Thursday, 22 June 2017

Dying Fetus - Wrong One To Fuck With


Tracklist:-

1. Fixated On Devastation
2. Panic Amongst The Herd
3. Die With Integrity
4. Reveling In the Abyss
5. Seething With Disdain
6. Ideological Subjugation
7. Weaken The Structure
8. Fallacy
9. Unmitigated Detestation
10. Wrong One To Fuck With

Tomorrow sees the release of the eighth full-length from US death metal legends Dying Fetus, which is their first in five years. The Baltimore trio returns with "Wrong One To Fuck With" on Relapse Records and judging by the cover art and new logo, they're taking things in an even more extreme direction! That's just fine as they're about to hit the States as part of this year's Summer Slaughter Tour alongside The Black Dahlia Murder and others, as well as playing our very own Damnation Festival in Leeds in November. 

In a world that’s rapidly becoming overcome with slam-death and uber-technical yet clean death metal, it requires a legend like Dying Fetus to focus the mind slightly. US death metal has certainly been more prominent in recent years than it’s European cousin, often unfairly so. This time it’s completely justified. DF show straight from the off on Fixated On Devastation that they mean business. They put their experience to the cause with scathing drumming, skillful guitar and low growls that take more from the old-school. Their breakneck approach to death metal proves a veteran level of confidence on Panic Amongst The Herd. There’s also no need to over-complicate matters with long songs and that’s shown in the accuracy of their songwriting and instrumentation. Die With Integrity begins like any early 00’s metalcore album and shows why they’ve been such a strong influence on bands since then, before the shackles are broken and off-kilter, sweeping guitar takes over alongside intense percussion and furious barks. Never has the word “extreme” been more apt. Reveling In The Abyss is probably the closest you’ll get to “slam” on the record. It seems to be slightly slower than the songs that preceded it but that’s just because anything that isn’t warp speed is slow in DF terms. Drummer Trey Williams is a machine. They forego the atmosphere of the previous song when launching headlong into Seething With Disdain. In fact, seething isn’t a bad way to describe the emotion that’s pouring out of the song. The ability to stop on a dime and make you think that the song is over, before going off on a different tangent is impressive too. It’s hard to way Seething… ends and Ideological Subjugation begins but the blur of rabid brutality makes up for it. There’s a catchy element to the latter with picked treble from the guitar and breakdowns that don’t sound like breakdowns. Weaken The Structure could be a euphemism for weakening of your constitution due to the gnarly low-end that kicks off the song. The low-end features throughout the song and indeed the whole album and shakes all in it’s path. The rhythm is neck-snapping during Fallacy and by this point in the record, if you’re still in one piece you’re doing well. Penultimate song Unmitigated Detestation breathes new life into this flagging writer (because I’ve had a busy day up until now) and as it switches though myriad time-signatures, you’re reminded once again of the proficiency that lays before you. DF leaves the title-track until the end and with it the most (danceable?) song on the album. I use that term loosely though, but you may get where I’m coming from. It’s all in the opening passage before they return to more familiar territory. There’s a lot to like about “Wrong One To Fuck With” and DF’s ability to breathe life into death metal is undoubtedly appealing, A super strong album from a band that shouldn’t be producing anything less. 

You can stream the first three tracks from "Wrong One To Fuck With below:-



It's currently available for digital/physical pre-order and will go on general sale tomorrow via Relapse Records at the same link.

Dying Fetus - https://www.facebook.com/DyingFetus/
Relapse Records - https://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords/

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Thormesis - Trummerfarben


Tracklist:-

1. Intro - Aetas Nova
2. Trummerfarben
3. Waheelas Fahrte
4. Lodernd Flammen
5. Die Klagen Der Einode
6. Verblasst
7. Im Stille Wachen Die Toten
8. In Herbst Trugen Sie Mich Fort
9. Outro - Vale

Pagan black metal hasn't been a sub-genre that I've explored too much on here; however, the stark artwork that adorns the fifth full-length "Trummerfarben" by German act Thormesis drew me in. The Bavarian quartet has been together (in various line-ups) for just over a decade and self-released their first album "Gehet Hin Und Kampfet" in 2008. They've steadily released music since then, including an album Dusterwald Produktionen and one via well known German label AFM Records, before teaming up with MDD Records in 2015. "Trummerfarben" follows their 2015 release "Freier Wille - Freier Geist" and it was released on February. The band are due to play alongside Mayhem and others at Wolfszeit Festival in Thuringen, Germany in late August.

