Monday 29 February 2016

Pantheon Of Blood/Creatura - Lapis Philosophorum Split 7"


1. Pantheon Of Blood - Deus Ex Naturae
2. Creatura - Thy Voices Are Four

As the dark winter's nights drew in during the latter half of 2015, UK black metal label Glorious North Productions released their second vinyl effort. The coming together of two Finnish black metal bands. The last time I featured Pantheon Of Blood here was in the form of a review of their last 7", Consociatio Solis Et Lunae that was also released by GNP in 2011. Since then, Pantheon Of Blood has also released the EP Tetrasomia. I knew very little about Creatura prior to writing this but I note that this is the band's first material in around 5 years or so, and is a one-man project featuring an undisclosed member of Saturnian Mist.

With the abundance of black metal filling the underground at the moment, smaller releases can get buried underneath their larger counterparts. Lapis Philosophorum was released with minimal fanfare in October 2015, yet has all of the characteristics needed to appeal to ardent fans of the genre. Pantheon Of Blood’s Deus Ex Naturae is a mid-paced affair, with typically icy growls, atmospheric strings and classy lead work. On the other side of the split, Creatura’s Thy Voices Are Four leans more toward the raw end of the spectrum, while retaining menacing melody. Solo-projects in black metal work well and it’s no different here, as Creatura’s instrumental skill is obvious. Both bands have connections both historic and present, so it’s nice to see them converging here and while this split is indeed short, it retains integrity and again highlights the strength within Finnish black metal today. 

You can hear a medley of both tracks below:-

You can purchase the split from Glorious North Productions here -

Pantheon Of Blood Facebook -
Creatura Metal Archives -
Glorious North Productions Facebook -

Saturday 27 February 2016

WAKE - Sowing The Seeds Of A Worthless Tomorrow


1. Burn Well
2. Wretched Tongues
3. Drones
4. Better Living Through Apathy
5. Low
6. Unrelenting Hate
7. Vultures
8. Endless Decay

Some people subscribe to the mantra that says that fear and hatred are healthy. Fear and hatred manifest themselves in different ways though. They make people do irrational things and they effect the safety of all of us. Thankfully, when applied to musical output they can be cleansing and that is exactly the case with Canadian grinders WAKE and their latest full-length. Released via 7Degrees Records and Nerve Altar (LP), Sentient Ruin Laboratories (tape) and EveryDayHate (CD), Sowing The Seeds Of A Worthless Tomorrow features eight quickfire blasts of grinding fury. 

(Photo Credit: Dana Zuk)

Releases such as this are bound to herald a certain amount of anticipation and that’s true as I press play. The opening ambience of Burn Well hides the true nature of what’s about to be unleashed. A few short seconds later chaos ensues. Burn Well collapses into a whirlwind of kick-drums, harsh growls and wretched riffs with a mere hint of treble. Openings like that are often seen as life affirming. The pace is set and Wretched Tongues precedes to obliterate everything and everyone. WAKE though are masters of atmospherics and the mid-section with it’s repetitive instrumental passage proves that even the simplest melodic texture can prove to be the best. Angular and experimental progression features on Drones. Futuristic like it’s technological namesake, it slithers and slides forth amongst a wall of noise. More of a raging flood that a meandering stream. They aptly describe what it’s like to live in the current global climate with Better Living Through Apathy. Even when WAKE switch to a slower gear, they still sound royally pissed off, but always in a controlled manner. There’s no rest for the ears and emotions as Low crashes to the metallic sound of cymbals. No place to hide or way to resist it’s continual physical and mental battering. Unrelenting Hate typifies what I was trying to say in my opening paragraph. Crucially it triggers a healthy response. Crazed and spitting with rage, Vultures portrays the image of birds (or unscrupulous humans) circling the weak, expect they come through the other unscathed and left with the remains in Endless Decay. It rounds out a stark album from a band that has summed up the ill-feeling of this world and condensed it into eight chaotic hymns. Contender for grind album of the year and soundtrack to the end-times. 

Listen (and download) for yourselves here:-

Physical copies can be purchased via the below links:-

7Degrees Records -
Nerve Altar -
Sentient Ruin Laboratories -
EveryDayHate -

WAKE Facebook -
7Degrees Records Facebook -
Nerve Altar Facebook -
Sentient Ruin Laboratories Facebook -
EveryDayHate Facebook -

Malos Modales - Cronicas Terrestres EP


1. Todo Esta Bien
2. El Mundo Nos Mata
3. Preguntas Insignificantes
4. Cronicas Terrestres

I told you I'd be back with more punk didn't I! Have spent some time this morning going through my e-mails (admittedly I'm a bit behind with them) and found a news e-mail from Drunken Sailor Records mentioning this 7". Malos Modales are a four-piece garage/punk band from Monterrey, Mexico. From what I can gather, this is their second EP following on from a self-titled one in 2014.  That's all I can really bring you in the form of an introduction, as I can't speak Spanish. Cronicas Terrestres was recorded in the band's rehearsal space by the band themselves. 

