Tuesday 30 March 2021

Slimelord - The Delta Death Sirens

Labels: Self-Released/Seed Of Doom/Sewer Rot/Dry Cough Records

Formats: CDrTape/Digital/Vinyl

Release Date: 13 Sep 2019


1. Insectoid - The Summoning

2. Demon's Blood/Horrible Bog

3. Amphibia

4. The Delta Death Sirens

I've seriously gotta get my groove back! It didn't help that my laptop decided to take a dump yesterday evening when I was originally trying to write this up. Anyway, I've only recently learned about Leeds, UK death/doom band Slimelord (having pre-ordered this through Dry Cough Records, who're releasing it on vinyl for the first time very soon). It was originally self-released on cdr by the band in mid-September 2019 before being put onto tape by Dutch label Seed Of Doom a month later and then by US label Sewer Rot Records a year later (Caveat: the above release information was taken from Discogs, so may not be fully accurate). From somebody who normally waits for pre-orders to arrive before listening to the contents, I'm hoping this will re-energise me.

The Delta Death Sirens contains four tracks, with opener ‘Insectoid - The Summoning’  being a very ethereal intro filled with strange melody and vibrant keys/guitar that creates a cosmic atmosphere. When you think of cosmic death metal you might think of US stalwarts Blood Incantation or Slimelord’s local neighbours Cryptic Shift, but when ‘Demon’s Blood/Horrible Bog’ begins, neither of those aforementioned bands could be used as direct comparisons. Slimelord’s death/doom is more like Meth Drinker crossed with Incantation. When they’re slow, they’re really slow and when they turn the wick up, there’s ample room for head-banging. So disgustingly good!

Slimelord have such an incredible knack for getting the right melodic tones to suit their music. This is only their debut release but it already sounds really assured. ‘Amphibia’ is a mix of sewer-drenched rasping vocals and instrumentation that’s equally as nightmarish, while being immersive in all manner of ways. It’s left to closing title track ‘The Delta Death Sirens’ to inject a final blast of feedback-laden death/doom into your ears and it does that perfectly. Heck, you can even hear the majesty of the bass that underpins the album in full flow alongside the furious percussion, cleverly placed guitar harmonies and subtle growls. 

This is a release that will definitely demand repeat listens and a yearning for more music from Slimelord. I’m pretty much sold on anything that Dry Cough puts out, so can’t wait to have this blasting out of my hi-fi. It’s also another reason to keep you eyes and ears fixed on the fertile extreme music community that exists in Leeds.

You can stream the full record below:-

Slimelord - https://www.facebook.com/horriblebog

Tape copies are sold out via Seed Of Doom and Sewer Rot but you can still pre-order the vinyl record from Dry Cough Records here - https://www.drycoughrecords.com/products.

Seed Of Doom - https://www.facebook.com/SeedOfDoom

Sewer Rot Records - https://www.facebook.com/sewerrotrecords

Dry Cough Records - https://www.facebook.com/DryCoughRecords

Friday 26 March 2021

Satanize - Baphomet Altar Worship

Labels: Helter Skelter Productions/Regain Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 20 Jan 2021


1. Baphomet Altar Worship

2. Council Of Nuclear Holocaust

3. Conjuration Of Southern Elitism

4. Chariots Of Nocturnal Wrath

5. Shrine Of Antichrist

6. Merciless Profanation

7. Barbarity Enthroned

8. Luciferian Thrones Of Devastation

9. Cavernous Onslaught

They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder. Well to me it's silence that does that. I'm poking fun at myself here, because after a few days of "silence" I feel compelled to write again and this time I'm visiting the dark satanic realm of Portuguese black metal band Satanize. The band, in it's various forms, has been delivering black metal since 2001 and has been one of a clutch of bands to have dragged Portugal up to the higher peaks of modern day genre proponents, alongside Black Cilice, Dolentia, Vetala and Mons Veneris to name a few. Baphomet Altar Worship is the band's latest offering, having been released in January via Helter Skelter Productions with distribution via Regain Records.

