Thursday, January 31, 2013

Our road to Redemption... #2

It’s time for the second look at Redemption Festival, which will easily be one on the highlights of the day – Rotting Christ. Much like their set at Nuclear War Now festival, the band won’t be playing just any old set, rather their slot is strictly older material, with songs from the demos and the first three albums, Thy Might Contract, Non Serviam, and Triarchy of the Lost Lovers.
So, that means there’s a pretty good chance we’ll hear ‘Exiled Archangels’ somewhere in the set, from their seminal Thy Mighty Contract record. Tickets are still available for Redemption but it would be wise to get yours ASAP rather than paying on the door, just to avoid disappointment.

Audrey Horne - Youngblood

Norwegian rockers, Audrey Horne, who feature members of Enslaved and God Seed are getting prepped to release their new album, Youngblood, which is their first record in three years. So, how does it hold up? Click HERE for the review on Metal Ireland.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Killswitch Engage track

The internet exploded this morning (ok, not exactly) with the new Killswitch Engage song, ‘In Due Time’, from their new record Disarm The Descent, one of the very few mainstream metal albums of 2013 that I’m interested in, for obvious reasons.

Straight away, the song doesn’t appear to be going for Alive of Just Breathing part 2. Thankfully, this is of course the band’s first new album with Jesse Leach on vocals since the 2002 album. ‘In Due Time’ feels a lot more invigorated than the 2009 lead single ‘Starting Over’ with more reckless riffing and less sheen. However, that doesn’t mean the band has opted for a bestial production. This is still clean modern metal with a titanic chorus to boot and the band actually having a guitar solo in a song, it’s not something terribly common on all their records but works very well here. I’m relatively pleased with what they’ve done with this track, and suitably intrigued by the new album as a result.

Glorie to release new EP in March

Memphis instrumental band, Glorie, will release a new EP next month entitled Falling. With CD pre-orders live now, the band is also streaming the opening track, ‘Sunshine Then Nightmares’ from the new effort, which you can listen to below. All pre-orders will come with an immediate digital download of the EP. 

Glorie’s post rock styling is one much more based around the serene, and this track, and the EP as a whole, is a rather subdued and affecting listen, clocking in at just 22 minutes. Meshing elements of Braveyoung and Explosions in the Sky to supreme effect, Glorie have still managed to forge a record that sounds like themselves, albeit a short one.

2011’s self-titled album was a solid affair that hinted at what the band might be capable of and more than anything, exhibited a flair for ideas, something especially vital in what has become an oversaturated field.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New KEN Mode tune

There isn’t much longer to go until KEN Mode’s new record Entrench and the band is streaming another new song, ‘The Promises of God’. This exhibits the band at their reckless best and includes a guest vocal spot from former Botch man Dave Verellen, a fitting collaboration seeing as the mathcore legends’ influence has been all over KEN Mode’s previous records, so essentially this track is terse and belligerent. Enough said.

It’s streaming now on Stereogum. Click HERE to get involved.

Rotten Sound - Species At War EP

Species At War is the new EP from Finnish grinders, Rotten Sound. At a mere eight minutes, it's the kind of succinct barrage that one would come to expect from Rotten Sound at this stage. The review is online now over on CVLT Nation, so click HERE to read.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Our road to Redemption... #1

The first ever Redemption Festival is just around the corner, taking place on February 9th in Dublin’s Button Factory, promoted by Dublin Metal Events and headlined by Primordial. Tickets are selling fast and if you haven’t picked up a ticket yet, you’d be strongly advised to do so pronto.

Filling out the rest of the bill is Rotting Christ (playing a strictly early material set), Solstafir, Grave Miasma, Winterfylleth and Mael Mordha. Over the next few days, there will be a few posts here previewing what is surely to be one of the highlights of Ireland’s metal gig calendar. Today, it only makes sense that we start with the headliners, Primordial, who are playing their first Irish gig since September 2011’s triumphant 20th anniversary show in The Academy. Sure to be something special, their Redemption set will be an expansive two hours in length and will most likely feature material from across their entire body of work and it’s hard to imagine that this gem won’t be in there somewhere…

Man The Machetes - Idiokrati

Idiokrati is the first full-length from Norwegian metalcore outfit Man The Machetes. In a heavily saturated genre such as this, and especially now in 2013, how does this record fare? Click HERE for the review.

