Tuesday 29 September 2015

Entropy O.A.C - Dark Clouds And Clarity


1. Failure To Thrive
2. Endless Fire
3. Realm Of Grey

I'm in a buoyant mood tonight. Things seem to be falling nicely into place in my life outside of this blog. As I write this, I realise that I've been covering more EP's than I have full-lengths but I like the balance of short-sharp stabs of music and more engrossing bodies of work. The former was what drew me to Wisconsin metallers Entropy O.A.C. Yet another band I knew very little about before I received the promo for 2015 EP Dark Clouds And Clarity. From what I've read, they've been a band for over a decade (granted they did stop and then reunite) with a couple of EP's and a full-length to their name. They're signed to Pavement Entertainment (whom they've released this EP through) and they've shared the stage with Soil in the past. I have a fondness for Soil, so hopefully these guys should grab me more than Five Finger Death Punch did!

These guys take me back. Not because I knew of them before, but because nu-metal was to blame for me getting into extreme music so heavily. For that, I have nothing but respect for a lot of the bands from that era. Entropy O.A.C are reaping that sound in 2015. Akin to bands like Cold, early-Theory Of A Deadman and Drowning Pool. Failure To Thrive is full of crunching guitars and big screams with clean singing throughout. It’s angsty and very obvious in it’s influence, but I have no problem with that at all. Endless Fire is Entropy O.A.C’s ballad if you will. A mid-paced, emotive song that’s as catchy as it is depressive. At risk of name-dropping any more bands, EP closer Realm Of Grey made me immediately think of Mudvayne. Typical lazy journalism aside, I’ve enjoyed Dark Clouds And Clarity. I’m still a sucker for a catchy song and good musicianship, which is what you get from Entropy O.A.C. If you’re “too kvlt” don’t bother, but if you’re less serious and want something with a bit of nostalgia buried in it then you’ll enjoy this EP. 

You can check out the video for Endless Fire on Youtube here:-

Realm Of Grey is also up there.

Entropy O.A.C Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Entropyofall
Pavement Entertainment Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Pavementent

Sunday 27 September 2015

Southlakes/Ceilings - Split (7" Lathe/Tape/CD)


1. Southlakes - You Had Me At LMAO
2. Southlakes - Grease Teeth
3. Ceilings - I'm Having The Best Day Of My Life...
4. Ceilings - ...And I Owe It All To Not Going To Church

Next time I think it's a good idea to go out for a few drinks on a Saturday night, I'll have to remind myself of how rubbish it feels the next day. I'm nearly 30 now and it's only gonna get worse! Perhaps I should go alcohol-free. That has nothing to do with this review, though my capacity for extreme music has been slightly lowered due to my nocturnal debauchery. That's why I've decided to check this record.

This split features two UK indie/emo/punk bands and was released last year on a few different formats and labels. Southlakes are from Norwich and Ceilings are from Cheltenham, though they're currently taking a break. It was Let Them Die Records that gave me heads up about this, as the label released it on limited 7" Lathe. Tapes were released by Sense/Reference Records and BS Records while CDs were released by Fall Into Void Records. 

This record is immediately a winner for me because it of the Simpsons sample that opens up You Had Me At LMAO by Southlakes. They play laid-back indiemo type music, with clean singing and just a smidgen of heavy, fuzzed-out guitar. Grease Teeth is low-fi but there’s a raw emotion that cuts through it. The singing at the end is really soothing too. Ceilings have a subtle gruff-punk thing going on. I’m Having The Best Day Of My Life… is very folky as well, but not in a corny way. It has more urgency than second song …And I Owe It All To Not Going To Church (more Simpsons reference in the song titles to I think!). The latter seems sad. Both Southlakes and Ceilings perform their songs with real honesty and the musicianship is great. The production adds to the DIY feel of the release. I can see both of these bands eventually releasing music through a label like Topshelf Records, which is a sign that they’re well worth a listen.

