Posts Tagged ‘Thrash’

Southern Lord – 24th November 2017

James Wells

When you’re presented with an album containing ten tracks, where only two clock in at over two minutes, you know it’s likely to be a pretty direct attack, and you don’t need a lengthy dissection to get the guts. In fact, you don’t need words, you just need to feel it kicking you in the guts, over and over.

No Cure For Death is a gnarly, guttural, snarling mess of feedback and noise. Savage, brutal, unrestrained noise: that’s what No Cure For Death throws down from beginning to end – not that it’s a particularly long period between the two markers.

Death, decay, despair ooze from every pore of this feedback-soaked frenzy of blistering noise. It’s dark, dingy, a seething miasma of gut-churning overloading, overdriven loathing of all things. It’s the world we live in, of course: it’s fucked-up and ruined. It’s everything it should be.

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Sect cover image for Haulix

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Southern Lord – 3rd November 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

Fast and furious isn’t in it. But the enigmatic and secretive Friendship are from Japan, and when it comes to extreme music, Japan really leads the field. And if Hatred seems an odd title for an album by a band called Friendship, then the equation really should be turned on its head: for a band this brutal, abrasive and gnarly to be called Friendship is simply perverse. There’s nothing friendly about them, and song titles like ‘Rejected’, ‘Regicide’, Corrupt’, ‘Tortures’, ‘Grief’, and ‘Execution’ don’t exactly send hugs in abundance either.

Of the album’s twelve tracks, only two extend beyond the three-minute mark, and half are sub two minutes. Holy fuck, this is fast and hard and nasty. It begins with feedback and immediately plunges into the dingiest, gnarliest, darkest metal noise going. The drums are pounded so fast it sounds like a pneumatic drill. Everything else is just a blurred barrage of insane, intense noise. There are riffs, but they’re brief, and churningly cyclical. The rest is all squall. And it’s a furious, punishing grind.

If friendship it is, it’s an abusive one which shows no regard for the wellbeing or mental health of those concerned. But as far as hatred is concerned, this album is all aspects of pure loathing distilled to the most potent concentrate.

Listening to Hatred is like having your soul torn from the heart of your being and ground to a pulp before your eyes, while your eyes are being pricked with hot pins. Aurally, it’s torture in its own right.

AAA

Friendship cover art

Dead Cross, the SoCal hardcore band featuring Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer/Suicidal Tendencies), Justin Pearson (Retox / The Locust), Mike Patton (Faith No More / Tomahawk) and Michael Crain (Retox / Festival of Dead Deer), premiere a new video for ‘Obedience School’ directed by Dennis Bersales, whose work has been used in collaboration with Dim Mak, Three One G, SM Prime, Kenneth Cobonpue, and Roberto Cavelli. The track features on their new self-titled album, produced by the legendary Ross Robinson, to be released August 4th on coloured vinyl and CD via Ipecac Records and Three One G, as well as digitally through iTunes.

Dead Cross’ debut self-titled LP vacillates from sounding like Godzilla attacking Tokyo to becoming the potential soundtrack of witches catching waves in a hurricane. Its highs are sharp and wicked, its lows ominous and evil, all the while laced with wit and, many times, an element of tongue-in-cheekiness not often found in thrash or hardcore music. Dennis Bersales brings the unyielding intensity of the band to life in the video for Obedience School, made from actual footage of a cockfighting event in the Philippines. Though brutal, the violence is anything but gratuitous;  the imagery meaningfully works in conjunction with Patton’s lyrics, forcing the viewer to consider the ugly tendencies of mankind.

Check out the video here:

DEAD CROSS TOUR DATES:

August 10 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory *

August 11 Las Vegas, NV Brooklyn Bowl

August 12 Phoenix, AZ The Marquee *

August 14 Dallas, TX Gas Monkey Bar & Grill

August 15 Houston, TX Warehouse Live

August 16 Austin, TX Emo’s

August 18 Tucson, AZ The Rialto Theatre *

August 19 San Diego, CA The Observatory North Park

August 21 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre

August 23 Berkeley, CA The UC Theatre

August 25 Vancouver, BC Vogue Theatre

August 26 Seattle, WA The Showbox

August 27 Portland Wonder Ballroom

August 29 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades

September 8 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Soundstage

September 10 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer

September 11 Boston, MA Royale

September 12 New York, NY Gramercy Theatre

September 13 Brooklyn, NY Warsaw

September 15 Detroit, MI St. Andrew’s Hall

September 16 Chicago, IL Riot Fest *

September 17 Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall Ballroom

September 19 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue

September 20 Lawrence, KS Liberty Hall

September 23 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre

* – Secret Chiefs 3 do not perform

Ipecac Recordings – 4th August 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

According to the band’s biography, ‘Dead Cross emerged out of a series of impractical schemes, fallen-through plans, and last-minute musical experimentation. Shows were scheduled before a single song was written, fans were formed before even one show was played. The chaos of its creation seems apt; after all, the band is comprised entirely of artists who have thrived playing tightly-coiled turmoil—intelligent dissonance disguised as disorder.’ None of this is surprising, given the co-conspirators who make up Dead Cross – namely Dave Lombardo, Justin Pearson, Michael Crain, and Mike Patton. On paper, it’s a recipe for sonic mayhem. And that’s precisely what Dead Cross delivers.