This has a real 70’s punk vibe going on. Todo Esta Bien is gloriously melodic and hummable. The instrumentation is simple but really effective and the vocals are delivered in the band’s native tongue. They certainly know their way around danceable riffs and song-structures. El Mundo Nos Mata is a perfect example of that if ever there was one. Malos Modales keep things brief on this EP too and that in turn helps their songs to stick in your head. Preguntas Insignificantes makes good use of their garage-punk influences, but it’s not dirty (like that sound can sometimes be) and remains really listenable. The final title-track reaffirms how much fun this EP is. It’s really rare to come across a band that instantly makes you feel good with a brand of inoffensive and clever music. Malos Modales manage this perfectly and beg the question as to why this stuff doesn’t get greater press. I love it and hats off to Drunken Sailor for releasing it. They’ve got a good ear!

You can stream and purchase the EP digitally here:-

You can also choose the option to purchase downloads of Drunken Sailor's entire discography for less than £45. That currently works out at under a £1 per release! Do it.

7's can be purchased here -

Malos Modales Facebook -
Drunken Sailor Records Facebook -

Tuesday 23 February 2016

The Hi Fi Ninja - Take It To The Grave


1. Blood On The Interstate
2. Crawl
3. Dear Me
4. Hole In The Chest
5. Hubris
6. Take It To The Grave
7. Too Weak To Fight It

A while ago now, I reviewed a 7" by US punk band Teenage Rehab. The link here is that The Hi Fi Ninja comes from the same town, Paducah (Kentucky) and they've shared a few stages as well. They wrote to me to let me know about their latest record, which was released in December just gone. They started playing together in 207 and this is their third album. I've not featured enough punk on here recently or listened to that much either. Let's hope this prods me into buying a new MRR subscription!

The piano melody at the start of Blood On The Interstate sounds really familiar, but I can’t think of where from! Anyway, Hi Fi Ninja play raw and low-fi punk, with plenty of rock and stoner influence. Crawl is the kind of madcap, off-kilter punk I was expecting to here. The vocals are delivered in a loud but clean way and it’s fast. The bluesy nature of their sound is one again present on Dear Me. The more you hear it the more you think of old-school punk line early Bad Religion. You know the kind that used to appear on Tony Hawk’s Playstation game soundtracks! Hi Fi Ninja seem to get crazier as they settle into Take It To The Grave. Hole In The Chest goes for it, but I would have liked the instruments to have been a bit more up front as they sometimes get drowned out by the vocals, but that’s a minor quibble. Pogo-inducing Hubris starts with a great rhythm and it’s shorter length gives it more vibrancy. That vibrancy carries on into the title-track and Hi Fi Ninja waste no time in ripping through the song. Album closer Too Weak To Fight It is the kind of catchy and melodic number you’d expect to round of an album like this. Talking of endings, Take It To The Grave is over far too quickly. I was really getting into it! This is punk rock as it should be. 

You can stream and download Take It To The Grave below, along with their rest of their discography:-

The Hi Fi Ninja Facebook -

Monday 22 February 2016

An Interview with Beloved (US)

There might so people reading this who recognise the picture above. It appeared on the back of Beloved (US)'s 2003 album Failure On, which was initially release by Solid State Records and the licenced and distributed by Golf Records a year later. A year after the release of the record, Beloved (US) ceased as a band. In 2003 I was 17 and it was a time in my life where I was discovering a whole host of new bands (to me anyway). I was reading Metal Hammer, Terrorizer and Rock Sounds magazine, which incidentally was the publication where I first learnt about this band. As well reading the article, I listened to Death To Traitors over and over again on the cover mount CD. It's been twelve years since Beloved (US) stopped playing and I was feeling nostalgic, so after a quick message via social media, Dusty Redmon graciously agreed to do a short e-mail interview. 

Beloved (US) formed just before the turn of the Millennium. What made you guys decide to form the band and what did you want to achieve at the time? 

