Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Corrupt Moral Altar - Whiskey Sierra 7" ('Kin Hell Fest 2 Countdown)


This is my final "Countdown to 'Kin Hell Fest" review and what a band to end on! You'll have a read and heard a lot of stuff about these Liverpudlian grinders recently, especially on this here blog. Well, you're about to hear more because they're about to unleash a new 7" via Dead Chemists Records. They've been really productive over the last 6 months or so. Seeing them play for the first time in Leeds a few weeks back, was ace, so you're in for a treat if you're heading to the festival. Whiskey Sierra features two newly recorded songs and two remastered tracks that featured on both their Luciferian Deathcult CD and earlier Needle Drugs demo.

Tracklist:-

1. Whiskey Sierra
2. Lord
3. Politics is A Bargain Between Beggars
4. You Don't Have To Go To Clown College

Whiskey Sierra opens up with a real rock n roll vibe, but quickly descends into the grinding racket that we're used to from CxMxA. They've injected other musical influences into the title track but it sound no less bruising. The sludgier section towards the end adds to the oppressive feel of the song before the band launch into Lord.

I still don't know how the hell they manage to create such a sound! The drums absolutely pound and the rumble of the bass and guitar during slower sections, manage to break up the chaos that ensues when they hit full throttle. There are some symphonic textures to the song too, like they've suddenly been listening to loads of black metal, though it might only be me who thinks that!

Next to the two remastered tracks, which appeared previously on their Needle Drugs demo and on their Luciferian Deathcult CD. Politics Is A Bargain Between Beggars is a heavy as ever, even in it's remastered form. It's still one of their most crushing songs it my opinion. The remastering job does well to bring out their grooves too. It also helps the riffs during You Don't Have To Go To Clown College sound more metallic, while still maintaining the guitar effects that made it stick out previously. 

I've already said to much here. CxMxA have done it again and continue to be one of the heaviest bands on our shores.

Thanks to Dead Chemists Records, you can stream the title track from the 7" on Bandcamp:-


Keep an eye out for preorders here http://deadchemists.bigcartel.com/.

Corrupt Moral Altar appear on the 28th of April.

Corrupt Moral Altar - https://www.facebook.com/CorruptMoralAltar
Dead Chemists Records - https://www.facebook.com/deadchemistsrecords

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Bong - S/T ('Kin Hell Fest 2 countdown)




This is the second of my 'Kin Hell Fest 2 countdown reviews and features Newcastle's doom/stoner heavyweights Bong. This is actually a reissue of their 2009 self titled record, which features an extra track. It was released by Ritual Productions not long after the release of Mana - Yood - Sushai. Bong are bound to provide one of the most tripped out sets of the weekend but if you're unfamiliar with the band, this should help you out.

Tracklist:-

1. Wizards of Krull
2. The Starlit Grotto
3. Asleep

Anybody who's witnessed or heard Bong before will know that they don't do things quickly. Their songs are mighty leviathans of doom and they don't care for hipsters or posers.

Wizards of Krull presents the same droned out fuzz that was present on Mana - Yood - Sushai. The same goes for the chanting vocals. When I hear Bong I always think that they're trying to conjure some hideous headless beast, such is the other-worldliness of their music. It's mainly instrumental and sometime atonal. You don't get major crescendos or breakdowns, just simple, subtly paced dirges that would send you into a trance. You're briefly snapped out of your trance though by some killer leads that sound like they're being played on traditional South American instruments, let alone guitars.

Alongside Wizards of Krull, The Starlit Grotto was the other original track, when their self-titled album was released. As it builds up very slowly, you get the hint of Eastern influences in the guitar. This song is much more experimental and with a playing time of over twenty five minutes, is also a lot slower in it's delivery. The spoken word passages are equally as harrowing as the chanting vocals that appeared in the opening track, only sparser in their use. The noise level begins to pick up after that elusive spoken word passage. The droning becomes more apparent and the drums start to hammer out a slow beat. Their use of bass becomes more apparent as well, adding a heft to the song, which you may have previously missed due to being under Bong's spell. I really like the guitar playing. It's acoustic and it just really mystical.

The bonus track on this reissue is Asleep. Bong are able to make all three songs on this record sound subtly different while not changing their blueprint too much. Asleep features a low-end guitar driven underbelly, while maintaining that Eastern influence they've made their own. Granted, it requires you as a listener to invest a lot of time in it, as it's not a quick fix but the music contained here is wholly original and befitting of our island nation. Those chants transport you back to medieval times and druidical sermons in a subconscious way, however you're also touched by psychedelia, which occasionally springs out of nowhere.

This is a twisting, turning album that will tear you apart and allow you seek solace both at the same time.

As with a lot of Bong's releases, this is not streaming on the Internet but they do have a bandcamp page, with other recordings on here http://bong.bandcamp.com/.

You can pick this reissued CD from Ritual Productions at http://www.ritualproductions.net/ 

Bong play 'Kin Hell Fest on the 28th of April.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Acolyte - Alta (Kin Hell Fest 2 countdown)


Leeds extreme metal festival 'Kin Hell Fest begins this Friday. Now in it's 2nd instalment,. this killer three-day festival will feature some of the UK's best up-and-coming extreme metal bands and guests from abroad. It will culminate in headline sets from Manchester black metallers Winterfylleth, Dutch grind masters Rompeprop and Glasgow deathsters Man Must Die. In anticipation for the weekend, which I'll be attending, I thought I'd wet your appetites with three reviews from bands that will be performing across the festival.