It’s fast, furious and frenetic from the first bar. ‘Seizure and Desist’, recently unveiled as a video single, kicks it off in spectacularly explosive style and sets both the tempo and the tone. It’s a snarling, furious assault. It’s brutal and deranged, and yet it gloriously melodic, with a chorus and a hook that’s almost chartworthy.

Dead Cross is intense. Loud. Hard. Fast. Mental. Throw Faith No More, Pantera, Strapping Young Lad and The Wildhearts in a blender and you’re in the vicinity.

On one hand, this is a proper, old-school thrash album. On the other, it’s got Mike Patton all over it. Since forever, Patton has demonstrated a unique style and an even more unique sense of theatricality and melody. Unique, in that he’s able to incorporate these elements into the most incongruous and unexpected musical contexts, and successfully. Certainly, his immense vocal range and versatile delivery is a key factor, but there’s far more to Dead Cross – the band and the album – than once man. It’s all about the disparate parts and how they melt together to create something distinctly different. There’s no one dominant aspect here: this is a true collaboration, and all the more intensely insane because of it.

In the hands of pretty much any other band, thrash or other, the cover of ‘Bella Lugosi’s Dead’ would be both shit and pointless. But Dead Cross fill it with violent menace while retaining the finely-balanced drama of the original – and condense it all into two and a half minutes by pummelling it out at a hundred and fifty miles per hour and driving it along with a dirty, gritty as fuck bassline overlaid with heavily processed vocals. The end result is bloody brilliant.

Dead Cross is relentless and brutal. The shrieking venom of ‘Grave Slave’ is a grinding churn of guitars propelled by nonstop blastbeats. ‘Church of the Motherfuckers’ closes the album off with a throbbing chug, and, while slower, brings Patton’s capacity for flamboyant theatricality to the fore, while diminishing for fevered attack not one iota.

Often, I’m given to criticise so-called supergroup projects for failing to produce anything even as great, let alone greater than the sum of the parts. But it’s the fact that Dead Cross have produced an album that is precisely the sum of the parts which makes it such a belter.

Dead Cross Cover

Power Trip’s new video for the single ‘Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)’ takes us front and centre, into the eye of what is guaranteed to be a perfect storm time and time again.

Debuted by Noisey and directed by their own Andy Capper, the video takes footage captured from a spirited hometown show in Dallas and melts it with what Noisey describe ‘clips of politically-ordered carnage, masked maniacs, and the orange smirk of American fascism.’  The imagery articulates Gale’s lyrics that hone in on the devaluation of human life by those who’ve gained power through money and politics.

Power Trip hit us hard last month with their most powerful effort yet – Nightmare Logic – available via Southern Lord.  Released to high critical acclaim and anticipation – their second release does not disappoint.  With hooks and tightness rivalling the likes of Metallica, Pantera or Pentagram, Power Trip punishes fans not only sonically but with pure songwriting skill. 

After a wild, sold out East Coast / Midwest US tour, the band set to takeover the West Coast US this month with Destruction Unit, before they head to Europe with Napalm Death and Brujeria. Check below for the dates.

Watch ‘Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)’ with tour dates listed below.

 

POWER TRIP JOIN ‘CAMPAIGN FOR MUSICAL DESTRUCTION TOUR’ WITH NAPALM DEATH & BRUJERIA

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 Copenhagen – Amager Bio, DK
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 Gothenburg – Pustervik, SWE
Thursday, 27 April 2017 Stockholm – Kraken STHLM, SWE
Friday, 28 April 2017 Flensburg – Roxy, DE
Saturday, 29 April 2017 Magdeburg – Factory, DE
Sunday, 30 April 2017 Haarlem – Patronaat, NL
Monday 1 May 2017 Koln – Underground, DE
Tuesday, 2 May 2017 Berlin – SO36, DE
Wednesday, 3 May 2017 DAY OFF
Thursday, 4 May 2017 Krakow – Kwadrat Club, PL
Friday, 5 May 2017 Brno – Klub Fléda, CZ
Sunday, 7 May 2017 Saarbrücken – Garage, DE
Monday, 8 May 2017 DAY OFF
Tuesday, 9 May 2017 Birmingham – O2 Institute, UK
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 Glasgow – Classic Grand, UK
Thursday, 11 May 2017 Manchester – Rebellion, UK
Friday, 12 May 2017 London – The Electric Ballroom, UK
Saturday, 13 May 2017 Paris – Le Glazart, FR
Sunday, 14 May 2017 Antwerpen – Zappa, BE
Monday, 15 May 2017 DAY OFF
Tuesday, 16 May 2017 Six Fours Les Plages – Espace André Malraux, FR
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 Geneva – L’Usine, CH
Thursday, 18 May 2017 Bologna – Zona Roveri, IT
Friday, 19 May 2017 Karlsruhe – NCO Club, DE
Saturday, 20 May 2017 München – Backstage, DE
Sunday, 21 May 2017 Eindhoven – Effenaar, NL

