Monday, February 28, 2011

Volahn - Dimensiónes Del Trance Kósmico (2008)


"Ritual Kaos Worship, solo Black Twilight entity from Ashdautas’s lead guitarist Volahn. From the infamous black twilight circle"

So, I found Volahn through a band I posted earlier in the week, Axeman (you know the one that does rip offs of Amebix in a black metal style??). Little to my surprise, they were apart of a collective called Black Twilight Circle, the same collective that Axeman and a few USBM-related bands are also apart of. I don't know whether it's the whole BTC/Ritual Kaos Worship shit or that it's rumored to be that Volahn recorded their music on a boombox but their kvlt status really seems to give off a pretentious feel to those who don't like USBM or unorthodox black metal. Personally, I couldn't give a fuck less. It's not definitely as pretentious as stupid "blackgaze" bands like Alcest and Amesoeurs that are being recreated day in day out. I like Volahn for how it sounds and not because they're trying to be another gimmicky USBM band or trying to be funny. The album starts off raw with blast beats going off everywhere. As the album kicks in, there seems to be an influx of synthesizers which make for a sinister feel. What I really like about Volahn is the out-of-line tremolo picking. It just has this really raw feeling I can't describe. Not to mention there are some random wolves howling in a few of their tracks. It's just THAT fucking cool. That's more than enough of a reason to pick this up.

Deathwish Inc on Deafheaven's latest album Roads To Judah

So I got this earlier in my email today...

Hey man, can you do me a favor, and take down your offer to email people a link
to the new Deafheaven record?

The band's not really stoked about a leaked unmixed and unmastered version of
the record floating around, and while I know I can't stop the internet, maybe I
can ask nicely, and you'll take down the offer to send people this record?


Tre McCarthy
Deathwish Inc.
59 Park Street
Second Floor
Beverly, MA 01915 USA

To prevent further confrontation with Deathwish Inc or getting the corporate assholes involved at the RIAA, I have decided to take down the leak to the Deafheaven. I will however, NOT take down the actual review seeing as how I put all the time and effort into it. I did get a reply saying that the preorder was up today along with a download so it's a matter of time before the mastered version is floating around out there. 

To the members of Deafheaven: I think you should be proud of what you've put out. Sure, it may be unmastered, but if that many people are willing to pirate it then you KNOW you did something right. I myself thought the album was brilliant and unique from the typical black metal bands out there regardless of its quality. If I were you I'd just let it go but that's not going to happen. I did plan on updating my my upload with a mastered version if that changes anything...

So yep. There you have it folks. Don't point the finger at Deathwish Inc because they mainly just distribute the album and merchandise. I can't really blame Deafheaven for not wanting an unmastered version out on the internet. People can mistaken it for it being the full release, be upset with the mastering of the album, and instantly look down upon it.

It's out there somewhere if you're curious... Maybe mediafire? Who knows.

Blacken The Skies - Self Titled (2003)


"Blacken The Skies was a crust punk/hardcore band from Chapel Hill and Greensboro North Carolina. Members went on to form Requiem with former members of Catharsis. They put a record out on Crimethinc. records before disbanding."

HOLY FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK! My first reaction when I first went through this album. Oh my word is this fucking incredible or what?!?! Being the bands only release, it sure is one KICK ASS album! When I think of the word "neocrust" this is the EXACT sound I think of. After I extracted the file and saw there were a few lengthy tracks, an instrumental track, and an 11 minute outro, I knew some serious shit was about to go down. I also knew ahead of time that there were female vocals so I wasn't going to be disappointed but MAN, does the spoken word in this fucking rock or what? I Am An Anarchist is without a doubt my favorite track on this album. Yes, I know it sounds corny and all but it has all the elements I could ever want in a band like this. The drums are just all out explosive and really add to the element of the sound. The guitar riffs are very progressive sounding, almost too progressive sounding for a crust band. Vocals on this album are top notch and used to the best of their ability in every way possible. Overall, this has to be ranked in my favorite top 10 neocrust albums. Seriously folks, if you don't have this GET IT!!!

Noisear - Subvert The Dominant Paradigm (2011)


"Noisear is a grindcore band from ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, USA."

This is Noisear's BRAND SPANKING NEW release off Relapse records entitled Subvert The Dominant Paradigm. The grindcore revival has been on a steady incline the past few years with the help of Relapse records and Noisear are no exception. Like their fellow label mates Wormrot and Magrudergrind, Noisear specialize in that familiar fast, aggressive, noisy grindcore in vein of bands like Discordance Axis, Insect Warfare, and Nasum. The guitar riffs that are ever changing and fast go along nicely with the angry as fuck vocals. Be prepared for 30 tracks of hair-splitting grind goodness! There is a 20 minute track at the end entitled Noisearuption that starts with spoken word and the rest is noise might I add. I don't know what the fuck is up with that... It's pretty much ear rape. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Stormcrow - Enslaved In Darkness (2005)


"Stormcrow is crust punk metal band from Oakland, CA. U$A.What started as dreams of a few…became the gut wrenching nightmare of others. The western hordes had not seen witness to such stench since the horned rat roamed the west, many moons ago. Until the grotesque monuments of crust and debauchery were risen again. This plague consisting of 5 self loathing, destructive and awkward hellions, used their hatred and disgust for mankind to bring the world to its knees, so pretty things like trees or flowers may grow once more…Drink ye flaggons, smoke thy briars, They Are Coming!"

