Tuesday 30 December 2014

Countress - Ov Sin + Interview

If there's one thing I've learnt since writing this blog, it's that you should always pay attention to mixtapes from A389. As fan-boyish at that statement might sound, A389 has been responsible for introducing me to Seven Sisters Of Sleep, Noisem and a tonne more! In April, a new mixtape was unleashed and it featured loads of new names including Of Feather And Bone (whom you'll see reviewed here soon), Ampallang Infection and Reno, Nevada's Countress. After a delay that was mainly down to my inability to send a fully-functioning document, I've finally got around to posting this review/interview double-whammy.

Countress have only been around for a couple of years, but off the strength of an EP and this (their first full-length), they managed to get on Dom's radar and also managed to secure kick-ass support slots alongside Eyehategod and Toxic Holocaust, amongst a myriad of others.


1. Haellions
2. Spirits
3. Spike The Hand
4. Hell Is Here
5. High Moon
6. Black Cloth
7. Origin

I’m not at all surprised that Countress ended up on that A389 mixtape, as their’s is the kind of chaotic hardcore that catches your attention straight away. The impact of opener Haellions, which features groove-laden riffs and caustic screams, gives the game away right from the off. Countress do like their rock n roll too and that comes across in their persona as well in their music. 

There’s a darker element to their sound, even with the punk backbone that Spirits contains. That is, until you hit the solo and then it’s just straight up nuts! I think Countress have taken their cues from The Misfits in part. They certainly don’t believe in slowing down and Spike The Hand keeps up the strong momentum of the album. Even when the stoner-riffs are pushed to the fore, the pace doesn’t let up. If I were to say early Eighteen Visions, you’d probably understand where I was coming from!.

Hell Is Here changes the mood somewhat, taking Ov Sin from being a feast of blackened rock n roll to something a lot more menacing. The slower riffs put pay to any good-time vibes and Countress unleash all of their bottled up and distilled rage during the song’s opening bars. What follows is a twin-guitar infested song that pays homage to the Southern-grit of EHG. It shows a more expansive side to the band.

They capture that Southern-drawl even more effectively during the urgency of High Moon and the intense Black Cloth, which begins with one of the best blues-laden intros I’ve heard in a while. What it gives way to is thrash of the highest order. There’s no hiding from this! Closing song Origin comes around far too fast. It’s instrumental build-up hits you like a stray bullet from the Wild West. The barrage that’s left in it’s wake is no more comforting either. It finished Ov Sin at full volume, which is how it should be! 

For all the times we complain about it’s commercialism and it’s influence on the world, at least we can agree that America produces killer rock music. Countress are sure to keep fighting the good fight and hopefully, more people will catch on too!

Here's the interview I did with Ryan:-

First of all, thanks for doing this interview. Can you tell me a bit about Countress? What prompted you guys to form and the types of music or bands that influenced

Thank you very much for giving me a chance to speak on behalf of our band. We all knew each other for years and share a love for metal and horror movies so we wanted to start a band that conveyed those images and ideas through riffs, man. We get influence from tons of bands some everyone knows and some shit only one or two of us in the band know. the main ones are  popular metal bands like Slayer, Judas Priest, High On Fire, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Down, Motorhead etc.. we grew up with all that shit, they made me want to start playing a fucking guitar. We love doom bands like Electric Wizard, Pentagram, Sleep.... and some of us listen to more black and death metal. Hardcore bands too like Ringworm and Integrity...It all shines through in our tunes I think.. we ain’t really into sounding like one genre. 

You self-released your LP “Ov Sin” on vinyl, which was a pretty big investment/step for the band. Can explain your motivation behind the decision to self-release it, especially as more and more bands are seeking label attention nowadays?

We just ain’t in to waiting for someone to do what we are capable of doing ourselves you know? What if a label doesn't want to put our shit out? Why the fuck are we not using every chance we get to push forward? Shouldn't we be trying to get laid and high with our tunes now not later?....these are the questions I ask myself and the rest of the band everyday.. Were from Reno, NV man no one gives a shit about this place as far as labels go...no ones gonna check out a demo from us. Cut out the middle man and charge into war.

How have you gone about promoting “Ov Sin” and what has the reaction been like from fans?

