Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Scott Kelly - The Forgiven Ghost In Me

Neurosis' Scott Kelly has returned with his third solo album, this time recorded with a four-piece band under the name Scott Kelly and The Road Home, which includes some of his Neurosis bandmates. The Forgiven Ghost In Me is a crushingly affecting folk-inflected album from Kelly that will definitely be one of his career highlights outside of Neurosis. Click HERE for the review.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Column of Heaven - Mission from God

“I realised what sort of a monster I had become.” That’s the chilling line from Peter Sutcliffe’s confession statement to police in 1981, the man better known as The Yorkshire Ripper, the man that terrorised a community for over a decade, killing 13 innocent women, traumatising families and leaving a permanent stain on England’s justice system. That particular quote is taken from Sutcliffe’s account of the murder of his fifth victim, 16-year-old Jayne McDonald, the youngest of his victims and despite his confession of being a “monster” after finally being caught, the truth is Jayne was not his last victim as he would murder eight more women and hold a death grip of terror over northern England for another three years.

It is this monstrous man that informs Column of Heaven’s LP Mission From God, a truly harrowing title given that Sutcliffe believed that he was in fact on a mission from god, with god’s voice in his head instructing him on his vile, misogynistic killing spree. Members Andrew Nolan and Kristiansen grew in up the area terrorised by Sutcliffe so the LP isn’t some pastiche attempt to shock, rather an account of traumatic events that were happening next door, and broadly speaking the record is about “how the physical and social landscape shapes us”, according to a blog post from the band.

When powerviolence mainstays The Endless Blockade ceased existence, bowing out with last year’s invigorating split 7” with Pig Heart Transplant, Nolan and Eric King took up Column of Heaven, having previously released a demo, and the result is this chilling, simply fucking torturous LP. This is powerviolence taken to a completely new level by a band that while still young in the sense that they only formed in recent years, the prior tenure of The Endless Blockade still looms and brings with it a seasoned experience that has allowed Column of Heaven to ascend to a level previously unoccupied. Storming the gates with an aggression unparalleled, this record is so short (at 17 minutes) but captures so much intensity. Its intensity only matched by the gravity of the subject matter, both being heavy and fierce in unfathomable ways.

The first and last songs are ‘After The Mission’ and ‘Before The Mission’, respectively, which suggests that the LP moves back over the events from 1981 to 1969 but the album closes with an audio sample from a phone interview Sutcliffe gave from prison detailing his suicide attempt long before he first took a life. Deep confusion and incompetence surrounded the police investigation and perhaps this arrangement of tracks is meant to represent that.

Concept or no, Mission From God stands up as an evocatively devastating album but it’s hard to separate the two with the barbarity of the music from the tales it tells. The mesh of grind, powerviolence and molesting noise elements has bred a terrifying beast known now as Column of Heaven.


Stream the full album HERE and buy the LP HERE.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Unsung #3: Leng Tch'e / Fuck the Facts split

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 instalment looks at…

Leng Tch'e / Fuck the Facts split 7"/CD

First off, apologies! It’s been quite a long time since the last Unsung post. This is due to a number of reasons but better late than never, right? The third instalment is looking at a split release from 2008 that I adore, which brought together Canadian experi-grinders Fuck the Facts and Belgian grindcore band Leng Tch’e.

Fuck the Facts are not a band that could ever be called lax, the rather prolific Canadian grind band have churned out several full-lengths and countless splits and EPs since their formation over 10 years ago, coming to another impressive climax last year with the full-length Die Miserable. This split 7” with Belgium’s rather excellent grindcore outfit Leng Tch’e may be the band’s finest short collection of tunes for a split. Both bands have always delivered the goods and in fact, it was because of this split released in 2008 that got me into Fuck the Facts having previously been into Leng Tch’e for a little bit.

The Belgians’ four cuts are some premium grind assaults borrowing techniques from Scandinavian grind with some judicial flavours of melody. It’s important to see where this release stands in Leng Tch’e’s catalogue. Previously being with Relapse Records (where Fuck The Facts were label mates), the band left soon after this 7” and it would be the band’s final release (of new material) with the label, with the exception of The Hand That Strangles compilation. Come 2010 and the band’s next full-length, Hypomanic, they would find a new home with Season of Mist, expanding on the foundations laid down by this 7”.

Fuck the Facts really stand out though with their melody-heavy grind that isn’t really grind… ahem… what I mean is the band, at their core, are still a grind band for sure but have allowed some many different styles into their sound whether it’s influences like that of death metal or metalcore, their sound has morphed into something else. As proof, ‘Like Yesterday’ opens their side and treads on the grandiose before pummelling through some barbaric tracks, and closes with the eerily melodic ‘My Failures (Just Like Yesterday)’. The band takes us through all the different spanners they’ve been throwing in the works, something which really came to fruition with Die Miserable.

