Posts Tagged ‘Self Titled’

If there’s something that the Killchain definitely considers a guilty pleasure, it’s some great, bluesy hard rock. Well, that and a bit of K-Pop too. The Riven are the latest Swedish bluesy hard rock band to stride from the frozen north with some good old RAWK in their pockets. I enjoyed their ‘Blackbird’ EP  a few years ago, so this should be pretty decent too. It’s out March 1st through The Sign Records.

Opener ‘The Serpent’ has everything you need immediately; catchy riffing, a soulful gravelly vocal and some major hooks. The electrifying ‘Far Beyond’ sends some serious Mount Salem shivers down your spine, while the proto-doom of ‘Fortune Teller’ brings the heavy 70s influence to the fore. There’s a deliciously fuzzy guitar tone that dances along the strings, giving everything that old school feel. The Riven have absorbed the style of smoky backrooms, whiskey soaked bars and the essence of what makes this kind of record great. It’s full of undeniable hooks, but the gloomy ‘Finnish Woods’ is probably the finest track here, showcasing the full realm of The Riven’s talents.

At times infused with a wistful melancholy and others with fist raised in the spirit of rock, The Riven balance these elements into a record that will inspire and delight. With some of the finest vocals in the business, The Riven have everything going for them to be the next big thing.

https://theriven.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/TheRivenMusic/

https://freighttrain.se/sv/the-sign-record/the-riven/

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Jengloth - Jengloth

In preparation for their newest record, ‘News Fried Chicken’, I thought I’d check out Indonesian deathgrinders Jengloth’s self titled debut full length from 2015, released through Brute! Productions.

It will fail to surprise you that the band manage to cram 18 tracks into 28 minutes, and also that this is fucking nasty, brutal, super fast stuff. But it is liberally sprinkled with melody too, even in the first track, which thrashes hard but still spouts memorable riffs. ‘Hompimpa’ is a short violent stabbing of a track, while the ‘epic’ (read 4 minute) ‘Leak’ is some catchy , European style death metal awesomeness. Imagine the ferocity of Cephalic Carnage mixed with a venom laced needle of Rotten Sound or some Nasum in there too. The album cover suggests some tongue in cheek humour too but that is lost in translation to me.

‘Jengloth’ clatters and thrashes with all the energy and hatred that you’d imagine this sort of deathgrind to. The additional melody crammed in there really adds to this however, and doesn’t just make the record one dimensional and boring. This is one of the more varied grind albums I’ve heard this year, and with a bit more work this band will be great!

https://www.facebook.com/jenglothband/

https://jengloth.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/bruteprods/

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/

Cloudburst are an Indonesian group who are dropping their new, self titled record in January through Samstrong Records. Their sound is very sharp, mixing the likes of Converge or Botch with the grindcore intensity of Pig Destroyer or Cattle Decapitation, all of which sounds like a recipe for success. ‘Cloudburst’ is the followup to well received debut, ‘Crying of Broken Beauty’.

Opener ‘Strange Acrobat’ is a fearsome piece of noise, with angular riffs plowing through drifts of grindcore ferocity and spoken word sections clashing with barks and screams. It feels very unique; the kind of sound that modern bands strive to find but most don’t. ‘Crimson Mask’ feels very Botch-like and while never quite reaching the genius of those Americans, Cloudburst’s music features both the melodic (‘Tornado’) and the savagely raw (‘Personal Golgotha’) elements that dance to their own beat. The menacing ‘Human Origami’ is my personal favourite, with a particular powerful vocal performance both in the spoken word and the throat shredding screams.

‘Cloudburst’ is a record full of disjointed, visceral beauty. Songs splay from every angle, a grinding performance holding it all together into a cohesive whole. Cloudburst are interesting, doing things that you don’t hear a lot of bands going for. This style hasn’t felt this fresh since Botch died, and that is high praise indeed.

https://burstingcloud.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/burstingcloud/

Found amongst a pile of mp3s gathering dust in a folder on a hard drive, this self titled record from Norwegian hardcore punks NAG is absolutely fucking great, and needs to be spoken of highly, even two years after its initial release. Hopefully I can prompt some retroactive love for these fine folks!

A rampant slab of blackened hardcore punk songs, ‘Mute’ and ‘Fray’ are instantly vibrant and ready to go. There’s a fire and an energy here that is infectious, and the rabidity of the songs is fearsome. It isn’t merely just hell for leather all the time, as the jarring slow parts in the awesome ‘Master’ and ‘What is Punk?’ showcase as well. Most of the record speeds past in a blur of Discharge/Amebix riffing and visceral screams, and with 13 songs clocking in at a snappy 26 minutes, NAG leave no time for messing about.

Atonal slower sections collide with racing, feral punk/crust in a hailstorm of greatness. I can’t believe I missed this the first time round, and now I’m just glad that I got to it eventually. Seek this out for a thrill ride of intensity and speed.

https://www.facebook.com/nagnorway/

https://naghardcore.bandcamp.com/releases

The reissue of seminal Cleveland metallers Black Death’s lone full length from 1984 is cause for much celebration. For one thing, Hells Headbangers has introduced me to this band, that I had never heard of, and their fascinating story about being the first ‘all-black’ metal band. Most importantly, it is to be celebrated that this record gets a new audience, because it is totally killer. You couldn’t ask for a better encapsulation of pre-thrash 1980s heavy metal than this.

I’m not going to reference the members’ skin colour again, because frankly it really doesn’t contribute anything to the review of their music, but if anything it shows that heavy metal can inject itself into the soul of any race, religion or person. ‘Black Death’ opens with the galloping ‘Night of the Living Death’, that breathes with a fiery ‘Killers’-era Iron Maiden vibe, and proceeds to travel through a whole range of styles. You want a soulful, bluesy ballad? Try ‘When Tears Runs Red’ on for size, as frontman Siki Spacek croons over a Sabbathian groove. You want doomy heavy metal thunder? Try the King Diamond-esque ‘Fear No Evil’. You want classic heavy metal turned up to ELEVEN? Try the whole goddamn album. ‘Scream of the Iron Messiah’ is probably the best track here, possessed by the spirits of Diamond Head, Iron Maiden and Angel Witch.

Black Death are still out there, as Black Death Resurrected, and Iron Fist Magazine did a great article on them in issue 20 if you want to learn more. All you need to know about this record is that it is an absolute old school heavy metal gem. I got myself one immediately after the first listen, and you all should too.

https://www.facebook.com/BlackDeathResurrected/

https://black-death.bandcamp.com/

http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/

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/