Doing interviews like this, Internet promotion, playing shows, giving out merch for free... The reactions been decent id say...no ones calling us wuss rock or crap rock yet I guess.

Ry, you mentioned to me that you read my recent blog post “Things Your Band Can Do Better” and said that you identified with some of those points. What do you as a band think of the current musical climate that we’re in and where do you see it going?

I did agree with quite a bit of that blog post. I think, and again I am speaking on behalf of my band that message boards, Facebook posts and spending your hard earned scratch on sending out countless records to never hear a response is a lot like boxing: when you’re an under dog no body wants shit from you except another loss and then they’ll easily sweep your ass under the rug in their overloaded mind... I think there’s an un-ending amount of talent out there that blows my mind now and always. But we’re music LOVERS you know? I assume most people wont give a tune more than 25 seconds before they’re streaming something else so its a weird time man. A lotta shit goes unnoticed and this seems like a weird half hooker-esque “Sell your self” kind’a deal more now than ever... I love playin’ basements because the kids don’t give a fuck there were no tickets you had to sell there’s no bouncer pretending he’s hard as nails trying to punk teenagers or 55 year old reborn christian/newly sober dread-locked nu-metal dude showing up in his school bus with girls that look bored out of their fucking minds telling you to get on and off the stage as quick as possible so his Sevendust riff loving, mayonnaise worshipping shit band can “Blow the roof off this place”....  Underground music is still thriving and everything else is fucking weird is what I'm trying to say here.

Countress recently made it onto the latest A389 Records mixtape. How did that come about and how exciting was it to see your name alongside that of bands like Integrity on the comp?

Yes we made the cut! I sent out a record to Dom and he was kind enough to not only listen to it but to promote it a little and asked us if we’d be into being apart of the upcoming mixtape and we of course, said yes. Felt great seeing us anyway shape or form recognized in the same breath as Integrity or Ringworm and it turned me personally onto bands like Hexis..It was just a rad feeling to be a part of it.

You’ve played some big support slots recently with Eyehategod and Toxic Holocaust. What did you learn from those bands and how were the experiences overall?  

I learned that even with a SHIT soundguy EHG can still put on one of the best shows this town has seen in years...I learned that Jimmy Bower is the nicest dude ever despite the way he plays a guitar or hits a drum set. And I learned that those bands work their asses off to get their names out to people.

What is the overall heavy music scene like in Nevada and especially Reno? What bands are you currently excited about from your local area? 

Its weird here man, lot more dj’s than heavy bands.

What advice would you give to new bands who are looking to play show and record/release their own music, based on what you have learned so far? 

Honestly if anyone even gives a fuck about my advice i’d really stress that you just gotta be down for your shit. If you're putting all your time and money into your project then spread it like disease. That's how guys like Lemmy and Erik Danielsson from Watain did it... they just kept fucking going no matter what and as time went on everyone heard the name of their bands somewhere..

Random question to end. Have you guys got any funny touring/gig stories that you’d like to share? Or any funny band stories in general?

The one I usually tell is about the time we played a biker bar here in town little less than a year ago... we played pretty well and people were going off pretty good and I looked up and saw a dude bout in his late fifties with his face covered in tattoos, denim cut, long hair just on the other side of my mic staring a hole through me.. he looked like that old bass player in Electric Wizard...entire face fuckin covered.. thought he was gonna fuck me up but soon as we finished playin he walked up to me brisk and determined, looked me dead in my eyes and screamed “You motherfucker’s are down with the fucking sickness! Fuck yea!” and he walked away. It was bitchin man.

You can stream and download Ov Sin via bandcamp below:-

If you want merch, give them a shout via their Facebook page or via e-mail - https://www.facebook.com/worshipcountress/timeline

Saturday 27 December 2014

Birch Hill Dam - Colossus

In 2012 I spent some time writing reviews for a few websites, including LouderThanHell.Net, GhostCult Magazine and Collective Zine. I wrote quite a few reviews over the period and have decided to re-publish the reviews here (with kind permission from the respective site editors). This first review was originally written and published at LounderThanHell.Net. I've recently learnt that LouderThanHell.Net has been taken down, so this is the only place you'll be able to see the reviews I wrote for them.

