Tuesday 31 May 2016

Extermination Temple - Lifeless Forms 7"


Tracklist:-

1. Physical Torture
2. Dissolve Into Dust
3. R.F.O.D
4. Vampire Of Suicide Death

In this day and age, people with anger issues and a profound hatred of different races, cultures or individuals tend to turn towards violence and war. What they should really be doing is seeking out disgustingly heavy black/death metal instead! That's where mysterious new Swedish act Extermination Temple comes in. With artwork painstakingly crafted by Dwid (Integrity, Psywarfare) and song titles including Physical Torture and Vampire of Suicide Death, this 7" should provide the perfect soundtrack to your most atavistic fantasies.


Extermination Temple presents a hellishly blackened outlook with opener Physical Torture. There’s old-school solos, low-fi reverb filled vox and even nods to industrial soundscapes. Dissolve Into Dust starts of with strange ambient/goth like noises yet is soothingly melodic when it gets going. Don’t get me wrong though, this is not easy listening. Taking it’s cues from old-school death metal later on in the song, Extermination Temple plays with your ears and your mind! Ghoulishly gargled vocals are not even the most unnerving part of R.F.O.D., though it’s hypnotic rhythms and siren-like lead work banish any fears and reduce you to a trance-like state. Vampire Of Suicide Death is every bit as maddening as you’d hoped it would be. Droning yet disturbingly good fun, it’s an up-tempo end to Lifeless Forms. Some of the most creative minds in extreme metal are also the most bewildering. Extermination Temple is sure to join to the top shelf after this!

You can stream and download it here:-



7" copies can be purchased here - http://apocalypticvisions.bigcartel.com

Extermination Temple Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/exterminationtemple

Monday 30 May 2016

Szyslak - Demo 2016


Tracklist:-

1. An Hour In The Hourglass
2. Reveries

What do you get when members of heavy UK sludge/hardcore bands get together as their previous endeavours are put to rest? That's right, you get pop-punk. At least that's the case with Szyslak anyway. Earlier this year The Simpsons inspired three-piece released a two-song demo tape with the help of Headless Guru Records. Judging by the reaction, they're doing okay as they've recently lined up alongside blog faves The New Tusk and Birdskulls. 

Szyslak makes gruff-punk that has more in common with Iron Chic and Hot Water Music than it does with Blink-182 etc. An Hour In The Hourglass typifies that sound with it’s sing-a-long vibe and sweet guitar melody. Reveries goes by in the same vein. Brief and catchy seems to be the mantra and it’s spot-on. Two songs that don’t hang around too long, stick in your head and hint at very good things to come. Szyslak has been recording recently so expect those very good things soon. Oh…and book em for a show!

You can stream the demo and grab a free download here:-



The band only has 8 tape copies of the demo remaining, so act fact if you like what you hear. Otherwise head here - http://headlessgururecords.bigcartel.com/product/szyslak-demo-cs

Szyslak Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/SZYSLAKPUNK
Headless Guru Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HeadlessGuruRecords

The Future Of UK Underground Music: A Solution

The history of the UK underground music scene has been well publicised. You can go back to bands such as Black Sabbath and The Sex Pistols, as catalysts for both heavy metal and punk as we know it today. While the underground musical landscape in the UK has changed beyond those early years thanks to the Internet, Social Media and Crowd funding; it is still DIY in the majority. Bands record and release music with their own money, labels (often just one person) invest their time and money in bands they like, promoters use their own money to put on shows and festivals across the country.

The catalyst for this blog post was a series of tweets I read last night between a prominent musician and (up to now) a fairly new and successful UK music festival. Reading those tweets made me realise that private investment and crowd funding will only go so far, as for the majority of people involved in underground music, money is a finite resource. This is where the solutionising comes into it.

Should the UK Government and Arts Council adopt a similar funding regime to that of Norway or Canada, to help maintain such an important part of UK musical culture?

Norway's Ministry For Culture founded Music Norway and the Fund For Performing Artists, provides support for recording artists as well helping to build the wider music scene in the country. Read more here - http://musicnorway.no and here - http://www.ffuk.no/about-the-fund-for-performing-artists. In 2011 for example, 90 grants of 20,000 NOK were awarded to artists while smaller grants of 6,000 NOK were given to artists and bands for short-term trips, allowing them to tour and reach new audiences.

The Canadian Council For The Arts also offers grants to artists/bands and provide financial support for touring. Bands and artists can receive between $12,000 and $24,000 Canadian Dollars. Read more here - http://canadacouncil.ca/music/find-a-grant/grants/grants-to-professional-musicians-individuals.

I'm sure there will be some people reading this who will say that what makes the underground scene in the UK so unique is that financial independence, which is a valid argument; however, if financial assistance was available to people, do you think it would relieve the burden on individuals, help festivals (both large ones like Sonisphere and small DIY ones like 'Kin Hell Fest) to survive and prosper and allow bands, labels and promoters to become more financially self-sufficient? 

Saturday 28 May 2016

Beggar - Shingles + House Of Man EP & Caramel Cigarette EP

I'm not the sort of person who wallows in self-pity and while reflecting on failed attempts to bring new blog ideas to fruition, I've been reminded of those people/bands who have been nothing but supportive of me and what I've tried to do with This Noise Is Ours. One such supporter has been Charlie of (now London based) sludge band Beggar. Beggar have just released a new EP called Caramel Cigarette and Charlie let me know about it recently, so here's a dual review alongside the 2015 EP Shingles + House of Man.


