Posts Tagged ‘Metal’

New Heavy Sounds is stoked to announce their first release of 2023, and what a beast it is. The self-titled debut album by Death Pill, an all-female hardcore punk power trio of considerable muscle, combining metalcore, punk rock and (like labelmates ‘Shooting Daggers’) oodles of ‘Riot Grrl’ vibe.

It’s significant how many female punk bands are using the stance and attitude of the ‘Riot Grrl’ movement as a touchstone for what they are about, but it doesn’t end there. From the classic punk of Black Flag, The Distillers and Circle Jerks, to modern outfits like Axe Rash and the thrash metal of Nervosa and Exodus, there’s a nod to all of this in Death Pill’s visceral sound. Full on and fully formed.

That aside, what makes this release even more pertinent for us, and the fact that it is happening at all, is that Mariana, Anastasiya and Nataliya are from the Ukraine, who’s troubles are well known to all of course, but naturally enough have hit the band very hard.

Singer/guitarist Mariana tells the story so far.

Just imagine: You are a 20-year-old girl. Society constantly puts pressure on you: you should find a nice husband, have children and at the same time build a successful career. But no one asks what do you really want? What are exactly your interests and ambitions?

Because maybe you want to be a punk rock star?

Yes, I do and even against it all. I can create a female non-commercial band, play heavy high-quality music, and ignite the crowd. After all, rock is not only about brutal men with curly long hair, right?

Nafa (Anastasiya), the drummer, also got sick of this idea. Together we created an all-female punk rock band Death Pill (2017), just like we wanted to! Before COVID started we played a lot of gigs at the main underground festivals in Ukraine (“Back to Youth”, “Burn the Scene for Fun”). We also released EP (2018). We had a lot of success in front of our audience, which led to the creation of more female bands.

We did have trouble with bass players. They changed one after another and we were looking for someone who would be “on the same vibe” with us …

There is a strong and super friendly community of people in Ukraine. It’s a big family of true music lovers, people who live by creating the Ukrainian underground scene. This is also how we met Nataliia. After our first practice with her, we realized that this is a real perfect match, and the problem was solved. We started recording our first full album, filming music clips etc.

Until the war comes… In February fucking Russia started a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. It really changed our plans, dreams, and attitude. So now we are spread out, Mariana stays in Kyiv, Nafa is in Spain, Nataliia is in Australia. We try to stay in touch online, we keep working on the album and support our defenders. Like all in our Ukrainian scene.

Some do it with weapons in their hands, some volunteer and help in any way they can to bring our victory closer. Hard times, but right now we have a real chance to change lives for the better.

Victory will be ours; we are sure of it.

P.S. It is soon, and we have already decided to make the most hot, amazing and gig ever!

Watch out.

Watch ‘Расцарапаю Ебало’ here:

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Death Pill

"White Noise is about sensory overload and the overwhelming feeling of claustrophobia that neurodivergent humans experience on a near daily basis,” explains lead vocalist Harvey Freeman. “It’s a horrible feeling of helplessness and anxiety that nothing can really help other than a quiet space and something to take your mind off of the situation.

We wanted to create something visually that could portray how that experience feels. The room used with the exposed hole in the wall was the perfect fit paired with the mirrors in particular scenes. We wanted it to almost look like you were inside the mind of someone going through that feeling."

Mixing moments of snarling nu-metal aggro and the scalding fury of Slipknot’s debut album with instrumental passages that at times recall the genius of Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, is where they have nailed the Graphic Nature sound.

Check the video here:

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9th September 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Brooklyn-based blood and gore and dark-fixated industrial metal act GLDN keep on mixing things up with their singular and innovative take on industrial / metal / electronica, and the first single released ahead of the upcoming album Hemophilia, released early October, is another genre-smashing blast of excitement.

