Wednesday 30 July 2014

Souls For Sale - Scavengers

The next review from my physical pile now. Souls For Sale are a heavy band from Bielefeld in Germany. They released Scavengers on various formats in 2013 with the help of Wooaaargh Records, Puzzle Records and Olympus Mons Records. They've been busy playing shows recently with the fast rising Depravation and are due to play with Bane in August! They've also just finished recording 8 new tracks, which will see the light of day at some point I'm sure.


1. The Great Deluge
2. Walking On Pain Street
3. Scavengers In Suits
4. Fromselflootingtoanassualtdrivenapproachofbreakingfree
5. The King Of Kong
6. The Circus Is In Town
7. Zielenvisserij
8. The Libya Gundown Incident
9. Dead Men Tell No Tales
10. Acquainted Black
11. Almeria

The first thing I noticed about Souls For Sale, even before I listened to Scavengers, was their knack for a good song title. I mean The King Of Kong is classic and god only knows what Fromselflootingtoanassualtdrivenapproachofbreakingfree could be about! Anyway….moving on. Scavengers starts with The Great Deluge, which is an intro featuring brooding guitar and building guitar feedback/dissonance. In my opinion, it goes on for a little longer than it needs to, but that’s by-the-by. Walking On Pain Street is where Scavengers really kicks off, with plenty of noisy, grinding hardcore. Middle-class, pretty boy hardcore this ain’t. It’s all angry screams, punk-laden riffs and screaming leads. 

Out of left-field, Scavengers In Suits goes all thrash metal on your ass. It’s fast and wild, with a background of piercing drums and bouncing bass. This is definitely circle pit material! That thrashing mentality spills over into the obscenely long-titled Fromselflooting…, except in this song there’s a breakdown of sorts and some great melodic riffs. The King Of Kong would be great background music for an intense Mario Kart session. The screams get indecipherable and riffs get thrashier. Can you tell I’m enjoying it yet! 

Things take a more hardcore turn on The Circus Is In Town and it even features some rock n roll vibes. It’s super fast song too, at under two-minutes. Zielenvisserij, judging by the sample at the start, is an anti-religious song. I’m all for anti-religion and I don’t mind admitting it. The less gullible people there are following false gods, the fewer wars there would be. Seems pretty obvious to me! Souls For Sale hit their brutal stride with The Libya Gundown Incident. It’s the closest they get to a chuggy, full-on metal song. They go long on Dead Men Tell No Tales, which is nearly seven-minutes in length and builds on the chuggyness of the previous track. Don’t worry though, it’s far from boring, with plenty in subtle textures and melodies thrown in for good measure. 

Acquainted Black is mightily heavy, in a clever way. It’s not all fire and brimstone, instead Souls For Sale put big guitars alongside blackened-hardcore screams that sit behind them. This makes the sound stage pretty much at the heaviest it has been on the album. It leads to closer Almeria, which is strikingly good. The well-thought out melodic guitar that accompanies the paired back instrumentation takes Scavengers in another direction and shows a different to the band. In an album of twists and turns, it’s an extremely pleasing moment from a band that are very at home experimenting. They’ve definitely got the musical chops to go higher and reach wider audiences. 

You can stream and download Scavengers here and you can buy LP, tape and CD versions of it from the page too:-

Souls For Sale Facebook -

Olympus Mons Records Discogs page -
Puzzle Records Facebook -
Wooaaargh Records Facebook -

Sunday 27 July 2014

Things Your Band Can Do Better!

Sorry for the slightly confrontational title. The purpose of this post is to offer some advice to bands who may be looking to gain press coverage, book shows/tours and get noticed by labels. I'm not musically or artistically talented and I'm by no means a professional writer, but since I started This Noise Is Ours about four years ago, I've seen bands do silly things and thought I could share some advice that might help you out. You don't have to take any notice of this, but I've seen many of the below at first hand and it frustrates me that in a increasingly tough industry, especially a niche one like this, bands are not necessarily doing themselves any favours. Have a read and hopefully something might be of some use to you.

1. By in large, reviewers and press types are lazy. They want all the facts to be in front of them. If you're submitting a press-release or music to them for consideration, provide them with a press-release that tells them all they need to know. Granted, a lot of new bands can't afford PR teams or publicists to write these for them, but you are best placed to talk about your band, so go for it. The same thing goes for physical promo packs that you might want to send to record labels, print magazines.

2. When submitting music try to either submit a zip file containing the music for review or send a Bandcamp/Soundcloud link. Different sites or magazines have different submission policies, so make sure you read and follow them or else your submission will simply be ignored. Also, please make sure the songs you are submitting are numbered and named correctly. There is nothing more annoying for a writer than having to name all of the tracks once they've dropped them into iTunes or whatever.

3. This is more geared to record labels than it is to press coverage, but a label likes to see that you work hard and care about your band before making an investment in you. You need to be able to exhibit initiative and drive to be successful. This means printing your own merchandise, booking your own tours/gigs and recording/releasing your own music, whether it be digitally or physically. Physically is better, but labels want to see a DIY ethic that proves you are willing to work hard. Before you argue with this point, I know that a lot of bands don't have or make much money, but if you're going to make it as a band, especially in the metal/hardcore/punk genres, you need to exhibit these qualities.

4. Don't ask a magazine/site/label to consider you before you've released any music at all. This is stupid and is bound to rub people up the wrong way. The best thing you can do is quietly record, release music and tour, build a fanbase and then people will naturally pay more attention and then you'll start getting attention too.

5. Think about your band's social media presence. Being on different platforms is a good idea when trying to reach a wider audience but think about the way you act, the things you say and how you want to be perceived. If you start running your mouth about another band or person, you're not going to look very professional. Likewise, if you're primary way of getting shows is by posting a status to Facebook like "We want to play gigs, promoters get in touch", chances are you're going to struggle. It's fine to do that once you've built up contacts, so try and contact and network with gig promoters and even other bands first. There are loads of opportunities for gig swaps but you need to talk to people first.

6. Review wise, don't submit something for review but expect the reviewer to purchase it in order to listen to it. That is stupid and you'll just get ignored.

