Saturday 31 August 2013

Ash Borer - Cold Of Ages 12"

So my black metal journey brings me to this final review. Hopefully, some of you will have read my review of Bloodlands, earlier this year. This time it's the turn of Ash Borer's latest full-length Cold of Ages. Originally released in 2012 on CD via Profound Lore Records and on cassette via Psychic Violence, this four-track album has been given the vinyl treatment by Pesanta Urfolk. I thought this would be fitting release to end on, especially as Ash Borer harness so much of the raw energy and creativity that crosses the whole black metal scene. Their mysterious personas have kept them hidden from the world while their music has spoken more than they could ever say.


1. Descended Lamentations
2. Phantoms
3. Convict All Flesh
4. Removed Forms

Cold ages feature four tracks that span over an hour and anyone familiar with Ash Borer will know that they'll be nothing short of huge. Descended Lamentations begins with gentle organ, which segues into more menacing, plucked guitar. Ash Borer always let their songs progress and build at their own pace. They don’t elect to go straight for the jugular and it's that consideration that makes them so unique. Noise penetrates the build up before the band unleashes their energy four minutes in. As with Bloodlands, the vocals here are kept deep in the mix with the guitars and drums swirling around them, creating a huge chasm of sound. Musically there are more layers on show during Descended Lamentations. There's subtle melody, down-tuned guitar passages and off-kilter time signatures. The drums pound away furiously and cymbal crashes dominate the music at times. This is definitely a record best played loud, because otherwise you won't pick out all of the subtle nuances at work within the music.

The vocals during Phantoms, while sparse, sound ghostly. The song isn't as fast as the opener, but its more winding and lurching progression makes it more haunting. The melody from the subtle orchestral sounds in that background adds to that feeling too. The song changes completely as the pace picks up again and the full energy of Ash Borer is once again unleashed. To be honest, it does feel a little bit redundant writing about Ash Borer's sound, because most of the people who read this will already be familiar with it and will know how they feel about it, but as a band they are one that's held in very high regard and rightly so.

In spite of Ash Borer's blueprint sound, they manage to conjure different atmospheres with each song on Cold Of Ages. The lowly melody that heralds Convict All Flesh is capable of producing more evil than the songs that have come before, on it's own! The dual guitar harmonies during the opening add a metallic edge to the music and the drums are almost druidical.  After the interstellar noise that concludes the instrumental intro section of Convict All Flesh, Ash Borer settle back into more black metal chaos. Convict All Flesh has one of the most gracious structures I've heard from Ash Borer. The calming mid section with it's gentle guitar and the guest vocals from Jessica Way of Worm Ouroboros, makes you think you're listening to another band and helps to break up the longest song on Cold of Ages.

It's left to Removed Forms to draw Cold Of Ages to an end. It starts with the minimal intro that features more guest vocals from Jessica Way. The female vocals really add another haunting element to Ash Borer's sound and show that despite the blackened dissonance on display throughout Cold Of Ages, Ash Borer's music can sound emotive and even devastatingly beautiful. Removed Forms seems to be split into parts, as the quiet intro section virtually goes silent before Ash Borer launch into one final maddening attack. This record really does play havoc with your senses. To think that in a genre that people says is stagnant and overrun, there are still bands that are pushing things forward and who are not scared to approach their music from a different. It's refreshing and what's more, it's vital. Nobody ever said extreme metal was meant to music-by-numbers and here, Ash Borer prove they are so much more. Let Cold Of Ages drag you into the void. You'll be glad you did!

You can hear Cold Of Ages in it's entirety via Profound Lore's bandcamp page here:-

Cold Of Ages is available in a multitude of formats. You can by it digitally from the page above for starters.

You can buy on CD from Profound Lore Records at
You can get the new LP version from Pesanta Urfolk at

Unfortunately, the tape run from Psychic Violence is sold out.

Ash Borer Blog -
Pesanta Urfolk Website -
Profound Lore Records Website -
Psychic Violence Blog -

Ancst - The Humane Condition Tape

My penultimate review features this two-track EP from Berlin black metallers Ancst. Ancst are more of a collective that a band, as their members create visual art (like the above tape cover), they run record labels and they play in other bands, including Afterlife Kids who I featured as a recent "random band of the week" on here. Talking of the art work, Ancst have that visual character that I look for in bands. They also play brilliant black metal and ambient noise.The Humane Condition was release earlier this year, limited to 100 copies from fellow German label Dark Omen Records.


1. Ascetic
2. Entropie 

The Humane Condition begins with slow building noise. That noise sounds metallic at times and as the guitars fade-in, a spoken word sample bursts out of the speaks. Ascetic takes elements from blackened hardcore and doom as it kicks in. The guitars provide an ambient, melodic backbone, which is held together by precise drumming. The vocals are ferocious, deep screams that are used minimally to allow the music to have full effect. Ancst teeter on the edge of black metal, in a more modern place but as the closing section begins, you get your closest hint of black metal thanks to some fast and energetic drumming, as well buzzsaw guitar. An intriguing start and a song with a full range of emotions.

Entropie hits the spot from the start. It's instantly fast and has more of a grim atmosphere. There's more urgency in the screams and the wall of noise created by the guitars matches the passion that Ancst have for their political beliefs, with their messages hidden within the lyrics. There's no pretentiousness here and when Ancst switch from swirling black metal madness to thoughtful instrumental calm, they do so with skill which shows how accomplished they are as musicians and song writers. I think that's one thing that sets black metal apart from other metal genres. Whether the band is one-man or many musicians, there's always a step-up in quality within the music.

Ancst may have outside influences and may sound more modern in their approach, but in 2013, with so much musical progression taking place, they fit in perfectly. Their black metal features strong production, which brings out their sound and they have an aesthetic, which takes some bands years to achieve. Ancst, as a band and as people are super busy, but they have new releases on the horizon, so make sure they stay on your radar.

Stream The Humane Condition here on Ancst's bandcamp page:-

There's options to purchase The Humane Condition as a digital download or via tape (of which there's only 4 left!), directly from Ancst's bandcamp page. You can also find other merch here -

If you're in the US, you can buy the tape from Dark Omen Records here -

Ancst Facebook -
Dark Omen Records Facebook -

Thursday 29 August 2013

Twilight Fauna - Grief

As I touched on slightly with yesterday's review, black metal takes a lot from nature and the surroundings of the souls that produce it. Non more so than in the music of American one-man black metal band Twilight Fauna. Haling from the Appalachian mountain region of the US, Twilight Fauna channels the vastness of that mountain range into these five-tracks of ambient, depressive music. The sole member Ravenwood, says that the songs of Grief represent the five stages of the grieving process, so this will not be easy listening. Grief was released in March of this year through Ukrainian black/ambient label Depressive Illusions Records.


1. Isolation
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression
5. Acceptance

Knowing the subject matter on Grief, I was expecting a very harrowing journey and that is what you get here. The fact that it is all the work of one individual makes it more harrowing. Isolation opens with droning guitars and strange, mixed low-pitch/high-pitch screams that sound like Ravenwood has been buried alive and is screaming for salvation. The depressive element is plain to hear thanks to the guitar, while the drums nestle deep in the background and the bass rumbles, creating a fuzz that hovers over the top. Grief was self-recorded as well, so it's raw nature really brings out the anguish in the song writing. The mid-section sees that depressive noise take a back seat in favour of introspective and calming acoustic guitar, which highlights a sensitive side to Ravenwood's songs. That section acts as a bridge almost, as soon after you've settled down, the droning begins again. It features more ambience this time though and slowly lurches it's way to an inevitable end.