To be totally honest, I’ve sat down on more than one occasion this week with the intention of writing this review and then I’ve been hit with writer’s block. It happens, especially when I’ve been trying to push myself to write more. I’m surrounded by music when I’m not working, yet I’ve found myself preferring silence recently. Portugal’s Satanize are my chaperones for this evening though and their black metal is billed as the blackest, in some quarters. 

Beginning with the title-track ‘Baphomet Altar Worship’, their sound is definitely raw and barbaric, with faster tempos, scathing vocals and instrumentation that nestles deeper in the mix, providing a sinister backdrop to it all. This isn’t war metal or whatever you want to call it. It’s just balls-to-the-wall black metal that takes no prisoners. ‘Council Of Nuclear Holocaust’ continues where the album’s opener left off with a constant battery of epic proportions. I’ve not witnessed black metal this relentless for years. It’s almost grinding in it’s intensity.

The pauses between songs almost seem pointless as ‘Conjuration Of Southern Elitism’ hits the speakers. I guess I’m used to black metal being a bit more atmospheric and introspective. Maybe that’s where I’ve been going wrong because this is neither of those things and just keeps steamrolling on with total abandon. Given that Satanize released a split with Black Cilice you might be expecting something more depressive, but that’s just not their style, as ‘Chariots Of Nocturnal Wrath’ demonstrates. There’s simply no let up in their approach or delivery. 

There are trace elements of death metal within the band’s sound, especially within the guitars. After the sampled intro of ’Shrine Of Antichrist’, Satanize hit top gear once again with obscenely fast percussion guitars work that encompasses that aforementioned death metal influence, mixing it with precise and anti-human black metal sentiment, which is more than matched by the vocals once again. It’s a great way to drag listeners into the album’s second half. 

‘Merciless Profanation’ is a very apt title as Satanize show no mercy with their full-on approach to black metal. The only other band I’ve heard in recent times that comes close to this is India’s Heathen Beast and if you’re familiar with that band, you’ll hopefully know what I mean. Satanize though have nailed their song-writing to the extent that distilling things into a three to four-minute song leaves both the feeling of fulfilment and the longing for more within the listener.

There’s almost a martial, hypnotic stance from the band on ‘Barbarity Enthroned’, as they lay waste to all and sundry with even more urgency than before. It’s oddly infectious, albeit only for fans of the more extreme end of the metal spectrum. There’s variation within the songs here, but it’s subtle. Penultimate song ‘Luciferian Thrones Of Devastation’ begins with the most scathing screams on the record and what ensues is equally as horrid. It just drives itself forward at ridiculous pace, not flinching or stopping for breath and in doing so it leaves an indelible mark on your psyche. 

Album closer ‘Cavernous Onslaught’ puts it best though with bass that rumbles deeper than ever, razor-sharp riffage, icy blasts, metallic cymbal mayhem and truly possessed lower-register screams that seem distorted at times due to the abandon with which they’re delivered. The closing bars of feedback almost act as respite from Satanize and their utterly hellish extremity. If you want music that truly tests you and leaves you both broken, and cleansed, then this album if for you. Totally devastating. 

You can witness that madness for yourself by streaming and/or purchasing Baphomet Altar Worship for yourself on all formats here:-

Satanize doesn't have a social media presence as far as I can tell.

Helter Skelter Productions - https://www.facebook.com/helterskelterproductions

Regain Records - https://www.facebook.com/regainrecords.se

Sunday 21 March 2021

Old Selves - Two Minds

Labels: Self-Released

Formats: CD/Digital

Release Date: 01 Jan 2021


1. Sonnet For Sorrow

2. Two Minds

3. Population

4. Lost

5. 444

6. Seat In The Hall

It's been quite a while since I've featured a band from Yorkshire here. When I started the blog back in 2010, my main aim at the time was to highlight bands from the county, though I didn't really know what I was doing back then. Anyway, this is (a late) write-up about the debut EP from York metal band Old Selves, which was release right at the beginning of 2021. The band has a UK tour planned in for July, so all being well things will be a bit more normal by then and they can get out in support of this release.

