Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Whirr - Pipe Dreams (2012)

Full Length, Tee Pee Reecords
March 13, 2012

Genre: Shoegaze/Dream Pop
Region: USA

I loved their Distressor EP a fuckload, and their June EP was just as nice. This is their long awaited first album.

It's true that after bands like Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Lush, Cocteau Twins, etc. created and perfected the shoegaze/dream pop sound that one could argue there wasn't many ways to elevate the sound — unless you took it into directions that Have A Nice Life, Sweet Trip, Alcest, Crooked Necks, The Twilight Sad and The Angelic Process have taken it, and then it's hardly even the same genre. Still bands like Ringo Deathstarr, Asobi Seksu and Whirr show that the genre can birth some beautiful groups and sounds.

Whirr (formerly Whirl) have perfected their sound well with Pipe Dreams. The album is just over 30 minutes of floating ethereal chords with an angelic vocal performance from Byanca (occasionally harmonized with the guitarist Loren), lush synths that drift in and out, and hypnotizing, vibrant drumming all coming together to create a hazy, dreamy, warm ocean of noisey shoegaze. The vocals are definitely my favorite aspect here as they couple with breathing, effect drenched instruments to mold some beautiful textures.

At times it is a sedated and soft experience, either sad or euphoric while in other tracks it's upbeat, noisy and twangy, more pop oriented and catchy. It's always loud. There is no particularly jarring moments though as the album seems to effortlessly flow together and the songs are edited down (nice and short) so as to leave one feeling pleased; there is no wear from Pipe Dreams.

In the end I love this record. It definitely improves on their first EP which was already stellar. I really recommend picking this one up. Tee Pee Records has the album for order go over there and grab a copy if you like what you hear. You can also follow them on tumblr or listen to previous albums on bandcamp.

DOWNLOAD (Zippyshare)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Anhedonist - The Drear (2010)

Demo, Self-released/Independent
August 12th, 2010

Genre: Doom Metal
Region: USA

Their first full length "Netherwards" is going to finally be released in a matter of weeks and I haven't even posted this crushing slab from 2010. Shame on me

I saw them at Rites of Darkness III last winter and they did not disappoint. In fact they decimated the venue with powerful, slow blows of melancholic doom. The Drear is three tracks that hit just over ten minutes each and they are truly something to savor. They're dark and incredibly hypnotizing as they quake with unheard of sorrow, focused into the thunderous grooves expertly. Echoing and pained hoarse vocals and slow riffs meet with they cavernous and plodding drums.

The Insatiable Hole is continuously plodding, dark and subtle with melodic undertones while Despond has a section which picks up the pace slightly in the beginning (almost hitting death metal territory) before crashing downward into low tuned agony again. The last track Ouranophobia I remember clearly from ROD III. It settles into more seriously addicting slabs as heard in the first track with a clean section near the end to heighten the incoming towering conclusion to the record.

With this demo as a solid indicator I can confidently say that Netherwards will undoubtedly be among the heaviest releases this year next to Pallbearer's "Sorrow And Extinction" and Amenra's eventual release of "Mass V". Just listen to this new track!

Get this shit now and follow them over here. The vinyl release is limited to 500 hundred on Parasitic Records so I don't know if you can still get it. If not, go fucking preorder the Netherwards cd from Dark Descent Records (and eventually on vinyl via Parasitic Records and Nuclear Winter Records). Highly recommended especially for fans of Lycus, Sound Asleep, Pallbearer, Aldebaran, Evoken, etc.

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Crooked Necks - Alright Is Exactly What It Isn't (2011)

Full Length, Handmade Birds Records
October 1st, 2011

Genre: Shoegaze/Post-Punk
Region: USA

Someone a month back requested that if I could get my hands on this record to post it up, so here it is.

I've seen Crooked Necks labeled black metal. To be honest I've had no exposure to this act previous to Alright Is Exactly What It Isn't, but if my ears are still working I'd say they're far more on the shoegaze (or even post-rock) side of things than black metal. The vocals (when not clean and drenched in reverb) are definitely ugly and strangled so in that respect the comparison is accurate but in every other respect they're definitely shoegaze or some variation of post-punk. Perhaps when they were known as Frail the black metal influence was far more prevalent. They have released a much lauded split with the enigmatic experimenters Circle of Ouroborus so there's obviously a connection to the genre. I'm just ignorant I suppose.

