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
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.
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
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
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
Blackened concept album from ex-Akercocke members
Dan Abela – bass/producer
David Gray (Akercocke/My Dying Bride) – drums
Peter Benjamin (Akercocke) – vocals, guitars
David Loynes (Akercocke/Diminished Fifth) – guitars
01. Suicide Note
02. Music For The Recently Bereaved
03. The Actress
04. Vicarious Lover
06. Imaginary Sketches of A Poisoned man
07. The Antidote
08. The FuckTrance
10. The House Of Black Light
11. The Final Portrait Of The Artist
12. Last Train Victoria Line
13. The Ultimate Narcissist
14. Cold Harbour Lane
Another album I’m finally catching up with – ‘London’, the second album from Voices, the band comprising of former members of highly-regarded UK progressive death metallers Akercocke. Formed with the aim to create a more avant garde sound, ‘London’ makes for an interesting listen.
At its heart, ‘London’ is a black metal album, yet offers so much more than that. A concept album written about existence in our country’s capital, rich in texture and varied in sound, this album transcends the boundaries of BM to the point that it could appeal to fans of many subgenres of metal. Often switching between restrained acoustic passages and brutal riffs with intense drumming in a majestic death metal territory, interwoven with spoken word pieces and field recordings that provide a backbone for the album’s theme, tracks such as ‘Music For The Recently Bereaved’, ‘Vicarious Lover’ and ‘Hourglass’ are a satisfying experience for those who want more than just standard meat-and-potatoes metal. ‘Megan’ could even appeal to fans of tech-metal acts such as Textures, and ‘The House of Black Light’ is perhaps the greatest horror movie soundtrack yet-to-be, perfect for anyone who wants a slice of straight-up classic DM. Offering extremity and subtlety in equal measure, this is an ambitious, progessively-minded album, and one that deserves repeated listens to truly take it all in.
More than just a black metal album, ‘London’ is a richly-textured extreme metal album that pushes the envelope – fans of progessively-minded/adventurous heavy music should seek this one out.
Voices’ ‘London’ is available now via Candlelight Records at http://candlelightrecordsuk.bandcamp.com/album/london and iTunes, or on CD at http://www.plastichead.com//item.asp?ex=fitem&target=CANDLE487CD.
For fans of: Akercocke, My Dying Bride, Emporer, Textures, Tesseract, Talanas
May 27, 2015 | Categories: Music, Writing | Tags: Akercocke, album, band, bandcamp, black metal, CD, death metal, download, extreme, heavy, heavy metal, London, metal, Music, prog, progressive, review, rock, UK, UKDM, underground, underground music scene, Voices | Leave a comment
Complex and dramatic second album from British death metallers
1. Ethereal Organisms
2. At His Behest
4. Primal Revelations
5. The Fevered Spirit
7. The Whisperer
Paul Sadler – Vocals, lead, rhythm, acoustic and classical guitars, keyboards
Richard Corrie – Lead and rhythm guitars
Alex Jolley – Fretless bass
Chris Barnard – Drums
‘The Whisperer’, the second album from Manchester-based metallers Spires, has actually been out since November of last year, but it somehow missed my attention until recently, after a recommendation from a labelmate of theirs. I wasn’t disappointed.
Much like two of their labelmates Talanas and Rannoch, Spires specialise in an adventurous, more expansive take on death metal. Rather than bludgeon with constant brutality (which is no bad thing when done properly), they offer a more complex palette of sounds, alternating between heavy riffs and growls, and long melodic, twisting passages, with a strong, dramatic delivery. Despite only consisting of seven tracks, this album totals up at over an hour long, but manages to keep the listener interested by refusing to stick to one path for too long, and the delivery is faultless, with tight musicianship displayed and fascinating arrangements. Opening track ‘Ethereal Organisms’ contains more ideas than some bands will throw into an entire album, and middle track ‘Primal Revelations’ in particular might be of interest to fans of Opeth. Title track and album closer ‘The Whisperer’ also features a special guest appearance from Exivious/former Cynic guitarist Tymon Kruidenier, among other guests on the album. Ending the album on a high, Spires have managed to create an album as complete and accomplished as a band can hope for, with repeated listens required to take it all in.
‘The Whisperer’ offers up progressive, technical death metal with a gothic, almost operatic sense of drama, a genuine theatrical feel. I’ll be curious to hear what future releases from Spires bring.
‘The Whisperer’ is out now via Eulogy Media, as a limited edition digipak CD and digital download at http://spiresband.bandcamp.com/album/the-whisperer, and at live gigs.
For fans of: Opeth, Cradle Of Filth, Within Temptation, Ephel Duath, Triptykon, Gojira
May 20, 2015 | Categories: Music | Tags: album, band, bandcamp, CD, death metal, download, Eulogy Media, extreme, goth, heavy, metal, Music, musicians, prog, progressive, review, rock, Spires, technical, UK, UKDM, underground, underground music scene | Leave a comment
Rumblings from the underground music scene
There has been so much good music released this month – here’s some of what’s on offer!
Vendetta – new EP
North Herts metallers Vendetta have released a new 6-track demo EP ‘Illusions’, which they’ve made available as a free download via Bandcamp. Living up to the potential that was demonstrated when they released the track ‘Martyr’ some time ago, ‘Illusions’ is just pure intensity – anyone looking for new metal acts to listen to should definitely check this one out.
Toy Birds – new track
The October Game’s Ollie Taylor has released the first track from his new project Toy Birds, ‘These Eyes’. Very similar in sound to this solo album released back in 2012, ‘These Eyes’ is a catchy electronic pop number which hints at interesting things to come from Toy Birds.
Owen Stephen – new EP
Ollie’s TOG bandmate Owen Stephen has also just released his second EP, ‘Day & Night’. The follow-up to his debut EP ‘Just Dreaming’, that EP saw Owen win new fans on both sides of the Atlantic (when he toured the US with Ramin Karimloo), ‘Day & Night’ may well see him continue to do so.
Healyum – new video
Young Milton Keynes act Healyum have released a video for their track ‘Feels Good’, a song that will also be appearing in an upcoming episode of E4’s ‘Banana’ series. Formed by the trio of sisters Jeana and Katie and their brother Jed, this folk-pop act could be one to watch. ‘Feels Good’ appears on their EP ‘Fools Eyes’, available on iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon and Spotify.
White Line Diaries – new track
WLD have released yet another new track online, entitled ‘(Welcome To) The Circus’. Featuring backing tracks from funk rockers Indi & The Vegas, this continues their run of new tracks being released on a monthly basis (after ‘Hurricane Body’ and ‘Come Back To Mine’) as ‘Name your price’ downloads. Offering a heavier, edgier sound that still displays their knack for writing a catchy tune, these new tracks are highly recommended.
As You’re Falling – new track
Another metal act from North Herts, As You’re Falling, have just released a new track ‘Cry Of The Banshee’, which you can download for free from their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AsYoureFalling. These guys will also be releasing a new EP very soon.
February 7, 2015 | Categories: Music | Tags: alt-rock, alternative, band, bandcamp, death metal, deathcore, download, E4, electronic, entertainment, EP, extreme, folk, funk rock, grassroots, Healyum, heavy, hertfordshire, Herts, metal, Music, owen stephen, pop, review, rock, the october game, UK, underground, underground music scene, unsigned | Leave a comment