That feeling of claustrophobia becomes more prevalent during the minimal Anger. The quiet acoustic guitar and occasional riffs mixed with those growls/screams present an almost peaceful backdrop. Featuring a very different sound to the opener but psychologically just as absorbing. Bargaining continues with the same minimal vibe and it's here that you get a sense of how proficient Ravenwood is as a musician. The melodies created by the acoustic guitar are really embracing. This is a longer, more swirling track than Anger. It's that guitar for me, which sets Twilight Fauna part from its peers. It shows that amongst such a populated genre, creativity is still rife.

Depression builds first with a single plucked note played over and over again, then punctuated by a single doom-like riff. As with previous songs, it features an extended instrumental build up and sparse, distant screams. It really does make you think that the record was recorded at the top of a mountain; such is the isolation felt within the songs. Ravenwood does not believe in speeding through his songs and as a result, you get drawn into the kind of emotions and thoughts that he possesses. Closing song Acceptance is where the light begins to shine through the record. Gone are the maddening screams and in there place are softly song, soulful melodies. It's not a reward for you as a listener, more a musical interpretation of the last ray of light you see before passing. It's the most ambient tracks release on Grief and in being so, is also the most heart wrenching.

The lack of outside influence and the creative vision of Ravenwood are engaging.Grief is not an easy listen but if you persevere, it can be beautiful and fulfilling.

You can stream Grief in it's entirety here:-

Via the same page, you can purchase Grief as a name-your-price digital download or as a special edition CD.

It's also available from Depressive Illusions Records here -

Twilight Faun Facebook -

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Gmork/Astarium/In Tenebriz - Misterious Winds From Ancient Past

For the fourth review in my black metal series, I step away from the UK and head to the cold and unforgiving terrain of Russia. The black metal scene in Eastern Europe is exploding and this three-way split CD features three bands pushing the envelope. Some of you may be familiar with Astarium, who featured on the very blog sometime ago with the Ostracism of Anachoret tape. Gmork and In Tenebriz are even unknowns to me!

Gmork are the only band on this split that isn't a one-man black metal band. They play an unholy, misanthropic form of black metal.  Astarium is more symphonic while In Tenebriz prefers the ambient/instrumental approach.


1. Gmork - Ветер, который рассказывает историю
2. Gmork - Воспоминания
3. Gmork - Болотный морок
4. Gmork - Картины прошлого
5. Astarium - In Twilight of the Gods
6. Astarium - Center of the Cross
7. Astarium - Embraces of Mermaid
8. In Tenebriz - Before the Birth of the Gods
9. In Tenebriz - Голос вьюги
10. In Tenebriz - Омут
11. In Tenebriz - Русальи слёзы

All of Gmork's four song titles are in Russian, which funnily enough I can't translate. Not to worry though because it's the music that matters here. Their opener Ветер, который рассказывает историю builds with orchestral ambience, choral chanting and panpipes. It belies what is to come with gentle tones and whispered vocals. Initial impressions are that Gmork favour very atmospheric and grand black metal, with medieval touches. Their cold black metal sound though does start to shine through in second song Воспоминания, with some chilling growls and shrieks. Musically though, there's plenty to like with well-placed piano and a slight symphonic edge bursting through during the song. With interesting samples featuring natural sounds between the songs, they feel very otherworldly. Болотный морок is there grandest song with prominent brass during the intro and during the song itself. This is exactly the type of music you'd expect to greet you as you approach a distant outpost in the coldest corner of Russia. Very majestic and regal! The closing track to their section of the split, Картины прошлого, features more stirring piano and probably the biggest hit of black metal yet, thanks to some loud and full guitar. There's still plenty of melody though, so the music doesn't sound muddied.

Astarium’s next with three songs. Beginning with what sound like a baying crowd, In Twilight Of The Gods builds in the same way that Gmork's songs did, with grand keys but Astarium’s sound is very different. It's a more raw sound, with less texture and gargled vocals. There's still a level of ambience here, but it's more electronic. It has it's own atmosphere though and with the crowd noises featuring during the song, you get the feeling that Astarium are going for a more militaristic sound. The band manages to remain chillingly bleak during Center of The Cross, though thanks to the traditional melodies that are played during the song, it keeps its medieval leanings very much in tact. I'm all for different instruments being used in black metal like this, as it gives it personality and character. Astarium's more expansive side rings through again with their final contribution, Embraces of Mermaid. It has more of a twister fairytale texture to it to begin with, thanks to the melody coming from the keys.This song is instrumental, so acts as more of an ambient track but highlight the creativity of sole-member SiN.

Closing this CD are four tracks from In Tenebriz. Before The Birth of The Gods starts of with an almost mechanized intro, before orchestral layers being to build. Being an instrumental song, In Tenebriz prefer the softly softly approach. It's at this point that this split beings to make sense. All three bands, while different in their appearances, feature similar approaches to black metal. They go for a production, which allows the instrumentalism of all three to stand out.  As the guitar and drums close the opening number by In Tenebriz, you're cradled by some thrash elements. The programmed drums during Голос вьюги give more of a futuristic texture to proceedings. Curiously, there are vocals in this song, which goes against the instrumental description I gave earlier. They're harsh cries too, which provide a level of foreboding to the song. Омут carries a lot of weight with it during it's relatively short playing time and the familiar instrumental mid-section provides a rousing bed for the guitars to lie on, for the final emotive verse. Closing song Русальи слёзы carries that rousing momentum on through nearly five minutes of clever and warm black metal. The fact that In Tenebriz is merely a one-man band is pretty startling when you consider the instrumentation and effects used in these four tracks.

This release has provided me with a very different slant of black metal and one certainly removed from what I've covered in this series so far. That's good though, as variation and originality keeps the genre alive and while some people may overlook bands from the Eastern block, there's absolutely no reason to look down on them. They add a sometime stripped-back, but mostly vibrant and emotive outlook and will certainly stir the heart of even the most jaded kvlt follower.

You can hear In Tenebriz's contributions to this split here:-

The CD was released on three occasions over the last year or so. You should be able to pick a copy up from any of these labels -

Dark East Productions -
Hell Division Productions -
Firstborn Chaos Productions -
RLD Records -

Gmork Facebook -
Astarium Website -
In Tenebriz Myspace-

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Lychgate - Lychgate

So the bank holiday has come and gone and it's back to the grind. Time seems to be going ever faster, but here's your brief chance to kick back and read about an album that may have stealthily passed your radar. This is the third review of my black metal review series, which will be going on at least in to next week. Now, you'll have noticed already that I'm not just focusing on one form of black metal. I wanted to cover different sounds and personalities, which is why today's review feature self proclaimed "art black metal" band Lychgate.

A band that features member/ex-members of UK doom band Esoteric and Agonia Records band Spearhead amongst others, Lychgate began as a solo-project in 2001 called Archaicus at the hands of Vortigern. Two demos were released in 2003 and 2004 before a period of silence, with Lychgate forming as a full band in 2012. Their self-titled debut came out earlier this year on LP through US label Gilead Media and on CD through UK label Mordgrimm.


