Monday 27 June 2022

Space Coke - Lunacy

Labels: Forbidden Place Records

Formats: CD/Digital

Release Date: 14 Jan 2022


1. Bride Of Satan

2. Alice Lilitu

3. Frozen World

4. Lightmare

5. Twist Of Cain (Danzig Cover)

Coming at you with an actual 2022 release tonight! Granted, it was released in January but it's progress all the same. Lunacy is the latest full-length for US stoner/doom band Space Coke, which fellow US label Forbidden Place Records helped spread as far as possible on CD and digitally, with the rumour of a vinyl pressing coming at some point in the future too. Space Coke started life way back in 2008, though it wasn't until 2017 when they put out their first EP Neil deGrasse High E.P., with not one but two full-lengths coming just a year later in the form of South Cackapulco Gold and L'appel du Vide (if Metal Archives is correct).

Here we go then! I’ve got a glass of red wine in hand and the volume turned up. Album opener ‘Bride Of Satan’ is much easier on the ear than I was expecting (though I should learn to go into these things without such preconceptions buy now!). Definitely psychedelic and 70s inspired with the effect-filled vocals, and organ/keys in the background. The guitar/bass work is very doomy and the drums punchy. 

Space Coke don’t mind venturing from their stoner/doom/psych blueprint. ‘Alice Lilitu’ starts with a suitably weird spoken-word/sampled intro, before leading into an equally weird yet catchy as hell song. Hell, the song is over twelve-and-a-half minutes long so there’s no need the be too serious is there! It actually reminds me of Muse, but if they were on hallucinatory drugs and Nick Oliveri was their bassist. Definitely groovier than Glastonbury for sure!

There’s a desert/surf-rock vibe hidden within ‘Frozen World’ that seems to be underpinned by vocoder-style vocals, which are pretty cool and match the music. That’s something I never thought I’d say! In terms of Space Coke’s songs though, it goes by all too quickly. It’s really memorable though.

‘Lightmare’ starts with a stark and heart-wrenching sampled passage. It’s words are haunting and oh so real. Even the addition or organ in the background does little to lighten the mood. It’s probably the heaviest song  on Lunacy when it gets going, especially in the riffs, percussion and deeper vocals. 

I’m nearing the bottom of my glass of wine as album closer and Danzig cover ‘Twist Of Cain’ comes into view, and it’s a glorious way to end the album. Subtly thrashy in parts (mainly due to it’s tempo) but also utterly infectious and once again, catchy. I think there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s done in the right way, as opposed to being straight up cheesy. Space Coke get it right and it shows.

This is a fantastic album from a band that deserve much more exposure than I can give them. Space Coke smash it and during these balmy early summer nights, provide the carefree party vibes we all need.

For fans of: Muse, Mondo Generator, Red Fang, Green Lung & Ritual King

You can stream and purchase Lunacy digitally from Space Coke below:-

CD copies can be purchased from Forbidden Place Records here:-

Space Coke -

Forbidden Place Records -

Sunday 26 June 2022

Coilguns - Shunners/Burrows 12"

Labels: Hummus Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 26 Nov 2021


1. Shunners

2. Burrows

It's been a crazy long time since I last featured Swiss noise-rock/mathcore band Coilguns here (I think the last time was around the release of their 2013 album Commuters). I've got a lot of catching up to do with their material, so I'm fast-forwarding to their latest two-song LP, which was specially released by Hummus Records last November. A single-sided picture disc limited to 80 copies, which forms part of the new 'Hummus 12" Maxi Collection". Coilguns are also working on a new album this year.

I haven’t written a great deal over the last week so feel a bit out of my rhythm. Coilguns have pretty much nailed the current mood (including my own, as I face going back to the day job) lyrically with ‘Shunners’, whether intentionally or not. The instrumentation is as crushing as I remember it to be too. That mix of heavy, noisy hardcore and sludge-like riffs, intricate percussion and vocals that cross the line between audible spoke-word, and passionate growls. It feels very emotional and cleansing.

‘Burrows’ is much more instant, with both rhythmic grooves and off-kilter signatures clashing together in a way that works perfectly. The vocals are harsher for a greater amount of the song and the feedback that screeches during the mid-section adds to the noisy aesthetic of this release. It all stops on a dime, leaving nothing to linger.

If this release is a sign of what’s come from their new album, Coilguns are onto a winner. We all need some noise once in a while to drown out the “noise” and this is it. Great stuff!