Birch Hill Dam are a US rock band, who lean toward stoner and sludge. Colossus was released in June 2011.

Note: The main body of the original review is the same as when it was originally written.


1. Colossus
2. 2600
3. Fathoms Below
4. Slavedriver
5. Holy Days Aren't Here Again
6. Threatening Skies
7. Ivory Tusk
8. Spread Eagle

Birch Hill Dam are a heavy stoner metal four-piece from Massachusetts. They feature Mike Nygard on vocals, Sam Barrett on guitar¸Pete Gelles on bass and Matt Neely on drums. They also have Pete Rutcho as a live member playing guitar and keyboard. Birch Hill Dam formed back in 2007 and Colossus in their latest album. They kick things off with the title-track and show exactly why their influences include Led Zep and Corrosion of Conformity. Their sound is more heavy metal than stoner, but it has an awesome groove to it and wouldn’t be out of place on stadium tours! They certainly know how to write a catchy riff.

Their stoner vibes shine through in the opening riffs of 2600. Orange Goblin would be proud of them! Birch Hill Dam doesn’t stick to standard three-minute songs, instead choosing to write longer more involving songs which envelope the listener. Birch Hill Dam get stronger and stronger in terms of their songwriting as they wind their way through Colossus, with songs like Fathoms Below sounding huge busting out of the speakers. This is also in no small part thanks to the epic production on the record. The use of keys bring melody to the record and a different texture that was missing from the albums earlier songs.

As you head towards the end of Colossus, you’re greeted by the warming tones of Ivory Tusk, which has to be one of the standout tracks on the album. The band sounds really assured throughout the song. Spread Eagle is pretty much perfect, with some great vocal melodies but also deep stoner growls to keep you on your toes. Birch Hill Dam seem to have got everything right with Colossus. From the monumental riffs to the powerful rhythm section to the vocals and keys, they’ve dropped a great, heavy metal album, which should see them grow in stature and popularity.

You can stream Colossus here:-

You can buys Colossus both digitally and on limited CD from their Bandcamp page above.

Birch Hill Dam Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/birchhilldamofficial

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Primitive Man/Hexis - Split 10"

Primitive Man have been busy releasing splits this year. After the release of full-length Scorn last year and the demo, they've pressed ahead and released splits with Hessian, Xaphan, Hexis and Fister. There's no sign of them stopping next year either, with more release planned. Hexis have also released their long awaited full-length within the last twelve months and both bands have toured in the US together. Both PM and Hexis are bands that I really respect for their work ethic and musical quality. This 10" (released via Halo Of Flies) brings them together with a track each. I've been a little late in checking this out, but I'm hoping that PM's sludge/doom holds court well alongside the blackened hardcore noise of Hexis.


1. Primitive Man - When Getting High Is Not Enough
2. Hexis - Excrucio

Scorn left a massive impression on me last year, but I’ve heard that Primitive Man stepped it up this year in terms of the heaviness. Their addition to this split isn’t so much heavy as it is atmospheric. When Getting High Is Not Enough feels more otherworldly, with it’s high-pitched ambience and low-growls. The sludge here is off-kilter to start with and then PM slow things down to a stand-still. The thing I find with PM is that the slower they play, the heavier they sound. It’s certainly the case here.

Hexis provide the longer of the two tracks here with Excrucio and it’s a cacophony of blackened noise, as you’d expect. There’s is a barrage of louder proportions, with a continuous wall of guitars, feedback and percussive battery. The screams sit within the mix allowing the instrumentation to hit you from both sides. It’s a hellishly intense experience. The feedback mid-way through is disorientating as hell and the second half of Excrucio shows just how scary Hexis can be.

From start to finish, this split is terrifying. Both Primitive Man and Hexis punch a hole in your psyche with feedback-drenched noise. If the end of the world was to sound like anything, it would probably be this. 

Stream the whole harrowing split here:-

Buy it digitally or on stunning clear vinyl from Halo Of Flies above.

Primitive Man Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/primitivemandoom
Hexis Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Hexisband
Halo Of Flies Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HALOOFFLIESRECORDS

Monday 22 December 2014

Vastum - Patricidal Lust

This year has been so intense release wise, that I'm still catching on loads of pre-2014 releases. This being one of them from San-Fran death metallers Vastum. Patricidal Lust was Vastum's second full-length and was released by 20 Buck Spin in late 2013.

