Thursday 20 June 2024

Devil's Gateway - Promised Land / No Escape


Labels: Iron Corpse

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 03 May 2024


Tracklist:


1. Promised Land

2. No Escape


After a day of work frustrations and a massively lacklustre performance from England at the Euros this evening, only something truly heavy will suffice. Finland's Devil's Gateway fulfils that need with their latest EP Promised Land / No Escape. Containing two songs and coming off the back of their September 2023 full-length Eternal Grind, it was released on tape through Iron Corpse Records alongside a digital release. It's well worth mentioning that this is the duo's third offering in just over twelve months. Productivity like that deserves much closer attention!


Crusty, hellish death/doom with tones of rawness is what’s on offer here. Devil’s Gateway sound just like their name on ‘Promised Land’. Dual-vocals, bass-heavy guitar, crashing cymbals and all manner of murk take you on a ride that goes deeper than you would have anticipated. The overriding sound is that of death/doom but the crust is there later on, adding extra dystopian gloom.


Second song ‘No Escape’ is even more dank and heavy, if that were possible! The sludgy bass threatens to drag it in a powerviolence-esque direction but instead Devil’s Gateway continue on their slow, downtempo trajectory. It’s absolutely perfect in it’s chaotic, distorted droning beauty. It’s a fine way to end this little EP and the yearning for what’s to come is real.


Once again Iron Corpse manages to help unearth another Finnish band that builds on the insanity that the country already delivers musically. I’m a massive fan of Finland’s heavy music community and If you’re reading this review, you probably will be too. If you’re new to it, dive right in. You won’t regret it.


You can stream and purchase the EP on both digital and limited tape formats from Devil's Gateway below:-



You can grab tape copies from Iron Corpse here too - https://www.ironcorpse.com/?product_cat=ironcorpsereleases


Devil's Gateway - https://devilsgateway.bandcamp.com

Iron Corpse - https://www.facebook.com/cultoftheironcorpse

Wednesday 19 June 2024

Modern Rifles - LP + B-Sides


Labels: Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 18 Jan 2019


Tracklist:


1. Introplane

2. Terroplane

3. Lie To Me, Ian, Lie To Me

4. Feck Me If I'm Wrong, But Is That A Ham Sangie In Your Hands?

5. United Lead

6. Man The Ramparts! Bananalyze The Trade Winds

7. Illegal Dracula!!

8. Kip Winger

9. Say A Prayer To St. Happenin'

10. Manbird

11. Chuck Woolery Is Leviathan

12. Enter The Craptagon

13. Hot Stone Meat Party

14. Broken Wings Make Broken Things


I've had a surprisingly productive day so I thought I'd ride on the coattails of my momentum and try to at-least nail another Zegema Beach Records roster review. This write-up focuses on US band Modern Rifles and the (I guess) discography release that ZBR put to tape in early 2019. Modern Rifles existed between 2006 and 2009 and then 2011 to 2014 (source: OPENmind/SATURATEDbrain). This tape gathers together the songs from their 2008 album I Was Young, It Was Dark in addition to some extras for the completists. 


CanaDave wrote in his post linked above that Modern Rifles will appeal to those who listen to the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Recover, Hot Snakes and Russian Circles (amongst others). Any band that covers that range of sounds has gotta be good!


With fourteen songs, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth here (hint: at the time of writing there’s one copy still for sale on the ZBR bandcamp page!). ‘Introplane’ kicks things off with some excellent emo/alternative instrumentation that sounds way more cinematic than it should. Modern Rifles definitely had a penchant for expressive music. What an opening! ‘Terroplane’ switches gear and takes things in a more rocking direction, albeit with a heart on the sleeve. I’m getting the Jimmy Eat World/Recover comparisons for sure here, but I’m also hearing subtle nods to Boysetsfire and The Mars Volta too (but maybe that’s just me). I’m going to do my best to refrain from name-dropping now because this has already blown me away.


