Posts Tagged ‘Review’

The vibrant pink cover of the debut self titled EP from Scotland’s Tyrannus belies the ferocity lurking underneath. Admittedly, the demonic Chthonic skull motif might have given us a clue… It is out now through the band’s Bandcamp.

Opener ‘Bad Spirit’ has a gnarly guitar tone, and brings to mind the earliest days of death metal when there was still a hefty thrash influence. You can feel the early Possessed and Death seeping through, while ‘Demon Under Clay’ has a couple of snarling Mustaine-isms in the vocals too. Megadeth is obviously an influence too, as my version includes a cover of ‘The Conjuring’ which is pretty ace. The production is a little rough, but in a debut EP you have to forgive that to an extent.

Closing with the almost black metal tones of the best track here, ‘Repeating Misery’, I’d call this a rough and ready debut performance, which can easily be tightened up with a little time. The potential is all there though, the guitar tone and fretwork is ace and the songwriting skills have definitely got a spark to them. The best debuts leave you waiting for the next step, and Tyrannus do that here. Great.

https://tyrannus.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/TyrannusEtImperium/

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Blind Monarch - What Is Imposed Must Be Endured

The titanic sludge doom of British misery artists Blind Monarch has finally seen the light of day earlier this year through Black Bow Records, and ‘What is Imposed Must Be Endured’ is four tracks and almost an hour of crumbling, ruinous music.

Opener ‘Suffering Breathes My Name’ seeps, drips, crawls into view; a mesmerising magma flow of earth wrenching riffs and tar gargling roars. A funereal pace lurches the song forward, with huge Winter style riffs being accompanied by the kind of nihilistic scream you’d find in NOLA’s finest. The quiet moments of ‘My Mother, My Cradle, My Tomb’ are almost as terrifying as the rest, the band’s eponymous track drags us to the cold edge of cosmic oblivion where closer ‘Living Altar’, gently prepares us what is to be endured. Which happens around the four minute mark and your sacrificial casting into the void marks the beginning of the end of this mammoth paean to darkness.

Blind Monarch’s vast, crushing doom would be a fitting epitaph to the end of this world. ‘What is Imposed Must Be Endured’ is the kind of record that comes along rarely; one that plays with emotional heft as well as the weight of its riffs. Blind Monarch are superb, and if this world doesn’t collapse under its own self destruction, please may we have more of this?!

https://www.facebook.com/blindmonarchband/

https://blindmonarch.bandcamp.com/releases

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June 1974 are an Italian project from underground poet and writer Federico Romano, and their newest record ‘Earth is Not Place for Lovers’ is out now through Visionaire Records. June 1974 have been experimental and genre defying over their last few releases, but have settled into a more post rock/alternative world for this record.

The opener has a lot going on; electronica elements play off glacial clean guitar, while the drums do a little bit of everything, pinning the band down to this earth. There’s a little Minus the Bear in the driving second track ‘School Days’, and that style of glacial indie rock plays a large part here. Entirely instrumental, this is a record designed to showcase the music, and it mostly speaks for itself. From the quietly introspective ‘Black Mirror’, to the lively and fragile beauty of ‘No More Human Race’, June 1974 is an avantgarde, post rock artist to be recognised for variety, and possessing a skilled palette with which to paint. The driving riffs of ‘You’re My Shining Grief’ contrast to the gloriously ethereal ‘Nulla e Verita’ beautifully, and there’s always a chance for a little dancey funkiness, like in ‘Avantgarde’.

There’s a simple purity to ‘Earth is Not Place for Lovers’, different from what we normally cover here but no less important to me. Electronica and alternative/indie have played their part in my musical life, and June 1974 are another band I will look to in the future when I need that itch scratched. Excellent.

https://june1974.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/june1974music/

Rancorum - The Vermin Shrine

Romanian death metallers Rancorum released their debut full length, ‘The Vermin Shrine’, through Loud Rage Music in November 2018, but like many things this year I am so far behind on my music it is scary. This is 37 minutes of primal, brutal death metal ready to crush skulls and melt skin.

Opener ‘Voidification’ absolutely nails that old school rumble from the get go, and immediately sets a high standard for the rest of the album to keep up. The chugging, miasmic power of ‘Bedlam of Saints’ is a joy, while the battering assault of ‘The Shining’ is relentless. Rancorum have got that ‘new old school death metal’ sound down pat, but they make some interesting riff decisions to keep it fresh. There’s lots of massive bends, Immolation style, that really bring the heaviness to the forefront. Check out the dizzying weight of ‘Towards Below’ to see what I mean.