Two Minds begins with a dramatic intro song called ‘Sonnet For Sorrow’, which features orchestral instrumentation and a healthy dose of harsh roars. Instantly followed by the title-track ‘Two Minds’, Old Selves present modern metal that’s equal parts heavy, progressive and melodic. The percussion competes with the vocals higher up in the mix, while the guitars and bass nestle slightly lower during the verses but still provide melody and heft, especially when they’re allowed to breathe. The metallic riffs towards the end are well worth waiting for and provide a more menacing atmosphere, in a similar vein to modern doom/death and even metalcore from the like of As I Lay Dying in parts. Good first impressions so far!

Obviously, like every band, Old Selves have their personal influences and they’ve mentioned Trivium as being one in previous interviews and you can certainly hear that influence in the thrash metal instrumentation they employ on ‘Population’. It’s full of mid-paced groove and engrossing guitar work, especially during the closing solo, with it’s treble-filled picking. Next up is the short yet grand interlude ‘Lost’, which harnesses a sole guitar and tastefully played piano, which is an instrument they employ later on.

They use piano alongside clean vocals on penultimate song ‘444’. This song is a mix of glitchy (in places), off-kilter instrumentation alongside both roars and spoken-word vocals, which might remind some of bands like Hacktivist and While She Sleeps at times. It’s also the longest song on Two Minds, clocking in at just over six-minutes, showing the breadth of their song-writing, which isn’t overcomplicated and gets the job done. EP closer ’Seat In The Hall’ ends it all with proper rousing modern metal and a loverly introspective mid-section, which you don’t hear often. 

Overall, this is a really solid debut EP from Old Selves. They seem to know the sound they want to achieve even this early on and with the addition of more live shows, and the honing of their skills, future recordings will sound even more assured. 

Curiously, Old Selves have decided to not to allow streaming of the full EP via their bandcamp page; however, you can stream '444' below:-

It is available to stream via the usual sites as well.

Merch including t-shirts and cd copies are available via bandcamp as well.

Old Selves - https://www.facebook.com/oldselvesofficial

Wednesday 17 March 2021

∞ (AKA Eight) - Emme Näe Elämää

Labels: Self-Released/Friendly Otter/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 09 Sep 2014


1. Toutokuun Lumi

2. Lohdutusseremonia

3. Kuuron Laulu

4. Tuntemisaisti

5. Juostaan Ylös Vuorelle

6. Siellä Missä Palaa

7. Antakaa Meidän Nukahtaa

8. Aarresaari

My review schedule is all kinds of over the place right now. It's not by choice but there's no point in whinging about it. In fact, as soon I realised that I'd be writing about a Finnish band in my next Zegema Beach Records roster write-up, any anxiousness melted away. ∞ (AKA Eight) or Eight as I'm going to refer to them as for the rest of this review, was a short lived post-rock/emo band that released music between 2011 and 2014, when this tape was brought into existence. Before Emme Näe Elämää, there was a self-titled album in 2011 and a further full-length called Näyt Kauas in 2012. 

Eight is described as being a cross between the post-rock of Envy and the screamo of Trachimbrod, so while that may not mean a great deal to the casual fan of post-hardcore, it’s a good ball park for those more familiar with the scene and indeed on album opener ‘Toutokuun Lumi’, there’s definitely elements of both, from the twinkling melody that opens it to the caustic screams that fill the speakers later on. The music here isn’t overly fussy or too technical, instead the band focuses on keeping the music clear, uncluttered and really listenable. 

I’m more familiar with the heavier, crustier side of Finnish music and thus haven’t thrown myself into the screamo side of the country’s music community at all, which is a failing on my part. ‘Lohdutusseremonia’ is a gloriously simplistic slab of emo/post-rock that uses genuine emotion instead of a constant sonic battery to get it’s point across. I don’t use the term simplistic in a derogatory way though, as Eight’s musical ability is so enjoyably and engrossing that it doesn’t need to be complicated. All that is well and good as far as easing you into their music goes, because ‘Kuuron Laulu’ is where Eight become a lot more off-kilter (for a time) and play around with different time-signatures and general moods within the music. It’s still very much geared towards the post-rock end of the spectrum given the song-length but it’s also a song that invigorates you in a way that only decent screamo can.