I’ve always found German black metal to be quite austere. Thormesis opens “Trummerfarben” with the gentle intro Aetas Nova, which features strings and folk drumming. It flows directly into the title-track and it’s a grand song indeed. Very much like war metal initially, Thormesis makes use of powerful drum blasts and driving yet melodic guitar, which backs up the shrieked black metal vocals. This isn’t as harsh as I was expecting it to be Waheelas Fahrte has some great melody and it’s pretty catchy too. You wouldn’t think that band with Thormesis’s live image would be, but don’t just a book by it’s cover. There’s even some clean singing towards the end! Lodernd Flammen carries on in the same vein. It’s hard to pick out the lyrics and they are singing in their native tongue but that’s no issue, as the instrumentation is what sets them apart from their peers. At time it seems ti air on the side of punk, which is no bad thing. The instrumental passage in the middle of Die Klagen Der Einode is reminiscent of early Metallica and it adds an extra layer to a song that’s already blistering. Everything so far on “Trummerfarben” points to a very accomplished band indeed. Verblasst contains elements of thrash and black metal and it’s hard to believe that at this point, you’re over halfway through the album. With the exception of the intro and outro, no songs drop under five-minutes so Thormesis are doing exceptionally well to keep it engaging for the listener. The twin-guitar work only reinforces that last point. That punk sound is back again during the first part of In Stille Wachen Die Toten. Everything about this song feels heavier, but that’s just because the pace is upped slightly, The music itself is still clear and thanks to the solid production/mastering job the really musical sections stand out. The atmosphere that flows from penultimate song Im Herbst Trugen Sie Mich Fort is captivating and it only gets better. That catchiness I mentioned earlier is back in spades. You’ll lose yourself throughout it’s 6+ minutes and before you know it it’ll be over. The outro Vale is a beautiful piano piece that rounds out a surprising album. Thormesis is so much more than just a pagan black metal band. They seem to transcend the sub-genre here and show that their experience counts for a lot.

You can stream and watch the official lyric video for album track Waheelas Fahrte via Youtube below:-


Monday, 19 June 2017

Cryptworm - Cryptworm Tape


Tracklist:-

1. Gruesome Death
2. Cannibalized
3. Gutswamp

Goatprayer Records has done it again! The label opened up my ears to Napalm Christ, Gatecreeper, Vacivus and Bone Tomb and it's now the turn of Cryptworm. The UK-based duo who've done time in a number of other underground bands have recently release three-track demo with artwork by Mark Riddick. Old-school death metal is dripping from this release, especially when you read the song-titles!

I wrote the opening paragraph of this review yesterday, but it was too hot to carry on writing. It’s equally as hot tonight and I can’t take it, but I’m going ahead anyway. This death metal duo caught my attention with the cover art for their self-title demo tape and I knew I had to listen to it. Gruesome Death is full of blasts, buzzsaw-guitar and deep guttural roars. Cryptworm doesn’t take the “1000 notes” a second approach and instead bludgeon you with over five-minutes of perfectly nasty, old-school death metal. They up the urgency on Cannibalized, which is the musical equivalent of being eaten by a fellow human. There are some really meaty riffs on show when the drums and vocals take a back seat, as they do bury the guitars slightly but it’s no real reason to gloss over this one. The closing (and brilliantly titled) song Gutswamp is impossible to sit/stand still too. It’s got blasts, breakdowns (not that sort!) and masses of atmosphere. All in all this is another cracking demo from a band paying their dues to those who came before them. Cryptworm isn’t reinventing the wheel and nor should they have to. They’re another band that are doing it their way and it’s impossible to deplore that. I’m off to seek out more like this!

Stream the demo and buy it as a download/tape below:-



Cryptworm - https://www.facebook.com/cryptworm/
Goatprayer Records - https://www.facebook.com/goatprayerrecords/

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Art Of Burning Money: SuperFi Records


If you're at all familiar with the UK's noisy DIY community you'll know about SuperFi already but in case you aren't, this spotlight should help you out. The label started back at the turn of the millennium and has pretty much remained a solo venture ever since. With nearly 100 releases to the label's name including records by Taint, Narcosis and Art Of Burning Water over the years, Kunal has managed to always keep unearthing and working with incredible bands from all over the world and cooperating with fellow DIY labels alike. This feature focuses on the recent split LP between NASDAQ & Mothertrucker, the new LP by The Death Of Money & and the not-yet released Art Of Burning Water/Famine split.

NASDAQ/Mothertrucker - A Bulletin From The Department For Transport And Finance


Tracklist:-

1. NASDAQ - Collateral (Damaged)
2. Mothertrucker - The Gateway To Khyber
3. Mothetrucker - Saved By The Belgian

This first review features the last recorded output from Manchester's favourite musical financier's NASDAQ and heavy Brummie/London instru-riff lords Mothertrucker. It was released in February via SuperFi Records with the help of Field Records and DG (Whom I can't seem to find any info at all). NASDAQ released a cd called "Dead Peasants" in 2011 (if Discogs is correct) and then another one called "AGM/Fourth Quarter Slump" about a year later. Mothertrucker's career spans about fifteen years and includes four full-lengths and a remix tape prior to this release. Both bands play instrumental music. This LP is quite limited too, more so because DHL managed to lose a number of SuperFi's copies prior to it's release.

