Saturday 27 September 2014

Cult Of Occult - Hic Est Domus Diaboli

I first came across this French doom band when I checked out the Master Of Reality: CVLT Nation Sessions, which featured notable doom bands Primitive Man, Rorcal, Usnea & Graves At Sea covering Black Sabbath tracks alongside Bongripper and Albino Panther (whom I'd never heard of). You can stream said sessions here -

I was surprised and dirtily heavy Cult Of Occult were and when I found out that UK doom label Dry Cough Records has pre-orders up for this tape, I flew straight in there. With their only previous release being a self-titled EP in 2012, Cult Of Occult released this record initially in 2013 on CD, via Totalrust Music. The band then came to the attention of Dry Cough and Breathe Plastic Records, who released Hic Est Domus Diaboli on tape earlier this year together. They are also coming to these shores this December, with date planned in London, Manchester, Nottingham and Bristol.


1. In Vino Veritas
2. Pro Diabolus
3. Opus Ad Odio
5. Requiem
6. Magna Eripe

Feedback is the staple of doom and in fact, most slow heavy music. It sets a tone for the music and if it screeches enough, it can set you teeth on edge, That’s what happens with the very first ring on opener In Vino Veritas. Cult Of Occult use it to open up the first couple of minutes of Hic Est Domus Diaboli before the crunching, lurching guitars, crashing cymbals and low-growls vocals kick in. I’ve stood transfixed at doom gigs many a time in the past and Cult Of Occult sound like exactly the sort of band that would induce an out of body experience. 

Pro Diabolus has a slightly positive feel as the opening riffs begin. The melody created wasn’t expected at first but as the rasping screams come into sight, it starts to sound all the more sinister. It’s  nearly eighteen minutes in length and further accentuates the feeling of dread that Cult Of Occult’s winding, sprawling doom creates. The lumbering bass that provides more low-end heft, gives the guitar a run for it’s money on here and without the crashing cymbals, things would just not be the same. It gets heavier and heavier, the longer it plays for and if you’re not in a trance at the end, you’re doing it wrong!

Obviously, there are sludgier moments amongst Hic Est…, but Opus Ad Odio features some slow and festering groove that bare no adoration for the dirty south. This is straight-up, bass-heavy chaos. Much like the rest of the tape really! The retro fuzz created mid-way through the song brings to mind all kinds of psychedelia and funk strangely. This song as a whole promotes the experimental side of the band. The chanting that follows helps to explain their name (there’s even a hint of the occult within it).

With DCLXVI, Cult Of Occult turn towards their stoner brethren with a short interlude that features plenty of groove n riff. It’s a welcome escape from the dank darkness that this tape holds. It does slightly remind of those underground industrial discos, but that’s not a bad thing. I can see plenty of goths dancing to this! Requiem is minimalist in style to begin with, but fear not as this song is anything but shy and retiring. It resembles the tape’s opener. This song epitomises the way I felt when I heard their Black Sabbath cover on the aforementioned Cvlt Nation session. Superbly slow and heavy, with no pandering to fashion or hype. 

Cult Of Occult create one last mammoth wall of sludge on Magna Eripe. Those riffs may sound atonal to some, but damn are they big! In fact this whole song is big. A fine what to end a tape that despite it’s diminutive physical size, more than fills you speakers and your room with cavernous soundscapes of utter, ludicrously heavy joy. If you buy one doom/sludge tape this year, make sure it’s this and for god sake, keep both eyes fixed firmly on this band. Tres Bien Merci!

Stream it here:-

You can buy Hic Est Domus Diaboli on tape, CD and via digital download from the band directly above.

You can also buy it on tape and CD from the below labels:-

Dry Cough Records -
Breathe Plastic Records -
Totalrust Music -

Cult Of Occult Facebook -
Dry Cough Records Facebook -
Breathe Plastic Records Facebook -
Totalrust Music Facebook -

Thursday 25 September 2014

Dead Weight - Victim Of Deceit LP

Carrying on my theme from the weekend, here's another recent UK release. Footloose Records, who've featured a few times already on the blog are due to this five-track LP by St Albans hardcore crew Dead Weight, which features three bonus songs from their previous "Cut Loose" EP and three previously unreleased live tracks. This review features the five tracks on the A-side.

Dead Weight formed in 2010 and have been playing all over the place, including supporting Backtrack and Your Demise this year alone! Victim Of Deceit was released in May.


1. Falsification
2. Life In Spite
3. Eleventh Hour
4. Nail Bed
5. Iron First.

Dead Weight play massively meaty hardcore. Following bands like Malevolence and Demoraliser, they major of stomp heavy riffs and atmosphere taken from the likes of Machine Head and Shadows Fall. Falsification is their signal of intent and a rousing opener, They ratchet up the intensity on Life In Spite. The vocal tones are lower on Victim Of Deceit, lending Dead Weight a more sinister and violent edge. Very European in style.

The great thing about Dead Weight is that they are still developing as a band. Playing alongside the likes of Backtrack and Your Demise will have done them no harm either. Eleventh Hour contains hints of thrash, which will help them appeal to a bigger cross-section of fans. So will the fact that they don’t solely rely of constant breakdowns. The production on the record lens itself well to their heavy sound, with the bass and guitars meshing together to sound huge. Nail Bed is the aural equivalent of lying on the implement of torture it’s named after. 

