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 -

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


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 -

Dog Knights Productions -

No Funeral Records -

Zegema Beach Records -

Tuesday 28 May 2024

Kõukude Tants - Lyndanise Ood

Labels: Self-Released/Death Prayer Records

Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 28 Jun 2021


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 -

Kõukude Tants/Lyndanise Coven -

Death Prayer Records -

Tuesday 21 May 2024

Child - Child

Labels: Self-Released/Heavy Psych Sounds

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

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


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 -

Child -

Heavy Psych Sounds -

Monday 20 May 2024

Gossip - Coals Of Juniper 10"

Labels: Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 29 Apr 2024


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:-

Zegema Beach Records CAN/INTL - / USA -

Gossip -

Zegema Beach Records -

Sunday 12 May 2024

Liquid Shit - Repulsive Bodies

Labels: Dry Cough Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 07 Apr 2023


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 -

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Solstice Pyre - The Sighting Of Ethereal Dimension

 Labels: Self-Released/Death Prayer Records

Formats: Digital/Vinyl

Release Date: 07 Jan 2023


1. The Spawn Of Havoc

2. Negative Dimensional Vortices

3. The Burning Citadel

4. Requiem For The Fallen

5. On The Edge Of The World

UK black metal label Death Prayer Records put on back-to-back bandcamp listening parties last Friday. The first one was to promote the vinyl release of the debut EP The Sighting Of Ethereal Dimension by Indonesian symphonic black metal band Solstice Pyre. It's great to see the label championing yet more bands from further afield. There isn't a lot of info out there about them, so while things are kept mysterious, their music will do the talking.

Solstice Pyre begin in the most bombastic fashion with the melodic/symphonic tones of ‘The Spawn Of Havoc’, which manage to shroud their cold and raw black metal. At times it’s similar to the sound of Bal-Sagoth, yet the music contained here is less entrenched in fantasy. ’Negative Dimensional Vortices’ leans a lot more towards straightforward black metal, with the keys taking a slightly less prominent role. Instead, they’re replaced by greater use of furious guitar and those frostbitten growls.

It’s evident already that Solstice Pyre want to make their music more expansive and on ‘The Burning Citadel’ they go further in that direction. It’s nearly seven minutes in length and because of that it shows off a more mid-tempo sound, and approach from the band. The symphonic additions are still present but as before, they’re used as a way to compliment the extremity that’s present.

After that barrage of intensity, the short instrumental piece ‘Requiem For The Fallen’ offers up only light relief before ‘On The Edge Of The Void’ provides one final blast of outstanding Indonesian black metal. It really is that good! I knew beforehand that Indonesia was nailing the death metal/grind sound but didn’t have it down as a country that embraced black metal as well performed as this. 

This final song exhibits why no country (however small) should be Ignored when it comes to extreme metal, especially black metal. I appreciate that it’s taken UK label Death Prayer Records to bring Solstice Pyre to my attention, but hopefully it also brings them to the attention of many other metal fans too.

You can stream and purchase The Sighting Of Ethereal Dimension on digital or sumptuous purple/gold flake vinyl formats below:-

Copies can also be purchased from Death Prayer Records here -

Death Prayer Records -

Thursday 2 May 2024

Big Water - Drink More Water

Labels: Lydia House/Self-Released/The Ghost Is Clear Records/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: CDr/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 14 Dec 2018


1. B.M.

2. My Name Is Chappie Johnson And I Can't Open This Damn Pickle Jar

3. Typical Porn

4. Highest Number Is 24

5. Half-Eatin' Sandwich

6. Drunk Punch Love

Back in 2018 I was lucky enough to be able to premiere the song 'Typical Porn' from the debut EP by Kansas City, US screamo/hardcore band Big Water. My biggest failing at the time though was not reviewing the full EP. I'm (sort of) righting that wrong this evening as I pick my ZBR roster review series back up again. Drink More Water was self-released by Big Water on tape and digitally in November 2018 (according to Discogs), before both The Ghost Is Clear Records and Zegema Beach Records released their own limited tape run a month later. There was also a CDr run made by Lydia House (again according to Discogs) but quantity and release date are unknown.

It’s weird how the less-is-more approach (to writing and posting) seems to be working. I always used to have the energy to write about a new release every evening, but things change and I’m still trying to re-find that same energy. Short sharp releases help and Drink More Water is definitely one of those. Opener ‘B.M.’ greets you with a sample from the TV comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm (I think? Please correct me if I’m wrong). It’s a short intro that leads into Big Water’s take on heavy yet groovy screamo/emo-violence with some added hardcore thrown in. ‘My Name Is Chappie Johnson And I Can’t Open This Damn Pickle Jar’ gives off total mathcore vibes initially. Maybe that’s due to quick shift from sound bite to harsh screamo, with plenty of off-kilter tempos and unexpected rhythmic fluency thrown in to the mix.

By the time you reach ‘Typical Porn’ you realise that while it seems like Big Water don’t take things too seriously, their music and it’s delivery is very much serious business. It’s shorter than the average song (apparently the average length of a “pop” song in three minutes and thirty seconds). Thankfully though, this isn’t an average pop song and I’m now going to wash my mouth out for suggesting it was even close. I get the impression that perhaps my neighbour above might be annoyed with the volume I’m playing this EP at or maybe even the volume of my typing, which I also get abuse for in my day job. ‘The Highest Number Is 24” is as furious as Big Water get. The enjoyment factor is massive here!.

‘Half-Eatin’ Sandwich’ has some bizarre nu-metal influences going on amongst the guitars (at least my ears anyway). It’s over before it’s really begun, in part due to the gung-ho fashion is which Big Water do things. There’s no point in dawdling anyway right?. EP closer ‘Drunk Punch Love’ is the longest song here and it exhibits a leaning towards exciting noise-rock for sure. Filled with angular instrumentation, the vocals are either used sparingly or huddled deep in the mix. It’s hard to pinpoint musical influences but it nods towards AmRep more than it does to Ape Must Not Kill Ape, if you get what I mean.

In the throwaway culture we live in now, debut demos and EPs tend to be overlooked by people who don’t dare to dig below the surface. If you’ve read this review and/or are familiar with Big Water, you’re not one of those people. Thank you, for you have chosen wisely as this EP is fantastic.

You can stream and purchase Drink More Water digitally from Big Water below, where it's also available on tape too:-

Zegema Beach Records still have copies of the tape available in their US store here too -

Big Water - @bigwaterkc Instagram

The Ghost Is Clear Records -

Zegema Beach Records -