I'm starting with Manchester extreme metallers Acolyte and their debut album Alta, which is due to be released through Mordgrimm Records on May 6th. They formed in 2008 and their only other recorded output up to now is a live demo from 2010. It was enough though to attract them attention and now they are planning to assault the UK a stage at a time.

Tracklist:-

1. Alta (Intro)
2. Charybdis
3. Leng
4. The Nameless Expanse
5. Sunrise
6. Formidine
7. Vultures
8. The Ashenground
9. Epistle

As you may have noticed, Manchester is currently breeding new bands like rats at the moment. So many people are making noise that channels the fury and gloom that currently punctuates our land and Acolyte are another band to add to that list. Mid-paced death metal is the order of the day here, but with a majestic element too it. Slightly ambient in terms of guitar textures, this is more thinking-mans death. Add to that the rasping growls of vocalist JT, the intricate bass lines and thoughtful drumming and you've got yourself a sound that is genuinely enthralling.  After the intro Alta, Charybdis sets out Acolyte's stall early and with the modern flourishes they weave into their sound, they prove they are adaptable. I'm a big fan of extreme music that doesn't sound extreme or has decent melody and ambience to it, which Acolyte manage to achieve with Alta. Leng features some great examples of those types of textures. It also features some great angular riffs, which should off more than just death metal influences, within Acolytes song-writing.

The production of Alta stands out for me too. The more introspective, clean guitar parts in the middle of Leng sound spot-on. They're kind of jazzy and sound completely in keeping with the rest of the album, as does the understated solo that follows. Acolyte don't over play or complicate things, which is to their advantage. The songs are more expansive too, almost progressive but without being overly artsy. The majority weigh in at 5-6 minutes, with the exceptions being Leng and Epistle, which are longer. To be fair, Acolyte's song writing stops the song lengths from being out of place, especially when you consider the genre that they are playing within. The opening riffs of Formidine seems to take them further away from their black/death metal sound, only for those low growls to remind you what you're actually listening too. It certainly helps to stop Acolyte from being pigeonholed into one specific genre. I personally love the more jazzy flourishes, as it's something you don't hear all too often. Songs like Vultures and The Ashenground sound more menacing thanks to some great metallic riffing. As Alta comes to it's conclusion with Epistle, it's been a hell of a journey and a pleasant one at that.

It's not often you hear am extreme metal bands that is actually really listenable, in the music sense. Both band and production work really well and you don't find yourself reaching for the skip button. Can't wait to see these guys on Friday!

You can pre-order Alta from Mordgrimm here http://mordgrimm.bigcartel.com/product/acolyte-alta-cd.
There's also a track streaming on the page too.

Acolyte play Kin Hell Fest on Friday the 26th of April.

Kin Hell Fest - https://www.facebook.com/kinHellFest

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Howl - Bloodlines




First things first, this review was one I wrote for another publication but didn't get used due to the record being assigned to two people by mistake. The site used there review as they submitted it first, but said I could post here. To be honest, I was thrilled with that decision as I was really excited when I got this album to review. I've always been an admirer of anything that Relapse Records has released. Also, this new release from Howl attracted me thanks to immense artwork. I love releases with killer artwork and this fit the bill.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Howl, they hail from Providence, RI and they play METAL. No silly genre classifications on display here! They've previously released a self-titled EP and an album, titled Full of Hell. Both of these were released by Relapse in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Bloodlines in there second album and is due for official release at the end of April. Check out the actual release dates below:-

Germany/Benelux - 26th of April
UK/Rest of the World - 29th of April 
USA - 30th of April.

Tracklist:-

1. Attrition
2. Midnight Eyes
3. Demonic
4. One Last Nail
5. Down So Low
6. Your Hell Begins
7. With A Blade
8. Of War
9. The Mouth of Madness
10. Embrace Your Nerve 

Howl has swagger and a lot of it! Everything from the driving riffs to the screaming solos to the furious growls hit the spot. Such as other artists on Relapse, they have a unique sound and one, which tells you exactly why they're part of that roster. Their sound is a blend of straightforward, bluesy style metal and subtle stoner grooves. The vocals are akin to that of bands like A Life Once Lost and label mates, Mastodon. Howl are heavier though and don't give off the impression that they're playing a certain way because it's cool. Attrition is a great opener, with all the unholy venom and groove you need. They don't use any funny electronic effects or such like; they just let their instruments do the talking for them. Having three guitarists ensures the volume is sufficiently high from the off and when you add the powerful drums and bass into the equation, you have a hellish mix.

Demonic hits the spot because like the majority of Bloodlines, it's a succinct length that keeps you interested and doesn't outstay it's welcome. In terms of their influences and textures, they throw in some time changes and sludge inspired sections, to balance out the metal drive of the record. Down So Low begins with some haunting, almost chanted clean vocals and killer dissonant riffs. The solo mid-way through is equally epic. The lone guitar during Your Hell Begins has that tone that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. The clean vocals in the final part of the song show that they are able to integrate more modern metal elements into their sound. Of War is the shortest track on Bloodlines, but it's a standout for me due to the amount going on within it. It twists and turns and shows off the bands experimental side further, while relaxing the brutality level slightly. It shows an evolution within the album itself and means that there really in no filler at all in sight!

The main draw for me here is the guitar work overall, but Bloodlines works so well as a cohesive unit that it's hard to knock any part of the album. It may only be Howl's second album, but it marks them out as already being confident and accomplished songwriters. This will gain them new fans and the vinyl version that's out via Relapse looks totally incredible!

As it's not been officially released yet, it's not up for streaming in it's entirety. Relapse have posted the album opener Attrition up for you to listen to and to be honest, that should be all you need:-




You can preorder Bloodlines on CD and Vinyl from the Relapse record store via the link on the above bandcamp page. 

