dirge, but it's enough to pound you six feet under. Burnt Eden takes that aforementioned tar and thickens it up with the help of some monumental riffs and a song which winds it's way through over six minutes of absolute mental torture. Death Hymn is an acoustic track which is the bonus song on this discography. It's a beautiful song, where the lightly plucked guitar is at complete odds with those tortured screams, yet both seem to work perfectly.
It's like that final blow before you depart this sorry world!

Listen here:-

Once again, it's available as a name-your-price download from the Bandcamp page above or you can purchase a limited CD from Witch Hunter Records at

Also, two new bands have formed out of the ashes of Knife Crimes - Old Skin and True Destroyer Make sure you check out both bands.

Old Wounds - II

Well, It's snowing outside again, but I've decided to stay in doors and mosh! First up today is this three track CD from New Jersey hardcore band Old Wounds. It was released at the back end of the last year by Witch Hunter Records. I've heard a lot mentioned about Old Wounds and even though this afternoons session was intended to shine a light of some British bands, I can't begrudge these guys thanks to their place on the roster of one of our most up and coming labels.


1. Deviant Minds
2. Bleak
3. Wet

Hardcore is turning into a bit of an uncontrollable beast of late, with bands from all corners of the world tearing up the original blueprint and throwing in all kinds of sounds and influences. Old Wounds do this with the help of metallic noise and ambivalent screams. In Deviant Minds you get all of the sludgy, heavy blackened textures that are coming out of our own scene at the moment, but with it a sense of originality and relief that they are not content with just sounding like their peers in the rest of the US.

Bleak is what it says on the tin. The punky intro riffs make way for a mid-paced song with screams that would grate your face at a hundred feet. Old Wounds win out as they prefer to keep their songs short and sweet, and free from fat! This was originally two tracks, but the Witch Hunter version features the bonus track Wet, which was recorded completely live and wasn't edited or touched up. This song really highlights the energy of the band and seems to inject an extra shot of narcotics into their sound. The vocals sound rawer and the low-end rumbles deeper. It's two  minutes of pure metallic hatred! You need to get this CD. It may be short but boy does it slay!

Hear it for yourselves below:-

You can pick II up as a name-your-price download from the above bandcamp page or you can buy the lovely, limited edition CD from the Witch Hunter Records store at The choice is yours!

Old Wounds are on Facebook at
Witch Hunter Records are at

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Moloch (Ukr) - Stiller Schrei des Winters (2002-2012)

I've been sitting on this release for a while. Moloch (Ukr) is a band that I've featured sporadically over the last two years and I felt it was about time I featured this particular release. It features 18 of Moloch's oldest, rarest and most significant tracks from the last ten years of the band's existence. Some of these may have appeared on other releases in that time, but here they are gathered in one place.


1. Intro - Silence In The Pity
2. Philosophie Der Depression
3. Ein Teil Meiner Essenz Wird Hier Immer Verweilen
4. Ein Düsterer Winter Kommt l
5. Ein Düsterer Winter Kommt ll
6. Graue Wolken Unter Dem Meer
7. Illusionen Eines Verlorenen Lebens
8. Depressive Visionen Eines Sterbenden Horizonts
9. Die Letzten Strahlen Der Sonne Verblassen In Der Kälte Der Apathie
10. Das Leben Ist Wie Ein Verwundeter Vogel Der Langsam Vom Himmel Fällt
11. Stille
12. Meine Heidnisch-spirituelle Reise Durch Die Wälder Der Gefallenen
13. E.khu
14. Ljosalfaheimr
15. Vanaheimr
16. Herbstnacht
17. Sterben Unter Der Blässe Der Unvermeidlichkeit
18. Ausklang 

As with the majority of Moloch's previous releases, this compilation is made of a mixture of ambient and black metal tracks. After the haunting intro - Silence In The Pity, The cold harshness of Philosophie Der Depression is a stark reminder of the environment in which Moloch's sole member lives. It's an all-encompassing barrage of guitar, which doesn't seem to let up throughout its entire five minutes. Not so much a song, as an experiment in frequencies and dissonance! That barrage of noise dissipates with around a minute left and your left with choral melodies and depraved spoken word, which in Moloch's native tongue sounds even more harrowing.

