Archive for July, 2017

The joyous Bay Area thrash of Psython has been an underappreciated part of my music collection for the past few years. Their last piece of work, ‘Outputs’ was an infectious, Death Angel worshipping joy, and their new release ‘Hatred’ looks to continue that path. It’s going to be out in September, self released, so keep an eye out!

Immediately the riff machine is engaged into high gear with the thrashy ‘J√∂rmungandr’, and from there the thrash never stops. The catchy as hell ‘Teeth’ has got some cool melodies built in, while the soloing work on each track is classic heavy metal. Inspiration clearly runs from bands outside the Big Four like Exodus, Sacred Reich or Death Angel, as the savage ‘Ten Pounds’ demonstrates a rawer attitude than the Big Four influences that sneaks into other tracks, but still manages to get a dose of the epic. Basically almost every Californian thrash band seems to bleed into ‘Hatred’ somewhere, and the overall result is a thrash gem!

I really like what Psython do. Their thrash is at once both derivative and energisingly fresh. It puts a boot straight up the arse of classic thrash, and while doing so comes across as unique enough that you’ll never get bored. Let a little ‘Hatred’ into your life…

https://www.facebook.com/psythonofficial/

https://psython.bandcamp.com/

 

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UK black metallers Pale Mist have come from out of nowhere for me, but their new release on cassette, ‘Spreading My Wings into the Abyss that Calls’, is a proud new member of my collection thanks to the good folks at Heidenwut Productions. This is an archetypal black metal release, but one that balances the atmospheric requirements with an almost lunatic delivery at times. Atmospheric as fuck, Pale Mist deliver.

The aching tremolo of ‘Through the Thick Fog of Misery and Woe’ drifts from your speaker, leaving a trail of frost behind it. Pale Mist are definitively bleak and ghostly. Building anticipation for inevitable blizzard conditions is something that black metal thrives upon, and Pale Mist have nailed it as the torrent of blackened majesty that is ‘Spreading My Wings into the Abyss that Calls’ begins. Maddening shrieks spill from icy riffs and gloomy walls of sound.

But the centrepiece is the epic caldera of ‘Embraced by the Pale Mist’, that spews volcanic riffage upon us all before the wistful gaze of ‘Gazing, Opening the Barriers’ provides a welcome calm spot, laced with melancholic clean guitar. Closing with the bleak ‘The Welcoming Glow of the Moon’ that spirals into the wilderness, Pale Mist are seriously impressive, and this release is an opening into a world of ice and darkness.

https://palemist.bandcamp.com/album/spreading-my-wings-into-the-abyss-that-calls

https://www.facebook.com/palemistofficial/

https://www.facebook.com/heidenwutproductions/

If there was ever a band that can truly speak to the foul corruptions of government, it is India’s Heathen Beast. Their new release, ‘$cam’, is a scathing indictment of the Indian government and their practices, wrapped within a barbed wire petrol bomb of a release. ‘$cam’ is 21 minutes of some of the fiercest political grindcore you’ll find, laced with a black edge. It is out now on Transcending Obscurity.

The inspiration behind ‘$cam’ is the mass demonetisation of the sub continent’s currency, leaving 90% of banknotes worthless. This has seemingly left the poor so much worse off than the rich, tax avoiders it was designed to take down. Heathen Beast tackles the issue with visceral intent, including such potent song titles as ‘It’s Only a Minor Inconvenience’ and the disturbing ‘If You Disagree You Are Anti-National, Go to Pakistan’. You get the idea of how the government seem to approach the issue. Musically the musical is a ravaging mix of Rotten Sound, Napalm Death and Impaled Nazarene, where nasty riffs meet shrieking rage and whirling drums.

When matched with soundbites echoing the real life effects of this scheme, ‘$cam’ takes on a whole new urgency. In a place where this kind of outward criticism could lead to serious consequences, Heathen Beast are even more vital and pertinent. The odd flourish of traditional instrumentation keeps you in the moment, and the intensity feels real. Get a hold of this before they go, and learn about something outside your comfort zone.

https://heathenbeastindia.bandcamp.com/album/cam-blackened-grindcore

https://www.facebook.com/HeathenBeast/

https://tometal.com/

 

Shrine of the Serpent first lurked upon my radar with their awesome self titled EP in 2015. They’ve returned with a new split cassette with Black Urn, a band I have had no prior knowledge of but will definitely be tracking after this. The split is over 30 minutes of harrowing death/doom, with each band contributing two tracks each. It is available now through Bandcamp.

Opening with Shrine of the Serpent’s ‘Desecrated Tomb’, which is brutally heavy and slow. Like the heaving of tectonic plates, Shrine of the Serpent immediately reintroduce themselves as one of the heaviest outfits on the planet. Guttural roars compliment dragging riffs, all suffocating under a leaden atmosphere. ‘Catacombs of Flesh’ is just about as unbearably heavy, pushing down upon you with terrible, devastating darkness.

Black Urn’s side of the split crushes with the morbid crawl of ‘My Strength Lies on Heavenless Plains’, which builds from murky depths into a black metal influenced tremolo roar. Thunderous, molten riffs pour from aching speakers while tortured screams yearn for freedom. It is staggeringly heavy, and sets a new watermark for the music here. They close us down with the AIC Cover, ‘Junkhead’, which injects an entirely new menace into the grunge classic.

Probably one of the best splits I’ve come across in recent memory, both Shrine of the Serpent and Black Urn have really hit it out of the park on this one. Find a copy of it soon before they all disappear!

https://shrineoftheserpent.bandcamp.com/album/shrine-of-the-serpent-black-urn-split

https://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/album/split-2

https://www.facebook.com/blackurn/

https://www.facebook.com/ShrineoftheSerpent/