Relapse Store -  http://www.relapse.com

Friday, 19 April 2013

Thenn - Threshing The Golden Fields EP


When a band approaches you with influences like Darkthrone, Torch Runner and Young and In The Way, you know you're in for a treat. That's exactly what Indiana based black metal/crust band Thenn did. They released a five track EP in August last year, but because I'm a slow ass, I'm only getting around to writing about it now (sorry guys!).
 
Tracklist:-

1. Abscesses of Light
2. Bathing in Cold Autumn
3. Vigils
4. They Are Given to the Inviting Earth
5. Threshing the Golden Fields

Well this is killer! I've been listening to a fair bit of metallic, crusty nastiness recently and this just satisfies that craving even more. Thenn produce some hellish noise on Threshing the Golden Fields. Their sound is a mix between majestic black metal and sludgy hardcore. Abscesses of Light blasts past in no time at all and is a high-octane intro to the band. The production on the EP is pretty raw. The instruments tend to sit quite deep, as do the vocals sometime. Bathing in Cold Autumn is a lot slower in places and you can really hear their influences coming through more. They are pretty short and sharp in their delivery. There's also some great intricacies within the guitars which take a few listens to pick out. The crashing cymbals during Vigils brings out more of their metallic edge and the symphonic slant of the guitars, gives them a more majestic sound throughout the song. The more I listen to this, the more the grin gets wider on my face. Immense!

The feedback laced sludge intro during They Are Given To The Inviting Earth is...well, earth shattering. It shakes your bowels thanks to some raging low-end before Thenn speed things back up with more dirty crust. It really seems that the whole crusty, blackened hardcore scene is taking over now and there is certainly no reason why Thenn can't grow as a result. The EP's title track follows instantly on and is your last chance to headbang furiously! In five short songs, Thenn manage to wipe you out. It's dark, heavy and hellish. All I can say is good job guys and I can't wait to hear more!

You can stream the entire EP below and it's also available as a name-your-price download:-


They are due to go into the studio again soon to record more filth. Keep updated via their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thennblackmetal.

Arktau Eos - Ioh - Maera


Ambient music has always been a bit of mystery to me. Not because I don't like it, but because I've not really listened to a lot of it and being a metal fan first and foremost, I didn't know if there would be enough substance in it to interest me. I've listened to a number of different ambient releases over the last twelve months and I've reviewed them on this blog, but there's more out there, so the focus of this review is the one such mysterious Finnish entity named Arktau Eos.

This entity released to special releases through Svart Records last year. This release was solely on CD and the other release (Unworeldes, which I'll be reviewing at a later date) was solely on vinyl. I've been looking forward to experiencing this band for a while now, so thought it better not to waste any more time.

Tracklist:-

1. Unbinding Kaamos
2. Noxfaros
3. Sunken Luminaries
4. Ioh-Maera
5. Otherstone Refraction 

There’s a sense of trepidation as I press play on this release, as I'm not sure what I'm in for. After an initial build up of silence, subtle noises and instrumentation appears in opener Unbinding Kaamos. You can hear the crashing of cymbals in the background a mysterious sound that sounds like distant screams in the foreground. The chanting is very haunting indeed. Mostly atonal, it's very otherworldly! The chanting cries carry on throughout the opener and part of me feels like this is a joke, but I'm going to persevere and give it the chance it deserves. Maybe I'll feel differently after Noxfaros.

It's hard to talk about this in terms of musicality but at least Noxfaros seems to have more of a percussive edge, which is almost tribal. This is more like the ambient music that I'm used to hearing and I can fully appreciate the long length of each composition played by Arktau Eos. Noxfaros fades directly into Sunken Luminaries. The percussion makes way for winding streams of ambience that meander through the entire song. It's hard to pick out what the instruments are, as Arktau Eos are known for playing many different traditional and unusual instruments within their works, but I can pick out guitar as an obvious element. This isn't the sort of record you listen to when you want an instant fix but then that is true about a lot of ambient music.

The title track features more percussion and strange, whispered male vocals. They are pretty menacing and bring the haunting atmosphere to fore once again. The volume on this track actually builds as more elements are revealed, including what sounds like either wind chimes or cow bells. Otherstone Refraction starts in the same vein as the album opener, with slowly building noise and sounds of running water. It sounds very much like the atmospherics you heard while playing Silent Hill and it's very much meant to unhinge you. This is also the sparsest track on Ioh-Maera in terms of sounds and textures.

If I'm being honest, this album isn't for me, but there will be people out there amongst you that would lap this up. I'm not one for saying horrible things about albums and I'm not about to start now. If you're an ambient music fan, you should give this a try.

This is not streaming anywhere that I now of, however there are some Youtube videos by the band on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arktau-Eos

In terms of physical copies of this release, head over to Svart Records at http://www.svartrecords.com/shoppe/

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

End Reign - Suicide Collection Tape


The first 7" I got ever was an End Reign 7" and that sparked off my obsession with vinyl records. They've been an ever present band in the UK and this tape, Suicide Collection gathers together all of their recorded output so far and placed it all on one tape. Originally released by Church of Fuck earlier this year, it was not only one of that labels last tape releases but was also End Reigns precursor release, before unleashing their full-length later this year. Needless to say, the CoF pressing sold out bloody quickly and so it was repressed by Witchunter Records. I've got both copies, plus the original End Reign T-shirt that was produced to coincide with it's release. Check out my photos below:-

The CoF tape -


It came wrapped in this sweet T-shirt -


After the CoF pressing sold out, Witch Hunter Records repressed it with different artwork and a different T-shirt (not pictured).


