You’re Nothing, the new album by Danish upstarts Iceage is their second offering of dijointed post-punk with nods to the punk canon in the form of hardcore ferocity of the 80′s and some pop sensibilities of the early 90′s.
New Brigade, the band’s debut was a big surprise for me as that realm of music’s never appealed to me. Jangely guitars, upbeat and pulsing rhythms, and the right dose of catchy hooks and choruses made New Brigade a surprise favorite of mine. While Iceage retain their core sound, they make You’re Nothing a bit different, a bit denser, and just a bit darker.
About a year ago I was highly excited about Cult Of Erinyes’ first full length album, so when I got their new split tape in the mail, I was eager to give it a spin. Not only because it was Cult Of Erinyes, but also because the band on the other side of the split was Zifir, a band from Turkey and let be honest; you rarely hear about the Turkish metal scene and besides 2 grindcore bands (Sakatat and Ultimate Blowup, check ‘em both, really good!) my knowledge of Turkey doesn’t go further than decadent parties in Bodrum with my mates, shish kebab, beautiful women and water pipes.
Belgium’s Cult Of Erinyes is up first. They open up with a monumental, hypnotizing riff and with that the tone is set for the 3 songs they offer on this release. The whole thing is one big throat grab. Menacing, draining, … whatever you want to call it. My only concern that I had on their full length was the production, but they handled that as well. Modern, monumental blackmetal in all its glory!
Zifir on the other hand have a much rawer sound and are a lot more old school orientated. The 4 songs range from mid tempo depressive blackmetal like early Shining or Forgotten Tomb to a more ambient form of blackmetal, similar to some Burzum songs for instance. Good, no doubt about that, but I lack a bit of cohesion in the 4 songs, maybe it would be a good idea to include the ambient parts as an intro, intermezzo or outro in the “main” songs, rather than having them as songs on their own. Anyway, I can dig it, that’s for sure!
Doom / black metal band Vit’s recent album The Dry Season is perhaps one of the genre’s most interesting releases this year. The Dry Season feels like an innately looming album; it has an aesthetic that is truly moving and winding without being obvious to the listener. One of the first aspects of the album worth discussing is the pacing of each track which leads the listener on an arcane journey through a desolate wasteland.
The first track “Sixteen Bodies” is a slow burn that showcases the band’s ability to not only play, but tantalize the listener with their doom-influence. The song is begins similar to a journey across wilted farmland, dry and hollow, that ultimately leads to a place of lawlessness. Following “Sixteen Bodies” is the fuller, richer track “The Dry Season.” I particularly liked the vocals and guitarwork on the track, as I felt both exuded a sense of dominance and anxiety that fit the theme well. However, the following track is perhaps the most indicative of the scope that Vit wished to convey on The Dry Season.
You really have to commend Darkthrone. Never ones to pander, the hellish duo of Fenriz and Nocturno Culto have long left the cold black metal sound behind, the sound that brought them to the ball and have since traversed different plains from punk (like on The Cult is Alive and F.O.A.D.) to traditional heavy metal. It’s the latter that characterises their 15th full-length The Underground Resistance, with classic NWOBHM guitar licks pinched for good measure and mostly clean, wailing vocals.
Start digging in your closet for that multi-colored Anthrax shirt (size XL) you bought in the mid-80ies, search for your Adidas high tops and better flip that bill of your cap because when the first note of this 7” resounds the laws of physics will be suspended: You’ll be immediately brought back to a time when bands like DRI, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, NUCLEAR ASSAULT or MOD merged Hardcore and Thrash Metal to create an urban soundtrack for endless skate sessions, wild mosh-pits and out of control house destruction parties.
FORESEEN’s new 7” Structural Oppression is stuck knee-deep in the 80ies and reproduces this classic crossover sound so well it’s hard to believe that those two songs were actually recorded in 2012 and not 25 years earlier. Besides sound-wise similarities to the aforementioned bands (and a shitload of others, I can’t help but think of the German Hardcore phenomenon TRUE BLUE for example) there are also the excessive vocals which are almost drowned in reverb and the downright hilarious cover artwork that totally support this 80ies-feeling. The sound of the recordings is quite rough, but very lively and direct – as I’ve heard these tracks have been recorded analogue, so that might be an explanation. And it’s great, most important.
The UK is the home of a bunch of awesome, and very promising, bands. If you pay enough attention, then bands like SONANCE, Light Bearer, Strangle Wank, The Nepalese Temple Ball and Iron Witch, just to name a few, are on your radar and you know that what I’m saying is the purest of truths. Opium Lord is another exciting name to join that list. And what a name…this band is fuckin’ awesome. Really! But let me explain a little better why the fuck I’m so excited about a band who have just released one EP with two songs (9 and a half minutes) on it, The Calendrical Cycle – Prologue: The Healer.
