Posts Tagged ‘UK’

Plague Rider - Rhizome

Newcastle’s Plague Rider have been a consistent force of excellent death metal vomiting forth from the North East of England, and their new EP follows up 2015’s killer ‘Paroxysm’ EP, which I reviewed here. ‘Rhizome’ is the latest burst of ungodly greatness from these fine lads, and it is out now through Panurus Productions.

‘Rhizome’ basically takes you down a similar path as ‘Paroxysm’, as in it is four tracks of death metal that is constantly straining against the boundaries of the genre. Opener ‘Challenger’s Lecture’ brings forth massive Immolation style heaviness, with the kind of unusual, dynamic song structures as Portal or Mitochrondrian. It never quite delves totally off the grid like those guys, but stabbing riffs sprout from strange, labyrinthine sections. Imagine that inhuman bend in ‘God of Emptiness’, taken to its endless, darkest conclusion and you’ll be on the way. Gargling, roaring madness follows in the vocals, and the whole piece starts to sound torturously insane.

Fuck it’s refreshing to be faced with a band that aren’t just being old fashioned DEATH or bestial black death at the moment. ‘Stagnation Cult’ writhes and thrashes as if stricken with painful poisons. ‘Toil’ serves as the delightfully brutal starter to crushing main course ‘Without Organs’, a twisting and otherworldly tour de force. It has strange, atonal melodies, grindcore crazyness, death/doom crush and guttural belches. If this isn’t the best and most unique death metal record I hear this year, then I’ve got a doozy coming. These guys need to be huge now.

https://www.facebook.com/PlagueRiderUK/

https://plaguerider.bandcamp.com/

https://panurusproductions.bandcamp.com/album/rhizome

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British one woman atmospheric black metaller YYLVA’s debut full length, ‘The Wood Beyond the World’ is due to drop in September, and is the brainchild of Clare Webster, best known for her work with gothic doom gems Edenfall. Evocative, windswept and epic on every scale, follow YYLVA back to a time of mysteries and mist.

Hiding beneath that glorious, ethereal artwork is a record that oozes atmospheric grace. Key to this poised and haunting record is the mastery of the harp, first draping itself across the ghostly ‘A Foreshadowing’, and wielded like a gossamer rapier throughout. It infuses the music with a misty, ancient Celtic vibe that fits well with the aesthetics. ‘A Sidhe in Throes’ drifts like forgotten voices in bleak forests; soaring vocals weave within blastbeats and harsh riffing. Tarja-era Nightwish is clearly a strong influence here, as is the howl of ethereal black metal like Saor or Panopticon.

‘Nepenthe’ has an excellent gothic doom heft about it, bleeding over from Edenfall, while ‘Aurorae’ is the piece de resistance in a record that never fails to affect you deeply. Again the gentle harp in ‘Waterwings’ is mesmerising, and provides a gentle escape from the more lengthy tracks. Nothing here feels overwrought however; no song is long for the sake of being long. In fact, with two tracks over 11 minutes and two that are almost nine, ‘The Wood Beyond the World’ flies in. I scarcely believed it was over when the tinkling close of ‘NiĆ«nor’ came.

‘The Wood Beyond the World’ is a record balanced on the edge of fragility; a delicate and beautiful collection of songs hovering above a churning abyss of black metal. Never quite descending to complete blackness, but never too light and airy, YYLVA conjures views of olden forests, snow drifting through ancient clearings, and a slowing blackening sky.

https://yylvaofficial.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.yylva-official.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/yylvaofficial

Bodies on Everest - A National Day of Mourning

British noise/sludge/drone enthusiasts Bodies on Everest have released this… this monstrous beast called ‘A National Day of Mourning. An abrasive mix of noise, drone and miserable sludge all compacted into one, it plows a new furrow in the search for extreme music’s farthest reaches. It is out now through Third I Rex Records.

Opener ‘Unreleaseddeathvideo.flac’ hums ominously, building towards a crumbling, cacophonous conclusion. Imagine what the opening of Hell might sound like, and you’re close. Apocalyptic samples float amongst the crackling feedback, while a clutching hand reaches fpr a thread of your psyche, ready to unravel it as the oppressive ‘Tally of Sevens’ crawls on. Imagine the blackened drone of Sunn0)))) melting into the most choking of Godflesh’s works and you’d be close. Imagine the rumble of Conan but filtered through tar and a black hole. Imagine Killing Joke and Iron Monkey make a record together, and you’d get the insistent nihilism of ‘Suspicious Canoe’.

Keep imagining, but you’ll never quite get close enough to really classify this aural miasma. The awesome crush of ‘Tally of Sevens’, the sinister storytelling of the monolith ‘Gold Fangs in Enemy Territory’, the ‘man in a robot insane asylum’ creeps of ‘Shotgun or Sidearm’; this is a record like nothing you’ve ever experienced. By the end of the mind crippling closer ‘Who Killed Yale Gracey’, you’ll never be the same. You will, however, be reaching for the play button just one… more… time…

https://3rdirex.bandcamp.com/album/a-national-day-of-mourning

https://www.facebook.com/bodiesoneverestband/

Eye of Solitude - Slaves to Solitude

The fifth full length from London’s Eye of Solitude continues their dark and miserable journey into the darkest parts of funeral doom. ‘Slaves to Solitude’ is only five tracks, but stretches to almost an hour, so you know that there is some epic misery coming your way. This is out now

The monstrous, dirging ‘The Blind Earth’ draws us from our earthly homes and takes us by the hand into the gloom. Titan riffs crash through the murk, while powerful growls roar like a fell wind through your mind. It is so vast, so dense it is almost unbearably heavy upon your shoulders. ‘Still Descending’ is, somehow, even more morose and bleak. Occasionally piano notes and the clean vocals add melancholy and an air of the fragile. Cracks within a mighty wall, where the merest hints of the sadness underneath can show through.