You can stream both sides of this record via the bandcamp pages of both bands:-

You can grab the tracks as name-your-price downloads too, or you can get physical copies for the links below -

Let The Die Records (7" Lathe Cut version - http://www.ltdrecords.co.uk
Fall Into Void Records (CD Version) - http://www.fallintovoidrecs.blogspot.co.uk/p/releases

I couldn't find a link to a online store for Sense/Reference Records, while BS Records are updating theirs so if you want tape copies (if there's any left), you'd be best off messaging the labels directly.

Southlakes Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/southlakesuk
Ceilings Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ceilingspunx
Let Them Die Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/letthemdierecords
Sense/Reference Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/senseandreferencerecords
BS Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/BSRecs
Fall Into Void Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/fallintovoidrecs

Friday 25 September 2015

Last Light - S/T EP


1. Waves
2. Ember
3. Shelter

This release sums up how well melodic music can co-exist alongside heavy, extreme sounds. This three-track EP from Birmingham-based alternative band Last Light was released on CD earlier this year by Vetala Productions (probably better known for releasing the likes of Jotnarr and Art Of Burning Water, amongst others). Like most DIY labels though, Vetala is not shackled by a commercial vision but instead one that includes good music and friends. Last Light themselves don't have single or narrow-minded influences either, creating music they want to hear. This is their debut EP and contains music bathed in everything from grunge to post-hardcore and rock.

It’s hard for me to adequately describe Last Light. Not because I can’t, but because I think their music should do the talking instead. Hearing EP opener Waves managed to give me goosebumps in the same way that Mallory Knox’s debut Pilot EP did. It’s a soaring song with clean guitars and vocals, without pretence. My rudimentary description in that last sentence does Last Light a disservice, but sometime less is more. They flirt with post-hardcore on Ember but their melodic-sensibilities and subtle experimentation is still enough to grab you. Closing number Shelter has a definite air of Americana about it, especially in the lonely guitar that draws you in. What follows is a song that’s big without being showy. There are glimpses of their heavier side, but only brief ones and the EP is over as quickly as it started. Last Light won’t be on the periphery for very long if more people hear this EP. I like this and you will too!

You can stream the whole EP here -

Physical CDr copies of this EP were very limited and I'm not sure if any are still available from band or label You'll have to pester them for a repress or at the very least, a digital copy!

Last Light Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/lastlightuk
Vetala Productions Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/vetalaproductions

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Disgrace - True Enemy


1. True Enemy
2. No More Fools
3. Slave To The Lead God
4. Uncreation
5. 1000 Voices
6. Conquered
7. The Forgotten Land
8. The Well
9. Segue
10. Bootlicker
11. The Dawn
12. Conclusion

If years were named after musical genres (like Chinese years are named after animals) then 2015 would be "The Year of Death Metal". It's been full of it, some of which I've tried to cover here before now. Once again it has my attention after reading and listening to the suggestions posted on Metal Injection by Mr Strnad from The Black Dahlia Murder recently. Okay so Disgrace aren't a traditional death metal band and do have influences outside of gore and death, but they're being lauded as one of the best new bands this year and I want to see what all fuss is about.

They've been together as a band since 2011, formed by and featuring musicians from a few solid US hardcore bands. They've got a demo and split to their name, with their first full-length, True Enemy seeing a release on Closed Casket Activities earlier this year. They even got metal artwork royalty to draw the cover for this record.

