Wednesday 31 July 2019

Interview: Jurgen van den Brand (Roadburn Records)

I little while ago, I contacted Roadburn Records on the Netherlands, to ask them about the label, Roadburn and the releases that have seen the light of day due to the festival, and those that will see the light of day soon. Label owner and Roadburn Festival co-organiser Jurgen van den Brand was kind enough to take some time out of his day to answer my questions. Read on...

TNIO: Can you provide a brief history into the formation of Roadburn Records?

Jurgen: Roadburn Records started in 2008 as an outlet for me to release music I liked. I was organising Roadburn Festival with Walter and had all those contacts and all that music that came in. At the time it was mainly studio albums like White Darkness (Jason from Celestial Season/Bong-Ra) and The Angelic Process. I also set up the recording of all Roadburn sets around the same time, first only for streaming purposes. But then I heard the Wolves In The Throne Room recordings from 2008 and I thought: we have to do something with these as they add to the studio recordings. So I did and a lot of titles like Voivod, Ulver. Bong, Bongripper, Chelsea Wolfe and more followed. I started the label at home but my girlfriend told me to get all that shit out of the house when it got too big ;-). Now I share an office with Southern Lord Europe in Amsterdam which is working out pretty well.

How do you decide on the artist performances that are released? Is it driven by the band or artist themselves and how much input do you have as a label?

Normally all gigs are recorded so in theory all can be used. Of course with big bands like Opeth or Electric Wizard you know you are never gonna get permission but all the rest is indeed a combination of gigs I was blown away by or people whose judgement I trust really liked. I can’t see all the gigs at Roadburn but I try to at least see one in full every day. And yes sometimes bands mail me as well. Fu Manchu for instance asked if we had the 2003 set available and luckily we had so I could release it on vinyl and they will do it on their own label later on.

Of all of the “Live At Roadburn” releases you’ve worked on, which one would you say is your favourite and why?

That is a difficult question as as you know Roadburn music is pretty versatile. We started out as a pretty straight forward stoner/doom/psychedelic festival but it developed into a festival for all kinds of interesting and intense music. So some days I’m in the mood for the full brutal onslaught that is Nihill or Mizmor, other days I like to put on Yob or Elder. It depends, like with everybody I guess. 

What have been your favourite live performances at Roadburn?

Swans in 2011 was definitely a special one for me as both Michael Gira’s career and our development of the festival kind of came together. We started to do more experimental stuff and Swans got such a drive in their music it was a perfect combination. Certainly because Swans has been my favourite band since the 80s. Gira liked it as well as he came back again as a visitor later. 

Can you provide any teasers for future “Live At Roadburn” releases?

Well Hell is coming out this October, I just put a track from that performance on Bandcamp ( And also the Oranssi Pazuzu 2017 set on the main stage is about to go to the plant. That was a gig I really really liked. There’s also some stuff planned for the next 6 months that I am really happy about, more news on that later.

I can’t think of any other label that release records so closely linked to a festival like this. Roadburn as a festival is carving a big legacy amongst both the heavy music and artistic scenes. How proud are you to be part of that legacy?

Not on this scale no. Or some releases from big festivals that artists do themselves. As far as being proud, yes I am proud of getting good music to the people. If it’s by organising a festival or releasing records on my label, it’s really the same thing. It started out as a way to get the music out that Walter and me liked. The label for me is a continuation of that. 

You can stream Helmzmen from the new Hell: Live At Roadburn 2018 record, which is currently up for pre-order, via bandcamp below:-

You can buy physical copies via bandcamp above and also from Burning World Records here - 

Tuesday 30 July 2019

False - Portent

Labels: Gilead Media
Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital
Release Date: 12 Jul 2019


1. A Victual For Our Dead Selves
2. Rime On The Song Of Returning
3. The Serpent Sting, The Smell Of Goat
4. Postlude

Minneapolis (Minnesota, USA) black metal band False recently released their newest opus, following the "Hunger" EP from 2017 (and the "Neither Path Nor Gate" Decibel Flexi from May of this year). This time, they've chosen four songs spanning over forty-minutes and in turn have elected to truly take the listener on a journey of intensity and intrigue. "Portent" was released earlier this month via Gilead Media on vinyl, on cd and also digitally.