1. The Inception
2. Resentment
3. Against The Paradoxical Guild
4. In Self Ruin
5. Sceptre of Control The World
6. Intermezzo
7. Triumphalism
8. Dust of a Gun Barrel
9. When Scorn Can Scourge No More

This review goes some way to highlighting the breathe of talent and variation within black metal as a whole. That genre term can seem somewhat redundant nowadays, as with many other genre tags, but it still characterises the atmosphere felt within the music. As intro The Inception gives way to Resentment, you're greeted with slow burning doom influences black metal, which is no surprise when you consider the bands personnel. The music manages to sound chilling and visceral, without bludgeoning you and there's even room for some screeching solo’s, which show the band's musical dexterity. Due to slower pace of the music on Resentment, its near six-minute length makes sense. It's off-kilter and progressive at times but it's Greg Chandler's howls and Vortigern's organ sections that remind you that this isn't just some beard-stokers wet dream!

Some of you, who may not have heard Lychgate will be surprised to know that they're from these shores. They seem to channel the gloomy melancholy of bands like The Prophecy and mix it with original elements of the dark arts to present more of an ethereal atmosphere. Against The Paradoxical Guild features an extended instrumental mid-section with hellishly fast drumming and ambient riffs, while the screaming snaps you out of your hypnotic gaze. Underneath those screams, the musicality is quite astounding and just shows you what established musicians can do. The oppressive nature of Lychgate get's ever higher during In Self Ruin. The organ/keyboard textures add a huge sense of foreboding to the record and while some may be worried that it's cheesy, I can tell you it's not! It adds melody that along with the guitars; keeps your interest and really gets under your skin. The way that Lychgate manages to change the feeling of the music mid-way through Sceptre To Control The World catches you unaware, as they switch into a drone like state, but ride it out as the ambiance hidden within feels all the more real.

With interlude Intermezzo breaking up the momentum briefly, you have time to take stock of what you've heard so far because not too far around the corner is Triumphalism. Taking the chants from Intermezzo and building on them, allowing them to sit alongside the drums in the mix really increases the sense of menace and occultism. They can be heard beneath the screams throughout and give the track a real synergy. Sometime, you'll feel like a rabbit caught in headlights, such is the punishing journey that Lychgate takes you on. There isn't much light in this dark! The final ten minutes of the record give way to Dust Of A Gun Barrel and When Scorn Can Scourge No More. Dust Of A Gun Barrel switches between an off-kilter, sometime atonal riffs to almost silent, haunting melodies from the guitars. There are dramatic surges in volume after those quieter parts, but it still remains frightening. I think this song epitomises that doom/black metal pairing that Lychgate brings to this record. It's meant to be mournful and despairing, with no thought for humankind, yet the personalities of those involved manage to show through more than you'd expect.

Closer, When Scorn Can Scourge No More presents itself in an almost upbeat manner. It's initial beat skips amongst the wall of guitar and lures you into a false sense of security. It's not long before things settle back down and Lychgate retreat to their progressive best, with some great melodic lead riffs being the highlight of the song and giving them a grand departure to end on. If I wanted to give you a reference point, Lychgate would be the band that you would turn to if you've had enough of the side-show that it modern day Dimmu Borgir, but Lychgate are so much more than that. They have for me, more integrity. They have enough skill in their own ranks to be able to produce intense occult black metal without pilfering from bands half as good as them. Stop cowering behind your Cradle of Filth and Children of Bodom and listen to something with genuine heart and soul. Once you're sucked in, you'll never go back!

 You can stream three tracks from this record via Mordgrimm's bandcamp page below:-

You can buy the album from the following places:-

CD - Mordgrimm -
LP - Gilead Media -

Lychgate Facebook -
Gilead Media Facebook -
Mordgrimm Facebook -

Monday 26 August 2013

The Infernal Sea - The Crypt Sessions EP

Moving on now to a band that traverse multiple sub-genres within their black metal. The Infernal Sea began their journey in 2009, before releasing their debut album Call of The Augur in 2012. Earlier this year, they released The Crypt Sessions EP, which features three tracks of death infused black metal, recorded live at The Crypt rehearsal space/studios. They've shared stages with everyone from Napalm Death to 1349 to Annotations of An Autopsy and the experience they gained playing at this years Bloodstock festival will no doubt help them as they begin to write and record their 2nd full length later this year.


1. Skinwalker
2. The Circles Closes
3. Into The Unknown

There's something above live recordings that bring out the essence of a band. Okay, proper live recordings can sound a bit weak, but if they're done in a studio like the songs recorded for The Crypt Sessions, they can sound furious. That's exactly what happens with The Infernal Sea. Their sound is pretty terrifying; especially in the vocal department and opener Skinwalker is the perfect way to kick things off. The guitars have that buzzsaw sound and the drums, while dominated by the crashing cymbals feature some killer kick drumming. The Circle Closes manages to sound rawer some how. Initially it doesn't sound as urgent as Skinwalker did, but there's a higher level of technicality and progression in the song, with different soundscapes and time signatures being used. The rasping vocals finish off the song beautifully and keep that ice-cold atmosphere well and truly in place. 

Into The Unknown is literally that. It's a fifteen-minute slab of nasty black metal with ambient instrumentation and subtle underlying melody. It's hellishly good from the moment it starts to the moment it ends. It shows that The Infernal Sea have the chops to be as grandiose as they want, without pandering to what others want. There's a hint of bands like Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord to their sound, certainly in the case of the progression they weave into the music. About seven minutes in the song descends into noisy chaos. It's the kind of noise that would drive you insane, if it was unleashed during a gig, as it swirls around your ears with howls, guitar feedback and wildly intense drums. Some melody can be heard within, though sparse. It's reigns throughout the rest of song, winding its way to quiet end.

It may only span three tracks, but those three tracks last over twenty-five minutes and show The Infernal Sea in a great light. They may frequent a different end to the black spectrum than Nordland did in my previous review, but like Nordland they have their own sound and their own maturity. They have a split seven inch on the way and they're in the process of writing a new record, so the second half of this year and 2014 could be very busy indeed.

Listen for yourselves here:-

You can buy The Crypt Sessions on CD featuring extra tracks and also pre-order the new seven-inch via The Infernal Sea's BigCartel page here:-

The Infernal Sea Facebook -

Nordland - The True Cult of The Earth

Over the next five or so days, I'm going to attempt to write about some of this years newest black metal releases, alongside some older releases and end with a label feature on US black metal label Baneful Genesis Records. Before that though, I bring you my first review featuring UK one-man black metal band Nordland, whose atmospheric, ambient black metal graced this blog last year, when I wrote about the self-titled album that was released by Glorious North Productions. This new album sees the continuation of that great partnership and The True Cult of The Earth features seven new tracks.


1. The Great Hall of the Sky
2. Dawn Calling of Thunor
3. Eithtelor
4. Heathen Lands
5. I Am the Winds of the Earth    
6. A Mound to Lay My Bones Upon    
7. Crows

For those of your who are familiar with Nordland, you'll know that Vorh's brand of black metal is both ice-cold and blisteringly beautiful. Vorh's skill as a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter cannot be questioned. Choosing to start with a gargantuan track in the form of The Great Hall of The Sky gives you an immediate benchmark to work from. The song is mid-paced with cymbals crashing in the background; the guitar and bass play in a winding, ambient pattern and never threaten to become inaudible, while those cold growls pierce you deep. It's during the mid-section that Nordland becomes mesmeric and haunting, as the riffs swirl around and the subtle intricacies within the music begin to show themselves.

