New music from Oxford sludge quartet
2. Hippy Crack
Tom Greenway – vocals/guitar
Taz Corona-Brown – vocals/guitar
Olly Corona-Brown – bass
Stephen Frame – drums
Drore, the Oxford-based act featuring members of Undersmile and Crippled Black Phoenix, have just released their debut EP ‘TapeOne’, posted below. With a sound that takes the members away from their other jobs, TapeOne features four tracks of intense, atmospheric sludgey-noise that will also appeal to fans of doom and post-metal.
Whilst CBP and Undersmile deal with more progressive and slow-burning build-ups, Drore are much more immediate and direct, whilst still maintaining the latter’s darkness and that sense of atmosphere. This is angry sludgey doom in a neon package – watch out for live gigs.
For fans of: Torpor, Steak Number Eight, Hang The Bastard, Windhand
Debut visual release from UKBM act
UK black metallers Denigrata have released their debut video for the track ‘Kyrie Eleison’, which is taken from last year’s awesome debut album ‘Missa Defunctorum: Requiem Mass in A Minor’.
The video, which was premiered this week via the UK’s leading extreme metal magazine Terrorizer, also features a cameo appearance from acclaimed writer Alan Moore (Watchmen, V For Vendetta), whom the band met through mutual interests in their home town Northampton.
For more of their multi-faceted sound, check out the entire album here, available as a download and CD:
My review of the album – Denigrata – ‘Missa Defunctorum: Requiem Mass in A Minor’ review
May 25, 2016 | Categories: Music | Tags: band, black metal, download, extreme, heavy, heavy metal, industrial, metal, Music, promo, UK, UKBM, underground, underground music scene, unsigned, video | 1 Comment
Recent rumblings in the underground music scene
A round-up of recent releases I haven’t had time to blog about in more detail over the festive period.
Bad Pollyanna – new album
UK rockers Bad Pollyanna have just released their second album ‘The Broken Toys’, available now via their website. Immediately engaging and dramatic, ‘The Broken Toys’ has a varied sound that might appeal to a broad range of audiences, from the electro-rock/goth crowd, to fans of 80s post-punk – imagine an act somewhere between Toyah, Evanescence, The Birthday Massacre and The Dirty Youth, and you’d be getting close. Coming as a result of a successful Pledgemusic campaign, and getting strong reviews everywhere in the rock press, 2016 may just be Bad Pollyanna’s year.
A solid album that features some catchy tunes (highlights include ‘Define Me’, ‘Hooks’ and ‘Ugly Love”) with little filler, ‘The Broken Toys’ is available now as a digipak CD and digital download at http://shop.badpollyanna.com/album/the-broken-toys, live gigs and other digital outlets.
Toy Birds – new EP
Toy Birds, featuring The October Game’s drummer Ollie Taylor as frontman, have released their debut self-titled EP. Having offered a preview of their sound with the track ‘These Eyes’ earlier this, the band have now expanded on this with these five tracks, with an electronic-pop sound not a million miles away from some of the popular acts of the 80s – if you’re into pop in the A-Ha/Paul Young/Nik Kershaw vein, give this a listen.
Dorylus – debut tracks
London/Herts-based metallers Dorylus have released their debut EP, two tracks from which are streaming now over at Reverbnation. Having formed less than a year ago, the band have been gigging since May and winning fans with a melodic-death metal sound that would appeal to fans of the likes of Lamb Of God, Meshuggah, In Flames and DevilDriver. The whole EP is out on iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Googleplay and other outlets.
The Tuesday Club – new EPs
St Albans post-punk/glampop crew The Tuesday Club have recently released EPs 3 and 4 for this year’s set of releases. Titled ‘Lady Gargar’ and ‘Boo Hoo’ respectively, both EPs comprise of three tracks each and are available now via their website. These complete the set of four releases which make up their second album.
Despite recently losing a couple of members (The Minx and J-Rod), the band look set to continue as a five-piece for 2016.