‘The Vermin Shrine’ feels like an album much further down a band’s career than a mere debut. The songwriting is tight and memorable, the riffing is varied and there is a desire to experiment with how heaviness is used. Rancorum definitely strike me as a band to watch on future releases, as I can’t wait to see where they head after this.

https://www.facebook.com/rancorumband/

https://loudragemusic.bandcamp.com/album/rancorum-the-vermin-shrine

https://rancorum.bandcamp.com/

Rancorum

 

The new EP from Boethiah, ‘Celestial Gateway’, continues their path from their full length debut ‘Invocation of the Xenolith’, which I reviewed a while back, dragging the classic Swedeath sound into science fiction realms. It was released late last year through Camo Pants Records and Rotted Life Records for the CD. The band have also since set up their own label, which they reissued this on cassette earlier this year as well, Desert Wastelands.

The sinister, gurgling intro sets the scene for the cosmic, spectral horror that is about to unfold. First track proper ‘Charting the Unknown’ has all the same Swedeath chugging viciousness that we loved about their debut record, ensorcelled by dreamy spacey weirdness, and it carves out a more unique place for Boethiah in this world of copycat death metal bands. The more midpaced thunder on this EP is a refreshing move away from identikit Swedeath thrashing, and every riff is coated in a darker, oiler tone. ‘Succumbing to the Maelstrom’ is brutally dense and dark, while the stunning melodies of ‘Beneath the Mist’ languish under a steamroller of chainsaw riffing.

‘Celestial Gateway’ is a step up from their last, and Boethiah are carving their own maelstrom of darkness in metal’s galaxy. Far away, ever present and awaiting their time to engulf us all in blackness, ‘Celestial Gateway’ is merely another step on the path to celestial dominance.

https://www.facebook.com/BoethiahBand/

https://boethiah.bandcamp.com/album/celestial-gateway

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEpf5huB9b2KFLim-wjTSMA/featured

https://desertwastelands.bandcamp.com/

Dutch death/thrashers Insurrection’s new full length, ‘Circles of Despair’, is coming out at the end of August through Big Bad Wolf/Headbangers Records, and it is one of those records that attempts to be both unbelievably technical and yet loaded with melody and catchy songs. A tough game to play, let’s see if they can manage it.

Opening track ‘Enigma Machine’ is a good start; a sinewy beast rippling with piles of prime melodeath riffing that brings to mind the likes of Omnium Gatherum or Himsa while also gathering some death metal chops underneath. The likes of ‘Non Existent Fall’ and the particularly savage ‘Comrades in White’ marry the brutality to an innate sense of melody and both are excellent examples of what Insurrection do so well. But it isn’t all just galloping In Flames-isms, and there’s no clean vocal sections either. The musicianship is super tight, and there’s no mindless interludey nonsense, (‘Spiralling Down’ is more of an intro to the closing track, so I’m not counting it), just straightforward, thrashy death metal with plenty of melody flowing underneath.

Making a record that sounds like 2006 all over again isn’t necessarily a good thing, but Insurrection carry it off very well, giving us prime cuts of top melodeath. A glorious collection of sharp, precise guitarwork and killer songwriting makes ‘Circles of Despair’ one of the finer records you’ll hear this year.

https://www.facebook.com/Insurrectionofficial/

GhostHello Album Cover.jpg

Ghost:Hello are a family affair, and the trio of stoner rockers from Ohio are releasing their debut record in September, entitled ‘The Sound of Color in Space’. This is a record that demands repeated listens to unlock its glories, but it is just a little too strange in places?

A mighty slab of synth riddled stoner fuzz is exactly what this record gives you from the start. The driving riffs that open ‘Fingerstache’ are immediately addictive, but what really hooks you in are the surrounding synth lines, weird effects and otherworldly vocals that ensure that you’ve never quite heard anything like this before. The strange gloom of ‘Perfect’, the awesome driving bass of ‘Mouth of the Gift Horse’ coupled with the raw vocal; it is the variety in every song that makes Ghost:Hello such an intriguing prospect. Highlights include the tripped out fuzz of Burnout’ and the closing ‘Poison Swan’, that drifts away in squalling feedback.

Equal parts driving stoner rock and weird darkwave, Ghost:Hello have released one of this year’s most interesting records. The tribal, sleazeblues of ‘Nemesis’ sits right next to the eerie, pulsating ‘Bardo State’ and yet makes total sense. A challenging record, but ultimately a great one.

https://www.facebook.com/Ghosthello/

https://ghosthelloband.com/

https://ghosthello.bandcamp.com/