A great sense of relaxation washes over you on ‘Tuntemisaisti’, with it’s gentle guitar, percussion and softly spoken vocals, for the first two minutes at least. It’s that perfect meeting of the quiet/loud dynamic that works so well, especially when it coms to jump starting this heart. Dramatic intensity is the backbone of post-rock for me and Eight nails it here. The noise-laden industrial-like ending is glorious too. The second half of Emme Näe Elämää is even more expansive with ‘Juostaan Ylös Vuorelle’ opening up with a lengthy and extremely listenable instrumental build-up, permeated by very subtle vocals. It’s almost like Eight wanted to break up the album, but in doing so made something that would be considerably more than just an interlude or mere filler. This song sums up Eight’s musical ability but also their ability to keep things simple, and flowing, especially when the final sixty seconds consist of the best blackened screamo you’ve never heard!

‘Siellä Missä Palaa’ is in very much the same vein. It’s so chilled and melodic, especially when the song is almost the longest on the album. Definitely more post than screamo and alongside the previous song, it almost sounds like a different band, as the soundstage seems bigger somehow. Penultimate song ‘Antakaa Meidän Nukahtaa’ takes on Eight’s more stripped back emo sound once again during the quieter verses (at least I guess they are verses anyway). I love that sound where the vocals are delivered from further away, instead of right up next to the mic. It gives a more earthy feel to the music.

This album is such a great comforter after a stressful day at the coal face and closer ‘Aarresaari’ is both cleansing and hugely uplifting too. The mix of screams and treble-laden riffs help lift you up and make you realise that things are a lot better than they seem. This record, as with many of the others in this series so far, is 6-7 years old but that doesn’t matter at all. It’s what comes out of the speakers that does and Eight truly made a special impression here. Long may their music live on.

You can stream the full album and purchase it as a name-your-price download below:-

Eight - https://www.facebook.com/-eight-

Tapes are sold from Eight, Friendly Otter and Zegema Beach Records as far as I can tell.

Friendly Otter - https://www.facebook.com/friendlyotterrex

Zegema Beach Records - https://www.facebook.com/zegemabeachrecords

Friday 12 March 2021

Alloxylon - Flammeum I

Labels: Goatprayer Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 04 Dec 2020


1. Buried Beneath The Aged Stones

2. Straying Beyond The Physical Realm

3. The Forgotten Castles Of The Wicked

After waking up this morning and thinking (wishing) it was Saturday only to realise it was in fact Friday, I think I'm due some kind of reward for making it through another week. That reward comes in form of a nice tipple and some Australian black metal, courtesy of the faily new band Alloxylon. The band contains one member and Flammeum I was initially self-released digitally back in October 2020 before being picked up by UK label Goatprayer Records for a joint tape/digital release in December of the same year. Following an initial demo called Still And Sombre Death in 2019, Alloxylon released the second demo Under Moon And Star and then the Under Sun And Moon compilation (if Metal Archives is correct) earlier in 2020 prior to this three-tracker. 

A lot of raw and lo-fi black metal has come to the fore over the last couple of years, with bands like Pa Vesh En and Black Cilice being two much revered examples of the genre. Australia’s Alloxylon carries much of the same sound and feel, as ‘Buried Beneath The Aged Stones’ takes hold. It’s a murky and cold opener, which takes both the necro and symphonic elements of black metal, and puts them side by side with the piercing cries of the band’s sole protagonist to create something that’s really atmospheric actually. 

The opener is Alloxylon’s longest number on this demo and the urgency of second song ‘Straying Beyond The Physical Realm’ smashes any preconceptions about this being something along the lines of a DSBM release, which did cross my mind before pressing play. It’s definitely more of the driving, hellish variety with hints of thrash hidden within it’s depths. 

