Lynhood - Septembre
ambient / experimental / shoegaze
Duality - Archeology
metalcore / metal
Never Train - Dnar
Dominique Charpentier - L'attente
classical / ambient
Vautour - Vautour
drum & bass / industrial metal
Moonlight Prophecy - Eternal Oblivion
progressive / thrash metal
Era 9 - Warrior
Electric Floor - Fader
synthpop / new wave
Headless Horseman - 47009
techno / industrial
Lonely The Brave - Diamond Days
Misto - Infinite Mirrors
Grave Plague - The Infected Crypts
HaatE - Crystal : Farewell
dark ambient / black metal
Kolfskop - Cambozola Superster
Eli van Pike - Herzschlag
gothic / industrial metal
Fork / Göttemia - Indre Enfold
post metal / sludge / hardcore
Well well, here seems to be the perfect soundtrack for a day like this one. People and things have been annoying me all day long. Schoolkids in the store, stuff that keeps falling to the ground, Belgian car drivers, Dutch car drivers... Damn, I wish I could lock all of them up in some kind of cave and blast this pummeling album by German hardcore extremists Hyenas at full volume. That'll fucking teach them.
For the record, I suppose none of those people who annoyed the shit out me have ever heard of this band, since they probably only listen to what our mindnumbing radio stations throw at them. So, for them, this whirlpool of aggressive riffing, skull splatting drums and ferocious vocals would make a perfect torturing device. For the season hardcore, post metal and sludge fan, this absolutely is a must-have.
'Deadweights' is a rather short album, but as far as brutality, raunchiness and raw energy goes, these twenty six minutes are more than sufficient. In eleven songs, Hyenas present an intense slab of distorted guitars diven noise, resembling bands like Everytime I Die and Norma Jean. So for those interested in extreme and filthy punk, songs like 'Smoothtalkers', 'Homeostatis' and 'Ambiself' will definitely get you into the pit. Buy it, now.
sludge / stoner metal / hardcore
A few days ago, I had a weird dream. It took place in ancient Egypt, but it was different. In my dreams, the Egyptians had discovered the power of sound. Instead of gigantic walls, they kept enemies at bay with massive speakers, blasting out a harsh, pounding noise. Whenever an enemy tribe would approach, the sheer power of the sound would just blew them back to where they came from. The bouldering noise was too much for their puny little bodies to bear. Heads exploded and the ones that got away had become deaf for the rest of their lives.
I don't think it's a coincidence that this dream appeared the night after I first listened to this album by Norwegian steamroller Jagged Vision. With their blend of stoner metal, thrash metal and hardcore, these guys easily blast through walls, and probably your sanity too. From opener 'Betrayal' to closer 'Palehorse', this album is an intense assault on your eardrums. That opener is one brutal mothersludger too if you ask me, drenched in thrash metal riffs and with the energy of a supernova.
The level of aggression is extreme, the riffs and pounding drums seem to come from everywhere while the harsh, brutal vocals bash you down. 'I Am Death' even takes things a little further, borrowing elements from the black metal scene. Perhaps that is why that song is my favorite one on this album. 'Feeble Souls' is another mindboggling piece of work, something between Kylesa, Mastodon and even Arch Enemy.
I know, this is not death metal, but believe me, young death metal fans might piss their pants in sheer distress when they listen to this album. It's aggressive and brutal enough to compete with that scene. Others will quickly start banging their heads to powerhouses like 'Seven Seals' and 'Forlorn'. I can easily see this music cause moshpits, stage divers and crowdsurfers everywhere. So yes, if you like beat-down music, this surely is your thing.
Ibyss - Hate Speech
Primal Age - A Silent Wound
metal / hardcore
Angus Black - Live From The Cellar
stoner rock / psychedelic
Flicker Rate - Reframe
post rock / math rock / progressive rock
Quick & Dirty - Falling Down
alternative rock / hard rock
Analogue Wave - Hope
electronic / trip hop
Mahùt - Your Violin Is Still Playing
post rock / electronic
Rückwater - Bonehead
Absinthe From Society - The Angels Ignored Us
Ancst - Furnace
hardcore / black metal
Vorzug - Three
Sangre de Muerdago - Os Segredos da Raposa Vermella
dark folk / neofolk
Rules is an album by hardcore band First Blood, released on February 10 by Pure Noise Records. With twelve tracks – Fuck the Rules, These Are the Rules, Rules Meant to Be Broken, Rules of Life, Rules of Conviction, Rules of Engagement, Rules of Justice, Rules of Survival, Rules of Freedom, Rules of Sacrifice, Rules of Government and Rules of Crisis – this is a ferocious, incredible, amazing and almost delinquently explosive album, with a major set of songs that brings back the true essence of the genre, reviving the genuine soul of hardcore music. With belligerent and true to the ground lyrics, hostile, rude and crude rhythms and an authentic sense of duty, First Blood gives to its audience a major panel of civic aggression, that is not only loyal to the genre, but also defies deeply the very own meaning of their artistic and musical mission, in a very solid and prominent basis, that ostensibly relegates to the merits of its own sincere brutality the exasperating exposition of the ongoing hardships of life, a common theme to the genre, used to give a very honest treatment to the most controversial topics and subjects of existence.
With incredible, hard and very brutal melodies, Rules is one sonorous explosion after the other. With songs usually objective and short, First Blood really knows how to deliver a message, and with the right intensity. With powerful musical tonalities, that never hesitate, the record is certainly a major achievement for the genre as a whole. Although evidently doesn’t aggregate any new elements, it sticks so vehemently into the veracity of a very peculiar style, that it becomes impossible not to recognize the marvelous work that Rules reveals itself to be.
In general, Rules is a quintessential hardcore album. Despite the fact that doesn’t have vast differences in musical terms from other albums of the genre, undoubtedly outstands itself as a major and very captivating work of art, profoundly compromised with an explicit exposition of truths, in a very direct, lancinating, infuriating and aggressive tone.
If you are into hardcore, you will positively like Rules very much. With not a single fault to be pointed out, this album is a major revival of all the great components that made hardcore the outstanding genre that this type of music came out to be. And First Blood has a tremendous role on maintaining hardcore as the truth of a very precious, objective and undeniably strong musical movement.