What’s clear when listening to ‘Lie To Me, Ian, Lie To Me’ is that I’ve been too focused on way too much heavy music lately. This song has such a nostalgic feel and structure to it, that it takes me back to when I was discovering more melodic bands back in the days of the Rock Sound Magazine sampler CDs. Sadly, that UK music mag went a bit downhill and then disappeared altogether. It helped to shape my love for alternative music, for which I’m forever grateful. ‘Feck Me If I’m Wrong, But Is That A Ham Sangie In Your Hands?’ takes on an indie form for a little bit, albeit with a proper upbeat tempo and strong vocal delivery. Even the introspective latter-section is anthemic as it flows into the driving, gang-vox filled ending.


The drums that open ‘United Lead’ sound so raw and you’d be forgiven for thinking that Modern Rifles are about to go full-on screamo but that’s not the case. Instead, you’re presented with a slightly melancholic ballad of sorts. It’s a change of pace from what’s come before but as it builds in volume, it also builds in intensity (as you’d expect). Another thing that’s evident on this release is their way with song titles. ‘Man The Ramparts! Bananalyze The Trade Winds! Is one such title that will probably leave you guessing (as it does me) but what won’t is the classy indie-rock instrumentation and clean vocals, which have been a mainstay of this record.


‘Illegal Dracula!!’ Is one of those danceable tracks that will bury itself in your head thanks to the catchy rhythm and urgency. It’s one of the most furious songs here too, yet it gives way abruptly to ‘Kip Winger’, which itself contains an abundance of off-kilter tempos and lovely melodic guitar, that nods to the mathy end of emo to these ears. Talking of Catchy, ’Say A Prayer To St. Happenin’’ is the epitome. It’s abundantly clear just how good Modern Rifles were when listening to this. It’s criminal that they didn’t reach more people.


Their music was so anthemic and ‘Manbird’ goes the extra mile in that respect. There’s an undertone of genuine angst but also so much elation flowing through it. For me, it sums up everything about Modern Rifles as a band. The pure instrumental wanderlust that emanates from ‘Chuck Woolery Is Leviathan’ is out of this world. This song closed out the I Was Young, It Was Dark and what a way to do so!


I really hoped ‘Enter The Craptagon’ would be a musical commentary about the circus that is UFC, but it’s nothing of the sort. It’s actually another great alternative/indie song with enough curb appeal to reach beyond genre lines. That’s what is so good about this band. Penultimate song ‘Hot Stone Meat Party’ gives off extra experimental vibes without being too weird, because we all know that can frighten some people off. Brooding post-punk fills the speakers on collection closer ‘Broken Wings Make Broken Things’. It rounds things out in majestic fashion.


Over 16 years after the original album was released (and over five since this tape release), the music performed by Modern Rifles is still pure class. Thanks to the Internet, it hasn’t been lost to ages. If you’re unfamiliar, please remedy that now. Let’s cause a renaissance like never before! Awesome and genuinely uplifting. 


The full collection can be streamed and purchased digitally below (where a sole physical tape copy also exists, waiting to find it's forever home):-



You can also still grab tape copies from ZBR's US store here - https://zbrusa.com/collections/zbr-releases/products/modern-rifles-lp-b-sides-cassette


Modern Rifles - https://modernrifles.bandcamp.com/album/i-was-young-it-was-dark

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

Sunday 16 June 2024

Serling - Four O' Clock Premiere


There's a brand new release coming on Wednesday 19th June from Tomb Tree (alongside Fisher King Records and Soft Grit Recordings). It's a limited 12" lathe split featuring US math rock band Charger Port and mathcore compatriots Serling. Charger Port contribute three songs here with Serling's two tracks coming in between. I'm excited to be able to bring you an advance premiere of Serling's second track 'Four O' Clock'. Check out the song below:-



‘Four O’ Clock’ is filled with everything from grind, to noise rock and math-infused metal. The tone is low and the vocals have that almost manic spoken-word delivery that Chat Pile fans will be familiar with. 