7. If you get an e-mail from somebody, purporting to write a zine and advising that they only accept physical review materials, be very cautious. Often, these people are from South America (though not exclusively) and they may be just looking to get free stuff. I've seen this happen to plenty of bands and labels in the past.

8. If you're playing a gig, don't expect the promoter to do all of the promotion. Make sure that you do your fair share, as it will be in your best interests to make sure plenty of people know about it. Also, if a promoter asks you to sell a certain amount of tickets in order to get on a line-up, be cautious. This may mean that a promoter does not intend to promote a gig themselves, or they're lazy or that they may not pay if you don't hit a required number of sales. Only a small minority of promoters may do this sort of thing, but this is where the networking with venues, promoters and other band's come in handy.

I appreciate that a lot of this is common sense and general, but it could help you. By all means, write to me and tell me you disagree or let me know your experiences. As long as you're playing music for the write reasons, you'll probably already be doing all these things. That's all folks.

Abolition A.D - After Death Before Chaos

Pulverised Records have been one of the most consistent and impressive extreme metal labels in recent years. The Singapore based label have been releasing all manner of extreme metal releases from across the globe. Amongst their ranks you've got bands like Zombiefication (Mexico) and Hexen (USA who have both featured on this blog before, as well as Scandinavian bands like Crucifyre and Morbus Chron. Now they have released this album from Singaporean locals Abolition A.D. They were founded in 2009 and by their own admission, don't stick to genre convention. They released their first EP in 2010 prior to releasing their debut via Pulverised Records earlier this year.


1. Enchanted Land
2. Ouroboros
3. Primal Fear
4. Interlude
5. After Death Before Chaos
6. V.I.P
7. Medieval Minds

At first glance, the album’s opener Enchanted Land comes across as a casual mix of death and sludge, but it seems to get heavier as the low-growled vocals take hold. At nearly the two-minute mark it defends into a crusty wall of noise and pace ratchets up. The low-end takes control for pretty much the whole song and gives a massive amount of punch. Ouroboros has a raw thrash feel to it as the lone riff kicks in at the start. It’s not long before Abolition A.D’s noise take over again though and this time there’s no hanging around. The dank and mournful sludge approach has been forsaken in favour of crust-laden death metal of the highest order.

Don’t worry, Primal Fear is nothing like the power-metal band of the same name. It’s completely the opposite, as you’d expect. The production on the record is geared up to making Abolition A.D sound heavy and fearsome, without any whiff of over-worked polish. It does it’s job, that’s for sure. Midway through Abolition A.D see fit to throw in an Interlude. It’s made of buzz-saw guitar and thick bass. It’s completely instrumental but still manages to maintain the band’s claustrophobic atmosphere. 

They launch back into things with the title track, which doesn’t seem quite as intense as previous songs but will still wipe the floor with anyone who dares to listen. V.I.P brings some much need melody in it’s intro section, which carries on through. It seems to take the atmosphere in an even more menacing direction. Both V.I.P and closer Medieval Minds see Abolition A.D expanding on their writing and building two lengthier, slower tracks that are not unlike opener Enchanted Land. While not as noisy, they come at you from a different end of the extremity spectrum. 

Medieval Minds in the longest song on the album, reaching nearly seven minutes in total. Listening to it in the humidity of our strangely hot British summer gives you some impression of what it must feel like all of the time in the bands native Singapore. The guitar melodies that adorn this song are something else and show another side to the band. It’s a suffocating end to an album that could probably go down as the most extreme metal album to 2014, in my opinion.

Stream the whole of After Death Before Chaos here:-

You can pick it up as a digital download from Pulverised's bandcamp page above.

CD's can be purchased here -

Abolition A.D Facebook -
Pulverised Records Facebook -

Bloodlet - Embrace 7"

This is another one of the 7"s I wanted to write about, after talking about that awesome Haymaker record yesterday. Bloodlet were another band that reformed for the A389 Anniversary bash. This one-sided 7" was pressed specially to coincide with the concert, after the song Embrace was re-discovered with the help of Stuck In The Past Blog - Bloodlet were credited as one of the early metalcore pioneers and spent time on Victory Records in the early nineties. During their time away, members have played in fellow A389 approved band Junior Bruce, as well as others. This 7" contains a single track and has an etched b-side. It was limited to 1000 copies.


1. Embrace

This track was originally recorded in 1993 but has remained unreleased until now, so it dates back to an extremely productive period in Bloodlet’s history. If you were expecting an all-out eager of a song, you’ll be surprised. Bloodlet provide an understated brand of hardcore on Embrace. The bass and guitar are played with control and it’s only into two and a half minutes in that they being to inject the kind of thrash metal influence, that became synonymous with metalcore as it became more popular. The vocals are still loud and Bloodlet show why they were so revered in the early nineties. 

You can stream Embrace here:-

You can buy Embrace as a digital download or directly from the A389 store here -

Bloodlet Facebook (Unofficial fan page) -
A389 Records Facebook -

Saturday 26 July 2014

No Fucks Given - Gold Tooth In A Mouth Full Of Rotten Fillings EP

What do you get when dudes from Leeds who play/have played in too many bands decide to join forces? A band that tunes into the dank, depraved vibes of the Norths second city, that's what. The members of new Leeds noise crew No Fucks Given have been toiling away in bands like Famine, The Afternoon Gentleman and previously Narcosis amongst others for years now, so I suppose this new band isn't such a surprise after all. They've recently released their first EP and have just finished an ace UK tour alongside other Leeds based noise/grind bands, including the aforementioned Famine, and The Afternoon Gents, as well as Shoot The Bastard for good measure.


1. Fresh Hell
2. Never Fast Enough
3. Any Minute Now I'm Going To Kill Someone
4. Nation Of Cunts
5. Tanks Are Shit
6. Barcoder
7. Thanks For The Memories, Now Fuck Right Off
8. This Is The End, My Rotten Fiend

So, I needed more fast to wake me up and get me in the mood for tonight. No Fucks Given are like the bastard child of Full Of Hell and Total Fucking Destruction! The double-bass during Fresh Hell could not get any faster.  Never Fast Enough is a very apt title and as it suggests, No Fucks Given are on a mission to go as fast as they can. The vocals are even more grim on here and the guitar crosses the line the between grind-speed and sludge-ridden to keep you guessing on their direction.