The horn like sounds that greet you as Dawn Calling of Thunor begins is as riling as it is haunting. It's also where the album's pace begins to increase. There's more urgency in the guitars and drums yet there still manages to be plenty of unnerving melody amongst it all. That melody created by the guitar is what adds that extra element to Nordland's sound, as thanks to the good production, it doesn't get lost in the mix and
adds depth. Some people may sense elements of doom in the mid-section briefly, but this is quickly overtaken by a fairy-tale like instrumental passage with what sound like choral melodies humming away in the background. As with all heathen-like music though, more bleak black noise snaps that calming atmosphere away from you. That noise has some groove though!

That momentum and pace created in Dawn Calling of Thunor carries on into Eithtelor. The further you progress through The True Cult of The Earth, the more the guitar tone grows on your. It's adds a strange warmth to the record. That initial momentum that started the song off, heralds immense power, especially in the rhythm section. There are times when mid-paced dramatics comes to the fore and then at times, the incredible double bass hits you, rearing its head above the guitars. Winding it's way through seven and a half minutes; it highlights a progressive tendency in Vorh's song writing.

Black metal for me is all about painting images of dark thoughts and barren lands, it's not all about Satan or corpse paint. Bands or entities that cast a mysterious shadow are usually the ones that have more integrity and originality, which is definitely the case here. Nordland doesn't go shouting from the rooftops and there's a lack of histrionics, which is refreshing. Heathen Lands reinforces that notion well and helps propel The True Cult Of The Earth to greater heights, which should see the band sit atop of the UK's black metal scene by virtue of the commitment and hard work that's been put into producing this and previous records. In fact, as I write this, it seems that people are already taking note, in small part due to the recognition from Candlelight Records band Winterfylleth. It's great to see another quality UK black metal taking interest in their scene and helping to open peoples eyes to great bands.

Inspite of the coldness that exists on The True Cult of The Earth, there are moments that transcend that feeling. The instrumental mid-section during I Am The Winds of The Earth makes use of the ambiance within the album and uses it to build an atmosphere that conjures images of bleak landscapes and isolation. More and more bands have been writing about nature and human existence alongside it in recent years, taking black metal down a more cosmic and humane path. Nordland excel at creating a sound, which builds on that influence. Touching more of the morose, death influenced end of the spectrum, A Mound To Lay My Bones Upon adds another layer of tension and contributes to the story-like progression of the album.

There are only seven songs on this album, but with a quality of quantity approach, all of them sound brilliant. As closer Crows starts on its journey through ten minutes of bleak soundscapes, it harnesses the power and the thoughtfulness that's been present throughout. Not settling for any filler or songs that don't embody Nordland's mantra of transporting the listener back to times forgotten, before the blight of man scarred the earth, Vorh has succeeded in producing an album that will stand the test of time.You can have your theatrics and your empty music, but you won't ever feel what others feel when listening to a record with true passion and emotion. Nordland has progressed from the band's self-title debut and has done so in a subtle, yet glorious way.

You can here closer Crows via Youtube below:-

As mentioned at the head of this review, The True Cult of The Earth has been released via Yorkshire's Glorious North Productions. You can purchase the record here -

Nordland Website -
Nordland Facebook -
Glorious North Productions Facebook -

Saturday 24 August 2013

New Track Streaming! Overlords by Fear Theories

This Noise Is Ours has the pleasure of being able to stream the track Overlords, from the self-released EP So It Begins from Norwegian heavy metal band Fear Theories. You can listen to it for a limited time here:-

So It Begins is Fear Theories first release and this is the only place you can hear Overlords, apart from Amazon and Spotify!

Special thanks goes to Fear Theories for their permission and to The Metal Detector Music Promotions for their cooperation.

I'll also have a review of this EP coming soon.

Fear Theories Facebook -
The Metal Detector Music Promotions Facebook -

Sunday 18 August 2013

Esoteric Youth - The Burden of Living 7"

There's something really satisfying about being able to follow a band from their initial demo as they chart their own trajectory. Manchester's Esoteric Youth are one of those bands. With their first demo being self-released through their Night Terrors label, before being repressed by Church of Fuck in mid 2012. They then released a split tape with Scottish sludge/hardcore band Prelude To The Hunt early in 2013 which saw them up their game and now comes their first vinyl release, in the form of The Burden of Living, which is a co-operative release through Church of Fuck and Moshtache Records. With a tour alongside Heksed to come, the second half of the year will very much be business end for these guys.


1. Disease
2. Senicide
3. The Burden of Living
4. Weltschmerz

If you're familiar with EY's brand of crusty, heavy blackened hardcore, you'll know that they get straight to the point. That literally happens as soon as opener Disease kicks off. You're greeted by rabid screams and an unholy cacophony of guitar and drums, which plies together that crusty hardcore with slower, more introspective ambience. The metallic edge is more prevalent during Senicide and the riffs created are like subliminal siren songs, beckoning you to sin! There's an unnerving black metal edge to the song, which brings the atmosphere down to a further, sinister low. It's an epic song that shows that their song writing has turned up another notch or three.

The title track follows in the same vein, but this time it has more treble poking through the mire. Sometimes off-kilter but all the time sincere, you can’t help but get carried away by the abject despair that the song makes you feel. It's a measure of the greyness and gloom that the band feels on a daily basis when existing in the concrete metropolis of Manchester. As Weltschmerz rings out, these don't seem like songs separated by split second gaps but as a whole. They form a story and carry momentum like boulders in a flood. Satanic music will only get you so far but this brand of hardcore noise will stir up proper emotion and genuine terror in you. The purpose by which it's delivered and the abandon by which it careens through its length, leave you breathless and cold. Say hello to your future, for it is bleak!

 If you can't wait for the vinyl to be released, you can stream it here:-

You can also buy The Burden of Living digitally for £3 from the above page.

In terms of that vinyl, pre-orders are up at Church of Fuck here -
and will be up at Moshtache Records shortly -

Esoteric Youth Facebook -
Church of Fuck Facebook -
Moshtache Records Facebook -

American Heritage - Sedentary

A little while ago I wrote about Art of Burning Water. They were a band that I was really excited to review and they didn't let me down. It's very much the same with American Heritage. Having similarly read about them in a Rock Sound review of their split CD with the aforementioned Art of Burning Water and Foe, it brought back memories of when I started to dig deeper to unearth more obscure bands. Not much has changed for me since then. Moving onto today's review, I was sent an e-mail from French label Solar Flare Records back in October last year, telling me about their co-op vinyl release of Sedentary alongside Prototype Records. I'm a lot more organised than I was then with the blog, so it's with an amount of humiliation that I pick this up now.

There's a lot of people I'm sure who already know of American Heritage. From their self-titled EP in 1998, right through to their splits with bands like Thee Plague of Gentlemen, Mastodon and beyond, they've not been a band to mess about. The fact that their CD version of Sedentary was released by Translation Loss Records speak volumes. Sedentary is filled with eleven tracks of sludge-ridden, technical noise.


