Posts Tagged ‘hard’

The press email landed with the leader: ‘UK based, anti-facist black metallers Underdark have announced details on their debut album  Our Bodies Burned Bright on Re-Entry which is set for release on 30th July via Surviving Sounds (UK), Through Love Records (EU) and Tridroid Records (US/CAN).’

In a  time where the outgoing US president identified antifa as ‘the enemy’, we here at Aural Aggro are proud to back and provide coverage to any act with an expressly anti-fascist agenda – although it does also help if they produce good noise, and Underdark most definitely do.

After forming in 2015, Nottingham based black metallers Underdark are finally ready to present their debut album to the world. Following their recent ‘Plainsong​/With Bruised & Bloodied Feet’ single release in 2020, ‘Our Bodies Burned Bright on Re-Entry’ is the sound of a new chapter of Underdark, set for release on 30th July via Surviving Sounds (UK), Through Love Records (EU) and Tridroid Records (US/CAN).

While still utilising a dreamlike and heavy mixture of black-metal, post-metal and shoegaze, Underdark’s debut album also packs a renewed punch alongside a ferocity and intensity matched only by the innovative and engaging song structures.

Recorded & mixed with Misha Herring at Holy Mountain Studio (40 Watt Sun, Inhuman Nature, Idles, Spiritualised, Puppy) & mastered by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Mastering (Emma Ruth Rundle, Southern Lord Records, Power Trip, Mizmor), the album captures five tracks of intense & emotional progressive compositions, not limited by genre to create a tidal wave of sound; that shift in emotions, drowning you between sections of crushing blast beats and ear splitting vocals to blissful, atmospheric soundscapes that engulf you within them.

On first single ‘Coyotes’ vocalist Abi comments,

“THE ALBUM IS READY. You thought we were dead. At times, we thought we might be too, but we’re here, we’re (mostly) alive, and this is  COYOTES. It’s one of the first songs I wrote in Underdark and it’s about the ongoing humanitarian crisis at the Mexico/US border. Hope you’re as stoked on it as we are.”

Listen to ‘Coyotes’ here:

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Trash Wax Recordings – 14th May 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

Belgian four-piece The Distractors formed in 2019, and despite the last year and a bit not being the time for bands to build a fan base through live activity, they’ve managed to deliver their debut long player, which they’re the first to admit is an homage to their influences, as filtered through the band’s quirky, anarchic creative methods and general disregard for orthodoxy.

‘Everybody Hates Poetry’ is a straight-ahead punk three-chord thrash with gruff vocals that isn’t a million miles from The Anti-Nowhere League, and immediately establishes their style and credentials. And there really is nothing fancy about any of this. It’s a no-messing punk album, and you could pretty much leave it at that.

For a movement that was so revolutionary in terms of its achievements, a lot of punk music wasn’t nearly that innovative, although it’s perhaps a fair assessment that the most commercially successful and renowned punk acts of that first watershed were the least innovative and most accessible. The likes of Sex Pistols, Sham 69, and The Vibrators, on reflection, were just pub rock cranked up a few notches, and pretty tame. Real punk was Wire, Metal Urbain, Throbbing Gristle, bands that challenged both the establishment and musical convention. I say ‘was’, as punk rapidly transitioned from anti-establishment to an establishment of its own, a genre rather than an attitude.

But The Distractors combine both: punk style and punk attitude, and that’s the selling point behind Subversiv Dekadent, an album that does live up to its title, by and large.

Simple chord sequences – no more than three or four – are standard, and the songs are very much cut from the simple-but-effective mould or energetic primitivism.

‘The Night is Young (and So Are You)’ has an element of wrongness to its lyrics, and also mines a surf-punk seem that’s big on reverb and swagger, with contrasting guitar parts that balance the choppy and the noodly to strong effect. ‘Love You to the Max’ isn’t exactly tender, but it’s heartfelt and brimming with passion, and with a picked, chiming guitar in the verses, it’s got dynamic range, too. ‘To Hell With Good Intentions’ is one of those full-throttle ragers that slams in hard and fast and is all over in under two minutes. It’s not pretty, but it is strong – and that’s probably a fair summary of the album as a whole.

The innovation and uniqueness ratings for Subversiv Dekadent are low, but that’s not the point: the fury and energy ratings are off the scale, with the driving, gritty guitars cranked up really high and the energy and passion going up to eleven. Subversiv Dekadent is loud, fast, and it’s exciting. And that’s what a punk album ought to be.

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Artwork

Sacred Bones

Christopher Nosnibor

Fucking yes: the news of a new Uniform album is welcome news. Not that a new Uniform album is ever going to be an uplifting experience, but a soundtrack to the torment of modern life. Few bands – not only now, but ever – have so perfectly articulated that noise in your head, the pain of being alive and completely fucking trapped on this planet with so many examples of a species who seem hellbent on bringing about their own extinction, and what’s more, completely deserve it.

Many fans will be devastated to hear, then, that they’ve gone pop on the lead single for their upcoming fourth album, Shame.

Of course I’m kidding. ‘Delco’ is less gnarly than previous outings, with actual chords distinguishable among the churn, and overall the sound is more balanced, less abrasive. But these things are relative. ‘Less abrasive’ means something approximating Filth Pig era Ministry, only with a shade less treble. It’s still a heavy grind, a relentless trudge of repetitive chord cycles and petulant, pissed-off vocals channelling all the angst. Still keeping it brutal.

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