Friday, January 25, 2013

New Terrorizer on sale now, includes Katatonia live review

The new issue of Terrorizer is out now and includes my live review of Katatonia in Dublin last month. Check it out if you get a chance.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Stream the SVN OKKLT compilation now

SVN OKKLT is a pretty cool blog if you’re ever looking for some lo-fi raw black metal from the underground’s murkiest of corners and holes. It was through this blog that I found some impressive demos and EPs from bands like Axis of Light, whose 2012 EP is really something, Dressed In Streams and Obscure Lupine Quietus. It’s a blog worthy of a permanent place on your RSS feed for sure and now the person (or people?) behind the blog are releasing a double cassette compilation of some of their best discoveries and most interestingly, it includes new songs from Axis of Light and Dressed In Streams no less, as well as Witch In Her Tomb and the mysterious and prolific one-man entity Jute Gyte. The rest of the bands I know nothing of, which makes this compilation all the more interesting.

You can order it HERE or simply stream the whole thing below. In particular, Axis of Light stand out once again. The Manchester band’s totally fucking nihilistic raw black metal is a sound that proudly stands out amongst a sea of similar bands that have reared their heads over the last year or two. Meanwhile, Dressed In Streams, a band from the Colloquial Sound label so you know they’re good, show up a little bit of their… dare I say it… ‘avant-garde’ side, with their dizzying keyboards and caustic yells from the abyss.

Jute Gyte serve a 13 minute slab of hypnotic BM with ‘Detritivore’. It’s manky and messy and grates the ears, serving as a reminder that I need to check out the new album, Noctis Labyrinthus, which landed on New Year’s Day. Then there’s the new (to me anyway) entities that I’m still sinking my teeth into but Eos and Tardigrada are just some of the bands that have made an immediate impression on me. Have a listen to the full compilation below:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New Rorcal track

Since their taxing and exhausting one track 70 minute foray into the abyss that was Heliogabalus, Swiss sludge doom band Rorcal have released a few splits and EPs but never quite got around to another full-length album… until now. At the end of next month, the band will release their new record Világvége and are streaming a preview now from the record, which includes three of the album’s tracks.

This album appears to be treading in faster terrain and fraternising with some of their black metal tendencies, and while the band is comfortable with Thou-like slogs, they’re equally versed in searing, breakneck dissonance a la Hexis and Celeste, which is where Világvége appears to dwell.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rungs in a Ladder: Jacob Bannon

This is getting posted everywhere tonight but it’s worth having a look at. Noisey have released another new mini-doc, Rungs In A Ladder: Jacob Bannon, something of a profile on Converge’s Jacob Bannon, or even a monologue of sorts that shows his ambitions in life and what has brought up to this point. The doc is by no means flashy but the mix of various footage from his day to day life, background music and Bannon’s oratory is rather captivating and really held my undivided attention for its mere 12 minutes, and highlights how a somewhat shy man can front one of hardcore’s most confrontational bands. Watch it below. It was directed by Ian McFarland.

Monday, January 21, 2013

John Baizley joins Converge on stage

Last Saturday, Decibel celebrated their 100th issue in style with a pretty loaded show in Philadelphia, headlined by Converge, which is hardly surprising, Converge are always venerated within the pages of the magazine. Also, on the bill was Pig Destroyer, Repulsion, Tombs, Evoken and Municipal Waste, but that’s not what this post is about. No, rather Converge played a standout track ‘Coral Blue’ from their new album All We Love We Leave Behind, with guest guitar and vocals from Baroness’ John Baizley. Of course, Baizley is still recovering from Baroness’ horrific bus accident in the UK last summer. According to various blog updates from the band, they’ve all recovered very well but these things are always baby steps of course.

Obviously, the song was filmed by a fan and lashed up on YouTube. First things first, John appears to be in good health, playing guitar and moving around as if nothing had happened, which is a great sight, especially seeing as we were used to images of him with a large cast on his arm over the last few months. As for the song, it’s an ok performance, nothing stellar, which is a slight shame considering what a great tune it is from a great album. Check it out below anyway.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cloudkicker - Hello

In keeping with his tradition of prolificacy, Ben “Cloudkicker” Sharp has released a new song this week in the form of a one-track EP – Hello, which has been released for free download along with art prints of the impressive artwork for sale. It makes for a slight change once again for Cloudkicker. This song explores more droning ambient soundscapes, and doesn’t have any of those big riffs that so characterises many of his prior releases.