At the start of the video, front man Nicholas Golden is wearing a minidress on a mock-up of a slightly fuzzy-looking VHS clip, and while in itself it’s not edgy, it’s both resourceful (can’t afford actors for your promo? Do it yourself) and parodic in setting a dystopian tone n a retro setting. The trouble with retro dystopias is that, as we’ve come to find the hard way, is that the projected future which is now the present is actually worse. 1984 no longer reads like fiction, but reportage. What do you actually do with that knowledge? How do you live with that grim realisation? You too could be the owner of an obelisk…

The lyrics pick at social media and Instagram perfection, and on reading the lyrics, I remember with a slow sinking feeling how I read on a daily basis in the tabloid media how professionals – nurses, teachers, name it – are taking to OnlyFans to make ends meet and in no time they’re quitting their stressful, shittily-paid dayjobs in favour of coining it in to pay off their mortgages:

Got no flaws, no imperfections

The unachievable is my new obsession

Can’t get enough, I’m never satisfied

I’ve got to whore myself out just to feel alive

‘I’d rather be dead than be irrelevant’, Golden concludes, and it’s a stark yet fair reflection: people crave the attention as much as the money, and the bottom line is that the system is fucked and society and culture is fucked.

Coming on like an electro-infused black metal cross between Placebo and Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails, ‘Suicide Machine’ finds GLDN in darkly abrasive form, peaking with a blistering climactic finale that’s utterly punishing. Bring the album.

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Cruel Nature Records – 6th September 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

These are interesting times for Nadja, the ‘ambient / experimental / doom metal’ duo comprising Leah Buckareff and Aidan Baker. Luminous Rot was recorded during lockdown, and found a home on the legendary Southern Lord label. Released in the spring of 2021, it’s a veritable beast of a work, which combined metal with post-punk, cold-wave, shoegaze, and industrial.

Lockdown feels like something of not so much a distant memory as an unreality, and if by May 2021 it felt like life was returning to normal, the truth is that the wounds were still raw, and any attempt to move on as if life was back as it was before was simply a wilful act of delusion to stave off the effects of the trauma.

And with every trauma, there is some residual hangover, and you might say that Labyrinthine is the product of that. As the accompanying notes detail, the material was recorded during the pandemic and concurrently with Luminous Rot, and ‘explores themes of identity and loss, monstrosity and regret, extreme aesceticism, the differences between labyrinthes and mazes, taking inspiration from Haruki Murakami’s Killing Commendatore, Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Tombs of Atuan, and Victor Pelevin’s reinterpretation of the story of the minotaur and Ariadne, The Helmet of Horror.’

When a band chooses to self-release an album, it’s no longer an indication that it’s substandard or not worthy of a label release, and the case here is that Labyrinthine, which ‘this might be Nadja’s heaviest, doomiest album to date’, it’s clear that rather than consisting of session offcuts, it stands alone as a separate project from Luminous Rot, featuring as it does, a different guest vocalist on each track, and it’s worth listing them here:

Alan Dubin – legendary American vocalist from O.L.D. and Khanate and, currently, Gnaw

Rachel Davies – vocalist and bassist from the British band, Esben & The Witch

Lane Shi Otayanii – is a Chinese multi-media artist and vocalist in Elizabeth Colour Wheel

Dylan Walker – American vocalist from grindcore/noise band Full of Hell

With such a roll-call of contributors, it’s in no way possible to fee short-changed by the fact there are only four tracks, and ‘only’ is somewhat redundant when the shortest of these is almost thirteen minutes in duration. This is an album alright, and it’s an absolute fucking monster at that.

And while the CD release is on the band’s own label, Broken Spine, there are limited cassette versions by several different indie labels from around the world: Katuktu Collective (US), Cruel Nature Recordings (UK), Bad Moon Rising (Taiwan), Adagio830 (Germany), Muzan Editions (Japan), WV Sorcerer (France/China), Pale Ghoul (Australia), and UR Audio Visual (Canada) – and it’s perhaps noting that the running order differs between formats,  and I’m going by the Cruel Nature tape sequence here rather than the CD. It may be more intuitive from a listening perspective, but limitations off format and all…

This co-operative approach to releasing music is highly commendable, and seems to offer solutions to numerous problems, not least of all surrounding distribution in the post-pandemic, post-Brexit era where everything seems on the face of it to be fucked for any band not on a major label with global distribution and access to pressing plants and warehouses worldwide.

The title track is a lugubrious droning crawl: imagine Sunn O))) with drums crashing a beat every twenty seconds in time with each pulverising power chord that vibrates your very lungs. And those beats are muffled, murky, and everything hits with a rib-crushing density, that’s only intensified by the squawking, anguished vocals that shred a blasted treble in contrast to the thick billows of booming bass sludge, and it’s a truly purgatorial experience.