Vastum features a collective group of musicians with many years of experience, who know how to craft a death metal album and make the genre all their own. The cover art for Patricidal Lust conjures up some pretty lucid images too and fits the mood created by Vastum perfectly.


1. Seasons In The Claustrum (The Libidinal Spring)
2. Enigma Of Disgust
3. 3 A.M. In Agony
4. Incel
5. Patricidal Lust
6. Repulsive Arousal

Vastum’s sound is one of power and heft. The riffs at the beginning of Seasons In The Claustrum… are great sludge-laden giants. Thankfully, Vastum tread an old-school path on Patricidal Lust. They steer clear of modern influence and use their experience to project an image if evil though their song-writing. They make use of occult spoken-vocals and the only light that shines through is during the lead-work.

Vastum swings in different directions on Enigma Of Disgust. They first hit you with a thrashing intro, before slowing things down to a crawl (in death metal terms anyway). The rhythm that ultimately greets you during the verse is surprisingly upbeat. That rhythm remains a bedrock of the song throughout, only being replaced with slower passages at certain intervals. Vastum write songs that are earthy and benefit from being allowed to wind to a natural conclusion.

They sound truly vicious during 3 A.M. In Agony. The urgency exhibited in it seems to be propelled by the thrash that Vastum provided a glimpse of during Enigma Of Disgust. Those big riffs are back for the opening passages of Incel. As with the majority of Patricidal Lust, Vastum keep things low and don’t throw in too much higher-pitched melody. When they do add guitar melodies though, they still fit in with the claustrophobic atmosphere that Vastum want to project.

The title-track is my standout on the album though. At first it sounds more like a conventional metal record but when Vastum slip back into the shadowy murk, they seem to take on a different persona. That initial false sense of security makes the song sound even better, as it gathers in all the different facets of their music and condenses them into one, satisfying whole.

With Repulsive Arousal, the cover art of Patricidal Lust begins to make sense. It conjures up images of necrophiliacs and all manner of demons, engorged in the throws of deathly passion. That’s my take on it anyway! The song itself is utterly absurd in the best possible way. It ends the album on a real high, full of screaming lead guitar and heavy atmosphere. 

The thing I enjoyed most about Patricidal Lust was that even though it's clearly a technical body of music, Vastum has been able to make it sound simple and of a high quality. You don't often get that feel with death metal albums. To do it without relying on over-worked modern production is even better.

Stream it via 20 Buck Spin here -

You can purchase Patricidal Lust digitally from the above bandcamp page.

CD and vinyl versions can be purchased here - http://www.20buckspinshop.com.

Vastum Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vastum
20 Buck Spin Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/20buckspin

Sunday 21 December 2014

Bombnation - Night Invasion

I hope you've all recovered from Mad Friday! I'm just starting to gee myself up for a night of socialising and drinking, so what better way to do that than with some thrash. Night Invasion is the third full-length from Canadian crossover/thrash band Bombnation. It was released earlier this year by PRC Music.

Canada's metal credentials are not to be sniffed at. Quebec itself has harboured some great bands over the years, including black metal due Monarque and death metal band Gorguts, while the thrash scene is growing all the time.


1. Fire Of The Night
2. Slayed By Slayer
3. War Beer Warrior
4. Hops
5. Obituary
6. Kreator's Destruction Of Sodom
7. Blackout With Stout
8. Night Invasion
9. Kentucky Fried Seagulls
10. Le D-Beat De La 50
11. Forget It
12. Pissed Off To Listen To Pop
13. Reggie's Calling
14. Order666
15. Iron Whale
16. Black Cable
17. Astro Turf
18. In The Night

What’s better than a thrash metal band that like good beer and has a sense of humour? Nothing, that’s what! Bombnation spit out eighteen fast-as-hell tracks on their third full-length Night Invasion. They’re the type of band that respects the old-school but has fun with it. Album opener Fire Of The Night features screaming leads and the odd falsetto scream ala Tom Araya. Talking of Tom Araya, Slayed By Slayer is a total nod to the band themselves. Plus, it’s not the only song to feature a title that pays homage to the leading lights of the genre. 