Shingles + House Of Man EP Tracklist:-

1. (Intro)
2. The Shingles
3. House Of Man
4. Gravedigger

The Intro forms part of The Shingles on the cd version. Its a stand alone track on the digital version though and its anticipation building. Beggar seem to have grown heavier since “Beggar II”. The Shingles is filled with thick and bass-heavy metallic riffs, as well as incredibly caustic screams and cymbal-heavy percussion. The screams feature more than a hint of black metal too, which is pleasant. House Of Man’s off-kilter time signature gives it an unnerving sense of menace. Beggar have always been experimental, but here they prove more so. The guitars provide a wall of engaging rage than you can’t help but mosh to. Add a bucket load of psych influence and you’re In for a treat! EP closer Gravedigger features some soaring guitar at the start. It’s still audible as the volume rises, but it soon gives way to allow Beggar time to really let loose. Gravedigger certainly feels like an experiment in catharsis. This whole EP works thanks to it’s brief yet hard-hitting approach. Beggar use the craft they’ve learnt from previous EPs and have created something really infectious.


Caramel Cigarette EP Tracklist:-

1. Grease The Treads
2. The Way Out
3. Pagan Behaviour
4. Caramel Cigarette

On to 2016 and Beggar's latest EP. The black metal inspired vox that appeared on the previous EP make an immediate appearance on Grease The Treads. There’s more blues and groove included, as well an amazing solo. Musically, you may not think they’re the same band, but progression is the name of game nowadays so deal with it!. The Way Out is chock full of epic guitar textures and tonnes more groove. the shorter playing time lends itself well to the band’s agency too. By the time Pagan Behaviour kicks in, you’ll be pretty much hooked on Beggar’s sound. With each song on Caramel Cigarette, they seem to get better and better.  The EP ends with the title track. Psych punches through the speakers and almost invokes the spirit of a certain Jimi Hendrix. It’s not long though before things get a whole lot heavier. You’ll no doubt hear similarities to some well-known bands here, but it’s easy to past them and focus on what Beggar presents. On it’s own it’s easy to justify why these guys are worthy of high praise. Subtle layers of ambience and many louder elements make this an easy EP to get along with. I really hope Beggar see fit to release a full-length sometime this year. 

You can stream both EPs below:-





CD versions of Shingles + House Of Man are available from Beggar's bandcamp page above, as well as digital versions of both EPs.

Thursday 26 May 2016

4 Doors To Death - Cemetery Filth/Ectovoid/Sabbatory/Trenchrot



Tracklist:-

1. Cemetery Filth - Consumption Of Volition
2. Cemetery Filth - Dagonian Dialect...The Obelisk Unearthed
3. Cemetery Filth - Cosmic Wraiths
4. Ectovoid - Ash Primordial
5. Ectovoid - Possessed By Ancient Dread
6. Sabbatory - Ascension To My Holy Tomb
7. Sabbatory - Primordial
8. Trenchrot - Hell Pilot's Call
9. Trenchrot - Powerful Kandarian Steel
10. Trenchrot - Evil Dead

Here's one tasty looking four-way split from Unspeakable Axe Records. Featuring new-ish US death metallers Cemetery Filth, Ectovoid and Trenchrot as well as occult Canadians Sabbatory. Released in February on cd, it provides fans of death with a chance to hear four of the genre's pillars in one place and proves that death metal is in very rude health. Fenriz recently featured these bands on his "Radio Fenriz" podcast while Cemetery Filth supported The Black Dahlia Murder alongside previous This Noise Is Ours featurees Fallujah and Disentomb. Time to let the music do the slaying!

4 Doors To Death immediately springs into life thanks to Cemetery Filth’s traditional take on death. Consumption Of Volition may seem mid-paced at first but the instrumentation is anything but. Gut-wrenching growls, plenty of glorious guitar work and powerful drums stoke of the exhilaration. The overriding element of good DM band is their guitars and that’s more than evident on Dagonian Dialect…The Obelisk Unearthed. Cemetery Filth make things sound technical without the music being too hard to swallow. Thrash is woven into their sound for good measure and it’s ready made for head-banging madness. Cosmic Wraiths is the last of their unholy trio and it’s fast/slow textures are near perfect, with just the right amount of experimentalism. Next up is the guttural blasting of Ectovoid and Ash Primordial. The wall of sound created by those thick guitars must be heard to be believed. Tuned low, they are glorious and with the song clocking in at nearly six-minutes, you’d be hard pressed to keep still. The barrage is no less intense during Possessed By Ancient Dread, although Ectovoid does inject it with more brooding atmosphere this time. This is the perfect way to reach the mid-point of the split! On to the second half and it’s Sabbatory’s turn to show us how the Canadian’s do it. Ascension To My Holy Tomb feels like being buried alive six foot down, surrounded by spiders. Most people’s idea of a nightmare but one that when placed in the context of this song, is wholly fulfilling. The blackened screams are turned up to 11 during Primordial. Extremity has never sounded so good to these ears. The urgency and bestiality is almost too much to handle. Trenchrot rounds things out with three songs, in the same way that Cemetery Filth started it. Hell Pilot’s Call features subtle layers of funeral doom alongside it’s ghoulish blueprint. Powerful Kandarian Steel weaves some pretty vivid images along it’s winding musical path. The best is yet to come though with the rousing and almost euphoric Evil Dead. The melodic lead pulls you in before Trenchrot batters you senseless one last time. Goddamn this record is good. From start to finish it chews you up and spits you out. Four crucial bands playing extreme yet original strains of death. Get it now!