Alright Is Exactly What It Isn't is this three piece's first full length album in any of their incarnations and it is certainly a bright, glistening and delicate example of heartfelt longing in aural form. All of the songs here are soft, frail and shine brilliantly as they peak and dip, only contrasted with the strained and ghostly creaking voices. Throughout the album the solid bass lines flow and groove beneath the siren-like vocals and riffs — it creates both a tragic and euphoric feeling.

While each song has a similar feel they approach it differently. This Place Is Violent leads with clean vocals that creep up on you while melodic tones ebb softly when everything gets louder and the shrieks emerge; this pattern repeats to great effect. Streets With Teeth has a similar vibe including more strong tremolo sections but they don't last long. Some tracks definitely give off a My Bloody Valentine feel for a moment before settling into something more their own, as can be heard in Hearts and Colors.

Every Step Seems Backwards begins with an almost southern/western feel when it suddenly turns dreamy with echoing murmurs, quiet bright notes, and barely-there drums. The blackened vocals emerge for a time here and there, and in the final third of the track noise swirls in the background as the fragile notes build; it becomes strangely nostalgic and eerie. Songs like this, Taste The Sounds and Lead Clouds conjure up fond memories the long lost summers of youth for me.

A purists nightmare one might say. Alright Is Exactly What It Isn't is another beautiful record that I missed in 2011, as I'm sure many others did as well. It's a shame they're not more well known. There's only 250 copies of this album in print and the 100 purple copies are long gone so get on top of this release — go to Handmade Birds.

DOWNLOAD (Zippyshare) (correct track list 23/03/2012)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Circle of Ouroborus - The Lost Entrance of the Just (2012)

Full Length, Handmade Birds Records
February 29th, 2012

Genre: Black Metal/Experimental/Post-Punk
Region: Finland

You can always count on this Finish duo experimenting with their sound and staying busy. Recently Moonflares and Eleven Fingers were muffled hazey excursions while Armon Keitaalla switched to a more traditional black metal sound leaving the muddy atmosphere behind.

The Lost Entrance of the Just returns to the post-punk/shoegaze sound on Eleven Fingers and Moonflares. Clean mournful vocals remain dominant as does the murky ethereal mist but slightly tamed, slower. This is most evident in the first two tracks. In fact the first half of the album is more ambiance heavy with dazed and drowning rhythms and less prominent use of tremolo riffs at first. Of course they always have such elements warmly pulsing under every track coupled with a soft drumming technique to entrance you, but it's much more subtle to begin with. In tracks such as Cast in Clay and Black Hole Womb the approach is similar to the clouded sound of The Angelic Process.

Skyline Painter and Ride the Wolf are closest to Eleven Fingers in my opinion as the droning cleans mix with the raw rasps from Antti, and a strong smothered tremolo pattern wails underneath. Grittier aspects of Armon Keitaalla are just barely present in some of the later songs — and only briefly. Often overtaken and smothered by drugged out atmospherics. Toivosta Syntynyt is probably the most unique here with warbled melancholic bends standing out as the lyrics are sung in Finnish.

Overall it's another solid entry into Circle of Ouroborus' extensive library of experiments though a little less gripping than their last few releases. Still enchanting though and unlike much else out there. This album (like their last few releases) is limited to 500 on vinyl so if you want it I'd hurry up and head over to Handmade Birds Records to pick it up before it's gone forever.

DOWNLOAD (Zippyshare)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mgła - With Hearts Toward None (2012)

Full Length, Northern Heritage Records
February 28th, 2012

Genre: Black Metal
Region: Poland

As with bands like Taake, Inquisition and Lunar Aurora, Mgła prove that despite what elitists whine about the orthodox movement of black metal still plows ahead unharmed by the influx of variations on their prized style.

And what a fucking record this is! This is Mgła's second full length (their first record in four years) and it shows that they've been carefully crafting With Hearts Toward None since Groza. Again, like Inquisition, you'd never know they were a two piece from just spinning their work. The writing on display is fantastic, every track becomes spellbinding — all equally strong, fresh. It's raw but melodic with an unending string of tremolo riffs burrowing through each song, while underneath ghostly chords spring up to support them. The echoing acrid rasps and howls of the vocalist cut through the foggy atmosphere with an occasional break for semi-clean passages as the complex battering drums splash beneath.

