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 - http://apathyandexhaustion.com/big-water-exclusive-stream-of-new-track/?fbclid=IwAR36sMl_srRggu8al6nTLRv1_y6Qc31ezn1dMZJhWpJAaHKZbNbus0D_Sqs

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 - http://theghostisclearrecords.limitedrun.com

Sunday, 9 December 2018

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


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

Tracklist:

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

Tracklist:

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 - http://hc4lzs.blogspot.com/
Through Love Records - http://throughloverec.tictail.com
No Funeral Records - http://nofuneral.storenvy.com

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Agathocles/Eristetyt - Split


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

Tracklist:

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!

Monday, 3 December 2018

Vanilla Poppers - I Like Your Band 7"


Labels: Drunken Sailor Records/Feel It Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 28 Sep 2018

Tracklist:

1. Get Away From Me
2. Stranger
3. I'm An Adult Baby
4. I Like Your Band

I'm starting to get my mojo back (in writing terms anyway) and feeling more inspired by the music that is sent to me, so the aim is to crank out more reviews over the next week or so. With it being a Monday, I figured you all could do with a pick me up (god knows I need one). That's where Cleveland, Ohio's Vanilla Poppers come in. The band recently released a four-track 7" via UK punk label Drunken Sailor Records and US counterparts Feel It Records. I'm afraid I don't know too much else about the band, though vocalist Christina Pap is originally from Australia and they recently toured Europe and the UK.

This is riot-grrrl punk mixed with hardcore-punk anger and pop-hooks. Get Away From Me is a quickfire opening song and it more than sets the tone for both this EP and for Vanilla Poppers themselves. The vocals are shouted but audible, which is where the band’s hardcore influence comes in. Stranger is raucous yet you could also party to it quite easily.

I’m An Adult Baby could well be the sound of somebody having a full-on meltdown, just like a kid might in the aisle of a supermarket. Its great fun! The title-track at the end of the EP captures Vanilla Poppers are their wildest and it’s a belligerent performance that will burst eardrums no problem. This is just great, loud punk with instrumentation and vocals that keep things simple. Just turn it on, turn it up and don’t give in!

You can stream "I Like Your Band" and purchase it digitally below:-



Physical copies of the EP can be picked up from the links below:-

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Master Boot Record - Virus.DOS


Labels: Blood Music
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 02 Oct 2018

Tracklist:

1. V-Sign
2. Skynet
3. Walker
4. Elvira
5. Virdem
6. Mars
7. Crash

Technology is a divisive subject nowadays. It's been used in recent times to synthesise metal music, which to me seemed weird when I first came across it; however, that was before I discovered Master Boot Record. As much as the purist in me wants to call foul, I've really enjoyed what I've heard by the project and the fact that MBR is now a live two-piece only sweetens the deal, as it makes the music more human (if that's possible). Anyway, the project's newest offering "Virus.DOS" was released digitally via Blood Music in October. This review is written out of appreciation for MBR and with that in mind, I probably won't be featuring any other synthwave/chip-tune music on the blog.

There’s something about MBR that’s caught my imagination lately and alongside the stupid “Deep Web” Youtube videos I’ve found myself watching, I’ve been a bit hooked on the band. It’s a bit of a departure for me but I’m embracing it just this once. The only problem i’ve been facing is how to adequately describe MBR’s music in writing. “Virus.DOS” is no different to the project’s previous work, where synthesisers have taken centre stage with back up from programmed percussion. Album opener V-Sign is a short intro piece, making use of the upbeat nature of the music to get pulses rising. It seems to me that MBR would sit neatly alongside more extreme bands on a festival bill with no problem at all. That thought is evidenced by Skynet, which sounds more extreme in a cyber-grind/industrial kind of way. It’s ambient and atmospheric as well as being fast in tempo, while the 80s sci-fi influence is strong. 