Disgrace is a raging beast fuelled by thrash, death and hardcore. A lethal mixture of hatred and raw energy right from the off on True Enemy. It’s angular, fast and heavy as hell. Their’s is a modern approach and on No More Fools it’s closer to Unearth than it to Unleashed. From a guy who grew up listening to the former, that’s absolutely fine. Their metallic hardcore opens up more on Slave To The Lead God, breakdowns and all! Musically, it’s very much hardcore orientated and with that in mind they don’t hang about. In fact this very song must surely be a Pit-favourite by now. Uncreation absolutely slays, with pinch harmonics and cymbal crashed aplenty. For a song barely two-and-a-half minutes long, they pack it tight. It takes a lot to create a solid all-round metal album nowadays, especially with all of the copyists but Disgrace pull it off. There’s a great contrast between 1000 Voices and Conquered, with the latter sounding like a classic battle/speed metal album to begin with, while is thick sludgy ending is filled with brooding atmosphere. It takes you into the second-half of the album and throws you straight into the clutches of The Forgotten Land. Pure speed and power is all you need here. The Well is my favourite song on this record by far. It’s the sound of a band really settling into their craft and going all out! The calm instrumental Segue slows the onslaught briefly but only so you can catch your breath. Bootlicker wrestles back the reins easily and turns the thrash-level up while penultimate track The Dawn contains what must be the only solo on True Enemy, which makes only makes it standout even more! There’s still room for one last slab of thick sludge on the aptly titled Conclusion. This is classic thrash through and through and it rounds out a sick album. While some people may think I over-analyse records when I write about them, I really just write how I feel and True Enemy has given me the energy I needed. Good stuff!

You can stream and download True Enemy here:-

Physical records and merch can be purchased from Closed Casket Activities here -


Disgrace Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/disgracehardcore
Closed Casket Activities Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/closedcasketactivities

Monday 21 September 2015

Ill Breed - Black Pane/Blistered


1. Black Pane
2. Blistered

I received this anonymous e-mail in 2014 featuring scant details about a band called Ill Breed. God knows why it's taken me this long to give em a listen! Ill Breed are a hardcore band from Arizona and this demo was mastered at Audiosiege, so it's already a winner! I reckon this is the type of band that Rich from Speedowax would enjoy, after all he's put out records by Vulgar Display and Incited in the past. 

Ill Breed aren’t just your typical brushing hardcore band and the noisy intro to Black Pane proves that. Once it fades out though you’re greeted with riff heavy thrash and metal. It kind of reminds me of Biohazard and they’re definitely not just a hardcore band. There’s plenty of groove going on throughout both Black Pane and Blistered, but no real obvious breakdowns, which isn’t a bad thing in my eyes. Yes they’re heavy, but they don’t rely on the breakdown to hammer their point home. Ill Breed are cleverer than that. This EP may be all to brief, but it’s never too late to check a band out and you’ll be left wanting more.

You can stream and download (name-your-price) Black Pane/Blistered here:-

Ill Breed Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/illbreedaz

Monday 14 September 2015

Fell To Low - Low In The Dust


1. Galore
2. Urizen
3. Mapmaker
4. Boundary
5. Truman
6. Saturn

It's only 11am on Saturday morning but already this weekend seems strangely satisfying. It's been a hell of a week, but with the rain falling outside it gives me the perfect opportunity to jam some new music. California is a world away from the grey that surrounds me, but it's home to post-hardcore band Fell To Low and their label, the legendary Revelation Records. Fell To Low only recently came to my attention but they've been a band since 2009 and Low In The Dust is their first full-length. 

The first word that came into my head when I pressed play on Galore was…visceral. The screams in the opening verse are full of rage, but then they only form part of a song that twists and turns with chaotic hardcore noise and calming melody. It’s clear that Fell To Low are thoughtful musically. Urizen harks back to the more immediate hardcore of Revelation’s rosters of old, with urgency and a great experimental vibe. The guitars during Mapmaker seem to be pretty laid back but Fell To Low don’t lift their foot of the gas. The chorus of screams, both up top and in the mix are great. There’s no singing as such on here, but the vocals fit the atmosphere all the same. After the initial trio of shorter tracks, Fell To Low hits onto a more expansive sound. Angular and off-kilter, Boundary is an interesting song-title when the band themselves can’t be confined. I guess that’s the point here. In music there are no boundaries apart from those that musicians create for themselves. Fell To Low proves that despite all of the rehashes and blatant rip-offs that are around nowadays, interesting heavy music can still be created and enjoyed. There’s a subtle sparseness to Truman. It’s mainly instrumental save for a few spoken-word lines and occasional bursts of aggression. I feel oddly nostalgic listening to Saturn. The melancholy that pours out of the song during that guitar intro is palpable to say the least. Fell To Low really do stand out and I know I’m repeating myself here, but I like them a lot. Justifying why anymore than I have done already would be pointless, as you should hear this record for yourselves. 