This is my first time hearing both bands and given the extremely sensible record title, I’m hoping the music is less so. NASDAQ wastes no time in fulfilling my hopes with the heavy, doom-laden Collateral (Damaged). It’s slow and thick but it’s also got treble on it’s side. There’s post-metal flowing through the song and more than a hint of the funk of their alter ego. It’s incredibly groovy and constantly engaging throughout, with the trio retaining their power right through the song’s near-fifteen minute expanse. Just when you think things a settling down in the song’s last third, NASDAQ builds up the riffs again. Thoughtful and really easy to chill out to as well. Not something you’d expect. Mothertrucker’s menacing collage of bass-heavy noise and psychedelic atmosphere is the best sort of companion for NASDAQ’s more bliss-like tones, though both have off-kilter charm. The Gateway To Khyber sees Mothertrucker tempering their rumbling low-end with plenty of melody and restraint. I guess having a super-heavy grind band on the other side of this split just wouldn’t have worked. I’m actually glad that didn’t happen. Saved By The Belgian (brilliant title!) is every bit the meandering, weird kaleidoscope of sound I was hoping it would be, except it has structure and isn’t just a complete mindfuck. It presents you with their heaviest riffs while not straying too far from the point of listenability. I think that’s what makes this split work as well as it does. Both NASDAQ and Mothertrucker are clever bands that craft their music well. I may be late to the party for both but they’ve left an impression that’ll be hard to erase. 

You can stream and purchase the split digitally below:-



NASDAQ - https://www.facebook.com/NASDAQ-THE-FTSE-100
Mothertrucker - https://www.facebook.com/Mothertrucker

The Death Of Money - Ghost Pains




Tracklist:-

1. New Son
2. Wherever You Are
3. Outside Emptiness
4. Hospital Bed
5. Ghost Pains
6. Running Through Dream (Feat. Jarboe)
7. Only Everything
8. Coda
9. Trust The Outsiders

And so to the band formerly known as The Death Of Her Money. The Death Of Money (as they're now called) released their newest record "Ghost Pains" earlier this year. The Welsh trio who began life in 2003/4 has released two full-lengths (three if you include the compilation of old recordings from last year) as well as various demos, EPs, singles and a split with Russian sludge/doom band Helga. This new record features guest vocals from Jarboe (of Swans fame). They've played alongside countless bands over the years including Pelican, Envy, Bossk and Manatees. 

It’s oppressively warm this evening (not something you say about Yorkshire often), still stoner/noise and wine awaits. The Death Of Money are a band I’ve always known about but never come into full contact with so I’m putting that right this evening. “Ghost Pains” opener New Son is a mix of all kinds of sounds and vibes. The mid-paced rock and chimes that provide the foundations for the screamed vocals during the early verse seem to be a odds but work well. The clean vocals provide a sinister edge as well as drama. Wherever You Are feels and indeed sounds very low-fi. I’m okay with that though as it’s also catchy in a goth-like way. Not surprising really when their sound is described as “Neurosis meets My Bloody Valentine meets Sonic Youth meets Can”. There are brief moments of atmospheric calm on “Ghost Pains” thought they usually reside at the beginning of songs, like on Outside Emptiness. The Death Of Money’s stoner groove is more than that genre tag would suggest though, being oddly psychedelic and trance-like. Cinematic post-music is becoming more and more appealing to me especially since I can’t stop spinning the new Pallbearer and Mastodon records and while this comparison may be slightly skewed, I’d include The Death Of Money is the same kind of musical bracket. Hospital Bed is bleak but also calming in it’s delivery, almost ritualistic. The title-track is a crushingly angular standout on the record. It’s not angular in a tech-metal kind of way but it’s got a jarring and unnerving guitar sound that spills over into metallic realms at certain points. The clean vocals remind me a bit of Muse too. The addition of Jarboe’s vocals on Running Through Dreams is inspired. They add another layer to the band’s music and even though the song itself is short by their terms, it’s offers welcome respite. Once again the trio’s mournful side takes over during the initially minimal Only Everything. What follows it is slow but beautiful doom. The second half of the record is definitely more left-field and Coda’s choral melodies are like listening to a gospel radio show. Last song Trust The Outsiders ventures back towards the sound that filled earlier songs but with added grunge. It’s a great song to end on and it underlines the creativity of the band. So good.

Stream and purchase "Ghost Pains" on vinyl below:-



The Death Of Money - https://www.facebook.com/The-Death-Of-Money

Famine/Art Of Burning Water - Split




Tracklist:-

1. Famine - Carnage On The Ankle Of Rice
2. Famine - Squid
3. Famine - All The Faces
4. Art Of Burning Water - Lack Of Understandment
5. Art Of Burning Water - Slapped To Death
6. Art Of Burning Water - Marisa

My last review of this feature isn't even out yet but will be in July, on 7" vinyl. It features Art Of Burning Water (the band that Kunal forms one third of) and West Yorkshire's favourite pogger/grind trio Famine. It's a collaborative release between SuperFi Records and Dead Heroes Records. The release follows AOBW's recent noise tape, while it's the first music that Famine has put out since their debut LP "Razzin'" came out in 2015. 

