Friday 30 June 2017

Nexul - Nexulzifer Demo


1. Morning Star Risen
2. N.x.l.z.f.r.
3. Transformutation To Poison And Light

Once again I find myself digging deep into my review list and having noticed that Texas black/death metal band Nexul has a new record out called "Paradigm Of Chaos", I thought I'd start at the beginning with their debut demo/EP from 2013. "Nexulzifer" was released via Hells Headbangers on 7", tape and digitally. The trio has some pedigree too, as Nexul includes current/ex-members of fellow extreme bands Black Witchery, Helvetron and Nuclear Scorn to name a few. I hope that this will prepare me for their new album, which I'll be reviewing shortly.

Nexul are raw and energetic on Morning Star Risen. They definitely sound more South American and North American. A live sound made up of cymbal-led percussion, screaming guitars and low echoing bellows. It feels like the birthing of an unholy demon! N.x.l.z.f.r. rages with  the abandon of bands like Slayer and label mates Nunslaughter. It’s not for those who like their metal clean or clinical and that’s what gives it it’s appeal. The closing song Transformutation To Poison And Light begins with nods to the occult before slow death/doom takes over. Nexul switches between that and their faster black noise throughout and really nail it. This demo is definitely for those who know their extreme metal. It’s gloriously hellish and loud with no holds barred. Obviously it’s from a time when Nexul were finding their feet as a band but it certainly wets the appetite for the new record. 

You can stream "Nexulzifer" and buy it as a digital download below:-

Physical copies have long since sold out via Hells Headbangers.

Nexul -
Hells Headbangers -

A review of "Paradigm Of Chaos" will be coming soon...

Thursday 29 June 2017

Insanity Cult - Of Despair And Self-Destruction


1. Prologue - The Light That Drowned Itself
2. Seeds Of Lesser Gods
3. All Now Are Wounds
4. IX
5. Interlude - The Bitter Wind Of Remembrance
6. In My Abysmal Dreams
7. Birth Of Eos
8. Sinister Lights And Manic-Depression

It's such a good feeling being able to relax at the end of the day and listen to bands, both old and new. This evening I though I'd talk about a band from a part of Europe that I've not featured much in recent time. Insanity Cult is a black metal quintet from Athens, Greece. They're the nihilistic, depressive type. Insanity Cult formed in 2011 and self-released their first EP "Insanity Be My Kvlt" in 2014. Their first full-length "As My End Unfolds..." was released a year later on cd and tape via Depressive Illusions Records and Razed Soul Productions respectively. "Of Despair And Self-Destruction" was released in February via French black metal label Ogmios Underground (though a tape release has also recently been announced via native Athens label Unholy Forces Productions). Insanity Cult has not made a live appearance yet (correct me if I'm wrong), preferring to stay anonymous.

Insanity Cult seems to be a lot more serious than their name may suggest. Prologue - The Light That Drowned Itself starts with an extended intro of gentle guitar that’s got great volume and mystery to it. The piece is solely instrumental and due to it’s length, doesn’t have the impact I was expecting from the opening song. Thankfully, it isn’t before Insanity Cult bursts into life on Seeds Of Lesser Gods, unleashing blasting hatred. Their brand of black metal is atypically majestic, with the mix of solid percussion, melodic yet authoritative guitar work and vocals that range from piercing screams to cleaner shouts that sit within the mix. The tempos range from fast and full-flowing to mid-paced and melancholy. Typical of the more depressive black metal bands I guess. All Now Are Wounds is as caustic as it gets with it’s barrage of screams dominating the opening passage, above the orchestra-like riffs. It all seems slightly self-absorbed but then again what black metal band isn’t (to a certain extent). That’s in no way a criticism because the music is really well written and performed, just the longer songs may loose some listeners (after all people do have shorter attention spans nowadays. One thing that does impress me is the band’s momentum as IX starts right where All Now Are Wounds left off. In fact it sounds pretty belligerent, which I guess is a symptom of Insanity Cult’s self-proclaimed love of nihilism. They won’t stop until either you or they are all but dead…preferably you. Interlude - The Bitter Wind Of Remembrance is another thoughtful instrumental piece that breaks up the record and to a small extent, the momentum too. As it plays though it does take on it’s own form and becomes very relaxing to listen too. In My Abysmal Dreams shatters that relaxation and tears through a little over six-minutes of intense extremity that sometimes drones along with the thick feeling of self-doubt and malaise. Once again Insanity Cult pulls no punches when it comes to son spacing, as Birth Of Eos seems to be just a continuation of In My Abysmal Dreams. This is definitely where the mid-paced tempos make more sense to me as well. If they sped things up too much, their songwriting and musicianship would be wasted, as both are solid. The abrupt ending leads you to the song that probably epitomises Insanity Cult more than any other on “Of Despair And Self-Destruction”. Sinister Lights And Manic-Depression mixes the band’s dark lyrical themes with oddly uplifting melody. The further you get into this album the more it seems to take hold. Insanity Cult are really good at what they do and their “depressive” black metal is actually anything but. Great work.

You can stream and download "Of Despair And Self-Destruction" below:-

CD's, T-shirts and special merch packages are available from Insanity Cult via the Ogmios Underground bandcamp page above.

Tapes will be available soon from Unholy Forces Productions.