Aidan Baker & Karen Willems - Landlos
drone / ambient / jazz / krautrock
Derby Derby - Love Dance
drone / krautrock / experimental
Noemie Nours - Songs From The Life Of Bears
Fen / Sleepwalker - Stone And Sea / Call Of Ashes II
doom / dark ambient
Assent - We Are The New Black
metal / metalcore
Raptor King - Dinocalypse
thrash metal / hardcore
Nula - Kenoma
doom / sludge
Adrian Pain & The Dead Sexy - Mixed Messages
metal / metalcore
Soothsayer - At This Great Depth
doom / sludge / black metal
Illimitable Dolor - Illimitable Dolor
Radien - Maa
sludge / doom
Blushing - Tether
shoegaze / dreampop
88 Mile Trip - Blame Canada
The Empire Line - Syndicat de la Couture
electronic / ambient
Movement Of Static - Novelty Seekers
Cowards - Still
black metal / hardcore
Dead Neanderthals - Dolphin
heavy jazz / noise rock
The Stone Cox - Blackboard
Death Metal Pope - Harvest
Ben Blutzukker - Analog Blood
A Cunning Man - Practical Applications Of Theurgy
power metal / heavy metal
Beneath A Godless Sky - Beneath A Godless Sky
hardcore / progressive
Elusion - Desert Of Enticement
symphonic meal / gothic meal
Rumah - A View To The Sea
American Anymen + Lise - Oui
alternative / singer-songwriter
The Vomiting Dinosaurs - Exoplanets
death metal / thrash metal
crust / grindcore / hardcore
For this review we are going to travel back to the roots of our modern civilization, Italy. Not to admire the ruins of Ancient Rome nor to look at beautiful Italian women, but to figure out how the once great empire came to its downfall. Archeologists gave us several reasons: attacks from outside of the empire, the role of Christianity… Never have they told us about what really happened. The empire, the culture, the cities, they were all brought to ashes from within. Loud noisy guitars and an eardrum breaking voice caused the collapse of an entire civilization.
I am talking about Thrownness, an Italian band, and their music can be placed in the genres grind-, hardcore and crust punk. The album ‘The Passage and the Presence’ will be released on 24 December. Yes, that’s right, Christmas Eve. And what does that tell you? Of course, the birth of little baby Jesus. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Quite a few interesting references to religion and philosophy are made on the album. Firstly, the name of the band is ‘Thrownness’, a term introduced by the German philosopher Heidegger. Secondly, the last song is called ‘Fragment of a Crucifixion, 1950’ referring to a painting of the painter Francis Bacon. I can go much deeper into all this stuff, but than I am afraid that I will forget to talk to you about what really matters, their music.
Personally, I think it is not easy to write reviews about hardcore (or grindcore) albums. This is not an exception. All songs are very similar in sound and rather short in length. If you don’t really pay attention to each track individually you might think that the album is just a 20-minute song. The first seconds gave me a trip down memory lane. The high tone lasting for a couple of moments made me almost scream ‘All hail the dead’ by Walls of Jericho. Instead of the big drop that you would expect you will be confronted with rushing guitars with by loads of distortion and drums accompanied by a strong and recognizable voice. What comes next are enjoyable energetic tracks but overall with little variation. My personal favorites in this album are ‘Unclean Lips’ because of the nice switch in pass at the end which brings some variation and ‘Thalassic Regression’. This last one has a particular moment at the end in which you, or I, can recognize the guitar riff from ‘In a Gadda Da Vida’ (In the Garden of Eden) by Iron Butterfly. Finally, with ‘Fragment of a Crucifixion, 1950’ the album ends with a bang.
If you like breaking stuff, letting yourself go or just to scream your lungs out, this album is the perfect soundtrack.
Ummagma + A.R.Kane - Winter Tale
Verein Freude - Schnappschuss
jazz / krautrock / post rock
dy - Flip Side
electronic / idm
Architectural - Cubismo
Guruzsmás - Üst A Gríz Felett
rock / experimental
Crimson Tusk - Crimson Tusk
stoner / doom
Cities of Mars - Celestial Mistress
Ur - Hail Death
black metal / doom / thrash
Dark Messiah - Dark Messiah
Stillborn Slave - 7 Ways To Die
Expo Seventy - America Here & Now Sessions
drone / ambient / psychedelic
Tellma - Swansong
folk / rock
Deathblow - Demolition Deployment
Deep Fryer - Deep Fryer
punk / hardcore
Parallel Colors - Inoculation
post rock / psychedelic / progressive
punk / hardcore
According to Wikipedia Exploding Head Syndrome or EHS can be described as “a condition in which a person hears loud imagined noises…These noises have a sudden onset, are typically brief in duration, and are often jarring for the sufferer.“ Apart from the imagined noises this album respects this definition. These ten tracks are a great Christmas gift to piss off your or someone else’s parents.
Exploding Head Syndrome is a Norwegian band hardcore (angry) punk band that came into existence in 2010. Two thirty-year-old childhood friends had an idea and a couple of months later a band was created. Their first album was a self-titled EP in 2011 followed by a first full length album called ‘Disciples of Reason’ in 2013, which received good reviews. NRK Pyro, Norway’s leading hard-rock music show, even declared them as “one of the most exciting new Norwegian bands.” The members of the band have also known their fair share of grief after the death of bassist Bjørnar. This however didn’t keep them from writing new material and thus creating the new album ‘World Crashes Down’
As I have said before their music can be described as hardcore (angry) punk. Immediately after the short intro it becomes clear that EHS gets away with this description. The first song, ‘Wasting Away’, although a bit more poppy than the other tracks, gives you a very good idea of what the album is about. A voice expressing a great sense of anger, lyrics that are both to the point and catchy combined with spine shivering guitar riffs bring about a large amount of energy. Together with the in-your-face attitude that comes with them the band has created an album that I can listen and dance to all day long.
Sometimes a hardcore or punk album can be quite monotonous. With ‘World crashes down’ this is not the case and this thanks to the sequence of the songs. It’s like the entire album is a season of a TV show and every song is an episode with its own story. The pilot, being of course the first track, introduces you the different characters, being the vocals, guitars, drums…, and after watching/listening to the season finale, the last track, you can’t wait for the next season to air.
My final conclusion: A band to binge watch. But: “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should!” (Track 04 The Fine Line Between Hardcore and Hipster)
metalcore / post hardcore
Pariah is the debut album of metalcore duo Glasslands, consisting of musicians Josh Kincheloe and Brandon Mullins. With ten tracks, being them Birth, Back And Forth, Fame, Deadman, Soul Without A Home, The Sounds, Demons, Meaningless, Dark and Go For Broke, Pariah certainly is, without a doubt, the best metalcore album that I have ever heard in my entire life. Powerful, complete, graciously touching, moving and poetically melodic, this work is painfully dilacerated with sad harmonies and a world full of frozen dust, fulfilled by joyful paradoxical artistic principles, and an astonishing balance between raw and clean vocals. Pariah is best described as a great, incredible, lucid and marvelous masterpiece, like I haven’t heard in centuries. Filled with emotional fury and sentimental beauty, Pariah deserves a handful of prizes. If this work passes out without any recognition, no other album in the history of the genre deserves one. Far above splendid and way ahead the limits of the beautiful lines of a true poetic artistry, Pariah will enter history as a marvelous reference for the entire metalcore worldwide scene, for such a heinous fury, transcendental poetic sorrow, undivided harmonies and gigantic colossal beautiful melodies were carefully dilapidated at the core of an enthusiastic and deeply symmetric testimony of artistic proficiency, strengthened by the confluence of a turbulent, but natural musical talent.