The tape features a demo of a track called Sacrifice that's going to be on their new album, a re-recorded version of Release The Wolves, the songs from their self-titled 7" that was released by Fist In The Air Records, Hemlock 13, Holy Roar and Witch Hunter Records, the songs from their split with Alaska that was released by Fist In The Air Records, the tracks from their self-released 2010 demo and a also a full twenty minute live-set.

Tracklisting:-

1. Sacrifice
2. Release The Wolves (2012 Version)
3. Horror
4. Abyss
5. To Pray For
6. Dream Eater
7. Release The Wolves
8. Paradise
9. The Freeze
10. Azrael
11. DCCXXI
12. The Great Fall
13 Live Set

Side A kicks of with the demo for new song Sacrifice. In true End Reign style, it's a bruising slab of noise, fusing together hardcore and metal. In it's demo form it's even more ferocious and hints at what's coming on their new album. Such a good song, filled with rock n roll riffs and powerful drumming. The vocals compete with the crashing of the cymbals, which just raises the volume further. The re-recorded version of Release The Wolves (which originally appeared on their split with Alaska) sounds just as huge. End Reign have one of the most unique sounds in the UK scene in my opinion. Their mixture of hardcore and sludge is a hell of a proposition for the uninitiated but always puts a major shit-eating grin on your face.

Next up are the four tracks from their self-titled 7". The vocals on Horror will out and out scare you. That may sound corny, but it's true. Geoff Cairns is just possessed! The next three songs, Abyss, To Pray For and Dream Eater are just the same. Ferocious, but with epic riffs! By now, most people reading this review will have heard of End Reign is some capacity and will probably own some of their music. Where this tape makes sense, is that it's got everything collected together and it gives new fans a place to start before they take the plunge and buy End Reign's new record once it's released. Things settle down for a brief moment during the intro to The Freeze MMXI, which is a re-recoding of one of their early demo tracks. Release The Wolves and Paradise featured on their early split with Alaska. Listening to them gives you a sense of how their sound has progressed, certainly in the metallic sense anyway. There seem to be more metallic riffs in these songs, but then in might just be me!

I like the fact that the songs are in reverse-chronological order too. Normally they are the other way round, but this charts their sound from their recent songs back to their roots. Continuing that order are the four songs from their first demo, which actually still manage to sound the rawest of the lot. Don't know if it was meant to be that way, but it works. The bass on The Great Fall sounds fearsome. I love the warm, low-end rumble that you get from the bass, especially when it's on a tape. The final number on here is in fact one whole 20-minute live set. If the rest of tape didn't give you a clue as to their furious live sound, then this will. In spite of the production being a bit quiet, it still does the job, especially where the guitars are concerned.

You can listen to whole tape on CoF's bandcamp page below:-


As I mentioned above, the first pressing is sold out from Church of Fuck but you can get copies of the second pressing from Witch Hunter Records at http://witchhunterrecords.bigcartel.com/.

Witch Hunter also has it up for name-your-price download via their bandcamp page here http://witchhunterrecords.bandcamp.com/ and you can get pre-order bundles (including their t-shirt) still from the big cartel page.

You can buy End Reign merch (including the above pictured t-shirt) from http://endreign.bigcartel.com/.

https://www.facebook.com/endreign
https://www.facebook.com/churchoffck
https://www.facebook.com/WitchHunterRecords

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Anchors and Roses - Distance EP


Since I reviewed EP's by both Grown By Earth and Totem Skin last year, there seems to no shortage of Scandinavian crust/hardcore bands coming my way. For anyone who read those reviews, you'll be wanting to check Anchors and Roses out too. This three piece from Jonkoping in Sweden, came to my attention last October with their four track EP Distance, so here's my review.

Tracklisting:-

1. A Forever Waltzing Temptation
2. Oh Dear:
3. And A Heart In Constant Needs of Mending
4. In Cities of Sleepers

Anchors and Roses have a sound that leans towards garage-punk when they break out into A Forever Waltzing Temptation. It's a raw, live sound that's full of dissonant guitar and feedback. There's elements of crust and hardcore in the mix and the screams sound furious. This is not easy listening by any means. Oh Dear; is the other song here that stays on the short side. Like the opener, it's less than two minutes and it just turns into one big mess of noise and shouting. The feedback ringing out of the speakers before a mathy guitar section towards the end. Crazy, crazy stuff!

Anchors and Roses change slightly with And A Heart In Constant Need of Mending. The song is longer, but they don't lose any of their bite. They punctuate their crust with slower sections, which add to the menacing atmosphere and make them sound more together. It focuses the mind if you will. They even add a danceable riff into the mid-section amongst the sludgy, noisy verses. Final track In Cities of Sleepers is their longest piece and it builds on what has come before. The feedback and dissonance is still there as is the passionate shouting and pounding drumming. Anchors and Roses manage to inject further ideas into their music while still sounding purposefully confrontational and caustic. It's hard to imagine these guys being able to reign themselves in, as this is pretty much off the chain. 

I liken it to Old Wounds in all their chaotic style. This has that same feel and is equally as abrasive. It's also loud thanks to an ace production, which leaves it sounding intentionally dirty. Four songs just isn’t enough here. Go on, I dare you to challenge yourself!

As if that wasn't enough, you can stream the whole EP below:-


The EP is also available for free download from the above page, so spoil yourselves and give these guys some support.

Head over to their Tumblr page at http://weareanchorsandroses.tumblr.com or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/anchorsandroseshc to keep up to date with what they're doing.