There’s more melody present on Walker, which subtracts the rave-like textures of Skynet and replaces them with neo-classical music and layers of noise that are quite mesmeric. It’s split into movements that are separated by brief moments of silence. The second movement of Walker grows in technicality with a beat that’s akin to dub-step in the background. The music on “Virus.DOS” does take on a more sinister form as MBR progresses through the record. Elvira takes on the horror-film vibe and turns it up with the use of ridiculous amounts of synths and energy. it’s so hard to describe it properly as it’s something you need to listen too to fully grasp. The goth/industrial dance mayhem is back on Virdem and even though describing it as such is doing the song a disservice, there are moments where it would make complete sense for this to be blasting over the dancefloor of a dark and sweaty alternative nightclub. There’s more of an unnerving and twisted plot to the music than  that of earlier release “Interrupt Request” (which has been my main reference point). 

There are still some truly uplifting moments here though and Mars is one of them, with its cinematic melody that sits at the top of the song’s opening bars. It gives way to a verse that again ventures further into the neo-classical/symphonic side of MBR’s being but it’s no less enjoyable because of that. Fun is definitely a word you can use to describe this record, in a genuine way. It’s both heavy and safe for the norms. Ending with Crash, which is similarly as energising as the album’s opener, it’s hard to fully comprehend what’s just happened. Alongside the programmed drums, there is some virtuoso synth work that can be heard. It’s as close to technical, progressive metal as you can get without really being categorised as such and it acts as a great crossover or gateway album. Chances are that if you’re reading this review then you already know and love MBR and I’m just preaching to the converted. If not, then at least give it a chance. 

Stream and purchase "Virus.DOS" as a name-your-price download below:-



Omegavortex - Promo 2018


Labels: Self-Released/Ancient Spirit Terror
Formats: Digital/Tape
Release Date: 13 Jul 2018

Tracklist:

1. Omega Spheres
2. Gateways
3. Black Abomination Spawn
4. Dark Matter

This is the latest promo from German black/death metal band Omegavortex (previously known as Ambevilence). After the formation of their previous incarnation in 2007, a demo and an EP were released in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Then came a name change last year and Omegavortex was born. With the potential for a full-length album in the near the future, this promo acts as a taster for that and for the band's (debut?) live appearance at Unholy Metal Mayhem Festival in Oberhausen (Germany) next March.

Haunting ambience greets you as Omega Spheres begins. It’s soon replace by metallic black/death metal that rages and the blackened shrieks are stomach churning (in a good way). Both the guitar and drum work is technical and fast, with very few moments of peace and introspection. Omegavortex’s MO is clearly to write and perform extreme music that’s as dark as it can get and Gateways proves this, as the band once again launches into a scathingly intense black metal song. It’s tempo is furious and drives their momentum forward with no chance of anybody getting in their way. 

Their lengthy compositions are meant to be challenging and uncomfortable. Black Abomination Spawn adds progression and changing time-signatures to the band’s arsenal with no effect on the barbarity of the music. At near seven-minutes it is long but it’ll keep you hooked till the very end. That progression continues into last song Dark Matter, where the double-bass drumming reaches powerful levels and the gloom created by the wall of guitar riffs is palpable to say the least. It’s the most menacing song on this Promo without a shadow of a doubt. This whole promo is unrelenting and Omegavortex will certainly be a force to be reckoned with when they release their full-length record.

You can stream and purchase Omegavortex's "Promo 2018" digitally below:-



A repress of the tape version has been released by Ancient Spirit Terror and order enquiries can be made via - ancientspiritterror@yahoo.de.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Harmony And Consumption

I was preparing a review earlier, which will be up tomorrow but while I was doing that I was thinking about a conversation I had last week over a meal with family. That conversation was about why I don't have Spotify and instead have a wall of cd's, tapes and vinyl records. I unsuccessfully tried to justify the way I consume music and it's been annoying me ever since, so I felt it was a prime subject for a discussion post.

Annoying is a strong descriptor but while said family member tried to sell me the pros of Spotify as the monthly digital subscription service it is, I felt something stir inside and I realised (rightly or wrongly) that it had something to do with musical tastes. As my own tastes have evolved within the confines of metal and punk music, trying to explain it to somebody whose unfamiliar with the genres and indeed never had a "metal phase" as a teenager, I was fighting a losing battle.

