Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Possessor- Electric Hell

Possessor is an occult metal band from London, UK. The band have recently released their debut full length 'Electric Hell'. 9 tracks of fuzzed out groove that you can't help but love. Honestly, within seconds this album got moved onto my phone for extended and repetitive play. Check it out below.

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The Crimson Trip- Self Titled

The Crimson Trip are at their roots a stoner rock band from Monterrey, Mexico. Below you can find their 7 track self titled release that if you are anything like me, will enjoy immensely. Fusing elements of doom and the occult the Crimson Trip takes you on a pretty fun ride. The production quality isn't amazing but that adds to their retro rock feel. Favorites include 'Goatcifer' and 'Psychedelic Witch' this is a band that I am going to keep an eye on!

Wolvhammer- Clawing Into Black Sun [review]

After listening to the first track of this album, I find myself regretting the fact that I skipped their show when they last came through Toronto. Wolvhammer play what I want to call 'Black n' Roll', think along the lines of  Entombed or Satyricon. Perhaps one could argue that tag simplifies the band a tad too much. Wolvhammer have perfected the blend of various styles to create a work entirely their own. It's as if they mixed up a pot of death and punk rock with black, death, and doom metal.

With their third full length 'Clawing into Black Sun' the band has stepped into a more mature and focused role. Having scored onslaughts of praise from around the internet and having shared the stage with heavyweight acts such as the Black Dahlia Murder and Skeletonwitch, Wolvhammer are set to ascend towards the next level. 

Standing out on the album are 'Death Division', title track 'Clawing Into Black Sun' and the slower and more mature sounding 'A Light That Doesn't Yield'. These tracks alone justify purchasing the album and helping Wolvhammer along their blackened path to greatness. Give the album a spin below.

Bongripper- Miserable

"If it's too slow, you're too happy" -Taken from Bongripper themselves.

There really is no better way to sum up this new release from Chicago sludge/doom veterans Bongripper. Miserable brings us 3 tracks of the slowest, most crushing doom I have heard in awhile. Imagine yourself tied down on the beach with the tide slowly washing over you, again and again. You can check the album out below. If you like it, shoot them a couple bucks.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

As Daylight Falls- The Voice of Treason

As Daylight Falls is a Post Hardcore/Metalcore band from Cleveland, Ohio. After a year of looking the band has finally found the right line up and producer. Below you will find the fruits of their labor with their 5 track ep 'The Voice of Treason'. It is a pretty solid release, fans of the core genres should enjoy it.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Sergeant Thunderhoof- Zigurat

Here we have the debut ep from Sergeant Thunderhoof, a brilliant stoner/doom band from Bath, UK. I will admit, at first I was simply attracted by the name but within 3 minutes of the first track, they had me sold. Lumping them into the stoner/doom category isn't enough. These guys ascend to a higher sound. Mixing together elements from various styles but never forgetting the power of the riff! Simply astounding.

Check it out below, you won't regret it.

Monobrow- Big Sky, Black Horse

Brilliant instrumental stoner rock from Ottawa, Canada. Thankfully the band wrote a stellar description so that I don't have to think and can just chill out to the riffs.

Alchemy can be defined as a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination. In the vast frozen fortress that is Canada, Monobrow are true riff wizards of alchemy. This mammoth trio released their third album in the spring of 2014. Not unlike a wizard’s spell book, Big Sky, Black Horse is filled with mind altering, time shifting casts of pure magic. Staying with their constant mix of tempo change, groove, and all-out rhythm madness, Monobrow continue to progress with each outing, once again making waves in the sea that is the stoner/doom genre.

Check it out below!

Labyrinthe- Relentless Misery

 Labyrinthe has been a part of the NCDC scene for years now. After several tours and various member changes, Labyrinthe has found a line up to continue the legacy of deathcore brutality. After the success of their 2012 release via Tribunal Records 'The Depths of Hell', Labyrinthe has returned with their Sophomore album 'Relentless Misery'.

You can give it a listen below, I highly recommend it!

The Wolves of Avalon- Boudicca's Last Stand [Review]

'Boudicca's Last Stand' is more than just music it is a story, a story from ages past when there was no England, Scotland, or Wales. When there was only Britain, its forests and its tribal clans.

The album deals with one of the great British war leaders, Boudicca, a Queen who stood against the might of Rome shortly after the great druid sanctuary of Ynys Môn was ruthlessly destroyed and the very heart of druid culture wiped from the face of the Earth.

Thoughts of Middle Earth, and Westeros surely come to mind and the music that 'the Wolves of Avalon' play would most definitely fit within those realms. This is for the true folk fans, the fantasy fanatics, the dreamers of a day that has long passed. The impressive array of instruments really add to the atmosphere, flutes, mandolins, violins, cellos and accordions all add to the feeling that this album has taken you back in time.

The craftsmanship behind  'the Wolves of Avalon' comes at no surprise. Lead by Metatron the front man of the brilliant black medieval metal band 'The Meads of Asphodel' one can expect a bit of the same especially on tracks such as 'Bonded By Blood and Sword' and 'The Gorging Glut of Sodden Clay.' Although as a whole, 'Boudicca's Last Stand' encompasses the listener in a bolder and richer folk atmosphere with thanks going to J Marinos who is the bands guitarist and main song writer. A great inclusion to the album are the guest spots, the likes of Thurios from 'Drudkh', Hildr Valkyrie from 'Folkearth' and Mirai from 'Sigh' bring this album to the next level.