From The Depths Entertainment - New Bands/Music



Awesome US label From The Depths Entertainment offers support to bands from across the globe. Part of their promotion includes helping bands get their music out to wider audiences by way of free downloads. This Noise Is Ours has been sent a number of their recent releases to post up on the blog, so you can check it out and download the music:-

A Fallen Dream - Second Wind EP
Genre: Instrumental progressive metalcore
From: Stafford, VA
Download it for free here:- http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki

A Midnight Drive - Slam Dick Dunk (Single)
Genre: Post hardcore/Alternative rock
From: Boulder, MT
Download it for free here:- http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki
 
Apex Of Apathy - The Clockmaker (Single)
Genre: Post hardcore
From: Las Vegas, NV
Download it for free here:- http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki

Apex Of Apathy - The Flying Machine (2013)
Genre: Post hardcore
From: Las Vegas, NV
Download it for free here:- http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki

Burned At Both Ends - I Traded My Van For Vans EP
Genre: Acoustic Rock
From: Red Bank, NJ
Download it for free here:- http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki

Contacts & Confidence - Amor Vincit Omnia (produced by Craig Owens/Matt Dalton)
Genre: Emocore
From: Akron, OH
Download it for free here:- http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki

Dakota Ruins - Watch The World Burn (Single)
Genre: Melodic deathcore
From: Worcestershire, UK
Download it for free here:- http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki

Dismantling The Silence - #ProveIt (Single)
Genre: Melodic metalcore
From: Motley, MN

Districts (formerly Geroff) - Two Years EP
Genre: Hardcore/Punk
From: Melbourne, Australia
Download it for free here:- http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki

Forgive Us Not - Self Titled EP Sampler
Genre: Melodic metalcore
From: Cape Town, South Africa
Download it for free here:- http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki

Forgive Us Not
Genre: Melodic metalcore
From: Cape Town, South Africa
Download here - http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki

Hardie Avenue - Self Titled EP Sampler
Genre: Christian rock
From: Tulsa, OK
Download it for free here:- http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki

Heresy Theory - Nevermore (single)
Genre: Alternative Electronic
From: Tulsa, OK
Download it for free here:- http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki

Neil To Aldrin - Of Ashes We Rose EP
Genre: Melodic metalcore
From: Vidor, TX
Download it for free here:- http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki

Take Over Soldiers - The Opening Of A Mind EP
Genre: Progressive Hardcore
From: Clarion, PA
Download it for free here:- http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki

Today's Friday - With Love, Remorse and Regret EP
Genre: Melodic metalcore/Pop-core
From: Stanthorpe, Australia
Download it for free here:- http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki

Compilations -

From The Depths Entertainment presents Catchy Airplay (2013) compilation album.
It can be downloaded here for FREE - http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki

From The Depths Entertainment presents Metal Volt (2013) compilation album.
It can be downloaded here for FREE - http://ge.tt/6Fb73ki

So there you have it. Loads of bands and free music to check out. Make sure you do!

https://www.facebook.com/fromthedepthsentertainment

News - Denovali Swingfest London 2013


I've not posted news on my blog for a while, but felt this was worth mentioning.

Denovali Records have just announced a London version of their legendary "Swingfest" for 2013. It takes place on April the 20th and 21st at London Scala and features the below line-up:-

Saturday April 20 -
- Andy Stott (UK)
- Bersarin Quartett (GER)
- Maybeshewill (UK)
- Fennesz (A)
- Omega Massif (GER)
- Petrels (UK)
- The Pirate Ship Quintet (UK)

Sunday April 21 -
- William Basinski (USA)
- Poppy Ackroyd (UK)
- Thomas K├Âner (GER)
- Greg Haines (UK)
- James Blackshaw (UK)
- Carlos Cipa (GER)
- Talvihorros (UK)

 To coincide with this event, Denovali Records have launched a free download sampler via their Soundcloud page. Pick it up from the link below:-

https://soundcloud.com/denovali/denovali-swingfest-2013-london

Tickets can be ordered from http://denovali.com/swingfest/
More news can be found at http://www.facebook.com/events/496620777036557/

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Disfracture - Disfracture EP


Leeds based progressive metal band Disfracture got in touch with me last year about a  review, so I must apologies to them for only just posting about them. Their first self-title EP was released digitally in August 2011 and features three tracks. Disfracture are currently working on a full length release and have posted a couple of lone tracks up on their bandcamp page, but I thought this would be a good place to start.

Tracklist:-

1. False Prophecy
2. Commander To The Throne of Jeopardy
3. Scarred Remains

False Prophecy sounds huge! That was my initial thought when I put this EP on. The production really brings out their sound. They employ low, deathly growls, simple but pounding drums and thick guitar to produce a heavy sound on their self-titled EP. The sound is a modern one, but thanks to those savage vocals and the nice clean vocal melodies, they have plenty to add. They don't overuse electronics either and keep things pretty savage. In the current musical climate, where djent and progressive metal seems to be ruling the roost, there's no reason why these guys shouldn't be picking up a healthy dose of fans.

Commander To The Throne of Jeopardy expands on their death metal influences, while not losing sight of their experimental edge. They use some subtle cleanly plucked guitar to add colour to the song so it's not all just brutal riffs. When they do hit their stride though, there is something quite anthemic about Disfracture. Final song Scarred Remains is the most progressive song on the EP. The riffs bounce back and forth at the start and the flit between groove and mind-melting time signatures. The echo on the vocals makes them sound bigger here too and the song has a lot of impact. They feature some more introspective instrumentation in the mid-section, sitting just underneath the vocals, which fits really well. Live, Disfracture must be a heavy proposition and on record they're equally as loud. This EP is short but oh so sweet and I'm looking forward to their full length.