We were just a bunch of friends who all went to the same high school, and were all sort of into the punk rock and hardcore scene that was brewing in our state at the time. We had some really killer local bands, and we all shared a love for aggressive music. This sorta made us want to get something going, get out in our scene, and really be a part of what was going on. We were so terrible at the start, like most bands, but once we found our footing, we started to gain some real ground locally. Bands like Hopesfall and Codeseven were big inspirations for us, and being able to become friends and share stages with them was a big deal to us. 

Shortly after releasing The Running EP, you signed with Solid State Records. What do you remember about that time and what did it feel like to work with a label like Solid State?

Signing with Solid State was huge for us. They were doing so much in the underground scene at that time, and releasing some really quality records. We were so excited to sign. Once we did, we had to nail down a producer for our first full length, which was harder than we thought. Brian McTernan was our first choice.. Unfortunately he was lined up to do a little record called "The Artist in the Ambulance" by Thrice, so he wound up ok. For us, we got the chance to record in Canada with GGGarth Richardson, which turned out amazing. We had a blast and released a record we were proud of on a label we were into. It was a good fit! 

Like a lot of people, I first heard about Beloved (US) around the release of Failure On when you were featured in Rock Sound Magazine in the UK. Did that album and that time give you a greater push in terms of fans and touring opportunities?

I remember the Rock Sound write up! That was really cool, because I had a lot of respect for the publication then. Once we got to the UK for what turned out to be our last tour, I think that magazine helped get some attention on us, credibly. 

Did you manage to tour outside of the US? Where were your favourite places and do you have any interesting touring stories from that time? 

We just did a few shows in Canada. Montreal was our first out-of-the-country show. Everything was French. We saw "Kill Bill" there and were SO scared it would be overdubbed in French, with English subtitles. Thankfully it wasn't. The UK tour was awesome. It was super hard though. Lots of dirty floors, tight travel, but great shows! Always loved going international. 

What were the main lyrical themes and influences that went into the writing of Failure On? 

Joe and Josh shared lyric writing duties. They each took their own parts and somehow everything really tied together. 

It’s been over ten years since the album’s release. Do you think it’s stood the test of time? How do you feel when people still talk or write about it or Beloved (US) in general?

It's the record I'm most proud of, out of all the bands I've been a part of. I still listen to it. I still love the production and the songs. Hopefully people still think fondly of it as well. We wrote an honest record, and just wanted to share it with everyone. 

More recently both The Running EP and Failure On were released on vinyl by Broken Circles. How did that come about and how happy were you with the end result?

It was all done without our knowing, really. It was a licensing thing between the two labels. However, I was very stoked with the releases. The coloured vinyl for "Failure On" was pretty gorgeous. 

What were your highlights and what would you have done differently as a band, if you had your time again?

We just had a great time. There wasn't really any drama at all with us until the end. We did some awesome tours with some great bands, for sure. We made a few business decisions that, in hindsight, would've probably been different if we could do it over. No remorse though. 

What are you doing now? Are any of you still involved in music?

Joe and I were doing the Almost for the past five and a half years, but just now sort of went into a semi-perm break with it. He and I are both writing music at our church in North Carolina. Josh is writing songs and performing a lot in the state. Joe is also working with Johnny and the rest of the Advent guys, writing some stuff. 

Here's the video for "Death To Traitors", the song that started it all off for me:-

That's it. I little interview with a band that meant a lot to me growing up and one that still means a lot. You can find links to their Facebook page as well those of The Almost and Advent below.

Sunday 21 February 2016

The Noise-Arc Project: Punk & Metal Band Directory

A little while ago I posted a status on Facebook, when I was toying with the idea of creating a database of bands. It's something I've been thinking about doing since LastFM changed and became less user friendly and since Metal Archives only really caters for extreme metal.

After looking at different options and racking my brain a bit, I've decided to build a directory that will eventually be shared online. It'll be quite simple but hopefully useful too. I'll be adding bands, the country they are based in, links to social media and to music. The only real stipulations are that the bands have to come from within the emo/punk/metal/extreme metal genres, have a social media presence/blog/site and have music available.

I will be welcoming submissions of bands for inclusion (that perhaps I haven't heard of before), so feel free to send stuff over using the contact form or via e-mail/Facebook. 

This is going to be a project that will continually be growing and will no doubt change over time. I hope that it will be a useful tool for fans of alternative and heavy music.