Closing with Iron Fist, Dead Weight end on a high note with a mosh-heavy slab of hardcore. There’s just enough melody present in the main riff to get reel you in. The screams of vocalist Sam Hames hit a new level of demented in the mid-section, full of pent up rage and emotion. The extended instrumental section made up of screeching feedback leads into a noise laden ending. It shows experimentation akin to that of Full Of Hell and it’s equally as unnerving.

On this showing, Dead Weight should be perfectly well set to move up the UK hardcore ladder. They’ve got the chops to keep the kids happy, while providing plenty for the jaded hardcore elders to like. Top stuff.

You can stream Victim Of Deceit here:-

It's available as a name-your-price download from Dead Weight's bandcamp page above.

Vinyl copies with the extra tracks can be pre-ordered from Footloose Records here -

Dead Weight Facebook -
Footloose Records Facebook -

Sunday 21 September 2014

This Ends Here - Afterwards EP

This is probably my last post of the weekend. It feels like it's been fairly productive. To close things out, I'm writing about a 7" that only came out last month. Bristol based heavy band This Ends Here released their first 7" via a whole host of record labels (I'll list them later in the review). The band got in touch with me and set over a beautiful sky-blue copy of the 7". I have to say, the whole thing is great. The front-cover artwork is wrapped around the entire sleeve and the record is housed in a light brown paper inner sleeve, instead of the usual white one.


1. Undefeated
2. Resignation
3. Cattlegrid

This Ends Here aren’t the type of band that meanders along and opening song Undefeated features blast beats, melodic guitar and harsh-hardcore vox. All those simple parts have been meshed together in a  no nonsense manner. This isn’t straightforward hardcore though and This End Here can’t by classified under one sub-genre. They appear more minimalistic on Resignation. The bass guitar rules the roost in the opening bars before they allow the lead guitar to add atmosphere. This song is more punk than anything and is damn good for it.

7” closer Cattlegrid is a more thoughtful song and builds at a slower pace. Again, the guitar adds atmosphere through well-played melody. The drum production comes across as a lot rawer too, giving their sound a live edge. At nearly five-minutes, the song gives TEH an opportunity to expand their sound and it finishes on a strangely calming note. Clearly all of the gig playing time has done This Ends Here a lot of good. This 7” is focused and well played. They’ve been through a lot band wise over the last couple of years but with a stable line-up and writing like this, I think they’ll definitely be on the up.

You can stream Afterwards via the band's bandcamp page here:-

It's available to buy on both limited pink or blue vinyl from their page too.

You can also pick it up from the stores of the labels who helped put it out:-

Never Fall Into Silence Records -
Prejudice Me Records -
Wooaaargh Records -
Anarchotic Records -
Let The Bastards Grind - letthebastardsgrind (at) hotmail (dot) com

This Ends Here Facebook -
Never Fall Into Silence Records Facebook -
Prejudice Me Records Facebook -
Wooaaargh Records Facebook -
Anarchotic Records Facebook -
Let The Bastards Grind Facebook - 

Iron Witch/The Atrocity Exhibit - Split 7"

In late 2013, Liverpudlian sludge band Iron Witch joined forces with Northampton/Milton Keynes grind trio The Atrocity Exhibit for this two-track split. It was a joint release between Witch Hunter Records and Dead Chemists Records (who're sadly on hiatus at the moment).

Iron Witch have been playing their brand of Eyehategod worship since 2011, with several demos, EP's and 7"s to their name. They've been playing everywhere recently and have started to record demo tracks that could eventually find their way onto a full-length. I saw them at TDON 10 earlier this year and that gig cemented why I hold them is such high regard.

The Atrocity Exhibit, alongside fellow UK grinders The Afternoon Gentleman, are a bit of an institution now. Since their first demo in 2008, they've released two full-lengths and countless EP's and splits. Their tour/gig ethic is also strong, with appearances planned alongside the likes of SixBrewBantha, Archagathus and Annal Nathrakh in October alone!


1. Iron Witch - Her Cheating Heart
2. The Atrocity Exhibit - Throne Of Bile

Iron Witch open this split with Her Cheating Heart and one of the mightiest riff’s this side of their NOLA heroes. The low-end takes control here to mighty effect and the screams that sit over the top are as harrowing as Morrow himself. The lead melody toward the end adds some brief light to what is essentially a claustrophobia-filled slab. I really hope this is the direction that Iron Witch take with their debut album. 

The Atrocity Exhibit approach their contribution Throne Of Bile from a different angle. Ringing feedback leads to violently delivered sludge with blood-curdling screams. They really compliment this split by toning down their usual higher tempo grind and replacing it with something slower. The feedback can sometimes be really piercing, but again it adds to the listening experience, especially when turned up.

You can stream both songs below:-

You can get digital copies/vinyl from both the bands above.

You can also buy vinyl copies from Witch Hunter and Dead Chemists below:-

Witch Hunter Records Store -
Dead Chemists Records Store -

Iron Witch Facebook -
The Atrocity Exhibit Facebook -
Witch Hunter Records Facebook -
Dead Chemists Records Facebook -

Saturday 20 September 2014

Trudger - Dormiveglia LP

I recently saw Barnsley's Trudger in Leeds while they were on tour with Swinelord. Their bluesy riff-laden crust was perfect in the intimate setting at The Fenton. Their earlier Motionless In Dirt EP hinted at the kind of sound they were going for, but it was with Dormiveglia that it matured. The LP came out in August via Church Of Fuck and Sell Your Soul Records on glorious blue vinyl, limited to 300 copies. It's was worth picking up for the artwork (by Ghost Dagger) alone.