That sludge influence is more evident on Any Minute Now I’m Going To Kill Someone. It shows that NFG have serious anger that’s being channelled through their respective instruments/voice boxes. There’s a surprising whiff of grime at the start of Nation Of Cunts, which is surely an ode to all of the hipsters that Leeds harbours. They even have what could be described as an anti-war song that goes by the name of Tanks Are Shit. If they played this on the frontline i’m sure all soldiers would abandon their station and retreat. It’s off-kilter and intensely fast, with enough electronic samples to keep momentum going.

Barcoder is an odd-one out here as it’s long, in NFG terms anyway! If you can’t handle a minute and a half of noise, you’re gonna be screwed with this song. Brilliant! The overall theme of hatred and derision on this EP is summed up in Thanks For The Memories, Now Fuck Right Off. It’s brief and chaotic nature is complimented by high-pitched screams that will slowly make your ears bleed. This Is The End, My Rotten Fiend is a subdued ending to the EP made up of a solitary sample and noise. I suppose that NFG wanted to give their listeners some respite. 

This EP and indeed this band show you that Leeds is definitely getting noisier. You’re either with it or not. Either way, you won’t be able to escape it.

Gold available for streaming (or as a name-you-price download) here - 

No Fucks Given Facebook -

Haymaker - Let Them Rot 7"

I thought I'd rap up a few new 7"s today, before heading out to my first gig in ages tonight. Can't wait for feast of death, grind and doom that awaits! Anyway, this 7" was released in February by A389 Recordings to coincide with Canadian hardcore band Haymaker's appearance at the label's tenth anniversary gig. For those who don't know, Haymaker are US hardcore royalty pretty much and include members from Left For Dead, Pick Your Side and Chokehold amongst their ranks. The songs on Let Them Rot are Haymaker's first new recordings in ten years and with more selected appearances scheduled, let's hop that they stick around a bit longer!


1. Let Them Rot
2. Cheque To Cheque
3. Shit Magnet
4. Their Rules

As hardcore bands go, Haymaker don’t mess around. They come from a generation where bands took to the stage, ripped through their songs and caused chaos. They didn’t sugar-coat their songs or their beliefs and just played the way they wanted to. They still do and alongside bands like In Cold Blood, Bloodlet and Integrity, who played alongside them at the A389 tenth anniversary gig earlier this year, they proved that older is better. 

The four tracks on Let Them Rot last little more than three and a half minutes, but in terms of quality they’re bang on. The title track that kicks off the split sounds so tight. After the obligatory feedback filled intro, Haymaker slam straight into a minute and a half of raging hardcore. There’s even a solo towards the end hidden amongst the wall of sound. Cheque To Cheque is equally huge and mixes thrash with hardcore to great effect. Screaming leads and massive riffs leap out at you through the honest production, while the vocals are spat out equally as fast.

Shit Magnet and Their Rules are shorter songs, but no less intense. Shit Magnet is pretty much the previous songs condensed into thirty seconds while Their Rules finishes things off in dual-vocalised chaos. This entire 7” is a prime example of why bands like Haymaker are still needed in today’s musical climate. Forget the copyists and those out for major commercial gain, you should be supporting those that deserve it the most. Don’t sleep on this!

Stream Let Them Rot here:-

You can buy a digital version of the 7" from A389's bandcamp page above.

Alternatively, head over to their webstore and buy a physical copy of the record here -

Haymaker also has a track on A389's new mammoth 54 song digital mixtape. Stream and download it here -

Haymaker Facebook -
A389 Recordings Facebook -

Thursday 24 July 2014

Chaos Inception - The Abrogation

Death metal has been pretty underrepresented on the blog recently and strangely, I've got a craving for it today. Loooking back through my review submission list, Chaos Inception's name featured towards the top so here we are. This Alabama death metal quartet were formed in 2008 and promptly released their debut album Collision With Oblivion on Brutalized Records a year later. Three years later in 2012, they released The Abrogation via Lavadome Productions. This year, Chaos Inception have been writing a follow-up record and have even found the time to support the mighty Cannibal Corpse in their home state.


1. The Abrogation
2. Phalanx (The Tip Of The Spear)
3. Lunatic Necromancy
4. Pazuzu Eternal
5. Hammer Of Infidel
6. Black Blood Vortex
7. Ancient Ways Prevail
8. The Exterminati
9. Scald Command

The most fun I’ve had at a live show was when I was “moshing” to death metal bands like Basement Torture Killings and Unfathomable Ruination at this year’s ‘Kin Hell Fest. I use inverted commas because I don’t usually mosh. Anyway my point is, death metal just sounds better live. I’m not dissing death metal on record though and I really enjoy Chaos Inception’s interpretation on The Abrogation. The title-track that opens proceedings in as fast as you like, with an insane amount of double bass as well some great twin-lead work. The vocals are typical of the genre, but when they’re backed up by the technical musicianship they take on a whole new life. Plus, there’s a solo! That’s worth the price of admission on it’s own.

I’ve always been astounded by the technical prowess of many death metal bands. How you can play that fast with that much precision is beyond me! Phalanx (The Tip Of The Spear) being a case in point. Some of sweeping guitar just blows my mind. Mind you, what do you expect from a band that counts a member of Monstrosity amongst it’s ranks. The bass-heavy tone that greets you on Lunatic Necromancy is fiercely menacing, while the drums do their best to smash your skull into smithereens. Even when Chaos Inception chug (which isn’t often), it’s still fast and technical. There’s no mid-paced let up here!

Right now, I’m currently melting due to heat and a lot of headbanging. I just can’ t help it. Pazuzu Eternal may be about three-minutes long, which is the standard time for death metal songs it seems, but it’s absolutely beastly from start to end. Those solos during the instrumental mid-section are nuts and break the verses up really well. I can see why Mr Strnad from The Black Dahlia Murder digs this band so much! There’s more fun to be had during Hammer Of Infidel, though the fading-out at the end of the song seems a bit unnecessary when you don’t want the shredding to end. Past the mid-way point now and Black Blood Vortex sounds super evil. Those deathly growls are used to great effect and even invoke black metal imagery at points.

