Posts Tagged ‘UK’

Warcrab - Scars of Aeons

When death metal meets sludge, you’re probably going to be in for the heaviest of musical endeavours, and when you find Warcrab you’re in for a real treat. Their second full length, ‘Scars of Aeons’ is out very soon on Transcending Obscurity, and it could be one of the most devastating releases this year. Prepare to be flattened…

‘Conquest’ is one of the ugliest monoliths of extremity you’ll experience. Chilling murmurs begin to fade behind a dense, Crowbar-esque riff and an insistent drum line. Massive, deathly groove flows like a river, overwhelming you in a torrent of crushing riffs. That almost typical British death metal groove rolls out in full force, but the injection of Deep South sludge sensibilities looms large over the melodies that lurk within. The bulldozing start of ‘Destroyer of Worlds’ is a thing of mighty, brutal beauty.

The mournful ‘In the Shadow of Grief’ is bleak, rolling thunder upon a barren world, while the monolithic crush of the title track provides the final soundtrack to a burning, collaping planet. ‘Scars of Aeons’ finds Warcrab creating a sound that is beyond mere sludgy nihilism and deathly brutality, but a defining place beyond. Nasty, yet undeniably catchy in parts, Warcrab are heaviness incarnate and ‘Scars of Aeons’ is fucking great.

https://warcrabuk.bandcamp.com/album/scars-of-aeons-death-sludge-monstrosity

https://www.facebook.com/WarCrab666/

http://tometal.com/

Now I have been waiting a long time for this. I first came across Mountains Crave a few years ago with their track ‘The Violet Hour’, and have slavered in hope that a full length would eventually appear. And here it is, the enigmatically titled ‘As We Were When We Were Not’, coming out on Avantgarde Music in May. Something bleak and black for the coming spring!

Opener ‘Ynisvitrin’ opens with ritualistic whispering before a cold, bleak black metal riff takes us far from our safe, warm place. Bleak, depressing black metal is the name of the game here, with hypnotic melodies soaring above a frozen waste. Far more melodic than it has any right to be, Mountains Crave have injected a vastness and a glorious atmosphere here. The ethereal delights of ‘Clear Light of the Void’ sounds like if Isis had made black metal instead of post metal. It is expansive, melodic and yet intensely grim in parts.

The grasp of dynamic shifts in pacing, volume and ferocity here is staggering. Effortlessly darting between blasting torrents of ferocious black metal and delicate, contemplative acoustics, Mountains Crave have designed and crafted one of the most starkly beautiful records I’ve come across in years. The shimmering open to ‘O Arise Magnificent Sun’ is breathtaking, as is the soaring keyboards. If for whatever reason you are sleeping on this band or this record, then wake up now, because these guys could be the next Wolves in the Throne Room. A stunning record.

https://avantgardemusic.bandcamp.com/album/as-we-were-when-we-were-not

https://www.facebook.com/mountainscrave

http://www.avantgardemusic.com/

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/

Long running UK thrashers Solitary have just released their third full length record at the start of March, and ‘The Diseased Heart of Society’ is yet another step towards riffageddon in terms of pure, blistering thrash metal. Blessing us with this release is the excellent UK Extreme Metal Records, and a more potent record they may struggle to release this year!

Opener ‘Wait’ comes roaring out after the ‘Blackened Skies’ intro with galloping riffs and some cool as fuck chugging sections. Also, I’m totally distracted about how vocalist Richard Sherrington sounds so much like Lee Dorian of Cathedral, and am now imagining a psychedelic doom/thrash crossover band. Musically, the main leads come from old school Exodus and there’s also some cool rumbling riffage in the crushing ‘Trigger Point Atrocity’.

Highlights include the rampant ‘The Edge of Violence’ which could be a lost cut from ‘Tempo of the Damned’, and the killer title track that shoots lightning from its fretboards. Solitary have got what seems like an endless stream of superb riffs cultivated from almost 20 years of Bay Area thrash worship, from the Death Angel-esque ‘Unidentified’ to the more Megadeth like stomp of ‘Anthem of Regret’. Solitary are a band that are not to be trifled with, because carrying this much riff power around must be dangerous!

https://www.facebook.com/Official.Solitary/

http://www.ukemrecords.co.uk/product/solitary-the-diseased-heart-of-society/

http://www.ukemrecords.co.uk/

London based metallers Craven Idol have taken a very old school vibe for their second record, ‘The Shackles of Mammon’, where their blackened thrash sound meets the like of Bathory, Mercyful Fate and Venom in a cacophony of catchy as hell savagery. It is out in April through Dark Descent Records.

