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
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
20 tracks of heaviness from the UK’s underground metal scene
I’ve recently compiled another online ‘mixtape’, which you can download for free from my Bandcamp profile at https://musikalsin.bandcamp.com/. Entitled ‘Extremities’, it was compiled and released to coincide with the first EXTREMITY night I held at Club 85 in Hitchin that same day, featuring acts from the heavier, darker ends of the UK’s underground metal scene. If you’re a fan of the heavier/more extreme ends of metal, of sub-genres such as grindcore, progressive death metal, sludge, doom or thrash (amongst others), then please check it out. I’ve posted it below, along with a track-by-track breakdown of all the tracks featured.
1. Sectioned – Parasite
Intense building intro. Imagine Neurosis meets The Dillinger Escape Plan.
Taken from the EP ‘Outlier’, available for free from http://sectioned.bandcamp.com/album/outlier. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sectioned/110534288996228
2. Rannoch – The Forgotten (edit)
8-string progressive death metal with dashes of black and tech metal.
Full-length version appears on the album ‘Between Two Worlds’, available from http://rannoch-uk.bandcamp.com as a digital download and limited edition two disc CD/DVD digipack via Eulogy Media. The official video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5oVoZsh6Kg. https://www.facebook.com/rannochband
3. Concave – Filthy Rotten Luck
Utter chaos in aural form.
Taken from the album ‘Back Down The Drain’, available for free from http://concave420.bandcamp.com/album/back-down-the-drain. https://www.facebook.com/concaveband
4. Boss Keloid – Skipper’s Pipes
Dark, catchy sludge goodness.
Taken from the album ‘The Calming Influence Of Teeth’, available from http://bosskeloid.bandcamp.com/ as a digital download and limited edition digipack CD. The official video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OrA_fT3-3A. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boss-Keloid/244839332562
5. Confessions Of A Traitor – The Blinded
Punishing metalcore, might appeal to fans of Lamb Of God and Meshuggah.
Taken from their self-titled debut EP, available for free from http://confessionsofatraitor.bandcamp.com/album/confessions-of-a-traitor. https://www.facebook.com/confessionsofatraitor/
6. Purging The Venom – The High Priest of Holocaust
Thrash meets old school death metal.
To be included on their next EP. Further tracks available from http://purgingthevenom.bandcamp.com/. https://www.facebook.com/PurgingTheVenomOfficial
7. Vendetta – Martyr
A new level of heaviness from the sole Herts-based band.
Previously unreleased – further tracks available from http://vendettamusicuk.bandcamp.com/. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vendetta/164586970287781
8. HorseBastard – Giraffetermath
Short sharp grindcore specialists.
Taken from the album ‘Giraffetermath’ available on vinyl via Dead Heroes Records – please visit their Facebook site for the link.(http://deadheroeslabel.bigcartel.com/product/lahar-the-shining-split-7-ep) Full album stream at http://horsebastards.bandcamp.com/album/giraffetermath. https://www.facebook.com/HORSEBASTARD
9. Nervewrecker – Stoic
Taken from the EP ‘EP’ available as a free download from http://nervewrecker.bandcamp.com/ – CDs coming soon. https://www.facebook.com/Nervewreckeruk
10.Reprisal – Atomic Tectonics
All-out modern thrash, for new and old school fans.
Taken from the EP ‘Ichneumanity’, available from http://reprisal.bandcamp.com/. https://www.facebook.com/reprisalmetal – https://twitter.com/ReprisalGB
11.Talanas – Diaphora
Progressive death metal with a gothic touch.
Taken from the EP ‘Reason & Abstract’ available as a download and CD from https://talanas.bandcamp.com/album/reason-abstract or http://talanas.org/shop. The official video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMNxIK8vX1M.
http://www.facebook.com/talanasband – https://twitter.com/talanasband
12.Victorian Whore Dogs – Prayer Of Dust
Sludgy, atmospheric post-metal.
Taken from the EP ‘Hobo Chic’, available from http://victorianwhoredogs.bandcamp.com/ as a download and limited edition CD. http://www.facebook.com/VWDBAND
13.Donkerkarnuffel – The Greatest Show On Earth
‘Clown-core’ death metal.
Taken from the album ‘Zombie Clown Apocalypse’, which you can stream from http://donkerkarnuffel.bandcamp.com/ – head to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/donkerkarnuffelks/donkerkarnuffel-zombie-clown-apocalypse-metal-debu for details on how to help the band fund a hardcopy release. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Donkerkarnuffel
14.TORPOR – Ashes
Forward-thinking sludge/doom/post-metal hybrid.
Taken from the EP ‘Bled Dry’, available for free from http://torpornoise.bandcamp.com/album/bled-dry-ep. New EP coming soon. https://www.facebook.com/torporsound
15.Black Veins – The Cruel Mind of Man/Through the Depths of Reality
Difficult to label, post-metal with elements of other things.