1. Into The Abysmal Future
2. Become Joyless
3. Tilikum
4. Thickening Fog
5. Barren Grey
6. Devoid
7. State Of Constant Slumber
8. Morgued

The echoing intro too opener Into The Abysmal Future beckons you in, as Dormiveglia whirls into life. After a short burst of feedback, Trudger launch into the kind of groove and blues-laden crust hybrid that you could have otherwise only dreamt of. Underneath the low screams and cymbal-led drums, the guitars provide melody that's akin to black metal. The expansive delivery is intense but it still manages to hook you in. 

They’re also pretty experimental, as they exhibit on Become Joyless. The instrumentation could easily be written by Remission-era Mastodon and the song as a whole is a joy to listen too. It transports me back to when I first discovered the aforementioned band and the effortless way in which Trudger switch from crust to this is spot on.

After the brief instrumental piece Tilikum, Thickening Fog seems to transport you back to medieval times. It might be due to the tribal-like drumming that starts it off. In spite of the genre terms I’ve already mentioned above, the further you get into Dormiveglia, the harder it is to categorise Trudger. I think it’s definitely a case of “if you appreciate heavy music, you’ll enjoy this” and as is the case with so many bands nowadays, they have to be appreciated in their own right and not compared to what has come before. The dramatic soundscape that fills out the latter half of Thickening Fog shows how far Trudger have come in a relatively short time span.

People seem to think that bands are catering towards people with short-attention spans nowadays. I’d much rather get my teeth into something more wholesome and Trudger deliver that as Barren Grey starts of the second half of the record. I’m actually surprised that the atmosphere and dynamics that served them so well live has more than followed them on record. It just goes to show that vinyl really is a superior format and that the No Studio/Audiosiege combo is a force to be reckoned with in sonic terms.

Devoid breaks the record up again with a short interlude before the relative peace of State Of Constant Slumber. It lures you into a false sense of security and out of nowhere, you’re jolted by a slow and heavy structure that’s as addictive as it is threatening. It’s the penultimate song on Dormiveglia and Trudger take things a little slower here, but I can’t blame them really. The variation makes things more exciting. 

They leave it to album closer Morgued to put the final nail in the coffin. The mix of metal, crust and sludge weave a thick cloth of sound and it’s hard not to feel strangely nostalgic as the extended instrumental sections ring out. This all proves that the UK has it’s extreme metal future mapped out and with bands like Trudger dragging it forward, there’s no reason to look elsewhere. 

You can stream Dormiveglia here:-

It's available as a digital download for the small price of £4.

Vinyl copies can be purchased from Church Of Fuck and Sell Your Soul Records via the below links:-

Church Of Fuck Bigcartel -
Sell Your Souls Records Bigcartel -

Trudger Facebook -
Church Of Fuck Facebook -
Sell Your Soul Records Facebook -

Exclusive stream! - Astarium - From The Cleaved Old Coffins

After reviewing the two-track single by Russian black metal band Astarium recently, I approached SiN (sole-member) to ask if I could stream it via my bandcamp page to help promote his band. He graciously agreed and so it becomes the first release to be streamed via This Noise Is Ours -

There are still copies of the floppy disk variant from Grotesque Sounds Productions here - and the 3"/5" vinyl variant from NitroAtmosfericum Records here -

Remember, I will happily stream songs or full releases to help bands and labels out with promotion, so please get in touch.

Astarium Facebook -
Grotesque Sounds Productions Facebook -
NitroAtmosfericum Records Facebook -

Colossloth - Anchored By Lungs EP

Today sparks the start of the great catch up. I'm taking the opportunity over the coming weeks to try and increase my productivity. Starting with a few releases by British bands and labels. Experimental/noise/doom band Colossloth contacted me back in February (sorry for the delay) with the link to this EP. I've not featured much experimental noise recently, so it seems like the perfect time to dive into this EP's three-tracks, which was released via Bristol's Peripheral Records late last year.


1. Anchored By Lungs
2. Welcome Home Mourning Voyeur
3. Feint Hearted

Colossloth sits at the end of the doom spectrum that’s reserved only for the bravest of souls. I use the doom term quite loosely too, as while there are hints of it within Colossloth’s music, it’s shrouded in droning, looping electronics. This comparison is a huge cliche, but Anchored By Lungs reminds you of those early moments playing Silent Hill in a darkened room. Your senses are heightened to the point of paranoia.

The piano that greets you on Welcome Home Mourning Voyeur bare’s the sound of a slightly haunting and out of tune music box, which slowly get drowned out by the gusting feedback and what could be described as a chainsaw. This song plays through movements of melody, giving way to layered noise before looping back to it’s starting point. Strangely psychopathic but fun.

The land of the rising sun springs to mind at the start of Feint Hearted. Don’t ask me why I think that. There’s not much in the way of percussion on the EP, as for the most part it’s entirely electronic. That being said though, while a lot of electronic music can become boring, Colossloth breathes bizarre new life into the sub-genre.

Stream Anchored By Lungs here - 

It can be downloaded from the above bandcamp page for £3!