The urgency and intensity is ramped up further on Ancient Ways Prevail. We’ll, it seems that way anyway thanks to some even faster kick-drums. It utilises drumming that wouldn’t be amiss on a grind record, while staying true to it’s death metal core. Much like the rest of the record. Chaos Inception go grand on The Exterminati, with a massive wall of sound from the guitars. The slightly extended song length gives them the opportunity to add more guitar interplay and allows them to play with the structure to create more obvious movements. These are punctuated by more superfluous lead sections. 

Before you realise it, album closer Scald Command is ringing out. The Abrogation only stretches out for about half an hour, but my god is that half hour worth it. Chaos Inception are very accomplished musicians and should be applauded for the lengths they’ve gone to to create such an immense death metal album. You’ll struggle to find a better record in these modern times!

Stream the whole thing here:-

You can also download The Abrogation's opening two tracks from the bandcamp page too.

You can buy the CD version of the album here -

Chaos Inception Facebook -
Lavadome Productions Facebook -

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Isolation Tank - Demo 2013

In 2013, new UK label Vetala Productions started to release music by some great new British bands. In March I reviewed the initial demo from Colchester black/crust band Jotnarr and now it's the turn of mysterious band Isolation Tank and their 2013 demo. I say mysterious, because I can't seem to locate much info on the band online. I do know that they're a duo and that they toured with Harrowed (who released their Into Inferno LP via Vetala Productions and Feast of Tentacles) and played with uber-good Leeds PV band Famine recently. They're also due to play a stellar show in London alongside Swinelord and Trudger next month, which sounds brilliant.


1. Brimming With Shit
2. Offer Nothing
3. In Shackles
4. To Hell
5. Isolation Tank

This heat is making me feel really sleepy so I’m hoping that some Isolation Tank will wake me up. Brimming With Shit is as raw as you like. This duo certainly make a mighty racket, with a bass-heavy sound and plenty of metallic heft from the cymbals. What you’ve got here is noisy powerviolence and like their Northern brethren Famine, Isolation Tank pull no punches. Offer Nothing makes use of their straightforward approach to blast through a minute of feedback drenched noise. They bring out the riffs at the start of In Shackles, which is very welcome. 

The production brings the instrumentation to the fore on the demo and places those rabid screams right in the middle. It really emphasises their energy. To Hell provides a rare glimpse into the sludgier, slower world of UK PV. Isolation Tank slide it into the demo effortlessly and it provides a great foil for the chaos to come. That chaos is controlled though and the duo don’t let things get away from them. Ringing feedback heralds in the final stab Isolation Tank. It rounds off an impressive first demo that will be on repeat constantly, for the people lucky enough to have a copy of the long sold-out tape.  Also, keep an eye out for their forthcoming split with Art Of Burning Water, which should be cracking.

You can stream the demo here, where you can also pick it up as a free download:-

Vetala Productions Facebook -

Tuesday 22 July 2014

War Wolf - Crushing The Ways Of The Old LP

Hitting my physical review pile today and look what I pulled out! The second LP from Brighton's War Wolf. This was one of the last releases to shake my teeth last year, after it was put out on vinyl by the unholy trio of Tadpole, Atomsmasher and Headless Guru Records and also on tape by Tartarus (though they've sold out of their copies) and Dry Cough Records!

We are living in an increasingly angry and segregated world and War wolf know that, judging by the song titles on Crushing The Ways Of The Old. They have an outlet though and are able to channel that anger into fast, but sometimes sludgy punk. Riding With Demons was loud, but something tells me this is going to up the ante!


1. Christianity (Is Dying)
2. Oxygen Thieves
3. The Upper Hand
4. Denial/Decline
5. Doomed To Crave
6. Legalized Love
7. Douse These Cinders
8. Pro-Choice
9. Democratic Failures
10. Cave Dwellers
11. The Buried Believer
12. Muskets At Dawn

Opener Christianity (Is Dying) sounds like War Wolf channelled their inner Eyehategod, while writing and recording it. Like fellow Brit riff worshipers Iron Witch, War Wolf go for a guitar led sound full of groove. The song’s theme is bleak but relevant. No Gods No Masters and all that! After the brash intro, Oxygen Thieves takes the album’s anger in another direction and aims it squarely at the types of people that we struggle to tolerate in our daily lives. War Wolf have never been about slower-than thou passages, unlike brethren Sea Bastard and instead use hardcore and punk during The Upper Hand. That extra urgency doesn’t harm things though and blasting this song loud is still a massive pleasure. Denial/Decline may as well be a song straight from the book of Slayer or Napalm Death. It’s brief and contains blastbeats. Rad!

Between their debut LP Riding With Demons and this one, War Wolf’s musicianship has progressed. Ant’s drumming during Doomed To Crave proves that. It takes the atmosphere down a few notches, but it’s still War Wolf doing what they do best. The feedback at the start of Legalized Love sounds like some kind of unholy woodwind orchestra. Read the lyrics on the back of vinyl sleeve and it’s obvious what Legalized Love is about. Heavy band in praise of political decision shocker! Jokes aside though, the song and the band do have a serious message. Mid-way through already and Douse These Cinders sends Crushing The Ways Of The Old back into punk territory for the majority of it’s sub-three minute existence. When it does slow down, it’s…well… crushing. War Wolf wire more political grievances with Pro-Choice, which is about the right-to-die debate, while Democratic Failures nods toward the anti-war sentiment that has become more prolific since Tony Blair’s decision to send British troops into Afghanistan to assist the Bush administration.

The short blasts of Cave Dwellers and The Buried Believer, rise above and fall below copious amounts of feedback. That and an underlying sentiment born of dissolution and hate. It’s amazing how your mood changes as you move through the record. I was ready to fist pump and headband at the start of Crushing The Ways… but now find myself thinking about the political themes expressed in the later songs. Any band that can do that to their listeners must be doing something right. Closer Muskets At Dawn is mostly instrumental and experimental. It seems like the slower pace is also a way for War Wolf to allow their rage to subside slightly. It’s fair to say that Crushing The Ways Of The Old is one such album that makes you think, instead of just being something you can listen to and forget. Heck, even the cover art on the front of the sleeve provides food for thought. This Brighton three-piece have definitely stepped it up and are using their outlet to change hearts and minds. Good work!

