Monday 30 July 2018

Crowning/Swallows Nest - Split

Labels: Zegema Beach Records/IFB Records/Time As A Color/Dingleberry Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 24 Jun 2018


1. Crowning - Coil
2. Crowning - Old References
3. Crowning - Nerve
4. Swallows Nest - A Subtle Knife For New Doors

Here's a split that isn't so new (sorry for being late to the party, again!) but who cares, I still want to write about it. It's features Chicago "DadrockViolence" band Crowning and Dunedin (NZ) screamo band Swallows Nest. The 7" was released in June by four of the hardest working overseas labels I know, though I'm a little unsure of the actual release date, so if it's incorrect above please let me know. Both Crowning and Swallows Nest are new to me, so I'm looking forward to this.

Crowning get three songs here and they don’t hang about. Their opener Coil is a violent and heavy blast of hardcore/emoviolence that’s lasts just over sixty seconds but is filled with riffs and bile for days. The slightly more pensive Old References gives the rhythm section time to talk before they once again unleash their unrelenting screamo. There’s a lot to take in but it’s so additive. Crowning’s final song Nerve is absolutely no different and the blasting cymbals that sit alongside the punk-like guitar work in the mid-section hide the angst and misery within. 

Swallows Nest, from easily the most beautiful country in the world, play screamo that suggests all is not well on A Subtle Knife For New Doors. It’s slower but no less heavy and the dual-vocals give it extra oomph. Melody exists within both bands but here it does provide more atmosphere, even when Swallows Nest head off in a more off-kilter/chaotic direction. I could listen to this split over and over again, and in fact I probably will. The feedback that ends it underlines the savageness of it while the silence that follows reminds you that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Digital downloads can be purchased from the bandcamp pages of the labels involved. physical copies can be purchased from the links below:-

Sunday 29 July 2018

Lurk - Fringe

Labels: Transcending Obscurity Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 05 Aug 2018


1, Ostrakismos
2. Tale Blade
3. Reclaim
4. Elan
5. Offshoot
6. Furrow
7. Nether
8. Proteus Syndrome

Another week has been masterfully negotiated and a boozy weekend awaits. Not before I delve into more obscure heavy metal though! I'm sticking with the sludge/doom end of the genre following my review of Weed Demon earlier in the week but this time I'm moving back across the globe to Finland and the sounds of Lurk. The band formed back in 2008 and their debut self-titled full-length in 2012. They followed with "Kaldera" two years later before initially self-releasing "Fringe" in 2016. It's now due for physical release on both cd and vinyl thanks to Indian extreme metal label Transcending Obscurity Records. They've called some of Finland's most revered labels home in the past and they've been receiving great press already for this record, so they're clearly reaching the right ears.

Atmosphere has always been a big part of what drew me towards metal and why I enjoy it so much. Lurk weave it into their music so well with melodies that are both soothing and frightening at the same time on “Fringe” opener Ostrakismos. Most of the song is instrumental and when vocals do appear, they’re cocooned within the instrumentation and are actually really subtle, giving it a slightly gothic slant. It’s clear that Ostrakismos was a mere teaser of an opener as Lurk launch into the instantly heavy Tale Blade without so much as a build up. This time semi-clean vocals back up the deep roars. Given Finnish doom’s illustrious past it’s only natural that the blueprints forged by the likes of Reverend Bizarre, Hooded Menace and Profetus would seep into Lurk’s iteration, but with the sludgy murk and use of the aforementioned melody, they do manage to make something that sounds their own. 

With this being their third full-length, there’s an obvious air of confidence and quality in the song-writing. I mean that in a positive way, as no song lasts too long or is too overblown. Reclaim is a martial and almost hypnotic number that retains a mid-paced (for sludge/doom) tempo. They channel their true-doom side with the truly mournful Elan, which breaks up the extremity with low but clean sung vocals that brings Amorphis to mind. They do revert back to using harsh vocals towards the end and in doing so, they succeed in making the song scarier on the ear. 