1. City Of God
2. Sickening Rebellion
3. Chaotic Obliteration
4. Vessels / Vassals
5. Fetal Attraction
6. Tomb Cruise
7. Slave By Force
8. Kiddie Pool of Baby Blood
9. Abduction Cruiser
10. Morbid Angle

It's with a sense of anticipation and excitement that I press play on Sedentary. Being a fan of both Mastodon and Art of Burning Water, both bands that American Heritage are associated with, I knew that this was gonna be heavy. The technicality was the first thing that hit me. Opener City of God set out that stall early, with off-kilter but melodic riffs that bounced effortlessly along. The drums in the background offered a constant wall of noise while the bass added that low-end sludgy buzz that's ever present now. The vocals surprised me though, as they were more sung that screamed. I was expecting blood curdling, low belched screams but the tones at which they were delivered was unexpected and welcome. Sickening Rebellion was where those crushing vocals and brutality of the band were unearthed. The screeching feedback, solo's and harsh vox provided a brief wall of claustrophobic noise, which justified the shorter song. American Heritage's main selling point for me was their guitar work. As in Chaotic Obliteration, they play some awesome extended instrumental sections where the technicality of the band shows through. The occasional treble and melody adding some respite and similarities to those bands mentioned above were more obvious.

American Heritage stands alone though in my opinion. They have their own sound and set their own atmosphere, being at the slightly more accessible end of the sludge spectrum with Sedentary. Their mixture of longer more traditional songs and hardcore influenced, noisier blasts shows comforting variation and the sense of musicianship that takes experience to gain. Bands nowadays can come across as too polished and technically endowed, but they lack emotion and feeling, which are two things that American Heritage have in abundance. Their more progressive song writing is evident during Vessels/Vassals, with more of that great guitar work. One other observation too is that they don't come across as too Americanised, which may seem like a strange statement, but American Heritage sound more European. This comes across most in the delivery of the vocals during the heaving mass that is Fetal Attraction, with all it's punk attitude.

That punk feeling remained during Tomb Cruise. During the mid-section of Sedentary, American Heritage definitely took a more urgent direction, which breaks the album up. I like sludge and slower songs, but sometimes a whole record can be too much so being able to break that up and add momentum is positive. Throughout Sedentary, I can hear a lot of the ideas and textures that have filtered through to many of today's darker, slower hardcore bands. Obviously the album was only released in 2011 but the sound possessed on it was built up over ten years or more. Slave By Force and Kiddie Pool of Baby Blood are where the hardcore sound really comes to life. The speed of the songs that both start with slow, crawling intro riffs change the direction of the album again. The passage at the start of Abduction Cruiser gets faster and faster but before it reaches a chaotic conclusion, American Heritage throttle back and kick into a mid-paced verse. Harking back to the albums earlier songs, Abduction Cruiser feels more engaging and approachable while still sounding utterly crazed.

Morbid Angle (awesome song title!) is pleasing to these ears. From the disorientating feedback at the start to the noisy intensity of the song, it's one of the heaviest songs yet manages to be musically and instrumentally untouchable. It's my standout track on Sedentary. They close the record with the epic and atmospheric WWDHD. The slow, thoughtful guitar and drums stand tall next to those cleaner vocals that opened proceedings. Its soaring technicality seems simpler on the ear and thanks to the longer running time, it's the perfect way to reflect on the album as a whole. From the thickness and heaviness to the punk attitude, it's full of twists and turns which make it brilliant. There's not really much more to say!

You can stream Sedentary on American Heritage's bandcamp page below:-

There's a variety of formats that you can purchase Sedentary in as well. Firstly, you can buy it digital for $1 from their bandcamp page.

You can buy it on CD from Translation Loss Records here -

If vinyl is your bag, you can get it from Solar Flare Records at and from Prototype Records at

American Heritage Facebook -
Solar Flare Records Facebook -
Prototype Records Facebook -
Translation Loss Facebook -

Saturday 17 August 2013

Trial - Malicious Arts 7"

One thing there's plenty of right now is 7" records. This review features one from Swedish occult heavy metallers Trial. Malicious Arts has recently been unleashed through Nuclear Winter Records. Trial first formed in 2007 but it wasn't until 2010 before they released their first demo, firstly via self-released CDr and then via limited tape through the Coffin Slave. Later in 2012, they released their debut album The Primordial Temple via the same label. They came to the attentions of Nuclear Winter Record shortly afterwards, who released their first seven inch recording earlier this year.


1. To Dust
2. Of Sinister Seed (The Madness Within)

During the traditional heavy metal revival of recent years (if it ever needed reviving), apart from the UK, Sweden has fared well in terms of quality genre protagonists. Trial, while not a new band, can be added to that long and illustrious list. This all too brief two-track seven-inch acts a follow up to their 2012 album The Primordial Temple, yet holds it's own with two new tracks. Opener To Dust begins with haunting choral singing before the striking musicianship and falsetto vocals of Trial take over. It's chock full of great vocal harmonies and tuneful leads. Thankfully there was no temptation from Trial to borrow from the oft cheesy world of Power Metal and while there are some similarities, this has more of an occult feel to it.

Second track Of Sinister Seed (The Madness Within) shows a slightly different side to Trial. While still keeping the essence of their sound from the first track, it's more progressive and more operatic. Don't worry though, it ain't fat lady operatic, I'm just referring to the pitch of the vocals. It's the vocals that take centre stage in the song, with the musicianship being slightly more reined in than on To Dust during the verses. They still throw in some great guitar harmonies and solos. At times, the vocals are slightly off pitch, but that's part of the charm and let's face it, music like this was never meant to sound mainstream.

With classic musical textures and good old heavy metal stomp, you can't really go wrong here if you're a fan of the genre. The subtle medieval elements within the sound help make Malicious Arts feel more genuine and with the melodies that Trial weave into their music, you have something that you can listen to once you finished being Colt or br00tal, which still make you grin and feel better than your neighbour who listens to RnB. Also, the fact that it's been pressed onto vinyl will mean you have something lovingly crafted to hold. That and this record is how real music should be!

Opening track To Dust is streaming on Nuclear Winter Records' soundcloud page on their website at, where you can also purchase a copy. It's limited to 500 copies on black vinyl.

You can also pick it up from Trial directly. Instructions are on their Facebook page -

Nuclear Winter Records Facebook -

BornBroken - The Healing Powers of Hate

Canadian has bought the metal music so many great bands. From the futuristic thrash of Voivod to the extreme metal on Cryptopsy, then more recently the math/prog metalcore of Protest the Hero and the massively hardworking bros in Cancer Bats. Those bands have all played their part in opening up the Canadian scene and allowing bands like BornBroken to gain wider audiences. BornBroken was founded in 2008 but have only just released their debut record, The Healing Powers Of Hate. What makes this release special is that it was self-released by the band and shows a true DIY ethic, which is more alive than ever across the whole scene.


1. Can’t Quiet The Riot
2. Old News
3. Anger of The Day
4. I Will Rise
5. Control
6. It Has Begun
7. Birth of The Broken
8. Bleed The Sky
9. Reborn From The Ashes
10. The Healing Powers of Hate

BornBroken launches forth with a thrash-laden sound to match their metal chops. The great thing about them as opening track Can't Quiet The Riot plays, is that as well as those thrash and metal influences, they also throw in Death metal vocals and subtle math time signatures. The riffs are fairly atonal in that they don't vary from their downtuned state, but in the same way that Fear Factory makes them work, BornBroken do too. The introspective musical/sampled passage at the end of the track that bridges the gap to Old News, helps the album flow.

