Thursday 27 December 2018

The Hi Fi Ninja - Tattered And Torn

Labels: Snubbed Records
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 29 Sep 2018


1. Black And Blue
2. Pretentious Circles
3. Pride Like Medicine
4. Tattered And Torn
5. Tin Man

The Hi Fi Ninja is back with a new record. The Paducah (Kentucky, USA) trio released "Tattered And Torn" back in late September with help from US punk label Snubbed Records. I can't quite believe it's been over two years since I featured their album "Take It To The Grave". Time flies! I've been a little quiet over that last week or so because of the Christmas holidays, so apologies to the band for the lateness of this review. 

“Tattered And Torn” is a raucous slab of rock n roll fury. Black And Blue is a mix of Motorhead-like speed and groovy stoner rock. There’s obviously more than a hint of the deep South within the vocals and the instrumentation, which is fine because taking a break from the aural battery is good sometimes. Their songs are condensed and raw (in the best possible way) and Pretentious Circles is loud!

There’s something that sets The Hi Fi Ninja apart for me and I think it’s down to that pace of their delivery. Pride Like Medicine sums up that point with a tempo that’s subtly chaotic, as it bounces through just over two-and-a-half-minutes. The vocals harmonies add a punk element to it all as well. The bass-lines at the start of the title-track are slightly ominous and when the shouted verse kicks in, you know why! It’s their shoutiest song on the record actually and certainly get the blood flowing. 

Closer Tin Man brings to mind Aerosmith and Royal Blood, but more down to earth and stomping. I think it’s the rhythm of the song that creates that effect and the fact that the trio’s tempo has been slowed a bit helps too. The Hi Fi Ninja has once again delivered a nice little record. It’s brief but it’s also catchy and a true reflection of who they are as a band. Give this a shot and support authentic music at it’s best.

You can hear and alternative version of Pride Like Medicine below:-

"Tattered And Torn" is available digitally via all of the major streaming services including Apple Music and Amazon. 

CD versions can be ordered from the band here - and from Snubbed Records here -

The Hi Fi Ninja -

Thursday 20 December 2018

2018 UK Extreme Metal Newcomers - Youtube Playlist

I've been playing around a little bit in preparation for 2019, as I'm going to try and be a bit more social media savvy next year when it comes to promoting both my blog and the bands/labels that I write about and enjoy. I've not really pushed this side of things too much over the last years or so, but feel it's the right time to do it. With that in mind, I thought I'd create a small Youtube video playlist focusing on some newcomers to the UK extreme metal scene that have released their first material this year (using Metal Archives are a guide). 10 bands in all with a mix of single songs and full release streams. The link to the playlist is below:-

Bandcamp/social media links (if any) to the bands are below:-

Lunaar (Black Metal - Newcastle, England)

Godthrymm (Doom Metal - Halifax, England)

Temple Moon (Black Metal - Scotland)

Drought (Progressive Stoner/Doom Metal - Liverpool, England)

Usurper (Heavy Metal - Newcastle, England)

Enferum (Black Metal - Darlington/Durham, England)

Devastator (Black/Thrash Metal - Derbyshire, England)

Abyssal Crypt (Death Metal - London, England)

Rancid Skull (Thrash Metal - Southend-On-Sea, England)

Thuum (Sludge/Groove Metal - Bournemouth, England) - A quick note about Thuum: They're currently on hiatus but I wanted to include them because they release an EP earlier this year. 

Monday 17 December 2018

Noisem - Release Redux

I've been thinking about putting one of these pieces together for a while but couldn't find the right band to write about nor the time to dedicate to it. Thankfully, I'm now on holiday till 27th Dec and I've found the ideal subject in Baltimore (MD) death/thrash band Noisem. The reason I've chosen Noisem is because I still rave about their 2013 debut LP "Agony Defined" and because they're heading over to Europe (and hopefully the UK, fingers crossed) in 2019, so I thought it was a good opportunity to talk about their later releases and also maybe give them a bit of extra promo. This piece captures the rest of their discography following "Agony Defined", which I reviewed here in 2014. I've tried my best to get the release order right using various sources, but if the dates or the order is wrong then please let me know.