Ein Teil... sees the introduction of Moloch's fabled piano driven ambience, but only as an intro this time. That wall of guitar is back before you've had chance to breath along with those harrowing screams, which signal the first of his abject black metal hymns. Next up are Ein Dusterer Winter Kommt 1 and 2, which have been mentioned on this blog previously. They are both prime examples of how Moloch integrates his ambient influences with his heavier, black metal influences. It's close to Martial Industrial music is the way that the guitar is droning and resilient, but it stills contains those chilling moments of despair that you get from Satan's metal.

There's some solace around the corner though, with the simplicity of Illusionen Eines Verlorenen Lebens and it's calming keys. That solace only lasts for a brief moment though, as the barrage of guitar re-awakens in the form of Depressive Visionen Eines Sterbenden Horizonts. It leads into another fear inducing black metal number. This section of Stiller Schrei Des Winters features some of Moloch's lengthier black metal hymns, especially the winding majesty of tracks 9 and 12, which both feature suitably long song titles. In between these songs, there is Das Leben Ist Wie Ein Verwundeter..., which takes Moloch's black metal writing style and condenses it into a shorter song. It's still no less harrowing though, especially with Moloch's anguished cries. Stille is a quick blast of haunting noise and spoken word, sometimes interjected by subtle instrumentation.

There's no denying that this compilation requires plenty of attention from you as a listener, but as it twists it's way through malevolent evil and calming ambience, it really does impose itself on you in an ethereal way. The majesty of the sound that flows from your speakers and those guitars whirr into life and the despair you feel as Moloch cries and screams, really leaves you at the pits of your conscious thoughts, neither feeling positive or negative but with in a trance like state.

E.Khu features the kind of white noise that only exists in your nightmares and Ljosalfaheimr follows this, which is that nightmare coming to a maddening crescendo. The closing section of the release is made of four short pieces, none lasting over 90 seconds. These are the final nails in the coffin as you are buried alive with the sound of this crazed ambient blackness imprinted deep into your synapse.
Nothing will ever be the same after this!

This record is streaming in it's whole, stark entirety below:-

You can purchase is digitally or via CD from the above page too. You can also purchase it from Depressive Illusions Records at

Moloch can be found at and on Facebook at

Monday 14 January 2013

The Plot In You - Could You Watch Your Children Burn

The Plot In You unleashes their new album "Could You Watch Your Children Burn" tomorrow. This Ohio based metalcore band have been together since 2010 and with an EP and an album to their name, plus shows alongside the likes of Whitechapel and Unearth happening as we speak, 2013 is sure to be a big year for these guys.


1. Premeditated
2. Fiction Religion
3. Digging Your Grave
4. Population Control
5. Troll
6. The Devil’s Contract
7. Shyann Weeps
8. Sober And Soulless
9. Bible Butcher
10. Glad You’re Gone

Could You Watch Your Children Burn begins with Premeditated. Initial impressions are good, the screams are brutal and the clean sections are slick, the guitars and drums mix it up as well. Their sound seems to be held back slightly by a production which puts the instruments low in the mix and tones down their volume. The Plot In You use plenty of effects in their music, but they sound different. They're metallic and actually add something to the record.

Fiction Religion is a bit of a revelation as it features some great low, death metal vox. This song harks back to early Slipknot in some places, which I read was an influence on the record in one interview they'd done previously. It's not too far away actually in some of the heavier parts of their music. There's an underlying hip-hop influence going on as well, much like a lot of early nu-metal.

It's a very angry album, lyrically anyway, especially in Digging Your Grave. The good thing about this record is that it seems to get heavier as each new song kicks in. The crunching riffs and Fear Factory style drumming at the start of Population Control makes sure that TPIY get your attention. There's a subtle djent influence in the song too, which is tempered by the saccharine chorus.

