Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Nuitville - When The Darkness Falls

Labels: Ashen Dominion
Formats; CD/Digital
Release Date: 10 June 2019


1. When The Darkness Falls
2. Cold Water
3. Recueillement (Amesoeurs Cover)

I'm not afraid to say that I enjoy Deafheaven and similar bands. Alcest too, although I appreciate that the two are considered poles apart by those who know their black metal better than I. Ukrainian blackgaze band Nuitville is one that I hope I can hold in as high regard and the solo-project's first release "When The Darkness Falls" is my introduction, having been released last month via compatriot label Ashen Dominion.

Choral and Stirring are not words used to describe black metal too often but Nuitville’s mix of BM and shoegaze is definitely considered so. Avant-garde but also heavy with plenty of melody and the sensitive use of harsh vocals on the opening title-track make it something very unique indeed. There are so many facets to this that it’s hard to describe in just one listen (I’m live-reviewing again).

Cold Water is more immediate in its delivery and also due to its shorter length, more urgent in the tempo department. That being said, it’s still really engrossing and enjoyable, especially when the clean singing takes hold. It’s hard to believe that this has been written and is being performed by one person. 

Lastly, Nuitville covers Recueillement by French black metal/post-punk band Amesoeurs and it’s a great fit for the band’s sound. The melodic riffs are more pronounced and the level of ambience is very uplifting. The air is hot and humid again tonight but this is perfect as it washes over with it’s cooling atmosphere and instrumentation. A short EP then but one that’s filled with great promise, both musically and stylistically. 

You can stream "When The Darkness Falls" and buy it on CD and digitally via Ashen Dominion below:-

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Scenes We Have Missed - State Of Dreaming

Labels: Self-Released
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 18 Apr 2019


1. Frames
2. L'appel Du Vide
3. Broken Shell
4. Pretend
5. Dead Men Walking
6. Modern Times

This is another first for me (I think), as melodic hardcore quintet Scenes We Have Missed is the first band I've featured from Turkey, that I can remember anyway. Vocalist Tan Basbakkal wrote to me a little while ago asking if I would spend some time listening to the band's latest release "State Of Dreaming" and of course, write about it. I'm feeling a lot more able to write on a regular basis now after a few weeks of flux, so this was the first thing I turned to. Scenes We Have Missed recently ventured out to Kharkiv (Ukraine) to play Kharkiv Hardcore Fest, which is awesome because music should cross boundaries and there should be no borders when it come to it.

Oh this is epic! Don’t let the gentle melodies fool you, Scenes We Have Missed performs really emotive and cinematic hardcore and opening song Frames is the best introduction to it. They’ve only been releasing music for eighteen months or so but everything about this seems to be really assured. L’appel Du Vide is mix of both Western music and Eastern influences/instrumentation. It’s wholly instrumental and it threatens to break into something heavy but teases you instead with semi-acoustic guitar and soothing soundscapes.

It seemed for a while that melodic hardcore was becoming a very staid sub-genre with a lot of bands sounding very much alike. Thankfully, it’s not the case here as there’s a genuine approach from SWHM to make their music unique and interesting, which is highlighted on Broken Shell. The recording/mixing/mastering is also really good, allowing for a fuller sounding release. Experimentation and progression are both key features of “State Of Dreaming” and the off-kilter vibes of Pretend wash over you effortlessly. Once again, its a big-sounding song with post-metal/post-hardcore textures. This must be mesmeric in a live setting.

I love getting lost in music and I’m well and truly lost in this. Penultimate song Dead Men Walking just flows brilliantly and while it’s tempo isn’t what you’d call fast, it doesn’t need to be to show it’s chops. There’s subtlety and maturity throughout and it flows straight into Modern Times, which is the record’s longest song. The lengthy instrumental build-up (that’s now customary with SWHM) is present and correct, as is the heartfelt vocal delivery. This is a really engaging release and one that deserves mush wider attention. Scenes We Have Missed proves why you should give a damn about new and independent bands/artists. Beautiful.

You can stream "State Of Dreaming" and download for a mere 1 Euro below:-

Scenes We Have Missed - https://www.facebook.com/sceneswehavemissed

Scenes We Have Missed CD's can be ordered via Mevzu Records (though they have sold out of "State Of Dreaming" CD's) - http://mevzurecords.com.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Lähdön Aika - Alku

Labels: Self-Released/Bunkkeri Records/Ramekuukkeli-Levyt
Format: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 17 May 2019


1. Huomisen Toivo
2. Matkalla
3. Kuka Sina Olet
4. Rauha
5. Pelko
6. Ainoa Tie

Goddamn! The last couple of weeks have been pretty frustrating as I've not been able to get into a proper writing flow. Changes will be made soon to allow me to focus on it more regularly, I promise. This review is one I've had in the works for a couple of weeks and features Finnish hardcore/doom/sludge/crust/all-the-genres band Lähdön Aika.The last review I wrote featuring this band was about their 2014 split with Frogskin, so it's been a little while. They self-released their latest record on CD and digitally, while Bunkkeri Records and Ramekuukkeli-Levyt released it on vinyl. Thanks go to Tuukka for sending me a CD copy.