It fizzles for the most part, feeling like it’s building to an eruption of sorts but instead just meanders away after ten minutes of droning, it’s rather toying when you think about it but also strangely beautiful, much like all of Cloudkicker’s music, but whether or not it’s indicative of the next album/EP is another thing entirely. Have a listen below or download HERE.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Another new track from Portal's Vexovoid

Yes, the new Portal record draws closer every day and the band are streaming another new slab of twisted Lovecraftian death metal horror for your un-joyment (via NPR). ‘The Back Wards’ is the Australians at some of their perturbing best, with jarring almost-senseless riffs meandering around The Curator unnerving croaks that he calls vocals. The song is taken from the band’s new album Vexovoid, released February 19 through Profound Lore, which is the follow-up to 2010’s unparalleled beast, Swarth. Click HERE to listen to the new song.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Ruined Families track

Greek punks Ruined Families are prepping their new LP, Blank Language for release soon, which will be the follow-up to last year’s simply deadly 7” release. Right now they’re streaming a new track from the record, ‘Easy Livin’. Unsurprisingly, it’s a two minute burst of aggression and bile. It was something that so heavily characterised the 7”, with its caustic belligerence that didn’t let up even for a second. It’s short and sweet – listen below.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Crutches - D-Beat Tsunami EP

It may be the first month of 2013 but we’re still wading through some of the releases that were gifted to us in 2012. It was a year that was overrun with crust and d-beat releases from all corners and crevices of the globe and one of the genre’s most fertile grounds over the years, Sweden certainly wasn’t to be forgotten with Malmö’s Crutches releasing their latest EP, D-Beat Tsunami. And talk about an apt name for a record. The 7” is just that, a tsunami of searing and unforgiving d-beat, and with just three short tracks of unmitigated mayhem.

Crutches aren’t reinventing the wheel by any means and this d-beat savagery has been done a million times over but the overall aggression and energy from these Swedes is something you can’t help but admire, made all too clear by the immediacy of the EP’s opener 'Let’s Start a Fire'. It’s a track does just that, whipping up an inferno of devastating punk violence and belligerence.

The vocals are pained, excruciating cries of adrenaline and intensity, particularly alighting on the unrelenting second track 'Självutskitna' that’s also complemented by the EP’s most memorable riff to boot. Add to that, the band can still reel the velocity in a little bit, and still keep things interesting.

Production wise, the EP is just dirty but not unlistenable. The vocals are hellish shrieks that haven’t received too much studio treatment meanwhile the guitar tone has that classic sound met by the sloppy, crunchy bass slogging along underneath.

D-Beat Tsunami is a powerful and unrelenting slab of caustic d-beat, executed quite well and while it’s not staggeringly new or fresh, it’s not something to pass up on either.

The D-Beat Tsunami 7” is available from Distro-y Records

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New KEN Mode tune online

Canadian hardcore/noise rock hybrid KEN Mode will release their new album, Entrench, next month, their first record with their new label home of Season of Mist, and today the band is streaming the first cut from the record – ‘Counter Culture Complex’, which is streaming on Pitchfork now. It sees the band mesh more of their noise rock elements with their obvious hardcore backgrounds, and this time around flirting with even more melody to boot. It’s terse and belligerent, pretty much what we expect from KEN Mode at the end of the day.

The album really promises to be a major step-up for the band with them tinkering with some new ideas. What we do know about it so far is that the band worked with a small string section, which opens up some intriguing possibilities. Personally, this is one of my biggest hopes for 2013. Last album, Venerable was huge and easily the band’s best. Seeing them grow and grow on each record has been stunning and Entrench really has the potential to blow it out of the water when it’s released on March 19th. Also, have a look at the artwork below, which seems to take one or two details from the Venerable artwork, perhaps to create something of a complementary or accompaniment piece. Maybe… who knows?

Click HERE to listen to the song.

From The Bogs of Aughiska post new track

This year, From The Bogs of Aughiska, the cold dark ambient project from the west of Ireland, will release its new album Roots of This Earth Within My Blood, a title that suggests the album’s subject matter will pick up where the self-titled left off, exploring homeland and folklore. Now, From The Bogs… is streaming a new song entitled ‘Hell Complex’, which features Gnaw Their Tongues sycophant Mories on guest vocals. First opening with a wash of seemingly familiar noise and misty black metal flourishes, the song soon takes a turn for the best/worst when Mories’ corrosive vocals start piercing through the haze of noise. Much like the debut, the song is unnerving dark ambient but with a few new twists that suggest a change or two for the next album. Have a listen below.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cloud Rat - Moksha

Cloud Rat’s second LP Moksha will be released at the end of this month, via Halo of Flies, and it’s proving to be a highlight of 2013 already. The Michigan grindcore band has really stepped up their game this around and it’s evident in each of these blistering tracks. Click HERE for the review now.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Primitive Man - Scorn

Here's one of the year's first really good records in the form of Primitive Man's Scorn, a deathly slab of sludgy blackened doom with members of Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire. Click HERE for the review now on CVLT Nation.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New issue of Ghost Cult online now