Opener ‘Pyromancer’ howls with maddening laughter and rapid fire soloing, while a resolutely old school thrash vibe propels us forward towards armageddon. Shrieking and growling in equal, gleeful abandon, vocalist¬† channels Cronos and the King. The gloomy grandeur of ‘A Ripping Strike’ builds with eastern melodies and percussive double kicks, before kicking in with more rapid fire riffing. What I really enjoy about Craven Idol is they don’t just feel like another copycat black/thrasher, but a proper NWOBHM band that filters their riffs through a grimy, tetanus laced filter.

That metaphor explains why their grim credentials are not lost when suddenly you feel totally absorbed in the melody and catchiness of ‘Hunger’, or the fierce gallop of ‘Dashed to Death’. This is a heavy metal band that happens to dabble in the extreme. A modern day Venom, except with better musicians and less originality. Craven Idol steal the crown of old school extremity, and their castle is built with the bones of the 80s. ‘The Shackles of Mammon’ is simply an excellent record full of damn good riffs and infectious songs, and we can all get involved with that.

https://www.facebook.com/Craven-Idol-158945044134965/

https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-shackles-of-mammon

These guys are fucking brutal. Vacivus have been drawing power from the blackened voids of the dark realms of chaos for a number of years now, and their latest offering is the two track ‘Nuclear Chaos’ EP. If it can create the same sickening darkness as their ‘Rite of Ascension’ EP from 2015, we’re all going to be in for a treat!

Opener ‘Unchaining the Winds of Uncreation’ crawls from the darkness with dripping water, ominous droning chants becoming a primal snarl, before a dense chainsawing riff drags an inhuman vocal from the void. Attacking like an enveloping fog, smothering each nasty riff with choking murk, Vacivus have excelled themselves once again. ‘Blind Idiot God’ has a bit more urgency about it, a blackened fury that writhes like a cyclone of hate. Challenging the darkest moments of Swedish death, Vacivus have taken that style a step further down into the depths.

I don’t think I’ve come across a Vacivus release I haven’t loved yet, and ‘Nuclear Chaos’ is no exception. This is music for the destruction of the world, sounding like the wrenching of the earth and the crushing of humanity. Ther’s no going back, and there’s no place to hide, for these riffs of ancient evil will find you…

https://www.facebook.com/vacivus

https://vacivus.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.goatprayerrecords.com/shop/

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Old school death metallers Repulsive Vision hail from my local spot, Cumbria, and ‘Look Past the Gore and See the Art’ is their debut full length. The album title feels like a statement of intent; imploring you to embrace the music before the aesthetics; remarkably important yet overlooked sentiments these days. They’ve been gigging hard around the UK for years, so it is at last we get to hear how they’ve honed their output.

After the obligatory, sample laden intro (Introplosion), first song proper ‘Repulsive Vision’ hits you with fearsome Floridian death metal straight away. It’s delightfully old school in its grinding riffs and that thrashy sensibility. ‘Premature Burial’ is equally intense, with vocalist Dan McEwen’s Blythe-esque rasp particularly on point. ‘Look Past the Gore…’ has energy in abundance, bringing frantic brutality to the fore in every song. There’s dashes of Obituary, of first record Death, of classic Massacre, and it’s all good stuff, especially in the virulently infectious ‘Corpse Decay’.

There’s not a lot here over the three and a half minute mark, which tells you something about the way Repulsive Vision operate. It’s old school as fuck; there’s nothing flashy and technical, nor overly progressive or winding. What you’re experiencing is straight for the jugular simplicity that is missing in a lot of modern death metal. It also pulses with LIFE, an organic breathing beast of flaming riffs like the flailing ‘Fragmentary’. It isn’t soulless, but imbued with a reality, an alive-ness.

If this is what we can expect from Repulsive Vision for years to come, then sign me up. A freshly rotting corpse of vintage death metal, strung up for all to worship. Awesome stuff.

http://repulsivevision.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/repulsivevision