Blasting their way from Oakland, CA, Stormcrow are recognizably one of the heaviest and most aggressive bands in the crust scene to date. Comprising of Nate from the stoner punks of Brainoil, Stormcrow is no stranger to the crust scene. The members of Stormcrow summon up all their hate and humility into one jam packed 5-track EP entitled Enslaved In Darkness. Like the title says, this album provides some dark, nihilistic content that will have you pissed off at everyone and everything. There are some strong death metal influences within their style of crust. The vocals are very fucking heavy and growled to hell similar to Skaven and Sanctum. Enslaved In Darkness is without a doubt an essential album to have in your arsenal when you want to expose your ears to some relentless earth-shattering crust. 

Sorrows - Lethe (2011)

I had a hard time finding accurate information on Sorrows because there were about 54646546 other different bands with the same name so I can't provide a link. Sorry. :/ All I really know is that Sorrows is a one-man black metal project (BURZUM'S SECOND COMING) started up sometime around last year and released his EP back on January 31st. I have been listening to this EP none stop since I was sent it. There is a lot of focus on synthesizers and bells which provide an atmospheric feel that is very welcoming at times but still manages to captivate that dark sound. Like Burzum's stuff (this guy is starting to sound more and more like Burzum haha), it could also be specified as "dark ambient" seeing as how it sets a very minimalistic mood with an ominous and mysterious feel. Overall, the production is a bit shabby (what do you expect?) but the effort put into the actual music is great and isn't raping your ears with blast beats and shrieking like most black metal bands. If you want to purchase any of his material be sure to check out this website and follow his blog for future updates and releases.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cower - Land Before Time (2010)


"Cower is a metal band from Portland, Oregon. The orginal lineup comprised Logan Shattuck on drums, Jake Enger on bass, and Sean Archer on guitar. The current lineup comprises Logan Shattuck on drums, Jake Enger on bass, and Nick Vicario and Evan Franz on guitar."

The first thing I thought of when I first listened to Cower was "HOLY SHIT, IT'S LIKE I'M LISTENING TO LORDS OF LIGHT ALL OVER AGAIN!!"  It's as if Sleep was gang banged by Spazz and Gray Ghost and out came a fucked up offspring mutant baby named Cower. I don't know if a bunch of rag-tag autistics got together and said "Hey! Let's make music." or what?! The noteable stoner riffs are ever so present in this album it's unreal. It starts out very punkish and gets into into a very stoner-like trance with some psychedelic vibes flowing in the background and throwing in some random chord progressions similar to powerviolence bands just to fuck with your mind. My vocabulary isn't well rounded enough to tell you how bad ass Cower is so all I can really say is pick this album today! I strongly recommend it. 

Trap Them - Darker Handcraft (2011)


"Trap Them is a band from Salem, New Hampshire. They began as a side project for vocalist Ryan Mckenney (Backstabbers Inc.) and guitarist Brian Izzi (December Wolves). Since forming they have released two albums, Sleepwell Deconstructer and Seizures in Barren Praise, and three EPs, Cunt Heir to the Throne, Séance Prime and Split with Extreme Noise Terror. Anyone digging the 90’s swedish deathsound from the Sunlight studio should have a go at this."

IT FINALLY DROPPED FOLKS! Fuck yeeeeeeeeeeah! Under the mastermind production of Kurt Ballou (Converge), Trap Them drops another heavy as nails earth-shattering release.Trap Them are a very unusual band in the hardcore world. Taking influences from bands such as Converge, Extreme Noise Terror, and Cursed, Trap Them combines a wonderful blend crust, grindcore, mathcore, to give you one jam packed sound! If you're familiar with Nails, another Deathwish Inc release back in 2010, you'll find Trap Them very similar. Darker Handcraft focuses on lots and lots of distortion. When I say lots, I mean LOTS. LIKE, JUST FUCKING WALLS OF PUMMELING FLAT OUT DOWN-TEMPO MOTHER FUCKERS. The riffs are mathy and very untraditional with very hard chugging and fast as fuck drumming. What I like most about this release is that it's very fast. A lot of their earlier stuff, I'M LOOKING AT YOU SEANCE PRIME, is almost melodic as times which can either be a turn on or turn off. If I had to base this album on a score one to ten it'd definitely get at least an eight. Vocalist Ryan McKenney is summoning up his voice from the gods and lending his wonderful crusty voice to put out such an aggressive album. The teeth-grinding release will have you shaking in your boots. Fans of bands such as Converge, Pulling Teeth, and Cursed, and Nails should definitely consider picking up this album. Be ready for 12 tracks of ear-rapping goooooooooodness!

Phil Vane

From Blabbermouth:

"Phil Vane, the founding co-vocalist of the British crust punk/grindcore band EXTREME NOISE TERROR, reportedly passed away last Thursday (February 17) at the age of 46. Although no official cause of death has yet been released, it is rumored that he died in his sleep. 

