Posts Tagged ‘Metal’

Spanish metallers Crucifucked have just released their debut EP, ‘Four Tracks to Ruin Your Life’, and look to set out a stall for some hard hitting stuff. Download it from their Bandcamp now!

‘Rotten Roots’ erupts like some old school thrashy death, even featuring your typical Tom G. Warrior grunt, and has a really good energy and almost hard rock quality lurking under the grimy outer layer. ‘The Goat of Mendez’ chugs along with some solid riffs, and there is some nice old school heavy metal riffing patterns later on. ‘Crows of Downtown’ is a little one dimensional though though, and I think the band will struggle to put together a compelling full length on just this style. The imperious opening to ‘Love is War’ shows what they can do though, and this is a great closer.

A solid and promising debut EP, but Crucifucked have got some work to build on this and create something a little more original and inventive to stand out. Nothing much to criticise here but there hopefully is more to come.

Italians Demetra Sine Die have been around since 2003 but this is my first opportunity to hear them. Their new record, ‘Post Glacial Rebound’, is a mesmerising cocktail of sludge, doom, psychedelica, krautrock amongst other things, and it is out now through Third I Rex.

Opener ‘Stanislaw Lem’ builds with almost ritualistic riff and drum combos, while the crooning vocal of Tom Stearn from Kettle of Kites intones hypnotic lyrical poetry. ‘Birds Are Falling’ has a driving power behind it, layered with sinister melodies and post metal roars. This isn’t like many albums you’ll have come across this year; quite experimental and almost art-rock in its execution of a sludge and post metal palette. A churning low end meets with fuzzy riffing, mysterious tales are told, and glorious musical heights are reached, like the gloom of ‘Lament’ or the cosmic madness of ‘Gravity’.

Equal parts miasmic sludge, dirging post metal, psychedelic weirdness and progressive art rock sensibilities, ‘Post Glacial Rebound’ is a record that is very hard to categorise, probably by design. Demetra Sine Die do not aim to fit into genre pigeonholing, aiming instead to create a collection of music that weaves within genres in order to create their vision. Weird but definitively engrossing, this needs to be on your radar if you like things done a little differently.


With a name like Greystone Canyon, and an album cover like that, you’d be forgiven for expecting ‘While the Wheels Still Turn’ to be a country rock album. And while there is definitely a soulful southern twang throughout, there’s plenty of chunky slabs of classic heavy metal throughout. Released in March through Rockshot Records, it is a good change of pace from all the black/death I have been listening to recently.

‘Astral Plane’ is the kind of modern heavy metal/hard rock you can expect through. The theme is, obviously, the band’s love of the Old West, and so the additions of the kind of Western movies twangs makes them stand out immediately. The music is actually pretty solid, with a couple of soulful gems (‘Path We Stray’ and the smooth closer ‘The Sun Sets’ in particular) and the likes of ‘In These Shoes’ has a killer solo too. This isn’t just your radio friendly rock and roll; there’s enough of an edge for modern metal fans to get a kick out of it. ‘Take Us All’ is a pretty badass metal song, and despite the odd softer rock misstep (‘River of Fire’ just isn’t for me), ‘While the Wheel Still Turns’ is pretty good hard rock.

Sometimes us metalheads needs something a little softer, a little more ear friendly, and Greystone Canyon are just that. The Western theme gives them a unique hook, and their songs have enough of a heaviness to them that it isn’t simply the ‘new Nickelback’ kind of shit. ‘While the Wheels Still Turn’ has a soulful groove and some nice soloing to give it that heavy metal cred, and is worth a listen.

Gravetemple is a who’s who of extreme music creators, from experimentalist Oren Ambarchi, to black metal avant god Attila Csihar and drone icon Stephen O’Malley, and their ‘Impassable Fears’ bridges esoteric and spiritual worlds through unadulterated heaviness of sound. Svart Records will unleash this celebration of volume and density in June.