I better be quick with this one. Famine has always been entertaining and the Jeremy Clarkson sample at the beginning of Carnage On The Ankle Of Rice shows no end to that. Their grinding is as frenetic as ever too, with the dual screams and precise noise making full use of the short song-length. There’s groove and structure to Squid and no time at all for slow, stomping riffs or breakdowns. It’s just breakneck. All The Faces might refer to the cover art of this split, but whatever, it’s songs like this that show why they were chosen to play Obscene Extreme last year. Wicked fun. Art Of Burning Water is no different on their side, except for the low-end that kicks off Lack Of Understandment. Their’s is a cross between grind and peculiar black metal. Slapped To Death is the split’s only sub one-minute song and it’s pretty disturbing. Subtle hints of mosh adorn closing song Marisa, though not the popular sort. AOBW just seems to get darker and darker with each song on here. It’s great to hear new Famine songs on record again and Art Of Burning Water’s continual evolution gets better and better. Two of the UK’s hardest working DIY bands together can only be a good thing. 

There's a cheeky stream up via SuperFi Records below:-



Famine - https://www.facebook.com/faminegrind/
Art Of Burning Water - https://www.facebook.com/aobwmusic/

SuperFi Records - https://www.facebook.com/superfirecords/

You can pick up the NASDAQ/Mothertrucker & The Death Of Money records via SuperFi Records below, where you can check for Famine/Art Of Burning Water Split pre-orders:-


NASDAQ/Mothertrucker splits can also be bought via Field Records - http://www.fieldrecords.co.uk, while people from outside of the UK can head to Dead Heroes Records for news of pre-orders for the Famine/Art Of Burning Water split here - https://www.deadheroes.cz/eshop.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Foreverandnever - Promises EP


Tracklist:-

1. Promises
2. Like Wolves
3. One With The Night

I received a press e-mail recently about this band and noticed that their influences included Thrice, Deftones and Brand New. I've been on look out for some post-hardcore that reminds of the sort of bands that were at the top of their game during the early to mid 00's and while I might not necessarily find it amongst the current crop of US bands, I wanted to Nashville's Foreverandnever anyway. They formed in 2009 and have released 3 EPs and a self-titled full-length to date. Still fairly unknown outside of the US, they've played shows alongside some big names including A Day To Remember, New Found Glory & Underoath, so they must be more than okay.

“Promises” is a very polished sounding EP. The title-track that opens it is very melodic and vocals bring to mind The Used and the cleaner side of AFI, but set to a mid-paced instrumental backdrop, that does contain nods to post-hardcore’s heady days. They pick up the pace on Like Wolves and with a mix of tempered atmosphere and punchy heaviness, they craft a song that's definitely of it’s time. Foreverandnever leave their punchiest song to the end with One With The Night. It’s also their most emotive and while the music won’t be to everyone’s taste, it will appeal to those who grew up with the aforementioned bands and will open new fans up to those that influenced Foreverandnever. This is enjoyable and accessible, yet it retains integrity because it’s not too pop-like. 

There's a Youtube teaser video for the EP below:-


"Promises" is available from all of the usual digital outlets.

Foreverandnever - https://www.facebook.com/fandnever/

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Archelon/Hundred Year Old Man - Weekender July 2017


Sheffield post-metal/sludge band Archelon will be teaming up with fellow Leeds atmospheric post-metal band Hundred Year Old Man for a short run of four shows at the end of July, starting in Leeds on July 27th and ending in Nottingham on July 30th.

The event pages are below:-

Weekender Page - https://www.facebook.com/events/
Leeds (w/Mastiff) - https://www.facebook.com/events/
Birmingham - https://www.facebook.com/events
Cardiff (w/Tides Of Sulphur) - https://www.facebook.com/events
Nottingham - https://www.facebook.com/events

Archelon are a six-piece that have self-released two EPs to date, with the latest being "II". You can stream it below, where it's also available as a name-your-price download:-



They've been compared to ISIS (the band) and Russian Circles, so if you like multi-layered music with progression and melody then give them a listen.

Hundred Year Old Man might be familiar to some, after the interview I did with the band back in February last year. Also a six-piece, they've released two EPs to date too, with "Black Fire" being the latest. They're really captivating and offer something a little different in live enviroment. 

It's available to stream and purchase as a name-your-price download, as well as on cd below:-



Archelon - https://www.facebook.com/Archelonband/
Hundred Year Old Man - https://www.facebook.com/hundredyearoldman/

Thursday, 8 June 2017

False - Hunger EP


Tracklist:-

1. Anhedonia
2. Hunger

I'm cranking some tunes this evening in a bid to stay a wake long enough to see the first few UK General Election results roll in. This is a new 7" from Minneapolis black metal majesty False, which is being released by Gilead Media on July 28th. Following a split with Barghest, an untitled EP and LP, False are momentarily abandoning their lengthy compositions in favour of two sub-five minute songs. I'm sure the secretive sextet will be able to pull it of though. 