Combining a sincere, but sad fury, with a poetic melancholy that dilacerates the nuance of rhythms at the pace of a joyful sonorous composition, Pariah’s music has so many components correctly placed at the right angle, that for the first time metalcore was done right, without sounding like the complaints of a bunch of teenagers crying over their middle class life problems at home.
With the power of a sincere fury deeply exhilarated by a profound existential sadness, underlined by the symmetry of a high level of musical elements standardized in a categorical style filled with a serene devotional wrath, the deeply meaningful cadences that surround the rhythms, over the pace of poetic melodies wonderfully entitled to a transcending melancholy that harmonizes the beautiful intersections of a poetic life encircled by the most wonderful melodies ever written in the history of the genre, this is a gracefully marvelous album, generated by angels in heaven, and transported to earth by these two marvelous musicians, that shares with us the most wonderful metalcore album ever produced.
With all the power of an aggressive and sad melancholy, inserted at the heart of a meaning that dilutes the sorrow in the forgotten hearts of hungry nights, the perfect equilibrium between harsh and clean vocals intertwine the precise volatile dynamics of promising sagacious harmonies. A sincere epic hymn to the dark disgraces of the human life, Glasslands, with Pariah, undoubtedly exhibited to us all how to do an impeccable state of the art work.
If this album is good? No, it’s not. It’s excellent! You can say Pariah converted me into an avid enthusiast of metalcore. Definitely, one of the greatest albums that I have ever heard in my entire life!
The recent post-hardcore craze is somewhat of a mystery to me. I guess I don't really understand it, like my parents probably never understood my lust for harsh, evil and occult music either. I actually like most of the music, but it's the vocals that make me frown a bit. That too might be weird, since I have absolutely no problems with death growls and blackened screams. Yet, these hardcore screams often sound a bit out of place over the atmospheric approach to heavy music. They belong on hardcore punk, but on this?
Now, I have to say that in this genre, it makes a huge difference when you experience it live. On stage, these bands usually are a blast and in that aspect, French horde Aleska is no exception., I think Although their debut full-length will probably not appear in my day-to-day playlist, I would definitely go see them when they play anywhere near Antwerp. Besides, there is one song on this album on which the vocals add a lot to the sick and twisted atmosphere, But let's start from the beginning.
The album opens with the song 'Instaurer Le Vide', which initially sounds like an excellent post rock song, or post metal if you wish. After listening to the whole album, I feel like this is the luring-in song, the one that fans of the genre will like enough to buy the album. But then it starts, things start getting weirder, flashes of sheer insanity seem to appear and the intensity rises to often punishing levels. These levels seems to rise with each song. 'Leaves, Trees and Me' reaches a huge highlight but what happens next is simply destructive.
'Que-Reste-T-Il?' pulls out all the stops, grabbing influences from sludge, crust, hardcore and black metal to turn the song into a whirlpool of musical and vocal madness. This definitely is the most pummeling song on this selftitled debut. The madness returns on 'Our Illusion Is Creation', but in a different way as the music once again drives on these beautiful post rock guitars while the vocalist now seems to be lost completely in his dark, eerie and haunting world. Fans of bands like Isis, Envy, Cult Of Luna or AmenRa, this surely is something for you. Check it out!!!
Atlas - Death & Fear
stoner rock / doom
Somewhere between the grungy sound of Alice In Chains and the vintage doom of Black Sabbath lies the epic stoner doom of Swedish quartet Atlas. From the first fuzz-induced riffs of 'Wermland' to the closing drones of title track 'Death & Fear', this is one infectious piece of music. I really dig the slow to mid tempo songs and the awesome clean vocals. Yet, I also like the weird, uptempo stoner rocker 'Covered In Gold', a song that easily can get a party started. 'A Waltz' shows some psychedelic blues influences as well. Yep, this thing is pretty damn varied for an album that lasts for a bit over thirty minutes. For stoner rockers, this definitely is a must-have.
Hellgoat - Eden In Flames
Afmagt - Den Sidste Kamp Taber Du Alene
hardcore / punk
Big Guns - Six Shooter
Haan - Sing Praises
sludge / noise rock
Dorre/Bethmoora - Split
doom / sludge / noise
MortSubite - Deimos
death metal / deathcore
Teras - Pandora
H-One - Cyne II
Inspired by the likes of Gojira, Lamb Of God, Manimal and other bands, French act H-One comes up with an interesting album, containing a few amazing songs. H-One has found a way to combine death metal with modern metal sounds, making them sound somewhat like an extreme nu-metal act. However, rest assured, this is no nu-metal but technically skilled music with great songwriting and a constant impending atmosphere. At times, I'm reminded of bands like Voivod or Malevolent Creation, which I think are quite decent bands to be compared with. I feel like we'll be hearing from these guys again in the near future.
Fire Down Below - Viper Vixen Goddess Saint
Glowin Shadow - Ghosts, Fools & Fakes (Deluxe Edition)
alternative rock / metal
Endalok - Englaryk
Narthraal - Chainsaw Killing Spree
We kick off this edition of Brieviews with two brutal old school death metal songs, courtesy of Icelandic horde Narthraal. This digital single is the forerunner for the upcoming full-length, which is scheduled to be released somewhere in 2017. An important aspect of their sound, is the use of the Boss HM-2 pedal which creates a filthy, raunchy sound. Furthermore, the main influences for this act are the old school bands we all love so much, including Grave, Dismember, Unleashed and Carcass. I don't think you need any more convincing. Go ahead, download the album, and prepare to fiercely bang your head. You know you want to...
Dead End Path - Hypnotic Truth
death metal / metalcore
Somewhere between the realms of death metal and metalcore roams the Belgian quintet Dead End Path. They handed out this three-track ep at the latest edition of Rocktoberfest, where the played an all-consuming set in front of a handful of people. Well, my friends, you can see this little review as a nudge to get your attention on these guys because they're damn good. Melodic yet brutal death metal which quite often reminds me of something between At The Gates, All Shall Perish and Unearth. In three tracks, these guys show a tremendous technical ability, along with the skills to write and perform decent songs, all of course as brutal and crushing as it can get. Harsh stuff!!!
