Rumblings from Hertfordshire’s underground metal scene
It’s been a while since I reported back on here about the current local scene, so here’s a collection of some of the most recent underground releases, along with news of forthcoming releases.
Jackal’s Backbone – new lyric video/EP coming soon
Jackal’s Backbone have undergone some big changes in recent months. There was a line-up shift, with bassist Becca Swinney also taking on permanent frontwoman duties, and the addition of Praetorian’s Greg Neath and Sam Farrington as new guitarists, as well as a overhaul of their whole sound. The revamped JB will be releasing their new EP ‘Tear My Eyes Out’ on June 16th, with the track ‘World in Darkness (Your Demise)’ getting a release as a preview track and lyric video. Atmospheric extreme metal given a gothic, post-punk coat, this slow-burner is already going down well with live crowds.
Black Skull Ritual – industrial-doom duo’s debut album
Black Skull Ritual have released their debut album ‘The Frequency Of Doom’, available as a CD and digital download from Bandcamp. If you’re a fan of the likes of early Pitchshifter, Nailbomb, Godflesh or anything from Tom G Warrior, give this one a listen – twelve tracks of industrialised, punk-tinged doom.
Elysian Divide – debut single/album
The London/Herts-based melodic metallers release their long-awaited debut album on May 18th, with a new single being released ahead of this tomorrow (Friday 11th May) titled ‘Love Is War’, which also features a live version of ‘Destruction’ as a b-side. Elysian have been doing well in this year’s Metal 2 The Masses tournament (the competition that offers bands a chance to play at the world-famous Bloodstock Festival), as they play a semi-final of Hitchin’s branch of the tournament at Club 85 on Sunday 20th May.
St Fenton The Tainted – debut album released
St Fenton The Tainted, the duo comprised of Gilla Bruja/Phlefonyaar mainman Paul March and Outright Resistance’s drummer Michael O’Neill, have recently released their debut album ‘Jaw Of The Tyrant Hills’, which has been getting a lot of praise from music sites recently. Produced by Everest Queen’s frontman Adam C Taylor (who also handled the new Jackal’s Backbone material), it’s a dark, sludgy southern-tinged release that fans of their other bands will appreciate.
Skullfucked – new single out now
Those cheeky scamps in death/grind merchants Skullfucked recently relased a new track, sans any pre-release hype – check out the free download below.
VNDTA – new EP/videos
VNDTA (formerly Vendetta) have just released new EP ‘Pale Glow’, featuring a mix of new tracks alongside older revamped favourites from the new line-up, which now includes the recent addition Billy Howard on bass. They’ve released a trio of new videos for this over the past several months, which includes ‘Excuses’, below.
Spotify users can check the EP out at https://open.spotify.com/album/3PXL5E2bcN8NbrX0wojxvQ
Prysmcrypt – debut track now streaming
Local techno-industrial act Prysmcrypt have posted their first track ‘Unsatisfy’ on Youtube. It’s early days for these guys at the moment, but this debut offering shows some promise – watch out for further tracks coming soon.
Earthbound – CD release/new video
Promising new melodic death metallers Earthbound have recently released a CD version of debut EP ‘Endure’, now available at gigs. They’ve also released a lyric video for the track ‘Finches’, now on their Youtube site at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eadNPyhcJA. Check out their full EP below.
That’s all for now, enjoy this heavy eight, there’ll be more soon.
May 10, 2018 | Categories: Music, Writing | Tags: british music, death metal, extreme metal, grindcore, heavy metal, hertfordshire, industrial, metal, Music, reviews, sludge, underground music scene | Leave a comment
Herts sludgers release their debut album
1. Chugganaught (Barry Chuggle)
2. Beer Fueled Boogie Blues
3. Acid Binge Hate Crime
4. Your Favorite Party Banger
5. Banger? I Hardly Even Know Her
6. Blob Gobler
7. The Internal Monologue Of A Junkie Longing For Their Next Fix
9. Get Cut
North-Herts based metallers Slaine have recently released this, their debut album ‘Get Cut’, and made it available as a free download. Featuring nine tracks of intense metal blending sludge, grindcore and death metal, there’s enough here to appeal to fans of any of the subgenres that make up Slaine’s sound, from the southern-tinged groove of ‘Beer Fueled Boogie Blues’ to the grinding UKDM riff’s in ‘Mudslut’ and the pounding sludge of the closer and title-track. If you like your metal deep-fried and shot-through with a dark sense of humour, give this album a listen.
‘Get Cut’ will also be Slaine’s last release for the foreseeable future, as the band have now gone on hiatus, whilst their members concentrate on their other bands Skullfucked and Mind Mourner. Grab it from Bandcamp at the link below.
