Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Peter Dolving quits The Haunted

Peter Dolving has left The Haunted. The vocalist stated on his Facebook page today: “I am officially quitting The Haunted. After years of working with the band, I am out. I have had it. I will NOT answer questions to why. It's no one else's business. Thank you very much. I am looking forward to seeing you people at other shows with other projects.”

The tone of the message suggests that things just weren’t too rosy in The Haunted camp. The Haunted’s last album, Unseen, from last year, was a highly criticised record for stepping more and more away from the band’s melodic death metal roots and toward a very radio friendly sound, a trend that had building for a while. That said, the album wasn’t without its fans either. There are no other details on this split yet and the band has yet to release a statement.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Loincloth - Iron Balls of Steel

Technical instrumentalists, Loincloth have released their debut album, Iron Balls of Steel, now via Southern Lord. Check out the full review on Drop-d HERE.

Meshuggah post new album trailer

Meshuggah have posted a new album trailer for their forthcoming record, Koloss. The album is an absolutely striking affair and will certainly quench the thirst of hardened Meshuggah fans. As the video states, “The wait is over”. Indeed, Koloss is nearly upon us. This isn’t one to be missed.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Downfall of Gaia postpone new album

Downfall of Gaia have postponed the release of their new album, which was scheduled for release in May. Drummer, Hannes has been hospitalised with all shows in March and studio time cancelled. No other details about his illness have been released. The German post hardcore band was going to be recording the follow-up to 2010’s Epos and last year’s split LP with In The Hearts of Emperors.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Neige, Alcest interview

Last Sunday, Alcest returned to Dublin as part of their European tour. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Neige for a few minutes to discuss the new album, Les Voyages de L’ame, touring and everything in between. Check it out HERE.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Split Cranium streaming another new song

Another one from the new Aaron Turner band. The last song released, ‘Sceptres to Rust’, was average but any doubts about the forthcoming LP should be trounced now by this new jam, ‘Tiny Me’.  It’s a minute and a half long spurt of furious hardcore. While Aaron Turner has been occupying himself lately with the more ambient, spectral goings-on of Mamiffer and House of Low Culture, he’s found time for the more abrasive end of things too.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Marriages debut first song

Marriages is a side project from esteemed post rock band Red Sparowes, featuring Dave Clifford, Emma Ruth Rundle and Greg Burns. Pre Fix Mag are streaming the first song from their first album Kitsune, called ‘Ten Tiny Fingers’. Marriages make some misty ethereal rock with gorgeous vocals from Rundle reminiscent of Mazzy Star, counteracted by dense droning guitars. Check it out below.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bloom - Demo

The first demo from Californian sludgy doom mongrels Bloom is online now over on Click HERE to check out the full review. This is something impressive stuff to start with.

Toxicbreed release covers compilation

Toxicbreed has released its first covers compilation, Casa de Diversion: Covers Vol. 1 for free download on their blog now but you can also stream it below. The compilation features some interesting takes on songs both predictable and from a little more leftfield. Vestiges and Caulfield are prepping the release of their split 7”, both doing a cover each and the two songs are included on the comp. Vestiges take The Cranberries’ classic ‘Zombie’ and mould entirely into their own doomed out crust child. Meanwhile Caulfield daringly tackle Nirvana’s ‘Dive’.

Ohio’s blistering Masakari serve up a rendition of Discharge’s entire EP, Fight Back and the mighty Heartless, fresh off the release of their impressive first full-length Hell Is Other People, churn out a rather striking cover of His Hero Is Gone’s ‘Anthem for the Undesirables’, proudly playing homage to an obvious influence.

Spokane, Washington newcomers Losing Skin have only released two demos thus far but decide to have a go at Godflesh’s ‘Like Rats’, which we could probably have done with being left untouched. There are covers of anything from Dismember to Joy Division and Mayhem to At The Drive In. There are 34 tracks in total on Casa de Diversion I, so there’s plenty to get through, from intriguing takes to (sure to be thought) unforgivable abominations. Stream it below and click HERE for the two-part download. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Angel Witch track

For your Monday, NWOBHM stalwarts Angel Witch have a new song online, which is streaming below. ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ is taken from their new album As Above, So Below, which is coming out on Rise Above on March 12th. This will be the band’s first album in over 25 years. While the glories of yore will never be repeated, the arrival of Carcass’ Bill Steer in the band should mark some interesting results and the powerful twin guitars and vocals from Kevin Heybourne suggest so.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