The demo’s final song ‘The Forgotten Castles Of The Wicked’ gives you one final blast of extremity, though it’s a reminder that even black metal of this intensity can still be musical, well performed and incredibly engrossing at the same time. Overall, this release is delivered in a way that makes you crave more. Alloxylon is a hidden gem and one that fanatics in the UK especially may not have heard were it not for Goatprayer Records. 

You can stream and purchase Flammeum I both digitally and on tape via Alloxylon's bandcamp page below:-

UK orders can be placed via Goatprayer Records here - https://www.goatprayerrecords.com/shop/

and here - .https://goatprayerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/flammeum-i.

Goatprayer Records - https://www.facebook.com/goatprayerrecords

Thursday 11 March 2021

Malakhim - Theion

Labels: Iron Bonehead Productions

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 08 Jan 2021


1. There Is A Beacon

2. Merciless Angel Of Pestilence

3. Slither O Serpent

4. Chalice Of Ruin

5. His Voiceless Whisper

6. Hammer Of Satan

7. The Splendour Of Stillborn Stars

8. Theion

I've been less than active over recent days and it's been playing on my mind, so making time this evening to write is going some way to counteracting that. I felt there was no better release to delve into than the first full-length from Swedish black/death metal band Malakhim, titled Theion. It was released in early January via Iron Bonehead Productions on various formats and continues the allegiance formed by both band and label, since the release of Malakhim's debut Demo I in 2017/2018. 

There’s one thing you can always count on with Swedish bands and it’s that they have a keen ear for melody, which is definitely the case on Theion. The melodic death metal beginnings on album opener ‘There Is A Beacon’ throws you into a false sense of security, before Malakhim launches headfirst into some breathtakingly off-kilter black metal, which straddles various extreme metal lines on purpose. Precise and musical, without either being too obvious. ‘Merciless Angel Of Pestilence’ is more your archetypal black metal song, with blasting drums and reverbed vocals, though the metallic guitars do add a different edge to it as well. The driving tempo is very befitting of the quintet though and while this piece is shorter that many of the songs on Theion, it’s still evident how much care they take with their musicality. 

There’s more than a nod to traditional heavy metal in the guitar melodies that introduce ‘Slither O Serpent’. What follows is another heady mix of off-kilter dynamism and icy black metal atmosphere. As the song title suggests, it’s an evil beast, yet it’s eminently enjoyable too. The shamanistic/ritualistic vocals on ‘Chalice Of Ruin’ show off the occult influence that flows through Malakhim’s lyrics and music. They help to create an atmosphere of genuine foreboding and fear, which is hard for most bands to do nowadays. Music like this is all about setting a scene and one that’s unnerving. Malakhim manages that without trying too hard. 

They effortlessly step into ‘His Voiceless Whisper’ without you even noticing and in doing so, they drag you into the second half of Theion with the use of both percussive groove and battery. They retain all of the elements that made you take note during the first half, sounding ever more assured while doing so. As obvious as the title ‘Hammer Of Satan’ is to a seasoned extreme metal fan, it’s also a very obvious choice for this song, as it delivers blow after blow of Malakhim’s trademark black/death metal. It’s the shortest of their eight songs here but it’s no less for it. I’m still blown away by the riffs on this album, as the band’s musical talent shines through the darkness.

The more expansive penultimate song ‘The Splendour Of Stillborn Stars’ dials the tempo back ever so slightly in places, but you still can’t rest as the march of progress continues and Malakhim’s black metal hypnotises you while also smashing you across the head with yet more raging instrumentation. They leave the title track ’Theion’ till the very end, which works perfectly well. It’s their final chance to send their driving heaviness into your head and if they haven’t already managed that with the songs that came before it, they certainly will with this. Enigmatic guitar tones, powerful drumming and authoritative vocals call time on one hell of a debut full-length from a band that takes their craft very seriously indeed.

Malakhim set their stall out early in 2021 but in doing so, have produced an album that will still be ringing out once the year’s beacons have stopped burning. It’s still way too early to be talking about albums of the year, but this one may well be up there.

