Posts Tagged ‘Metalcore’

Tacoma, Washington mathcore/metalcore greats Botch have released a new song and video, ‘One Twenty Two,’ their first song in twenty years.

The track will be included on the re-issue of their wildly influential second album, We Are the Romans, which was also announced today, available as a 2xLP and CD on November 4th via Sargent House.

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There was never any intention for the band to release anything else, but when guitarist David Knudson went to write his debut solo album, it made sense. He explains:

“During Covid, I was writing my debut solo LP, and mentally, I was sick of everything in quarantine. Lots of frustration had set in at home, and I figured the best way to deal with it was to write something heavy. I had no intention of writing anything for Botch, but when I was thinking of a singer to collaborate with, I thought, “Hey, I know the best hardcore singer ever to do it,” so I hit up Dave V. He was super excited and so it just kind of snowballed from there. There was never any intent or conversation about getting back together or writing. It just happened so naturally and was a great release for all of us to make it happen without any of the traditional pressure an “active” band faces.”

Bassist Brian Cook, guitarist David Knudson, drummer Tim Latona, and vocalist Dave Verellen formed Botch in 1993, becoming one of the most ground-breaking and influential bands during a pivotal shift in heavy music. Their final show was June 15, 2002, the same day as the release of their final EP, An Anthology of Dead Ends. The members would go on to play in These Arms Are Snakes, Minus the Bear, and Russian Circles, among others, with acclaim for the band coming mostly post-breakup. We Are the Romans went on to become one of the most influential albums for the genre garnering posthumous acclaim across the board.

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Gold Mold Records – 7th July 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Moni Jitchell don’t piss about, and in deference to that attitude, neither shall I: this EP is an absolute blinder. Crashing in somewhere between Blacklisters, and Daughters, or like Pulled Apart by Horses on speed, it delivers five fast ‘n’ furious cuts in as many minutes, and it’s not hard to figure how the Glasgow duo scored a slot supporting Mclusky earlier in the year with their brand of irreverent, full-throttle shouty noise that’s too angular to be punk, but too punk to be metal, and too metal to be math… The fact they’ve appeared alongside Leeds noisemongers Thank is perhaps a fair indication of the kind of racket they make.

Only they make it louder and faster, and distil everything to the most absolute optimum potency. The songs are formed, with defined structures and ‘clear’ shape – but compacted to black-hole density, clanging and slamming every whichway, frenetic, kinetic, jarring, jolting, whiplash-inducing blasts of sonic violence.

Grant Donaldson’s drumming is solid and holds everything together through wild tempests of stuttering, stop/start guitar that veers between driving riffs and splintering shards of atonality. The vocals are manic, screamed, and unintelligible, but it doesn’t really matter, as there’s no time to dwell on these things. There’s no time for anything at all.

‘Not a Change’ is a mere thirty—three seconds long, with guitars that buzz like a helium-filled wasp trapped in a hot greenhouse. ‘Split’ is only a second longer, while the ten-second ‘Skelp’ is over before it’s even started.

It’s one of those short sharp shocks that leaves you stunned and sweating, and completely buzzed.

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The music of Psyclon Nine is not for the faint-hearted. The brainchild of Nero Bellum, the dark, aggressive electronic assault of his group’s 2003 debut album Divine Infekt immediately earned them popularity and notoriety worldwide. Its follow-up, INRI (2005), displayed a marked evolution with a lyrical focus on religious themes. In the ensuing years, Bellum’s music has taken him down an even darker path, his distinctive whispered-scream vocals guiding us through an idiosyncratic take on modern underground music that has implemented elements of black metal and post-punk influences that, although often featuring haunting melodies, has often had an undercurrent of unbridled menace.

The forthcoming new album, Less To Heaven, is a complex and immersive work that sees Psyclon Nine at a creative peak, with concussive, machine-precise drums, hammering guitars, scathing vocals and evil electronics all interplaying seamlessly. It also sees the group charting undefined musical territory that bridges elements of metalcore with doom electronics, trip-techno with black metal, and experimental cinematic soundscapes with alternative rock.

