Posts Tagged ‘Groove Metal’

Primal Attack - Heartless Oppressor

Portuguese groove/thrashers Primal Attack are a pretty hefty proposition. Their second full length ‘Heartless Oppressor’ throws a vast number of chunky thrash riffs at you, leaving you a bit battered and bruised. It is out now on Rastilho Records, and looks to be a mosh pit wet dream for 2017.

This is a potent follow up to 2013’s ‘Humans’, with a sound that draws from the finest points of Unearth and Machine Head, while slamming in great swathes of off kilter breakdowns, almost like a more straightforward Meshuggah. Opener ‘Red Silence’ is a great example of that, with the waspish ‘Halfborn’ following.  Taking cues from the likes of The Haunted and Dew-Scented, and the aforementioned Unearth seem to be a big influence, tracks like ‘Strike Back’ hit with considerable force, but the soloing and fluid melodies take this above the more meatheaded approach that you tend to find in this subgenre. Take ‘Truth and Consequence’ for example, that kicks off with an almost Melechesh-esque approach; all shimmering esoteric black metally riffing before descending back to the more straightforward.

If fat, modern thrash riffs is your bag, then Primal Attack is for you. The band wield some massive groove, and their songs are surprisingly memorable for a genre that can become stale very quickly when not done right. Primal Attack sidestep those issues by channelling their energies into something vibrant and engaging, with plenty of stylistic departures to keep things interesting. ‘Heartless Oppressor’ is here to crush with big riffing and big melodies, and succeed with that it certainly shall.

Backyard Junkyard cover art

North Carolinian bruisers Thundering Herd have dropped their new record ‘Backyard Junkyard’, a record chock full of (excuse the pun) thunderous groove and old school RAWK! Available on their Bandcamp now!

You’re looking at an album here that is pulsing with muscular riffing, a ton of massive groove and a sweet Southern stoner vibe that is thoroughly energising. Sometimes you need something dark, brutal or heavier than hell, and sometimes you need something that rocks hard and sets your head nodding. Thundering Herd are here for the latter, and on songs like the great ‘Stars, Bars and Mason Jars’, they really capture that feeling perfectly. The vocal hooks are catchy, and there’s almost something a bit thrashy about their riff patterns in places. Imagine Clutch made love to Lamb of God, and you’d be getting there.

The soulful swagger of ‘Aces and 8s’, the grinding ‘Chopper’ and the muscular ‘Some Assembly Required’ are some of my highlights, but it’s not difficult to find a good, banging track on this album. It’s big, dumb and full of groove, and sometimes that’s all you need.

Abstract Ritual cover art

Hungarian groove metallers Omega Diatribe’s new EP features death metal drumming legend Kevin Talley on percussive battery, and that’ll suggest to you that at very least the drumming on this record will be stellar. The description of ‘extreme groove metal’ and the artwork suggests a Meshuggah influence here.

I was right. Omega Ritual owe a lot to the Swedish riff manglers, and while never quite reaching the same heights, Omega Ritual groove their way through six riff heavy destroyers. Opener ‘Subsequent Phase’ is relentless in its almost mechanical pounding, and while the EP’s artowrk suggests a more spiritual experience, the music feels more mechanised and artificial. They have that same kind of cold, soulless sound that prime Fear Factory evoke. That kind of imperious riff that exists in a bubble, far from outside influences.

‘Extrinsic’ has the omnipresence about it, with a bulldozing riff leading into a more straightforward thrash song that rumbles with polyrhythmic fury. Each riff drops out with stomach churning force, which is also true about the knee buckling groove in ‘Hydrozoan Periods’. While a lot of bands have aped Meshuggah’s tone and riffing style, few bands have managed to replicate it so well. Omega Diatribe may follow a lot of those traits, but they also inject enough of their own personality into each track to stand out. Take the calming tranquillity of ‘The Quantum’, or the fact that they close out the EP with a remix. It’s little touches like this that keep them from being copycats.

‘Abstract Ritual’ is great for two main reasons. One, it gives you something to tide you over til the new Meshuggah record comes out. Two, its a fucking brutally heavy record in its own right and with this vast groove fodder on show, you’d be a fool to miss out. Bang your fucking head.

While not the most inspiring name for a band, Middlesborough groove metallers You’re Next at least have the decency to create some heavy riffs on their debut, self titled EP. Taking more obvious Lamb of God-isms and injecting a dash of death metal groove into them sounds like it could work well.