Tracklist:


1. Charger Port - The Enter Net

2. Serling - Two

3. Charger Port - A Flip Switched

4. Serling - Four O' Clock

5. Charger Port - Hey Is For Horse Is


I Don't Watch Sports Anymore comes on 25 black and 25 clear lathes, with inserts and custom handmade jackets from Josh of Vamonos Tapes. Check the promo flyers below:-




You'll be able to grab copies and stream the full split from the links below on Wednesday:-


Fisher King Records - https://fisherkingrecords.bandcamp.com/music

Tomb Tree - https://tombtreetapes.bandcamp.com


Charger Port - https://www.facebook.com/Chargerpurt

Serling - https://www.facebook.com/SERLING.band

Fisher King Records - https://www.facebook.com/FisherKingRecords

Soft Grit Recordings - https://www.facebook.com/ShoppingCartHeroRecords

Tomb Tree - https://www.facebook.com/tombtreetapes

Saturday 15 June 2024

Locktender - Sage: I


Labels: Self-Released/I.Corrupt Records

Formats: Digital/Vinyl

Release Date: 08 Mar 2024


Tracklist:


1. Tomorrow Is Never

2. For The Wind To Tear

3. No Passing


Back in January (was it really that long ago!) I reviewed the debut release from Inosuke and following that write-up, guitarist/vocalist Jason wrote back to tell me about the brand new release from Locktender (whom he's also a member of). I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to get round to this post. If you know Locktender then you'll be familiar with their self-proclaimed 'philosophercore'. To date Sage: I is self-released and the first of several inspired by surrealist painter Kay Sage. I.Corrupt Records will have a vinyl pressing of the EP available in the near-future too!.


Locktender has always been a band that has produced such beautifully cinematic post-rock/hardcore and after a six year wait, they’re back with a new release and concept. ‘Tomorrow Is Never’ begins in a vein that reminds of long-departed UK bands Voe and Mausoleion. Those comparisons only relate to the intro though as Locktender switch up a gear after a minute or so, taking you on a sludge/post-rock journey. It’s only at the mid three-minute mark that they hit full stride with the addition of bellowed screams and equally powerful instrumentation.


‘For The Wind To Tear’ gently floats along, with melody and music that builds throughout it’s short life-cycle. It’s quite sad when the song dissolves into near silence but there’s always a reason for suspense and Locktender use it perfectly as they lead into EP closer ‘No Passing’. After a week without wi-fi (gifting me the ability to fully switch off), it’s truly awe-inspiring to have this as the first music I listen to on my return. 


As ‘No Passing’ reaches the point of peak heaviness, the knowledge that this release is the first of many to come fills me with great joy. It’s crazy to think that Locktender has been a mainstay of the fertile screamo/post-hardcore/post-rock community for twelve years now. Here’s to many years to come. The added anticipation for the vinyl pressing from I. Corrupt Records will be well worth it too.


You can stream and purchase Sage: I as a name-your-price download from Locktender below:-



Locktender - https://www.facebook.com/locktenderband

I.Corrupt Records - https://www.facebook.com/icorruptrecs

Wednesday 5 June 2024

Mo'ynoq - A Place For Ash


Labels: Self-Released

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital

Formats: 23 Sep 2022


Tracklist: 


1. Penance

2. Throes Of Ardent Disposition

3. Effigies Adorned In Fire

4. Sychromysticisim

5. The Beast That Mourned At The Heart Of The Mountain


Last year I read about a new online platform called Ampwall. At the time, it was still in development (as it still is today) but wanted to offer something more to musicians at a time when bandcamp was being taken over by new owners. I signed up to it's newsletter to keep updated on progress and more recently, the site has invited a small number of bands and artists to upload their music to the platform, while also offering merch options too. 


Ampwall is spearheaded by Chris Grigg, also of US black metal band Woe. With that in mind, I wanted to write about a band using the platform as a way to promote both them further and also Ampwall, for those who are unfamiliar. I've featured Mo'ynoq here before, when I wrote about their 2019 full-length Dreaming In a Dead Language. A Place For Ash was independently by the band in 2022 on all formats.