Taken from the EP ‘The Cycle Will Cease To End’, available for free from http://blackveins1.bandcamp.com/. http://www.facebook.com/blackveinsmusic – http://www.twitter.com/blackveinsband
16.Hellsworn – Repulsive Existence
Old school death metal – imagine Entombed, Brutal Truth and Obituary having a jam together.
Taken from the EP ‘Repulsive Existence’ available from http://hellsworn.bandcamp.com/album/repulsive-existence. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hellsworn/108153215880655
17.Undersmile – Hives
Intense brooding, grinding doom.
Taken from the Coma Wall/Undersmile split EP ‘Wood & Wire’, available as a download and CD from http://undersmile.bandcamp.com/album/wood-wire, and on limited edition vinyl from http://www.shamanrecordings.com/releases/coma-wall-undersmile-wood-wire/, and from their Bigcartel site. https://www.facebook.com/Undersmile
18.Foreboding Ether – House of Cards
Intense, catchy tech-prog metal.
Taken from the EP ‘Beyond Conjecture’, available from http://forebodingether.bandcamp.com/. http://www.forebodingether.com/ – http://www.facebook.com/forebodingether
Hope you enjoy it!
June 16, 2014 | Categories: Music | Tags: bandcamp, compilation, death metal, djent, doom, download, extreme, free, goth, grindcore, hardcore, heavy, metal, metalcore, mixtape, Music, post-metal, prog, progressive, rock, sludge, stoner, technical metal, thrash, UK, underground, underground music scene | Leave a comment
Free downloadable compilations, ideal for any tastes.
I’ve recently put together two contrasting online mixtapes, both of which are free to download from Bandcamp, not only showing the different sides of my musical tastes, but also promoting the local and underground music scene. Titled as ‘Saints’ and ‘Sinners’ respectively, the former is a melodic, more chilled-out mix, whilst the latter is the exact opposite – a heavier, rockier mix of tracks.
Side A: Saints
1. Stuart O’Connor – Cage Is Rattling
2. Holly Knowles – Blue Heart
3. Lost Without Cause – Right Angle
4. Owen Stephen – Place Called Love
5. Professor Elemental – Pay Me A Visit (Ajuda remix feat. Count Bass D)
6. Fallow Fields – This Feels Like Home
7. Craig Harris – Sometimes I Forget
8. Disco Zhivago – Pistols In The Sun
9. AlicebanD – Catharsis
10.Indi And The Vegas – Pheromones
11.Asya Fairchild – Another Night
12.Hello Lazarus – I Am No Explorer
13.Sons Of Guns – I Am The Refugee
14.My Pet Junkie – Away
15.Trial By Fire – Demons At Your Door
16.Black Noise – I Turned my Heart into a Monster (demo)
‘Saints’ features artists mostly (with about four exceptions) from/based around the Herts area, from genres such as folk, electronica, pop-punk, funk-rock and more.
Side B: Sinners
1. Billy Skins 5th – The Incorruptibles
2. Rising Tide – Like A Shadow Of A Shadow
3. Speedshot – Too Far Gone
4. The Projectionist – Hide From The Facts
5. Daken – Weapons
6. Aghast – We Fear Silence (Megaton remix)
7. Hey You Guys – Record Deal
8. Cantarella – Beauty And The Beast
9. Distance To Fall – Hero
10.Castrovalva – Dining With The Pope
11.Ilenkus – Ram
12.Derange – Ego
13.Scar City – City Lights
14.Let’s Talk Daggers – #1 Spicy Bugger
15.Black Polaris – Lost Souls
16.Faces Of Eve – Dwellers
‘Sinners’ features artists from across the UK, and is ideal for anyone who likes the heavier veins of music, whether it be the various sub-genres of metal, alt-rock, punk or hardcore, etc.
I started making my own mixtapes when I was a child – I think seven-year-old-me would be quite pleased with what I’ve put together here. The main difference is that these weren’t recorded from records on an old turntable onto a separate Fisher Price cassette player, nor feature any young Cockney-tinged voices in the background. Seriously though, it was fun putting them together, and judging by the reception they’ve had recently, the hard work that went into them has been worth it. My gratitude goes out to all artists featured, for wanting to get involved.
December 5, 2013 | Categories: Music | Tags: acoustic, alt-rock, alternative, band, bandcamp, chap hop, chillout, country, crossover, death metal, deathcore, download, dubstep, electronic, experimental, extreme, folk, free, free music, funk rock, grassroots, grindcore, hardcore, heavy, hertfordshire, Herts, jazz, London, metal, mixtape, mixtapes, Music, noise-hop, pop, post-metal, prog, progressive, punk, rock, rock 'n' roll, surf, UK, underground, underground music scene, unsigned | Leave a comment