For Fans Of: The Ocean, Cult Of Luna, Whores, Neurosis and Knut

You can stream and purchase this release digitally below:-

Physical copies are still available from Hummus Records here -

Coilguns -

Hummus Records -

Tuesday 21 June 2022

Lora/The Ultimate Screamo Band - Split 7"

Labels: A Fond d'Cale/Desordre Ordonne/Dingleberry Records/Friendly Otter/GBS Records/KeepHope Productions/Polar Summer/Pure Heart Records/Ultimo Violence/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 21 Feb 2017


1. Lora - Сны

2. Lora - Пески

3. Lora - Смута

4. The Ultimate Screamo Band - Élevé Au Porc

5. The Ultimate Screamo Band - Hypertonie

6. The Ultimate Screamo Band - Lettre Violente

7. The Ultimate Screamo Band - L'ingénierie Sociale Vs L'ingéniosité

8. The Ultimate Screamo Band - Singularité Instrumentale

9. The Ultimate Screamo Band - À Mon Père

I've got a free day today so trying be productive early doors (that's a British saying for those that don't understand it, which relates to getting somewhere earlier than normal and I think it refers more to our drinking culture!). Anyway, as I was saying, I wanted to be productive today so I'm starting with a review of this split from 2017, that featured Russian screamo/hardcore band Lora and also Canadian screamo/emoviolence solo project The Ultimate Screamo Band. There were 325 copies of the split pressed with three different covers. It was a collaborative release by ten labels.

This split was Lora’s last release, according to their bandcamp page. During their relatively short tenure, they also released an EP in May 2015. I’ve always found Russian bands to have a raw yet melodic approach and Lora are certainly no different here. ‘Сны’ is a fierce opener from them, featuring intense emoviolence. ‘Пески’ leaves no time to regain breath as it instantly takes over from the opener. It’s grinding, off-kilter approach is joined by chaotic guitar and swirling, anguished screams. It’s really good, despite the fairly short running time. Their final song ‘Смута’ is menacing at first, before Lora launches into their final tome of blistering screamo madness. These three songs really hit hard.

The Ultimate Screamo Band follow Lora with six songs, though two-thirds of those don’t pass the minute mark. ‘Élevé Au Porc’ opens TUSB’s side in slightly bizarre fashion, with an intro that kind of sounds like it belongs in a poorly dubbed Japanese martial arts movie. What follows is a barrage of everything that makes screamo so good. I guess that’s what the band set out to do in the end! ‘Hypertonie’ provides a truly dramatic soundscape during it’s brief playing time, with very short moments of introspection before ‘Lettre Violente’ comes into view. It starts off gently, before a stop/start layer flows into music that gets faster and faster, before silence.

During a brief pause in the music at this point, I thought it would be great idea to scratch my forehead (literally) but because I’m a Brit and because we’re not used to the sun being out ever, I remember that my face is sun burnt. What follows is a seemingly lingering burning sensation. That previous bit of verbal diarrhoea has absolutely nothing to do with ‘L’ingénierie Sociale Vs L'ingéniosité’ though, which is pretty much over before you know it. Bloody solid though. ‘Singularité Instrumentale’ sees a shift in TSUB’s sound, with an instrumental song that has more of a calm atmosphere, albeit for a short while as split closer ‘À Mon Père’ puts pay to any sort of relaxing finish as one final blast of screamo/emoviolence bursts through the speakers.

The split 7” format does is again! Bringing together two bands from different corners of the world, drawing in new listeners and offering an enthralling listen. Neither band is active now (as far I know) but this is still a very worthy body of work, if you can track one down!

For Fans Of: Loma Prieta, Systral, Tenure, Portrayal Of Guilt & Infant Island

You can stream both sides for the split via Lora's and TUSB's respective bandcamp pages below, where both sides are also available to grab as a name-your-price downloads:-

Most of the releasing labels have either sold out of 7"s or closed; however, a small amount of remaining copies can be purchased from Friendly Otter below:-

Friendly Otter -

A Fond d'Cale -

Dingleberry Records -

Friendly Otter -

GBS Records -

KeepHope Productions -

Polar Summer -

Pure Heart Records -

Zegema Beach Records -

Saturday 18 June 2022

Sleep Torture - Carrying Water For Rats

Labels: Self-Released/Shirley Road Records

Formats: Digital/Tape

Release Date: 05 Mar 2022


1. Bateman

2. Blood Profit

3. Praying To God Just To Lose

4. Void

5. Carrying Water For Rats

It's Friday evening and I have next week off, so it's time to party with "the world's least dangerous band" Sleep Torture. I use the term party loosely, because I doubt many people will consider a mixture of grind/crust/hardcore as party music. The North Carolina (USA) trio have only recently released their third EP earlier this year, though it's official release was yesterday thanks to a tape release from Shirley Road Records. Fresh from their Baby Shark Live support slot (read their socials!), here's Carrying Water For Rats

Any band that counts Cult Leader, Gaza and the like as influences sound more than good to me! Starting with ‘Bateman’, Sleep Torture provide an incredibly noisy, sludgy take on powerviolence. It’s got a decent hardcore edge to it with pinpoint drumming, intensely loud riffs and proper harsh vocals. ‘Blood Profit’ adds to the mayhem present in Sleep Torture’s sound by flying out of the traps before settling into a second-half full of breakdowns and groove-laden instrumentation. Also, I have to mention that sick bass tone! 