Noisem/Occultist - Slaughter Of The Innocent...And The Damned Split 7"

Labels: A389 Recordings
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 19 Apr 2014 (I think!)


1. Noisem - Slaughter Of The Innocent (Repulsion Cover)
2. Occultist - The Damned (Plasmatics Cover)

This split 7" formed part of the A389 Records "Record Store Day" split series in 2014. Joining Noisem on here was Richmond (Virginia's) Occultist. It was released on two different limited wax variants and featured covers of Slaughter Of The Innocent from Repulsion's 1986 album of the same name and The Damned, from the 1982 album "Coup D'Etat" by Plasmatics.

“Agony Defined” was a pivotal record for me back in 2013 as it helped guide me down a much darker path of death/thrash and here, Noisem’s cover of Slaughter Of The Innocent picks up where that album left off. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it rager that contains all of the thrashing mayhem that makes Noisem great. There’s no time for cheap frills and it’s completely in tune to what Repulsion originally wanted from the song and indeed the death metal sound.

Occultist’s take on The Damned is also sensitive to the band they’re covering, as it contains both the punk and heavy metal sound that Plasmatics strived to maintain. The tempo isn’t as fast here but there’s definitely more than a nod to Occultist’s own sludgier sound too. Melody is present as is an uplifting gallop at the mid-point, as the song descends into up-tempo chaos. The heavy metal vibe is well and truly present here, which adds heaps to this split.

One song from each band may not be enough to help you decide whether you’re down with them or not, but chances are if you’re reading the feature then you are. If you’ve not already got this split then you can pick it up digitally and on vinyl from Noisem's bandcamp page below, where it's also available for streaming in full:-

Noisem - Defiled 7" Decibel Flexi

Labels: Decibel Magazine/Audiosiege/A389 Recordings
Formats: 7" Flexi Disc/Digital
Release Date: 01 May 2014 (Roughly)


1. Defiled

Next up for Noisem was this limited edition flexi disc that was sent out with the May 2014 subscribers edition of Decibel Magazine. The song Defiled was recoded especially for it, as far as I can tell and it featured guest lead guitar from A389 frontman and Integrity/ex-Pulling Teeth member (amongst many others) Dom Romeo.

I don’t normally write about single songs but this formed part of a physical release (of which I’m lucky enough to own a copy), I felt it was only right to do so here. It was written and recorded during Noisem’s productive period in 2014 and as you’d expect, it follows in the same vein as “Agony Defined” and as their split with Occultist. Fast death metal with an upbeat gallop and chaotic rawness that works so well, especially on the format. Everything about it points you towards the euphoric current resurgence of old-school death metal and Noisem definitely were at the top here.

You can stream and purchase Defiled below via bandcamp:-

In terms of physical availability, there are flexi copies floating around on Discogs and or you can still buy back copies of the May 2014 edition of Decibel along with the flexi here via the link below:-

Noisem - Consumed 7"

Labels: A389 Recordings/Amputated Vein Records/Regurgitated Semen Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 02 Sep 2014 (I think!)


1. Consuming
2. Fear Of Napalm (Terrorizer Cover)
3. Aggressive Perfector (Slayer Cover)
4. Skull Full Of Maggots (Cannibal Corpse Cover)

This 7" was released back in September 2014 to tide people over before the release of Noisem's 2015 LP "Blossoming Decay". It was release via all three of the above labels at the same time, with each label having an exclusive colour variant and a different cover song (as far as I'm aware). Song-wise, I'm not entirely sure which label variant and what, but A389 Recordings put it on red vinyl in the US, RSR Records on gold vinyl in Europe and Amputated Vein Records released in on blue vinyl with an OBI strip in Japan. Aside from original song Consuming, Noisem once again took to covering songs by some of extreme metal's legends as a bonus. I'm going to review all of the tracks here.