Friday 19 February 2016

Dakhma (Switzerland) - Astiwihad-Zohr


1. Libation (Unto the Blessed Flame)
2. Procession (Feed From the Skull)
3. Spirit (From the Plane)
4, Altar (Flesh Upon Me)

Despite all of the current events that provide inspiration to today's extreme metal bands, there's still those who prefer to channel their energies into something more occult and even mystical. One such band that falls into the latter category is Swiss black/death entity Dakhma, though my broad categorisation may be way off the mark. Dakhma began releasing music focusing on the afterlife and occult rituals last year, releasing an album, a split and this EP. Astiwihad-Zohr was released via NecroShrine Records (with distribution help from Iron Bonehead Productions) on cd format and will soon be released on tape via Godz Ov War Productions shortly and on 12" via IBP.

Dakhma may end up with the dubious title of “rawest” black/death band I’ve ever heard. Opener Libation (Unto the Blessed Flame) contains low growls and gargles, underpinned by noise-laden percussion and guitars. It’s certainly not of the ambient or atmospheric variety. I’m not saying it’s bad though, after all I don’t like to speak bad of bands that sit within genres that I enjoy. This is just a challenging listen at first. The Middle-Eastern samples that adorn the start of Procession (Feed From the Skull) draw you into a song that’s more musical, with doom-like riffs and even some melody in the early bars. They give way to more chaotic black/death, which flies along at quite a pace. Thankfully, Dakhma has one eye on haunting atmosphere as the mid-section of Procession… is eerily quite. It’s a welcome break from the barrage but serves only as a breather, before one last closing attack. Ancient chants greet you on the aptly named Spirit (From the Plane). By now, you can probably ignore what I said initially about Dakhma’s lack of ambience. Initial listens are not conducive to a fair review. This song features real ambience in the form of some subtle yet quality guitar work. I think it really go’s a long to highlighting the musical palette of this (anonymous) musician. The song’s 9 minute-plus length seems to flash by fairly rapidly, as the song is very listenable and well structured. Astiwihad-Zohr finishes with a relatively brief number called Altar (Flesh Upon Me), which sees Dakhma returning to the hellish sound that was found on the EP opener. This is a very expansive EP from a productive band. It’s extreme yes, but it’s not untouchable. It grows on you with each listen and will definitely appeal to those who find solace and comfort in ungodly noise. 

Stream and purchase downloads/cd's directly from Dakhma here:-

Also, buy or pre-order physical copies from the labels below:-

Iron Bonehead Productions -
Godz Ov War Productions -

Dakhma Facebook -
NecroShrine Records Facebook -
Iron Bonehead Productions Facebook -
Godz Ov War Productions Facebook -

Monday 15 February 2016

Obduktio - Obduktio


1. Ydinkarki
2. Riivattu Vittusaatana
3. Mafia
4. Pulmapaiva
5. Jumala
6. Kehitysvamma
7. Fantasia
8. Velalliset
9. Nyt Lahtee Halvalla
10. Timecon
11. Kasissamme
12. Eliittikumppani

I wanted to jam something tonight that had some meat on it's bones. Something heavy, fun and something by band I hadn't checked out before. Thank god then for Caligari Records and Finnish band Obduktio. Death metal, black metal, crust, grind and punk all make an appearance on this tape, which was only released in January. Obduktio is a four-piece and has had two previous releases before this self-titled effort. 

I was expecting raw, fast and low-fi noise and that’s exactly what I got on opener Ydinkarki. You can kiss goodbye to your squeaky clean production and your sickly sweet melody as this is as dirty as it gets! Raging punk mixes it up alongside blackened growls and plenty of reverb. They’re fast yet with Riivattu Vittusaatana they manage to incorporate some really great drumming and intricate instrumentation. Both the aforementioned song and Mafia flash past in the blink of eye. Pulmapaiva starts with ringing cymbals that show Obduktio’s crust influence, while there’s a subtle hint of Motorhead too. What’s in the water over in Finland because I want some! Obduktio’s relatively short individual songs are filled out with copious amounts of energy and thrashing instruments. Jumala seems to get faster as the song reaches it’s end, thanks to some crazily infectious blasts. Kehitysvamma is probably the closest that Obduktio gets to hellish black metal. It’s that vocal reverb again! The grinding intensity of Fantasia creates such an enjoyable racket. The crashing cymbals dictate the pace until later on when Obduktio presents a brief sludge/death passage that rules equally as hard. Velalliset slides even further up the speed scale, eschewing any such notions of slow and murky musical atmosphere that may have been brought on by the closing bars of Fantasia. It’s brash and loud, which is just how it should be. The feedback that kicks off Nyt Lahtee Halvalla is piercing to say the least. It gives was to the most maddening song on the tape. Timecon flails between thrash, black/death and grind. It creates the perfect backdrop to out-and-out chaos. In true extreme metal fashion, Obduktio chooses to wait till the penultimate song to bring out the big riffs. Kasissamme is doom/death at it’s best. It’s a welcome change of pace but not only that, it also stands up in it’s own right on the album. The vocals are pure evil while the atmosphere created by the music is spot on. They close out their self-titled record with one final neck-snapping blast in the form of Eliittikumppani. Considering the twelve songs that appear, this tape lasts a relatively short time. Thankfully, that time filled to the brim with extreme metal that leaves no time for boredom. Obduktio has nailed it.