The Wolves Of Avalon – new single/album
Pagan-black metallers The Wolves Of Avalon released a two-track vinyl single a few months ago, and are currently working on the release of their next album for 2016. The A-side of their single is a cover of Venom’s track ‘Die Hard’ and features guest vocal appearances from Rob Miller of Amebix, Mirai Kawashima of Sigh, Alan Averill of Primordial and Venom’s own Mantas guesting on vocals and guitar. The B-side, ‘Carrion Crows Reprise’ is an alternate version of a track originally featured on their first album. Released via Eternal Death Records, available on their Bandcamp site.
The next album, to be titled ‘Across A Twilight Field Of Corpses Grey, Only The Trilling Of Nightingales Can Be Heard’ , is currently scheduled for a May 2016 release via Godreah Records.
December 27, 2015 | Categories: Music, Random, Writing | Tags: 80s, album, alt-rock, alternative, Bad Pollyanna, band, bandcamp, black metal, death metal, Dorylus, download, electronic, electronic pop, entertainment, EP, extreme, glam rock, goth, gothic, metal, mp3, Music, new CD, pagan, post-punk, review, rock, The Tuesday Club, The Wolves Of Avalon, Toy Birds, UK, underground, underground music scene, unsigned | Leave a comment
Beautifully chaotic debut from UK metallers
1. Requiem Aeturnam
2. Kyrie Eleison
3. Dies Irae
4. Rex Tremendae
5. Confutatis Maledictis
7. Agnus Dei
Denigrata Herself – vocals/guitar
Manea – keys/vocals
Cændél – guitar
Legivn – bass/vocals
Tasìmengyì – ‘timbrel alchemist’
Ever heard an album so varied in its influences and sounds, full of calculated chaos and heaviness, that it defied a simple description? Denigrata’s debut album ‘Missa Defunctorum: Requiem Mass in A Minor’ is such an album. Comfortably encompassing black metal, industrial, goth and symphonic metal all at once, in such a way that it could also potentially qualify as progressive metal too (unless that’s just confusing matters further), it’s an incredibly adventurous extreme metal release. For an attempt at a simple breakdown, imagine for a moment, if members of The Berzerker, Cradle Of Filth and Nightwish collaborated on a Tim Burton soundtrack with Devin Townsend – you’d possibly get something similar to this.
Rather than provide a track-by-track breakdown, I’d suggest having a listen – it’s better heard than described! From the slow-building Blade Runner-esque intro of ‘Requiem Aeturnam’ and ‘Kyrie Eleison’ (available as a free download from their Bandcamp site) to the all-out operatic onslaught of closer ‘Agnus Dei’, the thought and production that has gone into this is incredible.
‘Missa Defunctorum….’ is like the perfect soundtrack to a gothic horror movie, all at once dark yet beautiful in its seamless flow of ideas, with the level of extremity you’d expect from a black metal album.
Denigrata’s ‘Missa Defunctorum: Requiem Mass in A Minor’ is available now via Bandcamp as a digital download and CD at https://denigrata.bandcamp.com/releases, and on CD at live events.
For fans of: The Berzerker, Apocalyptica, Strapping Young Lad, Cradle Of Filth, The Birthday Massacre, Emperor
Note: ‘Kyrie Eleison’ was also included on my recent metal mixtape, which can be downloaded for free with 17 other tracks from https://musikalsin.bandcamp.com/album/musikal-sin-mixtape-vol-5-metal-without-boundaries.