Oddly, there was a CD release which featured more songs from each band than on the 7”.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Excerpt of new Swans song

Next month Swans release their new record The Seer, an expansive double album affair. ‘The Apostate’ is taken from the album and the band has been playing it live at some recent shows. There’s now an excerpt of a live performance online (via Vice). The live video is pretty impressive, mostly down to Michael Gira dancing and wildly flailing his arms around like a man deranged (and one could argue that he is). While Swans’ music is always evolving into new ghastly unrecognisable forms, there is one constant – the reaction… the “what the fuck is going on here?” reaction. That reaction remains intact and where exactly The Seer goes is anyone’s guess. It’ll be a challenging listen for sure. My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky was certainly so and it appears the band have intentionally gone out of their way to fuck with us… again.

the apostate (edit) from Marco Porsia on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Reka track

Russian post metallers Reka will re-emerge shortly with a new split LP with In The Hearts of Emperors, which is available to order from Moment of Collapse now and the band is streaming a slab of their side in the eight minute ‘Legacy’. Meanwhile, In The Hearts of Emperors have yet to release anything from the split online but I’ve high expectations as I really liked their split with Downfall of Gaia last year, and am eager to hear more from the Swedes’ downcast sludge.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hooded Menace - Effigies of Evil

Finland doom's finest Hooded Menace are preparing the release of their third album Effigies of Evil in September through Relapse Records but click HERE for the full lowdown in the CVLT Nation review.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Torche post video for Kicking

Torche make fun music so it's not surprising that their new music video is just that (and a little weird too). Check out 'Kicking' below, from their fantastic new album Harmonicraft.

Torche - "Kicking" (Stereogum Premiere) from stereogum on Vimeo.

Monday, July 23, 2012

New Between the Buried and Me track

After announcing the details of their new album The Parallax: Future Sequence last week, Between the Buried and Me have posted the first song from the album, the sprawling ‘Telos’. The song takes us through the various shades of BTBAM, first opening with intense guitar assaults that remind us of Colors’ most brutal moments. Conversely the song is enriched with the expected melody, of course laid down by Tommy Rogers’ clean vocals. The Parallax: Future Sequence is a concept album so it’s actually quite difficult to judge ‘Telos’ as a standalone piece.

Here is also the tracklist for the new album which has 12 tracks, the most Between the Buried and Me have put on an album, suggesting some shorter songs but The Parallax: Future Sequence will still clock in at 72 minutes. The album is out October 9th.

1. Goodbye To Everything
2. Astral Body
3. Lay Your Ghosts to Rest
4. Autumn
5. Extremophile Elite
6. Parallax
7. The Black Box
8. Telos
9. Bloom
10. Melting City
11. Silent Flight Parliament
12. Goodbye to Everything Reprise

Periphery - Periphery II

Djent’s “poster boys” Periphery have never fallen off the radar since their 2010 debut with a string of constant touring and in that time they've managed to release their second album Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal earlier this month. In a scene that’s become painfully repetitious and uninteresting how does its hold up? Click HERE for the review. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

New Mono track

The stunning Japanese instrumental rock collective Mono will release their new album, For My Parents, in September, the much anticipated follow-up to 2009’s Hymn to the Immortal Wind. This week the band released the first taster of the album in the shape of ‘Dream Odyssey’, a suitable title for the band’s lengthy dreamy soundscapes and as expected, the track is rife with lush string arrangements and spectral guitars that weave together for the quintessential Mono sound. Pitchfork are now streaming the song HERE or have a listen down below.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Downfall of Gaia interview

Germany's Downfall of Gaia recently signed with Metal Blade, a pleasant surprise for band that released records and toured DIY style for years. Now with a new LP slated for release in October, the hardcore band turned post metal four piece appear to only be on the rise. While on a short European tour last week that brought them to Dublin, I sat down for a chat with them. Read it HERE on CVLT Nation.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Serpentine Path - Serpentine Path

Former and current members of Electric Wizard, Ramesses, Unearthly Trance and The Howling Wind have teamed up for Serpentine Path, who will release their death/doom opus in September but have a read of the review now on CVLT Nation HERE.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Steven Wilson album for early 2013

Quick tweet coming at you. Steven Wilson, who recently confirmed that Porcupine Tree were on a hiatus of sorts, alluded that a new solo album would be out next year. This evening he confirmed that he will be recording with his solo band in Los Angeles throughout September and October and is aiming for an early 2013 release. Alan Parsons will be engineering the record, whose engineering skills were a part of little ol’ albums like Dark Side of the Moon and Abbey Road. You may have heard of them.