You can listen to the EP via Disfracture's bandcamp page below:-


It's available from the same page as a pay-what-you-want download as well.

Disfracture are on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/disfracture.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Burden of A Noose - The Forgotten Plague EP


I've featured a couple of bands from Birmingham recently, including Opium Lord and Black Veins. I might as well make it a trio with the inclusion of self-proclaimed "Stoner Punks" Burden of A Noose. They released a seven track EP in March and sent it over to me too check out. It's funny when you think about it because even though we all complain about different genres getting over-populated, metal in general couldn't be in better health right now, especially here in good old Blighty.

Tracklisting:-

1. Bitch Goat
2. The Begging Game
3. Funeral Witch
4. Cancerous Bollock
5. Art of Being Weird
6. Family Affair
7. Lucifers Path

The first things that struck me with this EP was the cover art. It looks like they've gone all crust and I suppose when you listen to Bitch Goat, you'd be forgiven for thinking that was the case. Once the initially feedback has dispersed though, Burden of A Noose lurch into some sludge inspires noise, with a mixture of low bellows and high-pitched screams. That whole crust sound is more evident during The Beginning Game, thanks to the bass heavy instrumentation. It seems to me that the UK is the best place for this slow paced hardcore at the moment. No other country or scene comes close!

The music here is subtly heavy. Burden of A Noose don't play at a thousand beats per minute, don't set their guitars to stun but do slay, just by the sheer rumble of their low guitar. It's this sort of sound that would make you loose your bowels in a live setting. It's only made better to by that occasional melody and soaks through the mire. The lead guitar during Funeral Witch is a prime example, it's not too elaborate but it breaks up the dirge for a brief moment. The intro to Cancerous Bollock sounds just as terrifying as it's title. It's also one of the heaviest tracks on the EP. 

They have their moments where they groove along, like during Family Affair and they tend to stick at a similar pace during the whole record. They're not a hardcore band playing at sludge; they are more a sludge band that incorporates hardcore into their sound, so they don't seem like just another copyist. By the time Lucifer's Path comes to an end, it feels strangely serene, like the feeling that you've escaped some harrowing ordeal and just got out alive. That's how bruisingly heavy Burden of a Noose are!

Now as with all bands worth their salt, Burden of A Noose have this EP streaming on their bandcamp page:- 


The EP is also up as a name-your-price download via the same page.

Burden of A Noose are here https://www.facebook.com/burdenofthenoose666.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Hacktivist - Hacktivist EP


Music can so easily polarise opinion amongst music fans. If it's too poppy it can be seen to be loosing credibility and if it's too arty, people think is too high brow. None more so is this true of metal and it's many sub-genres. UK band Hacktivist burst onto radars last year with their debut EP, which combined djent and hip-hop inspired sounds. It held the ground between the two genres and doing so created a new crossover. It also gained Hacktivist a large following around the globe as well as live appearances alongside bands like Tesseract. Here's my review of their self-titled debut EP.

Tracklisting:-

1. New Age
2. Unlike Us
3. Blades
4. Hacktivist
5. Cold Shoulders

Hacktivist start things up with a rallying cry in the form of New Age. That mixture of futuristic djent rhythms and hip-hop vocals may be an acquired taste, but it certainly has plenty of attitude. The great thing about it is, the lyrics are clever and they don't take their cues from US mainstream hip-hop, where to be frank, the majority of lyrics are immature and pointless. Unlike US talks about overthrowing the system and seems to be their way of challenging the current music scene. The interplay between the two vocalists is good and when combined with the powerful drums and chunky guitar, it's a formidable sound. Blades brings a different element to proceedings with clean vocals being added to the mix. They also inject more introspective instrumental passages and subtle electronics which add to the atmosphere, but the main message is given in the lyrics and I think it's almost an extension of the political message that's come from punk up until now.

They continue building on their sound, focusing on some key signature points and keep up a layer of aggression that sums up the feeling amongst many people in society today. As they lurch into EP closer Cold Should, you will have probably decided whether you like them or not. With hooks and a chorus that will probably stick in you head for a long time, there's no denying the impact they have. I think that Hacktivist add something to a genre which has been growing at a rapid rate and in doing so, has become stale. They stick their necks out and have the conviction to do something different. The purists reading this probably won't think so, but this type of experimentation is what helps metal stay fresh and move forward. You think of bands like Linkin Park and Enter Shikari before them. They innovated and brought new sounds to the table and both of those bands are still highly relevant, so there's no reason why Hacktivist can't do the same.


Naturally you can make up you're own minds by listening to the EP on Hacktivist's bandcamp page below:-


Through the bandcamp page you can purchase both limited edition CD and digital download version of the EP. 

Hacktivist can be found at http://hacktivist.uk.com/ and at https://www.facebook.com/Hacktivistband.

Seagraves - Weight of The World EP


A while back I wrote a few reviews about some of the latest releases from Witch Hunter records. A little while after that, this EP was released for Leeds band Seagraves. Seagraves are a four piece hardcore band whose members have previously done time in a load of other top notch Leeds bands, in fact there's too many to list. This EP was in fact Witch Hunter's first release of 2013.

With tonnes of shows already under their belts, including an EP release show at Santiago's in Leeds and more gigs planned, there's no let up.

