Archive for the ‘ALERT: Awesome new music’ Category

Crawling for Carrion - Rake and Roads Artwork.jpg

Crawling for Carrion are a UK based sludge project, and their debut release is a two track EP made of covers. ‘Rake and Roads’ reintreprets ‘Rake’ by Townes Van Zandt and ‘Roads’ by Portishead, attempting to draw out the innate heaviness of them both. It is out now through Giganto Records, owned by the brainchild behind this project, multi-instrumentalist Chris West.

Now, these are two songs I have never heard, so I’m interested in what Crawling for Carrion do here. ‘Rake’ is a rumbling, soulful beast with a gravelly, crooning vocal performance from guest Jake Harding of Grave Lines. While not as heavy as I had anticipated, there is something really magical and uplifting about these poetic lyrics winding its way. The sinister layer of murk surrounding ‘Roads however feels much more in line with what you’d expect Portishead to sound like, slid through sludgy filters. Grinding riffs murmur under a ghostly performance by Vodun vocalist Chantal Brown, making this a very ethereal moment.

I like how Crawling for Carrion have done these tracks, and how they’ve worked hard in not only reimagining the originals but adding enough to create something new and interesting. ‘Roads’ is the better of the two, but this is a fine little release that is worth looking out for.


Yet more North American progressive death metal falls into my lap as the latest full length from Tacoma, Washington’s Aethereus dropped into my email. ‘Absentia’ is out now through The Artisan Era, and it is a brutal, twisting opus of striking technicality.

‘Cascades of Light’ builds slowly, erupting into a cacophony of technical riffing and guttural growls. Aethereus are maddeningly intricate; songs require repeated listens to really grasp the levels of musicianship on display here. Clearly learning from the likes of The Black Dahlia Murder as well as Obsura, the technical components don’t get in the way of some nice melodic passages. In a genre of amazing musicianship and few great actual SONGS, Aethereus handle both issues with aplomb. ‘Writhe’ does just that, shot through with devastating energy, while the more love thrown on the jarring virtuosity of ‘The Black Circle’ the better.

A note should be made of the grandiose interludes that punctate this record, lending a gravity and a majesty that is sometimes sorely lacking. ‘Mortal Abrogation’ leads with sombreness into the massive ‘Fluorescent Halls of Decay’, whose labyrinth like structure feels built like a majestic and ancient palace, carved with intricate tributes to their forebears; the Obscuras, the Cynics, the Beneath the Massacres. This is a record whose mere prescence should cause awe and respect.

‘Absentia’ might be the best of this style I’ve heard this year. Dazzlingly frenetic, head cavingly brutal and yet capable of introspective calm, Aethereus are magnificent, and ‘Absentia’ is a record of magnificent devastation.

Hierophant - Spawned Abortions

Now I’m not always one for reviewing such short releases, because it can be difficult to tell if a band are truly great over the course of two songs. But, since one of them is a Bolt Thrower cover, I feel like it falls into my mandate! ‘Spawned Abortions’ is the newest release from Italians Hierophant, whose ‘Great Mother: Holy Monster’ record from 2013 I really enjoyed. ‘Spawned Abortions’ is out now!

The title track is a nasty slab of old school brutal death metal, with superb guitar riffs and guttural roars covering all the bases you need. What I really like though is that it has a grindcore edge, which adds that little extra piece of savagery to it. The Bolt Thrower cover is ‘Realm of Chaos’, and Hierophant do this all time classic justice, delivering the material in a respectful and energised form. ‘Spawed Abortions’ is very short but definitely worth a listen, as the band continue their destruction of the underground.


Due out in December, the tenth album from prolific Greek underground black metal legends Dødsferd is another cementing of their legacy as one of the hardest working bands in the area. ‘Diseased Remnants of a Dying World’ continues their path from punkish black metal into depressive atmospheres to create an album of truly ethereal and poisonous intentions. It’ll be out through Transcending Obscurity on the 14th of December.