You can stream the entire split here:-



Both digital download and cd versions are also available from Unspeakable Axe Records above.

Cemetery Filth Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/CemeteryFilth/
Ectovoid Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ectovoid
Sabbatory Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Sabbatory
Trenchrot Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Trenchrotdeathmetal/
Unspeakable Axe Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableAxeRecords

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Syren City - Paradise In The Dirt EP


Tracklist:-

1. It's Morphine Time
2. Danielle
3. 10,000 Knives

This last week and a bit has been pretty frustrating but I'm back on it. I'm kicking back into gear with the new three-track EP from Bristol hardcore/hard-rock band Syren City. "Paradise In The Dirt" isn't due for release until this time next month, so this is an sneak peak at what's to come. They formed in 2011 and later released their debut EP "Escape". Last year they played Hit The Deck (who's main acts were Skindred, While She Sleeps & Cancer Bats) and also got intimate with Alien Ant Farm! Let's hop 2016 goes just as well for them.


Syren City plays a modern mix of hardcore and groove-laden rock. It’s Morphine Time maybe a lay on the “Power Rangers” most well-known catchphrase, but these guys are nowhere near as cheesy. Like Huddersfield’s Relics, Syren City prefer following in the footsteps of more recent bands like the aforementioned Cancer Bats but they also have a great melodic sensibilities. Danielle’s clean singing and Wild West style folk-music creates a great beginning. I actually like their cleaner moments more in the song than the hardcore they produce, as it’s kind of been done to death in recent years. I’m not being negative though as Syren City are really good musicians and they’re still finding their sound. 10,000 Knives concludes this EP with some great post-hardcore and pop-hooks. Sing-along moment are always called for and I bet this is a great live crowd pleaser. Now that Funeral For A Friend has called it a day (I’m still not over that), the UK will be looking for a new band to fill their shoes and Syren City may be on their way to claiming that lofty perch, if they write more songs like this and continue to explore their sound.

You can stay up to date with release news via Syren City's Facebook page  - https://www.facebook.com/SyrenCit

Monday 23 May 2016

New & Not So New Sounds #1

At risk of having one of those "shut up and take my money" moments and because it's getting harder to keep up with every release announcement (thanks Facebook!), I thought I'd gather up some worthy releases (in no particular order) that you might want to check out:-


Firstly and because the artwork is great, Listenable Records is re-issuing both "Considered Dead" and "The Erosion Of Sanity" by Gorguts on cd and vinyl. The former is going to be available on black, red and transparent green (limited to 200 via Listenable only) vinyl, while the latter will be pressed on black, orange and transparent blue (limited to 200 via Listenable only). Order copies directly from Listenable Records here - http://www.shop-listenable.net/en/139_gorguts or from distros.

Listenable Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/listenablerecs

US grindcore punks Cloud Rat are gonna be busy this year, recording and releasing splits with Moloch (UK), Disrotted, The World Is A Vampire and Crevasse. Keep up to date with progress via the pages below:-

Moloch (UK) Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/molochsludge
Disrotted Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Disrotted

As well as that, they're just about to drop a 2xCD discography via Dead Tank Record & Absolute Contempt Records (US), plus Moment Of Collapse Records & Here And Now Records (Europe). You stream it all here:-



Dead Tank Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/deadtankrecords
Absolute Contempt Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AbsoluteContemptRecords
Moment Of Collapse Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/momentofcollapse
Here And Now Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HereAndNowRecords

Aussie grinders Powerxchuck and their US cousins xAbruptx will be releasing a split together in 2017!. You can check out a song from each band below:-




The 7' will be released by Wooaaargh Records (Ger), Deadheroes Label (Cze), Death By Digital Records (Can), Friendly Otter Records (USA), Hackebeil Records (Ger), Kitchen Vomit Records (USA), Mono Canibal Records (Esp), Zas Autoproduzioni (Ita).

Powerxchuck Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/powerxchuck
xAbruptx Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/XAbruptX
Wooaaargh Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/WOOAAARGH
Deadheroes Label Facebook -  https://www.facebook.com/Deadheroes-Grindcore-label
Death By Digital Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Death-By-Digital
Friendly Otter Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/friendlyotterrex
Hackebeil Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HackebeilRecords
Kitchen Vomit Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/KitchenVomit666
Mono Canibal Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/monocanibalrecs
Zas Autoproduzioni Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ZAS-Autoproduzioni-Records

Magic Bullet Records are due to release a special split between Integrity and Power Trip, gathering old songs from Integrity's "VVe Are The End" 7" and Power Trip's "Self-Titled" 7", as well as a special Integrity track. It's up now for pre-order here -


Power Trip Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/powertripTX
Magic Bullet Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/magicbulletrecords


Lastly for this little piece, a note about the new 7" from Leeds fast band Lugubrious Children. Their "Lugubrious" 7" is now up for pre-order and due out in July on both black and magenta vinyl. Hear it here:-



It's seeing the light of day thanks to Mind Ripper Collective, Deadheroes Label, Rad Nauseam Records, Vetala Productions, Rat Mix Records & Attention Deficit Grindcore Disorder.