The momentum of ‘Blood Profit’ continues on into ‘Praying To God Just To Lose’, which is properly sludgy, in a way that only powerviolence can be. If you dig early Full Of Hell or UK band Famine, you’ll know what I mean. Even when they pick up the pace later on, their sound is still thick. I couldn’t think of a better title for a song on this EP than ‘Void’, because when it hits it’s stride, you’ll be staring into exactly that. Panic chord-like pitch from the guitars add to the extremity of Sleep Torture’s sound and it’s a mighty soundstage at that!

The continuation runs right through to the closing title track and ‘Carrying Water For Rats’ crams so much into it’s sub-three minute playing time. Those huge, pit-inducing riffs keep coming, while the overall feel is one of sensitive and controlled rage (if that’s even a thing!). This EP will completely level you. There’s really nothing more to say about it. If Sleep Torture themselves hadn’t contacted me directly, I probably wouldn’t have heard this. That’s the beauty of the Internet I guess (in spite of it’s obvious ills). Go and give these guys a listen, and if you enjoy their wares, grab a tape or download. 

For Fans Of: Cult Leader, Gaza, Geist, Wake and Famine

You can stream and purchase Carrying Water For Rats from Sleep Torture directly, on tape or via digital download below:-

Tapes copies can also be picked up via Shirley Road Records here -

Sleep Torture -

Shirley Road Records -

Thursday 16 June 2022

Black Wound - To The Endless Depths

Labels: Dry Cough Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 04 Aug 2021


1. Absence Of Will

2. From Eternity And Beyond

3. Unending Labyrinth

4. Lurker Of The Threshold/Dweller Of The Depths

5. Traitor

The band I'm reviewing this evening have a bit of a complex history. The Swedish death/doom band (now known as Black Wound) released three demos in 2021, two of which predated To The Endless Depths. The first being Planetary Holocaust, which was originally recorded and released when they were known as Odium and Christ Betrayal, when they were known as Rotten Incarnation. With the current line-up being formed of three members from both of the aforementioned bands, they went on to release To The Endless Depths via UK label Dry Cough Records last August. Metal Archives-based semantics aside, Black Wound are another exciting new death/doom band hailing from the fertile shores of Sweden, which can only be a good thing,

Bass-heavy, low-slung death/doom with utterly filthy gutturals. That’s what you’re greeted with on EP opener ‘Absence Of Will’. A lot more death than doom from Black Wound but the atmosphere’s a lot gloomier than it might first appear. The lo-fi recording and production of this tape really helps with the aforementioned atmosphere. On ‘From Eternity And Beyond’, Black Wound ratchets up the doom with lumbering riffs and plenty of crash cymbal madness. It shows just what they can do with longer songs. Not so much devastating, more devouring in it’s intensity.

The groove of the bass that kicks off ‘Unending Labyrinth’ is an unexpected addition to the grim layers within Black Wound’s music and it leads the way through the whole song. Yes it’s still an extreme number but it’s one filled with catchy tempos and innocent old-school values. I’m not sure if this is two songs rolled into one but ‘Lurker Of The Threshold/Dweller Of The Depths’ is the most oppressive addition to the EP. Even more oppressive than this mini heatwave we’re experiencing in the UK right now. It’s also much better with the volume turned way up, as it reveals all of the band’s instrumental nuances, of which there are plenty if you dedicate time and energy too them.

Final song ‘Traitor’ follows on with an instant percussive wake-up call. The kick drum here is loud! It adds massive heft to the crawling death/doom that flutters around it. The vocals are pretty frightening at times and raspy at others. About a third of the way through they change direction, becoming melodic and almost mystical for a moment, before switching back to their already ploughed furrow. This release is not for the faint of heart. You can’t just dabble in it’s darkness, you have to immerse yourself in it and move far below the surface world. Black Wound is hell personified and all the better for it. 