The fourth issue of Ghost Cult, and the first of the new year, is online now. This issue includes my interview with Relapse Records product manager Drew Juergens about the label’s on-going Death re-issue campaign, as well as some reviews of records including Alternative 4, Orchid and Witchcraft. There’s also the Ghost Cult team’s top albums of 2012 in there too. Click HERE to read now.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Grayceon post track from new EP

Cello-wielding prog rockers Grayceon are set to return soon with their first vinyl-only release in the shape of the EP entitled Pearl and the End of Days. Working with the always inventive label The Flenser, the pairing will release the EP in mid-February and are currently streaming a new song now via Alarm magazine called ‘Pearl’, inspired by cellist and vocalist Jackie Perez-Gratz’s young daughter.

“We wrote this song when I was pregnant with my daughter, Pearl, who is now just over a year old, but the lyrics came after she was born,” she explains. “It’s about fear and excitement of the unknown, unconditional love, and sound waves having all the power."

Power is something Grayceon know a thing or two about. 2011’s masterful All We Destroy was a total triumph for the band with its expansive and invigorating melodies and the 10 minute jaunt of ‘Pearl’ very much continues their always intriguing trek. Click HERE for the track.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Officium Triste track

Dutch death/doom merchants of misery, Officium Triste have posted a new song online, taken from their forthcoming new record Mors Viri, it’s been nearly six long years since Officium Triste released a full-length album. They’re a band that totally piqued my interest with a phenomenal set at Dublin Doom Day 2010 so a new record is a welcome offering to say the least. ‘The Wounded and the Dying’ is a short enough track, by OT standards, and kicks in with a little more pace than usual but also with very warm and recognisable keyboards, all complemented by the guttural vocals that really make the song. Check it out below.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Killswitch Engage confirm new album details

Quick news post, even if only a fraction of people that visit this blog are interested in this. Killswitch Engage have confirmed the title of their new album as Disarm the Descent and will be released on April 1st, of course, through Roadrunner Records. If you’re looking to keep up to speed about why this album excites me in particular, read this blog post HERE that I posted early last year.

Another new Rotten Sound song

This one is coming a few days late but Rotten Sound have premiered another new song, this time via Metal Sucks. The Finnish grinders will be releasing a new EP entitled Species At War next Monday through Season of Mist and debuted a cut from it in December. The new song ‘Peace’ can be heard HERE

The track is a blistering number, and is only what you’d expect from the band at the point. The relentless drumming really leaves behind searing mark, while Keijo Niimimaa sounds just possessed as ever. This band are on form. 

Don’t forget that Rotten Sound play Dublin on March 1st, with Martyrdöd and Enabler.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Longing for summer: Draíocht demo online

Over the Christmas holidays, we were graced with a new black metal entity in Ireland, namely from Wexford. Draíocht, which is Irish for magic, is the one-man side project from Fionn Stafort, the guitarist in folk metallers Celtachor. Summer Will Come is the man’s foray into hazy and hypnotic atmospheric BM, recalling the likes of Austere and Fen, with pepperings of Drudkh for good measure. Recorded with a home set-up, the demo’s quality speaks to that but still resonates quite strongly. The vocals could be a little lower in the mix but the demo’s three songs still craft a harrowing and affecting atmosphere. Stream the whole demo below for a taster of things to come from Draíocht.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

There's this decent gig coming up on the 19th

(EDIT: Due to a double booking in The Thomas House, this gig is now taking place in The Phoenix Bar at Dalymount Park in Phibsboro)

With the New Year’s hangovers just about fading away at this stage, it’s time to get back into the grind with some new posts. First up is a reminder of this killer gig coming up in Dublin on the 19th, in the Thomas House Phoenix Bar. First off, there’s the reliably good Putrefaction and Twisted Mass on the bill but most interestingly, there’s the return of Refraction, who haven’t gigged since about early 2011 sadly so it’s a welcome return to say the least.

Filling out the rest of the night is some newer bands. Okus have played a few gigs so far but this will be my first time catching them. It’s crust in case you’re wondering, they’ve tracks online HERE. Meanwhile, there’s Burnchurch and Altered States on the bill, who frankly I know nothing about. The Facebook event page lists the former as “Crust/Hardcore”, featuring members of Easpa Measa and Divisions Ruins supposedly, and the latter “Hardcore/Sludge”. There are probably a few others familiar faces in the bands from other bands around Dublin. But who knows?

Anyway, it’s on Saturday January 19, Thomas House Phoenix Bar, it’s 7 quid and an early start at about 6.30. That’s what you need to know. Have a gander at the poster below.