Allfather Inherit the Dust

Allfather - Inherit the Dust (single) coverYou may have heard this already, you may be listening to it right now. You can listen to it, enjoying this terrible noise because we live in peace. You can choose to listen (or not) because we have freedoms to do so, freedoms of expression.

Allfather have chosen to release this song with proceeds going towards helping refugees. Refugees may not have the freedoms of expression in their home country. They may not have the peace we enjoy due to wars.

Allfather come from Kent, the region of the UK where refugees are crossing the Channel from mainland Europe to reach this promised land, and its a credit to Allfather to standing up against the tirade of vitriol in the media towards ‘immigrants’ and the right wing politics of parties such as UKIP fighting hard in Margate and the localities. There is a fantastic community within the world of metal, Twitter and #metalbandcampgiftclub are evidence of this. And tiny actions can make a big difference!

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Shroud Eater/Dead Hand Split

Shroud Eater/Dead Hand - Split coverDead Hand tease us during their side of the split, as it soon melts down in to a very relaxed vibe, gently pulsating guitar strings and keyboards.

Hang on, did it say Dead Head, or Dead Hand? Oh wait, here are the vocal growls, this is certainly not Jerry Garcia. These vocals come courtesy of gargling razor blades and singing the lines whilst the blood is bubbling up in his throat just before it congeals. I hope you get the idea.

Dead Hand are a hard working band with split releases and tours behind them. And after the interlude the whole band release hell on the record, and I can feel the sweat from the energy. Southern Druid Records have done both acts proud with this invaluable split which could be a doorway in to these bands for some people as it is a terrific introduction.

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Sunday Stoner Sludge Sermon Green Bastard and Jagged Mouth

Green Bastard - Pyre album coverMaybe its the effect of the cleaning products I have used in the bathroom and kitchen this Sunday morning I can imagine New England stoner-doom trio Green Bastard will cause a stir when they release their debut LP, Pyre on November 16th 2016 on Midnight Werewolf records as a cassette and download as it creates the expectation of an epic listen.

Three tortuous tracks are on offer by the three tortuous members with their slow-baked slackened sludge. There’s something ‘post rock’ about this in their detached, disharmonic guitar sound but it’s barrelling juggernaut behemoth sound will in grain itself in to the subconscious of the unconscious sludge fans I am sure!

I am a little disappointed with the vocals here as they are a little weak in my opinion, it sounds like he can’t keep the note he is aiming for at times and there is a distinct lack of bass sound! The constant fuzz maelstrom is omnipresent but not deep enough for my taste. It can appear a little two-dimensional, and I want to escape in to a four or five-dimensional ocean of sound.

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Best of 2016 Ken’s Favorites

Kim & Ken holding hands Goodbye, good riddance and FUCK YOU, 2016.

While I begin writing this, I am overcome with a rush of emotions. To say that is was a rough year for my family would be an understatement.

As some of you already know, my wife of 20 years and my best friend and soul mate of almost 30 had a heart attack and nearly died during a scheduled open heart surgery to replace a defective valve. She would end up having two more open heart surgeries (three total over three days), and then flat line several times in the days that followed, two of those times while myself and our two teenage children were in the room.

In the weeks that followed, days seemed to never end. Time pretty much stood still. She spent 21 days in the CICU (Cardiac Intensive Care Unit) in a drug induced coma, while 16 different drips, two cardiac machines and a heart pump helped keep her alive and her heart beating as close to a normal sinus rhythm as possible, until it was strong enough to beat on its own.

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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

Kuromuka - Advorsus album coverNoise 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!

Kurokuma’s Advorsus opens with “Lust,” a precisely played and executed track on a stonkingly good vibe that can easily get me out of my chair stomping around the room. With elements of drone, sludge as well as playful psychedelia and tribal percussion. And “Dark Triad” opens with more tribal drumming akin to the surprise Sepultura gave us in the mid 90s!

But don’t get too comfortable with this ethnic thrift shop sound as it will suddenly rip forth with electric amplified fuzz and alternating harsh screams and bowel loosening death growls. Before final track “Kali” treats us to some raging psyche guitar shredding played over the pounding drums and harsh/growl vocals before simple power riffs take centre stage.

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FAM: Human Cargo & Negative Thought Process: Methylene Butterfly

FAM - Human Cargo album coverThis 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.”

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