More dates to be announced…

Sacred Bones – 20th January 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

‘Nasty’ is a word you’re likely to hear or read in relation to dark, gnarly, mangled black metal or crust punk, or perhaps some particularly unpopulist industrial effort, or some particularly savage techno. But on Wake In Fright Uniform offer something that’s a different kind of nasty. And yes, it really is nasty, brutal, savage, uncompromising and unfriendly. And while there are elements of metal, thrash, industrial and power electronics, Wake in Fright – described as ‘a harrowing exploration of self-medication, painted in the colors of war’ – throws down the challenge of a noise all of its own.

Preview cut ‘Tabloid’ doesn’t so much open the album as tear the lid off the thing in a squalling, brutal frenzy. The drums are pitched to a frenetic pace but largely buried under the snarling, churning mess of guitars, feedback and distortion. Michael Berdan sneers and hollers venomously like he’s in the throes of mania, and to describe it as raw would be an understatement. It’s still on the bone and walking around. A gnarly mash of early Head of David, Foetus, Godflesh and the most obscure hardcore punk demo tape you’ve ever heard, it’s anything but easy on the ear. It is, however, a real blast of adrenaline, not so much a smack around the mouth as a succession of steel-toed boot jabs to the ribs.

The earthmoving bass grind of ‘Habit’ is coupled with the dirtiest, dingiest guitar noise you’ll hear all year. ‘The Lost’ combines the harsh edge of late 80s Ministry with an old-school punk feel, New Order trampled under the boots of a thousand-strong army of brutalists. It’s a stroll in the park compared to the thousand-mile-an-hour rage explosion that follows in the shape of ‘The Light At the End (Cause)’, which is nothing short of brutal, a black metal assault. There’s nowhere to take refuge with this album: cover your face, the blows land in the ribs, the back, the legs. Uniform are fucked off, and are going to vent their unremitting ire on anything, everything, and everyone.

The most striking thing about this album – short as it is, with just eight tracks and a total running time of thirty-eight and a bit minutes, (aside from its eye-popping intensity, that is) is its diversity. ‘The Killing of America’ is a full-tilt industrial metal slogger which evokes the spirit of Psalm 69, and packs a truly wild guitar breaks. The tempo is off the scale, to, and th third most striking thing about Wake in Fright is its sustained attack. There’s no let up. Not even for a second. Just when you think there might be a moment’s respite, the buggers up the tempo and the volume and the fierceness by at least another ten per cent. By ‘Bootlicker’ (track six), it’s all reached an almost unbearable level of noise, as the drums pound like machine gun fire through a gut-churning barrage of guitars. Seriously, with Wake in Fright, Uniform make Strapping Young Lad sound like Mike Flowers Pops.

Curtain closer ‘The Light At the End (Effect)’ may slow the pace at last, but the murky Swans-like dirge, with its scratched spoken narrative, remains anything but an easy exit or an uplifting finale. It’s six minutes of postindustrial grind, and a fitting close to an album that comes out, fists flailing, whirling chains and spitting venom.

Don’t come to Uniform looking for a hug. Wake in Fright is utterly terrifying, a horrorshow of a record with not a moment of calmness or humanity. It’s horrifying, squalid, beyond harsh: a sonic kick to the gut. You bet it’s already one of my albums of the year.

 

Uniform - Wake in Fright

Orchestrated Dystopia – 1st October 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

Another release it’s taken me four months to review, and for no reason than that I’ve been utterly swamped and a little disorganised, both in terms of my time management and my thoughts. Such is the life of an unpaid music reviewer who stumbles in from working the day-job to be greeted by around twenty emails each evening and a bundle of CDs on the doormat, all demanding attention.

Somewhat ironically, this latest offering from Italian band Humus, purveyors of nasty metal noise, is one of the shortest releases – including singles – I’ve had come my way all year, with the running time for these four tracks totalling barely a fraction over five minutes.

We’re in authentically brutal, crusty, grindy d-beat metal territory here. The guitars a dirty, murky, churning mess, the drums a frenzied thousand-mile-an-hour tempest. The bass is all but lost in the frenetic, furious low-fi treble fest, while the vocals are all about that snarling, strangulated, torn-throat demonic rage, the sound of one of Satan’s minions gargling nitric acid while dancing over hot coals en route to a purgatorial abyss.

It’s dark, the sound of burning rage, a blurring welter of relentless noise. Keeping the songs savagely short and the production mercilessly raw, it’s everything you would want from a band who trade in thrashcore crustpunk.

 

Humus