New Murder Construct song

Murder Construct are a supergroup of sorts, including Cattle Decapitation vocalist Travis Ryan and Exhumed and Intronaut drummer Danny Walker alongside ex and current members of those respective bands and Phobia and Morbosidad. Having only released one EP two years ago, the deathgrind troupe will release their first full-length Results on September 3rd via Relapse Records and have debuted a new song, ‘Compelled by Mediocrity’, complete with lyric video below.

Have a read of the lyrics and it’s plain to see that Murder Construct are having a go at modern metal, and specifically djent. Peppered throughout the track are jibes such as “you were born with a silver Macbook Pro in your mouth” and “behind your 9-string, musically bluffing”. Start to finish, the song is a searing diatribe against the djent scene and million and one Periphery offshoots of the last two years.

Thankfully for Murder Construct, this new song is a little better than mediocre. It’s a solid track and serves its primary purpose as a preview for Results. However, with what is essentially a side project, Murder Construct isn’t a great deal different from Cattle Decapitation.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Toby Driver posts new song

The ever prolific, and always intriguing, Toby Driver has posted a new solo song ‘Grey Dream’ on the Kayo Dot Bandcamp page, having already released new albums this year with his long-time outfit Kayo Dot and the new “avant-garde”/BM-esque band Vaura, whose debut Selenelion is actually rather impressive. The details surrounding ‘Grey Dream’ are scant, much like the sparse arrangements and ambience that make up the song, but according to a post that gives a little context from Driver: “I have a series of solo songs similar to this one that some friends have been asking me to record for a while now. Here's a bedroom version. If any label out there wants to throw a pile of money at me to fund the recording of a real, professional studio album, you know, get at me, etc.” 

Between the Buried and Me detail new record

Prog metallers Between the Buried and Me have announced details of their album The Parallax II: Future Sequence, the follow-up to last year’s EP The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues. The album will land on October 8th via Metal Blade Records and the artwork is below. The band’s first pure concept album, Future Sequence’s tale began with the EP last year and will unfold on this new album. According to guitarist Paul Waggoner: “The two main characters of the story take on a journey through space and time with the unenviable task of having to cure the flaws of humanity by any means necessary.”

“While the EP served mostly as an introduction to the characters, Future Sequence contains the action of the story. The lyrics are written in the stream of consciousness style, which really helps to capture the perspective and emotion of the characters. We really enjoyed the challenge of writing this record, and I think we were all pleasantly surprised with how well the music and lyrics jived with one another. I couldn't be happier with how Future Sequence turned out.”

As bassist Dan Briggs put it a while back, “Musically, it’s hard to describe. I’m really excited and I feel like I could go on and on and on about it. It’s pretty wild, I’m pretty excited about it, I think it’s different.”

Monday, July 16, 2012

Krallice announce new album

Via the now usual succinct Facebook status, Krallice have announced their new album Years Past Matter, the follow-up to last year’s impressive Diotima, and will be released in “late August” on CD independently as well as a digital release. Long-time cohorts Gilead Media will handle the vinyl release. The band features Colin Marston, also of Dysrhythmia and Gorguts, the latter of which has a new album coming out in August too and Gorguts is cooped up still working on a new record, so between those bands and producing and mixed myriad others, he just can’t seem to stop.

UPDATE (17/07/12):
The CD artwork for Years Past Matter has since been posted.

From Ashes Rises - Rejoice The End/Rage of Sanity EP

Behold. It’s the return of From Ashes Rise with a new 7” to pave the way for a new album in the works. With two tracks, this release is very much on the fence. Click HERE for the review on CVLT Nation.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

New Grave track

Swedish death metal luminaries Grave are getting set to release their tenth album, Endless Procession of Souls, and almost coming up on 25 years together, it’s quite the milestone. The veterans are now streaming a new slab of death via the Century Media YouTube page called ‘Passion of the Weak’. Grave have always been consistent in their output, to varying degrees and while 2010’s Burial Ground was solid enough, it demanded some more flair from the band and ‘Passion of the Weak’ appears to be veering the new record that way.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Samothrace - Reverence to Stone

After four long years, Samothrace have finally released the follow up to 2008's Life's Trade with this new full-length Reverence to Stone and it is a sublime piece of work that has been worth the wait. Click HERE for the review now on CVLT Nation.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vaccine post new songs, add Irish dates