Old News sees Born Broken injecting more melody into their music, if only in the intro riffs. For me, this harks back to early days of bands like Mudvayne and American Head Charge, both of which I used to love and brings the sound up to date.The production is good and the odd hardcore rhythm and breakdown gives the record a meatier edge. They hit a new, dissonant stage with Anger of The Day. The rhythm sections switches between well played double bass chaos and more measured grooves. The guitars are as brutal as ever, hitting that straight up metal spot with the inclusion of a great dual-solo.

In spite of all the genres and bands I've mentioned above as reference points, BornBroken have a real head for metal. As with many of their Canadian compatriots, they have that thick sound which seems to be a trademark of the country. They throw in elements of other sub-genres but overall, it's the modern metal that gives them their identity. I Will Rise is one of the best examples of their modern approach, as while being crushing it still retains a charm thanks to some cleverly inter-weaved passages of power-metal inspired pomp. With songs like Control, BornBroken show their more urgent side. It's one of fastest number on The Healing Powers of Hate and it really gets the heart pumping the head banging. Cheesy I know, but it's true! The twin guitar harmonies go further to show of the band's instrumental prowess too. A very welcome nudge towards rock n roll.

The sampled intro at the start of It Has Begun paints a bleak picture of the lyrical influences on show. As with the majority of metal bands, BornBroken don't sing about fluffy bunnies and flowers, but instead of singing about the devil and fictional stories, they sing about real-world issues and war. Again nothing new, but it fits their sound really well. They switch things up a gear with Birth of The Broken, which sees the weave more melodic thrash into their music. The sweeping guitar really adds to the song and seems to change the atmosphere of the album. At times, the guitar does remind me of another Canadian metal band, 3 Inches of Blood. I think fans of that band will lap up BornBroken.

The thrash keeps going through the intense Bleed The Sky and unlike the previous Nuclear Blast Records band with the same name, there are no histrionics here, only another killer solo that becomes a dual solo and helps BornBroken's sound become richer. The pace remains frenetic right through penultimate track Reborn From The Ashes and then closing with title track, BornBroken have probably written the song that will attract them the most new metal fans. It gathers all the elements of their sound and gives them one last springboard in which to breach the underground and to get into people's faces. 

BornBroken show themselves to be awesome musicians and songwriters and with the momentum gained from their debut album, they will no doubt be a more talked about band from now on. If you're a fan of pure metal with a modern sheen, look no further than these guys.

You can stream the entire album, buy the CD and check out more via BornBroken's website -

BornBroken Facebook -

Friday 16 August 2013

Torpor - Bled Dry Tape

Jeez, who ordered the second summer! It's warmer now than it has been for a few weeks, yet I'm sat here basking in the obscene heat being kicked out by my laptop. Still, it's worth it in the end. The dust has settled since my Headless Guru Records feature, but there's still one band to write about, London/Brighton based sludge/noise band Torpor. Shortly after that label feature, I ordered all of Headless Guru's records, as it was the first time I'd have wages for a while. Amongst the package, was one of the last copies of Torpor's Bled Dry tape. It came packaged in a custom case and the music resides on a brightly coloured cassette. It's nice to see HGR bucking the trend and not pressing music on black cassettes.

Anyway enough small talk, let's talk about Torpor. They're another relatively new band. They surfaced last year and this tape was released earlier this year, so it's still pretty fresh. Torpor have also been busy sharing stages with some kick-ass UK bands, including Eagleburner and the mighty Slabdragger, to name a few. Torpor are more than helping to elevate the UK's growing sludge scene into a force to the reckoned with.


1. Bled Dry
2. Ashes
3. Blackened Lungs
4. Anchors

Much like the majority of HGR's current roster, Torpor play at the sludgier, grimier end of the spectrum, with a subtle hardcore edge. The main difference here is that Torpor's vocalist is female. Of course, female vocalists aren't anything new in metal and Nats will have many a burly male vocalist running scared. The cathartic, abrasive screams that sit alongside clean screamed passages give their sound a different and welcome slant. The guitars, bass and drums add tonnes of heft and volume to the music and make it as claustrophobic and intense as you'd like. In Ashes, it's the low end that digs itself out from beneath the undergrowth. The deep minimal guitar, the buzzing bass and thoughtful drumming are not overdone and the metallic leads, while used sparingly, give the song flecks of colour. The sludge banner is well catered for. as is the noisier elements of hardcore that have been so effective of late, yet it doesn't feel like Torpor are merely copying what's come before them. It's a unique take of the sub-genre that avoids any gaping Americanism’s and stomps all over you!

The production on the tape is really effective and gives Bled Dry a real genuine sound. You can hear every pluck of bass, echo from the drums occasionally and the feedback that fills the speakers thickens the mire. Blackened Lungs sees Torpor taking their foot slightly off the gas, but in its place, the mid-paced anguish released feels even more soul wrenching than before. The metallic elements in the song add a sinister tone, which just pulls things deeper into suffocating territory. The second half of the song slows down to almost a crawl and brings out the doomier side of the band. At high volume, it's like you’re actually in the same room with them! Torpor pick things up again with Anchors, which despite its initial urgency is the lengthiest track on Bled Dry. Built around a series of riffs that seem to wrap themselves in ever increasing noise, it's as miserable as you'd expect while still being engaging. I still can't get over those vocals though! I don't think I've heard any this terrifying since I put Rape Revenge on at high volume and scared my own family.

You could pretty much get away with just ploughing a furrow filled by UK bands and you'd find enough variation and skill to get excited about. Torpor, while only unleashing four initial tracks, have set their own personal bar very damn high. As they start to progress and grow, I'm sure they'll only get more visceral.

At the time of writing this review, Headless Guru Records has one copy of Bled Dry left. It may now have sold out, but you can chance you're luck here - It's also up as a pay-what-you want download.

If it has indeed sold out, fear not. You can buy a CD version direct from the band here

Torpor Facebook -
Headless Guru Records Facebook -

Thursday 15 August 2013

Kraanium - Post Mortal Coital Fixation

One sub-genre that has been missing from my blog of late is good old, proper slamming death metal. That changes to day though, with another dive into the vault known as my inbox. Today's gory subject is Norwegian death metal band Kraanium. Featuring band members who are or have been in a huge list of extreme metal bands from their homeland, this twelve-track ode to medical journals was released in May 2012 via Comatose Music. Kraanium have a new record coming out late this year, so it seems like a good time to get up close and personal with Post Mortal Coital Fixation. Hey, they even throw an Abominable Putridity cover in for good measure!


1. Post Mortal Fixation
2. Stillborn Necrotic Fuck Feast
3. Bursting Rectal Sores
4. Compulsive Mutilation Disorder
5. Slurping the Vaginal Pus
6. Crack Whore Pounding
7. Coprophagial Asphyxiation
8. Slammed Kranial Remains
9. Sculptures of Perverse Suffering
10. Baptized in Boiling Sewage
11. Orgy of Cannibalistic Fornication
12. Entrails Full of Vermin (Abominable Putridity cover)

This brand of death metal seems pretty under-appreciated to me. There are lots of bands doing it but they seem to nestle just behind the more melodic death metal bands for some reason. After the intro chug of Post Mortal Fixation, things take a gory turn with Stillborn Neurotic Fuck Feast. You know the score, kick drums, a tom that permeates the recording and those characteristic pig squeals. This isn't your cookie-cutter deathcore though; this is fairly technical and brutal, even if the guitars and vocals are swallowed up beneath that tom to an extent!