Colossloth Facebook -
Peripheral Records Wordpress -
Peripheral Records Facebook -

Friday 19 September 2014

Night Demon - Night Demon EP (Expanded Edition)

In spite of the rude health of heavy metal nowadays, younger fans seem to forget (or in some cases, don't even know) what started it all off. I'm talking about people who've not invested the time in listening to bands like Diamond Head, Iron Maiden and the like. Obviously, it is difficult to hear the resemblance between those bands and modern day bands like Lamb Of God and Miss May I, but dig deep enough and you'll find bands that do.

Ventura, Californian band Night Demon are one such band that take their roots from traditional heavy metal. They released a four-track 7" in 2012, which was later released in expanded form last year via High Roller Records. They have also just finished recording their debut album.


1. Night Demon
2. The Chalice
3. Ancient Evil
4. Ritual
5. Axe Crazy
6. Lightning To The Nations
7. Radar Love (First Live gig)
8. Ritual (First Live gig

It’s all about the guitar with Night Demon. The melodic riffs and the screaming solos instantly hit you on opener, Night Demon. The vocals are almost falsetto and the harmonies work brilliantly. Mix Maiden with a bit of thrash and this is what you get. The driving bass-line that signals the start of The Chalice, belies a song that is slower paced that the opener. That doesn’t detract from the music though, as it highlights Night Demon’s heavy metal credentials further. Proving that they’re equally as happy at mid-pace as they are ripping their way through some thrash. The solo will make you smile no matter what! The first four tracks on this expanded edition are the original four from the 7” and the production is top quality. Ancient Evil will bury itself inside your head and you’ll be singing the chorus for days, if not weeks. Ritual closes out those original tracks in the same fashion that Night Demon started it all. Brilliantly simple power-riffs and another smile-inducing solo. Four songs on the 7” really weren’t enough, so thank god they stuck on four more!

The next three songs are covers, starting with Axe Crazy by Jaguar. If you’re into NWOBHM, you know what you’re getting into here. A great take on the song. They pay homage to Diamond Head with a cover of Lightning To The Nations. Having seen that band at The Cockpit in Leeds (RIP), I can attest that they deserve to be heard by more people so it’s great see Night Demon spreading them to more ears. I’m not that familiar with Golden Earring, but Night Demon covered their song Radar Love at their first gig and it makes it’s way onto this as the first of two live songs. I’m really digging this as it gathers their live energy and replicates it well on record. You can’t say that about many live songs that find their way onto vinyl. They close the record out with a live version of 7” song Ritual. It’s a good chance to hear how their stuff comes across live and all I can say is, if they ever come to the UK, I’m there!

You can stream Night Demon here:-

There are also plenty of merch options available, including digital downloads, t-shirts, CD copies and rare out-of-print copies of the original 7".

If you want the expanded LP version, head to High Roller Records here -

Night Demon Facebook -
High Roller Records Facebook -

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Save Your Breath - There Used To Be A Place For Us

Pop-punk and indeed punk/hardcore doesn't get enough coverage on here and I feel like perking myself up after a tough day. Newport boys Save Your Breath released this record in late 2013 via Animal Style Records. It's done them a lot of good too; they've played Slam Dunk this year and are due to support Kids In Glass Houses on their farewell tour next month.


1. Lessons
2. Whole
3. Maps
4. Harrow Road
5. Skin And Bones
6. Abandon
7. Find A Way
8. The World Is Yours
9. Airs & Graces
10. Touchpaper
11. There Used To Be A Place For Us

Save Your Breath begin opening track Lessons with a dramatic intro that deceives you. If you thought that this record was going to be full of cookie cutter pop-punk, you’re gonna be surprised. Save Your Breath take elements from melodic rock, indie and indeed punk; moulding them together into an arena filling sound.

With Whole, they turn up the pace and settle into more familiar territory. At times, you could be listening to Rise Against or even Reel Big Fish (sans the trumpets). One thing they do very well, is condense their songs into short bursts, which carry good momentum. Maps is perfectly placed to follow Whole in terms of it’s pace and punch. Maps is reminiscent of latter day Funeral For A Friend, which isn’t a bad comparison at all.

If your still clinging onto the final remnants of your summer nights, then Harrow Road is the song for you. Perfect sing-along song. Save Your Breath’s penchant for big songs can be heard on Skin And Bones. It’s more reflective and thought provoking. It’s a ballad of sorts, but never feels mushy or self-deprecating. The riffs at the beginning of Abandon switch the mood and are really danceable. They must sound great live! Another thing that hits you on this record is the overall instrumentation, which is simple and very effective.

Save Your Breath frequent a part of the punk spectrum that I’ve not been focusing on of late, mainly due to my own nostalgic image of what punk is and also because I usually have my head buried in more extreme sounds. I feel I should do more digging though, as I’m really enjoying this. Find A Way is literally your archetypal three-minute masterpiece. The anthemic riffs and comforting vocals give The World Is Yours a familiar sheen that puts you at ease. That’s not to say it’s staid though, far from it!

Airs & Graces is a tad more experimental but buries itself in your head really quickly. The overall pace of the record carries on through to the penultimate song, Touchpaper. The melodic score that sits behind the vocals keeps things tight. Ending with the title-track and it’s echoing vocals, There Used To Be A Place For Us is one of those records that you’ll crave more than you thought you would. While The Movielife and Drive-Thru Records era punk will always been the pinnacle for me, Save Your Breath make a very good case for the current crop.