Carving riffs from cyclopean cliffs, and drawing vocals from the deepest and most foul abysses, Eye of Solitude have created something magnificent here. ‘Slaves to Solitude’ is huge, depressing and an unbearable weight upon your psyche. Nothing should be this heavy, but somehow it is. The sound of mountains crumbling, tectonic plates rending, the voice of death itself. Stunning.

http://eyeofsolitude.com/

https://www.facebook.com/eyeofsolitudeband/

Coltsblood - Ascending into Shimmering Darkness

The vinyl edition of Coltsblood’s superlative 2017 record ‘Ascending into Shimmering Darkness’ has been released just a few months ago through Black Bow Records, and it gives me an opportunity to revisit one of last year’s bleakest and harrowing doom records from these British purveyors of misery.

The opening title track builds with lumbering dread; striding forward towards gloom and destruction. Cold, bleak riffs belch under powerful roars, while glacial melodies hover above this miasmic chaos. The oppressive atmosphere is unbearable, each breath snatched under a suffocating sky. The production is massive, capturing fully the scope of what Coltsblood can do. The savagery of ‘Mortal Wound’ is sudden and awesome; crushing doom penetrated by galloping death metal riffing and teeth gnashing heaviness. ‘The Legend of Abhartach’ is sickeningly heavy, with tectonic Tom G Warrior riffs laying waste to shrouded lands of grey.

Closing with the twin hit of the monstrous ‘Ever Decreasing Circles’ and the smothering darkness of ‘The Final Winter’, Coltsblood remind me a lot of what Triptykon do, which is no mean feat. ‘Ascending into Shimmering Darkness’ is a monolithic record filled with death, doom and destruction. The guitar work is huge, the atmosphere is pure dread and the vocals breathe life into demons unholy and unbound. Coltsblood are fucking awesome, and this release is a timely reminder of just why.

https://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/

https://coltsblood.bandcamp.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/Coltsblood/

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The culmination of a 35 year journey, Robespierre’s full length debut ‘Garden of Hell’ is the follow up to the re-release of their two 1983 demos as the ‘Die You Heathen, Die!’ compilation in 2011. These lost classics were never released originally, and Robespierre were one of those lost gems of the NWOBHM movement. Until now, and Shadow Kingdom Records have brought it for all to enjoy.

It doesn’t sound like 35 years have passed, such is the iconic NWOBHM sound coming from opener ‘Punish Oppressors’. This is instantly iconic, hooky as fuck and possessed of a killer set of riffs, and this is a common theme throughout ‘Garden of Hell’. If you spend most of your musical life listening to nothing after about 1985, then this is the stuff for you. ‘Mare of Steel’ and ‘Feed the Fire’ are galloping heavy metal for the masses, and Robespierre are never scared of adding a little doom to proceedings too, sprinkling a little dust over their timeless, ancient magic. This is no more apparent than in the gloomy ‘Dwelling in the Shadows’ or the gritty chug of ‘The Black Mirror’. This really makes this record stand out as not just another old band trying to make a name based on their old kudos, but as a band who are ready to stand separate and proud of a new heritage.

If Robespierre had been lucky enough to release this back in the early 80s, we might have been speaking of them in the same revered tones as Maiden, Diamond Head, Angel Witch and the like, such is the strong song writing and the awesome guitar work. I mean, you’d struggle to tell that the likes of ‘Welcome to the Cult’ wasn’t written 40 years ago. Excellent stuff.

https://www.facebook.com/Robespierre-176141719105571/

https://www.shadowkingdomrecords.com/

https://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/garden-of-hell

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The debut EP from a band containing current and former members of My Dying Bride, Anathema, Vallenfyre and Solstice? Epic doom from the UK? I am SO in on Godthrymm. Their debut ‘A Grand Reclamation’ is out now through Transcending Records and oozes with promise.

The title track opens with forlorn acoustic guitar, before an iconic ‘Yorkshire doom’ riff kicks in and the powerful vocals of Hamish Glencross drags you to the miserable moors. Ominous bass rumbles beneath these sermons of doom, and Godthrymm touch on all their influences but don’t sound like any of them. There’s no sorrowful violins (well ok, a little in ‘The Pantheon’ but it isn’t overbearing), there’s no morbid deathly crush, there’s no progressive bent. This is classic British doom that draws back to the lonely heaviness of Sabbath. The propulsive ‘Sacred Soil’ is at once a lumbering mythical beast and a mournful lament, carried once more by the strong vocals.

Closing with ‘Forevermore’, a soothing instrumental to bring you down after the heaving, roiling mass of ‘The Pantheon’, Godthrymm exceed the sum of their parts. They are looking to invigorate British doom through stalwart traditionalism, and not since the glory days of ‘Icon’, ‘Turn Loose the Swans’ and ‘The Silent Enigma’ has doom sounded so epic, so heavy, so BRITISH!

https://www.facebook.com/godthrymm/

http://godthrymm.bigcartel.com/

http://www.transcendingrecords.com/