Balcanes - Carne Nueva
noise rock / hardcore
Something a little different, but in no way less in-your-face, is this ep from Spanish noisemakers Balcanes. What starts out with an impending piece of drone and noise, quickly turns into a hardcore punk infused frenzy in 'Combustible'. 'Masada' drags the ep deeper down into the world of sludge, driving on inelaborate but damn infectious riffs and monotonous drumming. That being said, no, there is not a lot of variation to be found but Balcanes definitely makes up for that by creating an intense wall-of-sound and beating you into a pulp with it. If you're a fan of sludgy noise rock, like Melvins or Harvey Milk, you should check out this little gem. Oh, and Balcanes need to tour Europe, like now!
Daddy Was Wrong - Daddy Was Wrong
alternative rock / hard rock / grunge
Back in Belgium, a country that still teems with people who hold rock music close to their heart. That certainly counts for hard rocking squad Daddy Was Wrong. In five songs, and about fourteen minutes, they showcase some of the first songs they have written together. Although they have a firm hard rock sound, I do sense some influences from grunge and alternative rock, but of course, they mainly add to the level of variation. My favorite track is the groovy 'Immortal', probably the most headbanging-worthy track on this ep. Anyway, if you're ready for a decent portion of good old fashioned hard rock, you should give these guys a shot. Rock on!!!!
Barrow Wight - Kings in Saurons Service
Once upon a time, this Canadian act start out as a Venom cover band. Yet, gradually they grew into what they are today, a headstrong heavy metal act with lyrical inspiration from Tolkien and musical inspiration by bands like Venom, Amebix, Manowar and several others. What you can expect on this album is pure, uncut heavy metal in the veins of their predecessors but with a raunchy, somewhat experimental edge. To me, is sounds like some of the very old school black metal albums, when the genre hadn't discovered blast beats and corpse paint yet. For you, this might be a good way to start checking out today's heavy metal scene. There is some great stuff to be found, including this one.
Dusk - Eko
industrial / dark psy
When band photos show the man behind this projects with respectively a KMFDM and a Godflesh t-shirt, you know you might be in for something interesting. That certainly is the case with this ep. Dwelling in the realms of industrial metal and dark dubstep, these four songs pretty much sound like modern day electronic remixes of songs by Fear Factor or Ministry, created by Infected Mushroom in a darkstep mood. For an electronic album, it's damn heavy, coming close to the stuff Amduscia, Xotox, Ambassador21 or Noisuf-X have been blasting out over the years. My favorite track here is 'Dragged By The Shadows' which or more suited for headbanging than dancing. Check it out, this is pretty awesome
Bhutan - Vexations
drone / ambient / post-rock
The album from Argentinian band Bhutan was submitted by a fan. According to his email, Bhutan was the support act for Nadja in Argentina and are considered a household name in the drone-scene of their country. Well, dear fan and band members, as far as I'm concerned, this trio should find an international record deal and a world tour to show of their beautiful blend of drone, ambient and post-rock. I mean, when an album reminds me of acts like Klaus Schulze, Pink Floyd, Aidan Baker ànd Godspeed, You Black Emperor, something fascinating is going on. This is a damn varied piece of sonic art, one that will undoubtedly be a stunning experience live.
Queen Elephantine - Kala
drone / doom / psychedelic
What does a psychedelic doom act with an ever-changing line-up of no less than fourteen musicians sound like? Well, apparently like a jamsession between Master Musicians Of Bukkake, Earth and Jimi Hendrix. The word "jamsession" is important here because that's pretty much how this whole album feels. There is a number of drones and soundscapes, some strange vocals, minimal drums and a load of psychedelic guitar solos to be found on this album, all seemingly improvised on the spot. The result is an set of immersive vintage seventies psychedelics, which are at best when played at a loud volume.
Monophona - Folsom Prison Blues
Now this is something nice. Luxembourg resident trip-hop act Monophona come up with a little pleaser to soften the wait between their brilliant 'Back To Black' album and the new one. On this 7", the band covers respectively Johnny Cash and Morrissey, both in Monophona's beautiful blend of gentle electronics and Claudine's fragile vocals. My favorite here is 'Folsom Prison Blues', which is an excellent cover version, bringing the song into this era. 'Every Day Is Like Sunday' takes on a different approach, a heavier, one showing some dark drum & bass electronics and a funky breakbeat rhythm. But, you know, like I said, this is a pleaser, and I'm here waiting for the next full-length.
Xaon - Face of Balaam
dark metal / death metal
Back to the heavier side of the musical spectrum, this time with Swiss combo Xaon and their debut ep 'Face Of Balaam'. At first glimpse, it might be easy to place these guys into the melodic death metal scene of the nineties, reminding of bands like Soilwork, In Flames to Children Of Bodom. However, listen deeper and you'll find some more influences. From Type O Negative to My Dying Bride. Deeper still, and there is a flash of metalcore hidden beneath the violent, crushing guitars, which drags the entire melodic death metal scene into the current era. It certainly is a varied piece of work, this ep, and it shows a band that can easily pull through to the top of today's extreme scene.
Fliptop Box - Catch 22
hard rock / alternative
Greek rockers Fliptop Box are masters in balancing on the edge between rock and metal. In that aspect, they remind me a lot of bands like The Foo Fighters. Their heavy rock is influenced by acts like Therapy?, Danzig, Volbeat and Alice In Chains and that's exactly where you could place this album. With awesome songs like 'Blast', 'Class Of Underdogs' and the highly immersive and quite Deftones-inspired 'Desert', these people are paving their way to today's alternative rock scene. As a rock fan, I think you should definitely check this one out, and as a metal fan I suggest you do the same. This thing rocks and, from the sound of it, it pretty much guarantees a party when played live.
Gespenst - Forfald
And we're back into the realm of all consuming darkness and dark misery. The album by Danish horde Gespenst is a tensive, harsh and fiercely immersive piece of work. It draws elements from black metal, funeral doom and dark ambient and blends them together into a massive whirlpool of sonic violence. The four lengthy tracks will undoubtely maintain their grasp on fans of today's post-black metal scene. In other words, this album is an epic piece of atmospheric extremes, one that you should definitely own if you like to be hypnotized by eerie guitars and haunting screams. I hope these guys come over to Belgium soon because I definitely want to see this live.
Oddhums - The Inception
stoner / doom
Hailing from Jaén, Spain, this trio comes with an excellent blend of stoner rock and doom, a delightful must-have for the fuzz-freaks out there. Firm drums accompany vintage stoner doom riffs, while here and there an immersive post-rock passage appears. That's all good and fine and nice and stuff but what I really like on this album are the vocals. They remind me a lot more of acts like Jesus and the Mary Chain or Slowdive. You know, the shoegaze way. Sometimes, there are some Conan or Yob chants, which also fit quite well. The combination of those epic riffs and these distant vocals make this ep a stand-out for me. I hope these dudes will tour Europe soon. Recommended? Definitely!