For Fans Of: Incantation, Skaphe, Abstracter, Malignant Altar and Fossilization

You can stream and purchase To The Endless Depths as a name-your-price download from Black Wound below:-

There were two runs of tapes released via Dry Cough Records. Both runs are sold out.

Black Wound -

Dry Cough Records -

Tuesday 14 June 2022

Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket/Mrtex - Split

Labels: Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 23 Nov 2016


1. Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket - Skymningstimmen

2. Mrtex - Baby Roles

3. Mrtex - Accidental Coffin Making

4. Mrtex - Gnawing Our Way Out Of The Rat Bin

It's safe to say that I've been a bit shit at writing/posting over the last week. With that being said though, it felt weird posting this up on or around the recent ZBR Mid-West Fest that took place recently. This split between Sweden's Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket and the USA's Mrtex was released by ZBR back in late 2016, limited to just seventy copies. It's long sold out now according to Bandcamp and was never meant to be available digitally, at the time of it's release. It contains one song from Vi Som and three songs from Mrtex.

I did not realise that my last post was seven days ago! I keep getting distracted by trivial things, especially when I’ve had full-on days. It’s lovely though to sit down and soak up the epically comforting sounds of Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket, who should be more than familiar to you by now. Their sole song on this split ‘Skymningstimmen’ is probably one of the most melodic song’s I’ve heard from them. It’s got a strange Americana-esque guitar tone to it (maybe?). It’s mid-paced, though the vocals are as passionate and stark as always. It’s pretty haunting actually, as Vi Som threaten to allow it to overflow but never quite reach that precipice.

Mrtex continues the melodic vibes on their opener ‘Baby Roles’, which as a song title, leaves no clue as to what’s to come. It’s as laid back as Vi Som’s song instrumentally, with the vocals providing the heaviest element once again. Glorious percussion and guitar work bleeds slowly into noisier passages towards the end. ‘Accidental Coffin Making’ is completely the opposite in terms of form and structure. It’s pure, chaotic screamo/emo-violence. Mrtex’s off-kilter influence is at it’s clearest on their final song ‘Gnawing Our Way Out Of The Rat Bin’. It’s live-sounding production gives it loads energy that will stay with you long after the split is over.

I love both VI Som and Mrtex (I’m sure I’ve said that here many times before!). It’s awesome to be able to take things from every bit of music you listen to, even if only brief. It reminds you that the “noise” around you isn’t really important. Be like Vi Som and Mrtex. Be cool.

For Fans Of: Holy Fawn, Respire, La Luna, Storm(O), Lytic & Nayru.

Stream and pick up this split as a name-your-price download below:-

As mentioned above, this release is long sold-out from ZBR.

Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sy Mycket -

Mrtex -

Zegema Beach Records -

Wednesday 8 June 2022

Robust Split Series 1: #4 - Keepleer 18/Yanomamo

Labels: Robustfellow Productions

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 24 Dec 2021


1. Keepleer 18 - Giffrotaa

2. Keepleer 18 - Viitiir

3. Keepleer 18 - Dol-Hilia

4. Keepleer 18 - Aatiica

5. Yanomamo - No Sympathy For A Rat

6. Yanomamo - The Offering

7. Yanomamo - Miasma

8. Yanomamo - Iron Crown

I did not realise that it's been over a month since I last wrote about the Robust Split Series from Robustfellow Productions. This, the fourth split tape, features Keepleer 18 (Ukraine) and Yanomamo (Australia). Keepleer 18 began life in 2012 and have released a demo, a single and two full-lengths of sludge prior to appearing as part of this split series. Similarly, Yanomamo have been playing their own brand of sludge since 2012 and so far have four EPs, two singles, a couple splits and a full-length to their name before this one (all previous release info taken from Metal Archives). So both bands have a decent amount of material to their name so far, with four tracks from each appearing here.

For those who are not aware of this series; it focuses on the five split tapes that Ukrainian label Robustfellow Productions released towards the end of 2021, where they brought together five Ukrainian bands and five international bands in the name of all things slow. Given all that's going on in Ukraine at the moment, it's important to share music from the region and also the stories of those who are living though it (more on that later).

Opening the split with ‘Giffrotaa’, Keepleer 18 (possibly named after the star Kepler 18) launch into life with some extremely groovy yet vocally harsh sludge. Said vocals are barked with a level of ferocity and tone that some may find uncomfortable, but they fit the music perfectly. The band behind are equally as strong. The whole production stands out for me this early on in the split. This is the sort of music you need at the midweek point. ‘Viitiir’ is an upbeat and chunky riff-filled beast initially. If you’ve got this far then you’ve probably also got used to those vocals. I’m not being disrespectful here though, I’m just giving fair warning to those who don’t like things too extreme. I personally love them.

