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
First video outing from returning death metallers
Reactivated UKDM act Corpsing have recently released their first video for the track ‘Bloated Enigma’. Taken from the EP ‘Regnum’, the first new materal since the 2007’s ‘The Stench Of Humanity’ album, the band have wasted little time in picking up where they left off, having already played at this year’s Bloodstock festival.
The ‘Regnum’ EP also features a number of guest appearances from other members of the UK’s extreme metal scene – Edd Amos of Damim, Jason Mendonca of Akercocke/Voices, J Lucifer Christ of Met-stasis/Ted Maul, and longtime drummer Nick Plews’s former Aghast bandmates James Anson and Daniel Henderson (the latter of whom has since joined as a full-time member on bass) on their Emporer cover.
Joe Collins – Vocals
Giuseppe Cutispoto – Rhythm guitar/Bass
Mick Cutispoto – Rhythm/Lead and Spanish guitars/Bass
Nick Plews – Drums
The full EP can be streamed/downloaded from Bandcamp at https://corpsingmetal.bandcamp.com/album/regnum
Corpsing’s next live appearance will be at this Halloween gig in Hitchin.
October 11, 2017 | Categories: Music, Writing | Tags: Corpsing, death metal, EP, extreme metal, heavy metal, metal, Music, music blog, music video, UKDM, underground music scene, video | 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
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 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
Debut visual release from UKBM act
UK black metallers Denigrata have released their debut video for the track ‘Kyrie Eleison’, which is taken from last year’s awesome debut album ‘Missa Defunctorum: Requiem Mass in A Minor’.
The video, which was premiered this week via the UK’s leading extreme metal magazine Terrorizer, also features a cameo appearance from acclaimed writer Alan Moore (Watchmen, V For Vendetta), whom the band met through mutual interests in their home town Northampton.
For more of their multi-faceted sound, check out the entire album here, available as a download and CD:
My review of the album – Denigrata – ‘Missa Defunctorum: Requiem Mass in A Minor’ review
May 25, 2016 | Categories: Music | Tags: band, black metal, download, extreme, heavy, heavy metal, industrial, metal, Music, promo, UK, UKBM, underground, underground music scene, unsigned, video | 1 Comment
Recent rumblings in the underground music scene
A round-up of recent releases I haven’t had time to blog about in more detail over the festive period.
Bad Pollyanna – new album
UK rockers Bad Pollyanna have just released their second album ‘The Broken Toys’, available now via their website. Immediately engaging and dramatic, ‘The Broken Toys’ has a varied sound that might appeal to a broad range of audiences, from the electro-rock/goth crowd, to fans of 80s post-punk – imagine an act somewhere between Toyah, Evanescence, The Birthday Massacre and The Dirty Youth, and you’d be getting close. Coming as a result of a successful Pledgemusic campaign, and getting strong reviews everywhere in the rock press, 2016 may just be Bad Pollyanna’s year.
A solid album that features some catchy tunes (highlights include ‘Define Me’, ‘Hooks’ and ‘Ugly Love”) with little filler, ‘The Broken Toys’ is available now as a digipak CD and digital download at http://shop.badpollyanna.com/album/the-broken-toys, live gigs and other digital outlets.
Toy Birds – new EP
Toy Birds, featuring The October Game’s drummer Ollie Taylor as frontman, have released their debut self-titled EP. Having offered a preview of their sound with the track ‘These Eyes’ earlier this, the band have now expanded on this with these five tracks, with an electronic-pop sound not a million miles away from some of the popular acts of the 80s – if you’re into pop in the A-Ha/Paul Young/Nik Kershaw vein, give this a listen.
Dorylus – debut tracks
London/Herts-based metallers Dorylus have released their debut EP, two tracks from which are streaming now over at Reverbnation. Having formed less than a year ago, the band have been gigging since May and winning fans with a melodic-death metal sound that would appeal to fans of the likes of Lamb Of God, Meshuggah, In Flames and DevilDriver. The whole EP is out on iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Googleplay and other outlets.
The Tuesday Club – new EPs
St Albans post-punk/glampop crew The Tuesday Club have recently released EPs 3 and 4 for this year’s set of releases. Titled ‘Lady Gargar’ and ‘Boo Hoo’ respectively, both EPs comprise of three tracks each and are available now via their website. These complete the set of four releases which make up their second album.
Despite recently losing a couple of members (The Minx and J-Rod), the band look set to continue as a five-piece for 2016.
The Wolves Of Avalon – new single/album
Pagan-black metallers The Wolves Of Avalon released a two-track vinyl single a few months ago, and are currently working on the release of their next album for 2016. The A-side of their single is a cover of Venom’s track ‘Die Hard’ and features guest vocal appearances from Rob Miller of Amebix, Mirai Kawashima of Sigh, Alan Averill of Primordial and Venom’s own Mantas guesting on vocals and guitar. The B-side, ‘Carrion Crows Reprise’ is an alternate version of a track originally featured on their first album. Released via Eternal Death Records, available on their Bandcamp site.
The next album, to be titled ‘Across A Twilight Field Of Corpses Grey, Only The Trilling Of Nightingales Can Be Heard’ , is currently scheduled for a May 2016 release via Godreah Records.