You can stream the whole record on War Wolf's bandcamp page:-

It's available as a pay-what-you-want download or you can buy it in both cassette and vinyl form. Either way, make sure you support the band.

You can also buy the album on vinyl and tape from these fine purveyors of heaviness:-

Tadpole Records -
Atomsmasher Records -
Headless Guru Records -
Dry Cough Records -

War Wolf Facebook -
Tadpole Records Facebook -
Atomsmasher Records Facebook -
Headless Guru Records Facebook -
Tartarus Records Facebook -
Dry Cough Records Facebook -

Monday 21 July 2014

Dead Like Me/Gerda - Me And Gerda Are Both Dead Like You Split 12"

This isn't a new release, far from it in fact. This split 12" between French hardcore/metalcore band Dead Like Me and their Italian comrades Gerda was released in 2012 via a slew of labels. My philosophy is that music and bands should be heard, however new or old, which is why I'm writing about this release now.

Dead Like Me started in 2010 and released their first demo in 2011. They also toured the UK, Ireland and Europe in 2013. They are currently writing new material which will be on an EP soon I believe. I've not been able to find too much information about Gerda, though they have also been busy writing a new album.


1. Dead Like Me - Le Fils Du Pire Des Predateurs - Clair
2. Dead Like Me - Le Fils Du Pire Des Predateurs - Obscur
3. Dead Like Me - Chien De Nuit
4. Gerda - XXXX

Dead Like Me have three songs on this split and start off with Le Fils Du Pire Des Predateurs - Clair, which is pretty crazy. It’s made up of off-kilter, noisy hardcore and French language vocals. It’s an extremely intense three-minute track where the band leaves no time for breath. Le Fils Du Pire Des Predateurs - Obscur is more than equal to Dead Like Me’s opener. it features the same rich bass tone underneath the dissonant guitar. As with the opener, there are moments of metallic lead work and the drumming keeps you guessing as to which time-signature the band are playing to.

Their side ends with Chien De Nuit and it’s their most ferocious offering on this split. It’s more tempered toward metal this time, with growls that sound like they’re being delivered via a possessed human being. There are elements of black metal and sludge in the song and the added playing time allows Dead Like Me to really go for it. The riffs are thick and the atmosphere dark. Gerda offer up just one song, but XXXX is the same length as the whole of Dead Like Me’s side. 

Gerda have a fuzzier sound initially, with a bass buzz kicking things off but clarity is soon provided through their post-hardcore tinged noise. They describe themselves as “Noise/Punk” and that is as accurate as you’re gonna get. It follows a similar off-kilter trajectory to the split’s previous songs, but the noise element is greater and so is the sense of foreboding. Gerda are the perfect bedfellows to Dead Like Me’s experimental approach, as their side is more measured. 

Both bands deliver music that is well worth listening to though and bridge the gap between technical metalcore and honest, raw hardcore. Perfect for when it’s too hot to set foot outside!

You can stream the split via Swam Of Nails here -

There's a link on the Swarm Of Nails bandcamp page that offers the split up for free download via Mediafire. Alternatively you can buy it as a high-quality download.

You can buy the physical vinyl version from the labels below:-

Swarm Of Nails -
Left Hand Records -
Prototype Records -
Shove Records - (If someone can locate a webstore, let me know!)
Wallace Records -
NotAPub Records - (Unable to locate a webstore!)

Dead Like Me Facebook -
Gerda Facebook -
Swarm Of Nails Facebook -
Left Hand Records Facebook -
Prototype Records Facebook -
Shove Records Facebook -
Wallace Records -
NotAPub Records - (Unable to locate Facebook page!)

Footloose Records Presents - Crossburner + more (August 20 - The Compass Chester)

UK label Footloose Records will be putting this show on in Chester on August 20th. The gig is part of the Crossburner/Artemis tour and features four bands for £3 quid! Get to it if you're over Chester/Manchester/North Wales/Leeds way. Check out the bands below -

Crossburner (Footloose Records) -
Facebook -

Bruised Broken Rebuilt -
Facebook -

Artemis (Enjoyment Records) -
Facebook -

Stand Silent -
Facebook -

Sunday 20 July 2014

Leather Chalice - Luna Tape

I first came across one-man black metal/punk project Leather Chalice when US label Opaqus Records released the band's Opium Supremacy demo and first full-length Sweet Perfume Of Coffin Air, as well as the split tape with Maljutka. Leather Chalice continues to be super productive at the moment, with this new one-track EP released with the help of Broken Limbs Recordings. LC's sole member normally resides in fellow US black metallers Ramlord and has been releasing music since 2013. LC's aesthetic is of the trve DIY nature, with the projects artwork and graphics being self-designed.


1. Luna

Luna starts with a sample of a man regaling about being abducted by aliens and being forced to mate with one I think, which is a pretty stark. The musical introduction itself sits alongside paranormal noises, before ceasing to reveal Leather Chalice’s black metal. Sweeping, dual-guitar and curdling screams sit at the top of the mix, with drums keeping the rhythm in place. Luna is split into distinct movements, with instrumental passages bridging the verses. It switches between mid-paced black metal and slower sections, with the guitar providing nice melody, which reveals a punk shift at times.

The electronics are a great addition to the music, which is very well played, with a really good production. The cool thing about Leather Chalice is that (sole member) JS doesn’t try to be like every other black metal solo-project and favours strong musicality over low-fi noise. The rawest part of the whole things is the vox, but that’s to be expected. Luna becomes even more otherworldly at the ten-minute mark when the music stops and leaves you with alien electronics and keys that make you feel like you’re in an episode of The X-Files. It completely makes sense too, baring in mind the theme of the EP. The final blast of black metal toward the end brings more excellent dual-guitar melodies and well placed time-signatures. 