Lugubrious Children Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/lugubriouschildren
Mind Ripper Collective Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/mindrippercollective
Rad Nauseam Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/radnauseamrecords 
Vetala Productions Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/vetalaproductions/
Attention Deficit Grindcore Disorder Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ADDGRINDCORE

There's more to come...

Sunday 15 May 2016

Percussor - Disturbing Reality


Tracklist:-

1. Disturbing Reality
2. The Misogynist
3. Inflicted Insanity
4. Leading The Sycophants
5. Stagnant Form Of Life
6. Your Existence Sickens Me
7. Agoraphobic Dementia
8. Arrogant Waste Of Flesh
9. Murdered (Bonus track)

With their second album in as many years, US death metallers Percussor have once again teamed up with Horror Pain Gore Death Productions to release Disturbing Reality. The members of Percussor are also familiar with the label, having previously been in fellow HPGD bands Shadows In The Crypt and Lesch-Nyhan amongst others. The States probably has the biggest ratio of death metal bands per head of any other country now, especially with the majority choosing the modern technical path. Percussor however; have taken the old-school root. Lets see how they measure up.

This is exactly as I imagined it. Percussor spews up the nastiest old school death metal. Disturbing Reality is filled with fast and slow riffs, rasping deep barks and drumming that’s on the edge of sanity. That's just the opener too! In fact I’d go as far to sat that Percussor’s take on death metal is more akin to grind in some places. The blasts during The Misogynist certainly point to a faster musical persuasion.The groove that kicks off Inflicted Insanity rules. The further you get into it, the more you start to hear similarities between Percussor and Noisem (well I do anyway!). That’s meant as a compliment, as both bands pay homage to the old-school in the proper way. I just can’t get enough of those blasts! On Leading The Sycophants, Percussor make great use of fast/slow dynamics where the drumming really does stand out. The riffs at times hint at doom too, while the vocals are used more sparingly to allow the instrumentation to take centre stage. Stagnant Form Of Life is anything but, with a killer death/thrash build-up that lasts for well over half of the song. I think this number epitomises why fundamentalist Christians see metal as the devil’s music. If that really is the case, then I’m Satan’s son! They ate an angry band though (obvious statement I know) and Your Existence Sickens Me rages against those that live a pointless life and waste resources. The production and mastering of Disturbing Reality is worth mentioning too, as Agoraphobic Dementia sounds great and not too overly-clinical production wise. The whole album has been presented in a way that sounds warm and loud but also murky (in a good way). It definitely suites Percussor’s approach and musical style. Before you know it penultimate blaster Arrogant Waste Of Flesh is…laying waste to your ears. Bonus track Murdered has some subtle ambience within it’s musical layers, but that ambience is very brief. It’s fitting that Percussor ends it all with their longest song. If you’ve got this far then you may as well stay for the fireworks! Sliding guitar effects are menacing and the feeling of anticipation during the mid-section is nearly unbearable. That anticipation spills over during the final bars and before you know it, it’s over. Some bands play around with progression and different musical ideas, but Percussor just flails head long into headbanging territory. It’s not pretty or pretentious, and death metal should never be either.

You can stream and download Disturbing Reality here:-



You can buy the CD version from HPGD's bandcamp page above as well.

Percussor Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/PercussorMetal
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/horrorpaingoredeath

Saturday 14 May 2016

Ocerco - A Desolação


Tracklist:-

1. O Colapso
2. O Ocaso
3. A Desolação

Portuguese black metal has been rising in reputation for a while now, with the emergence of bands like Nevoa and Lux Ferre casting wider attention with their recent output. Ocerco are another name that's benefitting from that attention and now they've linked up with compatriot label Signal Rex and have released A Desolação, A three-track EP. They sight bands such as Ash Borer and Altar Of Plagues as kindred spiritis and there's nothing wrong with aiming for a place alongside some of modern black metal's most invigorating acts!

I was chatting to a guy at work recently who said he was into “anything extreme”, so when I asked him to name bands that he liked, he couldn’t. At that point I decided he was probably bluffing. Ocerco would be similarly adept at weeding out blaggers as soon as you press play on opener O Colapso. The noise-laden intro gives way to crushing and metallic black metal of the harshest kind. In parts it is receptive and droning, while in others it is progressive and forward-thinking. O Ocaso is more off-kilter to the ears. The riffs create more of a clash of sound that teeters on the brink of what some people may think of as acceptable. It’s this abandon and vision that makes Ocerco’s music what it is. The quiet ambience of the title-track follows in deep contrast to the previous two songs. It may only be a way of building intrigue and apprehension, but is bloody works. Their doom-like riffs burst forth after nearly two-minutes and proceed to level you. That levelling continues throughout the song and it gets heavier and more claustrophobic the longer it goes on. Ocerco manages to weave a subtle layer of melody into the thickness and some light does cut through. Why would you stick to the status quo when there are bands out there like Ocerco to discover? Go on, be brave and step out of your comfort zone. This is really good!

