Posts Tagged ‘Self Released’

With a name like High Reeper (God that spelling is going to annoy me through this review) and an album cover like their self titled debut, it’s pretty obvious that within this disc is going to be some stoner related music. But their press blurb says they’re going the Saint Vitus, Orchid and Sabbath way, rather than the Kyuss clones I’m getting tired of. That already is a good thing. ‘High Reeper’ is out on the 3rd of November.

‘Die Slow’ opens this record with a simply jamming groove that, when coupled with the lonesome, Ozzy like vocals, makes this an instant hit. High Reeper tread that line between blatant Sabbath worship and healthy doses of modern rock and roll, and the results are infectious and soulful. The energetic Clutchisms of ‘Chrome Hammer’, the soulful blues of ‘Soul Taker’ and the grinding title track provide a three track salvo of pure doom blues for anyone to get into. At this point, I’m sold. it’d have to go well downhill from here to suck overall.

But it doesn’t! The heavy rumbling open of ‘Reeper Deadly Reeper’ is a lost howl from doom’s murky past, and the second half of the record builds more into classic doom territory, with the sprawling ‘Weed and Speed’ and the insistent ‘Double Down and Let It Ride’ drawing from Wino’s playbook. Nothing however is finer than the monstrous doom rock of closer ‘Friend of Death’, which somehow combines everything good they’ve done all record and cranks it to 11.

If you’re looking for an album that’ll give you that warm feeling the old Sabbath records did, but still cuts a massive modern groove, then ‘High Reeper’ is for you. The hooks are massive, the groove is brilliant and the atmosphere is pure chill. Light up, spread out and get ready to meet the Reeper…

https://www.facebook.com/HIGHREEPER/

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The joyous Bay Area thrash of Psython has been an underappreciated part of my music collection for the past few years. Their last piece of work, ‘Outputs’ was an infectious, Death Angel worshipping joy, and their new release ‘Hatred’ looks to continue that path. It’s going to be out in September, self released, so keep an eye out!

Immediately the riff machine is engaged into high gear with the thrashy ‘J√∂rmungandr’, and from there the thrash never stops. The catchy as hell ‘Teeth’ has got some cool melodies built in, while the soloing work on each track is classic heavy metal. Inspiration clearly runs from bands outside the Big Four like Exodus, Sacred Reich or Death Angel, as the savage ‘Ten Pounds’ demonstrates a rawer attitude than the Big Four influences that sneaks into other tracks, but still manages to get a dose of the epic. Basically almost every Californian thrash band seems to bleed into ‘Hatred’ somewhere, and the overall result is a thrash gem!

I really like what Psython do. Their thrash is at once both derivative and energisingly fresh. It puts a boot straight up the arse of classic thrash, and while doing so comes across as unique enough that you’ll never get bored. Let a little ‘Hatred’ into your life…

https://www.facebook.com/psythonofficial/

https://psython.bandcamp.com/

 

Decrepit Throne are a studio black metal project duo from North Carolina and New Jersey, whose debut full length ‘Traitor’s Grave’ is a thrill ride of vicious and eeriely melodic black metal in the vein of Dissection, Emperor and Drudkh. Self released, it is out now through the Bandcamp site.

Opener ‘Lands of Ash’ builds like the dark forces gathering before the storm, from which dark riffs and atmospheres flood your ears. Bleak melodies wrap around croaking rasps, while the languid evil of ‘Lucifer’s Descent’ is a welcome respite from black metal bands who cannot understand the benefits of playing slowly every so often. It really helps to differentiate them, as well as allowing the listener to absorb the little nuances.

The burning ‘Your Death My Solitude’ is a cold hearted belch from darkness, while the ravaging ‘A Defiant Flame Burning’ is another choice cut from a record that reins in the speed and ferocity for good old fashioned evil and darkness. Capturing that crawling black metal vibe perfectly, ‘Traitor’s Grave’ is a record that will haunt your record player for time to come, because sometimes you need something deep, dark and absorbing to sate your desires.

https://decrepitthrone.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DecrepitThrone/

Speedrush - Endless War

Greek thrashers Speedrush are old school speed metal thrashers, and despite going round the block for over a decade now, ‘Endless War’ is their debut full length. Available through their bandcamp, if you enjoy a thoroughly old school approach to riffs you’re going to love this.

Opening with howling sirens, gunfire and explosions, ‘Endless War’ instantly sets out its stall before exploding into galloping thrash riffs brimming with energy. The best thing about old school thrash is that it is almost totally derivative in the best way possible. You know what you are going to get; speedy fretwork fireworks, oodles of melody and snarling vocals. Speedrush’s music is all that, and more. The hyperactive riffing of ‘Malevolent Torture’ is glorious, whilst the waspish velocity of ‘Freaks of Nature’ brings to mind the rampant Municipal Waste.

