Posts Tagged ‘Thrash’

Norwegian genre-bending innovators She Said Destroy have recently shared another track from their long-awaited third full-length album Succession, due out later this year via Mas-Kina Recordings.

Check out this new track titled ‘Not Only Bridges’ here:

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Picking up where they left off with their 2012’s EP “Bleeding Fiction”, “Succession” was recorded at guitarist Snorre Bergerud’s studio Ymir Audio, located in Vilnius, during January and February 2020 and contains a collection of material written between 2007 and 2019, and as with earlier She Said Destroy efforts displays a wide range of musical styles. Thematically “Succession” is a natural continuation of She Said Destroy’s exploration of human nature on past releases.  This time around the impact of the Anthropocene era on our psyche and our surroundings rears its ugly head throughout the album. These are songs of frustration,  despair and hatred, but also of love and wanting to cling on to hope even when not believing that striving for a better world will bear fruits.

Cruel Nature Recordings – 29th January 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

The description sets the scene and the expectation perfectly: ‘True Archweigian Improve-Free-Grind-Noise-Experimental-Avant-Jazzcore. John Coltrane quadruple booked on the same stage as Extreme Noise Terror, Swans and The Incapacitants.

It sounds horrible and utterly brain-frying, and it is. ‘Deep Pan Magna Carta’ launches the album – a whopping sixteen-track sprawl that reveals something of a fixation with wolves and goats – with a barrage of crashing, chaotic percussion, gut-churning bass, wild horns and tortured vocals that spew larva from the very bowels of hell. And they’re clearly intent on dragging you there with them, into the pit of pain, because there is absolutely no fucking let-up. This is everything all at once – and while it’s relentlessly and uncompromisingly nasty, it certainly doesn’t confide itself to any one style – and as for genre, it’s a crazed hybrid mash-up, seemingly intended to inflict maximum pain – and if this is indeed the objective, they succeed.

Most of the tracks are around the minute mark – but actually feel much longer, as they drag and dredge their way through the deepest sludge. Believe it or not, that’s not a complaint or criticism, so much as an observation on how it feels to be brutally battered from all sides at once. There is, undoubtedly, an element of endurance required here.

As the band’s name and whacky, irreverent and possibly irrelevant (it’s impossible to tell without being able to decipher the lyrics) song titles suggest, we should probably only take this so seriously. But then, as the best comedians will tell you, comedy is serious business, and so it would seem is slugging out the harshest, brutal mess of noise.

Before long, they’re in full-tilt frenzied grindcore territory: ‘Wolf Goat’ is nine seconds of snarking and blastb(l)eats, followed immediately by the thirty-six second ‘Goat Wolf’, another blast of carnage that thunders at a thousand miles an hour. There’s some black metal nastiness in the mix when the snarling vocals deliver a snarling acappella intro to ‘hash, Weed, Pills, Saurkraut’. ‘Red sausage’ is about the only phrase I can pull out of the frenetic thrash that follows.

‘Natural Born Testicle’ takes a different turn: a howling blizzard of shrieking electronics and clean shouting, it’s a wild swing into power electronics, and is more reminiscent of Whitehouse than anything else.

It’s the manic horn action that really makes Blood & Stomach Pills the experience that it is. It’s chaotic, discordant, and above all, incongruous – but then again, it calls to mind the jazz-coloured noise of GOD, as well as recent work by Sly and the Family Drone – but this is probably the grindiest permutation of such crazed free jazz I’ve encountered yet.

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FORTÍÐ have released a fascinating new video for the elegiac track ‘Son of a Barren Land’ as the third single taken from the Icelandic pagan metal duo’s forthcoming highly acclaimed sixth album, "World Serpent", which has been scheduled for release on December 11th.

Watch the video here:

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Southern Lord – 4th December 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

High Command’s new release on Southern Lord drags me back to a point of debate I’ve covered variously over the twelve years I’ve been doing this reviewing thing: what distinguishes a single from an EP, an EP from an album? And aren’t EPs and mini-album’s the same thing? It may be so much hair-splitting and semantics, and about as important as genre boundaries in the scheme of things, but… well, High Command, being a crossover of thrash metal, punk, and hardcore, are a cause of consternation on that front too.

The two tracks on this digital single, which prefaces the 7” EP release due early next year via Triple B records, are fast, furious, gnarly, and there’s no question over their thrashiness.

‘Everlasting Torment’ may not be literal in its title, being a short, sharp four-minute attack of overdrive, but it does pack all the melodic fretwork, thunderous drums and mega-fast plectrum flashing of something purgatorially thrashy, while counterpart – or B-side, if you will – ‘Sword of Wisdom’ penetrated with a raft of sudden tempo changes and pierces with the lunge into a monster guitar solo.

