Wasted Theory: Defenders of the Riff

Wasted Theory - Defenders of the Riff After two years of touring and doing shows across the country, southern/stoner metal quartet Wasted Theory are back once again, which means it took them two years to put in the finishing touches on their recent studio jams, releasing their sophomore album Defenders of the Riff, a follow-up to their successful debut album, Death and Taxes. With their second album, Wasted Theory have started where they left off with their debut and now they have brought it back to life, shape it up, a bit different sound wise, however they have kept the soundscape of the band’s music. But what’s the difference between these two records?

By skipping the first two EPs from the band, Cinco Dechado De Cancion and Godspeed that was just a collection of a bunch of cool jams and not pointing to the true face of Wasted Theory’s music, you get to Death and Taxes. This was released in 2014 and was a powerful debut from Wasted Theory’s camp and was a [bit] modern sounded southern/stoner metal, whose potent hard rock side was bold and immense, yet the production kept the sound close to the retro type of sound of its genre. But when it comes to Defenders of the Riff everything seems are in the opposite way. The album’s production is more modern than the debut album, which made the music sharper and less vintage sounding and these are riffs and melodies, delivered from ages of heavy rock music, just like the album cover the colorings of which and characters recall the old school dark fantasy / sci-fi comic books.

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Kurokuma: Advorsus & Shit and Shine: Teardrops ~ Two Sides of the Same Melting Coin

Noise and discordant sounds that attract us folk that are not always content with sweet sounds of Shalamar have developed over the last few decades incorporating electronica and glitch music. And here we have two purveyors illustrating the different sides of the same coin. Where Kurokuma approach their craft slowly building notes and riffs to develop their sound, Shit and Shine sound to me like they want to explode their sound in a free jazz kinda way!

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FAM: Human Cargo & Negative Thought Process: Methylene Butterfly

This summer has seen a crop of terrific d-beat and grindcore releases. And in the true tradition of the wedding season here we have something old and something new, with FAM who have been going a handful of years, and of course due to the speed they play its like cat years, and they are long in the tooth in grindcore years, alongside Negative Thought Process who are just starting out with this their debut.

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Teorema_album_cover Finally seeing a proper CD release on Via Nocturna after a low key original release in 2015, Mexican duo Teorema set out on a rather varied stall in their band biog of post rock, doom, noisy ambience and somewhere they say folk.

Largely instrumental to start, where the post rock feels comes to the fore, but by track three “Damned Country,” we have guttural death grunting style vocals, in which sounds a far more traditional deathly grindcore tune, whilst “Saint Place” has some echoey easy going guitar strumming – is this the folk they speak of?

For a band that states ‘incorporates elements of sludge metal, drone, doom, ambient, folk and noise rock’ I am finding this rather dull and not as varied as I hoped.

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Feign - Atlas album cover Feign, a one band outfit from the USA sounds words away from Useless, from where I have just come from. A cleaner, punchier sound drawing from black, blackened gaze, death and thrash at times to create a piece bordering on cosmic technology.

It reminds me of Nocturnus in the way it’s crisp sound cuts the air, and the guitar sound really draws from even early Metallica in my humble opinion! Where some bands like Twilight Fauna take you to deep forests or Scandinavians take you to windswept mountain tops, and Useless take you to the darkest depths of your psyche, Feign seem to help me explore other inner worlds with their inner gaze.

Maybe it’s this clean sound that gives me a sci-fi feel, and hence my cosmic thoughts.

This follows on from their well-received demo Into the Void, which was also put out by Into the Night Records a few years ago, and this now sees them release their debut full length. As the album develops we are peppered with moments of bliss, such as “Haven on the Sky” and “Stargazer,” which act as either respite, or introductions in to the following tranche of heavy duty power.

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USELESS Absence of Grace

Useless - Absence of Grace album cover Useless… useless… useless…

Don’t bother reading this, actually don’t bother doing anything because you are useless, you amount to nothing. That is, at least, the sentiment of this album.

I think Useless are from America, yet are able to channel the ambience of Scandinavian, especially the Norwegian sound through these five tracks of slow, Burzumic buzzing depressing black metal. And as the financial markets plummet after the British vote to leave the EU, what better a soundtrack to the end of times as we know it. Yep, we are all useless.

Opener “Black Wolf” is a howling turbulent storm of a track, with vocalist J screaming and straining his way through. The pace picks up with “Drown Your Hopes” where we border on the more aggressive side of BM, and the whole sound crackles along, as is breaking through from another realm.

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Kyng: New Album, Tour w/ Clutch


Kyng are preparing themselves for their third album release in the coming months. The band, reside out of Los Angeles, California and are signed to Razor and Tie Records. They are relatively famous in the United States for their prior release which include the albums Trampled Sun (2011) and Burn the Serum (2014).

The band consists of Tony Castaneda (bass, back up vocals), Pepe Clarke (drums) and Eddie Veliz (lead vocals). Kyng’s sound will conjure memories of a fully functioning Black Sabbath before Ozzy Osbourne devoured more drugs that his body was willing to take. Listen to the lead track “Burn the Serum” from their last album as proof of the previous statement.

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