Friday 28 September 2018

Coldawn - ...In The Dawn

Labels: Flowing Downward
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date; 31 Jan 2018


1. Spectral Horizon
2. My Escape
3. The Essence
4. Only Moments
5. La Primavera No Llegara Esta Vez
6. ...In The Dawn
7. This: Over
8. My Destiny

Tonight's review features the first band whose music was released by Avantgarde Music sub-label Flowing Downward. The new imprint started releasing music in early 2018, with an ear for black metal with a difference. Coldawn (formerly Beyond The Dawn) began life in 2016 and crafted what would become "...In The Dawn", Coldawn feature guest musicians that previously formed part of Austere and Annorkoth respectively (as well as other bands), but that's not all...

I approach Coldawn’s music without any pre-conceived notions whatsoever and that pays off immediately, as Spectral Horizon greets with it’s acoustic guitar melodies that sound alive and welcoming. When My Escape takes over the speakers, it’s just as enjoyable with an atmospheric sound that move far beyond black metal. The instrumentation sits up top while the bleak vocals nestle beneath, giving the music and melody space to breath and envelope you. Further sensitive acoustic passages take you further into post-metal territories. The closest similarity I can find would be the music of Astronoid, but that’s not to say that Coldawn are mere followers. They are very much an entity filled with originality.

Another element of their sound in the keyboards and they come through during The Essence. It’s obvious that Coldawn find’s comfort at the ambient side of extreme metal, if you could even call it that here. It’s glorious, emotive and I have no idea why it’s taken me till now to discover it. The piano work that graces the The Essence is expertly played and leans more towards the baroque-era of classical music (if I’ve got my classical periods correct). Mid-way through, the full band breaks out of the shadows but the keys still remain ever-present. At times, it sounds like “…In The Dawn” could be a more commercial attempt at black metal but that would be an unfair assumption. If you think of the music created by Dark Tranquillity, Tiamat and Poisonblack in the past, then there’s a fair chance that Only Moments will appeal to you, as will the whole album. They are loose comparisons though, so apologies if you think I’m way off here. 

The band’s South American lineage shows itself on La Primavera No Llegara Esta Vez, with Spanish spoken-word samples and dreamy music. It’s incredible and creates a truly uplifting feeling when coupled with Coldawn’s heavier side. The breadth at which they vary their songs is obvious when the classical tones of the title-track begin. If the previous song sounded too modern for you then you’ll be at peace with this. More dramatic piano eases you into more foreboding surroundings with an ever increasing tempo and a reward at the end made up of their trademark take on black metal. It’s anthemic in all the right ways. 

There’s a sense of urgency to This: Over that’s not been present until now and clean female vocals that are siren-like against it’s backdrop. These dynamics all add up to the majestic noise that’s created ad expertly delivered. My Destiny seems to be the perfect song to end on as it allows one last euphoric glimpse into Coldawn’s world and it’s one that shines brightly. I cannot believe that I’ve gone so long without knowing about or listening to this album. If ever you want your perspective of heavy music changing, then this should be the album and indeed the band that does it. Coldawn is breathtaking. 

You can stream "...In The Dawn" below, where it's also available to buy on cd and digitally:-

Coldawn -
Flowing Downward -

Thursday 27 September 2018

Necroslurg - Kuolonkierre

Labels: Ramekuukkeli-Levyt
Formats: Tape/Digital
Release Date: 01 Jun 2018


1. Vakaa Tila
2. Vieraat Aanet
3. Kuolonkierre
4. Musta
5, Tuho, Ei Tuomio
6. Ajojahti
7. Kauhun Pyorteissa
8. Ekranoplan
9. Metsanpeittoon
10. Hyvaksy Kohtalosi

I felt it was time to re-visit the wonderful tones of Finnish heavy music again and found this nestling in my review pile. It's been a little while since Tuukka (Ramekuukkeli-Levyt) sent me this tape, so apologies to go out to him for the delay in posting this write-up. Necroslurg is a "heavy punk metal" trio from Helsinki and "Kuolonkierre" is their second album.They've been plying their trade for about two years now and releases their first album "Haudantaka" just over twelve months before this one. They recently played Svart Festival in the Finnish capital alongside the might Foreseen.