December 22, 2015 | Categories: Music | Tags: album, band, bandcamp, black metal, Denigrata, download, extreme, heavy, industrial, metal, Music, new CD, operatic, progressive, review, rock, UK, UKBM, underground, underground music scene, unsigned | 2 Comments
Bringing one hell of a storm on their second album
1. Blood And Rust
2. No Redemption
4. Bad Blood
5. Unto Me
7. No Return
8. Off The Edge
9. Cross To Bear
10.Voice Of Demons
11.Psychokiller (Talking Heads cover)
Jimi Brown – Vocals
Ash Smith – Guitar
Dom Wallace – Guitar
Darren McCullagh – Bass
Jon Paul Quantrill – Drums
UK metallers Stormbringer have been around for a few years now and already proven themselves worthy of attention and festival slots, having previously played at Download and Bloodstock. Having had the pleasure of booking these guys earlier this year and hearing what their new vocalist was capable of, I was eager to hear what ‘Blood And Rust’, Stormbringer’s first album with new frontman Jimi Brown (and second overall), had to offer. I was not disappointed.
Following the instrumental intro, Stormbringer tear into ‘No Redemption’, a catchy track with some classic rock swagger and meaty riffs. Tracks ‘Rise’ and ‘Bad Blood’ have both been released as promo videos, posted below, and are worth looking out for if you’re just as equally comfortable listening to both contemporary melodic metal and classic rock stadium acts. The chorus to ‘Unto Me’ is likely to lodge itself into your brain for days after listening, and goes down well in the live environment too (look out for it on a Bandcamp mixtape I’m releasing soon). Moving further into the album, it becomes difficult to pick out any favourites over the others as the quality presented here is consistently high, with ‘Ashamed’, ‘No Return’, ‘Off The Edge’ and ‘Cross To Bear’ all deserving some ear time, but one thing does become obvious: they made the right choice in picking Jimi Brown as their new frontman, his voice is phenomenal and fits in perfectly in what was already a finely-tuned act. Want hooks, catchy choruses and solid solos? This album’s packed with them. Penultimate track ‘Voice Of Demons’is nothing short of a nostalgia trip; reminiscent of a time when MTV used to play rock music, when bands such as Alice In Chains, Skid Row and Queensryche could be seen on Headbangers Ball and the like – this sounds exactly like the sort of thing you’d see playlisted, with its darker heartfelt lyrics, almost ethereal riffs and passionate vocals. Ending with something out of the leftfield, their cover of Talking Head’s ‘Psychokiller’ is an interesting track, one they’ve successfully managed to put their own stamp on – rather than sticking out as an odd track, it works well alongside the rest of the album.
Full of highlights and lacking any ‘filler’, ‘Blood And Rust’ is recommended to pretty much anyone who likes solid rock with a decent tune, those looking for a rock act who’ve disregarded any and all modern trends, and those who’ve been passionate about all forms of rock and metal over the past 30-40 years. A potential future classic.
The video for ‘Bad Blood’, the first to be released –
The video for ‘Rise’ –
Stormbringer’s ‘Blood And Rust’ is available now via Attic Records on iTunes at http://bit.ly/SBMMXIII, and on CD at
http://atticrecordsuk.bigcartel.com/product/stormbringer-album-cd-blood-rust and at live gigs.
For fans of: Skid Row, Buckcherry, Def Leppard, Galactic Cowboys, Fozzy, Testament
November 29, 2015 | Categories: Music | Tags: album, band, classic rock, heavy, heavy metal, heavy rock, metal, Music, new CD, review, rock, Stormbringer, UK, underground, underground music scene | Leave a comment
Fiery second EP from Herts metallers
1. Hell In A Cell
2. From The Darkest Place
3. Whiskey And Nicotine
Joe Savage – vocals/guitar
Tommy Savage – bass/backing vocals
Ant Pinnell – guitar/backing vocals
Dave Ward – drums
‘Hell In A Cell’ is the second EP from North Herts metal quartet Kill Confirmed, the follow-up to last year’s ‘Descend’ EP. If you like no-nonsense headbanging metal that doesn’t conform to trends, you’ve come to the right place.