False’s black metal has become a thing of melodic majesty of late. Not melodic in a watered down way, but an engaging one. Album opener A Victual For Our Dead Selves is a case in point, as following those initial bars the music contained within is symphonic thanks to the guitar work and the keys, as it backs up the possessed vocals. It’s frenetic as well, with a tempo that allows the band to put a huge amount of music into not a lot of time (in the grand scheme of things anyway). That journey I was talking about above begins here and False drags you in deep. 

The tempo and the textured black metal doesn’t let up on Rime On The Song Of Returning. It’s as if it’s a mere movement as opposed to an actual song. This time though, False injects it with some pace changes that draw it into mid-paced territory at times. The synths/keys do a great job of harnessing the more sensitive side of the band, though they’re probably not there for that reason alone. The mix of extremity and warmth works so well. 

The third full song on “Portent”, The Serpent Sting, The Smell Of Goat, takes the form of incredibly atmospheric blackened doom filled with whale-song like guitar riffs and percussion that relies less on complete battery and instead on restrained backdrops to what is quite orchestral and ambient. As pretentious as my description may seem, there are so many facets to False’s sound that it could be painted in many ways. This is after all the longest number on “Portent” and also the most entrancing. 

It’s fitting that it’s now raining heavily outside, as the sound of it makes for a perfect bedfellow to the music contained here. Album closer Postlude and its dramatic piano drowns out Mother Nature for the briefest of moments as it lets just enough light into the room and into your heart. “Portent” is a subtle album that’s pulled forwards by it’s ever evolving song-writing. False is most definitely not false. 

You can stream "Portent" and order it on both physical formats below:-

Saturday 27 July 2019

Sutekh Hexen/夢遊病者 (Sleepwalker) - Split 7"

Labels: Sentient Ruin Laboratories
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 17 May 2019


1. Sutekh Hexen - ནག་པ་
2. 夢遊病者 (Sleepwalker) - 37.8227537-122.2505281

Today's been a gloomy and wet muggy day, so the perfect backdrop for this uncomfortable new split release from Californian black metal/noise duo Sutekh Hexen and their Japanese experimental brethren Sleepwalker. It features one song from each band and was release in May via Sentient Ruin Laboratories, housed it what is one of the nicest looking sleeves of any release all year. Limited to just 250 vinyl copies.

Sutekh Hexen’s ནག་པ་ is a piece truly befitting the band’s mystique. Their droning, industrially harsh black metal crawls through just over six minutes of playing time and in doing so, renders you incapable. A bit like sleep paralysis, it creeps up on you with feedback-laden guitar and ambience, while the screams that rest in the background are ghostly and distant but nonetheless torturous. Just like their previous split with Hissing, they explore the far reaches of the psyche where only darkness exists. The only small specks of light coming from the subtle melody that tries to escape.

夢遊病者 (Sleepwalker) contribute  37.8227537-122.2505281, which could be longitude/latitude coordinates (maybe). The song is an experimental one as alluded to in the opening paragraph of this review when describing the band. It’s roots are in black metal but you’re greeted with traditional instruments, jazz and twin-guitar riffs that morph into walls of sound at times. It all fits as one yet everything seems totally independent and 夢遊病者 seem to be on another plain entirely. 

This split is very for those who happily explorer the outer reaches of extreme music. Not quite deconstructed enough to be called anti-music, it’s left to the listener to truly interpret it. Boundaries are there to be pushed and this split does that and does it with grace and poise. 

