A terrific introduction to the varied heavy psyche scene of Italy. After Zippo ease us in gently with “After Us,” we get some square-bashing from Prometheus with nine minute “Ornaments” – very rhythmic with angular midway changes akin to a proggy post rock Pet Slimmers or something like that.
Architeuthis bowl me outta my chair with their rolling drums and wah wah geetar kick off. A slacker stoner vibe seeps out of my speakers and drips on the floor pooling into a sticky resin puddle. A drum heavy piece, with guitars slung low amongst bleached flares as it ebbs and flows through its ten minute inner space contemplation. When the tune returns it sounds like the lead guitarist went next door to pluck his strings, adding to that whole disheveled disorientation before space noises add in layered effects.
Karl Marx Was a Broker not only wins the prize for the best band name, but opens up a new chapter with electronic math styled rock, imagine you were too stoned to notice you were playing your old Tangerine Dream LPs at the wrong speed – you get the picture… whilst Otus use that lose Entombed style tuning bringing a deathy feel to their offering “Theta Synchrony,” but only in tuning and vocal growl, musically it is far lighter as it tinkers about.
Or so goes the old joke, but here we have two differing artists conjoined by underlying similarities.
Panphage is the work of one Swede, and on this release, he is telling the folk tale of Grette Asmundsson and alongside the atmospheric mood setting sounds of the sea we have relentless harsh black metal.
At times, it is operatic with its rise and fall on tracks like “Landrensningen” and the vocal delivery is in the punctual statement style of many a black metal release, harking back to the early days.
It is a very competent album, and doesn’t have that ‘solo project‘ feel that some one man bands do. And it delivers well in a familiar way, I can anticipate the breaks, the falls and the rampant burn outs.
When two tribes go to war, one is all that you can score.
Two bands, two sounds, one war in common. Warcrab are seeing their debut album Scars of Aeons coming out on Black Bow Records, which is a fantastic starting block for them. I was lucky to enjoy them play live at one of the (now legendary) Summer Sizzlers in Brixton, and I remember the length of their beards! And there were comparisons to Bolt Thrower and Slayer, chatting to the singer on their merch stand he did a good job of selling their sound to me.
So this new album sees their sound slower than I remember with a powerhouse of six members creating a sludge fest, seeping forth through my speakers. It starts slow and deep and hard, then the head nodding starts and I can still understand the comparisons with Bolt Thrower, especially with their titles such as “Conquest” and “Destroyer of Worlds.” With a large contingent of players they do ooze an immense rumbling racket. Kind of at the junction where hardcore sludge meets heavy doom whilst playing a classic Metallica at the slowest speed on the turn table.
One of my favourite cultural centre cafes has changed its name from Departure to Husk, and now the band Husk have changed their name to Sail. Its only early January and I am confused already!
So, Sail are described as doom/sludge, but I disagree as they are far too musical in the higher end of the scales. It focuses far more on a singing vocal and musical melody than the cathartic expressions of sludge.
And they have now finished Slumbersong ready for release on Hibernacula Records on March 10th 2017, and this clean sound seems a departure for Hibernacula as I always associate them with the dirtier sounds of Terra, Pensevor and Negative Thought Process. But it’s always good to balance I guess.
This appeared in the dying embers of 2016, and oh wow did it light up the festivities! 55, yes FIFTY FIVE tracks to stream and download for FREE covering doomy death, grindcore, touches of crust and stoner vibes. And what really excited me about this was the breadth of countries that are represented here.
If you haven’t done so, go and download it, and play it backwards, not for any nefarious Satanic reason, (…sunioj…) but to hear the lesser represented countries in the world of metal, or even western popular culture; India, Singapore, Bangladesh, Pakistan. The label itself is based in India so I this is a terrific gateway in to the south-east Asian metal scene. And what wealth they have there, whether it is the gurgling disgusting grindcore of Gutslit from India or full on Old School Death Metal of Warhound from Bangladesh, or the quite eclectic Grossty from India with their tribal drumming that breaks in to frenetic hardcore.
Well, another year is gone.
Beside its fine, pleasing moments, which were few, it was awful and most parts of it sucked. There were countless sad moments, unfortunate events, and more important than the others many great artists, many legends left us, gone forever but their memories remain, with us, eternally.
However, at the same time, many tremendous albums came alive, pleased us, left huge traces of joy and eternal pleasures carved in our souls, kept us all alive, gave us power to face difficulties, through all the ass-kicking rough times.
I’m cutting it short. I just want to mention the words of Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption: “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
You may be reading reviews of 2016, flicking through pictures of important episodes or famous people who have died, while you are sitting comfortable in your favourite fireside chair; well, rabitrup seem to have condensed the whole horrific twelve months into a three-track explosive self release.
It was Rich of Blackened Death Recordings who directed me to this, and Christ it isn’t easy listening. Chaotic electronic industrial pounding with screaming and heaving vocals thrown over the top along with spoken word samples that make me feel very uncomfortable, a lot like 2016 made me feel. I couldn’t believe what was happening but wanted to know more, illustrating that horrendous rubbernecking human trait so well.
SWVMPS has more variance and repetition than harsh noise, more along the lines of that bombastic dub step that Mick Harris has been touting this last decade. And a lot in common with the more organic guitar and bass of sludge metal, but of an electronica nature.
I enjoyed a lot of really good music this year. Here is an alphabetized list of additional releases that I think require your attention.
This surprised me, really got me on the back foot.
Furia come from Poland, and along with the cover, the name, the Polish pedigree I really expected something horrifically black metal, cold, barren wastelands of sound played out. Instead, this is very technically layered piece.
Kicking off with some relaxed jazz style drumming and little hints at guitar before developing a kosmiche rock full on barrage all within a 6 minute “Za ćmą, w dym” opener.
This us their fifth full length, yes fifth, and I have to admit living under a rock whilst their first four albums came out! Furia term their work as ‘Nekrofolk’ and I would love to see these guys play at the Black Tor Gathering in the high hills of northern England. I feel they would complement the surroundings well.
The music continues with this easy going deep spoken word vocal accompanied by thoughtful mood inspiring drums and guitars. Maybe it continues like this too long, and just as I think that we get an electric, or should that be eclectic shock of POWERRRR to wake me up and keep my attention.