Archive for the ‘Supporting Random Scenes’ Category

The advantage of befriending people in bands on Facebook is that they invariably share links to other bands in the underground that they know and want to support. Therefore I can then find them and support them too. Tonight’s example is Fed to the Boars, a nasty death metal group from Newcastle (What the fuck Newcastle, why do you create such sounds of evil and dread?!). Their three track release, ‘Family of Swine’ is available from their Bandcamp for a measly £2 and it’s worth every grimy penny.

Opening track ‘Family of Swine’ is a dirty, rattling chunk of raw Swedeath with all the chainsaw riffing you could want, completed by a gargling, growling vocal. It’s almost like somebody found a missing Grave demo from the early days, such is the filth displayed here. Second track ‘Meat’ is a minute and a half of blasting deathgrind attack, riffs sawing through bones and drums hammering through your skull. By the time we reach the end of the slimy ‘Snuffed Out’, a mere 9 minutes or so has passed, but it feels like you just got fucked in the ear by a zombie lumberjack. Love this shit, find it, worship at the altar of yet more awesome UK death!

(Credit to Matt Davidson of Repulsive Vision for sharing this tonight, that’s where I found it!)

Another day, another session of finding top quality underground bands for me to enjoy, and for me to promote. Yet another collection from the UK, which astounds me every time. Britain is the home of metal, and it is the home of metal’s future. We have a burgeoning underground just waiting for someone to discover the next gem, and you never know, you may hear it here first! Expect full reviews of some of these in the coming days.

First on my list, Wreodan Healh from the deep south of Cornwall. Atmospheric black metal, murky and dark. It’s very depressive, with raw vocals over wat at times feels quite pagan and medieval riffing. . Their EP ‘Læcig’ is available on their Bandcamp and is mesmerisingly dark.

Next up is brutal death/thrashers Severe Lacerations. Now, they only have one song available that I can find, entitled ‘Shadows of the Morgue Pit‘ on their Facebook page, but its a brutal if unpolished slab of death/thrash tastiness. They bring to mind early Entombed with a bit of a Celtic Frost vibe too. Looking forward to seeing more from them.

Another quality band from the deathier sound of things are progressive death metal destroyers Blood Thread from Glasgow. Their 3 track EP ‘The Tolerance is Over’ is available on their Bandcamp, and is a chunky riffathon full of massive groove and blastbeats. It is very professional recorded and has a song entitled ‘Bawbag’, which always wins the day for a man like myself.

White Hunter, a viciously raw black metal band from Cumbria, is next. Now they haven’t produced any new music in a number of years but ARE still active according to a source of mine and are in the process of writing new music. They have material available to listen to on their Myspace (Yeah, that’s almost trve kvlt in this modern age, still using Myspace), including two tracks from their 2005 demo ‘Live Off Your Land’. It is savagely raw, tremolo heavy and blasting black metal, and I’d love to hear more. ‘Three Wanderers of the Estuary’ is particularly nasty.

Finally, the thrashing groove metal of Carlisle’s Triverse Massacre. A five piece with some seriously catchy riffing patterns, and enough groove to slam a head through a wall with the banging and the such. Oy. You can get their ‘In the Jaws of Deceit’ release on Bandcamp for a mere £1 donation. For four tracks of aural violence and air drum inducing blasts, Triverse Massacre are the band for you.

My latest focus on the subcontinent has been prompted by a comment I received on one of my previous posts about some bands I was missing out on during my scouring of India for great metal bands. This will always be a work in progress, as new bands appear all the time, and particularly in such a fertile breeding ground for quality metal, India’s vast population means that I’ll never be able to stay on top of it.

First up is Eccentric Pendulum, a progressive metal band from Bangalore. You can find their debut release from 2011 here on YouTube, and it is a fine piece of metal indeed. The order of the day here is juddering, progressive modern metal with dashes of Dream Theater at their heaviest. The main inspiration point appears to be Meshuggah, but Eccentric Pendulum aren’t as willfully difficult to pin down. The songs are complex enough to maintain interest, without being overly dense and impenetrable. There are some vast, soaring moments in ‘My Eucalyptine Depth’ that are just beautiful. On the other side, the riff that opens ‘De Engineer the Prevalent’ shows an accomplished brutal side. Excellent stuff, greatly recommended.

Next we have Escher’s Knot, another band throwing some serious progressive shapes. They have four tracks up on ReverbNation, showcasing a nice line in heavy as sin chugging riffs, with some cool technical sections, and some serious low end. ‘Anonymous Origins’ groans under the weight of that starting riff, and ‘Mayan Calender’ splices some serious groove metal riffs with stop start tech death ferocity. Another band with fantastic production values, which helps to present the clarity and rage of their music perfectly. This is an Indian band who are breathing new life into this genre, creating songs that are heavy and relentless, yet fresh and invigorating!