And another new Meshuggah track

On Friday evening, Meshuggah released another new song from Koloss, fresh off the buzz surrounding ‘Break Those Bones Who Sinews Gave Them Motion’ a week prior. This time it’s the slightly faster ‘Do Not Look Down’, complete with a somewhat unusual guitar solo and even more emphasis on atmospherics. I really enjoyed ‘Break Those Bones…’ but this tops it for sure and should dispel any doubt that Meshuggah won’t meet expectations.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ravn, 1349 interview

My interview with Ravn, the vocalist from Norwegian black metal band 1349, is online now on Molten’s site. Check it out HERE. This interview took place last October when the band played in Dublin during their European tour.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Vestiges and Downfall of Gaia announce Irish dates

Crusty doom metallers Vestiges announced their European tour for this summer today, and includes the following Irish dates, with "neo" crust band Downfall of Gaia:
  • 13/07 Dublin, IE at The Pint
  • 14/07 IE w/Downfall of Gaia
  • 15/07 Galway, IE at TBA
The unconfirmed date for the 14th is most likely to be Cork. The band completed a successful US together late last year and were both touring on the backs of very impressive releases – Vestiges’ The Descent of Man LP and Downfall of Gaia’s Epos LP but more recently, their utterly stunning split with In The Hearts of Emperors. This is going to be a good! Click HERE for the full tour dates from Vestiges, which are still being ironed out and see if Downfall of Gaia are playing near you.

Braveyoung to release new EP

Braveyoung are busy dudes these days. Last year they released their stunning first full-length record, We Are Lonely Animals and also released their collaborative album with The Body. Now, after just finishing a tour of the east coast of the US, the band has revealed that they recorded a new EP and mixing has begun. The band posted some photos from the recording HERE, check them out.

Krisiun, Malevolent Creation & Vital Remains - The Pint, 14/2/12

This is a death metal triple headliner to write home about right here - Krisiun, Malevolent Creation and Vital Remains. Click HERE for the full live review of the tour's stop off in The Pint.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New Anathema song released

Anathema have released a new song from their new album, Weather Systems. Hands down, one of my all-time favourite bands, it’s difficult to contain my excitement for this one. The song ‘The Beginning and the End’ was released tonight and such was the enthusiasm for the download that Kscope’s site, the band’s label, crashed with the traffic coming through. But keep trying HERE.

Unsurprisingly, this song is simply jaw-dropping. I really put this band on a pedestal sometimes but they always manage to blow me away. ‘The Beginning and the End’ has Vincent Cavanagh pushing himself even further vocally, the lead pianos are nothing short of entrancing and that guitar solo at the end is just stunning. Listen below:

Update on Decapitated's Covan

The tragic story of Decapitated’s bus accident in Russia in late 2007 is well known at this stage by fans. Drummer Vitek was tragically killed and vocalist, Adrian ‘Covan’ Kowanek was severely injured leaving him in a coma. He has since woken but requires round the clock care and still cannot walk, however his mind is improving as he is aware of his surroundings at home and comprehends when someone is talking to him. He still needs his treatment and rehabilitation every day, which is hugely expensive to his family. Recently a Polish news station ran a news report about Covan’s progress including interviews with his family. Watch it below, it’s subtitled. If you’re interested in donating to Covan’s rehabilitation, click HERE.

New Torche tune and album details

Yes, Torche are back with a new album coming on April 24th called Harmonicraft. ‘Kicking’, the first single, is streaming now on Pitchforck HERE with a free download to boot. This is the first record since 2010’s EP Songs for Singles and the long awaited album follow-up to 2008’s highly lauded Meanderthal. The unabashed poppy melodies are all in tow on ‘Kicking’ with the semblances the members’ sludge backgrounds still glimmering in the distance. Frankly, this tune is great. The album was self-produced, and mixed by Converge’s Kurt Ballou, who really gets around these days. Listen to the song NOW and check out the artwork below.

Orchestral version of Austere's Just For A Moment streaming

After the news last week that Grey Waters had ceased to exist, Tim’s project Germ will release their debut album, Wish, next month. In the meantime, he has uploaded an orchestral version of Austere’s timeless track ‘Just For A Moment…’, which featured on the band’s final album To Lay Like Old Ashes. ‘Just For A Moment’ is a beautiful piece of work in Austere’s catalogue, listen to the song below for a whole different experience with an orchestral arrangement with some acoustic guitars.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

She Said Destroy - Bleeding Fiction EP

She Said Destroy sort of dropped off the radar after 2008’s This City Speaks in Tongues, so a couple years on, they’re back with this new EP and there’s a twist, click HERE for the full review.