The surviving members of EXTREME NOISE TERROR have released the following statement regarding Vane's passing:

"The rumors are true. We're sorry to announce that Phil passed away recently. The band will make a full statement soon but for now we need to take the time to come to terms with this terrible loss."

EXTREME NOISE TERROR (often abbreviated to ENT) is widely considered one of the earliest and most influential European grindcore bands."

Yes, it's true...

I always criticized ENT for playing mediocre crust but always praised them for their insanely awesome grindcore and their crustgrind fusion. They'll always be a legend in both scenes with their innovative crossover taking hints from bands like Napalm Death, Discharge, and Amebix. They were without a doubt one of the most influential bands in the punk scene to come from the UK.  You will be missed, Phil. In honor of Phil and Extreme Noise Terror, I shall be throwing up their debut album, A Holocaust In Your Head.

Extreme Noise Terror - A Holocaust In Your Head (1989)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dead To A Dying World - Self Titled (2011)


"Dead To A Dying World is band from Dallas, Texas with 7 members, they add cello, upright bass to this epic tunes…songs that have the epicness of blackened crust such as bands like Blacken The Skies, Garmonbozia or Oroku, but at the same time they incorporate slowly and dark melodies who sound more like post-metal, plus some black metal here and there with female vocals."

I've been keeping tabs on Dead To A Dying World now waiting for a release and today was the day I found that release. What sparked my interest was the tags associated with because it said they were a blackened crust band but I wasn't expecting this. There are a lot of neocrust tendencies that fall into place such as chellos, violins, and double bass that adds for a real melodic feel that is almost raw and dark at times. The blast beats and down-tuned guitars will give you that samey feel as if it's black metal.  I wouldn't say their tracks are climatic as they are just long and drawn out (which isn't a bad thing at all). On their third track, We Enter The Circle At Night... And Are Consumed By Fire, female vocals are present which provide for a power packed punch. I highly recommend this to fans of Celeste, Oroku, Fall Of Efrafa and Downfall Of Gaia. I promise it will not disappoint!

Jordan Delap - Hang The Bankers (2011)


"Jordan Delap is a singer-songwriter from Jersey Channel Island. He also occasionally dabbles in some poetry. His songs and poems cover both personal and political subject matters.He is also singer-songwriter and guitarist for the band Clockwork Sodomy which features Ben McCarthy on bass guitar, Harry Gilbertson on Guitar and Mikey Phillips on drums.Check out my stuff It’s acousticky ska punk sorta stuff."

Straight from the heart of Jersey comes Jordan Delap, just a guy and his guitar with a message to get across through acoustic means. This is Jordan's first solo release, also playing in both Clockwork Sodomy (alternative punk/metal band) and John Magic Skulls (punk rock band). More info on his bands can be found on his blogspot here. To hear any acoustic music incorporating ska hooks really melts my heart because I've always been a fan of ska. His lyrical content touches topics such as anti-Capitalism, anti-war, and changing for a better tomorrow. From what I can hear, there's a lot of crack rock steady (Leftover Crack more than less) and a ska punk sound (The King Blues). Jordan also writes some beautifully written, heart-felt poems which can be found on his profile. This album delivers warm melodies and perfectly executed acoustic work that'll have you thinking about the current state of where you live and how you can improve it and yourself for a brighter future.

Mediocracy - Human Progress - Endless Regress (2010)


"Crust/sludge/hardcore band from Bucharest,Romania.“Mediocracy is a situation in the society in which mediocre people prevail. The society is subordinated to a quasi-egalitarian ideology in which words and ideas are redefined to be convenient for the average people. Other symptoms include dumbing, jargonism, infantilisation, vacuity, phoney democratisation and authoritarianism.” Sounds familiar?we thought so too… This is what we thought reflected our view of this society and system we live in.We are opposed to fascism,state control,religion,hate,war,authoritarianism and the constant dumbing of people in this society wich embraces these things.We consider this band to be a breath of fresh air and also our voice crying out so that it will be heard!We’re taking influences from a wide range of crust/hardcore/punk/metal bands and this is what we came up with! This is Mediocracy!see you soon!” the first Mediocracy album here:"

It's not everyday you get to listen to a kick ass crust band from Romania! Human Progress - Endless Regress is Mediocracy's first album release and it's suprisingly really fucking good. The album title pretty much gives away the content of their music. It deals with such things as fascism, death, change in the world, and other leftist views. If you're going to take a neocrust band seriously these would be the guys. Their wonderful blend of emotional as fuck lyrics, screamed/yelled vocals, and raw power of sludge riffs will have you salivating. Definitely looking forward to more releases from Mediocracy in the future!