“Hunger” begins with keyboard-laden black metal and vicious shrieks from Rachel on Anhedonia. The drum blasts are frosty while the riffs add an extra layer of symphony to the song. There’s actually quite a lot going on and all six members make a cohesive unit that moves in a different direction to a lot of their USBM peers.. The title-track is equally as impressive and using the term “majesty” in my opening paragraph is pretty accurate. The pace doesn’t seem to slow down but the melody that’s present makes up for the barbarity. The amount of music that False fits into Hunger is hard to convey properly with words. I’m not usually one for symphonic sounding metal, but False carries a reputation that’s too strong to ignore and this EP while short is full of exhilarating heaviness. I don’t know if this is a hint towards future endeavours from the band but even as a standalone release, it’s very good indeed.

Digital and physical pre-orders are now live via Gilead Media's bandcamp page here - https://gileadmedia.bandcamp.com/music

I haven't been able to find a social media presence or blog page for False (please correct me if you know of one and I'll update this review).

Gilead Media Website - http://www.gileadmedia.net

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

I The Betrayer - 7 EP


Tracklist:-

1. Credulity
2. Selfish Ride
3. Conformity
4. Humanity
5. Creatures Of Hate 
6. Boaster

I've been a bit out of touch with modern Norwegian metal. From a country that has black metal ingrained within it's DNA, it's often hard to find something that appeals to a wider audience. Alongside The Hate Colony from Trondheim, maybe this quintet can help to put Norway back on a par with Sweden in the modern metal stakes. I The Betrayer formed back in 2014 and "7" is their debut EP. It was only released on Monday, so it's very fresh indeed. 

I The Betrayer presents a very melodic take on metal, with opening track Credulity featuring grooving riffs, a mix of both clean and occasionally harsh vocals and plenty of volume. It’s catchy but definitely has gritty edge to it as well, with a lot of sludge-like atmosphere and progressive touches. Selfish Ride begins with a rather bizarre “Quack Quack” but the song itself is anything but silly. Chris Wiborg’s clean vocals take a bit of time to hit the sweet the spot but once they do, both him and the whole band steam roll through the song with plenty of power. The laid-back intro to Conformity is a nice change of pace, prior to I The Betrayer’s own version of melodic thrash, which is pretty damn good. They’re certainly doing their best to bridge the gap that attracts hard rock fans across to heavier music. They channel their inner Opeth on Humanity and they don’t do a bad job, especially if you consider Opeth’s more recent output. It’s a little more straightforward but well put together and very listenable, with the extra playing time lending itself to a bit of grandiosity from the guitars. They proceed in the same vein with Creatures Of Hate and they give it a bit of a sci-fi/thriller twist with spoke-word lyrics bemoaning the human race. It’s aggressive and brings to mind nu-metal at times. EP closer Boaster is the right track for “7” to end on. It’s got loads of impact and it’s high tempo is responsible for that. The vocal melodies are really good and the driving riffs during the verses carry are more than equal to the percussion. The solo’s pretty good too. Overall, this is a decent effort for a debut EP and I The Betrayer has a lot going for them. As they hit more stages and build on their sound, they’ll be sure to grow. Good job. 

You can stream "7" and buy it digitally and on CD directly from the band below:-



I The Betrayer - https://www.facebook.com/ithebetrayerr/

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Terminal Nation - Absolute Control EP


Tracklist:-

1. Assembly Line
2. Numb To The Pain
3. Grave
4. War In The Name
5. Hand That Feeds
6. Pulse Of The Dead
7. Violator_Violated
8. Absolute Power, Absolute Control
9. Broken

It feel like a hardcore kind of day today. It's been windy, cold, wet and miserable here and I'm need something to wake me up. That somebody is Little Rock, AR band Terminal Nation. They're officially releasing their new EP via Deep Six Records on June 9th. They formed in 2014, when they released a demo tape that was quickly followed up by a 7" a year later. The cover art for "Absolute Control" is enough to tell you that this quintet is pissed off with the powers at be at the moment. We're about to head to an election in the UK ourselves so let's see if this resonates here too.

This definitely sounds like a Deep Six release, as Assembly Line opens up with swirling noise that gives way to heavy, chugging hardcore. Numb To The Pain threatens to break into a beatdown frenzy before Terminal Nation launches into powerviolence with a hint of groove. They go through a whole load of tempo changes on Grave, which make it an unpredictable but exciting song to listen to. They’re not a band to spread things out either as the quick-fire duo of War In The Name and Hand That Feeds demonstrate. Their sound is old school and all the better for it. It sounds like the vocals are being delivered by a guy with Split Personality Disorder (I realise it’s dual-vocalists). The ringing feedback and rumbling bass that opens up Pulse Of The Dead doesn’t prepare you for the intensity to follow. A mix of breakneck grind and sludge-like groove that flows into two-stepping rhythms. Their most madcap song is Violator_Violated and it reminds me a lot of bands like Drop Dead and Siege mixed with The Body. Their title-track Absolute Power_Absolute Control takes a slower route but features some great lead guitar work and a whole heap of thrash. EP closer Broken describes the society that Terminal Nation is living in and it’s the perfect soundtrack to the resistance of those in power. “Absolute Control” is over pretty quickly but it’s better to leave an impact than sit quietly in the background. Terminal Nation certainly leaves that impact. 