December 27, 2015 | Categories: Music, Random, Writing | Tags: 80s, album, alt-rock, alternative, Bad Pollyanna, band, bandcamp, black metal, death metal, Dorylus, download, electronic, electronic pop, entertainment, EP, extreme, glam rock, goth, gothic, metal, mp3, Music, new CD, pagan, post-punk, review, rock, The Tuesday Club, The Wolves Of Avalon, Toy Birds, UK, underground, underground music scene, unsigned | Leave a comment
Beautifully chaotic debut from UK metallers
1. Requiem Aeturnam
2. Kyrie Eleison
3. Dies Irae
4. Rex Tremendae
5. Confutatis Maledictis
7. Agnus Dei
Denigrata Herself – vocals/guitar
Manea – keys/vocals
Cændél – guitar
Legivn – bass/vocals
Tasìmengyì – ‘timbrel alchemist’
Ever heard an album so varied in its influences and sounds, full of calculated chaos and heaviness, that it defied a simple description? Denigrata’s debut album ‘Missa Defunctorum: Requiem Mass in A Minor’ is such an album. Comfortably encompassing black metal, industrial, goth and symphonic metal all at once, in such a way that it could also potentially qualify as progressive metal too (unless that’s just confusing matters further), it’s an incredibly adventurous extreme metal release. For an attempt at a simple breakdown, imagine for a moment, if members of The Berzerker, Cradle Of Filth and Nightwish collaborated on a Tim Burton soundtrack with Devin Townsend – you’d possibly get something similar to this.
Rather than provide a track-by-track breakdown, I’d suggest having a listen – it’s better heard than described! From the slow-building Blade Runner-esque intro of ‘Requiem Aeturnam’ and ‘Kyrie Eleison’ (available as a free download from their Bandcamp site) to the all-out operatic onslaught of closer ‘Agnus Dei’, the thought and production that has gone into this is incredible.
‘Missa Defunctorum….’ is like the perfect soundtrack to a gothic horror movie, all at once dark yet beautiful in its seamless flow of ideas, with the level of extremity you’d expect from a black metal album.
Denigrata’s ‘Missa Defunctorum: Requiem Mass in A Minor’ is available now via Bandcamp as a digital download and CD at https://denigrata.bandcamp.com/releases, and on CD at live events.
For fans of: The Berzerker, Apocalyptica, Strapping Young Lad, Cradle Of Filth, The Birthday Massacre, Emperor
Note: ‘Kyrie Eleison’ was also included on my recent metal mixtape, which can be downloaded for free with 17 other tracks from https://musikalsin.bandcamp.com/album/musikal-sin-mixtape-vol-5-metal-without-boundaries.
December 22, 2015 | Categories: Music | Tags: album, band, bandcamp, black metal, Denigrata, download, extreme, heavy, industrial, metal, Music, new CD, operatic, progressive, review, rock, UK, UKBM, underground, underground music scene, unsigned | 2 Comments
Bringing one hell of a storm on their second album
1. Blood And Rust
2. No Redemption
4. Bad Blood
5. Unto Me
7. No Return
8. Off The Edge
9. Cross To Bear
10.Voice Of Demons
11.Psychokiller (Talking Heads cover)
Jimi Brown – Vocals
Ash Smith – Guitar
Dom Wallace – Guitar
Darren McCullagh – Bass
Jon Paul Quantrill – Drums
UK metallers Stormbringer have been around for a few years now and already proven themselves worthy of attention and festival slots, having previously played at Download and Bloodstock. Having had the pleasure of booking these guys earlier this year and hearing what their new vocalist was capable of, I was eager to hear what ‘Blood And Rust’, Stormbringer’s first album with new frontman Jimi Brown (and second overall), had to offer. I was not disappointed.
Following the instrumental intro, Stormbringer tear into ‘No Redemption’, a catchy track with some classic rock swagger and meaty riffs. Tracks ‘Rise’ and ‘Bad Blood’ have both been released as promo videos, posted below, and are worth looking out for if you’re just as equally comfortable listening to both contemporary melodic metal and classic rock stadium acts. The chorus to ‘Unto Me’ is likely to lodge itself into your brain for days after listening, and goes down well in the live environment too (look out for it on a Bandcamp mixtape I’m releasing soon). Moving further into the album, it becomes difficult to pick out any favourites over the others as the quality presented here is consistently high, with ‘Ashamed’, ‘No Return’, ‘Off The Edge’ and ‘Cross To Bear’ all deserving some ear time, but one thing does become obvious: they made the right choice in picking Jimi Brown as their new frontman, his voice is phenomenal and fits in perfectly in what was already a finely-tuned act. Want hooks, catchy choruses and solid solos? This album’s packed with them. Penultimate track ‘Voice Of Demons’is nothing short of a nostalgia trip; reminiscent of a time when MTV used to play rock music, when bands such as Alice In Chains, Skid Row and Queensryche could be seen on Headbangers Ball and the like – this sounds exactly like the sort of thing you’d see playlisted, with its darker heartfelt lyrics, almost ethereal riffs and passionate vocals. Ending with something out of the leftfield, their cover of Talking Head’s ‘Psychokiller’ is an interesting track, one they’ve successfully managed to put their own stamp on – rather than sticking out as an odd track, it works well alongside the rest of the album.
Full of highlights and lacking any ‘filler’, ‘Blood And Rust’ is recommended to pretty much anyone who likes solid rock with a decent tune, those looking for a rock act who’ve disregarded any and all modern trends, and those who’ve been passionate about all forms of rock and metal over the past 30-40 years. A potential future classic.
The video for ‘Bad Blood’, the first to be released –
The video for ‘Rise’ –
Stormbringer’s ‘Blood And Rust’ is available now via Attic Records on iTunes at http://bit.ly/SBMMXIII, and on CD at
http://atticrecordsuk.bigcartel.com/product/stormbringer-album-cd-blood-rust and at live gigs.
For fans of: Skid Row, Buckcherry, Def Leppard, Galactic Cowboys, Fozzy, Testament
November 29, 2015 | Categories: Music | Tags: album, band, classic rock, heavy, heavy metal, heavy rock, metal, Music, new CD, review, rock, Stormbringer, UK, underground, underground music scene | Leave a comment