Necroslurg’s music is delivered with true Scandinavian ferocity and the vocals are entirely in their mother-tongue. Vakaa Tila is an angry opener that flows between up-tempo punk and groove-laden rock.It’s all about the riffs on Kuolonkierre, as Vieraat Aanet proves. They are at home alongside the frenzied screams that’s for sure, while the drums keep a restrained yer accurate beat behind. The other cool thing about Necroslurg’s sound and approach is that they play fast and leave no room for pondering. Kuolonkierre is filled to the brim with punk attitude, though it also does a good line is stoner doom fury too. So far this trio is living up to Finland’s reputation for producing great experimental bands.

They’re band to their raucous best on Musta, which shoots from the hip with it’s noise rock blueprint and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it running time. Thankfully, they slow things down on the sludgy Tuho, Ei Tuomio, which proves again that they can switch the mood effortlessly. Channelling the cold darkness that envelopes the country during Winter, they produce probably the heaviest song on the album. The shoutiness continues unabated on Ajojahti, which feature plenty of awesome musicianship as well. The volume levels that this trio reach are pretty incredible. The latter half of the album retains the same level of variation as the first and Kauhun Pyorteissa is a stomping noise rock song with more crisp lead work.

Not sticking to one formula or blueprint gives them an edge and Ekranoplan is subtly stripped down and minimalist to begin with, though it’s still layered with the kind of riffs and percussive atmosphere that makes you think of Black Sabbath and the like. The loud pedal is pressed to the floor again during penultimate song Metsanpeittoon, as Necroslurg force you to pump your fist and bang you head in joyous unison. Album closer Hyvaksy Kohtalosi is gives you one last opportunity to raise glass to this Finnish powerhouse in the making. Necroslurg are great and this album is well worth checking out and getting on tape.

If you can stomach the ads n between songs, you can stream "Kuolonkierre" in full via Necroslurg's Soundcloud page below:-

Tapes can be purchased here -

Monday 24 September 2018

Komusō - Komusō Tape

Labels: Zegema Beach Records/Damn Fine Tapes
Formats: Tape/Digital
Release Date: 23 Apr 2018 (Self-released)/17 Jun 2018 (Tape Release)


1. 暗宿
2. 輪姦
3. 一斉蜂起
4. 約束

New Japanese screamo and before you ask, no I can't speak Japanese and I don't trust Google Translate, so you're going to have to figure the song-titles out for yourselves. This is the debut EP from Tokyo's Komusō and after self-releasing it themselves digitally earlier in the year, the lovely people at Zegema Beach Records and Damn Fine Tapes released it on tape. You can't get anymore DIY than this!

Even though I don’t feature as much Japanese music on the blog as I probably should, it’s still fascinating to me how a nation such as Japan can write and produce such interesting variants of the genres that grace this small part of the Interweb. 暗宿 reminds me of when I first heard both Blue Friend and Yumi. The spoken-word vocals that morph into powerful screams, backed up by the melodic guitars and thoughtful bass/percussion sums up the Asian style I think. It’s so uplifting. 輪姦 is dramatic and frantic all at the same time. It’s more akin to emo-violence with it’s faster and often off-kilter tempo. It’s short in length but there’s so much to take in all at the same time.

The drumming on 一斉蜂起 is magnificent and thanks to the production/mastering of the EP, it’s clear too. There’s a really nice flow to the music and indeed the release as a whole, with sensitive quieter sections that lead into and follow the more violent passages. Komusō manages to avoid the truly chaotic and instead peppers their music with restraint. EP closer 約束 is the complete opposite to that though with it’s urgency and emotive screams. Four songs are all you get and to be honest they’re all you’re gonna need to become hooked on Komusō. So good!

You can stream the entire EP and grab it as a name-your-price-download below:-

Tape copies can be purchased from the labels below:-

Zegema Beach Records (North America) -
Damn Fine Tapes (Europe) -

You can also pick copies up from the band if you happen to be in Japan.