Bursting Rectal Sores sounds as nasty as the ailment it describes. It's here that you start to sense more interplay between the guitars and the double bass. There's also more pinch harmonics going on within the riffs. I definitely think that Kraanium are best heard up close and personal in a live setting. I felt the urge to listen to more slam death after going to this year's 'Kin Hell Fest and then watching a band from Leeds, called Tintagel a few weeks later. Kraanium definitely fill that craving and as Compulsive Mutilation Disorder fills the airwaves, it's hard to ignore why people loose their shit to this.

Kraanium as a band have been releasing their brand of gore-death since 2002, so with this record coming tens years after their first demo, they've has plenty of time to hone their sound and ensure that it all sound utterly filthy. I mean, you can't really go wrong with a song called Slurping The Vaginal Pus now can you! Another thing I like about death metal is that the majority of the bands filling the genre choose not to mess about. They're too the point and just blast. Live, they do the same and don't bore crowds with small talk. I can imagine Kraanium live shows are intense and full of chaotic. In terms of progression and variation, you won’t really find it nestling here though, so if you like your prog-death head elsewhere. The slower closing section of Crack Whore Pounding does highlight Kraanium's ability to groove though, which comes across really well.

Also, unlike bands like Nile and other American stalwarts, Kraanium don't solo and prefer to take the Cannibal Corpse approach. Those short song lengths stop the album from becoming an endurance test and keep you interested. The speed seems to ratchet up during Coprophagial Asphyxiation in places, as does the awesome technical lead guitar. The samples in between are horror film or post mortem soundbites, as you'd quite rightly suspect.  That grimness and intensity plunges through during the second half of the record, making the like of Slammed Kranial Remains and Sculptures of Perverse Suffering all the more torturous. When the latter settles down into another groove and the guitars thicken up, once their allowed room, it just sounds immense, which makes you wonder why the volume of the recording wasn't turned up a few notches at the productions stage. I'm no expert on production though; I just say what I hear. It still sounds no less punishing at high volume.

All in all, Post Mortal Coital Fixation seems to fly by. Baptized in Boiling Sewage is the briefest song on the record, apart from the intro and Orgy of Cannibalistic Fornication is ferocious, but those growls really make it all worth it. That Abominable Putridity cover that closes the record is masterful. Kraanium keep the essence of the song intact. The guitars seem thicker though and with the introspective sections that break up the verses, they sound even more brutal. It's an epic way to end the album. Some people may baulk at the fact that Kraanium stick to their chosen blueprint, but if you're a devout death-metal listener, you'll no doubt already be into this. In my view, there can't be enough slamming death bands in the metal ranks and it's definitely a sub-genre that deserves more representation. Kraanium are killer and I can't wait to hear their new record later this year!

Post Mortal Coital Fixation is streaming in it's entirety, with a beefed up sound on Youtube. Check it out below:-

You can buy the record on CD from Comatose Music at

Kraanium Facebook -
Comatose Music Facebook -

Monday 12 August 2013

Boss Keloid - The Calming Influence of Teeth

My laptop is now at full strength again. I spilled beer on the keyboard last week and I thought it had fried. Actually, it now seems to be working better than ever. It's a hell of a relief as I've got a busy schedule to through over the next couple of weeks and it all starts here with Wigan's own riff worshippers Boss Keloid. With the exception of Manchester, I've not come across too many bands from Lancashire, so at least these guys are redressing the balance.

The Calming Influence of Teeth was released in May of this year, so it's pretty fresh. It's also the second release to come from Boss Keloid, after their debut seven-track record Angular Beef Lesson in 2010. The trippy cover up there should give you a clue as to the contents of this album and despite obvious comparisons to Iron Monkey (in their moniker at least), their brand of groove and sludge shows that they're not just simple copyists.


1. Winehorse
2. Locking Stumps
3. Skipper's Pipes
4. Manson Lamps
5. Muscular Grin
6. Bellow of Blackened Beasts
7. Hoof Conductor
8. One For The Floorboards
9. Firm Set of Hordes
10. Madam Palindrome

One thing I think that UK have always been able to do is groove and write wicked riff, thanks in part to the like of Black Sabbath and Cathedral who influenced and spawned a whole host of killer groove/stoner/sludge bands across this isle. Now Boss Keloid are well and truly added to those ranks. The vocals invoke that southern drawl that has become familiar amongst the sub-genre but the math-rock touches add a huge heap of progression, which you might not have expected to hear. All of this is found in opening track Winehorse, which will no doubt leave headbanging and bewildered at the same time! It's definitely a high-energy start to the record and that momentum remains in tact as Locking Stumps gathers steam. Boss Keloid's sound has an air of nostalgia too it and reminds me of the first time I sat and listened to bands like Warhorse and Charger. There's even a sense of the mischievous Dukes of Nothing hiding in their instrumentation too. This is pure heavy metal that belongs on the stages of Bloodstock! That said, it could equally sit well on the Arc Tan Gent Fest line-up too, thanks to that infectious progression that seeps through the album.

Some of the vocals during Skipper's Pipes make you believe that you're somehow tripping on hallucinogens and your functioning in some distorted parallel universe! That only lasts for a brief stretch though, as your bought crashing back to reality by some full-on driving guitar. By now, Boss Keloid are ploughing their way through the album and have hit their stride. It's really refreshing to hear a band that appreciates multiple sub-genres and manager to weave them into their music like this. Too many sludge/groove bands fall into the trap of solely playing the one sub-genre and don't steer themselves away from that blueprint, which quickly gets tiresome if done wrong. A the bizarrely title Manson Lamps fills the speakers, to bands at polar opposites spring to mind, Grand Magus and American Head Charge. I'm gonna stop with the comparisons after this. Listen to the song for yourselves and see if you agree with me. If you're on the same wavelength, you'll know where I'm coming from!

The mid point in the album is Muscular Grin. It's one of their more straight up metal numbers and even though there are still plenty of shifting time signatures, it seems to remain as rewarding a listen as the rest of the album. It's just a driving, sprawling pile driver. I was expecting some evil, Satan worshipping black metal from a song title Bellow of Blackened Beasts, but that just proves you shouldn't make snap judgements. The song is evil and has some cracking undertones to it. The clean harmonies in it are more spiritual than evil and the off-kilter melodies and riffs make it a real beast of a song. Hoof Conductor is built around the same riffs that permeate through the whole song and keep things uniform. When they take a lower form, things get more menacing and its mid way through the song that you begin to fully appreciate Boss Keloid's more involving song lengths. I think had the songs been shorter, they would have sound cluttered as each member has ideas and parts that justify them spreading out a bit. It makes The Calming Influence of Teeth a really engaging listen and one, which won't seem you skipping tracks. Like a lot of more progressive records, it's one, which you have to listen to in its entirety.