You can stream the whole record here:-

Buy the record from Revelation Records here - http://revhq.com/store.revhq=REV159

Fell To Low Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Fell-To-Low
Revelation Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/revelationrecords

Thursday 10 September 2015

Bone Tomb - Tombs Of Blood Tape


1. Tombs Of Blood
2. Macabre Is Eternal
3. Sorrows Of The Moon (Celtic Frost Cover)

A little while ago I reviewed the recent tape by UK death metal act Vacivus. I picked it up from Goatprayer Records (who handled it's release earlier this year) alongside this tape. There's more to the link than just the label though! UK black metal duo Bone Tomb shares a member with Vacivus, as well as other varied UK underground metal bands and being a fairly new entity outright, the tape is currently the only way of hearing Bone Tomb's music. Tombs Of Blood features two original tracks and a cover, paying homage to one of Switzerland's finest!

There are not many demos that begin with the impact that’s felt on Tombs Of Blood. The title-track wastes no time in enveloping you with ambient and atmospheric black metal. There are subtle choral parts, melodic guitars and icy shrieks. All you expect really. The pace is unrelenting too, while the keys employed throughout are used sparingly, so it’s less Dimmu Borgir and more Darkthrone (if you will). I personally think that both of those bands are slightly overrated and prefer black metal to be more obscure and original. Tombs Of Blood hits the nail on the head straight away. Bone Tomb’s second original track, Macabre Is Eternal provides a change of pace and atmosphere to begin with. Brooding riffs feature throughout, alongside very well-played lead work. This is somewhat murkier than the tape’s title-track, but that’s part of the fun. Bone Tomb’s eye (and ear) for progression is used to greater effect as well, with signature changes more obvious. For all of it’s dissonant and raw qualities, the music here is still very approachable and the production/mastering is very good. It’s good to hear a modern take on a classic black metal song. Bone Tomb doesn’t deviate from their blueprint and as a result make Sorrows Of The Moon sound like their own. In spite of the above mentioned comparisons, it is actually very hard to think of another black metal band that would sit right next to Bone Tomb. The original music is where it’s at for me, as it’s very creative and well-written. There are rumours abound of a 2016 full-length. Sing me up!

You can stream and purchase Tombs Of Blood (digitally) via Goatprayer Records here:-

Sadly, tapes have sold out for those that missed them.

Bone Tomb Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/bonetomb
Goatprayer Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/goatprayerrecords

Monday 7 September 2015

Minors - Anno Domini EP


1. Burgeoning Bastard Black Arts
2. Bruxism
3. Bruce Lee, King Of The Sewers

I knew it wouldn't be long before Minors released new music. Their latest EP was released digitally in July (it's due for a physical release soon). You know the score by now if you've read my other reviews here. They're one of the heaviest hardcore/PV bands in Canada and following their split tape with UK punks Teef (RIP), I've been eagerly awaiting something more meaty to get my teeth into. This fits the bill nicely.

I get the impression that their song on the Teef split tape was just a glimpse of what was coming. The EP rages straight away, brimming with metallic tendencies and stupidly intense PV on Burgeoning Bastard Black Arts. For all of that though, it’s not just noise. They’ve thought about their approach and have injected a lot of atmosphere and even some European hardcore influences too! Bruxism rains to the sound of crash cymbals. You think the pace is going to stay at warp-speed, but Minors bring it back down to a virtual crawl (by their standards anyway). It’s menacing to say the least. They certainly don’t mince around and before you know it, you’re well into EP closer Bruce Lee, King Of The Sewers. Never has a trio sound so pissed off and vital. They use breakdowns for actually effect and not just because that’s all they can play. Anno Domini is just wall-wall crazy and that’s the only endorsement you need.