Mgła have created quite a powerful assault here, a very satisfying listen. Uncompromising yet refreshing, bleak and cold while still cripplingly gorgeous.

Sure to be a welcome surprise to many. With Hearts Toward None does not disappoint and comes highly recommended. An example of orthodox black metal remaining fresh and addictive. Support this hard working duo by picking up the record at Northern Heritage. Don't pass on this guys.

DOWNLOAD (Zippyshare)

Cerebrate - Soul's Abyss (2012)

Demo, Psychic Violence Records

Genre: Death Metal
Region: USA

Like the Fell Voices members who created Ruin Lust, the guys in Ash Borer have begun to dabble in the death metal realm with this project.

Very thrashy and traditional with a nice guitar tone comparable to Denial, that chainsaw growl ripping through bestial riffs. The first song is short, while the second song is just over five minutes and has some wicked hammer-on sections really dredging up the oldschool feeling. This is the same for the scratchy, blazing solos — squeals and bends all over the place. Raw and clouded, the production leaves much to be desired but looking past that the actual core of the two songs here is extremely solid

A nice indicator of how the Cerebrate will proceed. It seems that creators of atmospheric black metal can shred some excellent death metal too. Psychic Violence will be re-releasing this in tape form at some point in the future so be on the look out for it.

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire)

Fire in the Cave - Fire in the Cave (2012)

EP, NK Tapes
February 28th, 2012

Genre: Blackened Sludge
Region: USA

Thanks to The Living Doorway once again for this one. That cover totally reminds me of Inquisition's "Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult" reissue art, and Vasaeleth's debut cover art for that matter.

Dark and heavy. Thick blackened sludgy riffs and deafening bellows emanate from the two eight minute tracks on this EP. At many points the drumming is oppressive but without drowning the other instruments. The thing is they aren't exactly like the waves hardcore bands that implement aspects of black metal and sludge into their sound, while it's clear those genres are an influence here they combine them much more comfortably. One could say they take a more Seven Sisters of Sleep approach — though in a longer form and their direction is much different still. It's very effective, managing to hold your attention all the way through. Fire in the Cave have refined the two songs well.

They have a crusty southern feel when not wallowing in the black metal aspect (especially in the solos), flashes of dissonance and melody help add variation to the onslaught of massive angry doom grooves and momentary lapses into quiet atmospheric summits.

An awesome debut. These guys have a great handle on their style, the potential to capture a huge audience is quite obvious. And they're nice enough to put the EP up at pay-what-you-want on bandcamp. Follow their shit on facebook.

DOWNLOAD (Bandcamp)

Funebrarum / Undergang - The Dead of Winter (2012)

Split, Doomentia Records
February 10th, 2012

Genre: Death Metal
Region: USA / Denmark

Fucking hell. I didn't have any idea that this split existed until the guys at Pervert The Church threw this up today. Praise them.

How could anyone pass up a split from two monsters of death metal? One track from each band to crush you to dust. I don't know what you want from me here. It's great. Ugly catastrophic violence on all fronts.

Highly recommended obviously. I think it's already sold out everywhere but it was available from Doomentia for a short time.

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire)

Marnost / Seeds in Barren Fields - Split (2012)

Split, Self-released /Independent
February 9th, 2012

Genre: Black Metal
Region: Czech Republic / Sweden

As it stands I'm way behind on the requests so I'll try to sort through them when this semester's done. This is one that I'll gladly post by two great bands. Marnost  a young "veganarchist" four piece with only a demo and this split, and the "green anarchist" Seeds in Barren Fields who I remember A. Lundr of Panopticon promoting a while back. Both bands offer up two gigantic tracks with quite different styles of black metal.

Marnost's song titled Svůdcové lidstva is interesting in that it seems to carefully straddle elements of post-metal, crust, traditional black metal and the more atmospheric blend across the full thirteen minutes. After the feedback intro what surfaces is shimmering drawn out notes and strong bass akin to Cult of Luna or Tesa as wails ebb in the background. Suddenly the pace is switched to thunderous black metal with the drumming picking up and the crusty deep groans seeping through. At this point the tone still has an element post-metal there without falling into familiar post-metal quirks. This is felt throughout the track as they manage to weave their way elegantly through both genres. After a spoken passage the post-metal and black metal influences meld comfortably with furious tremolo riffs and glistening chords over howls and noise. The end comes with a hypnotizing acoustic passage.

