Thursday 30 November 2023

Komuso - Luck Will Be On Your Side This Week 7"

Labels: Adabana Records/Left Hand Label/Zegema Beach Records/Zilpzalp Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 14 Oct 2018


1. Still

2. Forgotten People

3. Extension

I've well and truly taken my foot of the gas recently. Life and work have sapped my energy but after taking some time to recharge the batteries, I feel ready to go again. Cue this beautiful 7" EP from Japanese screamo band Komuso. It was released a mere six months after the band's self-titled debut (self-released on tape and digitally by Komuso, while also being committed to tape by Damnfinetapes! and Zegema Beach Records). Luck Will Be On Your Side This Week was released digitally again by Komuso, while the 7" pressing came from Adabana Records, Left Hand Label, Zegema Beach Records and Zilzalp Records collectively.

This release is special to me due to it’s Dog Knights Productions connection (Left Hand Label is DKP’s sister label after all). Released shortly after Komuso’s self-titled EP in 2018, it stands as one of three physical releases from the band to date (according to Discogs). Opener ‘Still’ is a minimalist song that builds slowly in  the instrumental/vocal department until it’s closing sixty seconds, where Komuso kicks on with greater volume and dissonance. 

‘Forgotten People’ continues on in pensive fashion musically, just like the opener did. It’s very hypnotic/entracing, while also being musically outstanding. Way more post-hardcore influenced and progressive than you might have expected. The twin guitars of final song ‘Extension’ come as a surprise initially, and while up to now Komuso’s music has been somewhat gentile, harsh vocals finally make their appearance midway through. It’s a great way to end the EP, alongside ringing feedback. 

I don’t know whether Komuso plan to release any new music (beyond their 2020 split with Setsuko), but if they do it’ll be eagerly anticipated.

You can stream and purchase the EP digitally below, where it's also available as a name-your-price download:-

Komuso -

The final few 7" copies can be purchased from ZBR below:-

Zegema Beach Records CAN/INTL -

Adabana Records -

Left Hand Label Records -

Zegema Beach Records -

Zilpzalp Records -

Also stand by because I'll be reviewing some more recent music over the next few days (I promise).

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Crypt Rot - An Ancient Summoning

Labels: Brutal Mind/Dry Cough Records/Frozen Screams Imprint

Formats: CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 11 Nov 2022


1. The Work Of Worms

2. An Ancient Summoning

3. Arcane Rites ft Fiore Stravino (Fulci)

4. One Thousand Serpent Tongues

5. Pestilential Vortex

6. A Pit Of Snakes ft Floor Van Kuijk (Carnifloor)

7. Diabolically Reborn ft Larry Wang (Gorepot) & Ryan Wills (Seven Doors)

It's with typically great (or rubbish) timing that I choose to write about the 2022 full-length An Ancient Summoning by now deceased UK death metal band Crypt Rot. The trio called it a day last week. This, Crypt Rot's only full-length album, was released on CD via Indonesia's Brutal Mind and on tape via UK label Dry Cough Records in the UK and Europe, as well as in the US by Frozen Screams Imprint. It features guest vocals by Fiore Stravino (from Italian death metallers Fulci), Floor Van Kuijk (of Dutch tech-death band Carnifloor) and Larry Wang (of Taiwanese death/grind band Gorepot/Fat Tub Of Lard Records). There's also an additional guitar solo from Ryan Wills (of UK horror-themed death metal band Seven Doors).

I’ve been a fervent supporter of Dry Cough Records ever since the label’s first release and as with my previous reviews, I’ve always had physical copies close at hand. An Ancient Summoning being no different, as I ordered a tape copy as soon as it was available. On ordering, Crypt Rot was a new name to me but one that I took notice of straight away thanks to the artwork that adorned this release. Diving into opening song ‘The Work Of Worms’, you’re greeted with succinctly brutal death metal featuring slams aplenty and gnarly vocals that morph into pig squeals at times. I have no problem with those vocals when used in context and here they work perfectly.

The album’s title-track contains all the groove you’d expect from a tech-death band, alongside plenty of gore influence too. It’s noisy, bludgeoning and intense. For such a short-lived band, Crypt Rot knew exactly how to write stellar brutal death metal songs with just the right amount of melody and suspense. The first of the album’s guest vocal appearances comes courtesy of Fiore Stravino of Fulci of ‘Arcane Rites’. Fiore’s vocals add extra depth to a song that’s already pretty well layered with blasting death, while joining the excellent lead guitar work to make it sound a lot more old-school in delivery.