Until it's released physically, you can stream and download it here:-

Minors Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/weareminors

Sunday 6 September 2015

Ommadon - Empathy For The Wicked


1. I 
2. II

I promised it yesterday and having just recovered from listening to V again, I think I'm ready for Ommadon's latest release. Empathy For The Wicked was released in July and was the second only release from new UK label Golden Mantra Records. Again, Ommadon's heavy drone-doom has been committed to vinyl. it features a song that was part of the original recording sessions for their early split with Coltsblood and Horse Latitudes, while the second song was also the result of that extended session. 

I’m not quite sure how they’ve managed it but Ommadon sound even heavier on Empathy For The Wicked. The nasty guitar noise at the start of I sends vibrations through your whole body. As with V, they remain mesmerising as the sparse drums present a sporadic beat of sorts. The pace early on does seem slightly faster but never strays too far from their original blueprint. As with all songs of this length, it twists and lurches, changing pace and atmosphere with every movement. II is s a slow burner. It’s white noise taking longer to hit full volume. Its actually very hypnotic and as I listen to it, I’m fighting my body that is telling me to drift off into a deep slumber. There’s not the immediacy that greeted you on side A, but you get the impression that Ommadon are building up to something. That something is a song that gets ever louder as it winds it’s way through 20 or so minutes. There’s not much else to say about this really other than if you want to listen to something truly testing, you can’t go far wrong with Empathy For The Wicked. I mean that in a positive way as well. 

You can stream and download Empathy For The Wicked below:-

Vinyl copies can be purchased from Golden Mantra Records here - https://goldenmantra.bandcamp.com

Ommadon Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ommadon
Golden Mantra Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/goldenmantra

Rectified Spirit - The Waste Land Review + Song Stream

Up until recently, I've mainly been writing about bands from the more established metal/punk scenes in the UK, in Europe and the USA. However, there are established scenes in other parts of the world that don't get as much publicity and one such scene is in India. Indian promoter/label Transcending Obscurity in changing that, by spreading the music far and wide (as well as supporting a whole of International extreme metal bands). This Noise Is Ours is working with Transcending Obscurity to help spread the word further and this is the first post.

Rectified Spirit are a metal band from the Assam region of India. They're due to release their second full-length The Waste Land, via Transcending Obscurity India on 20th September. They actually begun playing metal in 2005 before taking a break in 2009. They returned two years later and released their debut self-titled full length in 2012.

I've been given permission to stream a track from The Waste Land, so you can check out opener The Art Of War below:-


1. The Art Of War
2. Fireborn
3. Winter In Thine Eyes
4. The Green Goblin
5. Afterthought
6. Once Below A Time
7. Empire
8. The Waste Land