The bellowing, almost echoing nature of the vox during One For The Floorboards is another hint toward the more stoner/sludge influences in Boss Keloid's sound and thanks to the production on the record, add to the considerable volume and sheer heft on show. It certainly isn't weak in that department. You hear people all the time saying that metal should be turned up loud, but actually volume does make a massive difference when you're listening. When you've got a record mastered like this, you certainly can't spare a thought for your neighbours, as you'll miss on many aspects, like the jazz-infused bass, which you wouldn't otherwise pick out. It was a great idea getting the same person to produce, mix and master the record, as it's given it a huge sense of continuation. Weaker listeners will be struggling to hold on as it comes to the final two tracks, Firm Set of Hordes and Madam Palindrome, but those of you who have more staying power will be feeling as victorious and the band will no doubt have felt, when they finished the recording. The whole album from start to finish pumps you up and prepares you to fight the mightiest of battles. It is grin inducing, beer swilling heavy fun, which would rile anybody with an ounce of emotion and life inside them. Stuff all of your mainstream copycats and sound-a-likes, us Brits now have another band that can take on and vanquish the false!

Stream the whole record here:-

You can download it for £4 or buy the stunning CD for £5 from the above bandcamp page. Either way, you''re getting a total bargain.

Boss Keloid Big Cartel -
Boss Keloid Facebook -

Thursday 8 August 2013

Daytrader - Twelve Years

I'm starting to delve into some releases that I've criminally missed over the passed twelve months or so. I'm starting with US emo/punk band Daytrader. Twelve Years came out in May 2012, so quite a while ago now. Daytrader signed with Rise Records back in October 2011and then called it a day in 2012, so this review is kind of a posthumous review of their debut. I feel it's worth doing as I thought Daytrader were one of the best bands on Rise's roster and I'm sure others felt the same.


1. Dead friends
2. If You Need It
3. Firebreather
4. Skin & Bones
5. Lost Between The Coasts
6. After-Image
7. Struggle With Me
8. Silver Graves
9. Heard It In A Song
10. Letter To A Former Lover

I'll admit that I was never really into Weezer and they're the first band the springs to mind when Dead Friends starts. That comparison only really works though during the first verse, as that similarity vanishes as Daytrader hit their stride during the chorus. Driving guitars, loud singing and drumming to match. Their sound is more rock than emo at the moment, but it's still tonnes better that what gets passed off as chart music here in the UK.

If You Need It was the song I was waiting to hear. Soaring clean vocals to start with and then more melodic emo/punk flair. It's really upbeat and it's the kind of song you could sing-along too even if you didn't know words. It's got that familiarity to it, like the kind of song you always listen to when you need a pick me up. I'm loving the laid back feel of Twelve Years. It's full of great songwriting that's simple but effective. I especially like the fact that Daytrader didn't choose to fill their album with all those electronic effects that are currently the fashion in mainstream American punk/screamo. It's really refreshing to hear. That uncomplicated approach is definitely true of Firebreather. It's one of those songs that will get stuck in your head for days.

The atmosphere seems to change with the entrance of Skin & Bones. It seems darker and the story told within the lyrics show a different side to Daytrader. There's a layers of soul within the vocals on Twelve Years. Lost Between The Coasts just soothes you with that very texture and the musicianship behind it all, manages to remain sensitive to it and compliment’s the vocals really well. The production helps too, as you'd expect. Daytrader were never going to release a poorly produced record were they! Their emo influences shine through during tracks like After-Image, especially in their music. I have to admit, I'd like to hear some screaming over the top, but that's just me being selfish and having spent too much time listening to proper emo/screamo over the last twelve months.

Daytrader spread their wings further as they get deeper into the second half of Twelve Years. Struggle With Me shows their more urgent side while Silver Graves is more experimental and off-kilter than you might expect. It's still a damn good tune and looses none of its catchiness as a result. Heard It In A Song is full of folk inspiration and sound like Defeater at their acoustic best. That's a lazy comparison but the song is really that good. It's shows a sentimental side to the band and one which allows their song-writing to really shine through. They may not be in full, amplified flow but who needs that when you have melodies like this?

It then flawlessly flows into closing number Letter To A Former Lover that strangely, is my standout track on Twelve Years, It's a frantic, loud rock song that embodies Daytrader's energy and emotion. It closes an album which will no doubt still be held in very high regard by those who've wrapped their ears around it. It's a huge pity that Daytrader called it a day because they would surely have gone on to greater things. Still at least they gave this album!

You can still stream Twelve Years in it's entirety via the Rise Record Youtube channel here

You can buy Twelve Years from Rise Records in either CD, Digital or awesome vinyl format from here

Daytrader Facebook -

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Temple of Void - Demo MMXIII

I've only been away from my laptop for two days and I feel out of touch. It's not that much has happened, it's just that feeling that you're neglecting something. Still, I don't think I can be guilty of that so far this year, because even if I haven't been writing about it, I've been listening to it!

Anyway, onto this review. Detroit, Michigan's latest noise makers Temple of Doom have recently unleashed their debut demo tape. Having released their 3-track demo tape through Till You Fukkin Bleed Records and also pressing a subsequent CD run, they're now picking up press coverage and live shows as they build on their momentum. Vocalist Mike Erdody is even a live member of the mighty Acid Witch! Name dropping aside, things look really bright for Temple of Void and I'm looking forward to getting stuck into this tape.


1. Beyond The Ultimate
2. Exanimate Gaze
3. Bargain In Death

Temple of Void certainly lay the guitars on thick. Their sound is a very modern take on the doom/death blueprint that initially comes across as more death than doom. Beyond The Ultimate features plenty of progressive elements and the screams from Mike Erdody have a hint of Swe-death to them. That said, they are mighty and thanks to the good production, they've got that all-encompassing element to them, just like the band as a whole. In terms of melody, it's all in the low-end. What melody there is, is buried behind the vocals, leaving a menacing layer to wash over you when they do get the chance to shine. The solos are opulent and come across very well, especially with that nice live echo within the mix.

As the intro gives way to those crushing screams, Dark Tranquillity comes to mind. I'm not sure why, but it's probably due to the intensity and tone of the vocals. The music is more stop-start in places with time-changes and further progression. The death metal element is played to more as well, due to the shorter track giving Temple of Void a bigger sense of urgency. There's still plenty of room though for the band to demonstrate the highly proficient musicianship within their songs. Bargain In Death takes things to a whole new evil level it seems. It's got more doom and is dripping with more of that dank death metal atmosphere that only doom/death bands seem to be able to create. It's like they wanted to write a funeral doom song and then spent all night listening too Dismember! Towards the end of the track they go into a fuzzed out hoedown of sorts too, with screaming guitar and semi-improvisational rhythms. It’s a great way to end the tape, as it takes you aback and makes you realise that they’re influenced by more than just death metal, so hints a big things to come.

Both veteran and new metal fans should know about Temple of Void. They aren't too fussed about being super clean in terms of their sound yet they inject it with modern textures that are subtle and not in your face. For a band so new, they've made a good case for metal in 2013 and beyond. Let's hope we hear a lot more from them!

Now, I've been given permission to stream this demo's second track "Exanimate Gaze" on my bandcamp page, thanks to the cooperation of The Metal Detector Music Promotions and with kind permission from  the band. Listen to it here:-

You can also stream the tape from Temple of Void's own bandcamp page here -

From there you can also purchase the demo on tape of CD, as well as digitally.

They are running low on tapes though, so if they've run out you can buy them from Till You Fukkin Bleed Records here -

Temple of Void Facebook -