Stream the whole album here:-

Tapes can be purchased from Caligari Records here -

Obduktio Facebook -
Caligari Records Facebook -

Sunday 14 February 2016

Laube/Duct Hearts - Split 7"


1. Laube - Bleib!
2. Duct Hearts - Atlas
3. Laube - Immer Wieder Kommst Du Dann Zu Mir Zurück (Demo - Bonus Track)

This was meant to have been posted last night, but I had no energy. About a week or so ago I received a parcel from Daniel from German label Time As A Colour, featuring four record including this split 7". The split was released with Stereo Dasein (The Netherlands) and features songs from Laube (whom I know very little about) and Duct Hearts. I know that Duct Hearts is from Munich. This seems to the only release so far to feature Laube, whom I think are also German judging by their song-titles here. They have a bonus demo song available on the digital version of this split that I'll also be reviewing. It was released last November of black and pink/white mix vinyl.

Laube begin with Bleib!, which contains gentle acoustic guitar and traditional whistles. The singing in clean and in their native tongue and everything feels very folk-like, with both male and female vocals. I’ll be honest and say that this wasn’t what I was expecting, but it’s actually really nice and very well played. On the flip-side Duct Hearts presents gentle indie/emo on Atlas. They compliment Laube’s contribution well and sing in English as well. The bonus song from Laube on the digital version of the split is another acoustic folk song. Immer Wieder Kommst… features incredibly intelligent guitar playing that makes it really listenable. I think this split highlights the breathe of musical tastes people have and that it’s better to be original than to copy others. This is great and certainly worth listening to when you want a break from heavier music. Be adventurous, I dare you!

You can stream the split below:-

Physical copies can be purchased from the links below -

Time As A Colour -
Stereo Dasein -

Duct Hearts Facebook -
Time As A Colour Records Facebook -
Stereo Dasein Records Facebook -

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Second To Sun - Ladoga Master Song Stream

Russian avant-garde metallers Second To Sun released their latest single Ladoga Master on 7th February. The band originally formed in 2012 and has an EP and full-length to it's name. They play extreme metal with elements of Finno-Ugric culture and traditional instruments. You can listen to Ladoga Master below:-

You can listen to Second To Sun's previous material via their bandcamp page below, where it's available to buy as a name-your-price download or as a bundle:-

Second To Sun Facebook -

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Fucking Invincible - I Hate Myself And Want You To Die


1. Cross/Uncross
2. Conflict Recital
3. Under The Sun
4. Ditched
5. Feeder
6. Like A Child
7. No Exit
8. Get It Wrong

Often the bleakest of images is the hatred of mankind by mankind. It's portrayed everyday in the media and is more often than not, based on ideologies entrenched in religion. Thankfully there are bands that can present this emotion way better than I can write it and one of them is Fucking Invincible. Their latest EP "I Hate Myself And Want You To Die" includes eight super-fast and super angry hardcore songs. It was released in December 2015 via longtime Rhode Island hardcore label Atomic Action! Records.

Fucking Invincible catch the mood perfectly on Cross/Uncross with stomping riffs and grinding blasts. The vocals are executed with violent accuracy. Their sound is meant to make you take notice and Conflict Recital has “don’t mess with us” written all over it. The crazed percussion dictates where I Hate Myself… heads and Under The Sun crushes all with the heaviest hardcore that exists this side of Nails. Ditched comes and goes before you’ve had chance to catch any breath while Feeder, with it’s ringing feedback and menacing rhythm conjures up images of greed and a hunger for power, which is surely what Fucking Invincible are raging against. The bleakness I was talking about in my opening paragraph seems to truly manifest itself in Like A Child. The mix is raw and reminds me of an early Trap Them. Fucking Invincible rounds out the EP with the blistering duo of No Exit and Get It Wrong. Powerviolence fuelled hardcore that takes no prisoners. It’s all over in little more than ten minutes and stomps a giant shoe sized print into your head. Fucking Invincible are a band that release music as quickly as they play it, with no less than seven releases since their inception in 2012. Drive and creativity like that will surely keep them in people’s consciousness (whether they like it or not).