Rectified Spirit employs a European approach on The Waste Land. Opening track and lead single The Art Of War is overflowing with thrash and death metal. The musicianship is breakneck with plenty of blasts and kick-drum wizardry, while the vocals range from low growls to falsetto clean singing. It’s certainly not short on exhilaration. After that punchy opener, Rectified Spirit keeps the momentum going with Fireborn, which is as catchy as it is devastating. I like how they’ve managed to weave modern layers into their take on traditional thrash metal. Things become slightly more radio friendly, thanks to some great vocal harmonies on Winter In Thine Eyes. Thankfully the pace doesn’t let up though and it features a killer solo! In spite of the relatively short running time of these opening tracks, Rectified Spirit exhibits a good appreciation for progression. They seamlessly fly straight into The Green Goblin, which may or may not be influenced by the comic book character! The song welcomes back those gutturals during the verses. There’s real atmosphere and drama within Afterthought. The spoken-word samples at the beginning do add to the song, before Rectified Spirit’s balladry shows itself. Afterthought really changes the mood of the record, but doesn’t harm it in any way. Things get back to normal on Once Below A Time, which swirls with a barrage of riffs straight from the off and it doesn’t stop. Such a rager! Empire is absolutely no different and those clean vocals are as impressive now as they were at the beginning. They leave the title-track to the end. All 13+ minutes of it. This is truly where their progressive tendencies take hold. It contains all of the different musical textures that Rectified Spirit has injected into The Waste Land. The blistering thrash, the power-metal inspired vocals and the modern metal riffs. I guess it’s their way of really showcasing their musical ability and it works really well too. I was really surprised by Rectified Spirit and can’t recommend them enough. If you can, check this out now!

You can keep an eye out for news regarding the release of The Waste Land via the links below:-

Rectified Spirit Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Rectified.Spirit.Official
Transcending Obscurity Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/transcendingobscurity

Friday 4 September 2015

Ommadon - V


1. V1
2. V2

After an hour or so of procrastinating, I've finally plucked up the courage to dive into the first of two Ommadon reviews I've been planning. Having witnessed them (in an alcohol induced state) at Doom Over Edinburgh in March and been the proud owner of this very record for a while now, I know that they're something else! They've recently released a new record called Empathy For The Wicked, which I'll be writing about soon, but I wanted to start with this gargantuan double LP first. A three-pronged approach by Dry Cough Records (UK), Burning World Records (NLD) and Domestic Genocide (USA) saw V released on heavyweight black double vinyl last year, with two tracks spanning over 85 minutes!

It’s pretty impressive to think the V was Ommadon’s first foray onto wax. As the buzzing feedback and windswept ambience of V1 opens the record up, it’s hard to think of a format more suited to their sparse and disparate doom. It’s also little wonder that Dry Cough Records got involved in it’s release. This is no instant fix and once you’ve pressed play, you’re in for the duration. Seeing them live at Bannerman’s in Edinburgh, with the guitar and drum-led noise bouncing off the curved, stoned roof was a sound and a sound to behold and listening to V brings back those senses even now. Like any doom band that’s as heavy as Ommadon are, there’s very little need for vocals. The live recording speaks volumes on it’s own. There’s no let up on V2 either, inspire of the slightly shorter playing time. It seems like Ommadon managed to capture the bleakness of their Highland recording setting perfectly on V. The doom/drone combination they employ of almost hypnotic. It’s to adequately describe how this record makes you feel without listening to it in it’s entirety. The pulsing guitar-led drone and drumming, which becomes blissful as it progresses, envelopes you from the off. As uncomfortable a listen as it may seem from the outside, if you’re in this far, you’re already hooked.  The latter half of V2 features some much-missed groove, but that doesn’t last long and it soon settles into one final prolonged drone-scape. As mad as it may sound, listening to V have been a cleansing experience, especially considering the busy week I’ve just encountered.

You can stream V here and grab it as a name-your-price-download:-

The double LP version is available from the labels below -

Dry Cough Records - http://www.drycoughrecords.com
Burning World Records - http://burningworldrecords.com/label/burning-world-records
Domestic Genocide - http://www.domesticgenociderecords.com

Ommadon Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ommadon
Dry Cough Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/DryCoughRecords
Burning World Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/burningworldrecords

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Swamp/Fetid Zombie - Necromantic Passages Split


1. Swamp - Lunar Fantasies
2. Swamp - Tormentor I
3. Swamp - Inside The Catacomb Of The Undead
4. Fetid Zombie - Nymph Of Tartarus
5. Fetid Zombie - Oracle Of Death
6. Fetid Zombie - Laid To Rot