It’s a whole lot less sludgy and perhaps less Ministry and a lot less industrial than its predecessor, although the key trappings are all in place.

However you position it, this release brings a full-range display of some pretty frenzied fretwork which is driven – hard, and fast – by a strong, dynamic rhythm section that packs all the power, and if any of it threatens to slide toward cliché, the execution and sheer brute force are more than enough.

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APF Records – 27th November 2020

James Wells

Sometimes, there’s just no substitute for a full-tilt, balls-out, gut-churning sludgy grindcore for providing that release. There’s something strangely soothing in the relentless blastbeats, the mangled-to-fuck guitar attack, the guttural growls of pain, anguish, and all-out fury. Corrupt Moral Altar get catharsis, channelling every last ounce of rage into fast and furious sonic blitzkriegs, and three years on from their second album, Eunoia, this five-track EP suggests they’ve distilled and bottled three years of fury into seventeen minutes of brutality.

For the most part, it’s pretty much business as usual, in that everything is a pulverizing blast whereby everything thunders and pounds away at a hundred miles an hour, each song leaving you feeling like you’ve been used as a punching speedbag for three and a half minutes. Five songs may not sound like much, but when punishment is delivered at this pace, and with this much force, it’s exhausting. You only have to hope that ‘Cathedral of Porn’ isn’t intended as a tune to wank to.

The intro to ‘Spirit Breaker’ marks a distinct change in tone and tempo, with chiming, post-rocky guitar, before, perhaps inevitably, it gets grimy and nasty and completely full-on. There’s a grand swathe of semi-choral vocals which ring out over the punishing double-pedal drumming and heavy-grind guitars, and it’s a surprising but rather moving shift, and it closes in a more contemplative that returns to the atmosphere of the opening. It’s by no means wimpy, but does abundantly demonstrate that CMA are far more than one-dimensional rage-merchants.

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Time for some full moon, campfire horror metal at the gates of Hell with Possessor! ‘Bloodsuckers’ is the opening track and second single from the upcoming Possessor album Damn The Light, with vocalist/guitarist Graham Bywater commenting on the new video,

‘We wanted to create a rough and ready no frills video of us at our first rehearsal of 2020, the year that never ceases to be shit.

‘Lyrically ‘Bloodsuckers is quite a literal description of our new album cover, with the opening line “A weathered hand, a plume of smoke…” and it’s all very much based on the imagery Alexander Goulet designed for us, written partially from the viewpoint of a vampire bat… “Under a blood red moon…immortal and black winged”. As with most Possessor songs it’s got its heart in the past and its boots stomping into the future. We like to make music which inspires the listener to scream along to whilst raising the devil horns at the midnight hour. Party on.’

Watch the video for Bloodsuckers here:

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Hellripper have released a new single and the title track from their forthcoming album entitled “The Affair Of The Poisons”.

Having revealed the theme of the album through the release of “Spectres of the Blood Moon Sabbath” and their last single “Vampire’s Grave”, based on true life events from Glasgow in 1954,  Hellripper continues to explore the historical dark & insidious underworld of witchcraft and the occult.

James MacBain explains the inspiration for ‘The Affair Of The Poisons’ “the song takes inspiration from a series of events that occurred in 17th Century France. Possession, witchcraft, child sacrifice & poisonings were at the heart of a large-scale investigation conducted during the reign of the Sun King (Louis XIV) after an extensive plot was unearthed within the court of Versailles, targeting members of the aristocracy and the King himself in order to gain power and influence; the scandal exploded when it was revealed that the royal favourite herself was partaking in black masses and had allegedly poisoned a younger rival to win back the King’s favour.

Listen to ‘The Affair of the Poisons’ here:

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28th August 2020

James Wells

If a band can’t sell itself up, what hope have they for anyone else? So fair play to Horrible Youth, who pitch themselves as ‘an Icelandic five-piece sludge and grunge band that sprang to life in Oslo in 2016 and quietly recorded their stunning debut, Wounds Bleed.’

And you know what? It is stunning. ‘Monkeys’, the album first track is a low-tempo grunger that blends Nirvana and Metallica and ultimately comes on like Melvins – and if you’re going to for sludge and grunge, Melvins is the band against which any other is going to be judged.