Rest - Rest
crust / hardcore / black metal
Why the hell is this band named 'Rest'? I can easily imagine people seeing this in the window of a record store and buying it because they expect something calm and relaxing. Then they come home and play the record, only to be completely wrecked by the intense blend of black metal, crust and hardcore. 'Rest', as if they want to say, "you can, you need and you will have some rest after this spiked steamroller grinds your eardrums and leaves you behind traumatized". Italians have a weird sense of humor I guess. Now, I have to say that this is one fierce motherfucker with four brutal tracks and one epic piece of music, the closing track 'V'. If you like crust, hardcore and black metal to be relentless, intense and harsh, you need this.
Hymnambulae - Orgelhuset
Welcome to the Organ House. You may enter after you have become silent. Feel free to have a look in each room, but try not to make any noise. You don't want to interrupt what you're about to witness. Oh, and beware of the god...
Kammarheit and Cities Last Broadcast's Pär Boström joined forces with his sister Åsa, not only to create Hypnagoga Press (their publishing house and record label) but also to share Orgelhuset with the world. This is a dark ambient album of extreme quality, like we're used to from Pär (read). The right soundtrack to your inner travels.
One can hear the cathedral of aerophones, the organ, blow in every room of Orgelhuset. In some rooms there are people hypnotically chanting, in other places the flute or the piano is present - never obtrusive but always in harmony with the rest of the sounds. Wherever you go, there's subtle sound effects intertwined with the drones, creating ever varying soundscapes. For fans of Raison d'Être, Subheim, In Slaughter Natives.
Shikobi - Pull The Trigger
alternative rock / grunge / nu-metal
Tölva - Wide Shot
Is the post rock genre already old enough to have an old-school scene? If so, French quartet Tölva could soon become a force to be reckoned with. Inspired by the greats, you know, Godspeed, You Russian, This Will Destroy the Explosions in Mogwai, that kind of stuff, Törva delivered a very strong debut ep with all the necessary elements to make it a strong competitor. The opener 'Poveglia' remains my favorite and I really enjoy the calm breather 'Puzzle' as well. The other two track? Well, they're equally loaded with beautiful soundscapes, a blissful atmosphere and all the emotions only decent post rock can deliver. This is a great, and highly recommended, debut.
Leaving Passenger - When It's Done
alternative rock / grunge
See? I told you we were facing a nineties revival. It's hit France now too, and it hit it good. Leaving Passenger is an alternative rock band from Paris who are about to debut with this magnificent ep. Influenced by the likes of Hoobastank, Incubus, Linkin Park and Nickelback, these guys come up with some strong and highly convincing songs., strangely enough reminding me of Tool and Deftones. 'Lies On The Floor' is a world class song, and definitely not the only one on this ep. I love the riffs, who show some stoner rock influences as well. But the coolest thing about this is the use of electronics to give the whole thing an extra touch, something glitchy often. This is a brilliant ep.
Bookworms - Anòmia
electronic / techno
I had no idea what to expect from this 12" but the opening track 'Divulge' certainly got my attention. Glitchy ambient and otherworldly soundscapes filled the room, much to my delight. On 'Patterned' the techno beats arrive and I thought, "well, why not" and started shaking my ass a little. The music reminds me a bit of acts like Riou or Unit Moebius, two acts I quite like fro their experimental approach to electronic dance music. In that aspect, the title track might be my favorite but I like this whole ep, even the somewhat nineties inspired '500 Words'. So yeah, perhaps it's a good idea to check this out and do a little dance. It's a nice change from the stuff we usually listen to...
In Slaughter Natives and Nihil - Ventre
When French artist and writer Nihil asked Swedish one-man martial ambient act In Slaughter Natives to compose the soundtrack for his book, something very interesting happened. I don't know which is the darkest element of this experience: the music, the artwork or the short stories. Main theme is the search for identity of the main character, a man who accidentally awakes from the artificial lethargy everyone has been submerged into for ages. The amazingly detailed artwork mostly displays one desperate human being, face or eyes covered. The soundtrack only emphasizes the lonely and frightening atmosphere of the whole. In Slaughter Natives again delivers top-shelf dark ambient and martial industrial soundscapes. For fans of Puissance, Triarii, Raison d'Être but also recommended to anyone who's fed up with the muzak which comes gushing out of your radio...
Sona Nyl - Refugee
electronic / dark ambient / industrial / noise
We're not done with crawling through utter darkness yet. In fact, we're going deeper down into a world where sounds are no longer natural, no longer bearable for the ordinary person. Fans of electronic drones, dark ambient and dark industrial noise on the other hand will have a blast with this album from French one-man project Sona Nyl. This album constantly balances on the edge between musicality and noise and quite often blatantly crossing over. The result is a captivating album, loaded with unidentified noises, creeping, crawling and repetitive enough to grind you into a deep and gloomy state of trance. This is something for fans of everything between Aghiatrias, Atrium Carceri and Atrax Morgue
Astarium/Antiquus Scriptum - Hymns To The Ancient Northland
dark ambient / neo classical
Russian dark ambient and neoclassical project Astarium has been around for quite some time now, always delivering some strong and mysterious music. On this cooperation with Portuguese act Antiquus Scriptum that is no different. The eight tracks delivered by Astarium are once again representations of mystical worlds and times with beautiful arrangements and a eerie atmosphere. Antiquus Scriptum adds another set of strange songs, perhaps a bit more experimental and bizarre but nonetheless very interesting. There is something pagan, something medieval to this music and clearly something I can appreciate. This is an excellent split which you should check out if you're into ancient folk and gloomy musical bliss.
Clara Engel - Visitors Are Allowed One Kiss
Aah, the beauty of being an introvert. It's so nice to dwell in someone's mind by exploring their music and that certainly is the case on this album by Canadian singer songwriter Clara Engel. Here and there aided by people like Aidan Baker, Armen Ra, Thor Harris and Siavash Amini, this woman delivers intimate but soulful folk songs with guitar, vocals and soundscapes or drones. The result is a pleasure to listen to, often even evoking a teardrop. For me, it's hard to compare this to other artists, because it's a realm I don't often visit. But that doesn't matter, all you need to know about this album is the captivating and immersive nature and the simply beautiful songs, loaded with emotions. Definitely recommended stuff.
Dominique Charpentier - Passages
Dominique Charpentier is a multi-instrumentalist from France. He chose the piano for his first full-length album, his instrument of predilection. and you can immediately hear that this is one very talented fellow. He has also made soundtracks for films and video games in his home studio, and you can hear impressive orchestral compositions on his soundcloud page. The piano songs on Passages are breathtaking gems that remind of the works of Yann Tiersen and Ludovico Einaudi, two other self-made musicians and Carpentier's main influences. I'd say: go check this album out now!