The band is streaming three songs from "Absolute Control" via their bandcamp page prior to the full release (where it's also available as a name-your-price-download):-



More news on the EP's release can be found via the below links:-

Terminal Nation - https://www.facebook.com/terminalnation/
Deep Six Records - https://www.facebook.com/DeepSixRecords/
Deep Six Records Website - http://www.deepsixrecords.com

Monday, 5 June 2017

Triverse Massacre - Hades EP


Tracklist:-

1. Cocytus
2. Styx
3. Acheron
4. Lethe
5. Phlegethon

There's a plus side to having a TV that's on the blink, as it means I can focus on more writing this week. I'm starting with the latest EP from death/thrash bands Triverse Massacre, who're from the unlikely metal hotbed of Carlisle. The city has actually got a pretty decent past when it comes to heavy metal that stretches back to 1977 and the NWOBHM band Black Axe. Anyway, back to the subject in hand. Triverse Massacre was founded back in 2010 and with two prior EPs to their name, they won the regional final of Metal To The Masses in 2016 and went on to perform at Bloodstock. Their new five-track EP "Hades" was self-released at the end of May and they are due to play alongside Acid Reign in Burnley in August.


Triverse Massacre bills EP opener Cocytus as an intro and it certainly begins that way, with rousing orchestral strings and bombastic instrumentation before they break out into some great thrash towards the end. Styx is the first song proper and it’s oozing with death metal. The mix of low/high-pitched growls and the faster-than-human drumming pummels you. The guitars are slightly lost in the mix at times but that just means you have to turn it up! Acheron is a meatier track still, with plenty of groove and grinding sensibilities.There’s a real sense of true British brutality on “Hades” and it’s exhibited perfectly on Lethe. Triverse Massacre doesn’t bother to try and ape their American cousins too much thankfully and it’s a great listen because of that. Phlegethon (the river) is synonymous with extreme metal and Triverse Massacre do it justice with one final blast of slightly off-kilter and intense death metal. The precision of this band is spot on and “Hades” is a great listen, even if it is too short!

You can stream and purchase "Hades" digitally below:-



Triverse Massacre - https://www.facebook.com/TriverseMassacre

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Casting The Net 29/05/2017 - 04/06/2017

While thinking of new article ideas recently, I thought it would be good to gather features from other like-minded sites and put them into a weekly or fortnightly piece. There's so many pieces published each week that it's easy to miss things, so hopefully this works out. Enjoy the first instalment and make sure you check out the rest of what these sites have to offer.

Firstly, one of the sites that I really enjoyed reading prior to starting this blog has been publishing articles again on a regular basis. Aversionline is a great resource and Andrew covers a lot of different bands, with reviews, interviews and song premieres going up all the time, like this recent review of "This Is Real" by Brooklyn hardcore band The Last Stand - https://www.aversionline.com/view/the-last-stand-this-is-real-irish-voodoo-2017

Invisible Oranges has posted this live report from Portuguese extreme metal festival SWR Barroselas - http://www.invisibleoranges.com/live-report-swr-barroselas-metalfest-xx/

No Clean Singing featured this photo essay from Roadburn Festival 2017 by Levan TK - http://www.nocleansinging.com/2017/05/31/roadburn-festival-2017-a-photo-essay-by-levan-tk-day-2/

Cvlt Nation posted up an exclusive stream of new song Dream Collapse by Woman Is The Earth and published news about their upcoming European tour - http://www.cvltnation.com/exclusive-cvlt-nation-streaming-woman-is-the-earth-dream-collapse/

Idioteq.com has featured a song from new Californian hardcore group Dear Furious (Featuring former members of bands like Strife, Throwdown and Adamantium + more) - http://www.idioteq.com/california-hardcore-punks-dear-furious-members-of-strife-throwdown-adamantium-release-debut-track/

Open Mind/Saturated Brain published this round-up piece about Greek band Minerva Superduty - http://openmindsaturatedbrain.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/minerva-superduty.html

Lastly, Heavy Blog Is Heavy published a feature about metalcore band Born Of Osiris that is well worth a read - http://www.heavyblogisheavy.com/2017/06/01/the-rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-born-of-osiris/

The list sites that I've gathered together is in no particular order and will grow as I discover more.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Aural Chasm: Avantgarde Music


It's quite a bewildering feeling when you realise that a label that you thought was up and coming, actually had a hand in the history black metal. Excuse my ignorance but that was what I thought about Italian black metal/doom label Avantgarde before reading "Black Metal: The Cult Never Dies Volume One" by Dayal Patterson. Through his chapter about Norwegian band Solefald, I discovered that their 1997 album "The Linear Scaffold" was released by the label. Times have past since those days and the musical landscape has changed beyond recognition, so this label spotlight focuses on recent releases by bands that were no doubt in some way inspired by the label's early discography. This feature includes reviews of recent records by Angela Martyr as well as UK duo Mountains Crave and Wode.