You can stream, download or purchase a cd version of the EP directly from Ocerco here:-



The cd is also available from Signal Rex here - http://www.signalrex.com/webstore/

Ocerco Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ocercoocerco
Signal Rex Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/signrex

Friday 13 May 2016

Longest War - Year One


Tracklist:-

1. Adam's Broken Rib
2. Original Six
3. Personal Armageddon
4. Our Mother
5. Fad Busters
6. Breathing Brings Out The Worst In Us
7. We're Only Temporary

I'm going to be using this weekend to carry on the momentum I've gained in reason weeks, while also prepping for life stuff next week that might halt things very briefly. I'm beginning with some rousing US hardcore in the form of Longest War and their recent record, Year One. Year One gathers together the tracks from their 2014 debut self-titled EP and their recent split with Old Ghosts. It's been released by US label Blasphemour Records (Feb 2016). It get better when you realise that the members of Longest War have done time (and still play) in some long-running and well-known US hardcore bands. 


The person in the flat above me is stomping around like they’re at a hardcore show, so I thought I’d give them some! This is raging as well. Adam’s Broken Rib comes in at under a minute but Longest War mixes fast riffs with slow ones and heavy as hell vox! LW makes hardcore that’s steeped in the old-school as the thick guitar on Original Six demonstrates. Plenty of H8000 style going on. The barked screams of Personal Armageddon leave you no time to over think things. Straight-forward is the best kind of forward motion here. There’s subtle mood changes going on during Our Mother, which is instrumental for the majority of the song while Fad Busters makes use of some cleverly subtle tempo changes. Breathing Brings Out The Worst In Us is another perfectly accurate socially conscious song-title, as you’d expect from a hardcore band. That realistic outlook cuts through the song. LW reflect on our short time on this planet during We’re Only Temporary. They aren’t too complimentary about time-wasters either. It’s a hard-hitting end to the record. Mainstream “hardcore” is getting pretty watered down of late, so you should be thankful for bands like Longest War. They prove that hardcore still has a heartbeat and the passion to reach out to people. Good stuff indeed!

You can hear Personal Armageddon on LW's bandcamp page here:-



You can pick up both cd and tape versions of Year One from Blasphemour Records here - http://blasphemourrecords.com/shop/

Longest War Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/longestwarhardcore
Blasphemour Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/blasphemour

Wednesday 11 May 2016

The Blue Period - Summer 2013 10"


Tracklist:-

1. Drowned Out
2. Carpool
3. Set Lines
4. The Slow Pass

It's cool to know that there are still bands around that appreciate old clunky Microsoft computer operating systems. This particular appreciation comes from Nottingham indie/emo band The Blue Period and it adorns the sleeve of their Summer 2013 10" (also known as "There Are Things Eternal Inside My Head", if you read the front cover). Recorded in 2013 and the remastered, pressed and released in January of this year by strictly no capital letters, Wolf Town DIY and Time As A Color, having originally been available as a limited tape. If you like the colour pink and soothing jams then this might be for you!

On EP opener Drowned Out I hear subtle similarities to The Promise Ring. The clean male/female vocals, the melodic guitar and keys and the steady rhythm section reminds me of summer (which may have been and gone already depending on what you believe). Carpool is gloriously off-kilter and wouldn’t be out of place of Radio 2 (that’s not a criticism by the way!). What I mean is that it has a comforting nature that you only get from certain music and/or voices. At times The Blue Period are pretty mathy underneath their layer of indie/emo. Set Lines is a perfect example of this. Closing number The Slow Pass is the perfect song to end on. It’s gentle and the cleanly plucked guitar melodies whisk you away to somewhere away from reality. The chorus of the song contains the set of words printed on the front of the record sleeve and with them, it all comes full circle. Four songs that you can sink into when you need peace. Really good music from an under-appreciated band.

You can stream the demo EP and grab it as a name-your-price-download directly from The Blue Period's bandcamp page below:-



Physical records can be purchased from the labels below:-

strictly no capital letters - http://sncl.collective-zine.co.uk
Time As A Color Records - http://timeasacolor.com/shop/
Wolf Town DIY - http://wolftowndiy.limitedrun.com/products

The Blue Period Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/blueperiodband
strictly no capital letters Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/strictlynocapitalletters
Time As A Color Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/timeasacolor
Wolf Town DIY Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/WolfTownDiy

Monday 9 May 2016

V/A - Morbid Tales: A Tribute To Celtic Frost


Tracklist:-

1. Usurper - Child Bite w/ Philip H Anselmo
2. Procreation Of The Wicked - Persekutor
3. Cherry Orchards - Acid Witch
4. Os Abysmi Vel Daath - Temple Of Void
5. Nocturnal Fear - Municipal Waste
6. Jewel Throne - Hayward (feat: Scott Kelly & Jason Roeder of Neurosis)
7. Dance Sleazy - Coffin's Slave (feat: Scott Carlson of Repulsion)
8. Dawn Of Megiddo - Evoken
9. Reaper - Coffin's Slave (Bonus Flexi)

Tribute albums seem to crop up from time to time, usually featuring obscure bands from far flung countries paying homage to their heroes. This is not one of those tributes, however. US label Corpse Flower Records released this towards the back end of 2015 and managed to tap an impressive array of bands for inclusion, including Child Bite, Acid Witch, Municipal Waste and Evoken, as well as some of extreme metal's most famous names including Philip H Anselmo (Pantera/Down/etc), Scott Kelly & Jason Roeder (both of Neurosis) and Scott Carlson (Repulsion). As they go, this one should be a blinder.