As ‘A Szarka’ begins to emanate from the speaker, a menace buils within fuzzy feedback and a ritual thudding. Polyrhythms rumble from underneath scowling feedback, while croaking vocals draw you into a hazy, mystic void between realms. Full of uncomfortable sounds, moments that sound like beasts of darkness and fear scratching on the walls of our world, ‘Impassable Fears’ is not only music, but an experience. Csihar describes it as a contemporary Shamanism, and with the ritualistic and mesmerising ‘World Out of Date’, you are sucked into a world that is not quite your own.

Haunting instrumental ‘Karma’s Claws’ provides a breather from the intensity, as does the creepy electronica of ‘Domino’ before the terrifying monolith of the title track drags you back into madness. By the time ‘Eternal Endless Void’ hums you to a disturbing sleep, you’ll be exhausted, drained and thoroughly ready for another go. These creative gods have brought us yet more wisdom us mortals cannot yet fatom. Gravetemple are mysteriously and inexplicable essential.

For those who don’t know Abaddon, you are missing out on one of India’s newest and most impressive bands. You can read my review of their debut EP ‘Son of Hell here:

I spoke to rhythm guitarist Naag Bharath at length about ‘Son of Hell’, who they take influence from and how they fit in with the emerging Indian metal scene. We ended up in a long conversation about bands we both like and recommendations for us both to check out. He’s a cool guy, and even disappeared halfway through to go and support a local band who I’ve since been told to check out. A true metal supporter!

Abaddon - Logo

So how long have Abaddon been in existence?

NB: For a little over 3 years, we just finished 3 years last December.

What was the idea behind the band, was it just to play music or is there a message to be sent?

NB: At the roots it’s basically our love for the music and how it has helped us and connected to us that led us to form the band, so that we can keep playing the music we love. It also became a way for us to put out all our thoughts and frustrations with all the shit going on around.So it’s both, to play metal and send across our message with it too.

India seems to be churning out these high quality bands with a lot of anger at the moment. Are there a lot of problems there?

NB: Of course, there are a lot of problems here. Religious hypocrites, sleazy politicians, governments looting away our money, stupid laws limiting recreation etc. I guess all these are not very different from the problems in other places, its just what we as humans have become. Metal personally helps give the extra aggression needed to go on everyday, because the modern “Bollywood” music here just doesn’t do the job!

Metal is still really underground in India isn’t it? Are there any big bands, even hard rock, or is it all very much hidden from society?

NB: Yeah, its still underground here, although there have been bands here from the late 80s/early 90s and maybe even earlier. There are many big metal bands here, a lot of them even having played outside India. And there are other non-metal bands which are pretty popular too, it’s mostly Rock, fusion and that kind of stuff which can get some popularity. And there are some rock bands who are actually really good at what they do and are pretty popular too.

Your brand of thrash is obviously a more underground sound. Who are your main influences?

NB: We are mainly influenced by Iron Maiden, Metallica, Slayer, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Overkill, Kreator, Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Sodom, Testament etc

Yeah, there’s definitely an early Iron Maiden sound about your stuff. What was the recording like for Son of Hell?

NB: The recording was done in one full day, around 8 to 9 hours. It was the first time we ever got into a studio and actually recorded anything, so it was a good experience. It was also frustrating at times when one of us fucked up in between and we had to start recording all the way from the top again, as this was basically a live recording. But we did have fun recording this.

Naag went off at this point to see Threidony, a local thrash band, and we picked it up again the next day:

Hey man. How was the gig?

NB: The gig was awesome man! Good sound, good music and the place was packed!

Excellent. So there must be a good following for metal in India. Are there a lot of gig opportunities?

NB: Yeah, there is a good following all around but most of it is from the big cities and metros. It would be very rare to find a metalhead in a small town because there might not be much exposure. There are a fair amount of gigs that keep happening, things are actually getting better by the day. But there are also dry spells sometimes

It’s obviously a very fertile scene. Every time I hear of a new band, I’m straight in there. There’s a passion for metal in India that I love. Have you got more material in the pipeline? What’s next for Abaddon?

NB: Definitely! And all the local bands here who’ve been around from a long time, when the scene wasn’t as fertile as it is now, have played a very important role. We have no new material yet, although we are working on writing new stuff.