Vaccine released their EP Crimes in Blood back in early 2011 and it actually feels like a lifetime since then. But of course the band have been pretty busy touring wise but now there’s some new material to tuck into, as well as some European tour dates announced, which includes stops in July in Dublin (27th) and Cork (28th), venues TBC. *Two splits 7”s are in the works, a split with Coke Bust, and another called Dead Inside and here are two tracks from the respective releases. Both are of course short caustic slabs of powerviolence, not much to say, just listen. (Thanks to Toxicbreed for the tip, click HERE for the rest of the European dates)
*amendment, July 15th

Photo: Reid Haithcock

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Slidhr track

I was banging on before about the renaissance of sorts in Irish black metal. Over the last 12 months there’s been a significant rise in the number of quality BM acts on this isle and this year alone we’ve had releases from Wound Upon Wound, Eternal Helcaraxe and Dunmharu, and Sodb’s demo is landing shortly. Anyway, the next chapter is marked by Slidhr. Frankly, my knowledge of Slidhr is scant at best but Deluge is the title of the new album coming soon on Debemur Morti Productions and a new song ‘Hex’ can be heard below. The song is a powerful blend of orthodox BM and some vague Deathspellisms, kind of like the material from the split with Clandestine Blaze with Slidhr churning out some impressive mid-paced black metal of their own. More details on the album soon.

Preview the Converge / Napalm Death split 7"

Pre-orders are up now for the very limited edition split 7” between Napalm Death and Converge, both offering two new slabs of sonic aggression each, with Converge delivering a cover of Entombed’s ‘Wolverine Blues’, which includes guest appearances from Aaron Turner and Tomas Lindberg. Deathwish, who are distributing the 7”, are now streaming a very brief snippet of two of the tracks to whet your appetite. Listen below and click HERE for the pre-order.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Burning Ghats - Different Names for the Same Face EP

This is Vancouver’s Burning Ghats and last year they released their unforgiving 7” Different Names for the Same Face and it’s simply devastating crusty hardcore. Have a read and listen HERE.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Unearthly Trance disband

New York sludge doom outfit Unearthly Trance have decided to call it a day, releasing the statement found below, thus quelling any expectations to a follow-up album to 2010’s V and so it appears that the Manson split 7” with Wooden Wand is their swansong.

“Unearthly Trance has broken up. We have decided it was the right time and this time it is for real. Thanks to all the people around the world who have supported us in any way!”

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ihsahn - Eremita

Ihsahn is back with his fourth solo record, Eremita, following on from his previous trilogy of albums. So what is next for the man behind some of the most evocative black metal records in Emperor and subsequently some of the best progressive metal in recent years? Click HERE for the review and find out.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Nasum announce London date

Nasum, who are on one last tour to properly call the band to a closer after the tragic death of vocalist Miezsko Talarcyzk in 2004, have announced a London show for September 25th. When the band announced the initial run of shows late last year, a UK appearance was conspicuous by its absence. Until now. The band will play The Underworld in Camden and tickets are on sale this Friday and Black Breath are in tow for support.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Conan start work on new album

It was only a few months ago that Liverpool drone/doom/severe noise makers Conan released their new album Monnos, to quite a bit of acclaim too. Now, the band have been quick to get stuck into a new record, posting the following message:

Scant few details, yes but also interesting news that we shall not be waiting too much longer for more new Conan. Also remember that Conan are playing The Pint on October 12th with No Spill Blood, Slomatics, ZOM and Wild Rocket. Event page HERE.

This Gift is a Curse - I, Guilt Bearer

Sweden's blackened hardcore merchants This Gift is a Curse have released their first LP entitled I, Guilt Bearer and the review is online now over at CVLT Nation. Click HERE to read.

Monday, July 2, 2012

New Rat's Blood track

Rat’s Blood are a little bit good. The Dublin punks have been gigging hectically for just over a year now and released their first demo tape earlier in the year and have now stuck up a new song online. If stuff in the vein of Scandinavian punk like Her├Ątys or dissonant Japanese hardcore then Rat’s Blood are for you and you should tuck into this new song ‘Punx is Mutants’. Always keep your eyes peeled for any gigs coming up too, they’re a band much better experienced live.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

New Dysrhythmia track

First post of the new month right here and it’s a new Dysrhythmia track. Not bad, right? The band confirmed their new album a few weeks, their first for Profound Lore, will be called Test of Submission. Having released a demo track last year as a wonderful taster, the prog metal trio have posted the title track of the new record now too. When not playing with Gorguts, Krallice, Vaura or producing countless records, Colin Marston and Kevin Hufnagel, with Jeff Eber, have the supremely underrated Dysrhythmia, with their mind melting complex instrumental metal and have released a series of quality records and Test of Submission should (fingers crossed) be no different. Listen to the new song now on Metal Sucks and just down below.