Nangilima - Shards of Loss
Once starting out as a blackened doom metal band, Swedish act Nangilima gradually evolved into the symphonic doom death combo they are today. Their new single, 'Shards Of Loss' contains two tracks which should every fan of Saturnus, Novembers Doom, My Dying Bride and Swallow the Sun tremble with excitement. Deep guttural growls and thick riffs are being accompagnied with piano and orchestral arrangements to create vast sonic journeys. Both songs are varied enough to remain interesting and lingering enough to maintain that always awesome doom metal bliss. See, this is why I love this genre so much. It comes from deep within and speaks directly to the darkest of souls.
Damnatus - Io odio la vita
When an album title translates as "I hate life", you know you can expect something depressive and harsh. And yes, that's exactly what this Italian one-man act delivers. After an intro, hell breaks loose with harsh, minimal, mainly slow, gritty and primitive black metal, somehow reminding me of some of those ancient pioneers in the scene. Yet, the mid-tempo approach of songs like 'Primavera Depressa' has something post-punkish as well. 'Ricaduta' is probably my favorite track on this album, one that shows decent musical skills and a flair for a bleak atmosphere. I recommend this album to all fans of Nyktalgia, Nortt and Xasthur, or anyone who thinks life is something to be suffered, not enjoyed...
Gonçalo Almeida & Rutger Zuydervelt - Jangadas
experimental / noise / improv
What happens when an experienced double bassist and a seasoned electronic experimentalist climb on stage together? Well, apparently you get something highly impressive that defies all categorization, like this twenty minutes lasting orgy of drones, soundscapes noises and hints of jazz. This release was recorded during a gig the two artists did in Rotterdam and damn it, it makes me regret not being there. In its digital form it's already impressive but my guess is that the concert itself has been intensely captivating and hypnotizing. Then again, that's something we're already used to with Machinefabriek, but still, this surely is something you need if you're into experimental ingenuity...
Tomy Lobo - Golden Birds
alternative rock / electronic / indie
Hailing from France, Tomy Lobo doesn't seem to be interesting in doing this normally. The indie rock this act delivers, drives on modern electronic sounds but also seems to showcase a tremendous flair for the bombast of alternative rock. The result is a combination of everything you can hear on a decent alternative music radio station. You can dance to it, you can kneel-down and cry your eyes out to it or you can just shake your head in absolute approval. Personally, I prefer the latter but wouldn't mind dancing to gems like 'Night Prism' or the gloomy dubstep track 'Erase It All'. It's a bit like Oscar and the Wolf, but better. Way better. Check it out, you just might have found something new to expand your collection.
Drei Affen - Drei Affen
crust / screamo / post-hardcore / noise rock
Hailing from the beautiful country of Spain, but a bit more on the noisy spectrum of the musical industry, comes this raunchy and loud trio, Drei Affen and their untitled blast of sheer aggression. With a blend of screamo, noise rock and post-hardcore, this trio is out for nothing less than utter destruction and as far as I'm concerned, it works pretty well. I mean, listening to this ep already caused me to throw a hot cup of coffee at a mosquito and punish a pillow for its uncomfortable position. This music is intense, that's for damn sure, and I think it's not suitable for everyone. Yet, for fans of ruthless violence, this definitely comes highly recommend. I'm sure live shows by this trio will cause a lot of bruises and broken noses...
Valborg - Werwolf
gothic metal / death metal / doom
We end this edition of Brieviews with two harsh doom songs with a gloomy, gothic atmosphere. German band Valborg has been compared to bands like Type O Negative, Celtic Frost and Triptykon and who am I to contradict that. Fans of these bands will certainly appreciate these massively immersive pieces of death doom but I still feel that Valborg has its own sound, somewhat industrial, somewhat dirty and vampiric. I'm sure Bela Lugosi would have loved the brilliant title track if he were still alive. Oh well, go ahead, check this out and join me in hoping that Valborg will come up with a stunning full-length and tour in the near future.
writers: Serge & Eline
black metal / post-hardcore / crust
Holy Roar Records will release in the end of the next month, on October 28, to be precise, Discography 2012-2014, a compilation of songs by Svalbard, a post-hardcore band from Bristol, UK. Containing fifteen songs, as to know Ripped Apart, Grayscale, Allure, Floating Anchors, Faceless, This Is The End, Flightless Birds, For What It's Worth, Melting Hands, Never Look Back, Pick Up The Pieces, Leave It, So Much For Meritocracy, The Damage Done and Anything Goes Nothing Stays, the compilation reunites several works the band has done since becoming active in the underground scene: their self-titled debut, the Gone Tomorrow EP, the Flightless Birds EP, the split record with Pariso (including collaboration songs) and a Victims cover that appeared on the Cover Buzz split 7 with MINE, Let It Die and Pariso. This is mostly everything that Svalbard recorded, prior to their seminal debut album One Day All This Will End, collected together in full for the first time.
With a groundbreaking hell descends on earth type of sound, letting all go down heavily ever after, Svalbard certainly is one of the most fearless bands in their genre active in the scene today. With a furious wrath and a passionate sonorous presence, exceedingly hard and objective, their heavy sound is superbly concentrated in a straightforward nucleus of a sincere and aggressive demise. With a hard, horizontal and tough, but at the same time uniquely poetic approach, their marvelous sound can be characterized as post-hardcore, with elements of crust punk and metalcore, without ever renouncing more colorful, precise and melodic passages, that sets to their music an atmosphere of relentless beauty and hostile desolation, reminding a little, in some aspects, American band We Came as Romans.
If you really like a roughly objective, expressively heavy, unforgivingly abrasive and monumental joyful sound, you need to be introduced to Svalbard, if you still haven’t heard of them yet. With a direct approach that relies solely on the rapid pace of a sonorous infinite storm that predicts in seconds the absolute end of everything, you will really love this amazing compilation. Exceedingly fantastic, coherent and with a strong sense of unity between songs, a magnanimously built uniformity makes the record a solid work of art, although each and every song has its own identity. This is certainly one of best records I have ever listened in this genre. If by one way they don’t really bring too much innovation, on the other hand they marvelously expand its beauty by fearlessly rearranging its roots in their own genuine style. It’s the same old, same old, but a very good one, one that really should be heard and enjoyed over and over again. Certainly, most – if not all – fans of the genre will have a great deal of motives to celebrate the release. It’s fearless, uncompromised and groundbreaking. You have to check it out for yourself. You will obviously love this record, be sure of that.
crust / black metal / hardcore / post-metal
King Apathy is the latest album released by German metal band Thränenkind, a highly interesting and potentially groundbreaking band in the current underground scenario, that has been emerging with its compelling and virtually distinguishing uniqueness, that keeps them shining under a very singular sonorous configuration, exceedingly hard to label and to classify.