It all starts with “Heroin Swirls” and this song’s title makes all the sense in the world. How can you help yourself from thinking about swirls with that opening guitar riff? It (the riff) sucks you in to Opium Lord‘s world. Later, you will discover that there’s no way out. The huge riff will metamorphose to an even stronger and more incisive thing, it’s marvelously supported by a fantastic rhythm section who open spaces and help the atmosphere to become even more suffering and dark. Talking about suffering and dark…the vocalist is fuckin’ amazing. His voice so damn right and meant to be that it’s almost impossible. The singer purges demons with a dark hardcore approach. Amazing!
Perfumer River returns yet again with a tape release through Curtain Fire titled Concrete Winter. This five minute long hail of noise disorientation is the band’s second release of lofi hardcore d-beat noise much in the same vein as their last release, No Wind.
The tape starts of with the intro song “Raise the White Flag,” sounds of planes flying by screaming at high pitch and the vocalist’s reverberating overdriven yells pounding through like mortar fire. Making it through the opener, the next song “My Only Master” kicks in with the buzziest of guitar riffs. Ferociously the vocals attack, the words are almost unintelligible besides the fact that there are only two lines of lyrics repeated constantly over the fuzzy guitar, straight forward hardcore drums and droning bass that pound the message into your ears.
Review Source:Perpetual Strife
Power violence’s most forward thinking act are back with their ambitious new album entitled White Glove Test. Further pushing the band’s ammonia soaked aesthetic and affinity for jangley Ginnesque guitars in a blender, Iron Lung, create a claustrophobic and energetic album. The album has three incarnations: a “music” version, which is guitars, vocals, drums; a “noise” version which runs the same length as the music version and sounds like a backdrop for a Lynch film; and then the “together” version in which both the “noise” and the “music” versions play simultaneously; creating, for me, the best version.
When asked about the release, Iron Lung drummer/vocalist/jefe Jensen Ward elaborated that they “set out to record an album that could be more interactive than most. The music album is the definitive version of the three. When it comes out there will be a 2xLP/2xCD version as well as the single LP version. The noise album was recorded while playing along to the finished music album so that the end result could be albums that could be played simultaneously or separately. So really the listening experience could be anything you want it to be.”
Exempt from gimmickry, White Glove Test plays like a stretcher let loose in the halls of an abandoned hospital; it weaves and stutters, slows down and crashes ahead heedlessly into a bleak abundance of sharp riffs, hypnotic tom patterns and urgent shouts. Tracks “Hidden Task” through “Plasma Separatist” play like an interlude as they rely on negative space complimented with chore laden drums and shouted sections that could serve as real crowd pleasers. Included inbetween these tracks are “Brutal Supremecy” pts 1-3, which originally appeared on the compilation of the same name (although spelled correctly and featuring Hatred Surge, Mind Eraser, and Scapegoat) which anchor the thematic ties between these 5 tracks. I was a disappointed to see three tracks that had already been released for an exclusive comp, but putting them in the midst of the album and sandwiching them between “Hidden Task” and “Plasma Separatist” makes them fit perfectly in the album’s flow and sound.
Read the full review after the jump!
The band’s Relapse debut Sky Burial, creates an atmosphere saturated with hypnotic hooks, spiraling riffage, and ritualistic drumming that captivates as much as it does mesmerizes. Setting the pace for an album that effortlessly waxes and wanes through contrasting imagery ranging from virulent downward crashes, to hopeful optimism, weaving together what is nothing short of pure sonic perfection.
Sky burial is an album that requites the listener to encompass the fabric of the album as a whole, capturing the full contextual meaning and representation therein. The album is built around creating a journey through veritable prowess expressed both musically and conceptually. Resulting in an experience that is very personable, spiritual, and deeply rooted into representing a sound that will reflect the band’s solem roots within live performances. This is no more earnestly reflected than within the track “The Long Road Home,” which sets the backdrop for a tale of travel and hardships amongst a reminiscent Pink Floydian soundtrack filled with somber lulls and despairingly visceral shifts before crashing into a full on blackened assault. While not to be outdone Inter Arma embody the very definition of influence, and showcase this in no greater fashion than within the tracks “Sblood” and “Westward.” Delivering a full range of southern post apocalyptic blues, harsh noise, dripping black passages, and psychedelic rituals that put the accentuation on a streamlined masterpiece. While haunting reverberations float above the last fleeting moments of the album, as in true departure to acclimate yourself once more in leu of having your senses shocked and amazed for the better part of 60 minutes.
Tour dates after the jump!