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Posts tagged “sludge

Sounds Of The Underground – May 2018

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.

Download – https://jackalsbackbone.bandcamp.com/track/world-in-darkness-your-demise


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.

Download: https://earthboundmusicuk.bandcamp.com/releases

That’s all for now, enjoy this heavy eight, there’ll be more soon.



Slaine – Get Cut review

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
8. Mudslut
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


Herts supergroup releases debut video + download

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


Introducing…. Jackal’s Backbone

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.


Drore release their debut EP

New music from Oxford sludge quartet

Drore live shot

1. Skinjob
2. Hippy Crack
3. Greys
4. Fukbag

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.

‘TapeOne’ is available now as a limited edtion tape or download at https://drore.bandcamp.com/album/tapeone, or from Rad Naseum Records at http://radnauseam.co.uk/.

For fans of: Torpor, Steak Number Eight, Hang The Bastard, Windhand


Skrugg release debut EP

New sludge from Herts quintet

Skrugg Balstock 2014

1. Insect Whore
2. Sanity Of A Madman
3. I Spit On Your Grave
4. Isolation Trip
5. 88.8mg

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.

Skrugg - Asylum Mist cover

‘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.


Top tunes of 2014

10 just isn’t loud enough.

I know that at this time of year, every man and his blog (see what I did there) will be posting up their personal top 10s of the past year’s musical releases. Rather than spew forth with all manner of hyperbole and superlatives for the same albums everyone’s already talking about, here’s a simple but complete list of my picks, in no particular order, including some that I’ve written about previously and others which might not have caught your attention (yet). Oh and rather than condense my favourites down to 10, I’ve gone up to 11. That’s right, you saw that too.

Talanas – ‘My Apostle’
Taken from their acoustic EP ‘Asylum’, there’s something addictive about this atmospheric track.

Victorian Whore Dogs – ‘Prayer of Dust’
Taken from the EP ‘Hobo Chic’. Post-metal infused sludge from Guildford.

Vendetta – ‘Martyr’
Like ‘Prayer Of Dust’ above, this was featured on a free mixtape download I compiled and released this year.

Lord Skrugg – new demos
I’ve had the pleasure of listening to the demos of their forthcoming EP (repeatedly!) – looking forward to seeing it get released. Have a listen to these Herts-based sludge metallers.

Indi and the Vegas – ‘She’s On Fire’
Taken from the funk-rock trio’s debut full-length album. Difficult to pick just one favourite.

Professor Elemental – ‘All In Together’
Couldn’t help but admire the message of acceptance here. Catchy chap-hop, featured on both the ‘All In Together’ EP and ‘The Giddy Limit’ album.

Empty Yard Experiment – ‘Untitled’
Taken from the multi-cultural prog-metallers’ album ‘Kallisti’, this one will lodge itself in your head.

The Wolves Of Avalon – ‘The Gorging Glut of Sodden Clay’
I’ve heard a handful of tracks from this album (‘Boudicca’s Last Stand’) and it’s definitely on the to-buy list.

Slipknot – ‘The Negative One’
A tad predictable maybe (I’m sure it’s on many people’s highlights list) but that chorus has had me hooked. Taken from ‘5: The Gray Chapter’.

Mastodon – ‘High Road’
Another popular one I’m sure – taken from the album ‘Once More ‘Round The Sun’.

The Pierces – ‘Kings’
Some might call it a guilty pleasure for a metalhead (if I believed in feeling guilty!). One of the few modern pop acts I still listen to. Lovely melodies here, taking from their album ‘Creation’.


Boss Keloid – The Calming Influence of Teeth/new video

Second album and new video from Wigan sludge metallers


1. Winehorse
2. Locking Stumps
3. Skipper’s Pipes
4. Manson Lamps
5. Muscular Grin
6. Bellow Of Blackened Beasts
7. Hoof Conductor
8. One For The Floorboards
9. Firm Set Of Hordes
10.Madam Palindrome

Alex Hurst – vocals/effects
Paul Swarbrick – guitar
Liam Pendlebury-Green – bass
Ste Arands – drums

With a combination of sludgy riffs, solid grooves and an air of darkness that calls to mind bands such as Mastodon, Clutch, Faith No More, and Therapy?, Wigan-based quintet Boss Keloid have delivered ‘The Calming Influence of Teeth’, their second album – if they encountered any of those old ‘difficult second album’ hurdles in its production, they certainly aren’t evident here.

Lurching in with ‘Winehorse’, offering up dark, thick riffs with off-kilter rhythms, Boss Keloid doesn’t waste any time in grabbing the listener’s attention, before the groove-injected ‘Locking Stumps’ kicks in. Third track ‘Skipper’s Pipes’ was chosen as the band’s first music video, which has been posted below. I could imagine the track ‘Manson Lamps’ appealing to fans of Faith No More, circa their ‘Angel Dust’ period, or possibly Therapy? (circa ‘Troublegum’), with its similar dark vibe and an undeniable catchiness – BK have nailed the ability to write actual songs, and ones that stay with you. The album continues in this fashion, with little in the way of filler, with tracks such as ‘Hoof Conductor’ being equal parts thundering riffs, pummeling drums and infectious grooves – should you only have the time for one track or still remain cynical, check out ‘Bellow Of Blackened Beasts’ or closing track ‘Madam Palindrome’, just two of the highlights of the album.

Rooted in sludge, with a knack for writing heavy yet catchy tunes that manage to transcend metal sub-genre boundaries (I’d urge fans of alt-rock and metal in general to give this a listen), Boss Keloid have produced an album that deserves to be heard by the UK’s metal-loving masses. The UK clearly has an underrated sludge metal scene, and with more attention cast their way, these guys could be the ones to lead.

‘The Calming Influence of Teeth’ is available now as a download and limited edition CD digipack, at http://bosskeloid.bandcamp.com/album/the-calming-influence-of-teeth.

For fans of: Mastodon, Faith No More, early Therapy?, Clutch, The Dillinger Escape Plan, American Head Charge

New video
This is the madcap new video for the song ‘Skipper’s Pipes’ – clearly a band with a sense of humour (MANKINI ALERT):