Accept Death - Self Titled (2006)


"Devastating, hate-filled sludge featuring members of Fistula, Hemdale and Die Hard (pre-Integrity)Biography:Accept Death formed in 2005 from the ashes of previous bands like Fistula, Hemdale and Die Hard (pre-Integrity on Conversion Records). The band was originally to have Steve Makita from Apartment 213 (Retribute Records) on vocals, but it soon became obvious that Steve wouldn’t have the time to fulfill vocal duties in 2 bands, so Matt decided to take on the role of lead vocals while playing guitar, and as he was the main vocalist in Hemdale, the job was only fitting. On the strength of rehearsal recordings and word of mouth the band soon came to the attention of Retribute Records, who signed them at the end of 2005 to record their debut self-titled full length.Line up:Matt J. Rositano - Vocals, Guitar, BassScott Stearns - GuitarCorey Bing - Drums

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK. I remember a few years ago hearing about Accept Death I brushed them off for awhile. I was like "Okay, whatever. Another fucking mediocre sludge band," and moved on but BOY, WAS I MISTAKENED! The deathening combination of sludge and hardcore will have you shitting your pants. The raw grittiness of this album lies in the down tuned rythmic guitar that'll have you speechless. Their material contains some hateful as fuck lyrics  I've seen Accept Death being tagged as "brutal sludge" and when I see people asking for something that'll just rip your shit in two and they recommend this band so do I. If you're looking for anything that is angry as all fuck, heavy as nails, and just all out fucking brutal, this would be the PERFECT album.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Axeman - Arrive (2010)


"Black Twilight entity, from the infamous black twilight circle"

For those of you who don't know what the Black Twilight Circle is, here's a description:

"Black Twilight is the union of the best and most dedicated Black Metal bands in Southern California. The Worship Black Twilight compilation acts as the group's official sonic mission statement. The bands include Ashdautas, Volahn, Arizmenda, Kallathon and Axeman. It would be hard to name a favorite here (perhaps Kallathon,) this is truly excellent from beginning to end and has me dying to hear more from The Black Twilight hordes."

Axeman make up part of this collection, playing their raw black metal. What I love most about Axeman is their notable influence by Amebix. The band is named after Amebix's first track on Arise! AND their album is poking a finger at the Arise! too... Arise, Arrive. Get it? FUCK YEAH! Their sound is very primitive and raw sounding with a bit of some Amebix-esque vocals thrown in. It's almost as if they were directly related to the band in same way. There are a lot of bands similar to Axeman coming from Southern California and I can't wait to get my hands on some more!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kriegshög - Self Titled (2010)


"Fast and noisy hardcore punk from Tokyo.Discography:5 song demo (2007)cassette with Iconoclast and The Sexual covers (2007 ? )Hardcore hell 7” (Hardcore survives records,2008)split 7” with Dog soldier (HG fact records,2008)Hardcore hell 7” (Heartfirst records,reissue,2008)split 7” with Deathtribe (In crust we thrash, 2008)Self-titled 12” (Black Seeds records,2010)"

Japan has ALWAYS indulged in the crust and d-beat scene. Their style of punk is generally noisy, very fast, and aggressive as fuck. Kriegshog are no exception to this. Their self titled release presents 30 tracks of skull-crushing, fast as fuck raw hardcore with a bit of a crusty d-beat tone to it in vein of bands like GISM, The Comes, Death Side, and D-Clone. Noisy and raw, it just pummels your ears with relentless aggression and will have you thrashing around. When I think of the word "crasher" THESE are the guys I would most notably associate it with. Pick this album up, turn the volume to full blast, and blow your fucking brains out. AGGRESSION, AGGRESSION, AGGRESSION. FUCK YEAH!

Cemento - Vite (2011)

Cemento are an Italian screamo/post-hardcore band. They contacted me via email I was just like "OH GREAT, HERE WE FUCKING GO. ANOTHER POST-HARDCORE BAND TO SHIT UP THE PLACE" but man was I mistakened! It's already bad enough you have these shitty wannabe post-HC bands like Alexisonfire and Enter Shikari sucking it up for the rest of us but Cemento are TRUE. If you're not a big fan of mathy riffs don't worry! Cemento have a really nice combination of throwing laying them down nice and smoothly with screamoed and almost grindcoreish vocals to go with them. Hell, they even throw in a few really fucking slow breakdowns that sound kick ass. I recommend this album to veterans of post-hardcore looking for some slightly different and those wanting to get into it. OH AND I SWEAR ON THE TRACK "VIOLENT WALL - YOU" THEY DO THROW IN A RIFF TO THE SIMPSON'S THEME SONG. KICK ASS!

Fatal Nunchaku - Bombs, Blood & Blooms (2007)

Fatal Nunchaku are a grindcore influenced powerviolence band from France. They remind me of a mix between Charles Bronson and Infest. They that lots and lots of distortion to it that gives it a real Charles Bronson sound to it and lyrics dealing with dissing emos, putting down scenes, and hating cops but have a really growled and heavy sound similar to Infest. Oh did I tell you they do a cover of a Noothgrush song?!?!?!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pat is at it again... and more!

Now that Pat's out of rehab and living in Tuscon, AZ, he's had some time to collect himself and start a new band entitled The Reckless Madness Orchestra. Here he is by himself with new material at a show in Tuscon promoting his new lifestyle. Enjoy!