Encompassing everything good about rabid, old school thrash like Sacred Reich and Suicidal Tendencies, Speedrush check every cliche in the book, and check it at a hundred miles an hour down thrash highway 101. You can’t help but love it, and ‘Endless War’ will delight and enthrall anyone who digs some great thrash songs played right. Energetic, overflowing with riffs and propelled by a youthful vigour, Speedrush are great.

https://speedrush.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/speedrushmetal/

For all it may lack in the traditions and anarchy of the Norwegian scene, the American black metal scene has some incredible musicians in it. Highland are the newest addition, releasing their debut full length ‘Loyal to the Nightsky’ in May via Bandcamp. This is some exhilarating black metal for traditionalists, with relentless riffing from start to finish.

From the use of the word ‘Nightsky’ in the album title, you may think that you’Ll be getting some kind of Emperor knock-off here, but that is certainly not the case. Highland may lack the grandeur of Emperor but that in no way means that they lack the finesse. They are visceral and almost early Satyricon like in their execution. Take the savagely direct ‘Towards the Absolute’ as example; cold buzzing riffs swirl around combinations of blasting and more straightforward drumming, while a scathing yet easily comprehensible snarl leads us onward. There are more gloomy tracks too, where the bile is toned back a bit, like parts of ‘Abu Sindi’, or the intro to the dark ‘Immortal Queen’.

The menacing ‘Burning in Forgotten Times’ is my highlight; a bleak crawl into the void with some doomy riffs (rad Iommi-isms) and a overwhelming negativity about it. But you could take most of the songs here and find purest second wave worship of the highest order. Like a more waspish Marduk, or Impaled Nazarene, Highland show that the USBM scene isn’t just atmospheric sky staring, but there is a bleak, cold and ruthless set as well. Feel the icy rage of ‘Wallachian Night Terror’ and tell me I’m wrong.

https://highlandmetal.bandcamp.com/album/loyal-to-the-nightsky

https://www.facebook.com/highland666

Impavidus - Eradication of Mankind

I reviewed Impavidus’s demo recently here on the blog, and they’ve returned with a new four track EP called ‘Eradication of Mankind’. This continues their journey creating some of the more interesting melodeath to come out of this country for a while. It is out on the 29th March via Bandcamp.

Gloomy, blasting opener ‘Reprisal’ pulls no punches immediately, with haunting clean vocals twisting around the chunky riffing. The raspy screams of vocalist Michelle Adamson works well with the ragged melodies and chunky groove. There’s a more overt death metal influence on ‘Eradication of Mankind’, but I can’t say I’m overly convinced on the use of the clean vocals on ‘Lies’, which treads the fine line between extremity and commercial metal a bit too closely for me.

The fantastic ‘Void’ rescues that for me, with some delightfully galloping melodeath riffing and earworm melodies proving to be a hit, and closing with the almost sultry menace of ‘XII’ really puts a stamp on that Impavidus ‘sound’. They don’t sound like anyone else, and while ‘Eradication of Mankind’ has the odd stumble, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

https://impavidus.bandcamp.com/album/eradication-of-mankind-ep

https://www.facebook.com/impavidusuk/

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Lock Howl, from the grey north of Scotland, come to me described as a post punk band drenched in reverb, with touches of black metal in there too. Now, as a reviewer who salivates at the idea of something out of the norm, ‘Pareidolia’ sounds like a very interesting prospect indeed…

‘The Seventh Room’ opens the record with an eerie incantation before the gloomy, post punk vibes take over. Like a black metal version of Type O Negative, there’s definite savagery hidden amongst the reverb loaded riffs. A pervasive melody lurks within ‘Nephilim’, while the dark influences of the likes of Joy Division comes through on the gloomy ‘Into the Darkness. Into the Unknown’. It is a sound that, when pierced by a savage black metal moment, works really well.

There also seems to be a great resemblance to In Solitude; while removing the King Diamond-esque worship, the miserable heavy metal riffs stay, and you get a similar vibe here. I really like the propulsive ‘Graveless’, which builds gracefully with an infectious melody line that burns its way into your mind. ‘And She Was Found by the Lake’ is a melancholic beauty; a powerful piece of emotional turmoil. ‘Pareidolia’ is a rewarding album with plenty of¬† awesome little moment, you’ll have to listen to it twice.

https://www.facebook.com/LockHowlBand/

https://lockhowl.bandcamp.com/