Angela Martyr - The November Harvest


Tracklist:-

1. Deviant
2. Georgina
3. Deathwish
4. Serpent
5. Negative Youth
6. Carsleeper
7. On The Edge Of Next Time
8. Imprinting
9. Angela Martyr

Firstly, I wanted to approach something that is oddly far removed from the black metal beginnings of Avantgarde Music, yet is something that is the epitome of what the label stands for. Released in December of 2015, "The November Harvest" by Angela Martyr is a concoction of shoegaze, doom and an affection for The Cure. The band rose from the ashes of creator Morgan Bellini's previous band Vanessa Van Basten, which in it's own right had a cult following. 

If you enjoyed the music of Astronoid, whom I reviewed a little while ago then this will also wet your appetite. The opener Deviant is melodic, in a grunge-like way and borrows musical textures from drone music as well. A mixture of electronic and analogue soundscapes make it hard to pin down. Weird noise rock and goth overtones greet you on Georgina, yet the vocals scream Pearl Jam. The music is mid-paced but it’s exciting to listen too and from someone who’s never been a big fan of grunge, that’s a compliment indeed. I don’t feel like there needs to be a brief silence between the end of Georgina and Deathwish, but there is. I guess it’s to help people tell where one stops and the other starts. Pet peeves aside, Deathwish is really dreamy and nearly hallucinatory. Being able to take different forms of music that often seem at odds with each other and make them sound like this takes a certain degree of talent. Talent that Morgan Bellini clearly has. Serpent sounds like a collaboration with Bong, such is the abject misery contained in the droning riffs and the slow, doom-like percussion. This record is certainly becoming more sinister the deeper you get into it. The orchestral mid section leads to a maddening passage of feedback and noise that only becomes more chaotic. Negative Youth takes you past the mid-point of “The November Harvest” with a heady mix of electronic ambience and Katatonia-like misery, before morphing into something that a certain big US grunge trio would have been proud of. From those somewhat retro sounds Angela Martyr unleashes one of the doomiest songs on the record with Carsleeper. It’s subtly heavy but it’s still accessible to those who want to play it safe. There are some very distant traces of black metal in some of the music on the record and On The Edge Of Next Time they show themselves ever so slightly. The occasional cymbal blasts and off-kilter riffs are begging for someone to scream over the top, but Morgan’s restraint and singular vision doesn’t relent. It’s a good job because extremity can sometimes be off putting in the wrong setting and it would certainly be so here. The short song Imprinting begins acoustically, before swirling harmonies and bass-feedback lead you into the lengthy closing song (also called Angela Martyr). It meanders through to the ten minute mark in a laid-back way, before one final blast of dissonant goodness. It’s a joy to sit and drift of too this song and to Angela Martyr as a whole. I know that many of you probably won’t get this far into my review, but if you have then thank you. You’ll have made me feel like “The November Harvest” has, blissfully at peace and content. Beautiful. 

You can stream "The November Harvest" and download it below:-



Angela Martyr - https://www.facebook.com/Angela-Martyr

Mountains Crave - As We Were When We Were Not



Tracklist:-

1. Ynisvitrin
2. Istigkeit (We Saw Them Of Old)
3. Clear Light Of The Void
4. Arise O Magnificent Sun
5. As We Were When We Were Not
6. Theophany

I'm now venturing back into more familiar black metal territory with the new album from Leeds based quintet Mountains Crave. After releasing their debut self-titled EP in December 2014 via local label No Fun Intended, Mountains Crave took their time and honed their sound in the live setting alongside the likes of Dragged Into Sunlight and The Great Old Ones amongst others. They have now returned with their debut album (featuring guest appearances from members of Undersmile), which was released in May. 

It’s great to see a label such as Avantgarde Music paying attention to bands from the North of England like Mountains Crave and Wode. Mountains Crave approach things from a mysteriously occult angle on opener Ynisvitrin, which features female chanting that builds into a slow and doom-like verse backed up by black shrieks. The mood of the song remains very otherworldly throughout, but the pace and extremity does build thanks to furious percussion during the mid-section. There’s a lot of ambience flowing through the music too and it’s certainly more than just black metal that’s on show here. Mountains Crave mix cavernous atmosphere with rabid urgency and that’s evident on Istigkeit (We Saw Them Of Old), which includes glorious folk-metal riffs and melody that sits within the mix. It’s a catchy song that’s made better by the shining instrumentation. When you consider the bands that these members include on their respective CV’s, you shouldn’t be surprised though. The morbid sample that opens Clear Light Of The Void hides the sheer beauty of what’s to come, as the sensitive guitar melodies wash over you and banish any memories of the extremity you’ve heard so far. Those memories are only banished briefly though as the band launches into another full-scale black metal attack. There are nods to black metal originators encased in the song as well as elements of death metal. The siren-like female singing and atmosphere it creates later on is a striking turn that’s pulled off effortlessly by all concerned, breaking up the bleak mood but for a moment at least. Arise O Magnificent Sun is no less engaging, as it changes tempo and relays layer upon layer of sound. The level of songwriting that’s witnessed on “As We Were When We Were Not” is a lot higher than you would expect from a band and their debut album, but Mountains Crave prove they can step up. Compared to it’s predecessors on this album the title-track is brief, yet it’s intoxication is obvious. Essentially an instrumental song except for the near-operatic singing, it lights up the room prior to album closer Theophany but it’s abrupt ending is a bit of a shock. Theophany itself is one final blast of majestic black metal spread across just over nine minutes. It’s a mammoth journey in itself but it rounds out the record perfectly and further highlights how good Mountains Crave are. The record is the perfect length and that only improves it’s impact. Creativity and originality go hand in hand and Mountains Crave (with the help of their guests from Undersmile) has created one heck an album. 