It’s strange to hear a US sludge/hardcore band take on a Celtic Frost song, but Child Bite smash out Usurper with the help of Mr Anselmo. They put their own mark on it with plenty of groove and a ripping solo. Persekutor’s version of Procreation Of The Wicked is more akin to the original. It’s raw and simple with their blackened sound lending itself well to the song. Acid Witch makes use of plenty of menacing vocal reverb on their cover of Cherry Orchards. For a title that conjures up pretty images, it sure is pleasingly hellish! The “heaviest band on the album award” goes to Temple Of Void and their blistering doom/death rendition of Os Abysmi Vel Daath. The b-side starts with one of my all-time favourite new wave thrash bands, Municipal Waste. Hearing their version of Nocturnal Fear makes me wonder why they’ve been missing in action for so long (apart from Iron Reagan and Bat of course!). Hayward’s (featuring Scott Kelly and Jason Roeder of Neurosis) cover of Jewel Throne was one of my most anticipated songs on the tribute, because I really didn’t know what to expect. What I’m greeted with is a noisy but almost industrial take on metal with added blackness. I really like it actually. Another band that I wasn’t familiar with was Coffin’s Slave. They provide a garage-punk/heavy metal version of Dance Sleazy with the help of Scott Carlson (of Repulsion). Tis a glorious racket! The b-side closer is left to Evoken and it’s a haunting cover of Dawn Of Megiddo. More lurching death/doom that more than equals Temple Of Void on the a-side…just. A bonus flexi also comes with the release and features a cover of Hellhammer’s Reaper (pre-Celtic Frost), performed by Coffin’s Slave. It’s more doom-like this time and brilliantly old-school too. There’s also a bonus MP3 including with this release by Black Anvil - Dethroned Emperor, which wasn’t included in this promo for some reason. Anyway. this album is great and the care that was taken with the vinyl pressing (5 colour-ways) and the artwork makes the package well worth a pick-up. 

Morbid Tales... is not streaming online, but you can order the record from Corpse Flower Records here - http://corpseflowerrecords.storenvy.com.

Corpse Flower Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/corpseflowerrecords
Persekutor Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/persekutor
Acid Witch Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Acid-Witch
Temple Of Void Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TempleOfVoid
Municipal Waste Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Municipalwaste

Sunday 8 May 2016

The Clearing Path - Abyss Constellation


Tracklist:-

1. Wings Of Ascension
2. Abyss Constellation

I always knew that Italy's extreme music scene had more to it than just operatic/progressive metal. Solo black metal entity The Clearing Path released this digital EP in December 2015 via Avantgarde Music following the earlier full-length "Watershed Between Earth and Firmament". Sole member G creates music that's inspired by nature and the landscape around him. I haven't got much else to say by way of an introduction, other than The Clearing Path formed as a side project of fellow post/black metal band Summit.

Abyss Constellation initially brings to mind recent output from US band Twilight Fauna, as the introduction to Wings Of Ascension makes use to really nice guitar melodies and ambient textures, far removed from black metal in its traditional form. The beauty is quashed though after a couple of minutes when the black metal takes over. What I will say is that this is amongst the best produced/sounding solo black metal project I’ve had the pleasure of featuring on the blog. G clearly cares a great deal about the audible product. It’s fast, technical but also clear and extremely musical. The title-track washes over you with huge swathes of guitar. It’s refreshing to hear live percussion as opposed to programmed too. Avantgarde Music seems to be at the forefront of underground experimental and progressive black metal lately and The Clearing Path are perfectly placed on their roster. G appreciates the need for introspective passages between the heaviness and the instrumentation throughout is spot on. Abyss Constellation may only be a brief glimpse into what The Clearing Path is capable of, but it definitely leaves an indelible impression. One to be watched for sure!

You can stream and download Abyss Constellation here:-



The Clearing Path Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TheClearingPath
Avantgarde Music Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/avantgardemusiclabel

Friday 6 May 2016

Party Cannon - Bong Hit Hospitalisation


Tracklist:-

1. Russian Zombi Smack (Krokodil)
2. Jack vs The Exotic Crustacean
3. There's A Reason You're Single
4. Keg Stand By Me
5. Ectomy Part 1 (Get Back To Work)
6. Ectomy Part 2 (Brutalitarian Rhapsody)
7. Interested Is Not The Word
8. Battle Of The Spider-Men!
9. Screech Even Sold His Body To Science
9. We Prefer The Term Living Impaired

Famous for having the only band name you can ever read on a slam gig poster and for the usual Scottish wit, Party Cannon are everybody's favourite brutal death metal band. They released their debut album via Gore House Productions last summer following their 2013 EP "Partied In Half". They're playing with Cattle Decapitation in Glasgow in June, returning the favour after going out to the States to join them last year!