Opening track ‘Hell In A Cell’ doesn’t waste any time with a long intro or build-up, instead opting to grab the listener’s attention straight away with a solid riff and kickdrum combo that’s likely to become a firm live favourite soon – this one might appeal to fans of Stone Sour’s heavier moments. ‘From The Darkest Place’ is a little more restrained but injects some groove, and demonstrates how far the band has come in both confidence and writing; vocalist Joe Savage’s clean vocals are sounding stronger than ever, and the band are sounding tighter as a unit – this may just be the one that gets them noticed further afield. Closer ‘Whiskey And Nicotine’ has a Maiden-esque riff that would appeal to the old school crowd, without sounding dated or like a mere clone of what’s come before, demonstrating KC’s knack of blending older and contemporary influences to create something that could appeal right across the board.
At a relatively young age, Kill Confirmed are already producing strong material that demonstrates both growth and the potential to appeal to a larger fanbase – these guys are ready to stake a claim as a band to watch out for in the UK’s’ underground metal scene. ‘Hell In A Cell’ is the EP they needed to make, and deserves to be heard. Here’s hoping for a full-length album further down the line.
‘Whiskey And Nicotine’ on Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udaDkZav0HE
The ‘Hell In A Cell’ EP will be available from November 1st as a download from the band’s Bandcamp site at https://killconfirmed.bandcamp.com, or on CD at live gigs.
For fans of: Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, Iron Maiden, Machine Head, Stone Sour
October 29, 2015 | Categories: Music | Tags: band, bandcamp, CD, download, EP, heavy, hertfordshire, Herts, Kill Confirmed, metal, mp3, Music, new CD, rock, thrash, underground, underground music scene, unsigned | Leave a comment
Post-punk with a modern twist
1. Forbidden Kiss
2. Cities Alive
3. One Idea And A Lonely Voice
Imagine if you blended glam-pop-rockers Do Me Bad Things with Adam And The Ants, threw in some Kaiser Chief-style group chants and gave it all a 80s post-punk coating – you’ll then get St Albans’ rockers The Tuesday Club, presenting here their latest EP, ‘Forbidden Kiss’.
The second in a themed series of EPs (with a third coming very soon), the EP comprises of the title track and two new tracks, with the CD set to become a part of an eventual 4 x EP boxset. You can check out the official video for ‘Forbidden Kiss’ below. Whilst the main song is a lively slice of pop-punk, the real star here in my opinion is second track ‘Cities Alive’; easily one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard in the past 12 months, having originally heard this on their Soundcloud profile I already knew the EP would be worth getting for this track. Infectious and worth hitting the repeat button for. Closer ‘One Idea And A Lonely Voice’ is a slightly edgier track with a quirky side, keeping things interesting and suggesting it’s worth keeping a look-out for the forthcoming next EP.
The ‘Forbidden Kiss’ EP is available digitally at The Tuesday Club’s online shop at http://thetuesdayclub.tmstor.es/cart/product.php?id=25308, and on limited edition CD at live gigs.
Their full-length debut album ‘See You Next Tuesday’ is also available as a download, CD and vinyl from the website and at gigs.
For fans of: Do Me Bad Things, Kaiser Chiefs, Adam And The Ants, Blur, 80s post-punk
September 17, 2015 | Categories: Music | Tags: 80s, alt-rock, alternative, band, CD, download, EP, Herts, Music, new CD, pop, pop-punk, post-punk, punk, rock, The Tuesday Club, underground, underground music scene, unsigned | Leave a comment
New sludge from Herts quintet
1. Insect Whore
2. Sanity Of A Madman
3. I Spit On Your Grave
4. Isolation Trip
William Jennings – vocals
Jim Males – guitar
Sam Farrington – guitar
Sammie Donnelly – drums
Jimmy Long – bass
Herts-based sludge quintet Skrugg have just released their eagerly-awaited debut EP, ‘Asylum Mist’. Formerly known as Lord Shrugg and featuring three former members of the promising but short-lived doom act Burn The Yeti (and two currently from black metallers The Graven Sign, who’ve also just released a new EP), members have also previously played in acts such as Gilla Bruja, Wrongly Accused, Zebediah Crowe and Wyndforge, so these guys are no mere newcomers to the scene.