It’s suddenly become hot as hell here and while I should be outside with a cold beer, I’m barricading myself inside as I finally have the chance to sit and listen to this beast. Lähdön Aika really hits the spot and the opening song on “Alku”, Huomisen Toivo rages with a mix of atmospheric crust, hardcore and supreme Scandinavian doom. The native lyrics and the barked vocals are set against spacey and bass-laden instrumentation that is off-kilter but also a lot of fun. Acoustic guitar opens Matkalla with a subtle poignancy before the tower of riffs kick in. The verses are stripped down with the vocals sounding more like a battle cry. That’s okay though as they work perfectly in a song that thrives on repeating passages and droning textures. 

These are most definitely tracks for music fans that don’t just get their satisfaction from instant gratification and Kuka Sina Olet is the second longest at just over eight-minutes. It’s hypnotising with a tempo that seems to get faster, though this may be an illusion to these ears. Either way, it’s heavy, claustrophobic and extremely rhythmic, though I wouldn’t suggest rocking any young child to sleep while listening to this! It’s in the instrumental passages that Lähdön Aika truly comes to life and Rauha is a great example of this. Again, it’s subtly stripped down yet it retains the band’s signature heaviness and poise. The recording/production/mastering also helps in that department as it allows the music to sound clear, while not losing it’s extreme impact. 

Pelko appears without so much as a breath and the layered doom that Lähdön Aika is so good at really sounds as if it’s been perfected here. They’ve really hit their stride on this one and while it’s not super abrasive or slow, it doesn’t matter one jot. Musically this is spot on. Album closer Ainoa Tie is positively short compared to those that came before it and it’s (relative) urgency is the perfect way to close out “Alku”. The metallic guitar work and prominent drumming is right up there, as it has been throughout while the vocals sound like a call-to-arms but not in a cliche way. This is a great record. The way that the extremity of it is tempered by the melodic layers and the consistent tempos make it a really enjoyable and engaging listen. Get at it!

Stream and buy "Alku" on all formats below:-

Vinyl copies can also be purchased via the labels below:-

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

YouTube Channel Update: Endform - Abattu (Full Album Stream)

I've very excited to be sharing the newest album from Canadian crust-punk band Endform. "Abattu" was release on March 1st and in now streaming in full via the YouTube channel. I'll have a review of this coming soon but for now you can listen to it there. Links to Endform's Bandcamp and Facebook pages are in the description so if you enjoy, please go and support them in any way you can.

The video is here - https://youtu.be/w0lfYe_vH-s.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

F.Emasculata - Take Me Home EP + Discography

Labels: Rip Roaring Shitstorm Records/Pumpkin Records/Autonomonster Records/Charlie's Big Ray Gun Records/Hell Hath No Fury Records/Back From The Dead Records
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 09 Feb 2019


1. Roadrunners
2. What's In The Jar
3. Field Trip
4. Season 10
5. The Great Mutato
6. Nisei
7. I'm A Medical Doctor
8. Little Green Men
9. Fire
10. E.B.E
11. Tooms
12. What Do You Want From Me
13. What Do You Believe
14. Black Oil
15. S.T
16. Erlemeyer Flask
17. F.Emasculata
18. Samantha
19. Pinck Parcel
20. Copy Song
21. Season 9
22. Nobody
23. Z - 15
24. Shane
25. X Files

Friday nights are made for old boxsets of cult TV shows. None more cult than the X-Files. This release from the best X-Files themed hardcore punk band in the UK, F.Emasculata, is the aural equivalent of said box set as it comprises their new EP alongside remixed an remastered versions of their first two EPs "The Truth" and "IAXFE". This CD was released by a heap of DIY and not-for-profit labels. 

