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.
FAM are a brutal Polish grind band who do remind me of those early albums by Napalm Death and Carcass. Its that deep end rumble of the grindcrusher that is so excellently evidenced here. And Human Cargo is their new album, released on Deformeathing Productions on September 3rd, 2016. The album cover is so 1990s, a gas mask with soldier’s tin helmet and the main nose area is made of a human in fetal position. It reminds me of those busy Napalm Death covers like Enslavement, or Mentally Murdered.
And musically? Well, tracks are one to three minutes long, blasting forth their layered 3D texture assault, with super fast drumming and that churning bass and guitar I could be forgiven for thinking its Shane Embury powerhouse. “Bukowski,” not only a great writer but is also a belter of a one minute track, followed by “epic” three whole minutes of “Belt” which even toys with the idea of guitar leads. But not for long. Surprise finisher is a cover of My Dying Bride’s “All Swept Away.”
It is with a heavy heart, and light kidneys that I write a review of the last Summer Sizzler festival at the Brixton Windmill. I think it has to do with Gareth the promoter moving, or that the sludge fests have finally taken its toll on the fabric of Brixton!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Look at the title, meditate for a moment on it.
Marsh Dweller are suggesting that the sunlight, giver of life and all that, is a weight to bear. And from then on, you have all the introduction you need to enter the Marsh.
This is bleak, this is black, this is death, this is well melded together, tightly turning from blackened metal to death sounds via some very traditional soaring heavy metal lead guitar parts.
The song titles speak for themselves – “The Dull Earth,” “Where the Sky Ends” and “Empty Light of Heaven.” This is an album of hollowness, and bleak, cold marshes!
Shrek lives in a swamp, but his one swamp sounds far more fun that this Pennsylvanian marshland! This creates a roaring rumble of blackened disdain, and then the light of thrashing guitar shines through!
I had to listen and share this with you purely down to the first track title, the well penned “Pariah Carey.”
Bong Mountain deliver SoCal style punk-lite along the lines of Bad Religion, NOFX and Pennywise. With a harsh toked style vocal, I get the feeling of his frustration at modern life. However, even though they hail from Chicago I still expect to see them playing an open air beach gig on the west coast of America!
But the name did lead me to expect heavier stoner sludge doom. They say that the Grateful Dead came up with their name by randomly choosing names from a dictionary, is there a Book of Heavy Metal words so that I can pick my name?
But regardless of my misunderstanding of their name, bands like this get people through times of angst and open their minds to new thoughts and sounds. So I always have a soft spot. As Sick of it All once sang “Scratch the Surface” and it can open up the mother lode.
We are delighted to bring you a stream of the Armed with Books‘ track “Charlatan.” The song is taken from the band’s forthcoming vinyl release of their debut EP, Honestly Honesty, out August 6th. The EP was orginally released digitally on April 1st.