You can stream and purchase the 7" both in physical and digital formats via Sentient Ruin Laboratories below:-

夢遊病者 (Sleepwalker) -
Sentient Ruin Laboratories -

Erai - Before We Were Wise And Unhappy

Labels: Lifeisafunnything/Flamingo Noise
Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 01 Aug 2019


1. A Letter
2. On A Wing
3. Sky Never Learned To Drive
4. The Red Door
5. Lights Out (Curtain Close)
6. Before We Were Wise And Unhappy

So pre-orders for the new record from Berlin's nicest emo band Erai are now live. It's been a long wait by the band's own admission but that should only help to stoke the anticipation. I was lucky enough to help them with a bit of promotion for the record in June, by streaming Lights Out (Curtain Close) via my YouTube channel. I now get to review it too, which is exciting. "Before We Were Wise And Unhappy" will be released on vinyl and tape (as well as digitally) with help from Lifeisafunnything and Flamingo Noise.

Constant shifts in the emo/post-hardcore movement in recent years have dragged the sound quite a distance away from where it once was. Away from that of the bands that forged it and nurtured it in the late-90s/early-00s. Erai seemingly wants to take it back to that time and “Before We Were Wise And Unhappy” is a statement to that effect. Not wanting to build it up too much, opening song A Letter is the perfect mix of melodic guitars, cinematic rhythm sections and screaming vocals that fill the room with true emotion. From there, On A Wing sits in a place somewhere between the grunge-like, dreamy emo of bands like Playlounge and Headroom, and the post-hardcore brilliance of bands like Time In Malta and Recover. It’s that mix of calming clean singing and occasional explosions of dissonance and screams.

I know I’ve named a few bands in comparison already but another one springs to mind when listening to Sky Never Learned To Drive and that band is fellow Germans Duct Hearts. Erai very much fills the void that exists while we await new music from DH. Needless to say, this lengthier song twists and turns between different tempos, moods and volumes to create something that washes over you and envelopes you in the same way that a loved-one does, keeping you warm and safe. It’s glorious. Erai’s urgent side is on show during The Red Door and much like album opener A Letter, there’s nostalgia and genuine musical craft flowing through it. There are so many so-called “modern melodic hardcore” bands that try to sound like this but don’t even come close.

Lights Out (Curtain Close) follows in the same grand vein. The layers woven by each instrument and by the multiple vocal melodies that back up the lead vocals transfix and grow with every bar and passage. Six songs isn’t enough in my humble opinion but then again it’s better to keep your audience wanting more and “Before We Were Wise And Unhappy” will certainly do that. The closing title-track starts off as a gentle, melodic piece before Erai launches into something altogether heavier. The vocals sit deep within the mix and the atmosphere is more like that of a black metal song. It’s fascinating in its own right. It may not be what you were expecting from the band at this point but it just goes to show the breadth of influences and song-writing that they call their own. 

There’s an obvious progression from their first self-titled album and Erai is one band whose sound, while not truly easily categorised, is more than just an example of the style of emo/post-hardcore. “Before We Were Wise And Unhappy” is excellent and more people should know about Erai.

You can purchase "Before We Were Wise And Unhappy" digitally and pre-order it on both vinyl and tapes (courtesy of Flamingo Noise Records below:-

Pre-orders for the LP are also available from the labels below:-

Monday 22 July 2019

Albatros - Futile Review + Youtube Album Stream

Labels: Le Mort Records/Dingleberry Records/Zilpzalp Records/Les Disques Rabat-Joie/No Funeral Records
Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 20 June 2019


1. Keasbey Nights III
2. King Kong and the Pogo Loco
3. Dusted with the Musket
4. Towering Terreur
5. Albo-Club 5 (Aller du Dépanneur)
6. Albo-Club 3 (Ditch the Snitch)
7. Y'a Faite Crotteau
8. (C'est qui ca?) Studge
9. Invincible 'till Death

10. La Crepine

Ever since I reviewed Albatros's split tape with TDOAFS, I've not been able to get enough of their unique brand of punk/hardcore. I think it was the brass that did it but these French Canadians really seemed to be doing something different and fun with their music and when I learnt about their latest album "Futile", I knew it'd be good. I've listened to it more than a few times since it's release in late June and have finally got around to writing about. It was released on vinyl and tape (via the labels listed above) and also digitally by the band themselves.

