Posts Tagged ‘Self Released’

Withered Fist is made up of former and current members of Irish sludge/doom band Two Tales of Woe, and have just released a debut EP entitled ‘This is My Mountain’ on New Year’s Day. A three track EP of slow and melodic heaviness awaits those who seek and find this band.

A gloomy, clean guitar leads us to the start of the journey, while a soulful vocal glides over some fuzzed out riffs. Sounding like some heavier, lost 70s prog gem, Withered Fist are captivating immediately with their unique voice. You’re not likely to hear anything like this in a lot of modern doom. There’s no nihilistic grinding misery, no galloping sword and sorcery. This feels like the earthy rumble of a simpler time, where a great vocal and an epic riff was enough. Withered Fist bring it all in the first track, let alone the insatiable groove of ‘The Dread’ or the sprawling closer ‘The Journey’. ‘This is My Mountain’ is the vessel for what could be a truly special musical output for the future.

My first truly great experience of 2019; a record that will haunt me all year with its simple purity of spirit and raw honesty that spills from every facet. Withered Fist had me invested from the first track, and I’m going to be listening to this all year long. It has been a long time since I came across a record that makes me want everyone I know to hear it. Just, yeah, beautiful!

https://witheredfist.bandcamp.com/releases

Northern Crown - Northern Crown

The thunderous doom and smoky atmospheres of Northern Crown’s debut record has returned on their newest, self titled record. ‘Northern Crown’ is out now through their Bandcamp, and it oozes with the early Deep Purple and Black Sabbath influences that pervaded their first record, but engages you on a more visceral level.

Opener ‘I Am Your Slave’ reeks of classic Candlemass; vast thrusting riffs laden with organ and a commanding vocal performance. Vocalist Frank Serafine has a similar voice to Rob Lowe of Solitude Aeternus, and there is a subtle power and magic to it that gives this album a feeling of grandeur. The stomping ‘Merciless, They Let You Suffer’ is a killer track, ripe for any ‘hit songs of 2018’ playlist, with a galloping nature that reminds you of classic rockers like Rainbow. But Northern Crown approach all facets of heavy music with the same magnanimity, paying tributes to prog (‘The Desert and the Wind’), as well as miserable Yorkshire doom (the My Dying Bride cover ‘Your River’) and gloomy, occult and organ laden proto doom (‘Forged from Nothing’)

‘Northern Crown’ is a statement. Northern Crown are a band that are almost chameleonic in their worship and execution of classic doom, when the differences between that, classic rock and classic heavy metal were blurred. Sometimes an album comes along where you struggle to pick the best song. Few albums this year have achieved this so well, and Northern Crown’s journey has only just begun.

https://music.northerncrownband.com/album/northern-crown

https://www.facebook.com/NorthernCrownDoom/

British black metallers Aklash approach their craft with a grandiose spirit and a lack of respect for the classic black and white aesthetic of the genre. Look at that album art, it’s a wonderful cavalcade of colour, that rather suits their broad palette of musical talent. ‘Where the Ocean Meets the Sky’ is out now through their Bandcamp.

‘Cascading Darkness’ pours from the speakers like a rush of icy water, riffs flowing between blastbeating rocks and overlaid with a misted haze of at once clean and then raw vocals. The deft switches between cleaner vocals and the more savage ones is well done, and feels natural. It gives the record a natural tinge of folk metal to it as well as black. There is a vast scope to the epic ‘All Noble Deeds Are Touched With Melancholy’, casting an ethereal mist upon a mid paced black metal odyssey that continues throughout the three part title track. There’s more than a dash of the psychedelic nature of The Meads of Asphodel in places that helps them stand out from the crowd too. That part three of the title track by the way; a defining take on the term tour de force.

‘Where the Ocean Meets the Sky’ is a wonderful record that has a really expansive take on black metal, and allows all facets of raw, atmospheric and sometimes a little weird come out to play. Harsh and uncompromising at times, delicate and introspective at others, Aklash are a complete package.

https://aklash.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/aklashmusic

http://infernum.co.uk/shop

One man Ukrainian outfit Haissem’s new record ‘Demonotone’ is coming out soon, and it follows this year’s ‘Panacea for an Cursed Race’. The Ukrainian and Russian scenes seem to provide some of the best black metal out there today, so it is always a pleasure to get into that part of the underground where possible.

This is a much more brutal black metal album than I was expected, with chugging death metal riffing slathered in a horribly dark atmosphere. The production is suitably raw as well, never losing the weight of the riffing but definitely adding a nasty edge to the likes of ‘Internal Void’ and the primal hatred of ‘The Shadowhunt’. Manic rasps clash with the guttural growling, while the injection of some nice soloing is another string to this bloodied bow. Haissem seem to draw more from the South American scene, (where basically everything is black/death and primitive) than their local one but it makes a nice change.

Defying my expectations of just another Drudkh clone, Haissem keep it deathly in a record that often sounds almost as death metal as it does black. A healthy dose of brutality helps to keep things interesting and fresh, and some of the songwriting is really good. Definitely worth looking out for.

https://www.facebook.com/haissemband

https://haissem.bandcamp.com/

https://vk.com/haissem_band

Technical Damage Artwork.jpg

Canadian progressive death metallers Technical Damage have just recently released their debut full length, ‘The Introspect’, and with it they look to stake a claim in the crowded but normally pretty good genre. It is out now through their Bandcamp.

Travelling along well trodden paths, Technical Damage’s music is full of the kind of spiralling, glacial clean moments that you find in the likes of Tesseract but it also has a good bite to it when the chugging heaviness begins. Juddering riffs crash upon you in the sleek ‘Reshape’, while you’ll take well needed breathers in the more tranquil parts of ‘II: Awakenings’. The snaking solo of ‘Crystal Angels’ is a highlight, as is the thunderous death rampaging through the same song. Closing with the labyrinthine ‘The Introspect’, this is a record that doesn’t really do a huge amount new (although I’ve never heard anything quite like parts of ‘Eviscerate’) but what it does is excellent.

‘The Introspect’ is a promising debut that leans a little too heavily on the tried and tested styles of the genre, and I’d like to see Technical Damage branch out a little further. The musical talent is exemplary, so they have the chops to do it. I’ll be following these guys closer in the future, because if they can build on what they have here, it should be pretty damn good.

https://technicaldamage.bandcamp.com/album/the-introspect

https://www.facebook.com/technicaldamageofficial/