It has come to my attention that Pat was in a rap collective right before he was in rehab called Playtime Posse and I recently got my hands on their album from my friend ( I present to you Summertime Sounds Of Playtime Posse.

Playtime Posse - Summertime Sounds Of Playtime Posse (2010)

These aren't the actual members besides Pat. I couldn't find an album cover for it.

My good friend, Ike, hooked me up with two new Johnny Hobo and the Freight Train mp3s apparently that are some kind of bootleg from an even earlier demo. One the tracks, The Politics of Holy Shit I Just Cut Open My Hand On A Broken Bottle, actually appeared on their "Live At Bandit's H.Q." split with Captain Chaos but this track an electric version. Enjoy!

Johnny Hobo And The Freight Trains - Rare Tracks (???)

Naysayer - No Remorse (2009)


"Naysayer is a Hardcore band from Richmond, VA, USA.Playing music along the lines of Madball, and other notable NYHC alumni.They have yet to be fully discovered, yet still putting VAHC back on the map."

When I think of hardcore I think of one band; Naysayer. They have that real fucking raw aggression to them with very thrashy riffs in vein of bands like Terror, Sick Of It All, playing alongside newer acts such as Bad Seed, Bracewar, and Cruel Hand. Straight up loud and fucking pissed is the best way to describe Naysayer. What I love most about this band is that the lyrics fucking speak to me and make me feel as if I can do anything I fucking want to. The raw aggression will have you clenching your teeth and your fists balled up ready to take on the fucking world.

Destroy Nate Allen - Don't Let This Smile Fool You (2011)


"Destroy Nate Allen is an interactive, sing-a-long, folk punk duo from Portland, Oregon. DNA entices listeners into boundary stretching sing-a-longs and free wheeling good times with their honest and sentimental “kid songs for adults” and high spirited and out of control punk rock anthems. In the last three years, Destroy Nate Allen has performed their acoustic, folk punk magic (or madness) nearly 500 times across the US, in backyards, basements, and barrooms: playing to anyone who will listen as they attempt to sing every song like it’s their last."

I was chatting with my buddy Tyler on and I have recently been recommending him crust after crust band and he felt ever so gracious and felt a need to reward me with something so he suggested I check out Destroy Nate Allen. I've heard the name numerous times but for some reason I thought it was like a pop punk but boy was I mistaken. Nate Allen (I'm assuming the lead frontman's name is) is quite the character. His voice almost reminds me Chris Johnston but has a softer voice like Spoonboy. Unlike most folk punk, Nate's is very chill and laid back. He doesn't swear, he doesn't do drugs, and he makes his music kid friendly and easy to sing a lot. Nate incorporates a lot of comedy into his music, almost as if it's a skit. I can only imagine what he's like in real life. One of those people that you read in a book or something. A real character to say the least. Folk punk has never been more fun until now!

Downfall Of Gaia / In The Heart Of Emperors (2011)

From The Obelisk Forums:

"DOWNFALL OF GAIA from germany and IN THE HEARTS OF EMPERORS from sweden share this split together and i think there wouldn?t be a better fitting combination to do this. Both band play this dark crust,doom,punk style. DOWNFALL OF GAIA contribute two (more one long) song to this split. It starts very slow like you already heared it on some of their last songs on ?epos?. It grows and grows over a few minutes until it breaks out. Epic, athosmpheric parts meet blast. To compare it to other bands you can say ALPINIST meets FALL OF EFRAFA here. IN THE HEARTS OF EMPERORS are the counterpart to DOG. I really could copy and paste what I wrote before. Three dark, detuned songs array to one long song here. Dark and angry vocals meet hard guitar lines. Reminds me very much to Amen Ra. The LP comes in a heavy gatefoldcover with a printed inside. The vinyl itself will be pressed on heavy (180gr) redwax. There will also be a 
poster included"

I was just browsing around certain blogs and I happened to find a link for this album in a shoutbox. So thanks for that! (not pointing out any names). I have never heard of In The Heart Of Emperors but I can see why Downfall Of Gaia chose to do a split with this band. They combine a lot of post-rock influence, along with atmospheric sludge, and harsh screamed vocals. They almost remind me of all those French bands like Amenra, Year Of No Light, and Celeste. ITHOE really like to fuck with your mind. You think the song is through but NOPE! That's just the climax building more and more and more with very low mumbles and screams until it's just unleashed on your mind like a wave of sound. I'm thankful for this split because otherwise I would have known about In The Heart Of Emperors and how kick ass they are! Now, onto Downfall of Gaia's side. If you know anything about DoG, they play a very atmospheric sounding crust very similar to bands as Fall Of Efrafa, Down To Agony, and Icos. On their first track, These Wet Feathers..., they have "ha ha ha"'s that are almost as if they're mocking and give you a really chilly feel. Their melodies are to die for. The way their tracks build up and really get you caught up in the moment will have you begging for more. Screams, beautiful, elongated riffs, and perfect execution, DoG really go above and beyond on this split. One great split by two great bands. Nothing else needs to be said.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Surroundings - Self Titled (2010)


"Baltimore’s Surroundings offers their most crushing material to date with their debut self-titled full length. After a split 10” with New Jersey’s Pellinore and numerous full U.S. tours, Surroundings has quickly made a name for themselves as a pummeling force in the punk, hardcore and metal communities. Surroundings offers 11 drug-induced tracks on this 12” piece of wax, which includes furious speed not unlike Terrorizer and Bastard, to crushing drone much like Neurosis or His Hero is Gone."