And then, here it comes, and it all comes crashing down hard over the course of the most punishing nineteen minutes in the shape of the brutal behemoth that is ‘Necroausterity’. In a sense, the title speaks for itself in context of a world in lockdown, and it’s sometimes easy to forget just what terrifying times we endured, watching news reports of bodies piling up in New York and elsewhere while governments and news agencies fed a constant stream of statistics around cases and deaths. It felt truly apocalyptic. And ‘Necroausterity’ is the sound of the apocalypse, tuned up to eleven and slowed to a crawl, the writhing torture of a slow, suffocating death soundtracked by guitar and drums do dense and dark as so feel like a bag over the head and a tightening grip on the throat. The recording is overloaded, distorting, and it’s a simply excruciating experience. And it simply goes on, chord after chord, bar after bar, slugging away… and on in a fashion that makes SWANS feel lightweight in comparison. It’s relentless, unforgiving, brutal, and punishing.

‘Rue’ broods hard with dark, thick strings and a heavy atmosphere, but it’s light in comparison. It’s dense, and weighty, but Rachel Davies’ ethereal vocal drifts gloriously within the claustrophobic confines and conjures another level of melody that transforms the thick, sluggish drones into something altogether more enchanting. It builds to a throbbing crescendo that is – perhaps not entirely surprisingly – reminiscent of Esben And the Witch or Big | Brave.

Wolves howl into the groaning drone of ‘Blurred’ and the guitars slowly simmer and burn: no notes, just an endless am-bleeding distortion before the power chords crash in and drive hard, so low and slow and heavy so as to shift tectonic plates and shatter mountains. Amidst the raging tempest, Lane Shi Otayanii brings an otherworldly aspect that transcends mere words, making for a listening experience with a different kind of intensity as it trudges and churns fir what feels like a magical eternity.

The sum total is the sound of hellish desperation, and while Labyrinthine may offer absolutely no solace in the bleakest pits of deathly despair, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an album that better articulates perpetual pain and anguish better than this.

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Swedish crust/death-metal unit Industrial Puke featuring members of Burst and Rentokiller will release their debut EP  “Where Life Crisis Starts” on September 16 via Suicide Records.

Linus Jägerskog from Burst and Jens Ekelin from Rentokiller started Industrial Puke out of their common love for Disrupt and Dismember, along with a pressing need to make music for imminent affect release.

After a long period of writing, finding band members and recording, the debut single “Mental Taxation” was released in June of 2022. The single spawned a partnership with Suicide Records for the release of their debut EP “Where Life Crisis Starts” in September and a full-length album titled “Born into the Twisting Rope” is already set for release in late spring of 2023.

The EP is a direct bombardment of crust, death metal and hardcore minced down to four relentless songs about failing yourself and the men that fail the world.

Showing the band performing in a field with no audience, which we’ll pas no comment on, you can watch the video for ‘Mental Taxation’ here:

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22nd July 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

New York industrial rock act GLDN, the vehicle for Nicholas Golden’s twisted noise, set their stall out pretty strongly with their debut single, ‘Parasite’. Accompanied by stark, hypersaturated visuals, it was a screaming blast of pain and anguish straight from the school of Broken era Nine Inch Nails and Strapping Young Lad’s first album.

And so it is that they follow up with a debut EP, in the shape of First Blood. It’s a fitting title, and again, exploits striking, in-yer-face gored-up visuals render the pitch in explicit terms before you hear a note.

Lead track ‘Gravedigger’ grinds in with a pulsating synth bass groove and driving, metallic guitars, and they’ve achieved that perfect crisp guitar sound common to NIN, Pig, and Ministry. It’s abrasive and it’s noisy, and in following the popular quiet verse / loud chorus structure, it’s far from radical, but the key here is that it’s actually a decent tune. The title track alludes to The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ with its slow fade in, before settling to a low, slow, murky trudge. Stripped back and bassy, it’s also gnarly as hell, and finds GLDN at their most Marilyn Manson. Nicholas can deliver a truly blood-curdling scream, and when he does, it’s unsettling.

‘Ripe’ is seething, serpentine, and with its squalling guitar and snaking bassline, slips into gothier territory, like Christian Death meets Filter.