Happy Valentine's Day?

Normal posting shall resume tomorrow. And while I have your attention, did you see that The Grind That Annoys was featured on The Guardian yesterday? No? Well, check it out HERE.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Isis streaming new live track

Isis will release their first posthumous record tomorrow, the sixth instalment of their live album series. Live VI was recorded in November 2007 in Boston at the band’s tenth anniversary show, and you can listen to a stream now of a track from the show. ‘Gentle Time’ is from their first album Celestial and is an appropriate preview of the live album, which is being released digitally tomorrow with a vinyl release in the works. Supposedly, Isis have another post-break up release planned for November, presumably featuring demos, unreleased tracks and the ambient pieces used in their live show. There’s no more news as of yet on that but for now here’s ‘Gentle Time’ live from 2007.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Unsung #1: Vehementer Nos

The Grind That Annoys is jumping on the bandwagon of regular posts on underrated records. Hell, why not? Unsung will take a look at those albums, EPs, demos or whatever that are largely overlooked, whether it’s a discarded gem in the catalogues of legends or the finest hour of an underground band with a fan base countable on one hand. This, the first instalment, looks at…

Vehementer Nos - Vehementer Nos

In the last few years, France has become quite a fertile ground for metal, and black metal with a penchant for the avant-garde in particular. Deathspell Omega, early Alcest, Blut Aus Nord should all give you an idea; three very different bands but all with roots firmly in black metal and with Alcest most notably veering off in an entirely different direction. Meanwhile, you have the likes of Peste Noire keeping things raw and nasty and then there’s Celeste’s brand of blackened hardcore.

However in 2007, Vehementer Nos released what still remains as their sole release, their self-titled album, despite forming in 2000. Released on Osmose Productions, the album never really got the recognition it so richly deserved. For just over 40 minutes this mysterious outfit unleashed a deathly cacophony characterised by ungodly vocals and thick, unrelenting riffs as well as towering tremolo-picked riffing.

It’s no secret that black metal has evolved drastically since the turn of the century and while there are many bands that epitomise the change, which is either loved or maligned,  Vehementer Nos crafted their own gleaming showpiece. Listen to the song ‘Sevls’, HERE, to really get a feel for this record. It’s utterly ferocious.

The album is introduced, however, by the ceremonial vibes of ‘Dontre le Dyole’ with a haunting choir-like chant only to erupt into a flurry of blastbeats glossed over with symphonics. ‘Les Devastes’ then instigates with dissonant guitars and Erik Danielsson-tinged vocals that truly usher in the greatness of this record.

There is little or no information on the band over four years on from the release of this album – no official announcement of disbanding or an assurance that Vehementer Nos is an entity that even still exists. It means that unfortunately any hopes of a second album seem fairly fruitless right now. Perhaps it’s a good thing though, Vehementer Nos is one unparalleled listen that stands entirely on its own.

Grey Waters are laid to rest

Here’s some rather dull news for your Saturday afternoon, Grey Waters have called it quits. The reasons stated being that since 2010’s magnificent Below The Ever Setting Sun EP, nothing has really been done to advance the release of the full-length. Here’s the statement that D and Tim (Germ) released today:

"We regret to announce today, that we have decided to lay Grey Waters to rest. Nothing has happened with the band for over 18 months now, and we feel it is best to go our separate ways. However, this is far from the end of the road for the material that was to make up the debut full length album! Material intended for this album will resurface from both D. and Tim, under a new name from D., and through Germ from Tim.

"We wish to sincerely thank everyone who supported Grey Waters, and hope you continue to do so whatever paths we take in the not too distant future.

D. & Tim

Only recently was I thinking about this band and how they had been so quiet and that’s been addressed now, which is rather unfortunate. However, D.’s main band, Woods of Desolation are working on a new record to follow up last year’s wondrous Torn Beyond Reason

Friday, February 10, 2012

Aeges post new song and album details

Aeges, the band featuring Pelican drummer Larry Herweg as well as members of Undertow and 16 will release their debut full-length album The Bridge on April 16th and are streaming a new song, ‘Wrong’, now over on Brooklyn Vegan. The Bridge is the follow-up to last year’s 7”, Roaches/ Dirt, two tracks that alluded to some interesting things and if heavy alt. rock that’s melodic but still pretty edgy, in the vein of Helmet, then this is definitely your thing.