After the whirlwind that was ‘Arcane Rites’, ‘One Thousand Serpent Tongues’ follows in exquisite fashion, complete with duelling twin-guitars and slamming low-end/percussion. It’s properly engrossing, even with the slightly distilled song length. This is the best medicine to numb the thought of returning to work tomorrow morning and it’ll probably be blasting through my earphones on the commute as well, thanks to the excellent hit delivered by ‘Pestilential Vortex’.

The album’s final duo of songs starts with ‘A Pit Of Snakes’ and it’s additional guest vocals from Carnifloor’s Floor Van Kuijk. Those added vocals work wonders alongside the unsurprisingly insane musicianship. When brutal death metal is done this well, it’s hard to understand why it all can’t be just as good. Album closer ‘Diabolically Reborn’ with Gorepot’s Larry Wang on guest vocals, shows exactly why Taiwan’s (and Asia’s) death metal scene as a whole deserves more attention, while the guitar solo provided by Ryan Wills of Seven Doors once again highlights the breadth of talent that exists in the UK. 

Crypt Rot’s trio of Tom Hughes (guitar, bass, songwriting), Kyle Shaun Thomas (vocal, lyrics) and Justin Wallisch (drums) have crafted a fantastic death metal album, which doesn’t overstay it’s welcome (like others do). It might be their first and only full-length, but I implore you to grab a copy if it’s still available. You won’t regret it.

You can stream An Ancient Summoning digitally below, where it's also available to purchase in both digital and CD formats:-

Crypt Rot - @cryptrotband Instagram

Physical copies can also be purchased from the labels below:-

Brutal Mind -

Brutal Mind -

Dry Cough Records -

Frozen Screams Imprint - @frozen_screams_imprint Instagram

Wednesday 15 November 2023

Beige Palace/Cassels - Waterloo Sublet/About Not Writing Split 7"

 Labels: Human Worth/God Unknown Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 07 Apr 2023


1. Beige Palace - Waterloo Sublet

2. Cassels - About Not Writing

Some years ago now I went to an all day gig at The Brudenell in Leeds. The two bands that I remember from that day were Hoof Glove (members of Famine/Khuda at the time if my memory serves me right) and Beige Palace. Despite the foggy memory, coming across this split that was released earlier this year via London label Human Worth and God Unknown Records, memories came flooding back. Beige Palace is an experimental/art-rock trio from Leeds and London duo Cassels play a combination of arty post-punk/noise rock.

It feels very late in the day to be writing about anything noisy (especially as I’ve only recently complained to a neighbour about their tenant playing loud pop music at 4am on a weekend). Adulting aside, let’s dive into some noisy rock starting with Beige Palace and their song ‘Waterloo Sublet’. I think I must have seen a very early iteration of Beige Palace back in the day because I can’t remember them sending like this. It’s a somewhat minimalist song instumentation-wise, while the vocals are a mix of clean shouts and harsher screams. I love the multi-vocal approach. It reminds me of the warmth and experimentation that encompasses the rock/punk/heavy community in Leeds.

Cassels are a new band to my ears but one that immediately strikes me with the stark sound of their song ‘About Not Writing’. It goes from cocky London indie/spoken-word to dissonant noise and back with ease. It reminds me of early Franz Ferdinand in places, which is where the post-punk similarities come about, except they’re much heavier towards the end. I really don’t know how else to describe this song. Cassels definitely deserve more research/listening if you haven’t heard them before.

This split release demonstrates just how diverse the DIY/grassroots music scene is in the UK. Both Beige Palace and Cassels approach their craft from different angles, yet they both compliment each other. Despite there only being two songs on this split, that’s still more than enough to get you started. Another great little 7”. We need more of these.

You can stream and purchase this split digitally below from both labels, where it's also available to buy on 7" vinyl:-

Beige Palace -

Cassels -

Human Worth -

God Unknown Records -

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Respire - Debut

Labels: Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 01 Oct 2018


1. Aeterna

2. Nox

3. Lux

4. Nihil

5. Anthems For Falling Stars

Respire is a band/collective that I've admired for so long, ever since I first heard their music. In a similar way to my admiration for Infant Island I guess. This Zegema Beach Records compilation release, simply called Debut, was committed to tape in 2018 (the same year as both Denouement and Memorial (An Accompaniement)). It gathered together Respire's first ever recording, the four song Demonstration as well as the stand alone song 'Anthems For Falling Stars', with which it shares cover art. Sixty four copies were made with two different coloured/painted jcards. All are long sold out.

The one thing I immediately noticed when hitting play on this release is that each song gets longer after opener ‘Aeterna’. A small detail maybe but one that builds intrigue I think. Providing a glimpse into the beginnings of Respire, it’s very instrument heavy, containing brass alongside the bedrock of drums and guitars, accompanied by a French language sample (at least I think it’s a sample!). ‘Nox’ is where that mix of post-hardcore and black metal was first forged, in all it’s raw beauty. Some might say it was ahead of it’s time maybe, but the fusing of screamo with a more experimental/avant-garde approach set Respire apart at the time, as it still does.

