When I listen to Mánégarmr, the latest from Belgium’s Hessian, I get pulled in by the guitars. Ostensibly a hardcore group, their playing nonetheless crosses the line into thrash, doom, and occasionally even grind, all thanks to those aforementioned guitars. They have a tone you’d feel uncomfortable living next door to, that you’d watch from closed blinds, convinced it has a darker secret. It buzzes, screeches, whines, scrapes, slashes, and even, on very rare occasions, sounds like a guitar.
Mánégarmr is full of all those things that other recent releases on Southern Lord possess: incomprehensible growls, blast-beat drums, bottom-basement production, awesome cover art, lyrics like “SWALLOWING NAILS.” But it’s that vicious guitar work that sets it apart, moving from full-bodied chords to blackened needling and back again, even throwing in an awesome solo or two for the true metal crowd, like on stand-out “Hollow Eyes.”
Gothenburg’s AGE OF WOE are back, and trust me, by the sounds of their new music they are not fucking around! Their new album is entitled INHUMANFORM and will be released via Suicide Records/Give Praise Records on May 30th. CVLT Nation salutes AGE OF WOE for giving us the opportunity to stream their new track “At First Light,” plus premiere the video of the same name. This band made sure to inject their already caustic sound with more aggression pointed at the corrupt forces that want to oppress us all. AGE OF WOE’s new song is a rager – if you don’t believe me, press play below and let the fury begin…
Where have Agrimonia been? It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly three years since Host of the Winged. A band as good as this should never be absent for too long but good things come to those who wait, right? Rites of Separation, the Swedish post metal/crust band’s third LP is the start of a new era for Agrimonia. It’s their first record with Southern Lord, a label that has more than become a crust/hardcore home over the last two years or thereabouts, so Agrimonia should fit in just nicely, and justly many more ears will meet Rites of Separation.
It’s almost preposterous say in the first sentence of a review, but Unru have created perhaps one of my favorite releases of the year and it’s a demo. Unru hail from Germany and, like many bands of the more contemporary blackened crust movement, only reveal themselves through veiled mystique and runes. But image aside, let’s talk about the powerhouse that is DEMO MMXIII.
The demo itself brings with it all of the gritty qualities one would expect to be associated with a demo: low production, cymbals crashing and creating waves of non-sound, guitars that are seemingly lost in the mix, however none of this is a slight against Unru in the least bit and if anything, it really drives the point home. Four interlude tracks I-V serve as moments of atmosphere for the album, giving the listener breaks in-between the absolute onslaught that is DEMO MMXIII. I think what strikes me the most about Unru is the ridiculous vocal sound because I’ve never quite heard anything like it; the vocalist creates something so animalistic and sinister that it’s actually quite exciting to hear from track to track. Similarly, I felt as though the drums throughout most of the tracks held a particular antagonistic relationship with the guitar, much to each instrument’s benefit.
Throughout the album, it becomes evident that Unru have a single idea in mind and execute it to the best of the ability. Unru avoid some of the more typical conventions of blackened crust (or d-beat) such as alluring listeners with enigmatic aesthetic and instead give them exactly what they’ve been looking for without the bullshit. Tracks such as “Es schiebt sich zwischen uns, wie Schatten” and “Ich bin der Hexenmeister” showcase their ability to avoid cliche in lieu of a distinctly primitive, chaotic burst of music.
Pick up what is one of my favorite demo releases of the year right here.
Being in a room filled with passionate people is priceless, especialy when everyone is focused on hearing kick ass music. This has been happening around the world for decades and it never gets boring! In Philly in 1997, the band HIS HERO IS GONE performed to one of these kinds of crowds and the energy from this gig jumps out of the screen. Check out this off the hook show from a stellar band after the jump…Shows put on by punks for punks will always be the shit!
Stepping back into the fray, to quicken the pulse in anticipation of Austin’s yearly audio horde, I thought I’d pick things up this week. Regardless of your fork-tongued tastes, there is always something of note going on at SXSW, and metal is most certainly an epic part of this. So, while last week, I brought you the most sickeningly slow quagmire of sludge, this installment features a blistering attack of frantic chaos.