You can definitely hear the Slayer influence on Consuming, which isn’t a shock at all but Noisem doesn’t overplay the influence. Their sound is still their own and they mix fast thrashing passages with  down-tempo sections that sound dirtier than they should. Flailing intensity. The first of their three covers features Fear Of Napalm (by Terrorizer) and it all sounds slightly more stripped down, which is probably in tribute to the song itself. The bass is more obvious during the build-up, which makes up half of the song. Things soon speed up and Noisem just steamroll their way through it with no messing and still retain their own originality. 

Aggressive Perfector is a completely logical song for them to cover as it more than matches their furious approach. Where Slayer’s version is more audible, especially in the vocal department, there’s a much rawer take on things here. The instrumentation is just as heavy and the solo mid-way through is glorious. Choosing to cover Skull Full Of Maggots (by Cannibal Corpse) is a solid choice considering Noisem’s death metal background and this is more interesting than the original in my opinion, mainly because I’ve never been a huge fan of Cannibal Corpse. I just think there are better death metal bands out there (cue people telling me I’m wrong), though that’s not taking anything away from their legacy. Anyway, this is over before you know it and it rounds out the EP in destructive fashion.

They say that quality is better than quantity and in the case of Noisem, it worked for them in between albums. Putting longer releases out more frequently wouldn’t have worked but like the EP and flexi before this, these shorter releases proved just enough to keep fans hooked before the big second LP.

Stream and purchase "Consumed" digitally below:-

You can still pick up physical copies from the links below:-

Amputated Vein Records (Japan) -

Noisem - Blossoming Decay LP

Labels: A389 Recordings/Daymare Recordings
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 28 Apr 2015


1. Trail of Perturbation
2. Burning
3. 1132
4. Replant And Repress
5. Hostile End | Hollow Life
6. Cascade Of Scars
7. Another Night Sleeping In the Cold
8. Graining Enamel
9. Blossoming Of The Web

Next we move onto Noisem's second LP, with its elaborate record sleeve art and design. This was always going to a difficult record, especially given the impact that "Agony Defined" had and it was the last full release with the then current line-up. Tours alongside Repulsion and Soulfly followed soon afterwards too. Once again it was release via A389 Recordings, with a special cd version being released in Japan via Daymare Recordings. 

Given the delivery of the “Consumed’ 7” prior to this release, Noisem’s death/thrash was never going to be anything other than intense. The majority of the song’s on “Blossoming Decay” are short, which should be a give-away. Album opener Trail Of Perturbation kicks in after an ambient intro and even without a great deal of melody, it manages to take hold of you with warp-speed, grinding madness and technical thrash flourishes beneath the constant barrage of deathly drums, guitars and vocals. 

Apart from the pauses between the tracks, there isn’t much time to take cover. Burning carries a lot for the musical elements from their extreme forefathers and turns them into their own wall of noise that’s impossible to escape from. 1132 pretty much follows in the same way. It’s like being stuck in a constantly spinning washing machine, though slower sections do help to break it up somewhat. 

Replant And Replace goes by in a blur and leads straight into Hostile End | Hollow Life, which after nearly sixty-seconds of head-splitting heaviness, breaks into another passage of ambience that’s much like the intro to the album and continues into Cascade Of Scars, which at over four-minutes is one of the longest and most haunting songs on “Blossoming Decay” as the layers build and lead to off-kilter riffs and mid paced percussion. It’s these layers that really add something to the music and shows what can be done when Noisem decide to slow things down for a more prolonged period. That said, it’s not long before they’re back to full speed again.

From one extreme to the other as Another Night Sleeping In The Cold is a disturbingly violent and blasting slab of grinding death, reminding you of all of the ills in the world. Graining Enamel includes some great guitar work that adds extra elements to an album that feels like it’s coming to an end, almost breathing new life into it at the same time. Album closer Blossoming The Web is a huge blast of fire-and-brimstone riffage with seemingly no end in sight. Off-kilter rhythms and mesmerising roars make it a journey in itself but one that’s totally worth headbanging away too. 