Executing an intriguing and astoundingly unique mixture of metal, post-metal, post-black metal, hardcore, post-hardcore and what appears to be melodic straight edge, Thränenkind really does an excellent work infusing several different musical influences and elements, coherently binding everything altogether in a creative, competent and straightforward framework, which creates an impressive and exceedingly unique style of music, that can be regarded as their signature sound. With a strategic discipline that combines a lot of different components into their music, their perfectly aligned artistic eclecticism probably comes – but this is only a supposition on my behalf – from merging the ideas of all five band members, with an impeccable ability to embrace all those different musical confluences through impressive songwriting skills. As you can imagine, the result would be exceedingly above all the ordinary levels of expectancy. Perfectly counterbalancing wrathful heaviness with sentimental melodies, melancholic harmonies with furious rhythms, and vicious anxiety with serene dreamscapes, Thränenkind, in King Apathy, really builds a world of their own, sharing with their audience all of their main motives for creating these groundbreaking experiences in highly unquestionable sound form.
With forty five minutes and ten tracks, being them Desperation, King Apathy, Ghosts, Urban Giants, The Blood On Our Hands, Drifter, What We Believe In, Smokestacks And Concrete Walls, Vanishing Youth and Homeruiner, Thränenkind really does an interesting and peculiar brand of sound, that highlights itself as pure, uncontrollable, delightful and highly unique. With an interesting shape that collides directly into the eye of a soul storm, their music has emotion, consistency, virtuosity and wrath, all essential elements for an album that could easily fulfill on its own the most remarkable pretensions for being a fundamental milestone on the exciting, but nevertheless dangerous field of the cross genre. With several qualities that really make this album worthwhile listening, King Apathy, by Thränenkind, is not made for weak, easy minded, or conservative audiences. A very intriguing work that shapes no restrictions, unbound distinctions of sound and creates bridges between heterogeneous paths of expression, it perfectly sets the best remarks, and more than ever, manages to balance the sincere wrath of metal with a more serene, introspective and soft brand of unusual harmonies, giving birth to an amazing and highly diversified artistic sonority, that shows the immensurable skills hidden in the colorful shades of the creative restlessness that resides and explodes in the heart of each band member. So, if you’re really interested in listening to something different, rewarding, enthralled, complex, beautiful, highly amazing and completely out of the ordinary, than this an album made for you.
Want a recommendation? Go get it, right now!
Serpent Spells - Mantras Within Ascending Fire
death metal / black metal
Blackened death metal from Dhaka, Bangladesh, that is something you don't hear every day. But you could, and perhaps you even should lend this ep an ear. After all, regardless of where it comes from, old school black and death metal are still some of the truest and most brutal genres in the world, and this album is no exception. After an intro, Serpent Spells throw three slashing pieces of music in our faces, loaded with malevolence and a dark, haunting atmosphere. The ep kinda reminds me of the vintage blackened sound of nineties Europe, fueled by thrash metal and mercilessly grinding through the listener's skull, a sense of melody and a massive heap of aggression. Lovely stuff...
Blunderbuss - Resurrection
nu-metal / rapcore
Hah, nu-metal, one of the most rediculised sub-genres within the world of heavy guitars. Yet, just like its older brothers, death, thrash, death and doom metal (to name a few), nu-metal refuses to step aside, refuses to go silent. French quintet Blunderbuss faithfully follow the path of bands like Rage Against The Machine, Limp Bizkit and Papa Roach. Parts rap, accompanied with striking guitars and lively drums, and parts irrisistible headbanging bliss, that's what you get on this ep, highlighting in the stunning tune 'Jump' and 'Stop It Now'. I also dig the melodic approach here, and I'm quite sure I'll be shaking my ass off when I ever get the chance to see these guys perform 'Vee Stoneheart' on stage...
Zeit - The World Is Nothing
hardcore / punk
We already reviewed a band named Zeit in the past, so don't get confused with this one. The Zeit I'm talking about in this brieview, hail from Italy and are currently slashing a massive heap of chaotic, noise rock induced hardcore through my speakers. In ten songs, lasting a bit over twenty minutes, this combo rages on in a highly destructive and pulverising manner. There's no breather, except maybe for the eerie instrumental 'Disguised'. The rest is simply brutal and chaotic hardcore, solely focused on intensity and ferocity. Consider this a warning, this ep is a massive assault on your eardrums and on your sanity. With stuff like this, the world as we know it is bound to come to and end soon...
Grizzlyman - Grizzlyman
post-metal / sludge / doom
Time to groove things up a little, without losing the intensity of this whole brieview-writing session. We're in Sweden, where members from several hardcore, progressive and death metal bands combined their love for slow, downtuned and heavy music. The result is this awesome kick-in-the-groin, loaded with monolithic riffs and brutal screams. The three songs on this ep are and immersive blend of sludge, stoner rock and doom metal, perfectly suited for fans of Isis, Mastodon, Baroness, Cult Of Luna and so on. I can only hope that this is the harbinger of great things to come for Grizzlyman. I definitely want to see them perform awesome tracks like 'Last King' (my favorite here, mainly because of a little The Cure reference) live.
Somnium Nox - Apocrypha
One song, sixteen minutes, constantly altering between frenetic black metal and haunting ambient passages, opening with didgeridoo sounds, that's what you get on this stunning ep by Australian duo Somnium Nox. The overall atmosphere is intensely dark, perhaps one of the darkest things you'll ever hear. On one hand, this ep perfectly fits in with today's post-black metal scene where even Pink Floyd could be regarded as an influence. On the other hand, this is as brutal and ferocious as some of the harshest blackened acts out there. Fans of bands like Blut Aus Nord, Altar Of Plagues, Deathspell Omega and Drudkh, this is a must-have for you, so get your hands on this thing, now...
Kommando - Distroyer / Iron Goat Triumph
crust / d-beat / black metal
When members of Endstille and Dysangelium form a band from the idea that modern day music lacks violence, you could be damn sure that something extreme is heading your way. Well, Kommando is extreme. They call their music 'Machinegun Punk', which stands for an intense mix of black metal, death metal, hardcore, crust and d-beat. It shouldn't be a surprise that this ep is loaded with brutality, violence and sheer noise. The songs are short but furious, a vicious assault on anything you could possibly imagine. With songs like 'IndoctriNation', Bitching Hours' and 'Alle Gegen Alle', this ep is arguably one of the most aggressive releases you can buy this year...