Stream and purchase a download of "As We Were When We Were Not" below:-



Mountains Crave - https://www.facebook.com/mountainscrave/

Wode - Servants Of The Countercosmos 




Tracklist:-

1. Crypt Of Creation
2. Celestial Dagger
3. Temple Interment
4. Servants Of The Countercosmos
5. Chaos Spell
6. Undoing

Last but not least is Wode, who're are from just across the Pennines in Manchester. Their early 2011 demo hinted at their black metal prowess but it wasn't until 2016 that it was heard again, with the release of their self-titled debut album (released on all formats via Broken Limbs Recordings, Vendetta Records and CoF Records respectively). The follow-up "Servants of The Countercosmos" was released just last week via Avantgarde Music. It's been very well received too with vinyl copies all but selling out from the band themselves.


The strain in my arms has come back so I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to type for tonight, but I’m hoping that this record will help me forget about it. There’s something familiar about the opening bars of Crypt Of Creation, as the intro guitar work brings to mind the Black Twilight Circle’s Shataan and Volahn.  Wode’s black metal is as raw as that of those bands too. They do have more in their locker though and mixed in with the rhythm section and ghoulish vocals, there’s catchy lead work that breaks through the noise. There’s a lot of off-kilter structure to Wode’s music and on Celestial Dagger they mould it together with punk-like rhythms in a song that has plenty of urgency and reminds me a bit of black ’n’ roll (although I know that comparisons does Wode a disservice!). That urgency remains well and truly in place during Temple Interment. In fact is has a slight death metal element to it that makes it sound even bleaker. There’s no such ambience going on either with Wode just satisfied to flail through the album. The title-track has some nice traditional heavy metal influences that make it more accessible. The production and mastering takes away some of their rawness but it’s still a heavy and gruesome song indeed. Chaos Spell is the longest song on the album and is a maddening, swirling beast. The chainsaw-like riffs and harsh growls summon all that is unholy. Their songwriting is well worth mentioning too as they pick up where the opening guitar from Crypt Of Creation left off, making for good continuation. Chaos Spell is also wonderfully progressive later on. Album closer Undoing is an acoustic piece full of melancholy and relief. It’s a calming way to finish what has been an immense and challenging record. Wode are much more bludgeoning than they are beautiful but they are still captivating in many ways. Alongside Mountains Crave, they prove that British black metal is in safe hands. 

You can stream and purchase "Servants Of The Countercosmos" below:-



Wode - https://www.facebook.com/Wodecult/

CD and vinyl copies of all of the above records can be purchased from the bands and via Avantgarde Music here - http://avantgardemusic.bigcartel.com.

Avantgarde Music - https://www.facebook.com/avantgardemusiclabel

Monday, 29 May 2017

Xibalba - Diablo, Con Amor... Adios 7"


Tracklist:-

1. Diablo
2. Con Amor
3. Adios

I'm carrying my current heavy hardcore mood on into the bank holiday and checking out the latest 7" from Californian hardcore/death metal mob Xibalba. It was released in February via Closed Casket Activities and 2017 marks the 10th anniversary for the band. The 7" was pressed onto four different colour-ways (electric blue w/olive & blue splatter, orange w/bronze splatter, standalone electric blue & blood red) and the artwork was provided by none other than Dan Seagrave. 

Xibalba has developed into one of the USA’s most revered modern day hardcore acts and it’s easy to why on here. Opener Diablo is full of heavy mid-paced hardcore riffs and gloomy death metal atmosphere. The breakdowns are crazy and the vocals are full of menace. Con Amor takes things in a different direction, with thrash and kick-drums aplenty. Xibalba manages to make hardcore sound truly scary again. Their full heaviness isn’t truly unleashed until closing song Adios. The intro riffs are mighty and the instrumentation is delivered with spin kicking accuracy. They don’t deal so much in melody and prefer to bludgeon you with mosh throughout the song’s five+ minutes. Xibalba are still undisputed heavyweights of hardcore.

Stream, download and purchase Diablo, Con Amor... Adios below:-



Xibalba - https://www.facebook.com/placeoffear/
Closed Casket Activities - https://www.facebook.com/closedcasketactivities/