Opening track ‘Suffer Unto Me’ is a rumbling, one speed riff that doesn’t really go anywhere but it lays out a heavy punch to the senses to start us off. ‘War Deities’ is better, with a threatening start opening up into a monstrous groove mixed in with strange ethereal parts and growls. ‘Fuck Everything’ features a guest appearance from Shaun Payne from Silence Fiction, and it feels again very repetitive and doesn’t really go anywhere. The lyrics on this do nothing for me either.

The band are capable of some punishing riffing, as shown on the last song on the record ‘Leave the Seed’ and as it is their debut I’ll forgive somewhat average quality songs but if You’re Next want to get anywhere in the oversaturated groove metal scene, they’re going to have to work on their songwriting. A lack of riff variety really hampers my enjoyment, and the fact that most of the songs pick one riff and stick to it all the way through isn’t really good enough. Sorry lads, better luck next time.



India’s Inner Sanctum are another bright spark coming out of the subcontinent. Their new record, ‘Legions Awake’ is a ripping collection of hard riffing and insanely catchy songs. Fresh from their appearance at Norway’s Inferno festival in April, the band sound energised and ready to slay those who stand in their way.

Starting with the hellish grandeur of ‘Incipens’, Inner Sanctum sure know how to make an impression. It sounds more like a Cradle of Filth intro than a death metal one, but Inner Sanctum kick off the album proper with the killer chug of ‘Wake of Destruction’. There’s more than a dash of Lamb of God influence in there, but Inner Sanctum seem to take most influence from latter Destruction and Kreator. The production is thick and warm, enhancing the heaviness of the riffing which is showcased in the heavy as fuck ‘Reflections of the Past’.

If you’re a fan of big chunky riffs, Inner Sanctum have them by the metric fuck ton. Check out the pit fodder that is the rampant title track, or the monstrous groove of ‘March of the Wounded’. It’s yet more proof that India is the place to be at the moment for solid, heavy metal in all genres. Inner Sanctum are a flagbearer for Indian metal, and when they’re making music of this quality, its only a matter of time before they and other bands like them blow up the same as Demonic Resurrection did.

Inner Sanctum prove yet again that you don’t need to dig very far in India to find some brilliant metal. ‘Legions Awake’ is a snarling, riff laden beast of an album that should go down well in every pit across the world. Thrash on!


Available from Sixsixsix Music, there are four non profit CD-Rs available for a measly £2 each. These are sold simply to promote the band involved, which at the current moment are India’s Eyes of the Martyr, the UK’s own Slaughter Throne and Nefarious Dusk and American melodic deathsters Necrocosm. Each comes in a plastic slipcase with artwork and is remarkably professional considering you only pay two pounds for it. Just goes to show that Steve at Sixsixsix gives a fuck about the bands he supports. I’ve reviewed the majority of this music before here at the Killchain, so this is only a brief run down:

Nefarious Dusk is one of the UK’s best hidden secrets, playing raw, atmospheric black metal the way it was supposed to be. Eyes of the Martyr are India’s equivalent of Lamb of God; chunky, heavier than a coffin slab and rifftastic. I’ve already dubbed Slaughter Throne to be the UK’s answer to Behemoth, and Necrocosm play some great, solid melodeath tracks without sounding too repetitive. I’ll review the Necrocosm demo in full sometime soon.

Simply put, this is not only a fantastic bargain at £1 per single, but helps to get these bands to a wider audience which is a must. Steve at SixSixSix is constantly thinking of new ways and ideas to promote the music he loves, and more label bosses should be thinking like this, lest we lose the magic of physical releases all together. Buy them here

It’s been a while since I caught up with new music from my favourite breeding ground of metal, India. I finally realised the other day what it is about Indian metal that draws me in: passion. These are bands who play metal because they fucking love it. It’s honest, it’s both in tribute to and inspired by some of the world’s best metal bands, and they just fucking love it. Anyway, I’ve found another band that deserve to be heard by the wider world, Delhi progressive/groove metallers Murk Blare. When I contact them soon, I’ll find out what that means….

Chronos‘, the band’s new single, combines the thunderous propulsive groove of their countrymen Undying Inc, with dashes of progressive riff patterns that ape Meshuggah but lack that band’s oddity. Murk Blare are more straight for the jugular on this one, with thick slabs of djent riffs crushing those brave enough to be underneath them. Stop start juddering with atonal melodies jammed in reminds me of Mastodon in places as well.

I’ve never heard these guys until now, but I like what they do. It’s solid, heavy and full of enough progressive flashes to keep the interest while not getting overly technical. Yet again, India seems to be showing the way for bands to do reliable brutal metal that’s both well produced but heavier than an overweight submarine. SLAY!