There’s something about the violent opening bars of Keasbey Nights III. The mix of blistering hardcore/off-kilter punk and the soothing nature of the brass makes it so addictive. It’s not cheesy like (some) ska, which helps. Not all songs on “Futile” are that heavy though and the amusingly titled King Kong and the Pogo Loco begins with completely the opposite vibe, before being thrust back into the hardcore fire. You get a sense of Mardi Gras during Dusted With The Musket, which is filled with chaotic urgency and catchy melody once again due to the brass that’s given space to breath on the recording. The recording actually captures the organic nature of Albatros really well and “Futile” is much more honest because of it. Towering Terreur is a heady mix of crazed punk with the odd rock element thrown in thanks to the riffs in part. 

There’s no time for hanging about on “Futile” either as Albatros leave only breaths between songs and those breaths are taken away with Albo-Club 5 (Aller Au Depanneur), which contains some of the fastest and noisiest drumming on the entire record. You’re smacked full-on in the chops by the throaty screams on Albo-Club 3 (Ditch The Snitch). In between the ferocity though, they do see fit to add in some really nice instrumental passages that break things up and make it even more listenable. As they progress through the record, they allow their songs to become lengthier. Y’a Faite Crotteau is by no means mid-paced but it’s got heaps of atmosphere, changing time-signatures and textures that will take you days or weeks to get your head round. (Ces’t Qui Ca?) Studge pretty much sums up why I like this band so much. Just listen to that intro section and you’ll understand why! The rest of song ain’t bad either!

The closing duo come around far too quickly and penultimate song Invincible ‘Till Death has an incredibly raw feel to it at times. That’s not doing it a disservice though as there’s still so many nuances to get stuck into. Rhythmically, they don’t stay in one place for long but it’s worth it. The longest number is left till last and Le Crepine is that crazy mix of grinding and intense hardcore mixed with unnerving metallic flourishes and the odd breakdown, that’s more emo than angry. Everything comes together in an obvious way and when they quieten down only to build up again after the two-minute mark, the peak Is reached and while it doesn’t fully spill over, things get very close. Abruptly, you’re left with silence but also the sense that you’ve listened to something that will stay with you forever.

Trying to describe music can never come close to actually becoming immersed in it. Do yourselves a favour and immerse yourselves in “Futile”.

You can stream and purchase "Futile" on vinyl and digitally below:-

You can also buy physical copies from the labels below:-

Also, if that wasn't enough I've been given very special permission by the band to stream the entire album via my YouTube channel. Please give it listen here as well -

Saturday 20 July 2019

Interview with Dom Smith (The Parasitic Twins) + Parasitic Rejects Split Review

(Photo Credit: The Parasitic Twins Facebook Page)

I recently interviewed Dom Smith (Drummer of Hull duo The Parasitic Twins) about the band, his work within the music scene that helps raise awareness for disabled bands members and fans and also about the bands they've played with and admire in the UK's alternative music scene as a while. Check it out below:-

1. You describe yourselves as “the fastest doom metal and/or the slowest grindcore band on the planet”. Do you prefer doom or grindcore and what made you both decide to go down the heavy path?

Dom Smith (Drums) - Man, that’s all Max (Watt, vocals and guitar). He’s a huge fan of metal and hardcore punk, so that’s where the heaviness comes from – his riffs and vocals are insane. The doom thing just comes from my style of playing, I think  - whatever that means! Ha!

The grind thing? I dunno. I like that we are part of that scene though, there are some insane bands about! I like grunge and alternative rock, so it’s always an adventure for me! I’ve found some lifelong friends playing in this type of band though! I’m all about the doom though!