Sunday 23 September 2018

Irreversible Mechanism - Immersion

Labels: Blood Music
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 14 Sep 2018


1. Existence I: Contemplation
2. Existence II: Collision
3. Abolution
4. Simulacra
5. Footprints In The Sand
6. Beyond
7. Limbo
8. Immersion
9. Awakening

Yesterday was a wasted day for me, as I partied a little too hard on Friday night. I feel fresher today though and ready to give this new album a spin from Belorussian progressive metal band Irreversible Mechanism. It's still fresh, as it was only released just over a week ago by Blood Music. It's the band's second release following their 2015 debut "Infinite Fields". You can buy "Immersion" now on cd, double LP and digitally.

Progressive/Technical death metal always promises a lot, but I often feel a bit underwhelmed after listening to it. I’ve never quite understood why that is, but it could be down to my musical tastes altering as I get older. I’m hoping Irreversible Mechanism will be different but as opening track Existence I: Contemplation starts with ambient synths that make up half of the song, I’m still not convinced. When the second half of the song sees the band open up more, there's a glimpse of what’s to come with a brief hit of their extremity and some very good musicianship that leads to a classy solo. 

Existence II: Collision is more like it. The band launches straight into it with on unnecessary build-up and immediately shows off their musically ability. The good thing about it is that even with the frenetic drumming and guitar-work, the pace seems to be at the right end of the spectrum enjoyment wise. The mix of harsh roars and clean singing also works really well. As with many bands that perform with progression in mind, the songs on “Immersion” are lengthy. Abolution stretches to nearly six-and-a-half-minutes and as the album title suggests, it requires your full attention. I think what sets Irreversible Mechanism apart as they progress is their ability to play with sensitivity as well as aggression, and being able to inject variation into their music. Pleasantly surprised at the moment.

They revert back to a more electronic/ambient sound on Simulacra. The organ gives it a sinister edge and the otherworldly electronic effects are well placed. The noise level builds in layers as more effects and vocals come into play, moving the song from being what could have been a lengthy interlude and turning into something more. There’s a real sense of purpose about Footprints In The Sand. Again it’s main verse is preceded by a lengthy instrumental build-up but when it gets going properly, it again highlights the band’s agility and brutality. It’s the standout track on the album for em due to it’s different movements and melody.

The second half of the album it stronger and more focused with Beyond being easily the heaviest piece so far. It’s tempo also raises up a few notches for good measure. Limbo follows and that title is quite apt, because it’s calming music and short playing time sort of leaves you in limbo following the intensity of Beyond. It does contain another solid piece of guitar virtuosity though. Limbo flows into the title-track perfectly and what follows is another barrage of kick-drumming and mind-bending riffs. There’s a lot to like on this record and despite my earlier uncertainty, this album is certainly growing on me. Closing track Awakening ends the album on the right note. Irreversible Mechanism have written an album that’s full of ideas, creativity and stellar musicianship. A lot of album of this ilk tend to sound too clinical in the production/mastering and while “Immersion” sounds clean and clear, it’s certainly not over-produced and It allows the band to give a great account of themselves.

You can stream "Immersion" via Blood Music's bandcamp page below:-

"Immersion" is available to buy digitally and on cd (a limited quantity is still available) from the bandcamp page above and vinyl copies can be purchased here -

Wednesday 19 September 2018

A-Tota-So - Self-Titled

Labels: Lonely Voyage Records/Buttonpusher/Circuit Sweet
Formats: VinylCD/Digital
Release Date: 17 Sep 2018


1. Black Market Broccoli
2. Tea Leaf
3. Double Deaf
4. Notionology
5. Acer
6. Long Run
7. Box-Elder
8. Future Finger
9. Clever Liver

Monday of this week brought us the debut album from East Midland math-rock band A-Tota-So. This release has been two years in the making yet even before it's release, the trio scored a slot at ArcTanGent and toured the UK with British instrumental trio Chiyoda Ku. The band got together when their other bands Alright The Captain and Cheap Jazz decided to take a break.