Tonight is a night of two halves. The first involving a longing stare into the abyss, in the form of the recent split tape between Greek Black/Thrash band Swamp and US death metal entity Fetid Zombie. Swamp are another long running Greek band, having been together since the turn of the millennium. They've released a couple of demos, a comp, a full-length and a couple of splits in that time (this being one. Fetid Zombie is the creation of US illustrator Mark Riddick and has been putting out evil death metal since 2007, with a myriad of release bearing the name including five full-lengths and a split with Nunslaughter. For this tape, FZ has enlisted Proscriptor (Absu) to lend some vocals and has guest solos from Bill Zobolas (Soulskinner) and Toby Knapp (Where Evil Follows).

The first three tracks on Necromantic Passages belong to Swamp and their take on putted black/thrash. Lunar Fantasies is exactly what the doctor ordered, containing over five-minutes of cold and hateful black metal that's mixed with groove-laden thrash. The Greek trio sound epic here! The opener feeds out to reveal Swamp’s cover of Tormentor I (originally by Hungarian extreme metallers Tormentor). The melodic lead work during the intro section makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck, before Swamp stamp their own sound on the song. It’s fast and gruesome! The traditional metal touches and awesome solo add to the enjoyment. Inside The Catacomb Of The Undead is the band’s second original song on the split and it does nothing to stop their momentum. They go at it full-force and with their raw-edge, they’ve got a sound that is as infectious as it is gloomy. Fetid Zombie takes over with an Eastern feel, varied instrumentation and gargling death metal vocals during the intro of Nymph Of Tartarus. What follows is windmill inducing drumming, melodic guitars and low-growls. After the pace of Swamp’s offerings, this song may come across as a little slow. That’s no problem though, as what it lacks in speed it makes up for haunting presence. The black metal theme rages through Oracle Of Death thanks to the bleak tones of Proscriptor (Absu), while synths add ghoulishness to the song. The musicianship in the second half is outstanding, with a subtle flourish of jazz here and there. The side-B closer of Laid To Rot contains layers of guitar unlike anything heard so far. The additions of Bill Zobolas (Soulskinner) and Toby Knapp (Where Evil Follows) give it a modern shot in the arm, with some brilliant harmonies and solos. The backbone of death metal is reinvigorated in the song and it’s a great listen from start to end. This split features a lot of variation and is a great example of extreme metal done right. 

I can't find any links to Morbid Visions Music (the label involved in this split's release) but you can stream the Fetid Zombie side via Bandcamp here - 

Swamp Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Swamp-Greece
Fetid Zombie Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/fetidzombie

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Potergeist - Crocodile Tears Reivew + Interview

(Photo Credit: Danai Fokiou Photography)

Potergeist may well be a familiar name to many now. This Greek stoner/Southern metal outift have been making music for over a decade now and 2015 has seen the recent release of their fourth full-length, Crocodile Tears via Garden Of Dreams Records. This year they've played alongside Corrosion Of Conformity and Black Label Society in their native country, which just shows how well respected they have become. With plans to tour Europe now in place for later in the year, I felt it was a great time to chat with via e-mail about their collective experiences and the reaction to their new record.

TNIO: To start off, can you please give people an introduction to Potergeist? Who the members are and what brought you together as a band?

Potergeist: Potergeist are 5 friends with true love for music. Sratal and Nick XP on the guitars,Tolis Toleas on the drums,K. Vihos on bass and myself (Alex Swamp) on Vox. The Potergeist "saga" goes back to 2004 and counts 4 albums of Swamp Metal a mix of southern metal,blues and stoner rock.I guess the swamp demons is what brought us together hahahaha...

TNIO: You’ve just released your 4th full-length “Crocodile Tears”. How does it feel to have reached this point in your career, especially with over a decade of experience under your collective belts?

Potergeist: It feels good actually to be around still and it feels good that people are still into our music. Like you said all this experience has just made us better and wiser but as in life so in music there are a lot of new experiences and things to see and learn from so we just keep on doing our thing and hope that people like it ...