The first six tracks on “Take Me Home” make up the new EP of the same name. After the humorous Mulder/Scully exchange at the start, EP opener Roadrunners is fast and angry with gang vocals and raucous hardcore punk instrumentation. That’s very much the modus operandi of F.Emasculata. Their music is fast and heavy and What’s In The Jar flies by too quickly, though their changing tempos make it worth it as they flit from fast to slow to fast. Field Trip is just a straight up hardcore punk song that’ll beat you around the head. The spoken word vocals of Season 10 are great and lead you into a song that’s more like a bar-fight anthem than anything you’ve heard. It probably wasn’t meant to be that way but it’s great all the same. The Great Mutato is the lead single on this EP and as hardcore songs go this is like AFI on steroids. EP closer Nisei is both off-kilter and caustic, which is the best combination and one that works so well.

Next up are the remixed and remastered songs from the 2015 EP “IAXFE”. This whole EP is fast with a powerviolence-like influence and an undisputed punk bounce. I’m A Medical Doctor and Little Green Men exhibit this perfectly. Fire is less than sixty-seconds long but musically it’s fuller than the length suggests, while E.B.E could be considered one of their sludgiest. Tooms has a post-punk vibe to it with the verses being punctuated by mid-paced heaviness. There’s a point in every record where songs go by in a blur and that point is reached when you get to What Do You Want From Me, but only because it’s over in the blink of an eye, just like What Do You Believe, which is rammed full of snotty punk attitude. It’s fucking great! The angular riffs are a welcome addition on Black Oil. There’s progression in them there strings. Penultimate song S.T is one of the catchiest I’ve heard by F.Emasculata while Erlenmeyer Flask just goes hard, but not in a tough-guy way. 

They finish up with their 2013 debut EP “The Truth” and this set of tracks is by far the fastest. The song that bares their name begins in sludgy fashion but gets quicker and quicker, with loads of raw punk in their for good measure. That punk flows into Samantha, which is just angry. Pinck Parcel and Copy Song are dirty and grimy in a good way, with F.Emasculata’s rawness coming through for all the right reasons. Season 9, much like Season 10 on “Take Me Home” is over too quickly. The UK sound that’s on show throughout this whole release is great because it would have been easy for F.Emasculata to resort to a more American sound. Nobody and Z - 15 are prime examples of the snotty UK sound that courses through whole swathes on British punk. Its kind of an obvious statement to make I know, but there’s certainly no copyist crap going on here. F.Emasculata chose an original theme and ran with it. Closing songs Shane and then X Files need no explaining and with that it’s all over.

It’s hard to talk about a record that contains this many songs (I’ve tried here and probably failed), so don’t try and dissect it. Press play, crack open a beer (or whatever) and jam it loud. F.Emasculata’s punk is both vibrant and raucous, as it should be.

Stream and download "Take Me Home" below:-

According to the bandcamp page there is one CD copy left, so you know what to do.

If bandcamp is wrong, you can still buy copies from the below labels:-

Rip Roaring Shit Storm Records - https://riproaringshitstormrecords.bigcartel.com
Back From The Dead Records - http://backfromthedead.co.uk

Charlie's Big Ray Gun Records - https://www.facebook.com/CBRGrecords/
Back From The Dead Records - https://www.facebook.com/backfromthedeadrecs/

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Sanity Control - Demo 2019

Labels: Self Released/Seeing Red Records
Formats: Tape/Digital
Release Date: 04 Feb 2019/21 June 2019


1. Hunt
2. Swarm

Polish thrash metal, but not as you know it! Sanity Control is a pretty new band from Warsaw and this is their first demo. They self-released it back in February but it's recently been picked up by US label Seeing Red Records, who've released it on tape. The demo features two fast as hell songs that are influenced by crossover and hardcore as well as thrash. 

It feels like an age since my last review but it’s good to get back to what makes this blog tick. Sanity Control got me excited as soon as I saw the cover for their 2019 demo and the music doesn’t disappoint either. Hunt sounds like a super pissed off and heavy take on Slayer when they were fresh. There’s a definite “Araya” rasp going on and the instrumentation is super solid all the way through. There are element of hardcore within the music but overall it’s just neck-snappingly good thrash.

Like the demo opener, second song Swarm doesn’t hang around as Sanity Control fill it with blinding riffs and authoritative drumming that almost swallows up those rasping shouts. There are metallic touches to their sound in places and they're a welcome nod to metallic metalcore before it morphed into over-produced Americanized ‘core. 

This demo is great but it’s too short in my opinion, though at least it’ll have you wanting more. Sanity Control rules and shows that Poland can do more than just death metal. Keep on going guys as heavy music needs more bands like you.

You can stream "Demo 2019" and grab it as a name-your-price download via their bandcamp page below:-

Tape copies can be purchased from Seeing Red Records here - https://seeingredrecords.bandcamp.com/album/sanity-control-demo-2019