Seeds in Barren Fields is a band I have heard of though until recently I didn't get a hold of their 2011 full length. From their contribution on this split, the sixteen minute Beneath the Somber Halls, I'm quite compelled to check out that album. Beginning with rain and distant thunder, the guitars enter softly and sadly. The style here is largely melodic or atmospheric black metal though not like their North American counterparts. They're more subtly progressive with crunchy death metal gallops between powerful black rhythms, melodic twangs, and fast clanging percussion; vocally more acidic and raspy aside from a spoken passage midway through. Both guitars often follow their own paths that occasionally intersect and always ringing out beautifully. The interplay is nice. Near the ten minute mark, leading up to a long fade out, things get a little heavier with an gripping repeated passage and some notable drumming.

This is a great collaboration from two virtually unknown acts. Marnost show they are a sleeping giant while Seeds in Barren Fields have encouraged me to seek out what I've missed from them. You can hear each side by Marnost and Seeds in Barren Fields on their respective bandcamps, both have links to where you can grab a physical copy (such as Music For Liberation or directly from the bands) or download digitally for a small price. Definitely recommended.

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Black Breath - Sentenced To Life (2012)

Full Length, Southern Lord Recordings
March 27th, 2012

Genre: Thrash/Hardcore/Death Metal
Region: USA

Fuck yes for new Black Breath!

I overlooked Heavy Breathing in 2010 admittedly but caught it not long after. It was a wicked dose of addictive heavy thrash bred with hardcore and Sentenced To Life continues where it left off. Nothing but power grooves, galloping anger and thrashing death galore spewed through a seriously vicious guitar tone.

Don't have much to say about this one to be honest, it's a prime slab of high-energy crossover metal no question and speaks for itself. Simple, ruthless riffs and bendy solos spill out of every gnarled corner with rarely a pause for breath. The cutthroat vocals rasp and roar as they plow over your bloodied face with disgust while devastating drumming crashes down to knock you on your ass. The slower moments are beyond heavy, sprinkled carefully amongst the searing thrash. It smacks of oldschool fury and shredding. Black Breath once again bring the awesome without hesitation.

Such a strong release. Don't hesitate to bang your heads to this mean release. Highly recommended so pick it up ASAP from Southern Lord's shop.

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ignivomous - Contragenesis (2012)

Full Length, Nuclear War Now! Productions
March 29th, 2012

Genre: Death Metal
Region: Australia

Hugely anticipating this release since Death Transmutation raped my ears in 2009. So when Nuclear War Now! put this up for streaming on bandcamp for this weekend only it tore me away from Mass Effect 3 and threw me into a chasm of ugly darkness for 50 minutes. I ripped it though I didn't upload it, but you can thank Haxan of Forever Cursed for procuring a link.

Ignivomous are a proud display of aussie death metal destruction in every avenue. If Death Transmutation didn't solidify this then it can not be doubted that Contragenesis etches it in stone. Composed of uncompromising and violent hurricane-force riffs strewn through the anarchic frothing drums, and a petrifying growl emitting from the unholy beast of a vocalist. I love their continued expert placement of pinched harmonics and chilling bends more than anything.

Everything on this album is tailored to pure death metal with an old school lean — focused into extreme unending power. It's entirely oppressive beginning to end, from the general five minute tears of thrashing pointed hatred to a staggering and dark nine minute crawl Ignivomous offer nothing but the best here, the essence of death in a nuclear catastrophe of gritty sound.

If you don't pick this up you're missing out. Highly, highly recommended death metal, top of the pile and sure to be in the top 10 of the year. It's up to order from Nuclear War Now! Productions in cd and vinyl right now.

DOWNLOAD (Zippyshare)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mutilation Rites - I Am Legion (2012)

EP, Gilead Media
March 30th, 2012

Genre: Black Metal
Region: USA

I haven't posted or in fact done anything important in the last 3 days because Mass Effect 3 is ruining my life, so this review may be a little lack luster but believe me I Am Legion is fucking awesome.