There are DIY movements within most genres of music for sure but none are more tangible to me than in metal and punk. When you pick up a record or a piece of merch from a band you know the money is going straight to them, instead of it taking 1 million streams for them to receive 0.03p in royalties or whatever the rate is. Even going into a bricks and mortar record store still feels special to me. Crate digging is a joy when you have no idea what's nestling in the racks. Being able to hold the record, pour over the artwork and discuss it with shop owners/staff is part of the whole experience.

When I bought the first cd that formed the basis of my collection at 15 years old, I had no idea that it would spark a passion that would still be burning inside me at the age of 32. There will always be those who say that Digital is better and while MP3s make sense (heck, most of my review material comes in digital form), for me you'll never be able to beat a physical copy of that music you love.

Feel you free to share your thoughts below or on my Facebook page. I’d love to hear from you.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Haiduk - Exomancer


Labels: Self-Released
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 17 Oct 2018

Tracklist:

1. Death Portent
2. Unsummon
3. Evil Art
4. Subverse
5. Icevoid Nemesis
6. Doom Seer
7. Pulsar
8. Blood Ripple
9. Once Flesh
10. Crypternity

I've been looking forward to sitting down to this all week and I fear that this is the only time I'll be able write anything until the weekend. This is the latest album from one-man Canadian death/black metal band Haiduk. Prior to the release of "Exomancer", Haiduk released a demo and two full-lengths; "Spellbook" and "Demonicon" respectively since forming in 2009. One thing that separates Haiduk from many of the other solo-projects is that he plays live.

Haiduk’s death metal is certainly brooding on album opener Death Portent and the programmed drums do nothing to change that. It’s also technical and grinding, which is fine with me. The vocals are delivered with a low rasping growl while the music contains a space-age feel. Aside from that, Haiduk adds layers of black metal into the mix and Unsummon provides a glimpse of that, especially in the instrumentation. It’s not “kvlt” but that’s no problem because it’s there to add atmosphere and it does that well. 

The guitar-work on “Exomancer” especially stands out due to it’s proficiency and technicality, as demonstrated on Evil Art, where both the lead and rhythm guitar layers amongst this mostly instrumental song make it sound like Haiduk is more than a solo-project. In fact, Haiduk rarely uses vocals for any great length of time, allowing the instrumentation to do all of the work, as demonstrated on Subverse. The songs are not overly long either, which means the momentum is kept strong throughout. 

The grinding percussive passages and introspective, off-kilter tempos make Icevoid Nemesis an exciting listen. With the whispered growls nestling within the mix, there’s plenty of room for the full gamut to be enjoyed. On Doom Seer you get a proper slab of chunky death metal. Its trance inducing at times, as the riffs repeat. There are elements of some of death metal’s biggest bands nestling within the music and Pulsar reminds me of the likes of Deicide and even Fear Factory (I know they’re not technically a death metal band but…). It again shows the skill that Haiduk possesses musically and writing-wise. 

The urgency is very real on Blood Ripple, where the pulsating rhythms sound more like they belong in a gabba song than a death metal one. That’s not a criticism by the way, rather a nod to how pumped-up it’ll make you feel. Once Flesh is just as fun, though definitely more of a straight-forward death metal song this time. That being said, you cannot call this traditional so purists may find it hard to swallow. Album closer Crypternity contains a jarring intro riff that’s atonal. It carries on throughout the song in a sporadic fashion contributing to quite an unnerving end.

Haiduk has written, recording and produced an epic album in “Exomancer”. The sound quality is great and it has character, which is difficult to find. The sole creator Luka is really talented and the strength he has to forge his own path in the death metal-verse is obvious to see. Good work!