I remember the first time I saw Landmine Marathon. I was booking shows at the amazing, yet short lived, Warehouse Next Door, in Washington, DC, and a friend asked if he could set up a show for a band he had seen on the road. He promised that they were a hyper-intense slab of un-forgiving metal. I said yes, but didn’t pay too much attention to the details. Needless to say, when Landmine Marathon fired up their motor, it was like being trapped in the lawnmower scene from Dead Alive. I immediately bought the vinyl, and must have listened to “Crisscross Thoughts” an infinite number of times.”Stoked” would be putting it mildly, to describe my feelings about seeing them again, several years later, at that same said Brooklyn Vegan show mentioned in my last post.
Damn skippy when you talk about English anarcho-punk you better mention ANTISECT. To me, the band was more than just epic, they were crustadelic gnarlytastic. When I first heard In Darkness There Is No Choice, I was like, oh yeah, it’s on…Rudimentary Peni better watch out. ANTISECT had that off the deep end vibe like Disorder, but packed the fury of Discharge. There is not one weak song on this album & metallic guitars on this album are death blades. What about the drums…they have this killer primitive tribal energy about them, and the way they were mixed was perfect. On the track “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” you can hear how they laid the foundation for the emotional parts that you find in crust today. Also, when you listen to this record, you realize that world has not changed too much; many of the injustices that ANTISECT sang about have only gotten tenfold worse. What I really wanted to share with you today ANTISECT – live at The Barn – Norwich, England – 30.03.1987 a full set. After the jump, check out channel zero & ANTISECT say fuck the system.
ANTISECT Live 30.03.1987 after the jump!
Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, the long standing Fistula have come forth with “Northern Aggression,” a new searing release of malicious crust and sludge. Holding their devotion to alcohol and illicit substances high they push and pull through 7 songs of unrelenting crust, metal, and doom.
Fistula at times come down with an unrelenting blast of strained aggression; pummeling drums, crackling distortion and the harshest of vocals. At other times they slow down to a durge of low sustained power chords laced with howls, all over a down tempo rhythm.
They manage to tie these contrasting elements together with tons of heavy metal and crusty riffage that will send listeners into a frenzy. This release could be described as the hell child of a Dystopia record and a Slayer record, spawned from a back ally fuckfest.
Where do I begin with this one? Well first off this is D-Clone from Japan’s first full length release entitled “Creation and Destroy”. This is right up my alley; Raw Japanese Noise Punk.. if you’re familiar with the genre at all chances are you know who D-Clone are along with an assortment of other artists. This right here is easily one of D-Clone’s best releases in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong.. their assorted splits and EP’s are great but they have really taken it to a new level with “Creation and Destroy” here.
Right from the start you have maniacal screams, shrieks, guitars and bass drenched in EQ pedals and effects and the what seems to be extremely punchy and pummeling drum tone on this to help give it a thundering backbone. This album has 12 tracks, clocks in at just under 17 minutes and with song titles such as “Weekendpunk”, “We Make Next Generation”, “Life is…”, “History of Error” and “Living in Chaos” that should give you a small idea of what’s in store..
Here’s a case where I missed something that a) should’ve made a few of my lists last year, and b) I should’ve been on top of because I’ve been aware of Ahna’s presence since I saw them open for Mitochondrion a few years back. Once again I find I’m kicking myself for being more oblivious than I think I can be when it comes to great local bands hammering out interesting sounds.
And that is definitely what Ahna are doing. They’re a two piece — a dude on bass and a chick on drums/vocals — from Vancouver who since at least 2008 have been crafting an intriguing blend of drone and doom lightly coated in black metal and crusty powerviolence; what they’ve dubbed “drone violence”. Very bare bones, very simple in structure and concept, and very heavy, jarring and strange.
Despite this being only 20 minutes Ahna have made every second captivating, intimidating, loud, and harsh. Their sound is quite recognizable. Empire really shows that you can birth doom that crushes without going over six minutes per song (of which there are five here), and still make it a unique experience without being gimmicky or pretentious.