Third on my list are another Bangalore band, Traces. Traces play a psychedelic, progressive style of rock, and are less metal than my usual stuff but not less awesome. My first instincts are to compare them to the likes of Porcupine Tree or Tool, they have a strangely ethereal sound. Their three track debut, ‘Fractals‘, was released in June, and opener ‘Unthought’ is a dreamy, A Perfect Circle style alt rock freakout. A sprawling, hypnotic song with some killer, more traditional metal riffs. Here we have another band who have made the effort to craft something polished, something complex and original. Vocalist Dileep Mallick has something of Brandon Boyd to his voice too, which suits the style. Not as heavy as the rest, but no less awesome. This is what you put on to relax to.

Finally I’ve happened upon Skrypt, Hyderabad’s progressive death/thrash machine. The only music I’ve happened upon is from 2010, the ‘Discord’ EP, but it is four tracks of chunky, catchy riffing thunder. ‘Artifice’ is one of the catchier songs I’ve come across in a while, and the overall style is energetic with some great riffs. They take the progressive tag and mix in some odd time signatures, some quieter and more expansive moments that enahnce the heaviness when it returns. Skrypt are very good at what they do, which is riff like a son of a bitch! When ‘Supremacy’ kicks in, I DARE you not to be banging your head.

Well, if I’ve forgotten or missed out on any more excellent bands, please let me know and I shall endeavour to fix my mistakes! Meanwhile, I’m off to bed with some Traces ringing in my lugs!

Returning to these fair isles after jaunts to Estonia and India, a round up featuring some of my latest and most favourite discoveries in the world of the underground. It amazes me that there are so many bands out there in the UK playing all types of twisted extreme music that are totally unrecognised. Bringing these guys to the attention of the wider metal audience feels almost like an obligation!

First is Edinburgh’s Nolti Nan Gana Nan Nolta, with their four track demo ‘Death by the Venomhammer’, available here. It has been a while since I got only halfway through an opening song and I was already clicking the buy button. This is harsh, raw thrashing black metal at its best, but it possesses some killer riffs and some brilliant songs. The new Aura Noir? Who knows, but I wouldn’t bet against it. Buy here.

Next up is Osiah, a seriously heavy and crushing deathcore band whose ‘Perennial Agony‘ is actually one of the best deathcore songs I’ve heard in ages. I’m normally not a big deathcore fan, I find a lot of it samey and lacking inspiration somewhat. But I fucking love ‘Perennial Agony’. I don’t know why exactly, and maybe thats a good thing. Maybe that means it has that spark that many of their peers lack. Who knows? Anyway, get it downloaded.

Next is black metallers Slaughter Throne from Leeds, who have just released a new EP entitled ‘Wrath of an Ancient Darkness‘. This is four tracks of galloping, icy and majestic black metal. Heavy on atmosphere to begin, but not lacking in the sort of aggression you’d expect. The title track begins with a riff that reminds me of the magic of Melechesh, and I think that really sold me on these guys. An excellent band

Next are Repulsive Vision, who play a nasty style of death metal replete with chainsaw riffing and a relentless battery of drumming. They only have instrumental versions of four tracks available on their Facebook page, but their mix of sludgy Autopsy riffs with dashes of early period Cannibal Corpse aggression makes for good listenings! Listen here.

My final shout is Sheffield’s Nokturnal Ritual, whose ‘Ushering a New Era of Agony’ debut record is one of the harshest and most intense black metal records I’ve heard in years. The rasping, unholy croak of the vocals are seriously necro, and the waspish riffs and battering drums are a non stop assault on the senses. Download here and prepare to have your brain turned to mush.

There we have it, five more bands hiding in the UK’s vibrant underground metal scene. Five bands who deserve to be supported. Bang thy fucking heads.

I’m assisting my friend Steve Thomas Green at Sixsixsix Music with a few compilation ideas for the next few months, so I was greatly looking forward to the release of his ‘Helvete – Confederacy of Hatred’ compilation he has been putting together recently. This is a black metal compilation of unsigned or small label bands from around the world as a promotional vehicle. It is available here at Buy It Now (Name Your Price) on the label Bandcamp page, and for what you get not donating is a sin! A track by track rundown is my contribution to the promotion of these bands. We must ALL support the underground metal scene as much as we can, otherwise we will lose our most vital and bullshit free source of quality music.

We open with ‘Manifestum Mortis’ by Serbia’s Ophidian Coil. This is how you want a compilation to start, a scything statement of intent that leaves you breathless, savaged and beaten. Punctured in the middle by a majestic, icy solo, this is a band to look out for.

Argentina’s Capgrass are next with ‘Disruption of the Deepest Dreams’. A slice of the frozen north from South America, Capgrass are channeling Immortal’s majesty with this track, six minutes of relentless, hypnotising black metal, broken only by some bleak acoustics and a wonderful solo.