You can stream this EP and their previous output via Atomic Action! Records here:-

Digital downloads are available from the label's bandcamp page above and physical copies can be picked up via their online store here -

Fucking Invincible Website -
Fucking Invincible Facebook -
Atomic Action! Records Facebook -

Monday 8 February 2016

Glarus - 2014 Demo


1. Everything
2. Fire
3. Nothing

I will get onto reviewing some newer and longer Dry Cough Records releases soon, but for now I wanted to write a little about this demo that's been sitting in my collection for while. Released in August 2015 by Dry Cough, this three-track tape bares not only more than a passing association with the label but also with some of Manchester's finest underground heaviness (past and present). This release sprung to mind because I noticed that they're going to be supporting German hardcore band Jungbluth in a week or so and because they're another noteworthy homegrown band.

Much like the previous output from Dry Cough Records, this demo from Glares is riffy and heavy. It’s thick metal guitar blends in alongside the cleanly sung vox on Everything. When this demo was recorded, Glarus was a power-trio but have swelled since, I can definitely see why they needed the fourth member. Their sound is mesmerising and having the extra guitarist would really bring it to life. The growls that are used in the latter half of Everything maybe more reminiscent of previous label output but it’d be dismissive to compare that to this demo. The metallic tones of Fire provides a hardcore outlook to proceedings and definitely a greater metal influence too. It’s off-kilter rhythms and swathes of ambience make it one of those all-encompassing listens that you can’t help but feel engaged with. The bass that rumbles during Nothing is backed up by a catchy as hell percussive beat. This songs reminds me of old-school screamo from the early 00’s (I maybe way off the mark with that comparison but you can blame it on the clean vocals!). it’s not too long before the sludge influence makes it’s presence felt. Nothing swirls and lurches onwards, providing yet another completely different feeling. I think that when a band can present their ideas in three different ways but still as one cohesive whole, they’re more than worth their salt. When you consider the backgrounds of Glarus, you’ll realise that they are anyway. More please!

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

Buy a tape copy here -

Glarus Facebook -
Dry Cough Records Facebook -

Sunday 7 February 2016

Partisan - Partisan LP


1. Run Run Run
2. Unhappy People
3. Children In Love
4. Public Humiliation

Expectations always run high when ex and/or current members of well-known hardcore bands turn their hands to a new project. People expect it to be a hardcore band itself, which is often not the case. It's best to approach it with no expectations at all. Partisan quietly released their self-titled LP via Hypertension Records late last year. Partisan features ex and current members of Rise And Fall and Oathbreaker, playing noisy post-punk type stuff. 

Opening up with a cacophony of noisy guitar, Partisan slowly infuses melody into Run Run Run and also a goth-like sensibility. It’s pretty clever being able to switch between loud passages and laid back verses, while not ruining the listening experience. Jazz and twinkly pop are the order the day on Unhappy People, which banishes the headache that Run Run Run induced. The vocals again are minimal and there’s a sense of experimentation flowing through it. It’s hard to adequately describe how good Partisan is. There’s a real subtlety about Children In Love. You expect it to be really sugary-sweet and clean, yet there’s an underlying foreboding hidden within it. That and a twisted channelling of R.E.M! Closing song Public Humiliation is mid-paced and full-off cracking guitar work and foreboding atmospherics. This is a release that really needs to be listened to and digested. It’s weird and accessible at the time. Really really enjoyable!

You can stream and purchase the LP in digital and physical form here:-

It's available from Hypertension Records here -

Partisan Facebook -
Hypertension Records Facebook -

Friday 5 February 2016

Relics - Bring Your Own Blood EP


1. Bring Your Own Blood
2. The Door
3. A*M*S*C*A*D

The pace never lets up and 2016's new release pile is stacking up. Huddersfield punks Relics are due to release their new EP on Feb 27 via Wooderson Records and have very kindly given me a sneaky pre-listen. They guys have been having a pretty good time of it recently and they've got some stellar gigs lined up, including a hometown release show alongside The NX, Cavorts and The Amplifighters and a slot at this year's No Fun Intended Weekender in May (I'll post both flyers up later). The EP was recorded and mixed at No Studio in Manchester with Joe Clayton and was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege.