At risk of dampening “Blossoming Decay” and it’s sheer heaviness, it doesn’t seem quite as focused as “Agony Defined”. Whereas, that first album was very much death metal orientated, “Blossoming Decay” is more of a straight up grinding hardcore record with thrash/death added for good measure. Nothing wrong with that though.

You can once again stream "Blossoming Decay" and purchase it digitally below:-

Physical copies are available below:-

Daymare Recordings -

At this point I mention that Noisem did release an album under their previous moniker Necropsy back in 2012 called "Endless Aggression", which went onto be re-released as "Agony Defined" after the name change. They also released a live tape via A389 Recordings called "Live 11.07.14".

As I write this, I've just found out that a new song was released at the end of October as part of the Adult Swim singles series called Sin Rash. Stream it below:-

Also, here's was inspired this feature:-

All of the social media links you need are down below:-

Regurgitated Semen Records -

Friday 14 December 2018

Swallowing The Weak - Devourer Of Souls

Labels: Sliptrick Records
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 06 Nov 2018


1. Devourer Of Souls
2. Equal In Death
3. Salvation
4. No Gods No Masters
5. Blade Of Hate

Every day there are new solo bands springing up across all sub-genres of extreme metal, but this may be the first time I've come across a solo deathcore band. From Sligo in Ireland, Swallowing The Weak has joined forces with the ever growing Sliptrick Records to release this debut EP "Devourer Of Souls" on both cd and digitally. The self-professed "deathcore one man army" is currently an online/studio project.

Creepy electronic and vocal effects kick off the opening title-track, which is filled with programmed drums and electronic effect as well as deep vocal bellows and occasional shrieks. The guitars sit within the mix, taking away some of the music’s power especially with the vocals taking centre stage. That being said, it’s still engaging and when the guitars do get more space in the mix, they definitely add a lot of atmosphere and (sole-member) Tomek’s playing is very accomplished. This release does highlight the limitations of self-recording/producing on a budget and you get a sense of that during Equal In Death; however, if the volume of the instrumentation was increased it would certainly sit comfortably alongside many modern death metal bands, especially those of the technical variety.

Salvation is an amusing title for a song on “Devourer Of Souls” because you won’t find much of it here. It’s heavy and despite the electronic touches here and there, there’s no real moments for rest. Also, for a project that aligns itself to deathcore, there aren’t many breakdowns present. The bass on No Gods No Masters adds great heft to the music and indeed a more progressive/bluesy edge. It’s a brutal song, but in a restrained way. Swallowing The Weak hits it’s true stride with closing song Blade of Hate. Sure, the volume of the instrumentation could be higher but that’s a minor thing when the music is well-written and performed. Sometimes you have to see past things to appreciate it. Swallowing The Weak has a long way to go to in terms of the projects maturity, but Tomek has laid solid foundations here. Throw him some support and check this out for yourselves. 

You can stream the EP's title-track below via Swallowing The Weak's bandcamp page:-

You can purchase the full EP on cd or digitally from Sliptrick Records below - 

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Big Water - Typical Porn Song Premiere

Hers's a jam for ya! This is the latest song to be released by Kansas City screamo band Big Water. Their new release "Drink More Water" will be up for pre-order on Thursday 14th December on limited tape, via both The Ghost Is Clear Records and Zegema Beach Records.

Below, you stream Typical Porn via my Youtube channel:-

The song is a rad mix of twinkly emo, math-rock and shouty screamo/hardcore. Big Water features members from Regret, The Informer, Canyons and Bummer. They've got riffs and energy flowing from every musical orifice and in a world where sub-genres are constantly merging into one noisy writhing mess, they've got enough hooks to keep you hooked. 

You can also stream the song B.M. via (((((OPENmind/SATURATEDbrain))))) via the below link - 

Plus the song My Name Is Chappie Johnson And I Can't Open This Damn Pickle Jar via Apathy and Exhaustion here -

Keep an eye on Big Water's social media page for more news on the release.