I’m not one to make up sub-genres for the sake of it but Offshoot has an air of sludge ’n’ roll to it thanks to the driving tempo of the opening sixty seconds. It’s variation that’s important and it fits in between the slower sections perfectly, making the song pass by in a wave of urgency. Furrow, as the name suggests, drags things back down though and in subtle off-kilter fashion, Lurk banishes any upbeat feelings you may have. They remind you just how fragile you really are, without pushing you completely over the edge. 

Penultimate song Nether is a classic with a sense of industrial coldness to it, which is made more effective by it’s shorter playing time. There’s more traditional metal within it’s bars and that’s no bad thing. Lurk don’t settle for just one form of metal, as it would be easy to sound formulaic when trying to pull this off. They remain forward-thinking within their small plot of the extreme metal landscape. The album’s final number Proteus Syndrome is it’s longest and is the band’s last opportunity to bury their misery into your memory, which they actually do pretty effectively. “Fringe” is the perfect length and contains enough momentum to keep you listening intently throughout. The slow train shows no sign of stopping in Finland and Lurk are one of it’s more modern and exciting proponents. Worship them!

You can stream five of the album's eight songs prior to release below:-

"Fringe" is also available to pre-order on all formats from Transcending Obscurity Records above.

Wednesday 25 July 2018

Weed Demon - Astrological Passages

Labels: Electric Valley Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 18 Aug 2017


1. Astrological Passages
2. Primordial Genocide
3. Sigil Of The Black Moon
4. Dominion Of Oblivion
5. Jettisoned

It's hot again here and as with almost every other British person at the moment, I'm uncomfortable. I also don't have the inclination to blast anything too fast or intense this evening, so I figured the debut full-length from Columbus, OH sludge/stoner band Weed Demon would do the trick. Weed Demon self-released their first EP "Stoned To Death" in late 2015. "Astrological Passages" followed in August of last year. It's been made available on all formats by the band and Electric Valley Records. They play with Planning For Burial in Columbus on July 27th, if you're in the area!

“Astrological Passages” contains everything you’d expect from a band called Weed Demon. Thick riffs, groove-laden bass, powerful percussion and low growling vox. Obviously, there’s no reinventing of the wheel going on during the title-track but the band does exhibit plenty of musical prowess and worship of the slow. Primordial Genocide promises something truly terrifying and that’s exactly what happens. It’s silly heavy, though the subtle stoner groove and vocal variation make it sound fuller.  They manage to carry off an instrumentally perfect mid-section to the song, with plenty of melodic, layered guitar-work. It’s quite hard to make a comparison between Weed Demon and other current bands of this ilk, which can only be a good thing.

A haunting sample at the beginning of Sigil Of The Black Moon sets the tone for a song that’s equally as foreboding. It starts off in relatively sedate fashion (for Weed Demon, anyway) and builds in intensity. It’s one of two songs on “Astrological Passages” that weigh in at over ten-minutes in length and it’s mostly instrumental. Perfect for just sitting back and staring into space too, without being droning or monotone. Occult imagery and clean singing feature on Dominion Of Oblivion, which is apt really as it certainly sounds more otherworldly. Aside from that it’s also a complete rager, thanks to heaps of up-tempo urgency (which for a sludge band is going some!). 

Closing song Jettisoned is the most multi-layered number on “Astrological Passages” and the immediately awesome guitar work (that sounds like and may even be a harmonica) is brilliant. Again, it’s a huge slab of instrumental doom that takes you on a journey thats’s both unforgiving and cleansing. I don’t rely on chemicals or substances (aside from Alcohol) to alter my enjoyment of music like this and to be honest, after listening to “Astrological Passages” I don’t need to as it does that job for me. Weed Demon have done a phenomenal job here and should be heard by the many and not the few. 

You can stream "Astrological Passages" and purchase it on all formats below:-

Sunday 22 July 2018

Berator - R.A.I.D.S Demo

Labels: Boris Records
Formats: Tape/Digital
Release Date: 31 May 2018


1. Sultans Of Incest
2. Swine Cult

May 2018 saw the release of the first demo from Chicago's latest black/death horde Berator. The "R.A.I.D.S" demo was released by Boris Records and while tape copies have now sold out, there's still more than enough reason to give this demo a spin. One such reason being that Berator are due to start tracking and recording their debut full-length very soon. The band features current members of fellow Boris Records band Disfigurement and also Cryptic Fog.