I was extremely impressed with the EP from last year, particularly the track ‘Dirt’ and browsing the tracklisting for The Bridge, I was alarmed to not see it there, but to see only ‘Roaches’. On a second scan, there’s the track ‘Sent From Heaven (Rest in Dirt)’, so perhaps the song has been renamed. It would be tragic to see it omitted from the record, listen HERE, if you haven’t already, and more importantly, listen to ‘Wrong’ below:

The Universe Divide planning first album

Atlanta prog metallers The Universe Divide have begun work on their first full-length, to follow up last year’s impressive Dust Settles on the Odontophobes EP. The band will once again be working with producer Jamie King. Here are the full details.

"We are currently in the process of writing/recording our first full length album. We had the pleasure of recording drums for the single....Death of the Sun with John Douglass at Atlanta's Doppler studios (hosted the likes of Mastodon to Outkast). Check out some of the photos from the session here on the site.
"All other instrumentation is being recorded at Crushing Productions. Guitars and Keys are on schedule to be be complete this week. We plan to begin tracking bass as soon as next week. The mix and mastering will be done by Jamie King at the Basement Studios in NC. 
"There will also be a video release with this song put together by our own Jason Parker and Gael Pirlot. This will be our first non-Studio diary type release. So expect absolutely no talking and large amounts of rock!
"This is one piece of a larger concept album. It is by far the darkest/heaviest track we have put together for this group. Hopefully you guys will enjoy. Check back for updates on our progress."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Meshuggah song "leaked"

So, apparently there’s a new Meshuggah song leaked online. A song, currently untitled, is streaming on the site, and Got-Djent are claiming that the band’s management registered this domain and posted the song as a marketing ploy. Whatever the case may be, the most important aspect is that a new Meshuggah song is online.

The untitled track, which you can listen to below, is Meshuggah at their finest. I’ve been playing this on repeat for the last half hour, and it’s only heightened my expectations for Koloss. Meshuggah are mostly credited for the guitar work that has spawned a million copyists but Jens Kidman is the star of this track. Listen to those vocals, and of course, the guitars are nothing to sniff at either.

   iamaleak by gregoriev_suckalotsky

Absolutist - Ave

Scotland, by way of Northern lreland’s crust three-piece Absolutist will be releasing their first LP, Ave in the coming months through Dublin label Suburban Mayhem. An utterly storming record, this isn’t one you can risk missing out on. Click HERE for the full review.

Introducing Vaura:

Members of Dysrhythmia and Kayo Dot, including Kevin Hufnagel and Toby Driver, have teamed for a new band called Vaura. Meshing the avant-garde black metal of Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord with eerie melodic clean vocals, Vaura, if anything sounds fresh. The song ‘Obsidian Damascene Sun’ is streaming below and is taken from their forthcoming debut record Selenelion, which was recorded mixed by none other than Colin Marston and is released February 28th. The album is a deeply philosophical one exploring some complex themes and concepts from religion to demon mythology. Listen the song below and also check out the album trailer HERE.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Steven Wilson to release live album

Steven Wilson will release his first solo live album with online orders available now through his webstore. Catalogue / Preserve / Amass features seven songs clocking in at 70 minutes, but there are no details as to whether the CD is a recording of one particular show or a collection of various live recordings. The live album’s release is aimed at raising funds for his next solo tour with a “more elaborate” live DVD currently in the works. HERE are more details on Catalogue / Preserve / Amass.

In other, and slightly more important, news, the release of Storm Corrosion’s album draws nearer and nearer. In case you’ve been hiding in a cave on the moon with tissue stuffed in your ears, Storm Corrosion is the long (very long) awaited collaborative effort between Wilson and Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt. Click HERE for the latest press release. 

Kirk Hammett rejoins Exodus on stage

Kirk Hammett rejoined his one-time band mates Exodus on stage at the band’s Oakland show, Bonded by Baloff, last week, a tribute gig to deceased vocalist Paul Baloff, marking the tenth anniversary of his death. Hammett and original bassist Jeff Andrews emerged on stage with the band for a thundering version of ‘Whipping Queen’. Check out the clip below:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Jesse Leach returns to Killswitch Engage

An image posted this morning on their website told the whole story – Jesse Leach is back in Killswitch Engage. After weeks of rumour and speculation, Killswitch’s original vocalist has returned to the band after nearly 10 years. The band hasn’t released any statement yet but here’s the photo below. Interesting developments lie ahead!