One of last years most promising releases, Surroundings never ceases to amaze me. Surroundings sounds like a mix between Mammoth Grinder, New Lows, and His Hero Is Gone. Truly gritty, sludgy, and heavy hardcore at it's finest with a very dampened down-tempo to their music. With distortion going off everywhere with fast-paced beats, what's there not to love about this band?!? I would have to put this album up there along with Nail's "Unsilent Death." Yes, it's THAT fucking good.

Minuala - Крики Чёрных птиц (2010)


"Minuala is a neocrust band from Russia."

It's not everyday you get to listen to an awesome crust band from Russia! Minuala reminds me of a mix between... hmm. I'd say Madame Gereme and Maskari? They have that real melodic sound to them but at the same time play that dark hardcore that neocrust can't seem to get away from. There's also a pretty strong d-beat influence that makes for an overwhelming punch with even a post-rock undertone. Having members of Antimelodix, they even incorporate some very blackened riffs at times. 

Keen Of The Crow - Hyborea (2007)


"What’s in an omen? Is it a vision of dark deeds soon to become the reckoning of us all? Or is it a calling to take heed, knowing that you have the power to change destiny, for good or for bad intent. In either case, an omen can be of many forms, fashions, or functions. whether you take heed or not?The band KEEN OF THE CROW of Los Angeles California is one such omen, Keen of the Crow meaning “A Call of/to Death”. In many age-old cultures the Raven or Crow is the symbol of misfortune, knowingly death is soon to follow? A name such as this should not be taken lightly; to be so careless may indeed spell your own undoing, would it not?Like in Alchemy, each element alone is mundane at best. But when each element is combined? Let’s just say that Alchemy is a condemned science for a very good reason! MORGION rhythm alumni Rhett Davis and Justin Christian, along with guitarist(s) Seth Arthur and NEPENTHEAN mastermind Ron Slater, and lastly vocalist Dan Ochoa form one such Alchemy. The Aural Alchemy of KEEN OF THE CROW.To explain this kind of Alchemy is the Bain of any true composer. There is no simple truth or rhyme most notably played. KEEN OF THE CROW is the composite of many great works, the very clay of extremity and dynamic melody. To infuse the light and the dark, the lawlessness of true underground metal (Doom, Death, and Black) and the progressive inclinations of symphonic harmony. An Ode to such acts as NEUROSIS, CELTIC FROST, CANDLEMASS, ANATHEMA, PRIMORDIAL, and MORGION.There are 2 environments that build the character of any band and/or musician, the first being the studio or recorded environ. When entering Love Juice Labs in the Winter Solstice of 2005’ they forged the 3-song opus appropriately titled “PREMONITION”. Upon hearing this, GRAU RECORDS quickly penned a 4-album contract with a plan to unleash “PREMONITION” as their Grau Records debut. With the anticipated full-length “HYBOREA” soon to follow, a conceptual album dedicated to the Robert E. Howard persona “Conan of Cimmeria”. This conceptual piece themed musically, visually, and literally by both novel and the major motion picture “Conan the Barbarian”. To be considered a very momentous undertaking for any debut record is indeed noteworthy.The second being the stage or live environ, they wasted no time planning 2 tours upon both US Coasts (6 months apart no less!) Quite a prestigious beginning to boast over 16 shows across the continental United States with only a demo under their wing! Over the course of one year KEEN OF THE CROW played with such acts as GREY, ALDEBARAN, MOONSPELL, WORMWOOD, LUDICRA, INTRONAUT, EXHAUSTED PRAYER, GRAVES AT SEA, E.T.T.S., KATATONIA, SELF INFLICTED, RIGOR MORTIS, ROANOKE, RAPID FIRE, DAYLIGHT DIES, NOCTUARY, LOSS, SHROUD OF BEREAVEMENT, SOUL PREACHER, GODLESS RISING, SASQUATCH, OTESANEK, SUMMON, AVENGER OF BLOOD, SEASON OF MOURNING, ASUNDER, SLOUGH FEG, and YAKUZA are just some of the highlights.In December of 2006’ the “PREMONITION” EP shall see its release in a newly packaged form completely re-mastered by Grau Records. While the Spring of 2007’ will welcome the release of KEEN OF THE CROW’S debut Full-length LP “HYBOREA”. Kris Verwimp, renowned fantasy/conceptual artist shall render the visuals for “HYBOREA.Being of both warning and trepidation, KEEN OF THE CROW is an omen to indeed take heed. So do not be mistaken, for only the foolish know not what they covet."

