UKBM act discuss their roots, Mozart and Alan Moore
UK black metallers Denigrata were recently interviewed by famed rock DJ/host Johnny Doom, for his Amp’d show. Here they discuss how they formed, playing their album launch in a 900 year old church, the classical music influence and their debut video, which plays at the end of the interview.
One of the most interesting bands I’ve encountered over the past 12 months, Denigrata’s sound is a unique take on black metal, with symphonic and electronic elements. If you’ve not heard it yet, here’s the debut album, which I reviewed last year (link below).
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
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
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
Intense new compilation/fundraiser for mental health charities
Glasgow-based collective ripcord have released an intense 22 track compilation of UKHC, punk and metal acts, ‘RE:MIND Vol 1’, to raise money for two mental health charities – Mind, and the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH). Featuring acts such as Svalbard, Ithaca, Pariso, Rope Spasm, No Honour and World Weary amongst many others, it is available to download now via Bandcamp for just £4. ‘RE:MIND Vol 1’ is not only a great way of raising funds for worthy causes, it is also an impressive showcase of the UK’s underground heavy music scene – useful to anyone looking for new bands to listen to.
This is just the first of a planned series of compilations from ripcord – head over to their Facebook page (linked below) for further updates and releases.
February 11, 2015 | Categories: Music | Tags: album, alt-rock, alternative, bandcamp, charity, download, EP, extreme, fundraiser, grassroots, heavy, mental health, metal, Music, punk, ripcord, rock, UK, UKHC, underground, underground music scene, unsigned | 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