Usually this level of brutality is best experienced live but for those of us who don’t like getting in the way of crowd-killers and their drop kicks, it’s fine listening to Party Cannon digitally. Russian Zombie Smack (Krokodil) is a hellish concoction of harmonic leads, tin can snare action and snarling growls. Talking of that snare, Party Cannon smash it to within an inch of it’s life during Jack Vs The Exotic Crustacean. Keeping this pace up for over five minutes is tough mind you and they’re able to switch tempos with ease. The breakdowns are huge too!  They follow suit with There’s A Reason You’re Single but this time they spice up their formula with some great black metal-like atmospherics and jazzy bass. The sample at the start of Keg Stand By Me will remind you of every grumpy landlord that stopped from getting served when you were underage. Thankfully, by the time this beast of a song kicks in you’ll probably be too drunk to care! Ectomy Part 1 (Get Back To Work) is a subtle but effective little number with a rather disturbing sample in the middle. Ectomy Part 2 (Brutalitarian) sees Party Cannon calling upon their inner Napalm Death for twenty-eight seconds of blast! Politics isn’t safe on this album either, with Interested Is Not The Word raging war on pompous MP’s. They like their TV and film references too, as Battle Of The Spider-Men! and Screech Even Sold His Body To Science both attest!. That aside, the former is fast and grindy while the latter takes more of an old-school form. Taking cues from Death and modern day homage payers Gruesome, Screech Even Sold His Body To Science isn’t just all about modern technicality. Album closer We Prefer The Term Living Impaired commits the final killer blows. Mid-paced groove is all present and correct amongst the double-kick and cymbal abuse but by this point you’re pretty much catatonic anyway! Listen to this in one sitting and it’ll put hairs on your chest (even if you’re a women or a pre-pubescent child). Consider yourself partied. 

Stream it and then buy it various digital and physical forms here:-



Party Cannon Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/PartyCannonUK
Gore House Productions Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/GoreHouseProductionsOfficial

Thursday 5 May 2016

Six Reasons To Kill - Rote Erde 7"


Tracklist:-

1. Rote Erde
2. Of Fire (Dismember Cover)

I didn't think I'd get a chance to write this evening, what with my compulsion to try and complete a record discography and the reality of working life. Thankfully I've managed to steal a bit of time to write about something new. German metalcore band Six Reasons To Kill recently released this two-track 7" via Bastardized Recordings, so I thought I'd give a listen. Six Reasons To Kill started out in 1999 and have gone on to release five full-lengths as well as a couple of splits and other bits. They go back to a time when Europe was leading the way in terms of hardcore/metalcore output, with the like of Caliban and Heaven Shall Burn as their brethren. This 7" has been pressed on three different colour-ways (black, yellow & red) and is limited to just 300 copies!

Six Reasons To Kill mixes death metal, hardcore and straight up metal in a way that’s not really heard these days. After all, they’re from a simpler time! Rote Erde contains brutal riffs with melodic and harmonic lead work, as well as guttural vox and precise percussive blasts. The solo is a bit good as well! Of Fire sounds even more old-school and I like it…a lot. The riffs remind me a bit of earlier Parkway Drive, but then again PD could have copied Six Reasons To Kill for all I know. This EP is only a precursor to the band’s soon-to-be-released full-length but it’s still worth every penny on it’s own. It’s rare that you find a band that is able to write proper metalcore that’s free from cliche, but Six Reasons To Kill nail it.

You can stream and download Rote Erde here:-



You can grab the 7" from Bastardized Recordings here - http://shop.bastardized.net.

Six Reasons To Kill Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/SIXREASONSTOKILL
Bastardized Recordings Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Bastardizedrec

Tuesday 3 May 2016

Simmer - Paper Prisms


Tracklist:-

1.  Faze
2. Control
3. Antwerp
4. Calendar
5. Sinewy
6. Gold
7. Charles
8. Caliche
9. Paper Prisms
10. Crease

Twelve months ago I reviewed Simmer's debut 7" "Yellow Streak". In February they returned with their debut LP, once again released by Dog Knights Productions. The Cheshire quintet won me over last year with their dreamy and ever so slightly grungy punk/indie/pop (whatever you want to call it). They've had a bit of a personnel shift too since "Yellow Streak" and the recording of the album, while gaining a lot of praise from the independent music press since the release. It came resplendent on either pale blue or white and was limited to just 300 copies. 

The good news is that Simmer hasn’t lost any of their dreamy sensibilities, but they’ve gained a slightly louder edge musically. Faze is a mix of everything I talked about in my opening paragraph, in terms of song-writing and instrumentation. It’s chock full of invigoration indie/punk/pop. There’s no denying their new found urgency either, as Control demonstrates. Sitting at just under two-minutes it is short but oh so sweet. Antwerp is the kind of song that makes you want to lie on grass on a summer day, staring up at the sky for hours. It’s tempered with thoughtful guitar and soaring vocal melodies that sit in the middle of it all. Calendar pretty much follows in the same vein, but goes by in a flash, while Sinewy’s longer instrumental build up shows off Simmer’s grungier sound a bit. They’re more belligerent on Gold. I was half expecting the vocals to be screamed out. I still can’t put a finger on any comparisons either (band wise). The second half of Paper Prisms definitely seems to have taken a harder turn, as they blast out Charles with plenty of feeling and even some swagger. I like the fact that there are no awkward pauses between most of the songs on the LP. Charles flows straight into Caliche, it’s off-kilter riffs and it’s calming nature. The title-track appears a lot more experimental but is probably the most beautiful song on the whole record in my opinion, though it merely acts as a precursor to closer Crease. Simmer has left it until the end to really show what they’re about and it’s bloody exciting. If you take the time to scratch the surface of the UK scene, you’ll come across brilliant acts just like Simmer, including The New Tusk and Leeds’ based newcomers Human Certainty. There’s a huge amount to be excited about and it all starts here!