Tracklisting:-

1. Hollow Lies
2. Dreams Are For Fools
3. Weight of The World
4. Blood Runs Black
5. Wrong

Seagraves throw up hardcore with a distinct rock n roll vibe to it. Reminiscent of bands like Cancer Bats, with great guitar work and low, screamed vocals. In most cases, simpler music goes down the best and it's definitely the case with Seagraves. That's not doing them a disservice though, as they are seasoned vets. Hollow Lies takes some its cues from their previous bands. There are some great breakdowns going on, but they are subtle and don't sound like every other hardcore band's breakdowns.

Dreams Are For Fools has a more aggressive edge to it, especially in the vocals. The title track is more stripped back. They put elements of garage rock into the song, mainly in the guitars and the drums keep it solidly together. The screaming lead work is what these songs were made for and while brief; they provide a reason to bang you head intently!

Seagraves keep their songs short, preferring to let their songs have an impact without overrunning. This is what makes hardcore-punk so good as it doesn't suffer from the noodling that metal bands tend to employ. Blood Runs Black shows off more of their instrumental technique. Ending it all with a decidedly thrashy number in the form of Wrong, Seagraves finish Weight of The World in raucous style. It's probably one of the heaviest songs on the EP and is peppered with killer riffs and subtle time changes. It even leans towards sludge at time, but never looses it's core sound. 

The CD itself comes in a gorgeous gate-fold card sleeve, with the CD nestling inside the back cover. Basically, you need this like you need oxygen and water!

If you don't believe me, listen to it in it's entirety via the Witch Hunter Records bandcamp page:-


The CD itself can be bought by clicking on the link on the above bandcamp page and you get the option of a pay-what-you want download too.

Seagraves can be found at https://www.facebook.com/seagravesuk
Witch Hunter Records can be found at www.facebook.com/witchhunterrecords

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Black Veins - The Cycle Will Cease To End 7"


I've been eagerly awaiting this seven inch for a while. I first saw Black Veins when they played at Royal Park Cellar alongside Hexis, This Gift Is A Curse and Razoreater. I'd been aware of them prior to that gig but seeing them live, in a dark and tiny pub cellar sealed the deal for me. I picked up the seven inch earlier this year from Speedowax, who released it and was also lucky enough to be able to interview the band about it and about their live shows with some big names, as well as future plans. Check it out below:- 

So we’re closing in on the end of year, what have been your highlights so far? 

Gig wise we’d have to say touring Europe with Oblivionized was a highlight, in particular the Belgium date. We also got the opportunity to play with some bands we all like including Coke Bust, Worm Rot, Weekend Nachos, Full of Hell, Sick Fix and Leng T’che. None performance based highlights would have to be recording our first 7” and completing our line up with Jim. 

You’re currently recording/mixing a new record. How is that going and when do plan to release it? 

The recording process ran smoothly, we recorded all the drums and bass live together to capture a live and organic feel and then layered guitars and vocals on top. We went to Jonny Hands from Flatout Studios on Great Barr, Birmingham. He’s the man. The record was released in February of this year through Speedowax, who will also be releasing our full length LP in the wintertime of this year (which we’re currently in the process of writing). 

I really enjoyed your set with Hexis/This Gift Is A Curse in Leeds last month. Do you like playing in front of certain crowds/at certain gigs and what reactions have you been getting at the gigs you’ve played so far? 

Cheers, it was a fun night. In terms of certain crowds, we don’t mind really, we just get a kick out of playing. We’ll happily play anywhere with anyone 

You played a festival earlier in the year with Severe Torture and Leng T’che amongst others, in Europe. How did that come about because it looked brutal? Did you get a good response? 

Zac of Oblivionized fame helped us get onto that bill. The response for us was a lot more positive than all of us had expected. We opened the day and went down pretty well, despite not fitting the bill that well musically. 

I’ve also got to ask you how the gigs with Wormrot went? 

In true Black Veins tradition, pretty much every piece of equipment fell to bits during our set. Wormrot were punishing live, in the best possible way, and really down to earth as people. There was a free buffet for the bands, which was cool. 

You’ve got a lot of gigs booked in at the moment. Can you tell us a bit about your plans and who you’ll be playing with and where? 

The stand out gigs at the moment are the ones with Leng T’che, Integrity and Magrudergrind. In terms of live plans, we’re hoping to play another run of UK dates over the summer and maybe Europe again towards the end of 2013. 

What influences you as a band, musically or otherwise? 

As a collective, the main influences for Black Veins are: PG. 99, Iron Lung, Tragedy, Masakari and Neurosis. There are too many none musical influences, but if you look at our lyrics you can probably grasp the majority of them. 

Birmingham has a long rock history, thanks to bands like Black Sabbath and Napalm Death, but what is the scene like there now and what are you thoughts on the UK scene in general? 

Birmingham will always be a very metal city due to its history, so naturally the metal scene will always be healthy band wise. There is a punk scene as well with bands like Fuck Right Off who put a lot of pv/grind/crust stuff on. With the UK scene in general there seems to be a lot of bands popping up at the moment, which we are into. 

Are there any new bands from you local that people should be listening too? 

Hordes, Selfless, Fuck Right Off, Opium Lord, Ace bushy Strip Tease, IO, Meatpacker, Hooked on Christ, New Alaska, Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam. Keep an eye on the Speedowax releases too.

 

Now onto the record itself. It was pressed in two different colour-ways with three different cover variants. As you can see from my shoddily taken picture above, I got both colour-ways with two different colour covers. The other colour cover is the one you see at the top of this feature. There's five tracks on the record too, so you know you're getting something more like an EP, as opposed to a single.