Pre-order's will up as stated on 14th December via the links below:-
The Ghost Is Clear Records -

Sunday 9 December 2018

Skelethal/Cadaveric Fumes - Heirs Of Hideous Secrecies Split 7"

Labels: Hells Headbangers
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 30 Nov 2018


1. Cadaveric Fumes - The Spectral Parade
2. Cadaveric Fumes - Necromancy Sublime
3. Skelethal - Emerging From The Ethereal Threshhold
4. Skelethal - Torrents Of Putrefying Viscosity

I always told myself I wouldn't write if I couldn't think of anything to start my review off with; however, I think conveying a bit of humanity is a good thing as it shows I'm not just a robot when it comes to this. Anyway, this is the latest split 7" from French death metal bands Skelethal and Cadaveric Fumes. It was released at the end of November via Hells Headbangers and despite the sheer amount of strong death metal that's already been unleashed this year, this is a split of pretty mighty proportions. 

First up you have the old-school sounds of Cadaveric Fumes and The Spectral Parade may sound like a feel-good punk song during the intro but it soon twists itself into a dark and gloomy mid-paced death metal piece with the blues/jazz riffs that could only come from France. It’s stellar. Necromancy Sublime is equally as rich in disgusting death, with uptempo verses and lowly doom-like passages in-between. I’d love to know where Cadaveric Fumes get that weird guitar tone from because it reminds me of Voivod at times. If you’re a devout follower of death metal then you’ll no doubt already be familiar with Cadaveric Fumes but if not, give them your time as they’re fantastic.

Skelethal may only be a duo but their sound is thick and noisy, as Emerging From The Ethereal Threshold demonstrates. The menace is strong here but once again it thrashes hard. The screeching guitar solo mid-way through it delivered with precision as well. Epic madness takes over! There’s no time for breath as the instant smash of the brilliantly titled Torrents Of Putrefying Viscosity drags you through Skelethal’s pyre and on to certain death. There is technicality here but it’s tasteful. Nothing about their sound is staid and like Cadaveric Fumes, you’ve got to immerse yourself in it. 

This split is great with both bands presenting themselves in the best possible way. We all know that death metal is alive and well but the sheer variation across the genre is what truly surprises. Old-school death is where that variation seems to be in the rudest of health and both Cadaveric Fumes and Skelethal are writing a new chapter for the French underground. 

You can stream "Heirs Of Hideous Secrecies" below via Hells Headbangers, where you can also grab it on vinyl or as a digital download:-

Friday 7 December 2018

Young Mountain - Lost Tree

Labels: Dasein Records/Hardcore For The Losers/Miss The Stars Records/Pundonor Records/Through Love Records/Zegema Beach Records/Blade Records/Cactus Tapes/No Funeral Records
Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 05 Sep 2018


1. Asunder, To Eye Each Other
2. The Sun Is Away
3. ////////////////
4. Misery
5. Juni
6. Vacant Eyes
7. Lost Tree
8. I Flew Above Your House Last Night

I love this part of the week and thankfully I only have one more full week of work before a much needed break. To let loose I've decided to blast some good old Swedish hardcore in the form of Young Mountain and their September 2018 full-length "Lost Tree. It was released by a whole host of collaborating record labels and even though it's been out a little while at this point, a bit more column space wont't hurt! 

It’s so nice to sink into the familiar sounds of emotive and atmospheric Swedish hardcore once again. The Swede’s have crafted their own sound over recent years and Young Mountain are faithful practitioners of it. Opening with Asunder, To Eye Each Other you’re greeted with cinematic and slow instrumentation, with jarring but heartfelt screams and subtle melody. Just to prevent any chance of the listener settling into a groove, Young Mountain go in a more grunge/emo direction on The Sun Is Away. It shows a sensitive side that’s removed from the heaviness, even if that heaviness is affirming in it’s own right.