ORigami geijutsU - The Hibakusha Haikus
Mathcore, a genre I never really understood, but I guess that's the whole idea. We're in France, being utterly confused by a trio of musicians without boundaries. On this album, these guys come up with complex yet immersive pieces of music, hinting towards the noise rock scene and the world of (extreme) (post) metal alike. In a way, this sounds more like free jazz to me, but distorted and perplexing. There are some pieces which are perfectly suited for a little headbanging session while other passages are way too complex to make any kind of movement. In fact, the best way to dance to this is mouth wide open while being completely paralysed physically. Weird stuff, intense but weird...
Ego Miss Blinded - Tipping Point
hard rock / rock
Still in France, but this time with something a little more radio-friendly, rock-radio friendly that is. Ego Miss Blinded is a rock band from the region of Paris, mainly influenced by bands like Metallica, Kiss, System Of A Down, AC/DC and even Bob Marley, but no, there's no reggae on this ep. What you do get, are five strong songs with plenty of power to get your rock-ass shaking. Opener 'That's What I Am' is a potential rock-hit, 'The Knife To Your Throat' is a vivid old school anthem, 'Alive' is a grungy ballad and the 'Raise Your Head' dual track reminds me a little of Guns 'n Roses meets Motley Crue, or something like that. In part 2, I can even hear flashes from Pink Floyd. Varied stuff, that's for damn sure...
Porta Daemonium - Serpent of Chaos
Right, back to the extremes, this time with a brutal old school death metal band from Chile and their short but scathing album 'Serpent Of Chaos'. Opening with eerie soundscapes and haunted voices, this album slowly fastens its grip on the listener, a bit like a constrictor perhaps. Yet, once 'Via Sinistra' kicks off, Porta Daemonium kick you down with their crushing and grinding sound. The tempo is tremendous. The drums constantly hammer on your skull while the thick and sick riffs rip your insides apart. Meanwhile, the vocalist growls all kind of unpleasantries into your ear, eventually leaving you behind in a pile of rotting flesh, as an offering to the dark lord. Enjoy...
Vulturic Eye - Vulture Manifesto
I've been writing about old school stuff a few times on this edition of 'Brieviews' but believe me, dear reader, it doesn't get more old school than this. English metal band Vulturic Eye say this about their music "...if Rush were a nihilistic metal band..." and I can only agree. On this ep they come up with vintage heavy metal, reminding me of old Iron Maiden, old Judas Priest, Dio perhaps. The songs are pretty varied and show a great deal of musical craftsmanship, especially my favorite one 'Legacy Of Failure'. So, whoever claims that there's no decent heavy metal being made today, please shut your mouth and listen to Vulturic Eye. If they don't make you change your mind, you're officially old...
Seeds Of Mary - Choose Your Lie
grunge / alternative / rock
Here's an album that has been playing quite a lot in the past few weeks, yet I never managed to write a review about it. Why? Well, perhaps the answer could be found in the reason why I played this album so often. It's loaded with gritty nineties grunge and alternative rock without actually coming from the nineties. I played it every time I wanted something grungy without actually playing those same old Alice In Chains and Soundgarden albums. This album is something like a 'best-of-grunge-which-bands-forgot-to-record-in-the-heyday-of-the-scene'. That being said, this album is 429 times better than most modern rock albums and you absolutely need this in your collection.
Lambs - Betrayed From Birth
blackened hardcore / crust
"Lambs", cute name which hides tonnes of aggression, brutality and torment. This Italian band simply throws every harsh metal style they could find in one massive blender, adds an array of screams and pours their agony over their audience. The overall tone on this three track is intense and dark. The songs are loaded with blackened hardcore riffs, seemingly also inspired by extreme noise rock. They're not afraid of blast beats or fierce thrash metal drumming. In fact, I don't think these guys are afraid of anything. This is a tremendous force, out for utter destruction, physically and mentally. You have been warned...
Cvlt of Grace - Tears
dark hardcore / sludge
Perfectly fitting in with the previous ep in this episode of "Brieviews", comes the newest effort from Hungarian ruffians Cvlt Of Grace. In mere fifteen minutes, this trio smashes a blend of crust, sludge and hardcore through my already racked eardrums. The overall atmosphere is intensely dark and the sound is tremendously crushing, certainly in haunting tracks like 'Dogfaced Children' or the confusing beast 'Black Sack'. This is gutripping stuff, certainly not recommended for the faint of heart. With lyrical themes including the immigrant crisis, anti-fascism and other current unpleasantries, this Cvlt is preparing to smash the rotten establishment we dwell in.
Nukk - Nukk
ambient / crust / sludge
Ok, perhaps I can handle one more of these scathing hardcore infused sludge crust releases. This one is coming from Polish neocrust mob Nukk and it's arguably the most destructive ep I've heard in a while. Not only because their crushing blend of crust and hardcore, but also because of the horrifying ambient/noise passages and the overall feeling of despair and anxiety. Even when the whole thing gets a bit less aggressive, this ep simply never gives you a moment to rest, to come to your senses. Each quieter passage is simply an impedance for the massive musical blow that follows. Nukk leaves no survivors, that's for bloody sure.
Rekoma - Circle Of Hate
metal / death metal / thrash metal
As a little preview for their upcoming album, Finnish metallers Rekoma come up with a tasty ep, an intense blend of death and thrash metal with both clean vocals and deep growls. There's also room for some doom metal and even American groove metal; Yet, what I hear most on this album, are influences from the Scandinavian metal scene, loaded with dark melodies and brutal riffs. All of these elements, certainly make this an ep with a tremendous headbanging capacity. You try to keep your head still on smashers like 'Lambs Of Sacrifice' or 'Trial'. Maybe you'll succeed but it won't be easy, certainly not if these guys play this live in an equally convincing way.
Ligature Wound - Ligature Wound
Imagine Dismember, Morbid Angel and Benediction building a tank. Now imagine the sound of that tank while in rolls over your skewered body. That would bring you pretty close to the stuff I'm listening to right now. American act Ligature Wound released an excellent slab of raw old school death metal where every single elements seems to be exactly where and what it needs to be. In six tracks, definitely containing a few highlights in today's death metal scene, this ep is as filthy, grinding and brutal as it gets. Fans of the genre should not ignore this act, on the very contrary, they need this thing...
Drought - Rudra Bhakti
Drought, a mysterious entity in the black metal scene, comes up with a severe, rough and hypnotic blackened ritual. This ep, revolving around the transformation of man into the übermensch, contains four epic pieces of extreme music, repetitive but varied, chaotic and intense. The music is a great example of modern black metal, certainly inspired by the old school but ever looking forward. The sheer speed of this whole thing is quite suffocating, rarely giving the listener a chance to calm down. Only in the final track 'Collapse of Maya (Transfiguration of the Warrior)' you get a few soothing passages, but even these are haunting and eerie. Recommended stuff...