Posts Tagged ‘UK’

The work of two bona fide death metal icons, Ursinne brings together Dave Ingram (Bolt Thrower, Benediction, Hail of Bullets) and Jonny Pettersson (Wombbath, Henry Kane) to create ‘Swim With the Leviathan’, one of the densest and most brutal death metal records of 2017. Our favourite record label Transcending Obscurity, dropped this monster in August. Original material meshes with death metal covers of 80s classics in one of 2017’s best and most unique records.

The devastating opener ‘Devil May Care’ is undeniably brutal and straightforward, but it has some nice open spaces in the middles where melodies play around a chugging low end. ‘I, Serpentine’ has that Swedish rawness to its riffs, as well as a healthy dose of Gothenburg meldoy. It is a theme running through ‘Swin With the Leviathan’; brutality in riffs and vocals, but not lacking in memorable melody lines. ‘Bullet Bitten’ is inspired by Lemmy, including a great sample from the great man himself, and the driving bassline underneath is a fitting tribute.

While all the original material is excellent, (in particularly the swooning menace of ‘The Chimes at Midnight’) the real fun begins with the four covers songs. The death metal rendering of The Osmonds’ ‘Crazy Horses’ is pretty odd, but the crushing ‘Turning Japanese’ is killer and ‘Monsters in the Parasol’ features Massacre legend Kam Lee, turning the Queens of the Stone Age classic into something very brutal and menacing. You’ll struggle to find a more different, entertaining and downright heavy record in 2017. Ursinne is a great amalgamation of classic death metal and a sense of the absurd, leading to some genuine year highlights.

https://www.facebook.com/UrsinneBand/

https://ursinne.bandcamp.com/

https://tometal.com/

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It feels like since the demise of the mighty Bolt Thrower that death metal has picked up the mantle and attempted to replace them with many similar sounding bands. UK death metallers Subservience are cut from that cloth, but throw bloodied chunks of Entombed and Deicide in there too to dispel any copycat ideas. Their new record, ‘Forest of the Impaled’ is out now on Black Bow Records.

The waspish, Floridian influence is immediately apparent on opener ‘In Depravity They Dwell’, while huge chunky riffs underpin the rumbling ‘Entity of Indifference’. Subservience have honed their assault into a carpet bombing machine of massive riffs and brutality, where an emphasis on heaviness but also memorable songs is key. The crushing ‘Beneath the Earth’ is an early highlight, but the raging ‘The Consummation’ and deathly majesty of ‘Descend into Despair’ maintain the quality of this release through until the end.

‘Forest of the Impaled’ is mesmerising in its execution of brutality. Subservience are a potential successor to the mantle of UK death metal, and this is a debut full length they can be proud of. Varied, crushing and cavernously heavy at times, I’d struggle to recommend it more.

http://www.subservience.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/subservience

https://bbowsubservience.bandcamp.com/album/forest-of-the-impaled

http://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/

The beautiful stark red of this cassette cover is instantly striking, and Atra Mors do the same with their music. A part of the blackened hordes of Cumbria, in Northern England, ‘Cloaked in Shadow’ marks their debut full length, and the cassette I have got from Carvetii Productions is simply awesome. I cannot say it enough times, this is a tape label that never fails to impress.

Opener ‘Fog of Ruin’ pulses with a dark energy, writhing in tremelo riffing and harsh screams. ‘Cloaked in Shadow’ is just that; layered with a shadowy atmosphere that enhances the gloomy chords within. The haunting ‘Spirits of the Darkwood’ and the menacing ‘Undead Lust’ conjure the spirits of Mayhem and Xasthur, while the shrieking ‘Vomit Black Blood’ is enough to run shivers though your body. Black metal feels alive and kicking when in the hands of this band. There’s hints of Satanic Warmaster lurking in here too, particularly in the ghostly ‘Snow Falls Upon a Wretched Tomb’, with the moody synths lurking in the background.