As somebody who mainly consumes music (for review purposes) on either bandcamp of iTunes, having a new platform like Ampwall is exciting. The current and future state of music consumption is something that really fascinates me, as a heavy music fan and as a supporter of physical formats (weirdly). Mo’ynoq may seem like an unlikely starting point when it comes to exploring new digital platforms but they are an early adopter, having been invited to join by Ampwall’s founder. The US black metallers tear straight into opener ‘Penance’. It’s raw and chaotic to begin with before Mo’ynoq settle into a rhythm of sorts, all the while guided by blasting drums. The metallic guitars and rumbling bass shroud the percussion, leaving it bathed in hellish growls and bellows. 


‘Throes Of Ardent Disposition’ is a cross between ice-cold black metal and groove-laden, martial rhythmic intensity. It seems to draw influence from war metal, teutonic thrash and a mix of both Appalachian/Scandinavian black metal. From the previous barrage comes the musically atmospheric ‘Effigies Adorned In Fire’. I’ve drawn special attention to the instrumentation here but it plays a very significant role in the song, whilst being held up against the intense vocals, themselves drawing from post-metal at times. It’s bloody brilliant!


Penultimate song ‘Synchromysticism’ is an amalgamation of cascading riffs and catchy musicianship in general. Whatever your thoughts are on black metal as a sub-genre, it’s hard to ignore that it delivers now more than ever. Mo’ynoq prove that here and then some! For anybody who digs Twilight Fauna, ‘The Beast That Mourned At The Heart Of The Mountain’ comes close to that band’s musical approach initially before Mo’ynoq unleashes their true black metal might one final time. It’s an utterly engrossing song with an incredible mid-section filled with dramatic melody. It’s equally as dramatic as it draws the album to a close.


This is an expansive album filled with so much depth. It shows off the best of Mo’ynoq and their song-writing skill. Fantastic work. Promoting this release as well as previous releases here can only be a bonus for Mo’ynoq. Being able to spread the word about it fills me with joy. 


You can stream A Place For Ash and discover more about what Ampwall offers both bands and fans below:-



Mo'ynoq - https://www.facebook.com/moynoq

Ampwall - https://ampwall.com

Friday 31 May 2024

Tragedy Struck First - Forever Gone Single Premiere


Today sees the release of the brand new single from UK melodic metal band Tragedy Struck First. About a year ago I premiered the band's single 'That Which Leaves Us Hollow' via my Youtube Channel. It gained over 1,200 views at the time and now I'm really excited to be able to share the band's latest single 'Forever Gone'.


Back when I featured 'That Which Leaves Us Hollow',  Tragedy Struck First was essentially the solo-project of Grymm Neve but more recently the project has morphed into a full band line-up. That line-up is - Grymm Neve on vocals, Kajun Wickham on guitars, Jack Buckley on guitars and Bill Kent on Drums. 


'Forever Gone' is their latest single and you can stream it via my Youtube channel once again below:-



Here's what Grymm had to say about the song and what it means to him:-


“We have all suffered grief through losing a loved one at some point in our lives and through this track we hope to connect to the listener so they don't feel alone in their darkest hours”


'Forever Gone' definitely lives up to it's melodic metal billing, but with added elements of death metal and deathcore. The influences of Bury Tomorrow, Shadow Of Intent and Ingested, alongside some subtle Scandinavian-like tones. The full-band recording is really good and promises a great deal. The future of Tragedy Struck First has been cemented here and will hopefully lead to more music and maybe even a full-length record in time.