You can stream "Exomancer" and purchase is both digitally or on cd below:-



The cd version and Haiduk's previous releases are also available here - https://haiduk.bigcartel.com.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Calvaire - Je Me Souviens


Labels: Purity Through Fire Records/Worship Tapes
Formats: Tape/Digital/CD(TBC)
Release Date: 25 Nov 2018

Tracklist:

1. Nous Ne Descenderont Plus La Riviere
2. La Dernière Bataille
3. 15 Fevrier 1839

There's a been a lot said this year about the Quebecois black metal movement, which has been led by the rise in popularity (if that's the right word) in Forteresse. Montreal's Calvaire is a new addition to that wave of bands, with the duo only recently releasing their debut digitally and tape via Purity Through Fire Records and Worship Tapes. "Je Me Souviens" consists of three songs on the tape version, while the soon-to-be-released CD version and indeed the digital version feature four songs. I'm reviewing the tape version here. Calvaire is a band that's proud of their ancestry, heritage and country, which form the influence for their songs and music.

“Je Me Souviens” begins with the welcoming sound of traditional and upbeat folk-music at the start of Nous Ne Descenderont Plus La Riviere. It’s only a short intro and it gives way to French language black metal that’s cold but also melodic. You know what you’e getting now with black metal of this nature and Calvaire definitely takes things in an icier direction compared to that of their US cousins. The song ends with the same sampled folk that seems to temper the extremity that came before it.

La Dernière Bataille is straight-forward and blasting from the off. The vocal shrieks are backed up by metallic guitar tones and pounding percussion. The guitar work does add a slight orchestral layer to the music, but there’s no escaping it’s heaviness. Like the opener, there is some clean singing but it’s closer to chanting than anything else. It does add an extra sinister edge to the music though.

Calvaire’s music is deeply rooted in the history of their province and 15 Fevrier 1839 is the epitome of that as it winds itself through over six-and-a-half minutes of atmospheric and metallic black metal. It relates to the French Canadians who were executed by British colonisers in 1839 and it was also the name of a 2001 film by French Canadian filmmaker Pierre Falardeau (fact for film buffs there!). This piece is more together than the previous two in my opinion. It’s slightly slower in tempo giving an oddly martial feel.

As black metal goes, Calvaire has produced a very decent first demo. Black metal fans will find enjoyment here, though crossover appeal may be minimal but that’s not what this duo are after. 

You can stream this full demo along with the extra title-track that will appear on the cd below:-



You can purchase "Je Me Souviens" on tape and digitally from Calvaire above too.


You can also purchase tape copies from Purity Through Fire Records here - https://shop.purity-through-fire.com/ and via Worship Tapes here - https://worshiptapes.de.tl.

Purity Through Fire Records - https://www.facebook.com/Purity-Through-Fire

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Where's My Naivety: Under Interview + Stop Being Naive Review


It feels good to be posting up my second interview/review piece in a week. This time I'm featuring a band that calls Lancashire, UK home and who's influence are as far reaching as King Crimson to Cattle Decapitation and Electric Wizard to Meshuggah. That band is Under and they've recently released their 2nd album "Stop Being Naive" via APF Records. Bassist/Vocalist Matt Franklin took some time to answer some questions for me, which you can read below.

Tell us about the history of Under. How did you form? Who’s in the band?

Matt Franklin - Bass and Vocals Under consists of myself, Simon Mayo on Guitar and Andy Preece on Drums - we all provide vocals for harmonies and our varied heavy styles. We formed about 4 years ago, after our old band broke up we decided to make some really dark, uncomfortable music.

Under’s music harnesses lots of different sounds, from doom to sludge to prog and even avant-garde. How did you all get into heavy music and what bands had the biggest effect on the music you play?

MF: We draw influences from all over the place, I personally got into heavy music through hardcore punk. These days we're into a lot of noise rock and avant garde electronic music. It would be hard to pin down any one particular band but Swans taught us to slow down!

You are part of the wider doom/sludge scene that exists over the Pennines. What is about Greater Manchester and Lancashire that’s made the genre so fertile?

MF: I honestly couldn't tell you. It makes for some good gigs though.

