By Mark (Dism)
Serannon and myself made the rather odd decision to move to one of Scotland’s western Isles a year ago. As a joke we would pester our friends in bands to “Come to Millport, man!”. Then we realised we actually could get a bunch of bands over and have a big party with our friends. Now, I’ll make no secret that we tried to keep it umm, a bit secret, as we live in a very small community and a sudden influx of hundreds of punks could be a major issue.
This Danish trio has been blasting out satanic grimness for 20 years, but it’s almost always been in the form of splits, demos and EPs. Death and the Beyond is only their second full-length and the first since 2006. While the band’s name, image and lyrics are certainly standard fare for Hell’s Headbangers, the music and production are not. And over the course of the album, you’ll learn that contradictions abound; leading the listener astray is something Denial of God excels at. Nothing is quite as it seems, cloaked in a shroud of mist and evil.
Full review after the jump!
The new and third Cult of Youth LP, Love Will Prevail, officially drops September 4. On Sacred Bones, the record showcases Cult of Youth’s relentless desire to drive forward and experiment with new sounds, incorporating a broader swath of instrumentation and influences than were on display on their previous two recordings, which included their excellent — and now seminal — sophomore, self-titled LP. Like Death in June, Cult of Youth are at core a neofolk band — and yet, also like Death in June, they prove with each new release that they are able to transcend the limitations of the genre.
The unmistakable core of neofolk that includes constantly-strummed acoustic guitars remains very much on display on Love Will Prevail. This, however, is couched in an impressive array of ancillary instrumentation. This enables singer Sean Ragon’s band to hit new and impressive tones, opening windows on possible avenues for future sonic experimentation. Strings, wind instruments, and trumpets are utilized tactically and tastefully on this LP, which alternatese between more traditional neofolk numbers and slightly more lush, atmospheric pieces. There’s even a thrashy surprise thrown in here and there, too. Love Will Prevail really is one of those rare “next level” LPs that bands always strive to create.
MORE INFO BENEATH THE CUT!
Bonehole is the chaotic miasma of discordant and harsh noise created by UK native whose name remains anonymous, and now resides in South Korea. “Pure 4th” is his latest tape released by Czech label Rauha Turva, whose releases usually lie on the punk and crust side of things. There’s about an hour of filthy corrosive noise at play here, with 22, mostly, short tracks. It makes for some uneasy listening. The atmosphere created is akin to the score of your favourite horror film, something genuinely unnerving. There are little or no constants to be found, rather it’s an hour of disconcerting and bewildering buzzing, cackling, ruffling noises that either scrape mercilessly on your ears or loom overhead in haunting fashion.
It’s difficult to describe this album’s mood beyond uneasy, and even more difficult to describe the mood that the listener needs to be in to immerse themselves in this harsh aural journey for just under a hour. Despite its unavoidable cacophonous discordance, Bonehole is, if anything, hypnotic, allowing you to drift off into a hazy otherworld at various points, only to drag into a different dark room surrounded by ominous, incoherent voices. If hallucinations had a sound then this is probably it.
If you’re looking for a nightmare, Bonehole has it for you.
EL CAMINO CAR CRASH is a fairly new Hardcore band based in Dornbirn, which is a town in Austria nearby the Swiss border. Who’d have thought that there are actually some good tunes coming from there? Well, to be perfectly honest, I would, since there were various over-average bands coming from that small local scene over the years. Anyway, despite the name EL CAMINO CAR CRASH isn’t a blatant Swing Kids rip-off, even though the San Diego outfit surely left a few marks in ECCC’s sound and attitude, along with other 90ies (and now happily reunited…) Hardcore bands such as Unbroken, Undertow or newer bands directly influenced by those pioneers. I can especially hear a lot of early Hope Conspiracy in ECCC’s demo, but, and this is of overly importance, they definitely turned all those influences and their own experience (some of those guys have played in other Hardcore/Punk bands for years) into something unique and modern sounding. Read the full review and listen to the demo after the jump! READ MORE…
Who’s that knocking at my door? It’s Vancouver’s White Lung, blasting their superdelic punk album Sorry in my ears. This band totally showed and proved with this release, there is not one wack song on this record. If you dig your music moving fast and on a waterfall of catchy melody, this is a record that you shouldn’t pass up. As a band, White Lung knows how to write tunes that have bounce without ever sounding corny, and it’s easy to get addicted to their passionate compositions. They are masters at allowing the riffs to play off the vocal melody. It almost seems at times that hooks are living inside of hooks that are living inside of another hook. The vocalists’ range is awesome and is totally heartfelt, and she shoots bullets of lyrical conviction at your skull. When their song “Thick Lip” kicks down your wall with its dissonant angular movements and killer breakdowns, you will realize that this band is fucking bombastic at what they do. The next tune “Bag” will hang you upside down with its amazing vocal harmonizing. White Lung are smart because none of their songs are over 2 1/2 minutes, which gives them enough time to make the musical points that they want to get across. What really strikes me about this group of humans is the high level of confidence that they bring to the creative table, which is evident in this album, Sorry. White Lung manifests a sense of urgency in what they create that will leave you transfixed. I could keep writing, but why not let the music do the talking…In closing, I fucking love the lyrics on this album!
