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
A round-up of current underground rumblings
Here are just some of the current happenings in the UK’s underground rock and metal scene, featuring new and upcoming releases.
Talanas – acoustic mini-album coming soon
Progessive-death metallers Talanas will soon be releasing the acoustic mini-album ‘Asylum’, via their own Eulogy Media label. Showcasing a different side to their sound, though still not a million miles away from their brand of progressively-minded/goth-influenced death metal, the first track to go public ‘Sister Damnable’ still has the same dark atmosphere and sense of menace we’ve come to expect from them. Pick up the latest edition of Terrorizer magazine to hear the new track exclusively, or check out this teaser below. ‘Asylum’ will be released digitally on Saturday 22nd February.
Alone With Wolves – new EP in the works
Cambridge/Herts-based quintet AWW are currently working on their new EP, the first with their new(ish) vocalist Danilo Fiocco, who joined them last year. You can hear samples of what’s to come, in the series of studio diary videos they’ve posted on Youtube, the first of which is below. Their 2011 self-titled EP suggested they had what it takes to become the UK’s answer to Alexisonfire – if that sounds appealing, check out the video below.
Gilla Bruja – new EP available for free
Southern-tinged sludge veterans Gilla Bruja have just released the new EP ‘Clubbed Hands and a Fist Full of Snakes’ and have made it available as a free download on Bandcamp. Frontman Paul March has been in various bands and kept the Gilla name active for the past 16 years, and this is one of his heaviest, more direct releases to date. If you’re into the NOLA sludge/metal scene, obsessed with horror or anything heavy from the UK’s underground scene, give this a listen.
Lord Skrugg – new noise coming soon
New Herts-based act Lord Skrugg, featuring former members of the aforementioned Gilla Bruja, Zebediah Crowe and Burn The Yeti, are currently busy putting together their debut material, with an aim to go public very soon. Below is a sample of what to expect – whilst still sludgy and doomy like their previous acts, this is sounding more intense, sharper and immediate. Lord Skrugg will be making their live debut soon – watch this space.
The Dirty Youth – new single out now
Welsh rockers The Dirty Youth have just released the new single ‘Alive’, with an accompanying video, below. TDY have seen their fanbase grow to an international level over the past couple of years, thanks to tours with the likes of Korn and The Rasmus, and that looks likely to continue this year, with further tours and an album release imminent. ‘Alive’ features everything you’d expect from TDY – frontwoman Danni’s powerful heart-on-sleeve vocal delivery, backed by stadium-sized riffs, packed into a catchy tune that won’t disappoint fans. ‘Alive’ is available now via iTunes with an exclusive b-side, with new album ‘Gold Dust’ set for release in coming months.
February 12, 2014 | Categories: Music | Tags: Alone With Wolves, alt-rock, alternative, band, bandcamp, EP, extreme, Gilla Bruja, goth, heavy, hertfordshire, Herts, live music, London, Lord Skrugg, metal, Music, prog, progressive, review, rock, sludge, Talanas, The Dirty Youth, UK, underground, underground music scene, Wales | Leave a comment
Atmospheric, slow-burning, intense music
Sometimes, it’s not about producing the most full-on, relentless sound, with countless riffs and non-stop heaviness. There are times when it feels right to start off slowly, build up an atmosphere, build up the layers and then head into an eventual cavalcade of riffs and heaviness. There are other times when an overload isn’t even required; an alternate intensity can be found in a steady grind, an almost hypnotic groove and pulse or a gothic sense of darkness.
Here are just the examples that spring to mind for a suitable playlist.
Sikth – Tupelo
Their cover of the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds classic – taking that sense of impending doom up a few notches. Check out the original here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSl4KX7zBTQ
Slipknot – Gently (Iowa version)
The version found on second album ‘Iowa’, a reworking of the track originally found on their underground debut, released before signing to Roadrunner Records.
Swans – Like A Drug
I was addicted to this at one point. A dark, heavy grind with a hypnotic feel.
Steak Number Eight – Falling Out Of A Dream
Awesome build-up intro. Sludgy, grungy.
Tool – Eulogy
A slow, steady build from the masters of dyamnic. Hypnotic.
The Dillinger Escape Plan – *#..
Instrumental – sounds like it’d make a great intro, but is actually track 4 on their first full-length album.
Panic DHH – Simplex
A calmer, more restrained moment from this band; fragility in noise. Frontman Robbie Furze went on to form The Big Pink.
Gary Numan – RIP
Steady build-up into a wall of sound chorus from a pioneer of dark music.
Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead
The goth classic; essential listening for every Halloween.
Triptykon – Shatter
The current band from metal legend Thomas Gabriel Fischer. Only recently got round to listening after a suggestion from a friend.
Wardruna – Kauna
Gaahl’s dark folk project.
September 26, 2013 | Categories: Music, Random | Tags: alt-rock, alternative, band, Bauhaus, electronic, extreme, folk, Gary Numan, goth, grind, Halloween, heavy, industrial, instrumental, metal, Music, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, noise, Panic DHH, post-punk, rock, Sikth, Slipknot, sludge, Steak Number Eight, Swans, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Tool, Triptykon, underground, Wardruna | 1 Comment