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
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
UKDM quartet release debut album
1. Die Laughing (intro)
2. All The Rage
3. Hollywood Ending
4. Afterlife Crisis
5. Drop Dead Famous
6. Bang To Rights
7. It’s Your Funeral
8. Look Alive!
9. Sea Of Trees
10.Hells Bells (And Buckets Of Blood)
11.We Fear Silence
After months of hard work and preparation, and a well-received set at this year’s Bloodstock Festival, UK metallers Aghast! have finally released their debut album, ‘All The Rage’.
Featuring 11 tracks of relentless death metal, including tracks you might have missed from their previous couple of (now out of print) EPs, ‘All The Rage’ is everything that longterm fans of this Herts/London-based quartet would hope for; the title track is a full-on statement of intent (have a listen below), tracks such as ‘Drop Dead Famous’ and ‘Bang To Rights’ race along at almost unhuman levels, and live favourite ‘It’s Your Funeral’ sounds as sharp as ever. New track ‘Sea Of Trees’ is possibly one of the angriest songs I’ve ever heard from this band; clearly (and thankfully), there was no holding back during these recording sessions. If the reception they received at their album launch gig at Club 85 in Hitchin is anything to go by, all that hard work is about to payoff.
Whilst there may be the occasional moments of restraint and melody, Aghast largely deal in lessons in OTT extremity and heaviness, which have been finely honed and shaped into these 11 tracks. If you want subtlety then look elsewhere – for unrestrained UKDM, go to Aghast!
The official lyric video for title track ‘All The Rage’:
Aghast!’s ‘All The Rage’ is available now at live gigs and from UKEM Records’ website at http://www.ukemrecords.co.uk/product/aghast-all-the-rage/.
November 13, 2014 | Categories: Music | Tags: Aghast, album, band, death metal, extreme, grassroots, heavy, hertfordshire, Herts, hitchin, London, metal, Music, new CD, review, rock, UK, UKDM, underground, underground music scene | Leave a comment
Vinyl taster from progressive death metallers
Side A: Corpseflower
Side B: Beloved Whore
Hal Sinden – vocals, guitar
Ewan Parry – guitar
Mark ‘Duff’ Duffy – bass
Joe Butterworth – drums
The latest release from London-based progressive metallers Talanas is a limited edition 7″ vinyl record, featuring two tracks set to appear on their forthcoming second album ‘Daylight’. Having made quite an impact on the underground metal scene with full-length debut ‘The Waspkeeper’ (which followed the ‘Reason & Abstract’ EP), there’s already a buzz for the new material. These two tracks alone are a good representation of what one can expect from the Talanas sound – equal parts extremity and restraint, brutal yet sophisticated in both approach and sound.
Title track ‘Corpseflower’ sits at the heavier end of the aural spectrum and would appeal to old-school death metal fans, with touches of black metal coming in during the quieter moments. From the opening roar and blastbeats to the guitar solo, this one won’t disappoint longtime fans of the band. Samples of this track can be heard in the video above.
B-side track ‘Beloved Whore’ demonstrates the band’s more restrained, melodic side. A track that mirrors the band’s refined aesthetic, leaning towards their more gothic, melodic influences – fans of latter-day Opeth should definitely have a listen. A perfect counterpoint to the A-side offering.
A nice taster of things to come from Talanas – I advise those interested to get it whilst they can, or keep watching for the release of ‘Daylight’ later this year.
Artwork for this release was provided by famed artist Dave McKean – also responsible for countless other bands’ artwork, including the likes of Fear Factory, Dream Theater, Tori Amos and Testament. More details of his work can be found at the link below.
For fans of: My Dying Bride, Morbid Angel, Fields Of The Nephilim, Type O Negative, Moonspell, Opeth
‘Corpseflower’ can be ordered, whilst stocks last, from http://talanas.org/shop – price includes a download code for mp3 versions and hidden multimedia link.
April 9, 2013 | Categories: Music | Tags: band, Corpseflower, Dave McKean, death metal, extreme, goth, heavy, metal, Music, prog, progressive, review, rock, Talanas, UK, UKDM, underground, underground music scene, vinyl | Leave a comment
The new EP from rising UKDM act Aghast!
1. Look Alive
2. We Fear Silence
3. Drop Dead Famous
James Anson – Vocals
Christiaan Verheij Van-Wijk – Guitar
Daniel Henderson – Bass
Nicholas Plews – Drums
London/Hitchin-based death metallers Aghast! have finally hit us with this, the eagerly-awaited follow-up to previous EP ‘Afterlife Crisis’, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. For those not familiar with Aghast’s previous material or live act, picture this – imagine for a moment, a younger Phil Anselmo, meeting the sledgehammer assault of Meshuggah, mixed with the OTT aural overdrive of Strapping Young Lad and given a Lamb Of God-style coating, and you’d be getting warm.
Kicking off with the machine gun blast that is ‘Look Alive’, the BPM goes off the scale and doesn’t relent – drummer Nicholas Plews (formerly of Corpsing and also a member of Ted Maul-offshoot Metastasis) has a growing reputation as an amazingly fast drummer, akin to a human drum machine, and this track clearly demonstrates why. Like your metal fast and heavy? ‘We Fear Silence’ continues to pummel in the way only a death metal band can, Van-Wijk’s riffs coming thick and fast, before ‘Drop Dead Famous’ closes things, injecting brief bursts of groove into the mix.
Aghast! have never been a band to dabble with subtlety in the past, and this new release only serves to push their reputation further, as one of the most extreme metal acts to come out of Hertfordshire. Surely it’s only a matter of time now, before they become leading lights of the UKDM scene. If you like all-out steamrolling metal, this one’s for you. Hey, if Devin Townsend approves of this band, so should you!
‘Live Dangerously’ is available from their Facebook page, and at live shows.
A 30-second preview of ‘Look Alive’:
For fans of: At The Gates, Meshuggah, Lamb Of God, Pantera, Carcass, In Flames
March 5, 2012 | Categories: Music | Tags: Aghast, band, blastbeats, CD, Corpsing, death metal, extreme, groove, heavy, hertfordshire, Herts, hitchin, Live Dangerously, London, metal, Metastasis, Music, new CD, review, riffs, rock, UKDM, underground, underground music scene, United Kingdom death metal | Leave a comment