For fans of: early Napalm Death, Brutal Truth, Trigger The Bloodshed
December 12, 2017 | Categories: Music, Writing | Tags: bandcamp, british music, death metal, download, extreme metal, free music, heavy metal, hertfordshire, Music, review, sludge, UKDM, underground music scene, unsigned | Leave a comment
First video outing from returning death metallers
Reactivated UKDM act Corpsing have recently released their first video for the track ‘Bloated Enigma’. Taken from the EP ‘Regnum’, the first new materal since the 2007’s ‘The Stench Of Humanity’ album, the band have wasted little time in picking up where they left off, having already played at this year’s Bloodstock festival.
The ‘Regnum’ EP also features a number of guest appearances from other members of the UK’s extreme metal scene – Edd Amos of Damim, Jason Mendonca of Akercocke/Voices, J Lucifer Christ of Met-stasis/Ted Maul, and longtime drummer Nick Plews’s former Aghast bandmates James Anson and Daniel Henderson (the latter of whom has since joined as a full-time member on bass) on their Emporer cover.
Joe Collins – Vocals
Giuseppe Cutispoto – Rhythm guitar/Bass
Mick Cutispoto – Rhythm/Lead and Spanish guitars/Bass
Nick Plews – Drums
The full EP can be streamed/downloaded from Bandcamp at https://corpsingmetal.bandcamp.com/album/regnum
Corpsing’s next live appearance will be at this Halloween gig in Hitchin.
October 11, 2017 | Categories: Music, Writing | Tags: Corpsing, death metal, EP, extreme metal, heavy metal, metal, Music, music blog, music video, UKDM, underground music scene, video | Leave a comment
Herts alt-rock trio revived
Herts-based trio Lost Without Cause are back with their new EP (and guitarist), ‘Revival’, their first new material in six years. Having parted ways amicably with former guitarist Andy Holland, they’re now joined by Tony Stead, and are set to get back on the live circuit to play the new tracks soon.
The past few years have seen the trio go through their own ups and downs, and this is reflected in these new tracks; whilst they haven’t lost their bounce and ear for a catchy riff, there’s also dashes of cynicism and introspection, but coupled with a sense of determination. Rather then let the dark times overpower them, LWC have used them to push themselves forward. ‘Depleted’ is the liveliest track here, opening with the sort of punchy riff that longtime fans will appreciate, whilst ‘Teardrops And Cigarettes’ shows them at their most restrained and reflective, a slower track that features a nice solo from Stead.
3. Teardrops and Cigarettes
4. Another End
Lost Without Cause have always been a band with the potential to go far – here’s hoping ‘Revival’ puts them back on the radar.
‘Revival’ will be released on October 10th, available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and other platforms.
If you’re unfamiliar with LWC’s previous material, here’s a couple of examples from the previous release ‘Take Back Everything’ – first, ‘Trigger’, currently sitting on over 217,000 views. Below that, EP highlight ‘You Won’t know’.
For fans of: Fall Out Boy, Less Than Jake, Linkin Park, All American Rejects
October 9, 2017 | Categories: Music, Writing | Tags: alt-rock, alternative, british music, EP, Lost Without Cause, Music, music blog, pop-punk, pop-rock, review, rock music, unsigned | Leave a comment
Check out the Pattonesque ‘Pariah Messiah’
Ritual, the new North Herts-based metal act, have just released the video for their debut track ‘Pariah Messiah’, which you can watch below. A somber, down-tempo track with a sludgy riff, it’s the first taste of things to come – imagine Faith No More jamming with Mastodon and you’ll be in the right area. Though the band itself may only be around six months old, the members themselves are no strangers to the local music scene, as they’ve also played in some of the area’s top metal bands, such as Skrugg, The Wolves Of Avalon (both of which are also active), Blackeye, Seize The Day and Gilla Bruja, among others.
Like what you hear? Grab it here –
Ritual play their debut gig at Club 85 in Hitchin on Friday 29th September, where they’ll join headline act GraVil, Elysian Divide and The Mantis Divine.
For fans of: Faith No More, Mastodon, Boss Keloid, The Dillinger Escape Plan, anything sludgy
September 19, 2017 | Categories: Music | Tags: british music, debut, doom metal, download, heavy metal, metal, Music, music video, sludge, underground, underground music scene, video | Leave a comment
Occasionally, we like to understand the words. What?