Their love for beer features heavily during the duo on War Beer Warrior and Hops! The solo during War Beer Warrior is grin-inducing, while Hops is a song about one of main ingredients of the aforementioned beverage. It’s making me thirsty that’s for sure! Obituary features a surprising amount of groove and guitar mastery, while Kreator’s Destruction Of Sodom shows off Bombnation’s flair for humorous song-titles and again mixes it with their love of German thrash!  Blackout Without Stout is as thick as the beer itself and is a rare occasion where Bombnation slow their relentless attack down, but only during the verses so don’t worry! It’s still comedic as well and shows that they don’t take things too seriously when rocking out!

That newly discovered change in tempo also occurs in the title-track, with the help of some sludge-infused riffs during the verses. They poke fun at fast-food with Kentucky Fried Seagulls. Le D-Beat De La 50 takes you passed the half-way point of Night Invasion, with some crazed screaming. The band’s links to Mesrine are more obvious during Forget It, which features some hellishly fast grindcore drumming. Pissed Off To Listen To Pop goes by before you’ve realised, but the momentum that should have followed into Reggie’s Calling seems to disappear because of the brief gap between the songs. I appreciate that there has to be some distinction between the end on a song and the start of another, but sometimes those gaps are unnecessary.

Bombnation seem to gain focus towards the end of Night Invasion, with both Order666 and Iron Whale taking the advantage of their heavy/thrash metal song-writing. They seem to capture the band’s sound well. Any album that features this many tracks, is bound to suffer slightly due to the odd bit of filler, but the short songs make up for that and Night Invasion is by no means bad. Far from it in fact! Things definitely seem more comfortable during the closing few songs. Black Cable is rip-roaring and doesn’t stick around too long, while there’s a circle-pit going on in my head during Astro Turf. In The Night is a victorious ending to the album. High-pitched vocals, big riffs and gang-chants end it all on a high. 

This album is a lot of fun. Bombnation have managed to capture the sound of old-school thrash bands like Slayer and Exodus, allowing them to pay homage in a way that isn't cheesy or cliched. It may not be a new take on the genre, but who cares. It's thrash that's enjoyable and uplifting. To me, that makes it a success.

You can stream Night Invasion here:-

It's available as a name-your-price download from Bombnation's bandcamp page.

You can grab a CD copy from PRC Music here - http://www.prcmusic.com/store/

Bombnation Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/bombnation
PRC Music Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/prcmusiccanada

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Napalm Christ - S/T 12"

D'you ever have those days where you just want to switch off and stick on something heavy? I know that entire sentence is a massive cliche, but today was one of those days. Thankfully I had the new Napalm Christ LP to listen too. I reviewed their demo tape (released by Goatprayer Records) back in September of last year and when I saw that they were working with A389 Records, I was pretty happy. Well, almost a year later, this six-track LP was released (which, features remastered versions of the songs that appeared on the demo). It's ace to see bands like NC getting wider attention and hitting bigger audiences.


1. Idols Of Evil
2. Life Is Dimming
3. Reclaimed By The Earth
4. Nuclear Holy War
5. Despoilment Of Will
5. Burning Away The Scourge

From their name, the uninitiated amongst you would be forgiven for thinking that Napalm Christ were a crust band. The sludgy riffs of Idols Of Evil prove otherwise. NC are typically difficult to pin down in terms of sub-genre. Idols Of Evil features grind, black metal and melodic thrash harmonies, all within it’s opening bars. There’s plenty of brooding negative atmosphere, just like there was on their demo. 

NC have gathered together their collective influences and experiences for this release. They’ve honed their heaviness and rage, distilling it into a more controlled sound compared to that of the demo. Life Is Dimming is a slow-burn of a song, full of blackened soul and excellent melodic guitar. The transitions between those blackened passages and their sludgier underbelly leave no time for pondering. It’s just one head-smashing beating after the other.

At times, they threaten to morph into a trad/heavy metal band, but regain their menacing momentum right at the brink. The main bedrock of Reclaimed By The Earth is blackened thrash, but thanks to the quality of the production, it sounds clear and precise. There are moments of grand, towering sound during the song, where the low-slung growls sit deep within the instrumentation. Those cavernous sections are an absolute joy to listen to.

