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
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
September 19, 2017 | Categories: Music | Tags: british music, debut, doom metal, download, heavy metal, metal, Music, music video, sludge, underground, 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 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
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
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’.
December 23, 2014 | Categories: Music | Tags: 2014, acoustic, alt-rock, alternative, band, bandcamp, black metal, chap hop, death metal, entertainment, EP, extreme, funk rock, heavy, London, Mastodon, metal, Music, pop, prog, progressive, rock, Slipknot, sludge, The Pierces, top ten, UK, underground, underground music scene, unsigned | Leave a comment
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
Some of the happenings from the UK’s underground scene this month – lots of new EPs!
Vendetta – new lyric video
Herts-based quartet Vendetta have just released an intense new track entitled ‘Martyr’ – check out the lyric video below. Imagine Sikth meets Kittie. I’ve written a little article about them which has been posted on Rock ‘n’ Reel Reviews’ website – http://www.rocknreelreviews.com/vendetta-release-new-track-martyr/.
Mind Museum – new EP
Bristol’s Mind Museum have just released their new ‘One Blood’ EP, a full review of which is also posted on Rock ‘n’ Reel Reviews’ website, here – http://www.rocknreelreviews.com/review/mind-museum-one-blood-ep/. If you’re a fan of the likes of 30 Seconds To Mars and Alexisonfire, they’re highly recommended. Check out the video for ‘Lie To Me’ here:
Victorian Whore Dogs – follow-up EP released
Intense post-metal/sludge quintet VWD have just released the new EP ‘Hobo Chic’, which is available via Bandcamp as a download and limited edition CD. If you liked previous EP ‘Fetch’, you won’t be disappointed.
White Line Diaries – new music online
Another Herts-based act, funk Rockers White Line Diaries have released their new EP ‘High Hopes And Hangovers’ which is available via Spotify and iTunes, or you can also stream it via Soundcloud, below. Blending funk, rock, blues and rap, it’s a catchy mix.
Healyum – New material from folky-pop trio
Hotly-tipped young Beds trio Healyum have released their second EP ‘Fools Eyes’, and if the current buzz is anything to go by, having already appeared on BBC 3 Counties Radio and various other stations in their 14 months as a group, this sibling trio could be set for big things. Available from iTunes and Spotify, they’ve also posted two tracks as Soundcloud streams.
Note: tracks from Vendetta and Victorian Whore Dogs will be featured on ‘Extremities’, the forthcoming free mixtape download I’ll be releasing at the end of May via https://musikalsin.bandcamp.com/.
April 29, 2014 | Categories: Music | Tags: alt-rock, alternative, bandcamp, Bedfordshire, download, EP, extreme, folk, funk rock, grassroots, Healyum, heavy, hertfordshire, Herts, metal, Mind Museum, Music, new CD, pop, post-metal, review, rock, sludge, UK, underground, underground music scene, Vendetta, Victorian Whore Dogs, White Line Diaries | Leave a comment
Second album and new video from Wigan sludge metallers
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
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
This is the madcap new video for the song ‘Skipper’s Pipes’ – clearly a band with a sense of humour (MANKINI ALERT):
April 4, 2014 | Categories: Music | Tags: album, alt-rock, alternative, band, bandcamp, Boss Keloid, CD, download, grassroots, heavy, mathcore, metal, Music, review, rock, sludge, UK, underground, underground music scene, video | Leave a comment