You can stream the whole album via Animal Style Records here:-

You can buy it digitally from the above bandcamp page.

You can grab physical copies from the links below:-

Save Your Breath Bigcartel -
Animal Style Records -

Save Your Breath Facebook -
Animal Style Records Facebook -

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Astarium - From The Cleaved Old Coffins 3"

The Liverpool FC Champions Leagues game is boring, so it's time for an impulse review. Yep, you read that correctly. I am reviewing a 3" vinyl single! This two-track single was released on 3.5" Floppy Disk by Grotesque Sounds Productions and also in 3" and 5" vinyl form by NitroAtmosfericum Records. It's exactly the type of die-hard release you'd expect from Astarium. Sole member SiN has been writing and playing his own brand of cosmic, ambient black metal under the Astarium moniker since 2006 and has featured on this blog a few times in recent years. He kindly sent me a copy of the release and I'm yet to work out how to play it on my turntable as it's pretty small, so I'm reviewing it digitally.


1, Part I
2. Part II

This being a single means that it’s over pretty quickly, due to the limited space available to Astarium on the 3” vinyl format that this is pressed onto. I’m cheating though unfortunately and am listening to MP3 versions, thanks to SiN.

Opener, Part 1 instantly kicks in with orchestral and isolated black metal. SiN’s vocals are equally as high in the mix as the instrumentation, with the drums and strings providing an engaging sound-stage to back up his gargled growls.

Part II feels very much like the continuation of the first side, but with a mixture of low and high pitched growls this time. From The Cleaved Old Coffins is one of the shortest releases I’ve ever listened too, but it’s long enough to give new listeners a int as to what to expect from Astarium’s sound. This isn’t just for fans only and is a nice little release.

There's currently no full stream of this release, but a sample of Part I can be heard via Astarium's website here - I might try and line up a stream if I can get permission. Watch this space!

You can pick up both the Floppy disk and vinyl version from the following labels:-

Grotesque Sounds Productions -
NitroAtmosfericum Records -

Astarium Facebook -
Grotesque Sounds Productions -
NitroAtmosphericum Records -

Saturday 13 September 2014

Lifes/Short Walk - Split 7"

Lifes have been a busy band since their demo tape was released. They've released two split 7"s and featured on a compilation 7" too. On this split, the two-piece PV band saddle up with fellow Milwaukee band Short Walk. It was released by Hygiene Records in collaboration with the bands themselves. Plus, it features a whopping fourteen songs! On one 7"!


1. Lifes - Not Alright
2. Lifes - Tables Turned
3. Lifes - Sacred Order
4. Lifes - Nothing New
5. Lifes - Dum Cos I Said So (FYP)
6. Lifes - Party By The Lifes
7. Short Walk - Same Dream
8. Short Walk - Great Luck
9. Short Walk - Just Say No
10. Short Walk - Planeswalker
11. Short Walk - Communication
12. Short Walk - Fuck God
13. Short Walk - Rider
14. Short Walk - Boldly Stoned

Lifes are a pretty intense listening experience. Off-kilter drum and bass powerviolence is the order of the day on their side of this split and instantly, Not Alright stands loud and proud. It’s surprising what melody is created by the bass. Tables Turned is the first really short song on here at a mere thirteen seconds. It really is over before you know it. They stretch their legs and lungs during the following trio. Firstly, Sacred Order gets the title of longest song on the split and works really well against the backdrop of brief grinding bursts. Nothing New sees them mixing hints of sludge with hints of thrash. At least that’s what I picked out of the intro anyway. One things for sure, their urgency never lets up, even during the slower latter half of Dum Cos I Said So (FYP). Their side ends with a flurry of chaos in Party By The Lifes.

Onto Short Walk’s side now. They’re a three-piece with a guitarist. Same Dream starts off with a peculiarly quite intro before plenty of double-bass and fuzzy guitar.  Their vocalist must have huge lungs as for the first fifteen seconds of Great Luck, he screams without coming up for air. Short Walk demonstrate their ability to switch between fast and slow dynamics during Just Say No. There’s nothing slow about Planeswalker though and you definitely feel it as it stops on a dime. You really do need staying power to blast through this in one sitting. That’s not a criticism though, as Communication will probably have you bouncing around like a loon anyway. There’s no prizes for guessing what the subtly titled Fuck God is about. It’s mad and features some nice guitar work towards the end. Their longest addition to the split is Rider and here, they’ve got their groove nailed down. It’s well worth waiting for. Ending it all with Boldly Stoned, if you really were stoned when listening you’d probably be at your paranoid, jerky phase. 

While both Lifes and Short Walk occupy the same sub-genre, they both have plenty to add to it. The production on the split is clear while not being too pristine and somehow, Lifes seems to come put the louder on record. Plus the cover art is nice.

Stream the whole thing here via Hygiene Records:-

You can purchase digital/physical copies from the following links -

Lifes -
Short Walk -
Hygiene Record -

Lifes Facebook -
Short Walk Facebook -
Hygiene Records Facebook -

Friday 12 September 2014

No Fealty - In The Shadow Of The Monolith

I was really curious when I read a note in an e-mail that said that No Fealty features current and ex members of Hexis. Hexis are a band I really like and I've been as excited about No Fealty as I was the first time I saw Hexis live. That being said, I shouldn't in anyway be comparing No Fealty to their compatriots. Bands should be appreciate in isolation from each other, no matter who the current members are.