Across 2017 and 2018 so far, you’ve played with a lot bands. This is probably going to be a hard question to answer but who has been your favourite to play alongside and why?

MF: you're right, that is hard. We've played with Whores a couple of times now and Part Chimp who both blew me away. A favourite of mine would have to be Kurokuma though, we're good friends with those guys and have played with them a lot. At their worse they still slay pretty much any other band live.

Your new album “Stop Being Naive” is being released in October via APF Records. Can you shed any light on the album’s themes?

MF: There's nothing overtly political but there is a focus in some tracks on the negative ways that people interact with each other in attempt to further themselves. There are also tracks about depression and the feeling of being fundamentally damned as a species. There's also one about hallucinating ghosts due to sleep deprivation.

What gig/touring plans do you have in place following the album’s release?

MF: we're pretty quiet for gigs until the new year when we have a couple of tour plans to announce...

What albums/EPs are you currently listening too?

MF: Gold by Whores is getting a lot of play from me at the moment, I'm also enjoying Tuskar's record and Melted on the Inch by the lovely Boss Keloid.

Aside from music, what are your favourite horror movies?

MF: Brain Dead, the original Evil Dead Trilogy, The Exorcist, Antichrist... if you haven't already seen it then watch A Quiet Place. It's just spectacular


Labels: APF Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 26 Oct 2018

Tracklist:

1. Malcontents
2. The Climb
3. Traitor's Gate
4. Big Joke
5. P. Irving
6. Grave Diggers
7. Happy
8. An Inch Of Sun
9. Circadian Driftwood

If you paid close attention to Under’s influences mentioned in the opening paragraph of this piece, you’ll notice that they’re both heavy and experimental. Heavy is definitely the right term to use for album opener Malcontents, with its doom-laden bass-heavy riffs and crawling vocals delivered by all three members of the band. This is a down-tempo song filled with misery. That being said, Under injects some psychedelic riffs into it later on, which means it goes from heavy to weird in the best possible way.

The Climb turns things on its head with vocal melodies that could easily be from a Queen or Fleetwood Mac album, were it not for the thunderous riffs that follow. There’s more experimental instrumentation and off-kilter rhythms present, while the vocals remain on the right side of truly unhinged. Traitor’s Gate sees Under getting more expansive again. Their slow doom/stoner is present alongside the harsher vocals; however, short introspective passages deliver small amounts of respite.

The stirring instrumental build-up on Big Joke gets louder and louder as more and more layers of percussion and guitars join the fray. You expect the vocals to kick in but they keep you waiting and the result is a glorious instrumental slab of Primus-like stoner, at least for its first half anyway. Things return to normal for its second half but the instrumentation remains. 

At this point, if you have the LP then you’ll be listening to Soup, which for some reason doesn’t appear on either the cd or digital versions on the record. I don’t know why bands do this, but I’m not going to criticise. Instead you get P. Irving as your fifth track. P. Irving is a great listen, as it mixes odd clean guitar work with vocals that flit between laid back singing and their characteristic multi-shouted attack. 

There’s an obvious rock n roll swagger about Grave Diggers with it’s groovy riffs and assured delivery. At this point it’s probably right to say that “Stop Being Naive” is an album that will demand multiple listens before it truly hits you, but it’s great to invest the time in. Talking of investing the time, Happy that follows is a great fast-paced number that fits the record well. I’m glad that Under took the time to add this to the record because it shows more of their versatility and a love for the faster forms of metal. 

Penultimate song An Inch Of Sun is kind of like a really creepy nursery rhyme to begin with, before Under ratchets up the heaviness once more and keeps it in low and slow territory. They remain weird for closer Circadian Driftwood, which seems to be slightly on the restrained side and that’s not really a word your could use to describe Under at all. It’s very cinematic and it tops things off perfectly. “Stop Being Naive” is a journey and one that’s well worth taking.

You can stream "Stop Being Naive" and buy it on all formats below:-



Thanks to Matt for taking part in this interview. Check out Under.