The above video was my own attempt for this premiere but Tragedy Struck First also released a lyric video (which is honestly much better) and you can view it below:-



Please give them your support and stream/watch/share the hell of this on all streaming platforms where you can and follow their progress here - https://www.facebook.com/tragedystruckfirst

Thursday 30 May 2024

Nuvolascura - Nuvolascura


Labels: Dog Knights Productions/No Funeral Records/Sombras Del Progreso/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 28 Jan 2019


Tracklist:


1. Death As A Crown

2. ...On Account Of The Poison

3. Flower Offering

4. Saccharine Trance

5. It Comes In Plagues Of Consciousness...

6. Vow Of Violence

7. Half Truth

8. Cerulean Wound

9. Zen Depression

10. The Slowest Color Seeping Trough (Mask Of Myself)

11. Designs For An Altar


It's rather fortuitous that Zegema Beach Records has just released a CD compilation containing all of Nuvolascura's songs to date, which may be a precursor to something. It's good timing for me because I'm jumping back into my ZBR Roster Review series with the band's 2019 self-titled LP. I picked up a white vinyl copy from Dog Knights Productions, which was released in October of 2019 with the alternative black sleeve so I've lived with the album for a few years now. I saw someone leave a comment on Bandcamp describing Nuvolascura as a cross between Lord Snow and Oathbreaker. I can get behind that!


These eleven tracks go by in absolutely no time at all. Opener ‘Death As A Crown’ is considered long by Nuvolascura’s standards and what a way to kick things off! It’s filled with utterly impassioned screams and musical layers that straddle all corners of post-hardcore, screamo and even some blackened elements too. So friggin good!


From here everything becomes more intense as demonstrated by ‘…On Account Of The Poison’, which barely exists beyond a minute with it’s angular riffs and crazed percussive tempo. Everything seems calmer on ‘Flower Offering’ during it’s opening bars before Nuvolascura pick up in layers and textures, switching between emo spoken-word and caustic screams, as well as ever shifting instrumentation.


‘Saccharine Trance’ provides you with no chance of getting anywhere near said trance thanks to probably the most math-like song-writing you’ll witness on this LP. It’s an absolute banger. ‘It Comes In Plagues Of Consciousness…’ deceives as it takes over with gentle melodies and slower tempos for all of about thirty seconds, before Nuvolascura hit top gear with their most violent song yet.


In typically classy screamo fashion, ‘Vow Of Violence’ is the beautiful instrumental interlude that you weren’t expecting, given it’s title. Sandwiched right in the middle of the album, it offers a very brief moment of calm and tranquility, which is soon to be broken. The ringing feedback that signals ‘Half Truth’ does a good job of shattering any calming thought as the band precedes to rip themselves and you to shreds with glorious abandon. It benefits from being one of the lengthier songs, presenting more expansiveness and a space to breath.


That space is needed because no sooner has ‘Half Truth’ ended that ‘Cerulean Wound’ uproots everything again with pummelling emoviolence-led percussion, anxiety-filled trebly riffs and more insane vocal work. ‘Zen Depression’ seems like an oxymoron of a song-title and it’s actually pretty accurate, given the noise-rock approach that Nuvolascura take here. Groovier in many places, it grows with every bar before giving in to utterly bewildering grind.


Before you know it you’re listening to penultimate song ‘The Slowest Color Seeping Through (Mask Of Myself)’. It’s filled with expectation as it moves up the tempo scale from moderate to super fast and just when you think things are going to explode, it kicks you into album closer ‘Design For An Altar’. If fast screamo songs could ever be considered truly epic (in size and feel) then this one would sit right at the top of the pile. I don’t know what else to say and don’t really care how polarising that previous sentence may be.


Nuvolascura have favoured quality over quantity since their inception. The modern day screamo/post-hardcore community is lucky to have them amongst it’s ranks, especially when so many others have come and gone in quick succession. Hopefully, the future will be brighter for them and because of them.


You can stream and purchase the LP as a name-your-price download below:-



Physical copies are sold out from Nuvolascura and all of the above mentioned labels too. Hopefully, a repress will come at some point.