Everyone knows that metal in its various forms is often a dark, angry genre of music, a genre that has often come under fire for allegedly inciting violence and encouraging ‘bad’ behaviour. What many may not though, and perhaps what some within the metal circles may forget, is that metal/heavy rock can often be the complete opposite of what it’s known for; sometimes, it can show some restraint. Sometimes, it wants to grab a drink with friends. Sometimes, it just wants to slow down, relax and chill the hell out. Know what I mean? For those who know, no examples are needed. For those still need further proof, get your ears around these.
A Perfect Circle – Magdalena
Pepper from Tool’s other band, taken from the album ‘Mer De Noms’. Utterly ethereal.
Apocalyptica – On The Rooftop With Quasimodo
Possibly my most favourite instrumental of all time. Taken from the album ‘7th Symphony’.
Deftones – You’ve Seen The Butcher
It’s no secret that this band have their quieter moments, but this is just one example. Sultry. Taken from the album ‘Koi No Yakan’.
Opeth – Face Of Melinda
Taken from the album ‘Still Life’. The perfect song doesn’t exi-
Theatre Of Tragedy – Siren
Just utterly relaxing though. Taken from the album ‘Aegis’.
Korn – Helmet In The Bush
A trippy moment from their debut album.
Fear Factory – Never End (original version)
A version that some might not have heard, as it differs from the version released on ‘Obsolete’.
(Check out the later version here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LWsLtceV5Y)
Def Leppard – Hysteria
Okay so maybe I’m cheating here as DF are known for having a more radio-friendly vibe, but this is the title track of one of the most ultimate party rock albums ever.
Pantera – Planet Caravan
A Black Sabbath cover, but there’s just something special about this version. Taken from the album ‘Far Beyond Driven’.
The Gathering – On Most Surfaces
This band had a habit of writing ethereal, lifting music. Taken from the album ‘Nighttime Birds’.
Cradle Of Filth – Nymphetamine Fix
Displaying their more gothic elements, perhaps the first time COF demonstrated their restrained side. Taken from the album ‘Nymphetamine’.
Talanas – Beloved Whore
An atmosperic track, taken from the prog/death metallers’ 7″ single.
Type O Negative – Christian Woman
A band who influenced many of those listed above. Wine-soaked goth. Taken from the album ‘Bloody Kisses’.
Tesseract – April
Could pretty much dive anywhere randomly into their discography for an example. Taken from the album ‘One’.
There are plenty of other tracks out there worth investigating (‘My Ruin’ by Sevendust sprang to mind whilst completing this), go listen, enjoy, and chill out!
Punk/metal hybrid with a divine sound
Nadia Maria – vocals
Kim Young – guitar
Lee Warren – bass
Greg Anderson – drums
This is The Mantis Divine, a Herts-based quartet who’ve been gigging around their home county recently and looking to go further. Though the band has been together for less than a year, their members have previously played in bands such as Sink Or Swim, Swamp Pussy and St Stella, so have already got experience behind them. The fact that they only narrowly missed out on proceeding further in the current Metal 2 The Masses competition (for this year’s Bloodstock Festival) speaks volumes about their potential.
TMD have got the whole package – frontwoman Nadia can easily switch from smooth and melodic to call-to-action punk vocals in a heartbeat, guitarist Kim is an incredibly talented player who knows how to write a solid riff, whilst rhythm section Lee and Greg add a groove and punch to the whole thing.
Check out the lyric video for the ‘To Hell’, available on their demo CD. For a reference point – imagine if Atari Teenage Riot went full punk-rock….
Here’s what others from the music scene have to say about them:
“An exciting young band with a lot of potential for the future, catchy riffs and powerful vocals.” – Bruce Hamilton, Gevaudan
“A passionate, curiously successful fusion of metal and punk.” – Brad Smith, Nineteensquared Promotions
“With a profusion of low-end tone and deep sounding heavy riffage, MD does a fine job in combining grubby punk rock with a distinctive creepy Melvinsesque sludge sound. Hold onto your heads!” – Gary Payne, Neverworld/The Graven Sign
Their demo CD is currently available at live gigs (and whilst stock lasts, you can grab a free t-shirt too). With a tight sound and a professional attitude, The Mantis Divine are worth some attention. For further info/bookings, please get in touch at the links below.
For fans of: L7, Atari Teenage Riot, Kittie, The Unknownn, Babes In Toyland
Groove-injected extreme metal from North Herts
Nathan Draper – vocals
Becca Swinney – bass
Jake Eaton – drums
Mitch Boost – guitar
Odin Long – guitar
Jackal’s Backbone are a North Herts-based metal act, recently boosted to a five-piece, who have already gone down well with Herts’ metal fans and are looking to go further.