Surprisingly ‘Dol-Hilia’ is a sub-sixty second piece of what could ultimately be described as art-grind. I know that sounds pretentious but the raging passages that make way for off-kilter guitar and upbeat(!?) singing, shine a whole different light on Keepleer 18. Their closing song ‘Aatiica’ is filled with the sounds of experimental electronics, more inline with their cosmic influences (maybe?). It’s a far cry from what started their side of this split but it’s more than suited to being the longest song of the four that they contribute here. As ambient, electronic songs go it’s a fun listen, especially when presented alongside such harsh music.

Australia’s Yanomamo start their side with the song ‘No Sympathy For A Rat’, which you may be familiar with if you own their 10” of the same name from 2020. Their sound is a lot more down-tuned, though there are grooves aplenty as well. It’s hard to get around the fact that this type of dirty sludge could reside in Australia, but it does. ‘The Offering’ provide a greater glimpse into the musical mind of Yanomamo. Like Keepleer 18, they’re less straightforward than you might expect sound-wise. Yes they’re heavy and downbeat, but they’re not afraid to dabble in different sounds at the same time.  

Those different sounds and elements are more obvious on ‘Miasma’, which is instantly more urgent thanks to it’s tempo. Maybe more akin to the approach of Sacrament-era Lamb Of God here, they show that sludge can still be fast and that’s no bad thing at all. Closer ‘Iron Crown’ is the best of both worlds in terms of it’s approach. Maybe it accentuates what they’re going for musically, but whatever, it’s definitely a solid way to end a split of this sonic magnitude. 

Both Keepleer 18 and Yanomamo are brilliant ambassadors for the sheer breadth and personality that exists in the global sludge community. If you haven’t taken some time out to listen to both bands, or indeed the bands that make up this split series in it’s entirety, you’re doing yourself a disservice. I have one more split to review and I can’t wait!

For Fans Of: Deadsmoke, Watchtower, Loinen, Outlaw Order, Pod People and Lamb Of God

You can stream this split and the songs from all the rest via Robustfellow's bandcamp page below, where you can also purchase the series digitally and on tape while stocks last:-

Keepleer 18 -

Yanomamo -

As I alluded to in the second paragraph of this review, Robustfellow Productions are using their platform to allow Ukranian artists the space to talk about their experiences of living through a war via a new video interview series. The pilot episode is available here -

Robustfellow Productions -

Sunday 5 June 2022

Amid The Old Wounds - Rebreather 7"

Labels: Dingleberry Records/Rufen Publishings/Slow Down Records/Time As A Color

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 20 May 2022


1. Rebreather

2. The Broken Key

3. 1121

This long weekend had so much promise and then I got writer's block. To try and combat it I added some resent pick-ups to my record collection and then sat down to write about the newest 7" from German solo-emo/indie band Amid The Old Wounds. The band's latest EP Rebreather was only released a couple of weeks ago and Daniel was kind enough to send me a copy. It follows on from the Vignette EP, which was released in 2020.

I always find Amid The Old Wounds to be very uplifting and ‘Rebreather’ is just that, in it’s own acoustic way. Very clean and melodic with gentle guitar, and vocals. Although at odds with what I’ve just said, It seems to come from a place of frustration lyrically and of wanting there to be more from life, at least that’s how I interpret it anyway. The music is unlike anything else that sits in my collection and I still find that amazing. It’s testament I think to Daniel’s creativeness and honest music.

‘The Broken Key’ is a brief song with some lovely vocal harmonies and lyrics that are quite open, and revealing when you listen to them. Talking of openness, EP closer ‘1121’ talks about being alone and yearning to be significant to someone. It reflects quite heavily on how times have changed and how hard it is to find someone special (again this is my interpretation and music/lyrics are always subjective). It’s the EP’s slowest and most minimalist song in terms of the guitar, which also adds to it’s melancholy.

This is a such a gentle EP, though Amid The Old Wounds has always been that way. I don’t know if there are any plans for a full-length release yet; however, that shouldn’t stop you from finding enjoyment and peace in the band’s music so far.

For Fans Of: You Could Be A Cop, Duct Hearts, Dashboard Confessional, Fog Lake and Koenich

You can stream and purchase Rebreather digitally below, alongside the rest of the back catalogue from Amid The Old Wounds:-

Amid The Old Wounds -

Physical copies of this EP, alongside a special double 7" box set that also includes previous EP Vignette are available below:-

Slow Down Records -

Time As A Color Records -

Dingleberry Records -

Time As A Color Records -