In the current musical climate within extreme metal, people crave variation and originality, so look no further than Leather Chalice! Forget your themes about Satan, blasphemy and hating all human life because Leather Chalice has taken black metal intergalactic and should be seen as an innovator. That may seem like over the top praise to many of you, but I stand by it.

You can stream Luna via the Broken Limbs bandcamp page below:-

You can purchase a tape copy (limited to 100) via the above too, or check your local distro/label as copies have made their way out to various labels across the globe.

Leather Chalice Facebook -
Broken Limbs Recordings Facebook -

Saturday 19 July 2014

First Contact Pt.2 - Beggar/Idre

This double review was meant to go out before I went away, but time got the better of me and I had to   put it on hold. I didn't want to stop as I was gaining some good momentum reviews wise, but I felt that I needed a break, as I've already written nearly 100 reviews this year on the blog! I've also just breached the 150,000 reader mark which is nice. Thanks to everyone for reading and caring!

This is the second part of my run of First Contact features, which focuses on new bands that have contacted me directly via the blog. This part features Bristolian blues metallers Beggar and Oklahoma  City noise makers Idre.

Beggar - Beggar II

Beggar have been together since 2012 and already released their first EP in May 2013. They have been a staunch member of their local Bristol scene since their inception and have been lucky enough to support bands like Svalbard, Let's Talk Dagger and Controlled Existence along the way. It seems that they're now looking to spread their music further afield, as they got in touch with me and sent over a CD copy of their new EP. In this day and age full of digital promos and MP3's, it's a nice touch when a band favours physical promotional tools.


1. Live Like Kings
2. Rut Like A Hog
3. Aphasia
4. Knuckledragging
5. Leper's Mass
6. The Way Out

Nowt like a bit of blues filled metal to start my summer holiday off. Beggar are loud in all departments as Live Like Kings kicks in.Those riffs are the first thing that hits you, alongside the crashing of cymbals and the loud screams (that sound like they are coming through a megaphone!). The way the vocals are delivered, sitting high in the mix, gives the song on off-kilter feel that reminds me a bit of early Clutch. On Rut Like A Hog (and the rest of the EP), a lot of care has obviously gone into making sure the guitars sound at their best. After all, they provide the musical heft. The vocals here slide more into sludge territory, which is a sing of things to come. Aphasia is chaotic right from the get-go. It’s also the first song where Beggar get to settle into a proper groove. That off-kilter feel is still there, but they seem to finding their focus. The introspective instrumental passages mid-way through provide some time for variation, before Beggar switch back to their ever-exhausting sludge.

Surprisingly, Knuckledragging takes Beggar in a new direction, replete with clean vocals and really nice bluesy riffs. There’s dissonance still present later on but that just bridges the verses. The extended semi-improv drumming during Knuckledragging shows real ambition by the band to write clever and interesting songs. On Leper’s Mass, Beggar slow things right down to a doom inspired crawl. At just over eight minutes in length, it harnesses great lead work, before the low end takes over and drags the tone down. The vocals here are suitably extreme, with deep death-metal inspired growls alongside those more familiar screams. It’s really cool to hear some vocal variation here and it fits their music well. The earlier megaphone-like screams I mentioned made sense in the earlier songs, but couldn’t really have been sustained through the rest of the EP, so adding other elements is a smart move. Add to that the brilliant musicianship that holds the song together and Beggar really are onto something.

The EP goes by really quickly and before you know it, closer The Way Out is blasting through. It’s another loud tome that takes it’s cues from Beggar II’s opener. It epitomises their bluesy, noisy metal and shows of their mature musicianship one final time. Beggar have really surprised me. I came into this review with no prior knowledge of the band or how they sound, but left it with a massive smile on my face. Beggar are doing everything right in my opinion. From their obvious love of playing live, to their ambition to spread their music that takes advantage of both digital and traditional means, to the the music itself, which features stellar production and enough promise to hopefully propel Beggar into a lot more faces in the future. 

Beggar II is available to stream and to pick up as a pay-what-you-want download below:-

There is also the option to pick up a CD copy for just £1.50 (or more)! It's definitely worth it.

Beggar Facebook -

Idre - S/T

It's now stupidly hot and humid here and my review space, while indoors, isn't any cooler. I've retreated indoors to write about, Idre are another new band that have recently come to my attention. They are from Oklahoma and released their debut self-titled album in May via Dust House Records. They channel the influences of Neurosis and Khanate amongst others and they have recently had the pleasure of playing alongside the always awesome Primitive Man and Pinkish Black at various gigs so far this year. Their debut features two songs spread over almost forty minutes.


1. Factorie
2. Witch Trial

Idre start with Factorie, which is a slow-building, winding post-metal piece with clean guitar reminiscent of Ennio Morricone and his Western soundtracks. It’s no surprise then that Idre are influenced by the man himself. The vocals are low and almost goth-like in delivery but again they remind you of the aforementioned Westerns. At nearly 27-minutes long, Factorie is a journey of multiple parts that ebb and flow, through guitar feedback and moments of near silence. The instrumentation is very assured and while at times the use of drone breeds repetition, the music is always interesting. The use of doom orchestration to slow things down further creates a solemn atmosphere that is only picked up when the clean guitar tones comes into view. For a song of so many intricate parts, Factorie still feels like it’s meant to be. It doesn’t sound laboured and remains varied. That being said, it’s not for people with short attention spans or under-developed imaginations!

Second track Witch Trial is half the length of Factorie and due to that, it features more urgency and initially a more accessible feel. The instrumental intro leans more toward the Western influences that Idre exhibited in their opener. Their are still gothic overtones within the vocals, but that similarity is only due to the deep-tone of Ryan Davis’s voice. Idre don’t completely escape the drone on Witch Trial either, instead using it to make the song sound more claustrophobic as it draws to a close. Idre’s performance on their debut is one that’s clearly been thought about and planned in great detail. They haven’t rushed into it and they’ve taken their time in creating something that will appeal to a large cross-section of heavy music fans, but also with the lack of extreme vocals, they’ll more than likely appeal to non-metal fans too. They would fit right in on the roster of Southern Lord or Profound Lore Records and that says a lot for the quality on offer here.