Berator’s sound is intense and Sultans Of Incest is a full-blown attack featuring blasting drums, relentless riffs and dual-death metal screams. It follows the old-school path that so many good USDM bands have gravitated towards of late and there’s absolutely no let up whatsoever. 

The demo’s second song Swine Cult thrashes like a maniac and carries on the momentum. When Berator slows the tempo down just before the mid-way point they’re able to still retain their ferocity and make way for a great solo. as well. This demo provides a teasing glimpse into what these guys have in store on their up-coming full-length. Blast this loud and on repeat until then!

Steam and download the demo below:-

It's also available digitally here -

Seek And Deploy: Would Crowdsourcing Work For This Noise Is Ours?

This Noise Is Ours has been in existence now for nearly 8 years and while I've personally invested a lot of time in it since I first ventured into the world on blogging, I have enlisted the help of a couple of like-minded friends (Christer and Mikey) along the way to provide their own unique passion and thoughts on records and more recently live shows. 

I've been thinking about the blog's evolution a bit over this weekend and one thing I've been considering is Crowdsourcing (not to be confused with Crowdfunding). The idea I have is to open up the blog so that other readers and music fans can submit their own reviews, interviews and features etc for publishing, to help increase content and also the variation of that content. This is not a new idea but it's one that might help to bring fans of metal and punk together, from across the world and provide a unique perspective of local scenes and underground bands.

If this were to happen there would have to be a couple of rules; 1) no self-promotion of your band or label etc and 2) no flagrantly inflammatory or fake articles. Other than that, people could submit articles that would fit in with the overall theme of the blog by covering metal and punk. 

What are you thoughts on this idea? Feel free to get in touch and let me know. Thanks!

Saturday 21 July 2018

Pa Vesh En - A Ghost 7"

Labels: Iron Bonehead Productions
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 14 Mar 2018


1. Haunting And Mourning
2. Gruesome Exhumation

Iron Bonehead continues to unearth plenty of raw black/death metal. The label released this 7" earlier this year, featuring two song by Belarussian raw black metal project Pa Vesh En. This is the band's third release for Iron Bonehead, following the two earlier demo tapes "Knife Ritual" and "Dead Womb" respectively. 

This 7” follows a familiar and well-trodden path when it comes to the recent release campaign of Iron Bonehead. Raw, hellish black/death metal from countries with growing scenes. Haunting And Mourning is noisy and it’s form contains a sound that’s bristling with guitar feedback and embittered shrieks. The drums and bass are buried deep within the recording’s core. It’s uneasy but because of that it’s also engaging and enjoyable if you like something that’s outside of the norm.

Like Haunting And Mourning, second song Gruesome Exhumation is another lengthy number, with less focus on blasting and more on head-splitting noise that crawls forward at it’s own pace. There’s subtle melody present here, buried within the feedback and that gives it a nice level of ambience. With Pa Vesh En being such a new entity, it’s only natural that the band’s sound is developing but there’s no harm at all being done by this teasing EP. Another underground extreme metal band to keep tabs on for sure. 

You can stream and purchase "A Ghost" both physically and digitally below:-

Thursday 19 July 2018

Khôrada - Salt

Labels: Prophecy Productions
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 20 Jul 2018


1. Edeste
2. Seasons Of Salt
3. Water Rights
4. Glacial Gold
5. Augustus
6. Wave State
7. Ossify

Khôrada is a new and highly anticipated project featuring the instrumental backbone of the sadly departed Agalloch and the lungs behind Giant Squid. "Salt" is due for official release tomorrow on vinyl, cd and digital platforms via German label Prophecy Productions. The band has not given away anything regarding their chosen genre as far as I can tell, preferring instead to let their music on this debut do the talking, but given their collective past, this record should be something to behold. I don't often feel pressure when writing a review but sometimes a little is healthy.