There is no filler on 'Boudicca's Last Stand', it doesn't get stale and should keep you fully immersed for its entirety. Keep an eye out for it when it is released on July 21st. You can order it from the links below.

Favorite tracks:
The Sky Goddess
Behold the Feast of the Slaughter Gods


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Young and in the Way-When Life Comes to Death (2014)

It's clear from the outset that Young and in the Way have designed "When Life Comes to Death" to be a holistic expression of negativity and violence.  Even before Kable Lyall’s voice gurgles its way out of your speakers in the opening "Betrayed by Light,” intent on strangling your ears, the album's artwork depicts only a huge-ass knife in the death grip of a tattooed, meaty paw.  The combination of the two experiences is powerful, and right from the start gives you a glimpse into the depths of the human psyche which Laball and co. plumb for the next 46 minutes.  Young and in the Way waste no time capitalizing on your shock, and as the opening feedback slips into the impending wall of distorted sludge guitar, you barely have a second to compose yourself.  It’s 2014, and YAITW know that you may have only known about their band’s existence for thirty seconds, but that thirty seconds--enough time to see the album artwork and pull up a song on YouTube- is all they need to convince you that they are tough as fuck.

“When Life Comes to Death” is 46 minutes of  hypnotic punishment.  Randy Baucom’s drums propel each song forward in the same style as many hardcore drummers, but in the mix he is an ethereal stomp, his cymbals pinging the corners of your ears while he alternately blasts and breaks down.  Rick Contes’ guitar sound is similarly otherworldly: the layering of tremolo-picked black metal melodies over the dirtiest rhythm tone ever make for a paradoxically visceral and cerebral approach to the most brutal hardcore put out in a long time.  Stop what you’re doing and listen to the first minute of “We Are Nothing” and try not to break something valuable in front of you.  

For all its brutality and negativity, "When Life Comes to Death" is hardly a simple full-court-press of sludgy guitars and black metal rasps (although both are present in top form).  The foundation of Young and In the Way's sound is a sludgy, grinding breed of hardcore, and it’s a sturdy  foundation.  These songs are some of the mightiest rippers ever unleashed.  What sets Young and in the Way apart from their similarly hard-ripping hardcore peers is the way they slot black metal hallmarks of tremolo picking and guitar atmospherics into the spaces normally reserved in hardcore for slower riffs and power chords.  It turns sections that would otherwise be hardcore tropes and turns them on their head.  It's a fresh take on both genres, and it should really piss off black metal kvltists, which is enough to sell me on a record to begin with.  That YAITW do it with such sincerity, ferocity, and brevity is a testament to their skill.  

The  expert application of black metal aesthetic is what pushes "When Life Comes to Death" above the glut of new hardcore releases.  It pervades each song, giving them a sinister air when most harrdcore songs would try get by on just momentum alone.  Case in point is track three, “Be My Blood”:  What would be a straightforward hardcore song in the hands of most bands becomes a grim , bone-breakingly heavy affair.  Perhaps the reason why it’s so effective and that I’ve been compelled to write about the effect at such length is that the black metal aesthetic is never used as a gimmick. As the textures unravel themselves to you, hidden under layers of grind, you’re so engrossed in the songs that YAITW can knock you on your ass in a second.  My favorite part of listening to a new metal record is how many times I have to sit back and think to myself “I am absolutely getting the shit beaten out of me.”  The black metal aspects of "When Life Comes to Death" spread that feeling out over the album’s entire duration.  Instead of moments of being astonished, you are perpetually held in tension.  By the time the album closer rolls around, its call to action is inviting: “Embrace Extinction”

An interesting aspect of Young and in the Way’s sonic palate is their use of undistorted guitar and piano sections to emphasize the brutality of the harsher ones.  It would be remiss to say these sections are any softer for their lack of electricity, for they allow the insidious malice of Young and in the Way's attack to sink in.  "Shadow of Murder," the album's massive penultimate track, sounds like a black/sludge version of Converge's classic "In Her Shadow," and that is the highest praise anyone in the hardcore scene can heap upon an up-and-coming band.  It's no surprise that Young and in the Way landed on the Converge-run label Deathwish Inc.  Deathwish has been spearheading a black metal insurgency as of late, releasing Deafheaven's fantastic black-shoegaze hybrid "Sunbather" last year to much acclaim and derision among the trve.  "When Life Comes to Death" stands firmly in this new tradition, and I hope Deathwish brings us many more albums like it--and Young and in the Way keep on pumping out more artifacts of rage like this one.

I think the Converge reference is intentional, and it indicates a self-awareness typically absent in releases this heavy, or at least releases that wear their obstinate dedication to heaviness on their sleeve like “When Life Comes to Death.”.  It acknowledges the capacity for heavy music to engage in explorations other than the depths of the human condition, while also declaring that "When Life Comes to Death" is not one of them.  It's a nuanced and cognizant method of placing the record in the annals of heavy music--"When Life Comes to Death" is timeless in its effect and aspect, but those results build off of the great oeuvre of hardcore and metal.  It's like a gangplank off a skyscraper--a jump off of the establishment into the fury below.  A record this heavy does so by both acknowledging and bucking tradition.  Young and in the Way do so with brutal aplomb.  You know what that is?  That’s fucking metal.

Check out Young and in the Way on Facebook.

Listen to their shit.  It's good.