Idre's debut is available for streaming and as a name-your-price download via their bandcamp page below:-

Idre Tumblr -
Idre Facebook -

Wednesday 9 July 2014

New Songs - Black Veins/Old Boy/Set Before Us

Here's another new feature I've decided to do, though I'm not sure if this one will be a regular one. As the title suggests, it's about new songs from three bands. I don't usually write about single songs, but as I've been asked nicely, I thought I'd break with tradition. It's a multinational affair to, with Birmingham based heavy band Black Veins and Bournemouth hardcore troupe Old Boy representing the UK, while new metalcore/hardcore act Set Before Us hold it down for Sweden.

Black Veins - Colony of The Earth And Sky

It's been a while since I've heard anything by Black Veins but they have a new album on the way, titled "Tyrrany", which is due for release during the summer via Witch Hunter Records, Speedowax Records and Sell Your Soul Records. This is the first song they've posted up from the album, to help wet your appetites. Not that you need any encouragement!

Seeing Black Veins in a dank, dark cellar in Leeds was one of my favourite gig experiences, even if it was brief and judging by the strength of this track, that experience will be repeated in the future. The ethereal, haunting intro leads into a suitably noisy slab of fast/slow hardcore, laced with powerviolence and post-metal. Taken influence from their European cousins instead of those across the pond, Black Veins have stepped up their game since the “Cycle Will Cease To End” 7”. I can’t wait for the LP to drop.

Stream it for yourselves here (and even download it for free):-

Keep checking the below pages for news on the release:-

Black Veins Facebook -
Witch Hunter Records Facebook -
Speedowax Records  Facebook -
Sell Your Soul Records Facebook -

Old Boy - Hearteater

This next band are a hardcore band from Bournemouth, who have recently released their first single. As with the current wave of melodic hardcore bands, they've been getting themselves out into as many faces as possible, namely supporting Black Dogs and lining up a support slots with Dead Harts and Baby Godzilla in the coming weeks. They only set up the band in March, so have moved pretty quickly to get some music out, as well as taking advantage of social media to get in touch with me of course!

Their first single Hearteater is a solid slab of melodic hardcore. The production has given them a raw, DIY sound but one that helps Old Boy’s music come to the fore. Judging by the promise here, they’ll no doubt be on a Ghostfest bill in a couple years or so. The guitars mix chunky breakdowns with melodic riffs, the bass adds heft alongside the percussion while the vocals lean toward more extreme end of hardcore but don’t cross the line into deathcore/beatdown territory. Hopefully they’ll put up more music soon and keep those great post-hardcore riffs going, as they really add to the music. Being such a new band in terms of length of time together, they’ve got their act together quickly, but their haste hasn’t been in vein. Hearteater doesn’t sound forced or rushed and provides Old Boy with a great springboard to build on.

You can stream Hearteater and grab it as a name-your-price download below:-

Old Boy Facebook -

Set Before Us - Wildfire

I'm finishing up with a bit of continental flair. Set Before Us are a metalcore/hardcore band from Stockholm, Sweden. They started out back in January 2013 and are now really gaining momentum, with a recent appearance at the final of Emergenza, a Swedish event for new and up-coming bands, plus the release of their new single. They are currently recording a new EP and aim to release it later this summer.

The live shows that Set Before Us have played seem to have helped them weave a decent hardcore song. Taking their cues from metalcore bands like Killswitch Engage and Soilwork, they’ve managed to produce a heavy yet melodic track. The riffs are crushing for the most part but the choruses contain some great lead work, while the vocals are roared our with plenty of passion. The soundstage is such that the bass and drums are lower in the mix when the guitars are in full swing, but that doesn’t detract from the song at all. This takes me back to my late teens and the countless hours I spent listening to Alive Or Just Breathing. Any song that does that is worth anyone’s time.

Check out and download Wildfire (for free or for a contribution) here:-

Set Before Us Facebook -

Sunday 6 July 2014

First Contact Pt.1 - Raum Kingdom/December Youth

First of all, please excuse the silly title of this feature. I couldn't think of anything better. I felt the necessity to write this feature because a while ago, I added a new contact method to the blog to make it easier for me interact with people and for them to interact with me. Well, it seems that the new method is working because I've been contacted by four bands that were totally new to me. This first part features Irish post-metal/sludge band Raum Kingdom and German hardcore band December Youth. The feature also leads me into a week where I'm going to try and bring you more new bands, before I head off on holiday the week after.

Raum Kingdom - S/T EP

Ireland has a knack of producing great sludge bands, with Drainland and Wreck of The Hesperus being just two of them. Raum Kingdom creeped upon us earlier this year and released their self-titled EP in April both digitally and on CD. It has also been released on tape by awesome Welsh label Aonair Productions. Scrolling through their Facebook pictures, many show the band members depicting motionless, dead bodies. I think this sums up the mood and darkness of their music.


1. Wounds
2. Barren Objects
3. Cross Reference
4. These Open Arms
5. This Sullen Hope

The atmosphere projected by Raum Kingdom in first song Wounds, is one of menace and mourning. The guitar provides melody and post-metal textures, while the drums are understated and the vocals switch between curdling screams and clean singing, which fits really well and sounds more like a cry.

With Barren Objects, Raum Kingdom carries on down an expansive path. It’s not one you would be expecting either, as the softly sung clean vocals take centre stage from the off. The lowly guitar still hints at the pain and sorrow to follow. It’s a slow and doom-laden affair as it builds, but unlike bands like Cult of Luna, Raum Kingdom retain a sense of mystery that comes with not sticking to the usual quiet/loud dynamic. Think of The End’s last album Elementary (Relapse) and you’d be in the right ball park in terms of reference points. 

Cross Reference starts with an epic thought provoking spoken word sample, with more beautiful guitar. The song isn’t as lengthy as those before it, but it’s no less thought provoking. Emotional rhyming poetry that really makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. It leads instantly into These Open Arms, which leaves it’s mark straight away thanks to the return of more hellish screams. The jarring, off-kilter feel of the instrumentation here shows a different edge to Raum Kingdom and the shorter length gives them urgency. I really like the variation they’ve managed to weave into this EP, while sticking to a loose yet heavy blueprint. 