Insanity Cult -
Ogmios Underground -
Unholy Forces Productions -

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Idre - Unforgiving Landscapes


1. Gold & Crude
2. Prison Skin

It was way back in 2014 that I first featured Oklahoma City's Idre. It was the self-titled CD that I featured back then. I recently found out about their latest two-song effort when they (and Wolves & Vibrancy Records) both e-mailed me. It's taken me a little longer than I would have liked to be able to sit and write about this, but here I am. Their new record was released in May of this year on LP and  tape via (Wolves & Vibrancy Records & Breathe Plastic), as well as digitally. Idre is joined by a guest vocalist in the form of Lacey Elaine Tackett (Cherry Death) and guest harpist M. Bailey Stephenson (AKA Sun Riah) too.

“Unforgiving Landscapes” features two songs that span almost 45 minutes and expands upon Idre’s experimental, post-metal sound. Gold & Crude opens with droning bass and meek guitar. The drumming that enters the fray around the three-minute mark sounds very ritualistic as it heralds in heavier riffs, while the vocals sound more like occult chants soaring and echoing above the music. It’s a relaxing listen and it doesn’t get too heavy, which is fine because the music doesn’t really warrant it. Idre is content with weaving their images in a more considered manner. If Gold & Crude was the droning, mournful number then second track Prison Skin is the more experimental, colourful one. There are elements of notable artists like Ennio Morricone nestling in the guitars and vocal harmonies. The screeching feedback that hits you at the four-minute mark is somewhat shocking and it gives way to crunching doom-like riffs. Those more colourful moments come in fits and starts but as with Idre’s music in general, the song is one to persevere with and savour. It shuts down completely about ten minutes in, but it’s not too long before the Spaghetti Western style guitar melodies begin again, albeit briefly. They themselves give way to the heaviest instrumentation on the record and with the vocals alongside, provides the most menacing glimpse of the band and their co-conspirators yet. “Unforgiving Landscapes” is a hell of a lot more immersive than my review makes it sound (I’m saying that because I don’t feel as though I’ve written enough about it). Both songs are full of atmosphere and intrigue. It’s great to see Idre’s music reaching a wider audience too. Check them out.

You can stream and download "Unforgiving Landscapes" below, where you can also purchase LP/Tape copies directly from the band:-

Depending on where you are in the world, you can also pick copies up from the labels below:-

Wolves & Vibrancy Records Store -
Breathe Plastic Records Store -

Idre -
Wolves & Vibrancy Records -
Breathe Plastic Records -

Monday 26 June 2017

Beggar - Chainscraper EP


1. Chainscraper
2. Take A Leaf
3. Our Good Name
4. Cryptid

It's a great feeling when you write a review of a band's releases (as I did with Beggar's 2014 EP "Beggar II" and 2015's "Shingles + House Of Man" & "Caramel Cigarette" EP's) and they ask you to write about their latest EP as well. London's noisy riff band Beggar are such a band and I have a lot of time for them, as they typify what DIY means to me. They've relied on themselves for everything from sorting out studio time, finding artists to help with cover art, spreading their music via media outlets and live shows. They are one band that I hope genuinely makes an impact and gets more attention soon! Here's my review of their new EP "Chainscraper', as well as the video for the title-track.

Having spent the weekend noticeably absent, it’s nice to get back to it. Beggar seems to have morphed into a new beast since I last wrote about them. The title-track that opens up the EP contains the same groovy/stoner riffs as before but the vocals seem to be heavier. The mix of low growls and rabid screams paints a bleaker image amongst the musical backdrop. It’s still catchy and dirty though! Their hardcore elements are more obvious on Take A Leaf, though there’s not one singular overriding vibe going on. Beggar’s music has always been their own and all the better for it. There are elements of RATM in the song as well as lots of melody. The guitar solo towards the end shows their musical skill too. They increase both the urgency and the heaviness on Our Good Name, which does nothing to besmirch their’s. Scathing and raw are two words to describe it. The low-end is the difference here and it adds a whole load of heft, even if the song does end abruptly. Cryptic wrestles back their stoner grooves for one last bout of heavyweight metal. The riffs are huge and everything else is turned up to match. This EP pushes and pulls in different directions yet seems to be one cohesive whole. Great musicianship and energy throughout. It’s only a matter of time before Beggar writes an album and takes the next step.

You can stream "Chainscraper" and purchase it digitally and on CD below:-

You can also watch the video for the title-track below:-

Thursday 22 June 2017

Dying Fetus - Wrong One To Fuck With


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 -
Relapse Records -

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Thormesis - Trummerfarben


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


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 -
Goatprayer Records -

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


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:-

Mothertrucker -

The Death Of Money - Ghost Pains


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 -

Famine/Art Of Burning Water - Split


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 -
Art Of Burning Water -

SuperFi Records -

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 -, 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 -

Sunday 11 June 2017

Foreverandnever - Promises EP


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 -

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 -
Leeds (w/Mastiff) -
Birmingham -
Cardiff (w/Tides Of Sulphur) -
Nottingham -

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 -
Hundred Year Old Man -

Thursday 8 June 2017

False - Hunger EP


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 -

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 -

Wednesday 7 June 2017

I The Betrayer - 7 EP


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 -

Tuesday 6 June 2017

Terminal Nation - Absolute Control EP


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 -
Deep Six Records -
Deep Six Records Website -

Monday 5 June 2017

Triverse Massacre - Hades EP


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 -

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 -

Invisible Oranges has posted this live report from Portuguese extreme metal festival SWR Barroselas -

No Clean Singing featured this photo essay from Roadburn Festival 2017 by Levan TK -

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 - has featured a song from new Californian hardcore group Dear Furious (Featuring former members of bands like Strife, Throwdown and Adamantium + more) -

Open Mind/Saturated Brain published this round-up piece about Greek band Minerva Superduty -

Lastly, Heavy Blog Is Heavy published a feature about metalcore band Born Of Osiris that is well worth a read -

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