Monday, February 6, 2012

New pg.lost song

Swedish post rock band, pg.lost will release their first new album since 2009, entitled Key. Currently, German magazine Visions is streaming the new song ‘Vultures’ HERE or you can check it out below. Pg.lost have always crafted some beautiful cathartic orchestrations over their past two full-length albums, and on ‘Vultures’, they’ve done it again. Gorgeous guitar harmonies weave together effortlessly while sublimely scaling to that all important crescendo, all creating another outstanding listen. Check it out now, Key will be released on May 4th.

Earth - Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II

Last year, Earth released the first instalment of their double concept album, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light. Part Two is scheduled for release later this month. Click HERE for the full review.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Split Cranium song online

At long last, Split Cranium have a song online. Taken from their 7” EP, just out now on Hydra Head, ‘Sceptres to Rust’ is the first taster of the new band featuring Isis’ Aaron Turner and Circle’s Jussi Lehtisalo. Split Cranium are a hardcore band, to define them in it in simpler terms, with Turner delivering some ripping vocals, not heard since Isis’ final record, Wavering Radiant. Vocals also feature from Lehtisalo. The band will release their first full-length next month, which was mixed by Converge’s Kurt Ballou. Listen to the song below.


Friday, February 3, 2012

New Divider tune

New Yorkers Divider are streaming a new song from their split with Colony via Toxicbreed. You may recall the band from last summer after their ferocious three-way split with Plebeian Grandstand and Bone Dance. The band contributes one new song to this split 7”, while Colony serves up three. Divider’s offering ‘Tide Lungs’ is a slow, trudging slab of sludgy of hardcore. While you’re at it, check out the three new Colony tunes.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wildernessking - The Writing of Gods in the Sand

South African black metallers, Wildernessking have just released their first album, The Writing of Gods in the Sand. The album is a majorly impressive effort that has seemingly come out of nowhere. Click HERE for the full lowdown.

New Scale the Summit song

Scale The Summit are readying the release of the vinyl edition of last year’s The Collective record. The edition will feature the bonus track ‘Redwoods’, which you can listen to now over at MetalSucks, who have been lucky enough to stream it first. It’s one of those moments where you think, how could they leave this off the record?

‘Redwoods’ is only four and a half minutes long but like all Scale the Summit tracks, it musters up so much grandeur with dizzying lead guitars from Chris Letchford and Travis LeVrier once again. Scale the Summit have just undertaken their first headlining tour in the States, a European tour in the not too distant future is a must. Click HERE to check out the song.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Ocean tease new release

2011 saw The Ocean tour heavily in support of their two 2010 stunning records Heliocentric and Anthropocentric. With such an ambitious accomplishment under their belts, it raised the question over the last few weeks, what will 2012 bring for them? Well the band hinted at something tonight with posting this photo alongside the message “... something new's on the way ...”. Have a look at the photo; one could make the assumption that the vinyl record is a test press for something that they may release soon. The two colours, for my money, suggest (albeit loosely) that it’s a split release. Whatever it is, I simply cannot wait. Personally, I’d prefer a new full-length but it’s unlikely that is it.

New Mothlite track

Mothlite have released a track from their new album Dark Age. The man behind the project, Daniel O’Sullivan, who is also a member of Ulver, released his first album under the Mothlite banner in 2008 and Dark Age will mark his first record with Kscope, coming in April. ‘Something in the Sky’ is a gorgeously arranged piece of gothic imbued pop, taking much from the most recent Ulver outings and wearing influences like Cocteau Twins quite proudly. Check it out below:

New issue of One More Robot out now

The new issue of One More Robot is out now. This features its 90s Hip-Hop special. I haven’t written anything for this special though; it’s by no means my area of expertise. You will however find my interview with Shawn Lee and AM on their collaborative album Celestial Electric, as well as a feature review of the latest Leviathan album, True Traitor, True Whore. Pick it up in Trout Records or The Rage in Dublin, or online HERE.

Isis announce Live VI

Isis’s first posthumous release, their sixth instalment of the Live series, is available for digital pre-order now with the vinyl release coming at a later date. The live album features a Boston show from 2007, where the band celebrated their tenth anniversary. This appears to be the release that drummer Aaron Harris mentioned some time ago, which seems to squash hopes for the time being that Isis would release their compilation of unreleased material and ambient pieces used in their live shows, which still may come as supposedly some kind of Isis record is planned for a November release, unless that is the vinyl Live VI, which is just too far away.

Anathema reveal album title, artwork

Anathema have confirmed the name of their new album as Weather Systems and released the artwork. The album is slated for an April 16th release via Kscope. The album will feature two guest vocal performances from Norwegian singer/songwriter Petter Carlsen. No other details are confirmed yet.