Ah blah blah blah stupid babble and shit about their background written like a story. NOW, ONTO THE BAND! Keen Of The Crow are one impressive death metal band hailing from LA. KOTC are a bit different from most death metal bands. They combine a lot of atmospheric and melodic instrumentation into their music that is almost doom metalish at times. The guitar work is something you seriously shouldn't be joking about! Not as comparable as to say, Coffins, but more along the lines of Dissection. Lots and lots of melodies and clear vocals transitioning into growled vocals. Overall, wonderful album and a switch up wrong the regular BLASTBEATBLASTBEAT shit. Check it.

Utopium - Conceptive Prescience (2010)


"Utopium is a death metal/grindcore/sludge band formed in 2007, in Lisbon, Portugal. They released their first demo in 2008 and their EP “Conceptive Prescience” in 2010, preparing now to release their debut album."

Just imagine the nail-biting sound of Napalm Death and Repulsion combined with the heavy as fuck sludge riffs provided by Eyehategod and that's essential the sound of Utopium. The funny thing about me listening to this album was that I was also watching a youtube video about having a sex change operation and this music was fitting in the background. Utopium are truly some twisted, fucked up grindcore fit for a grindking and queen.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oxiplegatz - Fairytales (1994)


"According to Alf Svensson (who also played in Oral and At the Gates): Music is really a minor priority to me these days, it’s not too often that I spend time with this hobby. But I haven’t given it up completely, Oxiplegatz still lives… I don’t care for music with a politic or religious message, just like my art I want the music to have a fantasy/sci-fi-theme. My lifelong passion for astronomy has led me to write lyrics about space. It is a great inspiration to watch the sky at night, just aim my telescope randomly out among the billions of stars in the galaxy and ponder the possibility of distant worlds, alive with the marvels of unknown civilizations.So far three Oxiplegatz-albums have been released, hopefully there will be a fourth before too long. I’m not sure it will be another sci-fi-album, perhaps more to the fantasy-genre. I will probably move another step away from metal, I don’t care much for this kind of music today, as there is vastly more talent and inspiration in the field of classical music. Most metal bands seem to follow certain patterns, where everyone wants to be just like the other, same sound(even record in the same studio as others), same kind of lyrics, same looks, same attitude etc - isn’t there anyone to think for themselves anymore?My music will never approve to the masses, I’m sure, but judging from the amount of e-mail I get with positive criticism, there are at least some freethinkers out there (my thanks to everyone who have bothered to contact me)."

I don't even know what the fuck to call this. It definitely has some black metal influence but it's also  progressive. There are some key industrial influences as well as very avant-garde at times. Unlike traditional black metal bands, Oxiplegatz focuses on space as being the lyrical choice, not traditional Scandinavian folklore and what not. This sounds like it took inspiration from those corny late 80's/early 90's space movies and then some. Just very strange and unusual stuff when it comes to the black metal scene. 

Od Vratot Nadolu - Mercury (2011)


"“Depraved, sad and angry mutant hardcore from Macedonia. OD VRATOT NADOLU have crafted this album with primal urgency, yet delicate skills. The style is unorthodox and focused, the content is violent and state-altering resulting with a morbidly vivid cinematic-like experience. This record would appeal to freaks into “desire for agony”, “the aftermath”, “laid insignificant”."

Od Vratot Nadolu are one of those bands you listen to and ask yourself, "What the FUCK is going on here?!?!" Combining frantic as fuck guitar riffs with both screamed and growled vocals along drums blasting all over the fucking place, Od Bratot Nadolu are every definition of the word experimental. Just heavy distortion and downtempo with very sludge-like riffs, they're sure to catch your ears with their avant-garde way of letting out their anger.

Owen Hart - Earth Control (2011)


"tacoma metal. Listen to this band. it will make you"

Owen Hart is one of those bands that could be classified as anything from technical grindcore to fucking mathcore to screamo to god knows what. They incorporate a lot of different sounds such as very short breakdowns, mathy riffs, and very technical sounding guitar work. The vocals are sometimes screamed, sometimes shouted, and sometimes mumbled. Fans of that mathy/metalcore stuff like Converge, Botch, and Gaza should definitely give this album a listen or two.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Firestone - Element (1998)


"hardcore/metal band from the H8000-region (old school)."

Just like Congress, Firestone are another h8000 band to come out the Belgium scene playing metallicized hardcore. Unlike the shitty scene that has arisen today, Firestone and the rest of the h8000 crew play the old school metalcore that everyone used to know and love. These guys are no exception when it comes to playing loud and heavy. The vocals are rather heavy, more heavy then most h8000 bands with gnarly ass guitar riffs. Get your self educated on metalcore and pick this album up today!

Redscare - Demo (late 90's?)