Where so many NIN-emulators fail is that they’re too preoccupied with following the blueprint, with lifting and referencing; where GLDN succeed is in assimilating the elements to create something unique, and something unswervingly brutal and harsh. Its viscerality is more than worthy of the title and cover art: it’s the sound of a guy spilling his guts and experiencing a pure catharsis at a thousand decibels.

It’s ‘Parasite’ that closes off this six-tracker, and it’s a strong and violent finale, which makes the prospect of the already-in-the bag Hemophilia EP set for release in August, even more exciting. I suspect we can expect more blood.

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Christopher Nosnibor

Seems like gigs at the Vaults are cursed when I go. Just as headliners Witch of the East cancelled the last time I was down, so PAK40 have had to bail due to Covid. Yep, over two years on and it’s still having a significant impact on live music. But the good news is that REDFYRN are worth turning out for, as previous outings have shown, and even prior to PAK40’s withdrawal, it had the air of a double-header.

It’s fucking melting. I mean, I’m drinking cider, it’s that mafting. And I’m sweating it out faster than I can drink it. My skin is like a sieve or muslin bag. It must be absolutely punishing on stage.

Openers Beswick get off to a bit of a ragged start. But then, it is their first gig in three years, and they’re not looking like the kind of band who get tour-tight. It would be wrong to complain about the lack of guitar definition with a black metal band, and they lean towards the lower, slower end, where everything slips into a sludgy mid-range mesh, thanks to the five-string bass and seven-string guitar and the most fuckedest cymbal I’ve seen in use in a long time.

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Beswick

The main vocalist has three distinct styles: a penetrating, shivering squawk, a low growl, and a cleanish, atonal punk snarling shout, which actually works at least half of the time as they swing towards a dingy punk style at various points during the set. They do seem like a band in a bit of a stylistic quandary as they slither hither and thither, but they’re solid entertainment. The final song is a nod to their previous incarnation as Tokechamber, and sees the set conclude with billowing drone doom chords and feedback. I would have happily watched that for an hour.

REDFYRN start as they mean to go on, bringing the riffs slow and steady, with more five-string bass groove through an immense effects rack. The bassist has bounding energy, smashing every note with fists and feet, and the weighty guitars contrast with the soaring vocals. Big brave but stoner with a bluesy twist, chunky gritty riffs.

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The solos aren’t overdone, and showcase the fact Cat Redfern is an excellent guitarist on a technical level as well as being a heavy hitter. She plays with only a handful of pedals, but a lot of crunch and a big dense sound and big volume.

A big hairy moshpit happened during the last song, and the half dozen beardy guys going crackers down the front was enough to bring the band back for one more, and they encore with ‘Unreal’, to an even more vibrant response. For a hot Thursday night when people would have likely been lured to a beer garden to toast the announcement of the Prime Minister’s departure, albeit at some time in the future, and for a stand-in headline slot, REDFYRN delivered a commanding performance and owned the night. Having only recently found themselves in headline slots, REDFYRN look ready to take it to the next level.

Experimental metal group Imperial Triumphant release their new song and music video for ‘Merkurius Gilded’ (ft. Kenny G and Max Gorelick) via Century Media Records.

Yes, you read that right: Kenny G. I shit you not.

‘Merkurius Gilded’ follows the release of the band’s debut track, ‘Maximalist Scream (feat. Snake/Voivod)’, taken from Imperial Triumphant’s forthcoming full-length album Spirit of Ecstasy out on July 22nd. The album will be released as Ltd. CD Edition (Mini-Gatefold), Gatefold 2LP & LP-Booklet and on all digital platforms.

Spirit of Ecstasy follows the band’s previous LPs 2020’s Alphaville, 2018’s Vile Luxury and most recently their 2021 live record, An Evening With Imperial Triumphant, which was recorded at the infamous Slipper Room in New York City. Just like its predecessors, the album features a handful of special guests including Kenny G on soprano saxophone, Max Gorelick on lead guitar, Snake on vocals, Alex Skolnick on lead guitar, Trey Spruance on lead guitar, Andromeda Anarchia with choirs, Sarai Woods with choirs, Yoshiko Ohara on vocals, J. Walter Hawkes on the  trombone, Ben Hankle on the trumpet, Percy Jones on bass, SEVEN)SUNS on strings, Colin Marston on Simmons drums and Youtube, and Jonas Rolef on vocals.