This is the new Mutilation Rites EP, they have a full length in the works too. Their demo was promising and I'll be seeing them at the Gilead Media festival so this is a nice prelude to that. I Am Legion builds nicely on the demo with an amped up melodic sheen, ugly rasps, tasty drumming, a strong bass presence and bouts of fury amongst dark atmosphere — improving immensely on their sound.

Cloaca Maxima sounds very familiar to me specifically in the first half of the track. It's really bothering me that I'm having trouble putting my finger on it. It opens with an expansive melody, descending into swirling riffs for time before returning to a choral wave. A build up lead by the drums starts and a sharp tremolo riff then returning to previous ground. Blood Will Tell is next, again beginning with sustained melodic chords but quickly turning to much more coarse territory with gallops and scratchy tremolo leads. A slow portion hits with restrained dissonance suddenly leading to a very old school section, reminding me of the thrashy blends the genre was more known for, before a blunt ending.

Terrestrial Hell is the final track. Lecherous and conjuring the old school again in the opening moments. This continuous before a drum break, and then another addictive riff emerges with a strong lead behind it. Slow bending tremolos strike out, a pause for silence, then the fury returns — interrupted for a bout of melody broken up by chunky rhythms; these cycle before returning to earlier riffs, leading the final moment..

Highly recommended indeed as you can hear great growth from the demo. Gilead Media have this up on bandcamp for you to hear/buy and you can preorder the vinyl over at their store. This label rules so support them and the band.

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire)
DOWNLOAD (Zippyshare)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lunar Aurora - Hoagascht (2012)

Full Length, Cold Dimensions
March 2nd, 2012

Genre: Black Metal
Region: Germany

Lunar Aurora are influential in the black metal arena, much of that influence can be felt in the waves of atmospheric black metal that have emerged in the USA and Canada of late. They have done nothing but put out consistent, high quality ambient black metal since their inception in the '90's. Hoagascht is their first release in 5 years, their 9th full length album, and unsurprisingly it is proof that these cold Germans have continued this tradition and remain strong force in the genre.

Amongst the spoken "upper Bavarian" dialect and nocturnal animal, weather, or falling trees or rock samples that add depth to the glacial atmosphere the core of their sound is spellbinding ice-cold melodic riffs, scratchy and ancient croaking vocals, and subtle, extremely effective keyboards. Hoagascht does not deviate from their past releases sticking with the "don't fix what isn't broken" creed and no one would have it different here. Whether focusing on the celestial bodies or the unforgiving winter landscapes the music is always ethereal, their songs here as always run at perfect lengths and at an even clip — strong writing always touted. When not chilling you to your bones with breathtaking waves of mellifluous chords, buzzing pleasantly, heir melancholic keyboard interludes grab you tightly, enfolding you in a dark and dulcet mist.

Another win for Lunar Aurora. If you enjoyed their previous outputs then you'll be pleased by this one no question. I really should post Mond, Andacht, or any of their previous releases at some point. Until then check this out, and find out how to pick up a copy over at Cold Dimensions or Lunar Aurora's website.

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire)

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Electronic music from Hell's cosmos. Wherever that is. Just listen and it will take you there.

I could see this appealing to a shit ton of listeners, too. There's so much to like here, and this guy is stupidly unknown. Absolutely destructive bass, pulsing breakbeats, and totally weird instrument samples.

Stream his music on Soundcloud

Friday, March 2, 2012

Spawn of Possession - Incurso (2012)

Full Length, Relapse Records
March 13th, 2012

Genre: Technical Death Metal
Region: Sweden

The long awaited return of the revered Swedish tech death monsters Spawn of Possession. Incurso has leaked, and I can guarantee you guys that this post or the link within will be taken down within the week (or even day).

Spawn of Possession were one of the first modern technical death metal bands I fell in love with. Cabinet's controlled and savage assault blew me away, the solos ripped through me while the riffs managed to avoid Necrophagist-level wankery while still being technically impressive. Noctambulant took these elements and added a melodic, pseudo-classical edge to the formula and took things slower at points, but the solos were still so impressive and the riffs so twisted and devastating — I really didn't think that if they did release a follow up it would be able to approach either records. Particularly after the line-up changes and long gap between them and Incuso.