Krajiny Hmly from Slovakia have a tough act to follow with ‘Hlbiny Spanku Zabudnutia’, but the only bad thing about it was my attempts to spell their name. This doesn’t seem like your conventional black metal on first listen, with oddly melodic opening riffs permeating the whole song. There’s a feeling of uneasiness about it, enhanced by the echoing rasps of the vocals and the flourishes of pagan metal.

India’s Solar Deity are a particularly highlight of this comp for me. Their ‘Circling the Moon’ track is totally killer, and is a perfect example of the great things appearing from Indian metal in the past few years. It feels like prime ‘Transylvanian Hunger’ material, energising and thoroughly hateful and raw. The moments of calm only enhance the storm.

It is time for some USBM to appear, and representing is Pittsburgh’s Nox Aeternum with ‘In the Midst of Scarlet Passageways’. It struggles to maintain the heights of Solar Deity, but only just. This is another brilliant track showcasing the quality of US black metal. It reminds me of Marduk’s blitzkrieg attack, coupled with some of Satyricon’s more epic moments. It’s not all hipster or eco-black metal over the pond.

I’ve written about Skiddaw before, and they contribute ‘Even Titans Fall’ from their self titled debut. Go read my review to understand why this Gorgoroth-esque razorblade will flay skin from bone.

A new track from the UK’s Nefarious Dusk is always something to bring a black tear to your eye, and ‘Cast Me to the Lions’ is a raw, bleak and thoroughly dark piece of black metal. This is debut record Bathory shit here my friends, and when the early 90s Darkthrone riffs kick in, you’ll think you’re listening to the corpse painted hordes for the very first time.

The more subdued acoustic intro to Paimonia of Serbia’s offering, ‘Ruined Form Catharsis’, is skewered violently by a urgent, artillery assault of fiery black metal. A track that couples the more traditional aural violence with moments of introspective calm. Another highlight of the comp. We’re ONLY HALFWAY THROUGH PEOPLE!!

Track 9 consists of Columbia’s offering, Penumbra. As traditional with South American black metal, ‘Ritual Genocide’ is rawer than a freshly savaged carcass. There is only one mission here, to batter your brain into submission with blasphemy and battery.

Belgians Sercati open totally differently to everyone else here, with an almost gothic style keyboard intro to ‘Hound from Hell’. It creates a bit of a shock, and allows a bit of breathing space between the constant barrage. Mixing the black metal with something approaching more rock sensibilities is brave, and works here rather well, creating a very memorable song.

I’ve mentioned Baalberith here on the site just recently so I’ll jump ‘Battle for the Blazing Dawn’ and straight into Norway’s Uburen and their track ‘Deprived of Empathy’. Now, these guys have a disadvantage of being from the home of proper old school black metal and so the expectations should be high. Uburen do not disappoint however, with a slower and more malevolent song than a lot of the tracks here. It is atmospheric, crawling and oppressive.

Short but sweet is the next offering from Italy’s NyX. ‘Tulpa Strigoi’ is replete with inhuman growls and is powered by an almost unstoppable juggernaut of blastbeats. Consider the no frills black metal 101 box checked by these guys.

Approaching the end of this black metal marathon, we come across the longest track on the compilation, Chiral (Italy)’s ‘Atto II: Abisso’. Opening with a spine tinglingly peaceful picked intro, you are given the feeling of Opeth’s ‘Damnation’ record. You can believe something special will occur here if a black metal band is willing to risk their ‘troo kvltness’ on such a melodic start. When the blackness arrives, it is just as bleak and mournful. The song swells with evil, a grandiose and hypnotic epic. This rivals Solar Deity as the stand out track on the compilation. Chiral are not afraid to let good song writing get in the way of their underground credentials.

The comp closes with the one two strike of Cvinger and Corruptor Ignis. The former is Slovenian, and is clearly inspired by some malignant dark beast that rages inside them. Its frantic, its raw and its fucking intense. As their homeland is a place close to my heart, I hope they do well out of this, as you’ll struggle to find much as one dimensionally vicious as this in modern black metal. When the pace slows, the feeling of unease grows. It’s fucking brutal. Corruptor Ignis finish us up with a slab of Gibraltan black metal. Yes, even the sunnier edges of what is left of the Empire is capable of summoning black magic from the depths of hell. It is difficult to appreciate the challenge of ending a compilation of some of the best bands in underground black metal, but Corruptor Ignis do it with style. They bring us to a close with some rasping black metal fury that drags you down into a suffocating atmosphere of hatred and bile.