You can stream and purchase Theion digitally from Malakhim below:-

Malakhim - https://www.facebook.com/Malakhimofficial

CD and LP copies can be purchased from Iron Bonehead Productions below:-


Iron Bonehead Productions - https://www.facebook.com/IronBoneheadProductions

Sunday 7 March 2021

Romero - Honey 7"

Labels: Cool Death Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 14 Feb 2020


1. Honey

2. Neapolitan

I did some more random listening on Bandcamp the other day and discovered this great power-pop/punk band from Melbourne, Australia. They're a five-piece and Honey is their debut release I think. It was released back in February of last year by Cool Death Records, also from Melbourne and it's now sold out (it had two pressings on very limited vinyl). 

Sometimes I really go for music like this. ‘Honey’ is a danceable 70’s/80’s garage-inspired pop song with clean vocals and instrumentation, yet just the right amount of grittiness too. Romero is a total gem of a band and they don’t sound like this is their first release (it may not be, but I can’t find out more info on them, so please correct me if I’m wrong).

Their second song ‘Neapolitan’  is as retro sounding as the 7”s title-track and it’s just as good. Tempo wise, it’s dialled back slightly but that doesn’t change things at all, as it’s so catchy and hummable. Romero puts forward such a positive statement with this release. Hopefully they’ll have a full-length or something on the way soon as the more people that can hear them the better.

You can stream and purchase Honey digitally below:-

Romero Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Romeroband/

Cool Death Records Instagram - @cool_death_records

Wednesday 3 March 2021

Sacrocurse - Supreme Terror EP

Labels: Shadow Records/Regain Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 20 Jan 2021


1. Herethical Catharsis

2. Man Became Cursed

3. The Temple Is Open

4. From Genesis To Revelations

I'm back (albeit behind) on the 2021 release trail with this January EP release from Mexico's Sacrocurse. It was released via Shadow Records (with promotion and distribution from Regain Records). Sacrocurse's main protagonist ZK formed the band back 2012, and the time since then has seen a demo, a split, two full-lengths and another EP prior to this one. While enlisting live musicians for public appearances, the recorded output is mainly produced solely by ZK, who is himself an ex-member of Morbosidad and a current live member of Pseudogod, so Sacrocurse's black/death metal should be suitably nasty here.

That’s enough procrastinating. It’s straight into the old radio/war sampled intro of ‘Herethical Catharsis’ (or Catharsist, as it’s titled on the Regain bandcamp page). I’m not sure which one of the two is correct, but I’m going with the former here. Semantics aside, this is some great old-school death metal with black metal tendencies thrown into the mix. The drumming is maniacal, the guitars sit deeper in the mix and are quite understated in parts, while the vocals straight up snarl as they take centre stage.

‘Man Became Cursed’ contains those reverbed black metal vocals that seem to echo throughout the whole song and while the musicality isn’t as high as it was on the EP’s opener, it’s still a razor sharp piece of extremity with plenty of raw and evil South Americanism’s mixed in, as well as a whole heap of wailing leads.

The urgency on the EP’s latter half in dialled up a couple of notches and ‘The Temple Is Open’ is a thrashing beast of a song, which harks back to the era of Sarcofago and even Celtic Frost in parts. Obviously it’s faster than it is brooding but that does no harm at all, apart from to your neck!

EP closer ‘From Genesis To Revelations’ is surprisingly groovy to begin with before it gets a lot more intense. Sacrocurse’s sound is certainly raw and a bit of an acquired taste, but it’s also very addictive and real. This form of black/death metal is very much alive at the moment and I guess it’s a symptom of how horrendous 2020/early 2021 was for everyone. That aside though, Sacrocurse has unleashed one of the  evilest sounding EPs of 2021 so far.