No Fealty are from Copenhagen, Denmark and In The Shadow Of The Monolith was the band's first release in 2013. Released via a great cooperative of different record labels and featuring guest appearances from like-minded individuals, it was released on vinyl and limited to 300 copies before later appearing on tape too.


1. Deprivation
2. Kadavergehorsam (Do And Die)
3. Feed The Leviathan
4. Strict Seawater Diet
5. Damnant Quod Non Intelligunt
6. The Emperor Is Laughing (While You Are Making Plans)
7. Animalism
8. Iron Triangle
9. Discomposure
10. Corrupted
11. Savior
12. Rabies God

No Fealty condense the rage of metallic hardcore, the distant ambience of black metal and the speed of grind into a sound that shows they mean business. It’s not surprising when you know the scene and bands they’ve come from. Deprivation is too the point yet still atmospheric. A sub three-minute chunk of blackened pain. No Fealty’s more urgent side shows through more on Kadavergehorsam (Do And Die). It leans more towards punk/hardcore and it’s message is simple, “Just Do And Die”. The band are joined by Filip from Hexis on Feed The Leviathan. The riffs are huge, especially at the start and the chaotic instrumental backdrop clearly suits Filip’s coarse tones. This is more off-kilter but it continues the momentum well. 

With Strict Seawater Diet, it seems that No Fealty’s only mission is to play faster and faster with each song. The orchestral black metal riffs are a pleasure to behold and give the song it’s own personality and vibrancy. There are other guests on In The Shadow…, with Troels and Niels (of Mighty Midgets and more) appearing on Damnant Quod Non Intelligent. It’s a real mix of approaches, with more black metal rubbing shoulders with grind and crust, all weaved into No Fealty’s song-writing so it sounds cohesive and together. The monolithic, post-metal inspired opening passage of The Emperor Is Laughing (While You Are Making Plans) is amazing, It’s definitely the song on the album and the one you want to hear in an intimate live show. The bass in the background rumbles during the heavier sections, while the sample that plays over the top of those riffs makes it feel all the more haunting. 

Things switch back in a bleaker, heavier direction on Animalism and in spite of it’s short playing time, No Fealty make it seem longer than it is through the use of clever song-structure. Iron Triangle follows in exactly the same way. It’s head-spinningly heavy yet it retains melody thanks to the use of metallic riffs. As Discomposure careens forth, it’s obvious that the second half of In The Shadows is meant to be more challenging on the ear. Musically though, it isn’t all over the place as the mid-section of the song demonstrates. These Danes definitely know how to express the coldness of their winters alongside the obvious ills that face them in society on Corrupted

They don’t promise salvation with Savior either. Instead they paint a bleak picture that conjures up images of every-man-for-himself and the fight for survival. It’s the penultimate tome on an album that will leave you far from content with your world. Religion doesn’t escape their malice either during Rabies God, where they’re joined by Leonie from Svffer for a final ode to the false prophet. By far the most chaotic and noisy song on In The Shadow…, it ends abruptly leaving you jarred.
No Fealty have definitely showed their intent with this record and have a caustic, heavy sound that is more the welcome to these ears. Now more than ever, you should pay attention to this beacon of blackness.

You can stream the whole album here:-

You can purchase it digitally or in glorious analog form from No Fealty's bandcamp page above.

As mentioned above, you can also purchase vinyl/tape copies from the following labels:-

Angry Music Records -
Break The Silence -
Gheea Music -
Swarm Of Nails -
TNS Records -
Wolves And Vibrancy Records -
5FeetUnder Records -

No Fealty Facebook -
Break The Silence Records Facebook -
Gheea Music Facebook -
Swam Of Nails Facebook -
TNS Records Facebook -
Wolves And Vibrancy Records Facebook -
5FeetUnder Records Facebook -

Saturday 6 September 2014

Gatecreeper - Gatecreeper EP

The last band I reviewed from Goatprayer Records (Napalm Christ) ended up releasing a 12" through A389 Records. I guess reviewing another one won't hurt. US death metallers Gatecreeper released their debut self-titled tape via Goatprayer Records in April. Since that release they've announced shows alongside Skeletonwich and Code Orange Kids, as well as announcing a 12" release via King Of The Monsters Records and Protagonist Music, which is due out in October. Things are definitely moving forward for these guys.

The tape was released on metallic silver tape and contained all four tracks repeated on both sides, limited to 100 copies. Both band and label have sole out of it.


1. Void Below
2. Force Fed
3. Overdose
4. Slave

Death metal appears to be coming full circle. I know it’s always been popular in it’s truest forms, but after a brief period where it was aligned to hardcore to create the whole late 90’s early 00’s metalcore/NWOAHM thing, it seems to be back where it should be, ripping people’s heads off. 

Gatecreeper are another exponent of it’s modern age and their debut EP propels them in the right direction. Instantly, opening track Void Below throws out some of the loudest death metal I’ve heard this year and with that added US touch to what our Swedish godfathers created, t’s obvious that Gatecreeper are onto something.

The word riff typifies Force Fed. That opening passage of metallic-laden guitar grabs your attention as the band careens through a sludgy mid-paced dirge. Don’t take that the wrong way either, as Force Fed goes further to prove what a powerhouse Gatecreeper are.