Ending things with sub ten-minute song This Sullen Hope, Raum Kingdom channel their final ounces of rage and despair. Being their longest song, it includes different elements such as clean vocals that bring Chino Moreno (Deftones) to mind. Away from that comparison, Raum Kingdom hit a heavier stride later on. It’s a chance to show off their heavier side once more and it’s especially welcome during the sludgier passage in the final third of the song. Thick riffs and cymbal-led percussion provide a wall of noise that leaves no doubt as to the power and ability of this band.

If this is the strength of debut EP’s in the year 2014, then we’re gonna be in for one hell of a year. While there are hundreds of bands vying for your attention everyday, it’s heartwarming to know that the bands with true feeling and emotion are the one’s producing the best music. Raum Kingdom are such a band.

The EP is up for free download on Raum Kingdom's bandcamp page. You can also pick up a CD, which is housed in a hand-cut card sleeve -

Tape copies can be picked up from Aonair Productions here -

Raum Kingdom Facebook -
Aonair Productions Facebook -

December Youth - Transgressions EP

December Youth mix melodic-hardcore with punk. This Dusseldorf quartet released their debut EP Transgressions in May and have only just played their first live-show, alongside Caught In A Crowd (React Records) and previously reviewed band Dull Eyes (Headless Guru Records) in their hometown. Their allegiance to the melodic-hardcore/metal scene that's blossoming in Europe at the moment, gives them an accessible edge. Like Raum Kingdom above, December Youth have a real DIY ethic, producing their own CDs as well as merch to take to shows, which alongside their music has got them noticed and onto the support bill for Evergreen Terrace's show in Jena in August.


1. A Backward Glance
2. 13
3. A Promise
4. First Part of A Tragedy
5. Chasing Dreams

I have a soft spot for melodic hardcore, which has been growing in recent months. It might have something to do with the bands I grew up listening to once I passed my nu-metal phase. Either way, December Youth do nothing to dissuade me from forsaking it. Transgressions’ opening salvo A Backward Glance features that “shout-from-the-rooftops” feel that seems to draw me toward melodic-hardcore. Coupled with the simple but effective instrumentation, it’s a great opener. 13 relies more on the band’s punk influence than the opener, with a faster tempo and more upbeat feel. In spite of that, they’ve still been canny enough to fit in some great riffs. The guitar that starts off A Promise really tugs at my heartstrings. Don’t worry, I’m not going all emo on you, but I am a sucker for melody. 

December Youth move back into more expansive territory with First Part of A Tragedy. This is where the production pays dividends for the band. The vocals jump out of the speakers like Chris is in the room with you. The instrumentation isn’t buried in the mix and provides the perfect backdrop, that filters into EP closer Chasing Dreams. It borrows from the opener and feels just as epic. December Youth are another extremely assured band, who’s confidence is more than backed up by their music. Transgressions is really uplifting and shows that Europe is leading the way in the sub-genre. Great work!

You can stream Transgressions and get it as a name-your-price download here -

You can grab their CD and merch from here -

December Youth Facebook -

Wednesday 2 July 2014

The Day Man Lost/Prolefeed - Split 7"

It's time to review something from this country again. This is the split 7" that came out at last year featuring two fast bands from the North of England. Newcastle Upon Tyne's Prolefeed linked up with Preston grinders The Day Man Lost to release a split record containing twelve tracks and some of the best artwork I've seen in ages, The picture above is of TDML's side of the split, while Prolefeed's is below (because blogger wouldn't allow me to sit them side by side!).

The Day Man Lost played at 'Kin Hell Fest earlier this year, but I missed them due to public transport. I've not seen either band before, but have heard great things about both. The split was self-released by the bands themselves. It was the first recorded output from The Day Man Lost since their reformation in 2011. Prolefeed features members of Winds of Genocide and Tide of Iron, amongst others.


Side A - The Day Man Lost

1. Hung By A Noose
2. Cheap Seat Viewpoint
3. No Borders
4. Slave To Ignorance
5. Victims
6. Reduced To A Commodity
7. How Far Will You Go?

Side B - Prolefeed

8. Hated Generation
9. Crack The Whip
10. Arctic Wheat
11. Fear
12. Evolution

The Day Man Lost start off their side of the split in glorious, noisy fashion. Their songs aren’t more than a minute each and their side doesn’t even hit six-minutes, which is good going for seven songs. Hung By A Noose and Cheap Seat Viewpoint literally flash by, as there is only a short breath between them. The vox on No Borders are unhinged and the stop/start riffs match them. It’s hard to write about the music when it’s this quick. Slave of Ignorance features some great riffs and TDML even have time to actually groove! I really wish I'd stayed at ‘Kin Hell Fest to see them now, bloody last train! Victims, Reduced To A Commodity and How Far Will You Get? follow in rapid succession, with the latter proving the heftiest song on their side of the split.

Prolefeed’s side features five songs, which are slightly longer but no less exhilarating. Compared to TDML’s wall of noise, Hated Generation seems sedate. That’s not doing Prolefeed any disservice though as their sludgier noise is equally epic. Crack The Whip features some really thick riffs and the jazzy bass licks in Arctic Wheat add something special to their sound, even if it is subtle. The production that both bands get conjures images of chaotic live shows in sweaty pub back rooms, which is how it should be. Prolefeed’s closing duo of Fear and Evolution end this ridiculously noisy split in typical fashion. The punk-influenced drumming on Evolution is really danceable and put a huge shit-eating grin on my face. I jut want to smash things now!

I was late getting to this split, for which I apologise to both bands. With the British PV/fastcore/grind scene being as strong as it is right now, having bands like TDML and Prolefeed carrying the flag for the North of England shows that there are legs in the scene that far outstretch our shores. Top stuff and I’m looking forward to more from both bands this year, hopefully!

You can stream TDML's side of the split on their bandcamp page below:-

Their songs are also available their as a name-your-price download.

I've not been able to find Prolefeed's side streaming anywhere, so you'll just have to pick up a copy of the 7" by going to or by e-mailing The Day Man Lost directly.

The Day Man Lost Facebook -
Prolefeed Facebook -