NC regain their earlier urgency on Nuclear Holy War. There’s tech-death and even a strange medieval feel to some of the picking going on in this song. I might be reading to much into this album, but it’s kept me guessing since I pressed play! Their urgency and rage is used to full effect on the short blast Despoilment Of WillNC’s power doesn’t truly sink in until Burning Away The Scourge drags you down. The extended instrumental passage at the start brims with progressive guitar riffs and then dives headfirst into a pogoing punk rhythm. The song’s many lurching movements proves how adept NC are at weaving a tumultuous hymn. It’s all kinds of epic and is the perfect way to finish off this LP.

It does seem a bit odd writing about the same set of songs twelve-months on, but as Napalm Christ have matured so has their music. They sit perfectly on the A389 roster and their self-titled LP will long be ringing in these ears, just like they will be in yours! 

Stream/download it here:-

Buy a vinyl copy here - http://shop.a389records.com/collections/12-vinyl-a389.

Napalm Christ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/NapalmChrist
A389 Recordings Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/a389recordings

Sunday 14 December 2014

Blind To Faith - Under The Heptagram 12" EP

Dom himself called Blind To Faith underrated. I've been jamming this a lot recently, so though it was about time I wrote about them. Under The Heptagram was released in October 2013 via A389 and is only their third release, after an LP in 2009 and a split 7" with The Infamous...Gehenna the following year.

These dudes are a pretty elusive bunch and played their sole 2014 show at Ieperfest. I'll apologise for being to late to the party too. This 12" EP was limited to 666 copies with an etched b-side. I needed another H8000-style hit after wearing out my copy of the recent Seventh Circle 7"!


1. The Gateway
2. Under The Heptagram
3. Burial Of Mankind

Everytime I hear hardcore like this, it reminds me of why the hell I got into heavy music. The energy, the emotion, that feeling that screams out “I can be who I want to be”. Blind To Faith embody those feelings perfectly on Under The Heptagram. EP opener The Gateway is a brooding, dark guitar led instrumental that hurls itself into a bass-heavy rockin’ mass of metallic hardcore.

The title-track is nasty, in the best possible way. It’s brief yet it’s filled with pure rage. There’s some sludge in there and even some subtle powerviolence, but it’s still unmistakably heavy. Burial Of Mankind opens with a great screaming-lead and then spends the rest of the time thrashing out. There’s a characteristic thickness to BTF’s sound, both in percussion and the guitars, while the vocals are laced with vicious blackened screams. 

This record my be a brief glimpse into Blind To Faith’s world, but for anyone unfamiliar or just sleeping, this is definitely worth your time. Though you didn’t need to hear that from me!

Stream it here - 

You can download it from A389's bandcamp page above and you can purchase both standard and die hard vinyl copies from the webstore here - http://shop.a389records.com/collections/12-vinyl-a389

Blind To Faith Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/blindtofaith
A389 Recordings Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/a389recordings

Saturday 13 December 2014

Mausoleion - i

I'm not one for overblown hype but this debut release by Leeds based post-metal band Mausoleion has been one of my most eagerly anticipated this year. That's because Mausoleion were one of the few bands I'd seen live before hearing on record. Forming out of the ashes of fellow local band DSDNT last year, they've been a staple of the Leeds heavy scene since.

They've kept things local by recording their debut demo at Eiger Music Studios and have been organising some great gigs, featuring like-minded UK and Euro bands when time has allowed. You can't beat seeing them in the tiny upstairs of Santiago's, where their thoughtful melody and foundation shaking feedback fills the room. Their demo was released last month both digitally and on CD.


1. Pariah
2. Scourge

Hearing Pariah coming out of the speakers provides one of those goose bump inducing moments. All the elements from the feedback at the start, to the percussion doom-like guitar and low growls envelope around you like you’re watching Mausoleion live. The smattering of rhythmic shifts and up-tempo fastness belays their slower characteristics, highlighting the variety in their song-writing.