Watch ‘Merkurius Gilded’ here:

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IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT ON TOUR:

w/Nero Di Marte:

June 14 – Zagreb, Croatia – Klub Mocvara

June 15 – Ljubljana, Slovenia – Klub Gromka

June 16 – Vienna, Austria – Viper Room Vienna

U.S. Headline Shows:

July 29 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar

July 30 – Youngstown, OH – Into the Darkness Fest

July 31 – Rochester, NY – Montage Music Hall

European Headline Dates/Festivals:

August 10 – Jaroměř, Czechia – Brutal Assault

August 12 – Oxfordshire, England – SUPERNORMAL FEST

August 13 – Manchester, England – The White Hotel

August 14 – Glasgow, Scotland – Stereo

August 15 – Belfast, England – Voodoo

August 16 – Dublin, Ireland – The Grand Social

August 18 – Somerset, England – ArcTanGent Festival

August 19 – London, England – The Dome

August 20 – Méan, Belgium – MÉTAL MÉAN

August 21 – Brittany, France – MOTOCULTER

August 23 – Madrid, Spain – Moby Dick

August 24 – Barcelona, Spain – Sala Upload

August 25 – Toulon, France – L’Hélice

August 26 – Mantova, Italy – The Academy

August 27 – Winterthur, Switzerland – Gaswerk

August 28 – Strasbourg, France – La Maison Bleue

August 29 – Nijmegen, Netherlands – Merleyn

August 30 – Hamburg, Germany – Hafenklang

August 31 – Aalborg, Denmark – 1000 Fryd

September 1 – Oslo, Norway – Bla

September 2 – Goteborg, Sweden – Fangelset

September 3 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Hotel Cecil

September 8 – Leipzig, Germany – Bandhaus

September 9 – Tel Aviv, Israel – Gagarin

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Photo Credit: Alex Krauss

Christopher Nosnibor

Australia’s unstoppable metallic hardcore act Outright have dropped a music video for ‘Burn’, the second single to be revealed from their long-awaited second LP, Keep You Warm, due out on 15 July via their long-running band-owned label, Rage and Reason Records.

It’ll make your eyes and ears bleed, and I kept worrying the amps were going to fall over – possibly as much an effect of my vertigo as the crazy visuals – and it’s all over in a blisteringly intense minute and a half. And it is intense.

It all happens so fast and so hard, you’re likely to miss the relatable content:

“’Burn’ is an intense expression of the burnout that can happen when we don’t set boundaries or hold compassion for ourselves,” says Outright lyricist and vocalist Jelena Goluza. “When we normalise self-sacrifice we teach people that we don’t matter and that can be weaponised against us – but nothing gets done when you have nothing left… It’s dedicated to anyone else who feels this in their professional and personal lives, activism or everyday pressures,” she adds. “I won’t set myself on fire, just to keep you warm”.

There are no medals for death in service to others, and self-care is not selfish. So listen up, and listen good. And listen to this.

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1st June 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

It shouldn’t be a deal, really, but it is: Glytsh are a rare thing, namely an all-female industrial duo, comprising French singer Jennifer Diehl (aka Luna Blake) and Swiss guitarist Claire Genoud (aka Hella Sin). Like so many ‘rock’ and metal-orientated genres, industrial of all shades, from the electro to the metal end of the spectrum is depressingly the domain of the white male.

In this predictable, recycle-heavy world of white male angst, Glytsh are a breath of fresh air. But Glytsh aren’t a breath of fresh air because they’re women: they’re a breath of fresh air because they’re fucking exciting. While ‘(Hard)core memory’ still works with established tropes, their debut single, a cover of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Closer’ set out their stall and managed to draw a fair bit of positive attention in the process. On the one hand, it was a pretty faithful cover, but also had enough of a slant to it to show that they’ve got game. And now, with the arrival of ‘(Hard)core memory’, Glytsh prove that they’ve got both style and substance, meshing together both electro and metal elements in an explosive three and a half minutes.

From a low, bass-heavy electronic intro, ‘(Hard)core Memory’ starts slow-grinding and sultry before tearing into a lumbering rock riff with screaming metal vocals, a collision between Rage Against The Machine and Marilyn Manson. It’s pretty full-on, and that’s before the Slash-style guitar solo blasts in near the end.

‘(Hard)core Memory’ has got the lot, and yet I somehow suspect that Glytsh have got a lot more to offer yet.

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