Featuring five tracks of dark, dirty sludge metal, ‘Asylum Mist’ is the result of several months’ hard work and, combined with their touring schedule which is already seeing them getting booked for underground festivals, should see Skrugg expand their fanbase further. Including established live favourites such as ‘Insect Whore’ and ‘Isolation Trip’, this is filthy down-tuned sludge that even non-fans of this particular subgenre could into, with its heavy yet catchy groove-injected riffs, intense vocal delivery, one almighty hook of an opening track and all the elements required for a solid metal release.
‘Asylum Mist’ is available now to download via Bandcamp at http://skrugg.bandcamp.com/, or on CD at live gigs.
For fans of: Down, Crowbar, Nailbomb, Sepultura
Live photo courtesy of Chris Woor Photography.
September 1, 2015 | Categories: Music | Tags: band, bandcamp, CD, debut ep, download, EP, extreme, heavy, hertfordshire, Herts, live music, metal, Music, new CD, review, Skrugg, sludge, underground, underground music scene, unsigned | Leave a comment
New releases from UK prog-death metallers
West Midlands metallers Rannoch have just released the video to their track ‘Age Of The Locust’, originally featured on their album ‘Between Two Worlds’. In addition to this, they’ve also announced that they plan to release a new EP of previously unavailable material. Also entitled ‘Age Of The Locust’, this EP will feature this track and various others written during the album sessions but never released, in an updated and re-recorded state.
The ‘Age Of The Locust’ EP will be released digitally on September 14th via Eulogy Media, and will also feature guest appearances from Sabbat/Skyclad frontman Martin Walkyier (with whom members of Rannoch also perform in his current Skyclad line-up) and James Stephenson of The Black Stymphalian. The artwork has been produced by Kishor Haulenbeek, of US metal act Black Harvest.
You can listen to/download the ‘Between Two Worlds’ album here – https://rannoch-uk.bandcamp.com.
My review of the album was posted here – https://thursdayaddams.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/rannoch-between-two-worlds-review/.
August 21, 2015 | Categories: Music | Tags: band, bandcamp, death metal, download, EP, Eulogy Media, extreme, heavy, metal, Music, prog, progressive, Rannoch, UK, UKDM, underground, underground music scene, unsigned | Leave a comment
Not feeling old now or anything
Two 90s metal albums, both key albums during my teens, are now twenty years old – wow. These are Korn’s classic self-titled debut, and Fear Factory’s immense second album, ‘Demanufacture’. Both albums have been celebrated by critics and fans alike, with the anniversaries of both being marked by album performance tours.
When ‘Korn’ debuted, it was a true revelation, not only because it spawned an entire new genre of heavy music, but because that, thanks to frontman Jonathan Davis’s brutally open and honest lyrics, they were genuinely relatable. Oh and they were the first (only?) band to include bagpipes in their material.
Fear Factory’s ‘Demanufacture’ helped them become genre champions, pretty much laughing in the face of that old ‘difficult second album’ problem faced by many bands, and still sounds just as sharp and immediate as ever.
Another thing both albums have in common – the buzz their intro tracks both create for the listener. Have a listen to Korn’s ‘Blind’ and the title song for ‘Demanufacture’ for proof.
Special mention should also go FF’s labelmates Machine Head’s debut album ‘Burn My Eyes’ – twenty years old last year, and in my opinion, still their strongest album.
People aren’t always full of praise when referring to metal from the 90s – perhaps they’re forgetting about the existence of these three albums? Not to mention Sepultura’s ‘Chaos AD’ and ‘Roots’. Or Pantera’s ‘Cowboys Fom Hell’ and ‘A Vulgar Display Of Power’. Or White Zombie’s ‘Astro Creep 2000’. Or Metallica’s self-titled (‘Black’) album…. I could go on. Another blog entry maybe!
July 19, 2015 | Categories: Music, Writing | Tags: 90s, album, alternative, band, CD, Demanufacture, Fear Factory, heavy, industrial, Korn, Machine Head, metal, nu-metal, Roadrunner Records, rock | Leave a comment