They become next-level claustrophobic on Scourge, in a song that seems to get heavier and heavier as each element meshes into one. The subtle melody on the lead guitar provides a short glimpse though the mirk, but doesn’t dominate proceedings. For everyone who’s been looking for a UK response to Rosetta or Year of No Light, Mausoleion may well quench your thirst. Exciting times ahead!

Give i a listen below:-

As I said, it's available as a name-your-price download and as a special limited CD, directly from the band via the above bandcamp page. CD's will ship in mid-December, in a special sealed envelope with accompanying art-cards.

Mausoleion Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MausoleionBand

Thursday 11 December 2014

Masochist - Condemned To Grovel EP

I've been knocked out with the flu for the past week, so sorry for the silence. Only now am I feeling well enough to sit in front of my laptop screen for a prolonged period of time. Anyway, enough self pit because it's time for Masochist. A death metal band from Leeds that doesn't do self-pity and one I've had the pleasure of seeing a fair few times over the last couple of years. Masochist released their second EP, Condemned To Grovel via UKEM Records earlier this year and it's the first release to feature current vocalist Danny Heaton.


1. Prologue To Prolapse
2. Forced Fornication
3. Vomit Every Dreg
4. A Peeling Flesh
5. Foetid Existence

Masochist open with a surprisingly heavy, sludgy guitar led intro on Prologues To Prolapse. I suppose that when you come from such a diverse scene as the one in Leeds, different textures and influences will find their way into your music. Forced Fornication is the opportunity on the EP to hear their deathly racket. It’s technical and is filled with deep vocal bellows. The instrumentation is thick, especially the drumming and the guitars hammer the point home during slam-laden mid section.

The sample that starts off Vomit Every Dreg shows that Masochist have good humour and don’t take things too seriously. Things seem altogether more urgent here too. The overall tempo is moved up a notch and Masochist turn to a more straight-forward structure, with hints of grind and USDM. They bring back the thick guitar sound on A Peeling Flesh. The blasts are intense and set the tone for the song. Masochist never beat around the bush and here they go straight for the jugular. The mix of death and thrash is amongst the best you’ll hear all year.

They close out with the uber fast Foetid Existence, which feels completely different with the high-pitched rasps that make up the opening verses. It’s brief playing time finishes Condemned To Grovel with a flurry of aggression and hate. This EP may be short overall. but it’s quality makes up for that. Masochist have honed their sound in a live setting, which has meant that on record they sound better than most of their contemporaries. It’s time they spewed up a full-length.

Check out Forced Fornication via Youtube below:-

Copies can be purchased directly from Masochist here - http://www.masochistuk.bigcartel.com.

Masochist Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/theextentofhumanerror
UKEM Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ukemrecords

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Alone With Wolves - The End Of Nothing EP

Another day, another review! I make it sound like such a chore, but I can guarantee you it's anything but. This time, I'm checking out the 2014 EP from Hertfordshire five-piece Alone With Wolves. They've been a band since 2011 and have already released one prior self-titled EP, in late 2012. Music-wise, they sight post-hardcore as an influence, they've played alongside blog fave's Mallory Knox and even appeared at Bloodstock Open Air this year! They're definitely on the up then.


1. Cutting Ties
2. The End Of Nothing
3. My Life In Your Hands
4. The Change
5. With You In Mind

Alone With Wolves have the dual-screamed/clean vocals down perfectly on The End Of Nothing. They’re immediate during EP opener Cutting Ties. Add to that upbeat rhythms and melodic guitar and you’re greeted with post-hardcore that would make Funeral For A Friend blush. Both Danilo Fiocco (clean-vox) and Lewis Watson (harsh-vox) have great sets of lungs on them and put forward an assured performance right from the off.

The EP title-track has added twin-guitar harmonies and a distinctive UK feel. Alone With Wolves may be playing a modern take on post-hardcore but they don’t try and sound American, instead plumping for a clean style that befits their song-writing and musicianship. heaviness is on their side too though, with some thick riffs and the occasional breakdown to beef things up.

My Life In Your Hands features more heavy guitar throughout the song. Alone With Wolves manage to keep things catchy though and again their upbeat style keeps the momentum of the EP high. They take a slightly different path on The Change, taking things in a grander direction. They remind me a bit of short lived US post-hardcore band Spoken, which is no bad thing. This song is my standout track on The End Of Nothing. It’s with this song that their quality really becomes clear. 