I can say that while not on Noctambulant's level in terms of memorable writing on the first two listens it is certainly not a disappointment in any sense. The guitar tone feels a little thinner than in the past but Bryssling's musicianship/writing is still top notch, while Muenzner's performance is fine as well (I would still prefer Karlsson instead). The smooth bass shines through which is great since Erland's performance is jaw dropping. I'm also really glad that Dennis is on vocals and not Chalky in the end since Dennis really is the only proper voice, somehow managing to growl out those lyrics as fast as the riffs, and Henriks blasts are wall-cracking and tight.

The first three tracks (one is a short intro) are a tad bland and feel a little rehashed but I like them well enough. However when you hit nearly 10 minute long The Evangelist (the length which was worrying to me) the album really starts to shine. The fact they managed to make a technical song that long and not lose my interest is truly impressive. From then on the tracks continue to be convoluted, sometimes melodic, and always malefic squalls of techy badassery. Apparition closes the album out on a slightly slower note with some symphonic elements softening the attack and reminding me more of Noctambulant.

If you're a fan of Spawn of Possession I can assure you Incurso won't disappoint. I was definitely worried about how it would turn out and it doesn't top Noctambulant but my fears were generally misplaced, and you should definitely preorder the cd on Relapse, (or probably pick it up when it's out at your local cd store) or preorder a digital copy on their bandcamp page.

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire)
DOWNLOAD (Mirrorcreator)

Swans - We Rose From Your Bed With The Sun In Our Head (2012)

Full Length, Young God Records
February, 2012

Genre: Post-Punk/Industrial/No-Wave/Experimental
Region: USA

I don't need to sell you on this or at least I shouldn't need to. This is Swans' most recent live album from their last set of tours plus some demos of their upcoming new album The Seer. I saw them live and it blew my mind. Their live albums are legendary and this is no exception. I haven't even heard the whole thing yet, only the first half of the first cd and man is it intense, raw, bizarre; even exhausting.

This will be taken down eventually I would think. I know Gira asked nicely for people not to share this online, but I missed out on the chance to pick up the limited/special edition and this is someone elses upload so whatever. It needs to be heard, and eventually there will be a regular cd press soon for the general public — watch Young God Records for more info on that.

DOWNLOAD PT. 1 (Mediafire)
DOWNLOAD PT. 2 (Mediafire)

Temple Nightside - Prophecies of Malevolence (2011)

EP, Adverse Order Music
June 11th, 2011

Genre: Black Metal
Region: Australia

I was going to post more hardcore but I bet you're tired of it by now, so how about some murky black metal. It seems the aussies just know how to lay down good shit these days.

Prophecies of Malevolence feels like one long hazy ceremonial performance, and is surprising considering it's Temple Nightside's first release. In fact Cvlt Nation streamed this record in one long track and it really feels seamless, each of the nine tracks flow so well that as one it almost sounds like it was mean to be that way.

All the tracks here have an evil, wretched atmosphere about them with constant tremolo picked ferocity, occasionally dissonant and haunting with a few breaks in the form of quick palm mutes, gallops or chilling, echoing chords. The production makes these spellbinding instrumentals incredibly muddy, giving the record a obscure vibe especially when droning, swirling interludes are present. A violent gale of drumming whips underneath the vocals which are vile, ghostly rasps (low and high) only interrupted for brief disturbing chanting and humming monk groans. The EP ends with mesmerizing drone ambiance emitting an ancient and disturbing feeling, very cold and ominous.

A great release. It may come off as a little samey at times but this is another case of the Australians pumping out well written, ghastly metal that needs to be heard. Head over to Adverse Music and pick up a copy.

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire)

Unsacred - Where The Light Dims (2012)

Demo, Independent/Self-released
February 26th, 2012

Genre: Hardcore/Blackened Hardcore/Crust
Region: USA

Been trying to get to some requests as you can see, been neglecting the folder up until now. For those who don't like the dark hardcore — tough shit.