The journey into extreme music can often be perilous and fraught with sounds that are outside of your comfort zone. The deeper you delve though the more at ease you become. Thank god then for Khôrada, who are adding to 2018’s expanding experimental, progressive and uncategorisable musical landscape. The record’s opener Edeste covers a lot of ground with elements of psych, doom and heavy metal alongside melody and off-kilter time signatures. They do retain some folk tendencies though they are less obvious during initial listens. There’s a great level of continuation between the opener and Seasons Of Salt, which itself is considerably heavier, at least in it’s opening bars. The vocal melodies that follow are soothing and the instrumentation is thoughtful to that dynamic. There’s also a sense of Americana that flows within the music that really gets you. I’ve mentioned a lot of different genres/sub-genres so far in this review and at the end of the day music is subjective, so I’ll let you make your own minds up about it. Droning guitar and noise opens Water Rights, which itself turns into a groovy number with a penchant for noise-rock. Khôrada likes to you keep you guessing and that’s the great thing about them. It’s so easy to get lost in their songs. 

They know how to choose song titles as well, as Glacial Gold is as majestic and earthy as it’s name doth suggest. The band’s folk touches work well during the quieter passages while there’s mesmeric quality throughout making it hard to ignore. The fact that vocalist Aaron John Gregory refrains from  using truly extreme growls/screams means that there’s a sense of challenging accessibility to it. The melodic guitar work is at it’s peak here as well and the band seems to have found their groove in fine form. They take time to include a short but swirling song in the form Augustus, which is acoustic and  beautiful and leads nicely into the lengthier Wave Slate, which features the addition of brass tones (a trumpet or cornet maybe? Please correct me if I’m way off the mark here). This song plays on the band’s collective progressive past and it works very well indeed. It neither sounds too modern or too old and originality is a key to it’s enjoyability. Synths add atmosphere to album closer Ossify and help to promote yet more progression alongside, dare I say it, some catchier pop-like subtlety. Given that it’s the longest song on “Salt”, it’s movements are seamless and there’s no skipping it’s infectious nature. 2018 already feels like a blue riband year and Khôrada only adds to that. This is great and fully worth your attention.

You can stream Seasons Of Salt, Glacial Gold and Ossify prior to the album's release tomorrow,  below:-

"Salt" is available digitally above and also physically from Prophecy Productions here -

Khôrada -
Prophecy Productions -

Monday 16 July 2018

10 Questions: Campaign Committee + Bill Of Rights EP Review

(Photo Credit: Smoke & Honey Photography via Campaign Committee)

It's been over a month since I last published one of these interviews (because I didn't have any others to publish) and I'm kind of feeling as though I should change things up a bit in terms of my "interviews". I use that term very loosely as you might have guessed. Anyway, this one features Campaign Committee, who're a hardcore punk band from Boston (Mass, US). They also sent me a link to their most recent EP, so I've tagged a review onto the bottom of this peice.

Who is in the band and where are you from?

C. Kobialka - drums, G. Garogosian - vocals, A. Simpson - bass, B. Strout - guitar/vocals.  We’re from Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

What is the history of Campaign Committee? When and how did you form?

Four years ago Strout and Kobialka’s band were invited to play a basement show. Their third member couldn’t make it work, so they decided to whip up a couple of tracks for fun and ended up enlisting Strout’s longtime friend Garogosian on vocals and found someone to play bass for the show. Like most good things, we decided to try and run with it longer. A couple shows, bass players, and a year later, our EP "Let’s Die" finally materialised.

Have any of you played in previous bands and are you in any other bands currently?

Strout and Kobialka played together in a band called Heel and Arrow up until last year. Simpson has played in a band called Das Muerte.

Who writes the lyrics/music? Is it collective?

Less of a collective and more like one person having an idea and 3 other people ruining it for them with their own. Go Team.

What subjects do you cover in your lyrics?

We were recently asked for a lyric book… probably won’t happen.

Are there any bands that have influenced you?

Many, however, not all of our influences are mutually appreciated, nor are they all worn on our sleeves.  Blood Brothers, Today is the Day, Refused, Starkweather, Small Brown Bike, and Cave In are a few significant ones.

What are your favourite albums/EPs at the moment?

Well, this might be a bit fleeting and totally off genre, so instead we’d rather have you focus on checking out our answer to #9.