"There’s not really much to tell about the Redscare years. It was around ‘96 to ‘99 off and on. We were just four friends who practiced in a bedroom with Star Wars wallpaper and huge amps. We were Gilman faves for a while and played a handful of other East Bay dumps. We had no ambition. We never sold merch. It was actually a fun side project for Greg and I as we were in other active bands at the time, me in Both Hands Broken and Greg in Uranium 9 Volt. Elizabeth (guitar/vocals) and Greg (guitar/vocals) are siblings and Cary (drums) is her close friend. I think they were both 16 at the time.We were all vegan and shared an affinity for particularly evil music like Neurosis, At The Gates, Initial State. I was the only one in the band who wasn’t straight edge, although no one ever claimed it or anything.Because of our sound, we always got booked with crust-punk bands. We always thought it was funny, in would come these relatively clean cut kids with our huge amps and just blow the place out. Greg and Elizabeth played a few shows with Marshall full-stacks and I had 2 Ampeg SVT’s with 2 8X10 cabs.Sometimes at practice, one of us would play and the rest of us would run down the street and see how far away you could hear it. Haha. Right after cooking up 15 bean soup and falafel. Oh to be young again.We recorded some songs over the years. Only one was ever released on a split 7” called Artificial Something. The last songs we recorded are up on our myspace page. It’s"

A friend awhile back wanted me to help him look for a few releases by a band called "The Red Scare" and I couldn't find shit but this is one thing I DID find! It was one of those impulse downloads you know? They sort of looked crusty and I saw the word "hardcore" and noticed the female vocalist so I was like fuck it and downloaded it. It was sitting around for about two months until today, and I'm kind of annoyed that I put it off for this long because it's really good. It was a challenge digging around for some info about this band seeing as how they were only active from '96-'99 but I was lucky enough to find a description and everything. Redscare have a tough as nails sound to them and are easily related to such bands as Neurosis (their hardcore stuff), Antischism, Harum Scarum, Gather (without the metalcore influence) and Initial State. They may not play that crust style but they sure as hell have a vibe that sounds crust. I guess the only thing that separates them from playing traditional crust music is the fact that a majority of them are straight edge. Who knows? In either case, Redscare are definitely a rarity so be sure to check them out.

The Arm And Sword Of A Bastard God - Demo (2004)


"The Arm And Sword Of A Bastard God made their four track debut on the split with Coffins. Similar in style to both Graves At Sea and Coffins with some added dirt n grime production wise and insanely pissed gutteral vocals, The Arm & Sword… are among the best new bands to come from the barren sunburnt wastelands outside LA. (2007)"

Wow, just wow. I've gotta start off by saying for this being a demo it's damn good! I really wish they sticked around through it all to put out a full-length album because they had so much talent. TAASOABG (The Arm And Sword Of A Bastard God) combine an awesome blend of doom and death metal known as "death doom" that pretty much pummels your ears with the long, drawn riffs of doom metal but also have the crushing drums and sometimes faced pasted riffs and growled to all hell vocals. If you're familiar with Coffins, TAASOABG are in the same exact boat. Hell, they even did a split with Coffins I was going to upload too but the material on this album is a lot better. Just all out pissed off dudes looking to express it through music and they did just that with this demo.

Black Eyed Vermillion - Hymns For Heretics (2009)


"BLACK EYED VERMILLION was born Gary Christian Vermillion in 1969 as the product of a one night stand between an unemployed circus freak and a jackal. Abandoned by his mother, he was adopted by a roaming tribe of Buddhist Monk street sweepers, eventually causing him to find inner-peace within the gutter.At age 7, young Vermillion fell into an open sewer. After being trapped for three days he was finally rescued; unconscious and badly hurt. When he awoke he could only communicate in swear words for a year and his voice was severely damaged from the septic fumes. He also sustained a head injury, resulting in his first set of black eyes which would lead to the nick name he still bears to this day.At 11 Vermillion set out to see the world but mostly saw it from behind bars. As he stumbled around the world from bus stations to bars to shelters to jails, he was always just lucky enough to cross paths with some of the most talented people in the underground music scene. Stevie Tombstone, One Armed Willie, Handsome Andy Gibson, Cornelious ‘the Pain’ Wickenburg, Joe Buck Yourself, Heathen Bill, Stix the Clown, Whiskey Dick and of course the legendary Shelton Williams the 1st were just a few of the people that would help him realize that he had absolutely NO musical talent! But they also taught him that it didn’t matter as long as there was a song in his heart.These days Black Eyed Vermillion is being backed by The Vermillionaires; a solid line-up consisting of Fritz ‘Burger’ Nation and Johnny ‘Sunshine’ Johnson on Guitars, Kurtis D. ‘Millionaire’ Machler on Bass and Bircho Birch on Drums. Combining the elements of American roots music with the dark anger of punk and grindcore, they will be attempting to play as many gigs as possible, depending on everyone’s ever demanding Rehab schedule."

YEAH, I MIGHT JUST HAVE A BONE TO PICK WITH YOU! Fuck yeeeeeeah! Hellbilly can't get much better than this. Black Eyed Vermilion are the type of band that you hear about in the country world that are dark, dirty, damp, and play very obscure shows in low lighting and don't give a fuck about their surrounds. They combine a lot of country influences along with bluegrass, blues, and folk to make for a hellish album. The vocalist sounds as if he's been smoking for years on end without a break. Lyrical wise, there is a lot of speak of the devil and religion and all that sort of jazz. I'm not too fond of it but to talk about it in the country world (most known for being conservative) is different and the biggest reason why it's up on my blog. All out easy listening bluegrass with a dark twist, jug instruments and old-tymey feel to it, and raspy vocals backed by screaming. What's there not to love?