Listening to ‘Lux’ becomes such a euphoric experience the longer it goes on. It’s once again a heavily instrumental song and it benefits from so much musical ingenuity. Finding the words to adequately describe it, especially as it appeared on the band’s first demo is hard. I currently sit in my front room surrounded by so many records, cd’s and tapes yet I’m completely transfixed, and in the moment thanks to this comp. That’s how it should be.

‘Nihil’ was the final song on Respire’s Demonstration and it’s where things get somewhat heavier. The cold harsh black metal influence is toned down though thanks to the soothing brass and gentle introspection that fluctuates throughout. I must also add that the use of glockenspiel, while less noticeable in this song, adds further warmth to the music. Utterly immersive, emotive brilliance. 

Debut ends with the longest song on the comp ‘Anthems For Falling Stars’, which was described by the band as an “off the floor demo of an abandoned song”. It sees Respire adding more spoken-word vocals to their music alongside their more customary blackened blueprint. It’s still melodic and orchestral, showing a very gradual change in sound if anything. 

Physical comp releases like this are more and more relevant now. Yes there’s an importance to having music online and readily available, but nothing can beat the feel or look of a release that’s been lovingly crafted by either band or label. I doubt this will ever get repressed so enjoy it in whatever way you choose. It’s fantastic, however you listen to it.

You can stream and purchase both Demonstration and 'Anthems For Falling Stars' digitally from Respire below:-

Debut is available to stream and purchase digitally from Zegema Beach Records below too:-

Respire -

Zegema Beach Records -

Thursday 2 November 2023

Infinity Ritual - II EP

Labels: Self-Released

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 03 Nov 2023


1. FCG (Intro)

2. Succession

3. Earthdriver

4. Deceivers

5. Stones

I decided to pick something at random this evening and it just so happens that it's due to be released tomorrow (or today if you're in New Zealand and other Southern Hemisphere nations), which Infinity Ritual are. They're from New Plymouth, NZ to be exact and II is their latest EP, which follows their 2022 debut EP. II will be/is available on vinyl, CD and digital formats. All self-released!

After a day that started with me thinking it was Wednesday (thanks alarm clock!), it feels nice to be sat here digging into some good old groove-laden stoner rock. EP opener ‘FCG (Intro)’ is described as an extended introduction to second track ‘Succession’ and is only available on the vinyl version. It’s a nice psych/cosmic intro that sets the scene. I still don’t get the reasoning behind putting extra songs or music on some formats but not others. Maybe I never will.

Onto first song proper ‘Succession’ though, which is filled with top-drawer doom/stoner riffs, classy percussion and dual clean/harsh vocals that all add significant volume to this trio. Infinity Ritual’s sound so far has a nostalgic element to it, at times taking cues from early UK doom pioneers and gothic influences as well. There are similarities to the likes of Electric Wizard and Orange Goblin, but also Anathema and Paradise Lost too. 

‘Earthdriver’ dials up the stoner rock vibes with semi-clean vocals, all-encompassing drum work and a downright dirty guitar solo that seems to last for almost half the song, leading you into hallucinatory territory. New Zealand had always been great at producing bands in a similar vein to Infinity Ritual, with 8 Foot Sativa and Beastwars springing to mind immediately. The thing that catches me off guard here though is the nu-metal/grunge undertones that are present during ‘Deceivers’ (think Mad At Gravity, Spineshank, early-Hoobastank). 

I’ve mentioned way too many other bands in this review already so I’m gonna stop, because I’m not trying to pigeonhole Infinity Ritual, instead I’m trying (badly) to paint a picture of how varied and strong their music is. Talking of strong music, ending with a near twenty minute song that takes up an entire side of vinyl is a perfect example of that. ‘Stones’ is that song and it’s the slowest, darkest number on II, which is unsurprising. It’s largely instrumental and shows even more of Infinity Ritual’s musical, song-writing skill. Things get a bit weird for a short time before one final short blast of the band’s full-throttle stoner.

Listening to this EP has awakened something inside me (without sounding twee). It reminded me why I truly connected with heavy music in my mid-late teens even before I started writing about it online. There aren’t many bands that can genuinely do that! Infinity Ritual haven’t just released another record destined for the ether, they’ve released something special.

You can currently (at the time of writing) stream 'Earthdriver' on bandcamp below, as well as on other streaming services:-

Keep an eye out for vinyl/cd/merch drops here -

Infinity Ritual -