A-Tota-So’s math-rock is filled to the brim with instrumental loveliness straight from the moment you press play. The bizarrely titled opener Black Market Broccoli flits between calm mid-paced tempos and the odd noisy, layered passage that makes everything sound truly cinematic. While that first song was considerably upbeat, the feeling you get from Tea Leaf is a mixture of confusion and of being on-edge, due to it’s time-signatures that are all over the place and the dissonant riffs that explode at points throughout. It is a heavy number, that’s for sure. Double Deaf carries on in the same vein and the title is very apt as it’s loud with a really bass-heavy tone.

A-Tota-So mix grunge and post-rock elements into their music quite often and you can hear some of those elements on Notionology. The quieter moments are very introspective and there’s even room at for cracking guitar-work that sounds like it was taken from metal’s top drawer. As with the rest of the album, it’s all kept in check by the drumming, which presents the time-shifting heartbeat of the album. The way this album flows from one song to the next is impressive too and before you know it, the soothing tones of Acer are wringing out. 

I have to admit that sitting here with the wind gusting outside, listening to this album with a glass of red wine is making me feel a little smug. Not in a pretentious way though, but just because it’s a great way to unwind and the urgency of Long Run is more life-affirming than it is face-smashing. The trio ups the volume again on Box-Elder, which is remarkably powerful and shines a light on the incredibly recording/mixing/mastering that were done by Pete at NWFA Studios and Rich at Snug Recoding Co. respectively. 

Penultimate song Future Finger has been put here to hypnotise you with repeated riffs and movements. Closer Clever Liver catches the band’s experimental nature and deft musicianship one last time, just to ensure that their sound gets buried deep within your head. This is a great album and another reason why Britain continues to lead the way when it comes to experimental and instrumental math/post-rock.

You can stream A-Tota-So's debut album below:-

It's available to purchase now on vinyl, cd and digitally.

You can also purchase it from the below labels:-

Lonely Voyage Records -

Wednesday 12 September 2018

Cursive - Vitriola

Labels: Big Scary Monsters/15 Passenger
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 05 Oct 2018


1. Free To Be Or Not To Be You And Me
2. Pick Up The Pieces
3. It's Gonna Hurt
4. Under The Rainbow
5. Remorse
6. Ouroboros
7. Everending
8. Ghost Writer
9. Life Savings
10. Noble Soldier/Dystopian Lament

The final quarter of 2018 looks set to be just as exciting musically as the (soon to be) previous three and a new record from Omaha, Nebraska's Cursive is a pretty big deal. "Vitriola" is the band's eighth full-length, in a career spanning over two-decades and is their first in six years. It's due for release on October 5th via their own 15 Passenger label and via the UK's Big Scary Monsters. Cursive are heading out on a US tour in October & November following the release of "Vitriola" and already have a big tour booked along the West-side of the US for January & February of next year.

“Vitriola” is less an album of songs and more a drama set to music. Free To Be Or Not To Be You And Me is dark in everything from the lyrics to the melodies and the instrumentation. It sits somewhere between rock and punk, with old pop sensibilities and indie adding to the mystique. I hear some similarities to Nightmare Of You (Brandon Reilly of The Movielife’s other band) during Pick Up The Pieces, which is danceable but in a oddly menacing way. Twisted emotion and post-punk darkness exist during It’s Gonna Hurt, where Cursive look both inward and outward to describe the state of things at the present time. Obviously, it’s born out of the upheaval that’s plagued the US over the last couple of years and it focuses on a certain place and time, at least that’s how it seems anyway. 

Under Rainbow is littered with keyboards and cello that really brings it to life. Both instruments are present throughout the album but here they seem to bring the record out of the dark. I’m a sucker for well-written ballads featuring stirring piano and Remorse is definitely one of those. When the guitars and the strings kick in it’s filled with blurry eyed majesty that brings a whole new complexion to Cursive’s music. The band’s feelings are then distilled into six-minutes of noise-rock and electronica on Ouroboros. If you listen to the lyrics carefully it will no doubt make you raise a smile, especially if you’r of the cynical disposition. If Brand New wasn’t so fond of slow-mo on ‘Deja Entendu” then they probably would have sounded a bit more like Cursive do on Everending (I apologise for using that comparison, but it sort of makes sense to me). I’m basically trying to say that it’s a pretty uplifting song. 