TNIO: What are the main lyrical themes running through the album? Are they more focused around the current situation in Greece or are they more personal?

Potergeist: Well some lyrics are personal, some are about the shit that is going on not only here because the same shit is going on in many countries right now,there are lyrics against racism, lyrics against trends,about the wrong ways of show biz, about helping out your fellow man there are a lot of things we talk about in our lyrics now that i think about it.

TNIO: You’ve recently played with sludge royalty Corrosion Of Conformity and you’re about to play with the mighty Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society? What does it mean to you when bands like this come to Greece and what is like playing alongside them?

Potergeist: Through the years we have played with many bands so it's just another show. The difference is that these bands have bigger audiences and more people get to learn of your band. Now if the members of the band are cool guys it's even better if they are ass holes it makes it harder and you might also stop admiring them after meeting them. hahahaha!

TNIO: Following on from the previous question, what other live/touring plans have you got for the rest of 2015?

Potergeist: Well we just had time to do a Spanish tour since the album came out so we will hit the road this fall in our country Greece and around Europe to promote the new album.

TNIO: What have been your highlights so far as a band? (These can be from any part of your career)

Potergeist: That would have to be opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd in our hometown at Elliniko baseball stadium 3 years ago and when Red Bull gave us an endorsement deal after seeing us live.

TNIO: If Potergeist was a new band in 2015, what advice would you give yourselves about the industry?

Potergeist: Get a manager so you don t go through all the shit in the industry to learn. Hahahaha! 


1. Swamp Muse Summoning
2. Crocodile Tears
3. Visit From A Swampire
4. What Then
5, Truth
6. Atonement
7. The Preacher And The Witch
8. Eve
9. Last Punk Standing

After the short and sweet intro of Swamp Muse Summoning, Potergeist launches straight into their fourth full-length’s title-track. It’s very pleasing to hear them hitting the loud pedal without a pause and Crocodile Tears is riff city! The vocals at first sound quite mean and menacing, but during the choruses they soar. Musically, Potergeist’s own summary of “Southern metal and stoner rock” is pretty much spot on, with obvious catchiness thrown in for good measure. It strikes me that Potergeist’s second home might actually be the swamp, as they make reference to it for a second time on Visit From A Swampire. There’s more than an air of the venerable Clutch during this song, which is certainly no bad thing as it’s brilliant. Potergeist has obviously settled on a sound that works for them and aren’t afraid to venture closer to the mainstream on songs like What Then. On this showing, they’re definitely one band that would be at home playing arenas and major European festivals main stages if given the opportunity. Truth reeks of thrash to begin with, before it settles into a huge rock n roll ballad. As you’d expect from a band of Potergeist’s experience, you get mature and quality song-writing right through the record. No songs outstay their welcome and they remain stuck in your head for days after. Despite the different genres I’ve already mentioned above, it’s stoner that truly flows through this record and Atonement is the archetypal case in point. It’s made even better by the guitar solo and female backing vocals that add another dimension, even if it ends abruptly (I wanted it to carry on!). All good things come to an end, but what follows certainly isn’t disappointing. The Preacher And The Witch is a driving slab of rock n roll that keeps the momentum high. Even though Crocodile Tears is drawing to a close, there’s no slowing down or fading away from Potergeist. I’m hearing a nod to glam rock during Eve, but not sure if other people would agree with that. There’s just something about it. Sadly, Last Punk Standing is more played in the key of punk, but is instead a twin-guitar filled slab of melodic metal. It may be classed an “easy listening’` to some metal fans but there’s nothing wrong with this record at all. In fact, it has the quality and the musical hooks to make it a classic. This should definitely draw new fans towards Potergeist and guide them to great things.

You can stream Crocodile Tears and purchase a digital download or CD here:-

Potergeist Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/potergeist
Garden Of Dreams Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/gardenofdreamsrecords