While many acts have a constant faster-louder approach to industrial-black metal, Bellum is unafraid to use all manner of tempos to build atmosphere. This is evident in the record’s first single, the seething ‘Money And Sex And Death’, which builds with writhing tension, like a snake preparing to strike its victim, before exploding into an all out audio assault.

Watch the video here:

Bellum states of the song that “it was inspired by the excitement we feel when we see the world burning around us and the abhorrent personal truths that we hold as sacred. The misery of others has never been viewed by so many angles, and strictly for our entertainment. With ‘Money And Sex And Death’ I am presenting your reflection to yourself.”

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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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Southern Lord – 24th August 2018

James Wells

According to their biography, Jesus Piece ‘have left craters in their path over recent years, quickly developing a reputation as one of the heaviest, most uncompromising acts both on record and on the stage. With the brutal grooves of Y2K-era metallic hardcore at the core, the band also incorporates elements of noise, ominous tones, and haunting atmospheres into their dynamic songwriting.’

‘Lucid’ batters its way out to herald the album’s arrival: rapid pedal-work on the kick drum powers the cutty, hard-edged guitar. Its brutal, regimented, industrial, grinding like early Godflesh, but with snarled, guttural vocals spitting and howling nihilistic dismantlements of personal struggle and loss, racism, police brutality, and social and political injustice.

They distil all of these violent emotions and unspeakabe rage into short explosive packages: the majority of the songs on here are under three minutes. ‘Punish’ brings a sinewy, spectral lead guitar to twist its way over the grinding churn of the rhythm section, hinting at the dynamics of early Pitchshifter.

When they do slow things down, as on the stripped-back ‘In the Silence’ where the bass wanders and weaves a murky path and haunting chorused guitar notes rise from the swamp quite unexpectedly to create an unsettling atmosphere, the impact remains undiminished, and for the most part, it’s the heavy pummelling that defines Only Self.

The album concludes with an immense shift in style and sound in the form of a pair of contrasting but complimentary atmospheric pieces titled by number only: ‘I’ something of a monastic, ritual ambience to it, as voices echo in the mist before the doomy guitars break through in a slow landslide on ‘II’.

With such variations and deviations from the template of howling aggression and blind fury, Only Self stands apart from so many albums of its ilk, and reveal Jesus Piece to be capable of more than just endless anger – although they’ve got the rage in spades, and bring it to devastating effect on what is one hell of a debut.

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Jesus Piece – Only Self

Send The Wood – 28th January 2018

James Wells

Antagonism Of The Soul represents the culmination of five years of work or French metal act Insolvency (a name that’s more suggestive of a punk band, perhaps, although it’s clearly been no hindrance to their connecting with an audience on their home turf).

If the instrumental intro track, with its cinematic strings, rolling piano and brooding atmospherics, all woven together to form a mellifluous melody is a shade cliché, it sets a degree of expectation for the album as a whole.

Insolvency’s style is centred around contrast and juxtaposition and the uptempo. The clean / guttural vocal interactions which define the sound is matched by driving, distorted rhythm guitar chug and soaring, melodic and highly technical lead work. There’s a lot of technical proficiency on display here, as it happens: the rapidfire drumming is dynamic and intense, and there are tempo changes galore, meaning the songs feel as if they’re in constant transition. So, while the elements are commonplace, the execution and the delivery are far from it. Insolvency pack an awful lot into each of the five-minute segments, and these miniature epics are finely honed, and the production does them justice: it’s polished, but not so overly slick as to sand off the edges. It’s crisp, but still has bite, and balances aggression and emotional resonance.

There are hooks and some epic choruses, but they’re never overplayed, and for all of the heavy metal thunder, there are elements of prog and atmospheric post-rock in the mix. It all equates to an album with depth and range.

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Antagonism of The Soul Artwork