What is your favourite gig/tour story?

You always remember your first.  We have yet to tour.

What is your local heavy/punk scene like and who should we check out (band-wise)?

Psychic Weight, I Am Become Death, Martyrs, and Aneurysm are nice humans and we enjoy playing shows with them.

What are your favourite tipples/foods?

Strout really likes Palomas, and Garogosian likes calling Simpson “Clam Chowder”. This is as about as useful of an answer you’re going to get from us on this one.

Labels: Self-Released
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 22 Jun 2018


1. Let's All Say We're Nihilists Then Cry When No One Likes Us
2. Three Haikus And A Tangent Thought
3. Desperate Places
4. Souvenir
5. Fledgling

Here goes with five sharp hardcore-punk songs. Initially Campaign Committee strikes you as a another garage punk band and their music does feature elements of that, but the vocals on Let’s All Say We’re Nihilists Then Cry When No One Likes Us tell another story. They’re screechy and extreme (but not in the same way as The Body, for example). There’s also the more straightforward hardcore punk shouting going on and Campaign Committee does have a good sense of humour. The music is great and Three Haikus And A Tangent Thought is a mix of all kinds of elements from punk and even emo-violence/post-hardcore in parts. It may seem like I’m over-analysing this all slightly, but I can’t change who I am or how I perceive things. It’s good, which is all that should matter.

Desperate Places sees the band experimenting with more off-kilter tempos and slow/fast parts. There’s a sense of rousing creativity flowing through it and some nostalgia too. The bringing together of chaos and cinematic melody goes further on Souvenir and might remind you of the likes of Glassjaw, Cave In and Time In Malta, which aren’t bad comparisons. EP closer Fledgling highlights a band that are clearly very talented musically and  in the song-writing department and while it might have been easy to write them off at first listen, you’d be an idiot to have done so. Coming into this review I was feeling quite a large sense of ambivalence but that’s gone and it’s been replaced with a feeling of excitement and a rush of energy. That's about as positive as it gets!

Stream and purchase "Bill Of Rights" here:-

Sunday 15 July 2018

Noise From The Northern Powerhouse #1: Grimmness - End Times

Labels: The Dropa Collective
Formats: Tape/Digital
Release Date: 25 Jun 2018


1. Joy
2. War
3. Collapse
4. End Times

We're being told by the nation's political parties to celebrate and help build a "Northern Powerhouse”, so I thought (in a non-political way) it would be coot to start shedding light on the many different bands that call Northern England home. Encompassing bands from Merseyside, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, the North East and of course Yorkshire, I intend to cover bands on a weekly basis that represent the rich and creative scenes from across the North. 

Today I'm starting with experimental noise/black metal/power electronics act Grimmness from Lancashire. The project was formed over four years ago now with all of it's releases coming via DIY label The Dropa Collective. Grimmness exists thanks to hand built instruments and a DIY approach to writing and recording. 

It seems bizarre to call a song Joy when it’s obvious that the creator behind Grimmness feels anything but; however, it’s that dark humour and sarcasm that’s the bedrock of Northern England. The song itself features looping, swirling feedback that opens the first half. The second half of Joy is made up of minimal, droning black metal with whispered vocals and a hypnotic tempo. The rawness of second track War is obvious and its collage of uneasy noise and more traditional black metal is not an easy listen and comes complete with a lot of anti-melody. 

There’s a good mix here between stack electronic noise and melancholy, where the music ventures ever so slightly into black/shoegaze territory, especially during Collapse. Feedback reigns over it all and rests alongside the sample at the song’s conclusion before flowing into the closing title-track. If you have the volume turned up you’ll hear a lot of subtle layers within the music. The recording captures a real feeling of claustrophobia and with the cigar-box guitar that’s used, not just in this song but also throughout the EP, there are hints of bands like Oede (Norway) and Vermapyre (Belgium) as well as the icy black metal reserved by bands like Darkthrone and Immortal, albeit stripped down. It’s certainly grim up North!