I sit listening to this album while rain beats against my window. This feels like a record enshrouded by miserable, cold rain that incessantly grasps you in its cold embrace. Personified by the bleak cold hatred of ‘Amidst Rotting Wood I Reach My End’, Atra Mors weave savage black magic throughout ‘Cloaked in Shadow’, drawing much inspiration from raw black metal legends but becoming something more. Something visceral, thrilling and inherently black.

https://www.facebook.com/legionsovdarkness/

https://legionsovdarkness.bandcamp.com/album/cloaked-in-shadow

http://carvetiiproductions.bigcartel.com/

https://carvetiiproductions.bandcamp.com/album/cloaked-in-shadow

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/

 

UK black metallers Pale Mist have come from out of nowhere for me, but their new release on cassette, ‘Spreading My Wings into the Abyss that Calls’, is a proud new member of my collection thanks to the good folks at Heidenwut Productions. This is an archetypal black metal release, but one that balances the atmospheric requirements with an almost lunatic delivery at times. Atmospheric as fuck, Pale Mist deliver.

The aching tremolo of ‘Through the Thick Fog of Misery and Woe’ drifts from your speaker, leaving a trail of frost behind it. Pale Mist are definitively bleak and ghostly. Building anticipation for inevitable blizzard conditions is something that black metal thrives upon, and Pale Mist have nailed it as the torrent of blackened majesty that is ‘Spreading My Wings into the Abyss that Calls’ begins. Maddening shrieks spill from icy riffs and gloomy walls of sound.

But the centrepiece is the epic caldera of ‘Embraced by the Pale Mist’, that spews volcanic riffage upon us all before the wistful gaze of ‘Gazing, Opening the Barriers’ provides a welcome calm spot, laced with melancholic clean guitar. Closing with the bleak ‘The Welcoming Glow of the Moon’ that spirals into the wilderness, Pale Mist are seriously impressive, and this release is an opening into a world of ice and darkness.

https://palemist.bandcamp.com/album/spreading-my-wings-into-the-abyss-that-calls

https://www.facebook.com/palemistofficial/

https://www.facebook.com/heidenwutproductions/

Downcast Twilight - Under the Wings of the Aquila

British metallers Downcast Twilight draw their cover aesthetic from classic black metal yet ply a death/folk blend with a distinct Roman theme on ‘Under the Wings of the Aquila’, their 2016 full length on Stygian Crypt Productions. Their debut record takes us back to the greatest civilisation of all, and is a potent mix of folk instrumentation and death metal heaviness.

An almost infectious melodicism pervades each song on ‘…the Aquila’, inserting a healthy dose of catchiness into tracks like the vibrant ‘Soldier of Pompeii’ or the gloomy ‘The Tyrant and the Sage’. A chunky selection of riffs bring to mind some early Lamb of God, as does the vocals in parts, but the folky elements of ‘The Witches of Anglesey’ are more subtle and hidden beneath layers of crunchy, galloping riffs. Ghostly flute lingers behind the superlative ”The Ides of March’, which has more than a dash of Amon Amarth about it. In fact, the pagan fury of the Swedish giants looms large over Downcast Twilight throughout their debut.

‘Death in Alexandria’ might be my favourite track here, or maybe the brutal kick of ‘The Ironclad Legion’, a little bit harsher than some of the others and that really works for me. ‘Under the Wings of the Aquila’ is a record that shows much promise, and Downcast Twilight have got something a little unique and special about them. Symphonic but not overly so, blending folk and death metals together gently into a solid start that builds with each listen. Awesome.

https://www.facebook.com/downcasttwilight/

http://www.stygiancrypt.com/rel_en.php

Gnarly doom trio Tood are one of those bands that, when you first hear them, you wonder how they haven’t exploded already. Their debut self titled EP has all the fuzzed out rumbling groove that any self respecting Sabbath worshipper could want. If you are lucky enough to grab one of the cassette copies that Carvetii Productions have got, it adds to the gloriously old school vibe oozing from your speakers.

Opener ‘Gaffer Tape’ is like the soundtrack to some ancient, murky horror movie. The fuzzed guitar tone takes you into dark occult territories while a touch of early Cathedral in the vocals and psychedelic vibes loom throughout. ‘Discordant Method’ drives us onward towards the endtimes, aching riffs soak you in darkness and a mysterious bloodlust rises. The twisting, enchanting ‘The Bastard’ provides the most graceful of psychedelic freakouts before the churning ‘Schweinhacker’ brings us to a close.

If Tood were around when the first evolutionary steps of heavy metal were taken, they would be revered as legends by now. Their sound is vintage, enthralling and insistent. ‘Tood’ is a new favourite of mine; a deceptively heavy, simple journey to the dark mystical heart of heavy metal. Lead us to our doom, for doom this is

http://carvetiiproductions.bigcartel.com/product/carvetii-productions-cassette-releases

https://www.facebook.com/toodmusic/