Well, that was fucking epic. I haven’t written a review this long before, and normally I wouldn’t give each song so much depth but since each band deserves their own individual moment, I felt it was only fair. Most of these bands I shall endeavour to support financially with some physical purchases. Some I shall wait to hear more from. All I will recommend to people who like good music. Support these bands and buy this comp! Hail the Legions of Satan!

That’s right, it’s time for another random visitation to a place of unknown metal. This week, I’m looking towards the frozen eastern lands of Estonia. Former Soviet republic. Most famous for Metsatoll, who of course I shall not be featuring but are a very good band and I recommend much of their music. I feel that Estonia is one of those countries that has one big famous band, yet I’m not really aware of anything else that’s happening there. So I went exploring and found a number of excellent bands

First on the list is Necro Strike, a nasty death metal/crust band from Viljandi. As I have little to no idea about Estonian as a language, all I can figure out is that they are unsigned and are looking for a label. Stream their track ‘Romeo Ja Jaulia’ here, and prepare to have your face removed.

Next are Tharaphita, a pagan metal band with a tasty slice of the blackened straight through the middle of them. They’ve been going since 1997, and I feel embarrassed to admit I’d never heard of them until tonight. I listened to some stuff from their newest record Ulestous, and it’s pretty badass. It doesn’t have any of that flute bollocks that other pagan metal bands have, and they have some cool, icy Gorgoroth-esque riffs in places. I recommend this very highly. Listen to a great example of their sound here.

Third are ambient black metallers Vanad Varjud, who have only released their debut album this year, ‘Apooriad’, on tape through Hexenreich Records. It is a mournful slice of depressive, hypnotic black metal, with what I can only assume is spoken word Estonian over the top. It adds to the mystery of what this band are trying to present, and I think it works well. Listen here.

Finally are thrashers Cantilena. I like these guys, their sound reminds me of early Exodus or Overkill, they definitely have a dash or two of Bay Area influence. It’s rather melodic and catchy too which is essential for thrash tracks. Listen here.

I know, I know, wrong Indians… BUT! The Indian subcontinent is producing some of the best new sounds and bands in underground metal. Only with the rise of Demonic Resurrection in the past few years, first with their staggering ‘The Return to Darkness’ record, and their latest ‘The Demon King’ has there been a really well known Indian metal band. Hopefully that will now change with some more bands finding exposure. So I decided to focus on India for this installment, and go a-scouring for the best metal that it has to offer.

First of all, I’m plugging Crypted. A progressive death metal band from Chennai, they play a brutal, propulsive style of death, punctuated with the odd jazzy break and some virtuoso guitar work. If what I’ve heard from ‘Flesh Eater‘ is anything to go by, they could be pretty big. It’s catchy as hell while losing nothing of its brutality and heaviness. Check them out.

Another great Indian band are Toxoid. Now, my friend Steve at Sixsixsix Music was the one who suggested these guys. They play a rather vicious style of black metal, paying homage to the cold white north. For a band from such a tropical area of the world, ‘Aurora Satanae‘ is an icy cold, Satanic blast of metal that could be straight from Scandinavia. It’s bloody marvellous. Download it on their Bandcamp for a paltry $4.

I’m going to mention Demonic Resurrection here, as even though they aren’t really an underground band anymore being featured in magazines across the world, it is important to acknowledge that they’ve come out representing their country with serious chops and tunes behind them. If it wasn’t for ‘The Return to Darkness’, I would never have considered India as such a fertile breeding ground for the new breed of extremity. So hail to them and simply put, buy the shit out of their stuff, because it’s devastating blackened death metal. If the rest of their new record sounds like this, it’s going to be challenging in many album of the year lists.

Back to the underground now, but possibly not to stay there considering the quality of last year’s ‘The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence’, Reptilian Death bring the heavy and the death metal with similar qualiy and ferocity as Demonic Resurrection, and it’s only a matter of time I feel until we’re mentioning them alongside their more famous countrymen as the newest hopes for death metal. Listen here.

Penultimately we come to Mumbai’s Bhayanak Maut, a band who mix elements of death metal and hardcore, but yet aren’t metalcore nor deathcore. I suppose they could just be metal eh? Your nearest comparison is someone like Lamb of God or Devildriver I guess, although they don’t quite match up with the quality in those bands. They have a couple of good songs on YouTube, and I’d definitely be interested in hearing more. Solid heavy metal for the pit.

Last, but in no way least is Inner Sanctum, death/thrashers from Bangalore. A band who have opened for both Slayer and Metallica in the past, it implies an impressive pedigree and talented guys, and Inner Sanctum do not disappointed. Their thrash is chunky, similar to Megadeth when they’re on form. It’s well paced, not hyper speed and it possesses some cracking riffs. Listen here.

This is only a brief look at some of the 145 bands listed on Encyclopedia Metallum that play metal in India. I picked the favourites of the ones I could find to listen to. Hopefully you’ll enjoy them too.