You can stream "End Times" and purchase on both tape and digital formats below:-

Thursday 12 July 2018

Ward - Downfalls

Labels: Ramekuukkeli-Levyt
Formats: Tape
Release Date - 19 Apr 2018


1. Waves
2. Singularity
3. Dominion
4. Every Day The Hard Way
5. The Valued Things
6. New Problems

The sun may have nearly disappeared from our skies over Britain but the heat is no less oppressive, which makes it the perfect atmosphere for this recently released slab of heavy Finnish doom metal. It was released earlier this year via Ramekuukkeli-Levyt on limited tape. Ward is a quartet and they formed in 2005, before releasing two splits with Havitys and True Lords Of Vatican, in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Their full-length arrived just over a year later. There's not much else I can say about Ward, apart from that one of their members used to play in Sink and plays in Abbot.

Ward’s doom is thick and heavy. It sounds so at home on tape, with a warm fuzz to the recording. The tempo on Waves is slow and the vocals are delivered as a deep rasping growl with English lyrics. The further you get into this opening song’s 10+ minutes the easier it is to get lost within it’s strangely addictive melodies and humming, throbbing bass tones. It ends with alarming levels of droning feedback before Ward take a very short breather. Singularity comes into view soon after and it immediately picks up the tone from the tape’s opener. There are long passages without vocals and crushing riffs that have to be heard. Sometimes it’s more like funeral doom but other times there are post-metal textures and calmer doom elements flowing through it. It’s certainly not a straightforward listen though.

The b-side begins with Dominion, which straight away reveals more of the lovely analogue warmth that can only come from tapes. It’s raw in nature and the vocals here remind me of the heavier aspects of bands like Dark Tranquility and Hamferd in some ways (and yes, I appreciate that neither of those bands are from Finland). The song is more than just about those comparisons though, as it’s melody peers through the riffs to create something that’s extremely listenable. Ward takes on a thrashier form with Every Day The Hard Way, which could be mistaken for a youth crew hardcore song-title. It’s tempo and energy is surprising and adds a lot to the album. 

The previous song seems to break up the misery that is intertwined within the record and it’s not long before The Valued Things is dragging you back down again. It’s one of those songs that hammers itself into your head and leaves you paralysed to the spot. Closing song New Problems isn’t any better (in a good way) but it does contain some nice technical drumming. There’s also more in the way of technicality in the guitar work, which heads more into experimental stoner territory for brief moments in time. This record is perfect for the tape format and Ward plays doom music that’s sympathetic to the genre’s early days while still being heavy. Great stuff.

You can stream both Waves and Singularity via bandcamp below. Both songs are also available to purchase digitally too:-

Physical tapes can be purchased from Ramekuukkeli-Levyt here -

Ramekuukkeli-Levyt -ämekuukkeli-levyt

Saturday 7 July 2018

Aparthiva Raktadhara - Agyat Ishvar 7"

Labels: Iron Bonehead Productions
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 21 Jul 2018


1. Blood Oblation to Ista-devata
2. Dismal Anahata Transmissions
3. Proclamations Of The Empty

2018 will see the release of Indian death/black trio Aparthiva Raktadhara's debut demo "Agyat Ishvar" via Iron Bonehead Productions. The Indian extreme metal scene is really flourishing currently with this trio set to join the likes of Demonic Resurrection, Heathen Beast and Tetragrammacide at it's forefront. 

The opener to “Agyat Ishvar” is the sampled menace of Blood Oblation To Ista-Devata. The Indian spoken word sample that features at it’s heart is surrounded by swirls of noise and it prepares you for Dismal Anahata Transmissions, which is a raw, blasting mix of death and black metal. Crashing cymbals and muddied yet still audible guitar work is joined by hellish shrieks. This is far from a primitive demo but it’s still very much for the die-hards.

Third and final song Proclamations Of The Empty carries furious layers of guitar noise alongside the band’s percussive backbone, creating something that’s chaotic but also entrancing in equal measure. There’s very little let-up as Aparthiva Raktadhara prefer to march forth and level your auditory senses. This demo is steeped in the creativity that’s present within the Indian scene and this trio, while being more martial in approach, are certainly ones to watch.

You can stream Proclamations Of The Empty below:-