The songs on Wounds Bleed are concise (the majority being under four minutes) and built around simple repetitive riffs cranked out with a big, overdriven guitar, and favouring the mid to lower ends of the EQ spectrum for a dense, murky sound. Only the cymbals crash through the

Single cut ‘Blissful Tropes’ brings a psych twist to the lumbering riffery, and it’s got hooks and weight in equal measure (it’s hardly a pop tune, but there’s a sinewy lead guitar behind the shouting), making it a standout on what is, undeniably, a really solid album.

It sure as hell ain’t soft or gentle, and doesn’t do the cliché ‘mellow’ track at the end of side one or anything, instead slinging riff after riff, with the rawness of Tad at their best. ‘Serve the Plague’ hits a particularly hefty, low-slung, goth-doom groove, and the tempo picking up around halfway through to thrash out a full-throttle attack.

Combining density and intensity, and packing a megalithic dose of angst, Wounds Bleed distils the sound of 1994 and turns the volume up to eleven, and the result is something special.

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Christopher Nosnibor

Arriving at gigs in Leeds drenched is becoming not so much a habit as the norm for me by the looks of things. But unlike recent jaunts across the border to West Yorkshire, where I was caught in torrential precipitation, we’re in the middle of a heatwave. The humidity is off the scale, it’s rammed like a cattle freighter, and I’m not convinced the air conditioning is functioning in the vestibule I find myself standing. Consequently, I disembark with my shirt completely saturated ahead of what I know will be a warm gig in Leeds’ best venue for all things metal. And hot on the heels of Thou and Moloch on the same bill, tonight’s is another absolutely killer lineup.

Things are off to an abrasive start with harsh electronic duo Soft Issues. Gnarly electronic noise fizzes from the PA before hammering beats kick in. Samples fire off all over between the distorted, pain-filled screaming vocals and they’re switching patch-leads with mechanical precision as the mess of treble and pulsating lower-range synth oscillations grind forth. It’s relentless, repetitive, and brutally industrial, and there may be hints of NIN but this is way, way harsher, the obliterative wall of anguish-filled noise closer to Prurient than anything. It hurts.

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Soft Issues

Whipping Post’s goatee-sporting bassist may be wearing an REM T-Shirt, but there’s no Shinny Happy People vibe here. He churns out some strong, strolling basslines that provide the solid foundations for some gritty hardcore racket reminiscent of Touch and Go’s early 90s roster. Theirs is a sound that’s nicely angular, dirty, and dense, with lurching rhythms and no shortage of attack.

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Whipping Post

If things are already warm (and I’m so grateful cans of Scrumpy Jack are only £2.50 as I’m sweating it out faster than I can drink it), then co-headliners Bad Breeding really turn up the heat, blasting in at 150 miles per hour with their brand of raging grindy hardcore. A band whose album liner notes and essays posted on their website reference Mark Fisher and American Psycho while dissecting the politics of Brexit while substantiating points with figures on GDP and a host of verifiable statistics, there’s some qualifiable intellect beyond the blizzards of rage they spew out on stage. And the force with which they do it is monstrously intense and gives rise to some energetic – but extremely well-natured – moshing. And yet again, I’m reminded that the nicest audiences are to be found at the most extreme shows.

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Bad Breeding

For a number, Bad Breeding are the headliners, and fair play. They were storming, and moreover, Uniform are a whole other kind of intense nasty. Their debut, Wake in Fright was a non-stop shoutfest with a pounding drum machine and raw, ragged guitar assault fused into a nightmarish sensory overload. The Long Walk added live drums to the mix, but in retaining that raw, unproduced approach, the sound didn’t change radically, but instead stepped things up a notch. So this was a band I’d been absolutely busting to see live.

And fucking hell, they know how to deliver. Perhaps it’s because the studio work has a live, immediate feel that on stage they replicate it so well – only with the added bonus of being able to see the sweat and the whites of their eyes from the front rows of a venue like this. The set explodes with ‘The Walk’, and it’s nothing short of devastating. Bloody, brutal, raw, it excavates the depths of nihilism and paranoia. They burn straight into ‘Human Condition’, the album’s second track, and it’s pulverising: everything’s overloading, and Michael Berdan’s wide-eyed, rage-spewing delivery is as menacing as hell. Everything blurs and melts with the heat and the blistering intensity of Uniform’s wall of noise. To complain it’s a bit one-key is to miss the point completely: Uniform savagely drive at that seem of gnarly, shouty rage that takes the template of snotty punk and distils it into something that’s so potent it could make you want to puke.

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Uniform

They piledrive home the end of a scorching and frankly punishing set with – I think – a brutal rendition of ‘Alone in the Dark’. I’m already lost. There’s no encore and we filter out. I’m drained, a husk, and so, so happy.