2. You’ve announced that you’re going to be playing Taiwan Death Fest in October. How did that come about and is it your first trip to Asia as a band

DS - It is our first trip, yeah! So, our mates in CxDx applied to play and got on first because they are just mint, Death Fest were looking for more bands, and so we applied and got on, and so did Boycott, so it’s nice because it’s like a mini-tour and we can all hang out again, which we’re proper excited about. I mean, it’s just a holiday for the big lads! We’re looking forward to meeting some cool people, and seeing some ace bands. One thing’s for sure, guys…it’s gonna be MASSIVE.  

3. Are you playing any other shows while you’re out there?

DS - We do Thailand the night before! How freaking cool is that?

4. You’ve recently released a split with The Carnival Rejects. How did you first meet them and what has the reaction to the split been like so far?

DS - Max is in a punk band with James Briggs (the vocalist and guitarist for Rejects) called Rotting Monarchs, and I am also in a drone band with James Briggs called The Trembling Hellish Infernal Nightmare Generator (The THING), so there’s that! But no, we met those guys years ago in our old band, Seep Away. We did our first tour as The Parasitic Twins with them too. They are very sound as people, and I think people are digging the split. Obviously it’s two very different bands, but I like that! It’s…challenging for the listener! Ha! We’re currently planning a little tour to promote it in November, so watch this space!

5. You’ve started an initiative called “Wobbling About & Rocking Out” to help music fans who suffer with disabilities. Can you explain more about this?

DS - The idea behind Wobbling About & Rocking Out, or WARO for short, was formed when I was working at MIT in Boston, Massachusetts as a Storyteller/Journalist in Residence. These young people, the students there were, and still are developing the next generation of robotic limbs and world-beating stuff like that. Anyway, they have a really strong entrepreneurial mindset over there and it’s incredibly intense, but inspiring to be around. So, it got me thinking, is there more I can do in my time?

Most of my projects are about supporting young people, fundamentally - I currently work with Hull youth-led organisation, The Warren Youth Project, for example. Anyhow, when I got back to the UK, I noticed there was a huge gap in the market surrounding mental health and disability awareness in the Yorkshire area. I definitely wanted to do more around these two aspects. This was all inspired by my work on Soundsphere magazine, in that it was an opportunity to tell people's stories, only this time I'd be speaking to individuals that have overcome intense challenges, not just rockstars, and people in bands.

6. From your experience, what else needs to be done by venues and festivals in order to cater for disabled fans?

DS - I think that fundamentally it comes down to people communicating, you know? I think that there are initiatives now like Attitude is Everything doing fantastic work around changing perceptions as well.

For me though, the bigger venues like the O2 Academies now need lifts for access, as well as disabled toilets, and I personally have always had positive experiences with staff who have been more than willing to help me when accessing those. That said, I have heard a few horror stories, and I always say, no matter the size of the venue if managers and staff are not prepared to help, then they should absolutely be called out for that. 

One thing to remember though, as a fan is to pre-warn the venue, or festival when you book your tickets so that you can get an accessible seat, or a spot on the viewing platform. Like I say, in my experience, as someone that sometimes forgets when I go to shows as a fan, most venues will help and support, and find you a chair or space if they can, but like anything it's better to be safe than sorry! I do think more needs to be done to support the deaf community, but I've seen at some gigs, interpreters are now side-stage, which I think is really cool. There's an awesome emerging initiative called Elephant In The Room in Hull that WARO are going to be doing more work with to raise awareness in that regard.

With DIY punk venues like the ones my band(s) perform in, it's gotta be about conversation and educating. For me, in these smaller venues I don't mind climbing on stage and dodging wires! Unfortunately not everyone has that luxury, and or ability! For those venues, I would say that music fans, and bands need to be speaking to the venues as early as possible when booking a tour, or show and building that rapport - mentioning to the venue that you have these needs a band coming to play, or a fan coming to watch, so that the venue can then prepare to give you the best experience that it can. 