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

Dog Knights Productions - https://www.facebook.com/dogknights

No Funeral Records - https://www.facebook.com/nofuneral8

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

Tuesday 28 May 2024

Kõukude Tants - Lyndanise Ood


Labels: Self-Released/Death Prayer Records

Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 28 Jun 2021


Tracklist:


1. Aadelkonna Etüüd

2. Lyndanise Ood

3. Sajatus - ole õnnistatud, pööbel

4, Klaasikillud ja tulised haavlid

5. Kõnts

6. Viimane vale - ehk katkuaja esimesed päevad


When I was invited to the Death Prayer Records listening party for the Solstice Pyre release, I was also invited to the subsequent listening party for the label's re-release of the 2021 EP from Estonian black metal band Kõukude Tants. To this day Lyndanise Ood exists as the only release to come from the duo, who are part of the Lyndanise Coven that also includes fellow Estonian black metal bands Lihunik, Soerd and Tomb Veneration. Where Solstice Pyre was more symphonic, Kõukude Tants deals in a sound that embodies rawness.


After a little break of sorts, the mundane way in which I’ve spent my bank holiday Monday has finally got the better of me. It has pulled me back to a release I listened to a couple of weeks ago for the first time. Lyndanise Ood struck me straight away with it’s true organic approach. The noisy blueprint laid down by Estonia’s Kõukude Tants is not dissimilar to that of their neighbours in Finland, which doesn’t come as a surprise given their obvious proximity. EP opener ‘Aadelkonna Etüüd’ sees the duo of Oraat Von Talyna and 

Presbüter (both whom provide guitar/bass/vocals) being accompanied by session drummer USB, whom I hope isn’t a real USB device for my sake! The trio performs black metal at it’s coldest, harking back to the genre’s early days here.


The title song ‘Lyndanise Ood’ comes across as being slightly more scaled-back musically, but due to that it allows the band’s personality to come across more obviously. Hints of industrial show through during the rhythmic mid-section and it’s slower tempo. The pace-shift works perfectly and makes the song sound no less harrowing. ‘Sajatus - ole õnnistatud, pööbel’ follows a similar trajectory, just with more dissonance. It doesn’t morph into any sort of progressive black metal number, so have no fear but it does show Kõukude Tants growing musically. 


Just as I talk about musical growth (albeit subtly), I’m brought back down with a thud thanks to the opening vocals of ‘Klaasikillud ja tulised haavlid’, which are rawness personified. The rest of the song continues in much the same vein, but with more of that dissonance I talked about earlier. There’s a slight nod to French black metal luminaries Deathspell Omega hidden within as well. Penultimate song ‘Kõnts’ is packaged up alongside the band’s more urgent/up-tempo songwriting, raising the heartbeat and the expectation for what’s to come from the EP’s closer.


‘Viimane vale - ehk katkuaja esimesed päevad’ is that closer and it rounds out Lyndanise Ood with a nod to death/doom as well as the now familiar black metal that makes up this EP. It’s an engrossing and enjoyable song (if that’s acceptable to say), as it shows how musically talented Kõukude Tants are. To sum this release up, I’d call it surprising in the best way. All music is subjective but when I first hit play on this, I wasn’t expecting it to be as atmospheric and as musical as it is.


Estonian black metal has a rich underground community and is up-and-coming. It’s important for fans of the genre to know that such bands exist. Popularity isn’t important, but the music is.


You can stream and purchase the EP digitally below, where it's also available to buy on tape and on vinyl:-



You can also purchase copies from Death Prayer Records here - https://www.deathprayerrecords.com/shop/


Kõukude Tants/Lyndanise Coven - https://www.facebook.com/LyndaniseCoven/

Death Prayer Records - https://www.facebook.com/deathprayerrecords

Tuesday 21 May 2024

Child - Child


Labels: Self-Released/Heavy Psych Sounds

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 19-Feb-2014/26-Apr-2024


Tracklist:


1. Trees

2. Stone By Stone

3. All Dried Up

4. Mean Square

5. Blue Overtone Storm/Yellow Planetary Sun


Earlier this year Italian purveyors of all things doom 'n' groove Heavy Psych Sounds set about reissuing   the entire back catalogue of Australian blues/stoner rock band Child, starting with their debut self-titled record from 2014, almost ten years after it's original release. This power trio are a new name to me but thanks to the HPS PR wheel that's forever turning, I have the chance to get acquainted with them. I hope you'll join me for what promises to be a wild ride.