The opening section to ‘My Father My Wrath!’ is one of those opens to a song that you’ll never forget. Bleak, ominous and with a measured, icy pace, it sets the scene immediately for the 50 odd minutes of misery to come. Eerie clean vocals follow a winding path, before the black metal torrent that is ‘An Existence Without Purpose’ pours forth like molten magma. A raging black inferno, with spiralling riffing and a great, crunchy guitar tone that you can really get into, it then opens into a more expansive slice of blackened majesty. Once you feel like you’ve grasped what Dødsferd are trying to attain, the goalposts move, and the ghostly shrieks that pervades the title track and particularly the potent ‘Loyal to the Black Oath’ will leave you breathless.

‘Diseased Remnants of a Dying World’ feels like a very introspective black metal record, where speed and fury isn’t necessarily the key to unlock the ethereal mysteries of this world. Taking cue from the masters of soaring, miserable black metal grandness, Dødsferd are here with a record that will delight and confound with every twist.

Apatheia - Konstelacja dziur

Polish black metallers Apatheia have a grand legacy to live up to in their native land, and while it is totally unfair to judge them based on other Polish black metal luminaries, it is sadly inevitable. I will try hard not to. ‘Konstelacja Dziur’ is out now through the excellent Godz of War Productions.

Opener ‘Odmętnia’ hits immediately with a midpaced riff, before blasting takes over. There is an inherent coldness to this song, not in the typical ‘black metal is winter’ type cold, but more of a detached, heartless way. Burning riffs swoop in and out of sight, as scowling vocals rasp over the top. Apatheia have carved themselves a great sound; not too tinpot and rattling nor dense and indistinct. The production lends a thickness to the songs, but there is a clarity that enhances the fury of ‘Raj’ and especially the dark, atonal miasma of ‘Złudzenie Życia’.

‘Konstelacja Dziur’ is an album that provides exactly what you’d expect from a Polish black metal band. There’s great songwriting, dark and bleak atmosphere and a blasphemy that ripples quietly within. Apatheia are a triumphant example of what keeps the black metal flame burning.

Belgian deathcore upstarts When Plagues Collide release their debut full length, ‘Tutor of the Dying’ on the 1st of November, and it is already generating a bit of buzz with its symphonic leanings. You may be sick of deathcore by now, but you’ve probably not heard it interpreted like this before…

Opener ‘Messengers of the Holy Falsehood’ brings some dramatic orchestral backgrounds to a chugging, behemoth of a track. Breakdowns and savage vocals are king, but it is all haunted by a lonely piano that adds something slighty creepy to it. Don’t get me wrong, the majority of this record is still massive riffs, massive breakdowns and massive brutality, but I love how When Plagues Collide are interjecting symphonic elements. It’s like Fleshgod Apocalypse, only with less flair and more BROOTALZ. ‘Dictating Violence’ has a killer dose of speed to it, when the heft of the title track is designed to push you slowly but surely into the earth. The band haven’t quite got to the grandiose majesty of those aforementioned Italian masters, but they are worthy disciples.

In an effort to revitalise a genre that is at risk of suffocating under its own breakdowns and dude-bro nonsense, When Plagues Collide have strode off on their own path, cutting swathes through the competition with unique songs and an adventurous spirit. ‘Tutor of the Dying’ is a record that explores unconventional ideas but ties them into an appealing, brutal package of riffs. Familiar, and yet oddly new, this is a great release.

Dark, noisy sludgelords Vor have dragged themselves from the swampy, Spanish underground to bring us ‘Depravador’, a two man journey of apocalypse through music. Abrasive and violent, we are brought this latest release by Third I Rex Records.

The opening track showcases immediately the potency of this drums and bass combo, with dizzying low end throbbing with filthy, fuzzy tone. Hatred fuelled shrieks leap from behind each horrifying riff but this isn’t merely directionless noise. The grinding grooves of ‘Black Goat’ bring a very EyeHateGod vibe, while the crusty ‘Cudgel’ could sit comfortably on a Black Flag record. Vor’s music is diverse and heavy as fuck, never falling into one trick pony territory. Sludge meets noise meets hardcore punk attitude and the collision is nuclear.

The merciless, face destroying groove that permeates the filth encrusted monolith ‘Daga’ is only rivalled by the shrieking brutality of closer ‘Dark Fraga’. ‘Depravador’ is a record that pulses with a miasmic, tortured soul. It isn’t easy to categorise what Vor do, but it isn’t difficult to describe it. They contort, they disturb, they smother, they fucking rule.