The more I listen to Relics the more they bring to mind Send More Paramedics. On Bring Your Blood they take on the energy of SMP and Motorhead to create groove-laden punk, with clean vocals and hardcore gang-chants. It’s catchy and riffy. Horror Punk sometimes gets maligned but Relics steer clear of the whole yawn-inducing Psychobilly thing and The Door is awesome. Infectious and energetic hardcore infused with rock n roll is always a winner. Relics actually get heavier throughout the EP and A*M*S*C*A*D is louder somehow. Full of thrashing drums and guitars to match. This EP’s got everything basically and what it lacks in length it makes up for in quality, well-written songs that will come alive in a gig setting. Good job again from Relics!

Check the flyers for those upcoming gigs I mentioned below:-

There's no full-tracks streaming online yet, so you'll have to wait for the release date to hear. If you go to their Huddersfield release show you'll get a free copy of Bring Your Own Blood as part of the entry price.

Keep up to date via their Facebook page -

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Excimer - Thrash From Fire


1. Hell On Earth
2. Victims Of Plague
3. Provoke The Slaughter
4. War Terror
5. The Curse Of Seth
6. Apocalypse
7. Thrash From Fire
8. Cry War
9. Red Planet
10. Rapid Fire (Judas Priest Cover)

Thrash metal from Egypt? It makes complete sense for a band to play extreme music about war, terrorism and hatred in a country that itself has been ravaged by extremes over the years. Excimer began playing thrash metal in 2013 and they wasted little time in self-releasing their debut EP "Serial Killer". A Single followed a year later before their first full-length "Thrash From Fire" was given a wider release in 2015 via Witches Brew Records. It's cool to see a band like Excimer, who have been heavily influenced by European bands like Sodom, Destruction as well as the NWOBHM getting the support from a great underground European label like Witches Brew Records. It just goes to show how far reaching and supportive the underground metal scene is nowadays.

Thrash metal is pure party music and Excimer are the MC’s this evening. Thrash From Fire is frenetic. Hell On Earth is every bit the high octane, high impact opener you hoped it would be. Everything is maximised for full attack. The drumming takes no break for breath, the guitar and bass are razor sharp and the low vocal rasps are authoritative. Excimer is the perfect remedy for those who think that modern day Anthrax is a bit weak. The riffs mid-way through Victims Of Plague are so good, you’d think that they were written by one of the big-four and that’s not a throwaway compliment either. Excimer can definitely write! They fill Provoke The Slaughter with a lot more instrumentation, especially with the lengthy intro. They fit an awful lot the five-and-a-half minute song. It’s also got a more than solid solo. I sincerely hope that Excimer isn’t just a one-off  and that Egypt (and Africa as a whole) produces more kick-ass thrash like this! War Terror sounds like the sort of song that Metallica would have written had they not chosen the “clean” vocal path. I guess it takes more from Exodus in that respect. What I mean to say is…it rips! Excimer pull no punches with their approach and speed straight into The Curse Of Seth, which not only marks the midway point in Thrash From Fire but also points to the sheer gung-ho attitude of the band. Many bands from many genres have taken influence from the Apocalypse, but Excimer’s take on it is really infectious. The title-track contains razor-sharp riffs and in fact, it’s those riffs that provide the bulk of Excimer’s melody throughout the record. The rasping growls don’t let that melody get carried away though, providing a cheese-grater like feeling in your ears (in the best possible way). They scream NWOBHM with Cry War, embracing it’s blueprint to help create a really catchy number. You feel exactly what it’s like to be marooned on Mars during Red Planet. It’s chock full of molten metal! It’s instrumental for the most part and it just goes to highlight how good Excimer’s song-writing and playing actually is. They end with a cover of Judas Priest’s Rapid Fire. It’s as if somebody mated Priest with Venom and let their offspring pick up instruments as soon as they could walk! 

Stream Thrash From Fire here:-

You can pick up digital and physical versions from Witches Brew Records above.

Excimer Facebook -
Witches Brew Records Facebook -

Tuesday 2 February 2016

An Interview With Hundred Year Old Man

This interview was originally used as part of a small feature I had written, that was (hopefully) being published on a US website that I was looking to contribute to. As of yet, the feature hasn't appeared so I've taken the decision to post it up because I didn't want to waste it and because I wanted to let everyone know about Hundred Year Old Man. They're ace and you should check them out!

(Photo Credit: Paul Priest)

The heavy music is scene is funny nowadays and so are those who follow it. People are constantly looking for the next “exotic” band while ignoring what’s on their own doorstep. We’re all guilty of this, even me. Thankfully I live near Leeds (United Kingdom) and the scene that inhabits that city is vibrant, exciting and growing all the time.