They close on With You In Mind, which takes you into metal territory slightly, at least in the instrumentation. It’s a focused ending and there’s no room for shakiness from anyone. Alone With Wolves are another UK band that are plying a modern sound and should appeal to larger audiences because of it. it’ll be interesting to see how they progress next year. The End Of Nothing is a really solid EP, with excellent production. 

You can stream and purchase The End Of Nothing digitally here:-

Alone With Wolves Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/alonewithwolves

Tuesday 2 December 2014

The Hate Colony - Navigate

Norway has a deep history when it comes to heavy music, which you'll more than likely be familiar with, but it's easy to overlook modern bands in favour of peering back nostalgically towards the originators of the countries scene. Modern bands like Trondheim's The Hate Colony, who released their debit album, Dead Or Victorious in 2011 via Trondercore Records. They've followed it up this year with their second full-length Navigate, again via Trondercore Records.

They've been getting plenty of attention recently, with Metal Hammer Norway attending and writing about their album release show, while they've also recently shared the stage with The Black Dahlia Murder in their home town. I'm certainly eager to here what these guys have to offer.


1. Recheck
2. Trigger
3. The Letter
4. Blood Runs Black
5. Solitude
6. Domain
7. When Worlds Collide
8. Nothing Less
9. Interlude
10. Dialogue
11. Pandemonium
12. Path Of Resistance
13. Welcome To The Hate Colony

I wasn’t expecting that! Melodic guitars, syncopated rhythms and the lowest of low growls open up Navigate on the song Recheck. Add to that electronics that wouldn’t be out of place on one of In Flames’ recent albums and you’ve got a sound that’s thoroughly in the now. Thankfully, even with those modern touches, The Hate Colony retain that European sound. Trigger is full of groovy, heavy riffs and course screams. There may be a little too much electronic wizardry here for some, but it’s certainly very listenable.

They channel their inner death metal on The Letter, which even has some ace melodic leads work going on. I have to admit that I prefer this side to them, as they don’t rely too heavily on electronic effects. The drums are furious and it shows why they were chosen to support TBDM recently! Now this isn’t meant as a cliche but they have a song called Blood Runs Black (remember As Blood Runs Black?), which could give you a hint about some of their musical influences. It’s a solid song too, very focused throughout.

The bass on Solitude is coupled with some virtuoso guitar during the opening bars. They demonstrate plenty of progressive elements during the song, while ensuring that their too-the-point approach isn’t affected by any such off-kilter musings. A lot of people will say they’ve heard this all before, but they’d be missing the fact that The Hate Colony are very accomplished at what they do. They don’t profess to be anything they’re not and prefer to play something that will appeal to a large audience. Domain is the perfect example of that. They’ve chosen a path and they’ve developed their sound well.

It’s either a keyboard or a keytar that beckons in When Worlds Collide, but the song itself contains a strong political theme that darkens the atmosphere. They slickly progress into Nothing Less, which is apt because my overall impression of Navigate is that it’s slick, in both instrumentation and production. I think that slickness works for an album of this nature, so it’s no bad thing at all. They take a break after Nothing Less with a short piano and strings filled Interlude, which is good enough to find it’s way onto TV as an ad or TV trailer backing track! It’s a nice change of mood before The Hate Colony launch into Dialogue

Pandemonium is one of the songs of the record, for all balls-out intro alone. There’s breakdowns, an undercurrent of electro and more Scandi-guitar than you can shake a stick at. Their angular side gets a more thorough workout during penultimate number Path Of Resistance. Welcome To The Hate Colony could be their Children Of Bodom moment! If they grow big enough, they could have a fan club called The Hate Colony! Jokes aside though, I think that if these guys get in enough faces and crucially ears, they could be huge. They’ve got the music to back them up and could reel in a whole new generation of metal loving fans. Quality stuff for fans of modern metal. Good job!

Navigate doesn't appear to be streaming anywhere, but you can download or buy it on CD from all manner of digital outlets. Head over to The Hate Colony's Facebook page for a list - https://www.facebook.com/TheHateColony

Trondercore Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/trondercore