They wind up a gear again for Overdose, with huge layers of sound, plenty of thrash flourishes and a well-places solo. The latter half of the song, complete with sludgy breakdown and twin guitars will bring a smile to even the most soulless of music fans, 

Gatecreeper bring things to a close with Slave and this is where they channel their inner Slayer. It’s okay though, as they don’t ape that influence, they use it to add an extra dimension to their sound and it’s good. They may be loud and intense, but they’re also controlled and musical. As Slaves fades out, you’re eager to press repeat and blast away. This is very good indeed. 

You can stream Gatecreeper's EP here:-

Also, make sure you support them by buying a download from their bandcamp page.

They had some awesome t-shirts for sale too featuring the tape's cover art, but it looks like they're out of stock too. I'll be first in line if they re-stock!

Gatecreeper Facebook -
Goatprayer Records Facebook -

Friday 5 September 2014

Insider Interview #1 - Printed Press/Media with Albert Mudrian (Editor-In-Chief at Decibel Magazine)

(Decibel Magazine #120 Oct 2014 Cover)

This marks the first interview in what I'm hoping will be a series of several interviews, with key people from across the music industry who are helping to shape metal, hardcore and all-round heavy music. The purpose of the interviews is to give people a bit of an insight into the industry and hopefully, provide some advice to those people who are in bands looking to move forwards.

This first interview deals with printed-press and media, which through the years has changed from the initial zines and tape trading of the early days right the way through to the digital magazines and social media that we have today. I was very lucky to be able to pinch a slot in Albert Mudrian's very busy diary, to ask him a few questions about his career to date as well as how print media has grown and how social media has changed. He was also kind enough to share his insight to provide advice and words of encouragement for bands.

For those unaware, Decibel Magazine has just celebrated it's tenth anniversary and as well as producing one of the most popular magazines around, it dedicates itself to the whole heavy metal spectrum, sponsoring tours and providing music to the masses via it's Flexi Disc series.

TNIO - First of all, can you please give a little background about the history of Decibel magazine and also tell me about your role?

AM - I started writing “professionally” about extreme metal in the summer of 1996. I worked at the distribution warehouse for a record chain called the Gallery of Sound, local to the Wilkes-Barre, PA area. The chain produced a free monthly newsprint magazine called Stereo-Type, which covered all types of popular music, including traditional heavy metal and extreme metal. I absolutely hated the way the “metal guy” on staff covered bands I loved like Paradise Lost, Cathedral and Carcass, so I complained to the chain owner who suggested I write a sample review which he would pass along to the magazine’s editor, Alex Mulcahy. I scribbled out reviews of Cannibal Corpse “Vile” and Dissection “Storm of the Light’s Bane” and turned them in. Alex got in touch and told me he dug what I wrote, so I starting writing more and more each month (and even earned $5 a review!). Over the next nine months or so, we became friends and he offered me a full-time job working on the magazine. I was 21 and still in college full-time, but I jumped at the chance. I think I made about $450 a month for the first year! Anyway, after about another year or so, Alex actually put me in charge of the magazine, which was growing, as we were developing multiple versions of the magazines throughout the U.S. I ran that the magazine until early 2004. 

For years leading up to that time, Alex and I discussed the idea of newsstand publication (the magazine we were publishing for the record stores was exclusively distributed at the retail locations of the stores). Anyway, I always felt like there wasn’t a magazine in the U.S. that covered extreme metal the way that I thought it should be covered (with an authoritative voice, a sense of history AND a sense of humor), so he green-lighted Decibel in the spring of 2004 and I have been running it for the past 10 years. I’m the editor in-chief, director of ad sales, director of marketing and promotions, curator of the Decibel Magazine Tour and curator of the Decibel Flexi Series. And probably a bunch of other tedious crap that you’re better off not knowing about. 

TNIO - Decibel is one of the US’s most prominent metal magazine’s. How have you seen the printed media industry and more importantly Decibel change since the prevalence of Social Media and how do you think that is effecting bands?

AM - I’ve seen a lot of magazines have their asses handed to them over the past decade. But I don’t think that’s the worst scenario. It’s pretty Darwinian, really. I think the market was pretty glutted when Decibel started, to be honest. I remember A LOT of crappy metal magazines on the newsstands back in our earlier days (ourselves included!). I’m not sure people have stopped reading print magazines, though, as we have grown every single year of our existence. It’s not like Facebook or Twitter killed metal journalism. If anything, social media allows us to connect with audience much more efficiently. We can instantly get feedback now (which we still ignore!) compared to the old days of just throwing your product out into the world and maybe getting a letter or email in response to an article. Plus, if you’re a savvy marketer, you can take all of those social media followers, get them a link to an item in your webstore, and you have an immediate revenue stream. 

TNIO - In terms of avenues for promotion and exposure, do you think there are now too many? I know that bands can never get enough exposure, especially when starting out, but with the ever increasing stream of blogs appearing on the Internet, do you think bands need to be more choosy about who they approach for coverage?

AM - I guess you could never have too much press. But look at it this way: Baby Metal is a thing, right? At least I know it’s a thing since I’ve seen news items on them on most of the major metal blogs, and I’ve seen numerous “friends” arguing about their relevance in various social media feeds. All of that said, I have not heard a single note of Baby Metal EVER! Honestly, I took one look at them, then considered the sources writing about them and immediately decided that “this is something I really don’t need to concern myself with or ever think about.” So, I guess what I’m saying is that you can have all of the coverage over all the metal mediums in the world, but if someone makes up their mind and decides that they don’t need to care about you (like I did with Baby Metal), I don’t know how much all of these vehicles really help. 

