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