Another thing that’s uplifting about the record is the melodies, especially those employed during it’s second half. The guitar melody that graces Ghost Writer proves that point and is only a small part of a song that grows in catchiness as it goes. They mourn the dissolving of happiness that’s brought on by money during Life Savings and the sentiment makes perfect sense given the narrative of the album. It ends with gloriously sampled noise. Cursive end with Noble Soldier/Dystopian Lament, which is like sinking into the warm arms of acceptance. Acceptance that while this world may be fucked, there’s not a lot you yourself can do apart from to try and be as good as you can to those few people that you call friends and loved ones. 

“Vitriola” may be so far removed from the usual harsh and heavy music that features on this small blog but it actually shares a lot more with that than you’d think. The imagery and unease that it creates is palpable while the musicality and production means it has wider appeal. Maybe not the sound of the end of the world then but the sound to end a year that’s been tough on a lot of people and in a lot of ways. Cursive once again tug at the heartstrings of even the coldest heart.

Stream Under The Rainbow and Life Savings via the 15 Passenger bandcamp page below, where "Vitriola" is available to pre-order on all formats:-

UK/Europe pre-orders can be placed via Big Scary Monsters here -

Tuesday 11 September 2018

Siorai Geimhreadh - Sitting Patiently

Labels: Box Emissions/Existentiell Records/SuperFi Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 06 Apr 2018

1. Sitting Patiently Pt.1
2. Sitting Patiently Pt.2

I've had to go a few days without writing about anything music-related and I've been getting a tad twitchy. It's not out of choice either. Thankfully, this two-track LP from Irish noise-rock trio Siorai Geimhreadh (pronounced "Sheery Geevra" or "Eternal Winter", if you prefer) landed in my inbox a little while ago and I've been a sucker for oddities of late. The band has been playing since 2005 and  have two demos and an EP to their name so far, beginning life as a black metal band. "Sitting Patiently" forms their first new music in about 6 years. 

Both songs on “Sitting Patiently” add up to over thirty-minutes and it’s thirty-minutes of insanity that is almost indescribable as first. Pt 1 instantly rattles you with a mix of what sounds like gargled-bass, improvised drumming and guitars, and vocals that bring to mind the likes of The Body and the most underground DSBM, which all continue throughout the song. I daren’t play this too loud either, as the vocal cries leap out of the recording. Musically, I guess you could call it anti-music to a certain extent as there seems to be no traditional structures present but then it is experimental in the truest sense of the word. 

If you weren’t sure what to expect with Pt.1, then Pt.2 is slightly easier to grasp and it's where Siorai Geimhreadh gets doomy. It’s still noisy, as the bass/guitar feedback buzzes away between riffs. More minimalistic in approach, the vocals this time round definitely represents the black metal of the band’s earlier years, while drone is also an overbearing addition to it all. You may find it a relief after the madness that came before and it’s here that you can really catch a glimpse of their potential to create truly uncomfortable heavy music. 

This is a record of two-sides and I’m not trying to state the obvious there. It’s certainly not for everyone but if you make it past Pt.1 and your still intact both physically and mentally then Pt.2 is worth the wait. Crazy noise-rock and furrow ploughing doom that works incredibly well. 

Stream and download "Sitting Patiently" below:-

Siorai Geimhreadh Metal Archives Page -

Vinyl copies are currently still available from SuperFi Records below:-

Existentiell Records -

Saturday 8 September 2018

KEN mode - Loved

Labels: Season Of Mist/New Damage Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 31 Aug 2018


1. Doesn't Feel Pain Like He Should
2. The Illusion Of Dignity
3. Feathers & Lips
4, Learning To Be Too Cold
5. Not Soulmates
6. Very Small Men
7. This Is A Love Test
8. Fractures In Adults
9. No Gentle Art

It's time for some Canadian craziness. "Loved" is the seventh (yes, seventh!) full length from Manitoba's KEN mode. Since their inception in 1999, they've won a JUNO award for 2011's "Venerable" and they've toured with some of metal, punk and hardcore's best bands. After the release of 2015's aptly titled "Success", they took a break and found the time to start businesses, release music with other projects and even learn martial arts! Now, with the support of Canadian label New Damage Records and Season Of Mist, the latter half of 2018 just got a lot darker.