The mysteriously titled //////////////// sees YM going back to their hardcore sound, but this time adding in introspective guitar passages and moments of loving calm. Those moments of calm make the abrasive sections even more epic in my opinion. Misery isn’t necessarily a miserable song, instead it’s stripped down and soothing. This record has many twists and turns but they seem to flow together effortlessly, which is another selling point for both YM and “Lost Tree”. YM’s screamo influence is greater during Juni and the longer playing time allows the band to spread themselves out a bit more musically. The atmosphere within their song-writing and performance is clearer to see and hear for sure. Just when you thought the record couldn’t vary itself anymore, Vacant Eyes is delivered amidst raging black metal-style vocals and off-kilter guitar work with a hint of blues. It’s fucking great.

The title-track is a beautifully crafted song with layers of instrumentation that give you a short time for rest and reflection. It does seems as though there could be a crescendo of dissonant riffs at any time but YM restrains themselves for a few moments at least. More ambient than an assault, with softer vocals before it builds in volume and feedback to something that you could shout along too, involuntarily from the top of your lungs. As if that song wasn’t enough, album closer I Flew Above Your House Last Night does it all over again. This time with one last massive blast of distant hardcore. While my reference point for this sound will always be Totem Skin; since their demise, there’s definitely room for another and Young Mountain may not be as caustic initially, but they’re just as real and just as damn good!

You can stream and purchase "Lost Tree" digitally from Young Mountain below:-

You can grab physical copies from the below labels:-

Hardcore For The Losers -
Through Love Records -
No Funeral Records -

Tuesday 4 December 2018

Agathocles/Eristetyt - Split

Labels: Here And Now! Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 17 Oct 2018


1. Agathocles - Unlock The Door
2. Agathocles - Rabid Dog
3. Agathocles - Doodookai
4. Eristetyt - Kokonaan Pois
5. Eristetyt - Vihapueaparat
6. Eristetyt - Podelliset Raiskaajat
7. Eristetyt - Natsiapara 2016

Everybody knows of Belgian mincecore lifers Agathocles (or a least you should do. They've been spewing out fast, political grind for over 30 years now. Eristetyt is a hardcore punk band from Finland that's been putting out music for just as long, though with less of a stacked discography (though the band has still released four full-lengths). Both bands joined forces on this split, which was released by Italian label Here And Now! Records in October. 

After all the time that I’ve been plugging away at this, I still can’t believe this is the first I’ve featured a release by Agathocles. Besides Nunslaughter, they’re probably the most prolific band still playing and releasing music, at least in extreme metal anyway. Their Metal Archives page lists over 20 releases in 2018 alone! They commit three tracks to this split and they’re just as raw and fast as they’ve always been. Unlock The Door is a raging, metallic blast of grind and riffs. The collage of punk and mincecore of Rabid Dog contains a slight hint of powerviolence but there’s nothing complicated about it. Just good old-fashioned thrashin. Their final song Doodookai has mass headbangabilty (if that’s even a word). Their songs may be short but there’s plenty of time to give yourself whiplash.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Finnish hardcore punks Eristetyt but their sound is a perfect addition to this split. Kokonaan Pois is crusty but also upbeat, which seems to be the calling card of many Finnish fast bands. The dual-vocals set it off nicely, as does the feedback and screeching solo. There’s a brief pause before Vihapueaparat, which is no slouch and thanks to the Finnish lyrics and chaotic delivery, Eristetyt seem to increase in momentum. The music’s obviously rooted in punk and it’s all the better for it, especially on Podelliset Raiskaajat. Eristetyt’s final song Natsiapara 2016 is furious and ends the split on a high. Their metallic sound, emblazoned with crashing cymbals will leave ringing in your ears for days.

This split once again proves how great this format is. In Agathocles, you get seasoned veterans doing what they do best and Eristetyt, while also being vets in their own right, will no doubt use it to win over a while host of new fans with their raw punk.

You can stream and purchase the split digitally via Here And Now! Records below:-

You can also purchase the 7" above.

I'm unable to find any page for Eristetyt. Please drop me a link if you know of one!