Also, I don’t know if “too many” of these sites is bad thing. I think the real problem is that some of these sites post every 30 minutes for 8 hours a day to keep the traffic rolling. Because when that happens, there is no vetting process AT ALL. They’re just trying to churn our “content” to keep their web numbers up. And no story is ever properly weighted of importance when you do that (like you can with a print magazine). With a blog, it’s just like “Here’s a thing. OK, here’s another thing!”

TNIO - From my experience of blogging over the last four years, there are lots of new bands below the surface looking for media exposure. How do you decide, as a magazine, which bands you want to feature? How to strike a balance between established names and new, unknown bands?

AM - It’s a combination of factors. Some of it comes down to personal taste. Some of it is born out of bands/records that staff writers are super high on/recommend. Sometimes it’s major releases that you can’t ignore (even if you want to). Sure, there is always the chance that something awesome sadly gets lost in the shuffle (because there are SO MANY releases out there these days), but you gotta do your best to just revisit some records if you see that your writers (or other writers you respect) are getting excited about something. So that stuff kinda sorts itself out over time. I think as long as you’re committed to giving everything a fair shake, then you’ll be able to find some of those diamonds in the rough, so to say. 

TNIO - What advice would you give to a band who wanted to gain more exposure in magazines like Decibel?

AM - Just concentrate on the music. No one cares about your press kit, how many followers you have or what real bands you’ve opened for (for free). Just continue to ply your craft, and record as many demos as possible before you decide to share what you’ve produced with the world. Once you actually have the tunes, someone (a manager, a label, a booking agent, a magazine, whoever) will step in and guide you through the rest of the bullshit you need to be doing as a band in 2014. 

TNIO - What would be your top three do’s and don’ts when approaching a magazine for coverage, for your band?

1. Send a link to a zipped MP3s (not WAVs or single MP3s) to download
2. Send one introductory email, and then one follow-up email
3. Be thrilled if we wanna write about you.

1 Ask me “how much does it cost for a review?”
2 Email me more than twice about a package you sent.
3 Send me an attachment more than 5M in size.

I want to take this opportunity to once again say a big thank you to Albert for taking to the time to answer my questions. I hope you've enjoyed reading.

Check out Decibel Magazine and subscribe via the following links:-

Decibel Website -
Decibel Facebook -

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Cowards - Hoarder EP

I saw Cowards earlier this year when they toured the UK. They played in Leeds with Oblivionized and others. It was a really good gig in the upstairs room, which is always packed and full of atmosphere. I also think that Zac from Oblivionized is on a one man crusade to bring every Throatruiner Records band across to the UK and good on him!

Cowards are a five-piece from France and fill their music with all kinds of sludge, hardcore and black metal sounds. Hoarder was released in 2013 via Throatruiner Records and Ruins Records and is only their second release, following their 2012 debut Shooting Blanks And Pills.


1. The Old City
2. Smell Of An Addict
3. Fork Out
4. Where Lies The Anchor
5. Blessed Persistence (16 Horsepower cover)

It feels like I’ve been listening to way too much doomy, sludgy stuff recently yet I can’t seem to get enough of it. The proliferation of sludgy, gloomy, blackened-hardcore now is just crazy. I promise I’ll review some other forms of heavy music soon! I the meantime though, I’ve turned to French noisemakers Cowards and their EP Hoarder. Released somewhere around summer 2013 via Throatruiner and Ruins Records, it proved why our French cousins are so crucial at the moment. Starting with The Old City, a sprawling and off-kilter beast, Cowards set about destroying you with a mix of deep bass-ridden hardcore, coarse vocals and low-slung sludge. 

After the slow intro, Smell Of An Addict proves to be an ecstatically unhinged piece of urgent grind. The faster sections of bookended and broken up by short slower passages of sludgy guitar and there isn’t a melodic lead in sight. Fork Out takes the unhinged emotion of Smell Of An Addict but builds on it further, with flourishes of metal and math. The bands two guitarists creating a wall of feedback-filled noise, that really brings Hoarder to life.

The final duo of tracks are more progressive and cavernous. Cowards manage to syringe Where Lies The Anchor with some great atmosphere during the verses, while settling into a slower groove when needed. There’s a stop/start motion to the song that brings to mind a whole slew of metal and hardcore’s more experimental bands. The one thing that struck me when I saw them play was how concise and professional they were. They felt to me like they were heading for the next level.

Blessed Persistence (a cover of the song by 16 Horsepower) is by far the longest song on Hoarder. It feels more sedate, like it’s building up to something. The layers of noise do increase as expected and this song actually highlight the ferocity of it’s predecessors here. Cowards take their sludge influence further and lace the song with occasional metallic-hardcore riffs. It envelopes you when at full chat and is amazingly satisfying to listen to. If it’s one thing France can do, it’s produce decent heavy bands. That and wine!

Listen here:-

You can buy Hoarder from the above Bandcamp page for 5 euros as a digital download.

If you want the vinyl/CD versions, head to the following places:-

Throatruiner Records -
Ruins Records -

Cowards Facebook -
Throatruiner Records Facebook -
Ruins Records Facebook -