KEN mode’s musical chops gather elements from the entire metal and punk gamut. There’s no sticking to simple formulas because its what people want! They open up with noise-rock that mixes in the hardcore of bands like Snapcase and Time In Malta on Doesn’t Feel Pain Like He Should. There’s definite sassiness going on here. There’s a presence about the trio that overwhelms on The Illusion Of Dignity, despite it’s slightly low-key and sludgy sound. The saxophone of Kathryn Kerr is great, adding a bit of thinking man’s jazz to proceedings. The demonstrable anger that’s present during Feathers & Lips shows that there’s plenty of metal flowing through KEN mode’s veins and that they like to keep you guessing as to their sonic direction. It’s just incredibly noisy and vicious all round.

Jesse’s vocals seem to take on a whole new level of crazy as he gets deeper into the album and the off-kilter goodness that is Learning To Be Too Cold suits them well. The metallic edge to Jesse’s guitar work and the drum & bass playing of Shane and Scott respectively nudge “Loved” in a yet more diverse and experimental direction. The stop/start attitude of grind is present on Not Soulmates, which sounds like a brief ode to a friendship that turned sour (maybe). Whatever, it’s great. KEN mode is back to their noisy-punkish best on Very Small Men, which manages to harness a sound that Canadian bands do best. It’s up-tempo exhilaration is tough to match and it doesn’t outstay it’s welcome. To-the-point song-writing and musicianship at it’s best.

Saxophone once again brings a chilled tone to This Is A Love Test and it’s very soothing, positioned as it is between the trio’s short bursts of noise. It feels more like a jazz club than a sweaty metal-filled basement when listening to it. There are more and more albums coming out now that can’t be fully enjoyed or understood in just one sitting and “Loved” is no exception. That said, penultimate song Fractures In Adults is a song that can be enjoyed by both camps, those with attention spans and though without. It’s just got that quality metal/hardcore structure that you just need sometimes. 

It all ends with the grunge-laden No Gentle Art. All eight-and-a-half-minutes of it. It’s slow tribal-like drumming, rumbling bass and quietly spoken vocals could have come from any nu-metal band that was popular back in that sub-genre’s heyday but thankfully the rest of the song doesn’t bare resemblance to any of that. It builds at a steady pace, before exploding at the mid-point into something that’s truly challenging sonically. I guess that’s exactly what KEN mode were going for with this album and it works, brilliantly. 

You can stream and purchase "Loved" digitally from KEN mode below:-

It's available on physical formats from the links below:-

Tuesday 4 September 2018

Yob - Our Raw Heart

Labels: Relapse Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 08 Jun 2018


1. Ablaze
2. The Screen
3. In Reverie
4. Lungs Reach
5. Beauty In Falling Leaves
6. Original Face
7. Our Raw Heart

Following my review yesterday I felt like the warm embrace of doom again and this release came to mind. It's the newest album from Eugene (Oregon, US) doom band Yob, which appeared earlier this year after a near four-year gap following their last full-length "Clearing The Path To Ascend". "Our Raw Heart" is the trio's eight album and marks their 22nd year as a band, which is one hell of a feat. They will be heading over two these shores in October in support of the record with Wiegedood, playing a select number of dates as they plough through Europe.