That death metal influence gets intensified during Troll. Those riffs, while modern, are undeniably heavy and this is one of the standout tracks on the album for me. The Plot In You stick to standard length songs here too, each lasting between the three-four minute mark. Thanks to the ideas and skill the band possesses though, the song lengths don't matter as there's plenty going on.

The Devil's Contract features some pretty sick, almost black metal growls, which is surprising to hear. The anger that seeps it's way through the record actually makes it better, as it's controlled within the music. The Plot in You take a different path with Sober and Soulless, which acts as a sort of ballad, even if it contains some screaming! It's a really well written song, where the band makes use of Landon Tewers' clean vocals. The structure of the song is more akin to a proper hardcore song, more straightforward than the rest of the album.

The album finishes with two final blasts of TPIY's brand of metalcore, with Bible Butcher and Glad You're Gone. By this point, TPIY sound very assured and settled. Bible Butcher is heavy and Glad You're Gone relies more on their more melodic sound. Both are excellent closers to an album, which seems like a bit of a breakaway from the current sound of US metalcore. I actually really enjoyed it and I know that kids will lap this up, it's retro throw backs to nu-metal and simpler times is a good thing and one which may actually get these guys a wider fan base.

The records itself doesn't seem to be streaming anywhere, but you can hear sample tracks via The Plot In You's Facebook page at

You can also pick up the album and other merch from

Sunday 13 January 2013

New Forum!

I've decided to integrate a Forum into my blog. It's a trial for now but feel free to register and join in. You can find it here at -

I'd love feedback from anyone that uses it on what you think. Please spread the word! Thanks.

Friday 11 January 2013

Reparation - Guidance & Hallucinations

This is the second of four Witch Hunter Records reviews I am doing. I reviewed Limb's recent EP a little while back and now it's the turn of Reparation's new tape. Reparation are a West Midlands based hardcore band and this tape brings together their two previous EPs, Guidance and Hallucinations.

Side A - Guidance EP
1. Detain
2. Mea Vulnera
3. Nirvana Samsara

Side B - Hallucinations EP
4. Split Realities
5. Smoked Generations
6. The Excuse

Reparation say their sound is for fans of bands like Brutality Will Prevail  and Last Witness and actually, that isn't far off. It's more of a straight up hardcore style than what I've come to expect from Witch Hunter, but it's got a great British feel to it, showing that the band aren't just copying their brutal US Cousins. Detain on the A side is quite mid paced, but has plenty of bite and mosh in it. Mea Vulnera immediately has a more sinister feel to it straight from the opening riff. They slow the songs tempo down towards the middle of the song, before picking back up at various points with a thrash influenced passage. Melodic guitar is heard in places, which brings another dimension to it too. Nirvana Samsara is the last song on the A side. It's features some pretty epic drumming and atmospheric guitar work. The vocals remind a bit of Rob Flynn of Roger Miret at times, but that's just my interpretation, they still fit the music really well and don't come across as plagiarised.

Side B features the three tracks of Reparation's Hallucinations EP and Split Realities is first up. It has a darker feel to it, with lower and angrier vocals initially. Things are more metallic on it and you can definitely hear a progression from the Guidance EP. This side of the tape seems to go by faster than the first side. It features more urgency but doesn't feel rushed. Reparation keep their momentum going straight through the tape, with no let up. Closer The Escape demonstrates that. With plenty of dark touches to the riffs and music in general, Reparation have embodied what modern day hardcore is in the UK. It sums up the grey, grim outlook that we face and out of it comes something positive and meaningful. More like this please!

Check a stream of this tape out below:-

The digital version of the tape is available on the above bandcamp page as a name your price download, but alternatively if you're like me and you like physical releases, you can pick up a tape copy from Witch Hunter Records at

Be sure to drop by Reparation's Facebook page too at