On an evening when I’ve been given the annual reminder about noise levels within the block that I reside, a chilled out interlude is much needed. Child deliver a hefty dose of blues-rock with minimal urgency. Easy going percussion, sumptuous melodic guitar work and vocals oozing with that classy Desert Sessions-style drawl work in unison to deliver fantastic music on opener ‘Trees’.


‘Stone By Stone’ starts of with more immediacy, albeit not necessarily due to tempo. It has a more traditional song structure from the off but it later descends into a heavily-instrumental blues number, showing off just how impressive Child are musically. Where I live in the UK, there’s a bar that specialises in blues and to be honest, it has never appealed to me as a venue because it has an obvious clique; however, if it were to one day book Child (unlikely I know), I’d be there like a shot just to see them.


The screeching solo mid-section of ‘All Dried Up’ is upon me before I know it, alongside the warming Moog/organ and the whisky-drenched vocals that sound even more powerful now. Child’s momentum seems to grow with each song on this record and while this one is their shortest, it’s by no means forgettable.


From this point on Child go back down a fuzz-laden road on penultimate song ‘Mean Square’, thanks to the rumbling bass tone that kicks it off. That bass is the heaviest thing about it and the trio’s sound throughout this record, but there’s no need for anything louder to be honest. It’s not often now that I venture to this end of the slow/low musical spectrum but it’s something I should really do more often. Less dissonance, more resonance.


Ending their first record with the ten+ minute freak out ‘Blue Overtone Storm/Yellow Planetary Sun’ is (was?) a masterstroke. Kinda like if Kyuss, Oneida and Nebula formed one hell of a supergroup. I guess they would sound like Child do here. It’s an absolute joy to behold. Almost fourteen years after this blog’s conception, discovering bands that are new to me is the best thing. Child are excellent and well worth diving down the rabbit hole for.


You can stream and purchase Child directly from Child below:-



Physical vinyl and cd copies can be purchased from Heavy Psych Sounds here - https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/child-child


Child - https://www.facebook.com/childtheband

Heavy Psych Sounds - https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS

Monday 20 May 2024

Gossip - Coals Of Juniper 10"


Labels: Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 29 Apr 2024


Tracklist:


1. Rid

2. Casting Crowns

3. Head Of Sisera

4. Earthly Daughters


I've decided to jump into another new 2024 release, because my music listening ADHD (I know that's not a real thing) is a bit all over the place right now. One day I'll actually have a goddamn plan! Portland, Oregon (US) screamo/mathcore band Gossip very recently released their latest EP Coals Of Juniper, which follows their 2022 split with Apostles Of Eris. Don't get confused between them and the other Portland, Oregon band named Gossip (I don't know if there's a connection between the two. I'm not even sure if the latter is active anymore). I did dig the song 'Standing In The Way Of Control' though.


I tried to watch the Eurovision grand final last Saturday evening but fairly early on I remembered why I don’t usually bother. The only act I really regret not watching was Finland’s Windows95man, purely because of the name. What does that have to do with this review I hear you ask; absolutely nothing. Gossip don’t have to worry about that yearly ear torturing marathon though and instead channel their song-writing skills into creating heartfelt, and powerfully heavy music. EP opener ‘Rid’ is a great mix of atmosphere-led post-hardcore and mathy screamo filled with just the right amount of violence. ’Rid’ goes in all kinds of directions given Gossip’s alignment to emoviolence and screamo, but my god is it worth it.