Is it more of the same or is your sound evolving in anyway?

NB: Too early to say right now because we haven’t jammed or worked on it yet. But it could evolve a bit and we look forward to something more improvised and better than what we have done.

Abaddon - Photo

How has the reaction been to Son of Hell? I’ve been spinning it a lot recently.

NB: We’ve had a pretty good reaction so far. We’ve heard some good things about it and gotten some constructive feedback too! Really nice to know you liked our music. What did you like best about it and what did you not like about it?

I think it’s got a really honest feel about it, an old school vibe. I mean my review was glowing like, but I mean it. I think the opener is strong, and I also really enjoy Bullet Eye.

NB: Considering our influences and ideas, we’ve worked on getting an old school vibe on it. Thank you for the feedback!

And there you have it. Our conversation then delved into bands from India that I should listen to, and bands that I know that Naag should listen to etc. The band are great, and deserve your support. ‘Son of Hell’ is available here:


I was prompted to write this by a great article on the Somber Lane Blog, written by my good friend Teo from Chiral. Along with his partner in riffs, Rizzo, they put out some great reviews and articles, and are clearly two guys who know their shit and are passionate about what they write about. They’ve put up a piece today about the receiving of physical promos, which I’ll put a link to at the end. I agree with a lot of what they have to say, and I feel like the Killchain should clarify its position on them too.

First off, if you want to send physical promos, they are more than welcome. We also understand that you can’t afford to send out physical promos to every person you want a review or article from. That’s why we have a policy never to request them unless offered. A physical one may jump up the review list due to the fact that a band or label has committed resources to getting our opinions, and we appreciate that in the humblest manner. But we would never expect you to put yourselves out of pocket just for a review. I have read a lot of negativity on social media about how people who want physical promos only are freeloading etc etc, and I wouldn’t want anyone to think that of us here. Trust me, the money I’ve sunk into my record collection, gig tickets and merch, I’m anything but!

The Killchain receives about 5-10 promos a day from various labels, bands and PR companies, and as much as we’d love to cover everything promptly, it is simply not possible. The fact is, I like to write about music that inspires me, and therefore if a record doesn’t, I don’t write about it. That’s also why most reviews at the Killchain are positive, because I don’t have time to write about music that sucks. Heavy metal has been my life for a long time, and writing about it is one of my life’s joys, so it is important to me to spread the word about music that kicks ass.

So, in closing, if you want to send me a physical promo, a stream or a download link, everything is listened to and appreciated, even if I don’t put fingers to keyboard about it. It is humbling to think that people who write the music I love are interested in what I think about it. That’s why the Killchain exists, and that’s why I love supporting the bands who contact me. It is why metal will never die

Read Teo’s article here:

Sombras cover art

Chilean metallers Mano Humana formed in 2012, and aim to write music free of traditional genre tropes, which still fits with a violent and aggressive style. Hopefully this translates into something riff heavy and awesome!

South American metal tends to be on the side of rabid brutality and extremely raw. So it’s a pleasant experience to find an album that, while aggressive in execution, is quite well produced and clear. The modern thrashings of ‘Jueces’ has elements of early Meshuggah, with some almost djent signatures in places. It has a killer groove though, which continues through bangers like ‘Desintrospeccion’ and the chugging heaviness of ‘Demencia’

What I like about Mano Humana is they don’t just play solid if uninspired thrash, nor do they do a bad copy of Meshuggah riffs. What they bring is an honest amalgamation of both, with plenty of quirky guitar work, and some jagged time changes. It isn’t all relentless riffing though, with the introspective noodlings of ‘Grito En Silencio’ displaying an almost progressive edge, or the calming start of longest track ‘Arbol’. I really like the spacey riff that opens ‘Ataca y Ataca’, and the call and response sections is very Soulfly-esque. In fact, this song feels like their Brazilian counterparts, with a dense tribal drum and primal roar echoing Cavalera’s tribe.

I like Mano Humana. ‘Sombras’ feels like a breath of fresh air, with its amalgamation of thrash and a heavier sound. It is a little weird, but once it gets going, you’ll be hooked!