I first discovered Hundred Year Old Man when I attended a gig in a bar called Santiago’s in the city. I’ve been plenty of gigs there in that past and it’s always been really loud and atmospheric due to it’s small upstairs room. On this occasion the bill contained a mixture of slow and fast bands, with Hundred Year Old Man being the opener. Their post-metal blew me away and I wanted to find out more about the band and it’s beginnings. I spoke to Tom (guitar) via an e-mail interview.

TNIO: Can you provide an introduction to Hundred Year Old Man? When did you form and what influenced you to play post metal?

Tom: Owen and I have been friends since around 2005, when I replaced the guitarist in his old band. We were both listening to bands like Isis, Pelican and Cult of Luna, but were playing more fast, tech stuff at the time. We started to add more post metal into our sound, but when the band ended a few years later Owen had an idea to make a collaborative album with all the musicians we'd met over the years from touring. 

In 2012, Owen, Dan and I (Tom) spent a day playing, improvising and recording the result which ended up being the first two tracks on the EP. After that we decided to get a 'core' band together and focus on playing live, which is currently where we're at. Currently we are: Aaron - bass, Dan - keys/samples/vocals, Owen - guitar/vocals, Paul - vocals, Steve - drums, Tom - guitar.

TNIO: You’ve recently gone from a 5 to a 6-piece? What was the reason for that and what will it add to the band musically?

Tom: We always knew this was going to have to be a large band, just to be able to get the layers and overall sound that we wanted. We hadn't really settled on a format at that point, we just hadn't found the right person to add until we met Aaron. That has meant that Dan can concentrate on samples, keyboards and add a more electronic aspect to the songs. 

TNIO: When I saw your set at Santiago’s, one of your guitarists was playing with a Violin bow (I think), which sounded really good. Is musical experimentation a big part of HYOM?

Tom: That would have been Owen, who also plays in an atmospheric drone band called A-Sun Amissa and uses the bow a lot in that band too. We've always been interested in experimenting with different sounds that can be made from a guitar - effects pedals are a pretty integral part of the band. Sometimes even 'accidental' things, such as turning off a noisy pedal that's going into delay/reverb, can end up becoming a feature of a song that we replicate live. 

We're just interested in anything that makes a good sound really and are very much interested in textures and dynamics as much as we are tone. We've done a lot of playing around in the past with strange pedal chains just for a particular section in a song, keyboards through pedals and amps, or recording a sample on a mobile phone and playing it back through a guitars pickup. 

A lot of other ideas have come from recording things when we were younger and didn't have the gear to do it justice. We just had to work with whatever we could find, but the result can end up sounding even better when what we have to work with is quite limiting. I think Owen used a pair of headphones as drum overheads once, I'm not sure if that was a success or a failure though… 

(Photo Credit: Paul Priest)

TNIO: You released your Self-titled EP earlier this year and are now beginning to record your next release; can you tell us a bit about the new release? How will it differ from your first EP?

Tom: The first EP was largely improvised and recorded live, then the vocals written and recorded at a later date by an old friend of ours who lives in Switzerland. The band has grown and changed format quite a bit since then, so the music we have been making recently is more structured and actually written as a band. But we are still very interested in the collaborative elements and are always excited when someone outside of the band asks to contribute in some way. 

We're currently just working on a song or two that are more representative of the current style of the band, but the next proper release will likely be a full album that we hope to start working on early next year. We're lucky that between us, we have all the equipment we need to record everything ourselves, so we're free to record as and when we want. 

TNIO: The DIY heavy music scene in Leeds seems to be growing and becoming more vibrant. The gig at Santiago’s illustrated that perfectly with yourselves, Mausoleion, Gloomweaver,   and Lugubrious Children (all from Leeds) on the bill. How does it influence you as a band and how positive is it to have such a big network of active musicians and supporters?

Tom: Leeds has always had a good heavy music scene and community - We used to travel over from York for gigs at the Fenton, Basement, Packhorse and RPC and have seen some awesome shows over the years. The fact that it's growing just makes it even better and easier to be a band - there's always new bands to see, book shows with and more importantly be inspired by. We're lucky to have a lot of people who like to actively help the scene such as Adam from Mausoleion who booked that show, and Paul from Gloomweaver, who has been putting on shows seemingly forever. 

Hundred Year Old Man are due to release new single Black Fire in March. Here's a trailer:-

Their self-titled EP is available to stream and download (name-your-price) via their bandcamp page -

Hundred Year Old Man Facebook -