Blending death metal, sludge and grindcore influences, JB have proven themselves to be solid live performers and built a loyal local fanbase, and will be playing their first London date at Camden’s popular Fiddler’s Elbow on April 5th. They currently have one EP available on Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify and other outlets, and are currently working on a follow-up. Extreme metal with a sense of groove, Jackal’s Backbone are recommended to any fans of the various sub-genres.
Here’s a handful of opinions about them from other members of the local scene:
“Their new expanded lineup only foresees promising things on the horizon. Faster, heavier and raunchier”. – Mark, Praetorian
“Heavy with a groove, always an energetic show.” – Jim, Skrugg/Phlefonyaar
“Jackal’s Backbone is a band that you have to see live to fully experience the power and intensity they bring to their specific brand of metal. It is surely a thing to behold, with Nathan’s extremely wide vocal range and Jake’s impossibly tight and tasteful blast beats.” – Joe, Dorylus
Jackal’s Backbone are one of four bands set to play at this weekend’s Metal 2 The Masses tournament heat at Club 85, Hitchin, vying for a place at this year’s Bloodstock Festival.
For fans of: Napalm Death, Brutal Truth, Discharge
For further information on new releases and live dates, and for booking queries, please get in touch at the links below.
The riffs that started it all
Partly inspired by that ’10 albums from your teens’ post that was trending on Facebook recently, I’ve been thinking back to the tracks that acted as a springboard to the bands and genres I’ve become interested in since, and decided to gather them together. Here they all are – I’ve done my best to list them in the order that I became introduced, but I can’t be sure on the exact order after all this time.
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
I’m sure we’ve all reenacted that scene from Wayne’s World at some point. Party on.
Def Leppard – Let’s Get Rocked
Their cover of ‘Action’ also deserves a mention. One of their previous albums, ‘Hysteria’, has since become one of my favourite albums.
Guns ‘n’ Roses – You Could Be Mine
I think it’s this song that helped me develop an appreciation for building intros.
Michael Jackson – Give In To Me feat. Slash
I was already listening to Michael Jackson before I got into rock music. The riffs in this song took me further.
En Vogue – Free Your Mind
This one might surprise a few people. It’s overlooked by the rock community/press, but in my opinion is actually better than a lot of the proper attempts at ‘crossover’ tracks from other artists.
Soul Asylum – Runaway Train
My introduction to grunge. Don’t listen to it much these days. Be warned, this video is a little heavy going, given the subject matter, but it did help in finding many missing people.
H-Blockx – Move
I’d actually forgotten about this one until, well, writing this. I’ve got the single somewhere.
Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun
Another amongst the first grunge tracks I got into. It would be a little while before I also got into the likes of Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots.
Die Krupps – Isolation
My introduction to industrial music, think I first heard it on Ray Cokes’s ‘Most Wanted’ show, back when MTV played music.
Metallica – One
The first time I ever knowingly listened to them, and it blew me away. To date I still regard this as one of the greatest metal tracks ever.
Mutha’s Day Out – Green
Well, I could post the whole album, as they were one of the first rock/metal bands I got into. A guy I knew at the time recorded this on to a tape for me, and on the b-side of that tape was a mix of things, which included the aforementioned Soundgarden track, Pearl Jam’s ‘Go’, and also….
Biohazard – Love Denied
….this track. At the time, I wasn’t even aware that there was a genre of heavy music known as ‘hardcore’, but this was my introduction to that form of metal.
So there they are, my first steps into heavy music. I had no idea at the time just how important those steps would become.
New noise from Herts headbangers
Morri Haig – Guitar
Fred Jessop – Vocals
Jordan Allard – Drums
Max Hummerstone – Bass
Herts-based quartet Skullfucked have just released their debut album ‘Blasphemy’, available now from Bandcamp. Combining death metal and grindcore with groove, a punk attitude and a twisted sense of humour, ‘Blasphemy’ literally goes up to 11.
Sounding reminiscent of the sort of albums being released by Earache Records during the 90s (I could actually imagine them snapping this band up, had they been around back then), this is recommended to fans of old school death metal and British extreme metal. Behind every NSFW song title there’s some (almost) no-nonsense intensity, with tracks like the brooding ‘Impending Foetal Doom’ and ‘Bloody Tissues Daddy Issues’, and the riffy closing self-titled track, continuing the metal tradition of ending with the longest track.
Skullfucked will be headlining an album launch party at The Red Lion, Stevenage on Friday 16th December, with support from Phlefonyaar, FSI and Praetorian. Entry is free.
‘Blasphemy’ is available now from Bandcamp at https://skullfuckedbgka.bandcamp.com/album/blasphemy, with a CD release coming soon.
For fans of: Obituary, Carcass, Earache Records, 90s death metal