You can stream and purchase 'Supreme Terror' digitally, as well as on all formats via Regain Records below:-

Sacrocurse - https://www.facebook.com/Sacrocurse

Shadow Records - https://www.facebook.com/shadowrecords.se

Regain Records - https://www.facebook.com/regainrecords.se

Monday 1 March 2021

Endamori/Big Machine - Split

Labels: Sleepinghouse Records/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 06 Oct 2015


1. Endamori - Shredder

2. Endamori - Nameless

3. Endamori - Genessee

4. Big Machine - Slow

5. Big Machine - Super Fast Awesome

6. Big Machine - Black Elk

7. Big Machine - Tom Tom

8. Big Machine - Screamo

9. Big Machine - Refused

10. Big Machine - Mastodon

I've been trying my hardest to keep up with this series, but I've slackened off somewhat, so this post is to make up for the fact that I didn't publish it last week. At the start of 2021 I committed (myself) to doing one new post a week in my Zegema Beach Records roster review series and I'm going to stick to that whatever it takes, even if it's a bit out of sequence. Anyway, this one is a pretty cool one for me as it features Manchester (UK) band Big Machine (ex Hammers/Glarus), a band I've featured here before, when I wrote about the duo's self-titled 7". I didn't know a great deal about US band Endamori, until I found out the band's connections to Cease Upon The Capitol and Dolcim (previous split mates with Hammers no less). Endamori contributes three songs to this, while Big Machine contributes the other seven, so I don't know if you can call this a proper split!

I really hope Endamori’s first song is about the character from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! What I do know is that ‘Shredder’ is a solid barrage of caustic screamo with real musicality. Both heavy and introspective/melodic, there’s a lot to dig in to. Their second song ‘Nameless’ is a lot more bass-heavy to these ears and also it takes on more of a sludge-like tone at times. It’s more of the heavier side of emo-violence/screamo and there’s some Japanese influences running through it too, if I’m hearing it correctly.

Endamori’s final contribution to this split is ‘Genessee’, which is probably their most intense song out the three here. That intensity manifests itself in different ways, with their dissonance coming up against their jangly musicality, which works in a number of ways to help build something that’s attention grabbing. Big Machine is a hard beast to pin down. Mixing heavy, almost sludgy/post-metal atmosphere with a faster, metallic hardcore edge on the cleverly titled ‘Slow’. Off-kilter at times but also containing so many other musical influences, namely grunge and psych (to me anyway). 

The aptly titled ‘Super Fast Awesome’ is exactly that, with almost screeching robotic riffs, melody and 90s emo-like screams. It’s over before you know it but it still leaves it’s mark. ‘Black Elk’ combines more of that high-pitched guitar work and wraps it up alongside more palpable, noisy anger. You wouldn’t know that Big Machine’s a duo on first listen. I doubt that ‘Tom Tom’ is about the Sat Nav system of the same name, but it’s fun to imagine either way. What it is, is a bass-filled song that actually features clean vocals, akin to grunge/post-metal once again. 

They even include a number called ’Screamo’, which is accurate, if you ever thought that this music solely contains screams. It’s bloody good though and leads to a final duo that will probably mislead you slightly.Their most chaotic, off-kilter take on heaviness is ‘Refused’, with it’s technical and head-spinning percussion and huge wall of sound generated by the guitars and vocals. Split closer ‘Mastodon’ actually does a semi-decent job of paying homage to the band of the same name, especially when they splice riffs from ‘Blood And Thunder’ into it. What an awesome way to end this release.

I hate trying to describe why one band is unique to the other on splits, as I just end up sounding stupid. Both Endamori and Big Machine compliment each other here and come at this release with the same kind of approach, shooting from the hip and asking questions later. I can’t really comment on the Sleepinghouse Records roster as I only learned of them on writing this, but in terms of ZBR’s output up to and including this release, it’s by far the heaviest.

You can stream and grab the split digitally below:-

Endamori - https://www.facebook.com/endamori

Big Machine - https://www.facebook.com/bigmacband/

Tapes can still be purchased from Zegema Beach Records via the links below:-

CAN/INTL Store - http://www.zegemabeachrecords.com/zegema-beach-releases/endamori-big-machine-split-cassette

USA Store - https://zbrusa.com/collections/tapes/products/endamori-big-machine-split-cassette

Sleepinghouse Records - https://www.facebook.com/sleepinghouserecords

Zegema Beach Records - https://www.facebook.com/zegemabeachrecords