You can stream and download Paper Prisms for cheap here:-



You can still grab copies of it on vinyl (both colours) from Dog Knights Productions via their store, as well as special t-shirts here - http://www.dogknightsproductions.limitedrun.com/products

Simmer Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/simmercheshire
Dog Knights Productions Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/dogknights/

Monday 2 May 2016

Nervous Mothers/Art Of Burning Water - Split 7"


Tracklist:-

1. Nervous Mothers - Op Nul
2. Nervous Mothers - Born
3. Nervous Mothers - Waves
4. Art Of Burning Water - Oppressor

I'm feeling a bit more energised today. I've managed to start the re-modelling of the blog, which I've been meaning to do for ages and now that I'm into May, I want to keep up the writing momentum. I'm thankful that I've still got plenty (and I mean plenty) to write about beginning with this little split from Belgian's Nervous Mothers and the UK's Art Of Burning Water. I've featured AOBW here a few times but probably not as much as I should have, while I've never really heard Nervous Mothers before. This split was released in April by SuperFi Records in collaboration with Vleesklak Records.

Nervous Mothers have three tracks on this split and play menacing metallic hardcore/pv type stuff. Opener Op Nul starts slow but launches into fast powerviolence later on. I like the transition between slower hardcore and intense grind here. Born reminds me of some of Belgium’s H8000 bands from the sub-genres heyday. The guitars are thick and the whole song is angry. Waves closes their side with a barrage of crazed violence and even some subtle rock n roll. AOBW presents one song called Oppressor. They have some weird guitar effects going on during the intro and the sound is very bass-heavy. It seems as though AOBW are doing a similar thing to Protestant by taking their heaviness in a  more blackened direction (or maybe it’s just me who thinks that?). All in all, this is another fine slab of wax. Nervous Mothers sound unhinged and huge while Art Of Burning Water continue to progress and smash in equal measure. 

You can stream the split here:-



You can pick the vinyl up from the below links:-

Vleesklak Records - http://vleesklakrecords.blogspot.co.uk
SuperFi Records - http://superfirecords.limitedrun.com/categories/superfi-releases

Nervous Mothers Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/nervousmothers
Art Of Burning Water Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/aobwmusic
Vleesklak Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/vleesklakrecords
SuperFi Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/superfirecords

Suffering Grind!


Polish/British grind/pv band Suffering Mind has been a major constant within underground fast punk for longer than I can remember. Recently they announced that they were slowing down a bit. Their version of slowing down is another band's version of going at full pace, hence the list of upcoming releases they've got planned - Two split 7" with The Day Man Lost and Fiend respectively, as well as a split 12" with Excruciating Terror. I thought I'd take this opportunity to do a quick round-up of Suffering Mind related bands to help satisfy your hunger for DIY grind. Enjoy!

1. Amputation Of Personality

First up is Amputation Of Personality, which seems to have inherited SM's characteristic anti-establishment themes. The band hasn't hung around either, already releasing nine song (for an as yet confirmed split) up on bandcamp for free download -




2. Deterrence 

Next up is Deterrence. Again productivity and work-ethic can't be faulted as there's already a split 12" with Yattai in the work and the songs that will form the Deterrence side are up for free streaming and download -




3. Domestic Trauma

Domestic Trauma isn't as new as the above bands, as they already released a demo in 2014. With the curtailed activity of Suffering Mind, they now have more time to dedicate to Domestic Trauma and have a split 12" on the way. Both the demo and their split tracks are available to stream and download here -




4. Drainage

Drainage as set their stall out with an image of cops on fire, so you should know what to expect. They've released a demo tape with help of Grindfather Productions and are due to destroy Europe with Hemdale soon. The tape is available here - http://www.grindfatherprod.com/p/tapes.html. You can stream and download it here -




5. Groak

Groak is the only name that is familiar to me here. The band features Ben on vocal as well as members from countless other great Leeds bands. They're super active and have played Daughter Of Chimpyfest in London and will be playing alongside Primitive Man and Jucifer before this year's Temples Fest. Both their Masticator EP and their split with Su19b are available here - http://www.grindfatherprod.com/p/tapes.html and soon they'll be releasing a split 7" with fellow Leeds noise makers Lugubrious Children via Mind Ripper Collective. Their music is available digitally here -




6. Verge

Finally, there's vegan punk band Verge. The band hasn't released anything since a demo back in 2014 but they're still worth keeping an eye on. That demo is available for streaming and free download here -



There you go. Obviously you can still keep updated on the activities of Suffering Mind here -