‘Casting Crowns’ follows on instantly with thick post-rock riffs, classy bass, cymbal-driven percussion and utterly furious vocals that switch between higher-pitched screams and startlingly low growls. There’s an impressive musical approach here too that reveals itself further as the song goes on. The clean vocals towards the end are an excellent addition as well. If you’re a fan of intense, twisting, angular hardcore then ‘Head Of Sisera’ will suit you down to the ground. It’s full of fast passages that bleed into glimpses of slower atmospherics. The clean vocals give off a Rolo Tomassi vibe later on, which is perfectly fine by me.


Closing with ‘Earthly Daughters’, Gossip provides one last cinematic, dramatic post-metal song that’s filled with quiet/loud, harsh/clean dynamics to begin with before mathcore takes hold again for pretty much the remainder. All four of the tracks that make up Coals Of Juniper are ferocious yet beautiful. To be honest, it’s taken me way too long to write this review due to writer’s block and my general malaise recently (not related to music but to life in general), but this EP is too good to ignore. 


You can stream and purchase Coals Of Juniper on 10" vinyl or digital formats from Zegema Beach Records below:-



Physical copies are also available via the below ZBR stores:-


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Sunday 12 May 2024

Liquid Shit - Repulsive Bodies


Labels: Dry Cough Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 07 Apr 2023


Tracklist:


1. Anxious Wretch

2. Encrusted In Eschar

3. Untethered

4. Foul Occurrence

5. Mentally Dissected

6. Bound Forever To This Body


Less than twelve months after their last EP Untold Horrors in May 2022, London's Liquid Shit returned with their latest EP Repulsive Bodies. Self-released by the band in April 2023 while at the same time getting a tape pressing via Dry Cough Records, it sees Liquid Shit delving deeper into the world of noise and sludge, while also keeping their feet rooted in death metal. 


I absolutely loved Untold Horrors when it was released in 2022. I don’t know, there was just something so warming about it. So much so that I ordered a tape copy of Repulsive Bodies as soon as I could. I’m just sorry that it’s taken me a year to write about it. Today’s muggy atmosphere (coupled with the obligatory allergy flair-up) seems the like the perfect conditions to finally put my thoughts about this EP into print and as opener ‘Anxious Wretch’ lurches into life with slow/sludgy death metal, it makes me wonder if Liquid Shit will be the band that genuinely finds that elusive brown note. 


It’s not a fast song by any means but ‘Anxious Wretch’ acts as a precursor for what’s to come. What does come next is ‘Encrusted In Eschar’, which begins with a whole heap of proper doom/sludge-laden bass, leading to similarly downbeat instrumental all round. The vocals don’t give off any light either, in case you were wondering.


There’s a heavy psych influence in the riffs on ‘Untethered’, which might take you by surprise slightly but have no fear, they’re in absolutely the right place and add a huge amount to the song given how minimalist it is in places. I’m not saying that being minimalist is a bad thing (because it’s not) but I always felt like Liquid Shit had psych vibes in them when listening to Untold Horrors


Having said all that though, you couldn’t get a more apt song than Foul Occurrence. What you get here is another slow number that drags death metal into the deepest of places. It comes across as the bastard love child born of Cynic and Primitive Man. Picture that if you will. Slightly progressive/psychedelic death metal mixed with the nastiest sludge/doom.


Penultimate song ‘Mentally Dissected’ dials up the off-kilter musicianship and general noisiness even more, but manages to retain a healthy dose of what made old-school death/doom so engrossing during the song’s first half, before it descends into chaos later on. Closing with ‘Bound Forever To This Body’, unnerving samples lead to a cacophony of deep growls, screeching feedback and minimal yet crushing instrumentation.  


I really like the path that Liquid Shit have chosen to go down with their extreme sound. It would have been easy for them to just follow what others are doing but their music has a more experimental edge to it. This EP follows on from Untold Horrors perfectly and gives the slightest of glimpses into what may be coming next.


You can stream and purchase Repulsive Bodies digitally from Liquid Shit below, as well as the last few white/black long sleeve t-shirts too:-



Dry Cough tapes are sold out.


Liquid Shit - @liquidshitsludge Instagram

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