By all accounts, Dublin’s Sodb’s demo was destined for greatness. One look at its roll call of members would say so, namely drummer Johnny King from Altar of Plagues alongside members of defunct crustcore band The Dagda and the still inactive Fuck You Written In Shit. The various membership though hasn’t meant that Sodb’s output is a careless hotchpot of styles. No, this is black metal unabatedly but it’s black metal riddled with an unnerving melody, but also a chaotic undercurrent contributed by their punk backgrounds, that makes for one of the more impressive demo releases of 2012.
Encased in imposing artwork, a great deal of care was clearly put into releasing this demo tape, the first release from Into The Void Records. “Don Seantalamh a Chuid Féin” comprises of just four, but lengthy, tracks and the band clearly understand the purpose of a demo and that is to lay down the gauntlet for the future, and Sodb do just that. Typically lo-fi in production, the demo opens first with murky voices wretching in the darkness that gives way to the searing delivery of the title track that sees thunderous blastbeats and blistering duelling vocals come to the fore. Followed by “Aigre Re”, Sodb have made it abundantly clear at this point what their modus operandi is – crafting harrowing, but totally captivating pieces of black metal.
“Tethered” marks an absolutely visceral standout moment for “Don Seantalamh a Chuid Féin”, but it’s “Old and Withered Form”, the song that the band enticed us with online, that makes for one of the demo’s most striking highlights as searing tremolo picked guitars, a regular feature of this demo, shear through the din with haunting vocals bellowing from the murky depths, where all the band’s strengths have been concentrated into one punishing, but equally enthralling, barrage of foul black metal.
Originally published on Equivoke.
Time to review and share a genre I’m not very familiar with but have an increasing interest in. Take my opinions with a grain of salt even more so here as I have a very small frame of reference for this style. This is a two-in-one review of cult noise sorcerer Blue Sabbath Black Cheer’s new material from a live show on a 12″ LP and a dedication on a 7″ EP. The bundle came with these two as well as a bonus CD of unreleased material (and much more) which I reviewed previously.
The focus here is primarily on the 12″.
My first exposure to Blue Sabbath Black Cheer was actually a late one, that being his split with Victoria, British Columbia’s death industrial act Griefer and while both sides of the split are excellent it was BSBC’s side that blew me away. Since then I’ve heard Endless Blockade and a few others but not in heavy rotation; I suspect this will change.
This LP contains a 20 minute session performed live last Halloween. From the very few noise acts I’ve seen live it seems that while the recordings are always harrowing and cold, the performance has been something even more powerful if done right. Griefer’s set when I saw it summer 2011 was stunning, even more so than his Brute Force album (which is marvelous), and much like his BSBC’s live sets obviously bring the already oppressive undulating wall of catastrophic noise to another level. This record is evidence of that.
Dont let the name fool you, “Dis” prefix might be somekind of ‘standard’ for many d-beat bands. But this Canadian metalpunk assault wont compromise with their 7 songs debut EP tape titled “Dis Nightmare Continues” (released by Uncross Your Arms), an ugly mutation of d-beat, UK82, NWOBHM and crust – formulas to which they claimed as their main influences. They sent me the tape along with my shirt purchase, I really dig the cover art done by Halseycaust below!
Featuring members of Embrace of Thorns, Saturnalia Temple, Ofermod and Nefandus, Serpent Noir come from the acrid pits of Greece to deliver you their first full length Open Up The Shells.
Following their short 2010 EP Sanguis XI, Open Up The Shells traverses the path of frosty and dark black metal that has admittedly been trodden many a time, but it manages to offer some pretty enjoyable mid-tempo tracks. It harkens back to the roots of the genre, and much like Mgla does it very well with strong writing with flairs of cold discord from the guitars, biting riffs, occasional ritualistic chanting, and thrashy blitz of percussion; supported by the gravelly rasps and screams one would expect from the vocalist of Embrace of Thorns.
They’re not afraid to venture into brief ambient outings either as several tracks do delve into this realm for a moment here and there (though often supplemented by some form of percussion), but quickly return to the occult foundations. Serpent Noir don’t mess around to long.