“Our Raw Heart” is an album that’s been built by the experiences that almost led to the band’s demise, amidst the illness that affected Mike Scheidt. Thankfully, as it displays, Yob are stronger than ever and are ready to tell their story through music. Opener Ablaze is filled with the kind of doom riffs (Mike) and bass-lines (Aaron Rieseberg) that helped to coin the genre’s name, while the percussion (Travis Foster) beats a tempo filled with raw passion. Mike’s vocals are a mix of cleanly sung crooning (if that’s the right word) and occasional bursts of harshness, all the white helping the music to feel truly heartfelt.  There’s a pulsating groove within The Screen. It’s hard to truly describe but it’s mesmerising and suits the song, which is filled with a darker and heavier atmosphere. It’s not as densely layered as the album’s opener and it sees Yob looking back towards their earlier sound somewhat.

The lowly bass build-up of In Reverie gives way to a crushing monster that makes you jump (at least it did with me) and from there on in it’s a whirlwind of slow doom with a laid-back stoner edge that turns into something truly evil. The thing is though, Yob doesn’t waste time being all showy. The constant repeating melodies and musical passages in the verses are fantastic and exactly what you need in an album like this. Ambience greets you on Lungs Reach. It offers an opportunity for peaceful reflection, though the feeling that it could all come crashing down at any moment is just around the corner. The mid-point passes before that feeling becomes reality and Yob once again drags you into the torturous shadows and into their psyches. 

Lungs Reach is a brief song given the lengths of the others present here and it leads nicely into Beauty In Falling Leaves, which itself characterises the gentle/harsh dynamics that have crept further into Yob’s sound on this record. As the lengthiest song on “Our Raw Heart”, yet it’s also the most melodic and while it would be unfair to describe it as “easy-listening”, it’s a really soothing piece. That soothing feeling was never going to last though and sure enough, Original Face destroys any zen-like calmness you might have been feeling thanks to the sound of heavy riffs and roared lyrics. The technicality and song-writing prowess isn’t to be missed though, as it gets the heart racing. Its fitting that the title-track rounds out this album. It draws a line underneath all of the pain that Yob has felt in recent times but also paints a positive and thankful picture too. The swirling instrumental layers that take over as the song reaches it’s end are magnificent and underline why this is such a great album.

You can stream "Our Raw Heart" in full below:-

It's available to purchase from their bandcamp page above on cd, vinyl and digitally, though tape copies have sold out.

Sunday 2 September 2018

Noise From The Northern Powerhouse #2: Kurokuma - Dope Rider

Labels: Doom Stew Records
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 50 Jul 2018


1. Dope Rider Pt. 1
2. Dope Rider Pt. 2

My review series featuring bands from the North of England kind of got off to a bit of a false start. It began last month with a review of the latest EP from Lancashire one-man black metal/noise project Grimmness and then faltered. The whole point of the series was to focus on bands from Yorkshire, Merseyside, Lancashire, Lincolnshire and the North East of England. For this review I'm featuring Sheffield doom trio Kurokuma and their recent concept EP "Dope Rider". It's based on the 1970's comic strip of the same name and sees the band re-working it into musical form with two tracks. It's been released digitally by the band and on cd/tape via Doom Stew Records, with a vinyl release due to follow later this month.

Kurokuma has always been a great band in a live setting, as I’ve been lucky enough to witness on a couple of occasions. Its great to hear some new music from them, especially after their last EP “Advorsus” and Dope Rider Pt. 1 fills the whole since that release perfectly. They’ve always been adept at mixing traditional doom with psychedelic influences and this is no different. It’s heavy in all areas, from the riffing to the drumming and the vocals. The international touring has certainly helped them to build their sound.

The bruising bass and guitar makes Doom Rider Pt. 2 sound even mightier. There’s still the trio’s signature groove amongst it all but there’s also a progression that shows their willingness to take things in a more extreme direction. That extreme direction is one that’s truly engrossing and enjoyable right from the off and it doesn’t abate. Kurokuma are working a full-length and if this EP is anything to go by, it’s going to be epic. 

With it’s licensed artwork from original strip creator Paul Kirchner, “Dope Rider” is a fully immersive experience, which will look all the better in it’s physical formats. Sonically it’s the best music Kurokuma has written to date. 

You can stream and purchase "Dope Rider" digitally, on cd and tape below:-

News on the vinyl release will be released via Kurokuma's Facebook page here -