You might say that venues and/or festivals should already have that awareness as we are in 2019, but as far as I'm concerned, unless you (as a manager or gig promoter) have someone in your family, a friend or a partner who has a disability, then how are you going to understand what it's like? It is then, up to the people with the disabilities, wherever possible to start a conversation and educate these spaces on what needs to be done, to help future performers, and fans - whether that's a digital, or physical conversation is down to preference. Equally, I would encourage venues wherever possible to approach people with disabilities at shows to see if they might need support, but this does happen a lot of the time, in my experience. 

7. As a very active band on the domestic underground live circuit right now, what other bands have stood out for you?

DS - Oh, man. There’s so many bands that we’ve met through our time in Seep Away and TPT across not only doom, grind and punk but metal and indie too. So, let me think about some we’ve played with, and some we just really dig: Fenland Hardcore’s Throatpunch, as well as Pak40, NEWMEDS, Saltwater Injection, Bone Cult, Henrietta Lacks, Sellsword, NOUR, STILL, Mastiff, Three Day Millionaires, Battalions, Snakerattlers, Manscreams, Fidget, Negative Thought Process and Morass Of Molasses, alongside our families in Victim Unit, Boycott The Baptist and Clunge Destroyer that have helped and welcomed us into this scene.

Worth a mention are some cool indie and proper alternative bands too though - we’re friends with bands like Bull who are turning heads in York and all over, Witch of The East in Leeds, LIFE and Low Hummer in Hull, as well as Birthmarks, Pretty Addicted and Ventenner in London. There are a few for you to be on with, anyway!

Labels: Man Demolish Records
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 29 May 2019


1. The Carnival Rejects - Disengage
2. The Carnival Rejects - Seize Control
3. The Carnival Rejects - To The Bone
4. The Parasitic Twins - Autopsy
5. The Parasitic Twins - Feel Nothing
6. The Parasitic Twins - Spaceman (Babylon Zoo Cover)

With both The Parasitic Twins and The Carnival Rejects having such a close friendship as mentioned above in Dom's interview, a split release makes complete sense. It's also the first release to come from new Hull based label Man Demolish Records. It was released digitally in May.

Three quick-fire songs from both bands and The Carnival Rejects are up first with Disengage, which is a fast paced and melodic punk song in the vein of old-school bands like Bad Religion and Pennywise. I wasn’t expecting that! Seize Control flies by with awesome drumming that’s not complicated and riffs that borrow from rock/stoner as much as they do from punk. Final song To The Bone is a noisy affair with feedback and a definite heavy metal vibe, along with harsh vocals. Powerful and fun in equal measure. There’s a lot more to The Carnival Rejects than is apparent on first listen, so give yourself enough time to truly enjoy them.

The Parasitic Twins take the music down a doomier path with Autopsy. Dual-screamed vocals, scathing riffs and full-power percussion are all present and the mix of fast and slow tempos show you exactly where they’re coming from. The mood is equally as foreboding on Feel Nothing, as the filthy undertones of sludge break through the recording and fill the room with rumbling feedback. As duo’s go, The Parasitic Twins are amongst the heaviest you’ll hear. The song ends abruptly and leads straight into what could be described as “the most random cover of 2019”. A dubious title but The Parasitic Twins cover of Spaceman by Babylon Zoo is so far removed from the original that it’s almost unrecognisable yet it works perfectly with their sound. 

This is definitely a split of two halves but both work really well together. More reasons why the UK’s underground, independent alternative music scene is so goo. Out digitally at the moment, hopefully if enough of you check it out it’ll get a physical release. 

You can stream "Parasitic Rejects" and grab it digitally via Man Demolish Records below:-

You can also find out more about Dom's initiative Wobbling About & Rocking Out (WARO) and interact with him here -

Thanks Dom for your time too.

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 -

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

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:-