Unsacred bring you their first demo, a blend of Converge or Heartless styled hardcore with some more blackened and crusty influence. Six short blasts which alternate between blazing, feedback-slathered chunky tracks to a sound that takes on a more darkened aura. Blackened intense chords and low tremolo riffs with some pretty catchy grooves hidden amongst these elements — sometimes with excellent use of massive bends and pinched harmonics (the last two tracks are great examples), or sparse injections of dissonance. Where The Light Dims is a promising demo, the vocalist has a wicked rasp spitting out what I can only assume is disgust over top the clattering drums and thick, fast rhythms on the bass and guitar.

I would watch these guys as what they've developed here is quite solid. Definitely give this a listen if you enjoy hardcore with a filthy edge. Listen to it on bandcamp or Stereokiller and follow their facebook and tumbler for updates on where to pick up a copy.

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire)
DOWNLOAD (Bandcamp)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Arms of Ra - Unnamed (2012)

Full Length, Swarm of Nails
March, 2012

Genre: Sludge/Doom/Hardcore
Region: France

I've been seeing this release around a lot and was actually going to get around to putting it up here soon, but the folks over at Swarm of Nails have made contact and asked that we post it up before I could get around to it.

"Unnamed" contains six independents songs which are all linked by the same story of a man trying to deconstruct himself and disappear from society.

Abhorrent darkness is what this release exudes from every corner. Arms of Ra are fortified on all sides by pungent injections of atmospheric sludge like Amenra and Reka and dark, dissonant hardcore like Nesseria, Young And In The Way, Hexis, Oathbreaker, and Maranatha.

Unnamed is dedicated to thick chunky grooves and bouts of cacophonous writhing twangs (sometime briefly straying into post-metal territory), bolstered by the mangled yells of the vocalist and a rough and gritty bass roar. It often creeps but shows faster sections when the hardcore influence penetrates. Bleak melodic passages trudge through the muddy chaos on occasion further pressing into you a feeling of helpless gloom and malice. The final track is the longest and has a far more traditional doom metal feeling to it as it stomps angrily, having dropped much of the angularity in favor of a somewhat early Thou-ish tone. It's a nice deviation to end the album on

Brooding and heavy. Recommend for those who like some core with their sludge. Unnamed can be heard in full on Swarm of Nails' bandcamp and is available at the Swarm of Nails online shop so pick it up if you like what they do.

DOWNLOAD (Mediafire)
DOWNLOAD (Bandcamp)

Vilipend - Plague Bearer (2010)

EP, No List Records
May 8th, 2010

Genre: Metalcore/Hardcore
Region: Canada

A short while ago I posted Vilipend's demo up as it was a pleasant discovery. Well Christopher, a gentleman and the vocalist of Vilipend, has kindly asked that I bring this high velocity shred of angularity to your attention and I have no problem doing so because it's a fine release indeed.

Within Plague Bearer are three angular tracks that are sure to delight any fan of surging hatred in aural form, building on their already strong demo and live record. The title track starts slowly with crushing blows of dissonance and the bleak utterances from Chris; spitting resentment. A slick bass line emerges, the drums pick up we hit a fast and scratchy patch, then chaos furiously bounding with drums rolling on. Into another bass riff before a set of dark and melodic sustained notes carry you to the descending end.

Magnificent Desolation is a beast opening with a seriously explosive and gratifying set of discordant bendy grooves, increasing with intensity before breaking through to a slower variation; bouncy and jagged as the percussion slows slightly. Ugly seething anger bleeds though, and frenetic stop-starty scratches coupled with sustained riffs scrape your ears. A calmer section emerges before returning to the opening groove and final twisted passage.

The final track, Dulling Silver, is the longest on the EP. A steady drum beat escalates and eventually the coarse bass surfaces when at 1:27 the guitars slide in — noisy and dissonant maintained fuzz builds at a crawl before the vocals emerge. Creeping notes mount carefully to a brief but awesome riff, returning to the previous uproar, and then straight to controlled chaos when suddenly that wicked riff returns and lingers satisfyingly as the bass creeps underneath. A final push of disorder is made when the track ends with a cycling delay.

More love for Canadian hardcore right here and this is recommended for sure. This may be short but it hits hard, is acute and well crafted — jagged and pissed which is the kind of hardcore I love. Hopefully this gives a glimpse into what they're working toward on their upcoming full length which will surely be huge. Give Vilipend some love by picking this up digitally on their bandcamp page or grabbing a physical copy in 7". Follow them on facebook too since they're planning a few shows soon and I'll definitely be going.

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