Tracklist:-

1. To Break Their Control
2. The Cycle Will Cease To End
3. Stone Sun
4. Collapse
5. The Cruel Mind of Man/Through The Depths of Reality


Putting this on the turntable instantly takes me back to that show. The sludge filled intro to To Break Their Control followed by the dual shouting filled your ears. When the grooving drums kick in mid-way through, the song briefly changes direction before plunging back into sludgy depths. The Cycle Will Cease To End plays more to Black Veins chaotic grind inspired influences. Those low screams are harrowing and sit perfectly next to their more chaotic sound.

The production of the seven-inch does well to bring out the lively nature of Black Veins live sound. I like the fact that while the music may sound harsh and heavy on first listen, the guitars actually feature a lot of subtle melody and aren't distorted to hell. This is the case in Stone Sun. One thing they certainly manage to do is capture the essence of their Black Country home. With a scene so rich in history and still growing, Birmingham seems to have a sound of it's own and Black Veins have taken that to heart by playing a fusion of hardcore/grind/sludge which is definitely not for the faint hearted. It's certainly the case during the closing bars of Collapse, where their sound does actually collapse into a melee of noise, without structure or care. It's a fitting ending to the song!

They close out with The Cruel Mind of Man/Through The Depths of Reality. This brings back round with a more traditional groove. The bass rumble and brief feedback fight for space with the off kilter guitar and bark vocals. It also sees them moving back to sludgier roots on what is the lengthiest number on here. It's actually a pretty epic way to end things too, with a screaming lead drawing your attention as it comes to a conclusion.
Five heavy but characterful songs, that satisfy your appetite for chaos and destruction. Black Veins seems to be pretty dead centre in terms of what Britain is producing musically at the moment. Speedowax have done a great job with the finished product and I'm looking forward to more from these guys. Get it now if you haven't already picked it up.

Hear it for yourself via the band's bandcamp page below:-


You can pick up a copy of the seven-inch from Speedowax at http://www.muempire.bigcartel.com/.

Also keep an eye out on https://www.facebook.com/blackveinsmusic for future live dates and other news.

Children of Technology - Mayhemic Speed Anarchy 7"


Ever since I saw the cover of Children of Technology's first record in a copy of Terrorizer magazine, I've been intrigued by this band. The album was "It's Time To Face The Doomsday" and it featured the bands bright green logo on the cover, in pure day-glow thrash metal style. This Italian thrash trio had the image of a black metal band, all bullet belt and stud encrusted, with mohawks and patches on their jackets. At the time, it was obvious that Children of Technology weren't just rehashing a genre or following a crowd, they were just doing what they wanted to do. That was 2010 and after countless more vinyl releases, they put out this two song seven inch record, via Hells Headbangers in 2012 and have now grown to a four-piece. The record features one original song and a cover of the song by Swedish hardcore band Black Uniforms, which featured members of Anti-Cimex and Moderat Likvidation amongst others.

Tracklist:-

1.  Mayhemic Speed Anarchy
2. Computer World (Black Uniforms cover) 

This seven-inch kicks off with the title track. The vocals at the start are pure thrash and after the build up, Children of Technology fly into a hybrid of thrash combining elements of Motorhead and Sodom. It's fast and fun, the drum set the pace and they throw in a great, screaming thrash solo mid-way through. They prove that they don't take themselves to seriously either, with some falsetto screams. Their Black Uniforms cover, Computer World, is not quite as fast but equally as rousing. They inject their own sound into the song and give a decent show of it. I can't say I'm too familiar with Black Uniforms, so can't say whether the cover is faithful, but I'll definitely be checking them out after this. The one thing that does stick out about Children of Technology is that they don't fall into the trap of being too Americanised. Deathlord Astwulf sings with his native accent and it feels like the whole band is in it for the music.

All in all, even though this seven-inch is short, it gives you a great clue as to what Children if Technology is about. Hell's Headbangers has done another great job with this release, as with previous releases for the band and it's well worth tracking down.


You can stream the records title track via Children of Technology's bandcamp page below:-


It's only available as a seven-inch and I couldn't find a digital download version, so if you want to pick it up you'll need to search http://shop-hellsheadbangers.com/, although I suspect it's sold out as I couldn't find any copies listed anywhere.

You can find Children of Technology on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/COTofficial.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Reverberations: Volume One - The Comp update

Here's an update on the first This Noise Is Ours digital compilation.

The artwork has been sorted and is posted below. It was designed by my good friend Graham Caldwell from Scottish sludge/hardcore band Horrors That You've seen. You can check out some of his other artwork here  - http://www.facebook.com/mindripper666/photos_stream and check out Horrors That You've Seen here - https://www.facebook.com/horrorsthatyouveseen.






I'm waiting for five more bands to submit tracks and then I'll be working on the track order and press sheets.

I've started to announce the bands that are confirmed on Facebook but will post them here as well.

More news coming soon.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Baitin' The Trap Records - BTTR002

 

Liverpool's heaviest record label Baitin' The Trap Records has just announced it's second release. It will be the new EP from London's self-proclaimed "Weight and grunt power duo" Ghold.

Ghold have only been around since 2012 but have already released a demo and a cassette EP, as well as some cover songs (one being "Post Vegas Blues" by Iron Witch). The new EP will be released around May/June time via BTTR and will be limited to 150 CD copies, but will also have a digital release.

Keep an eye out for more news by going to Ghold's Tumblr and Facebook pages as www.gholdband.tumblr.com and www.facebook.com/gholdband.

More news will also be up at BTTR's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/baitinthetraprecords and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/baitinthetrap 

Music from both Ghold and BTTR can be heard via these links:-


You have been warned!