(Andy Synn reviews a new two-song offering by Tussk from Staffordshire, England.)
So last Friday I played my first show of 2015 with Beyond Grace, alongside fellow Nottingham natives The Five Hundred (think a more melodically-inclined Lamb of God) and The Winter Hill Syndicate (melodic/metallic/misanthropic hardcore), and bewhiskered Staffordshire riff-mongers Tussk… and it’s the latter band I’ve come here to talk about today.
Now Tussk don’t claim to be reinventing the wheel in the slightest, and their whiskey-soaked strut and shimmy certainly bears more than a few similarities to the cock-sure chaos of Every Time I Die… but after knocking back a couple of heavy doses of their high-proof, high-voltage riffery, each one accompanied by a chaser of smooth, bluesy swagger, I doubt it will matter to you whether you’ve been down this road before or not… what’s important is who’s doing the driving!
(Austin Weber brings us a collection of short reviews of grind core albums that have caught his fancy.)
I’m backlogged on metal I want to write about, including a diverse wealth of different-sounding grind bands I feel are worth mentioning. So here is a grind dump of grind bands whose names all coincidentally start with the letter C (except Executive Task Distraction, who have fucked that up). They all happen to kick major ass as well.
Also, watch how many times I say the word “grind”! Since grind is short, sweet, and in your face; the write-ups will be similarly brief. The last two bands give away their albums for free. Freedom is grind, free grind is freedom. Grind yer heart out!
Cave Moth – The Black Lodge
Cave Moth sound like the result of what would happen if you took every crooked and dark element of Gaza and condensed them into a hyper-violent grind format with a bit of mathcore influence and supported by a fuckload of stark dissonance.
Thanks to a Facebook post from KevinP, I learned that on Friday Debemur Morti Productions released a new digital single by the German duo known as Porta Nigra. It consists of a new song named “Femme Fatale”, which will appear on the band’s second album Kaiserschnitt (due for release later this year), and a remix of “Megalomaniac” from the band’s excellent debut album Fin de Siècle. The remix was prepared by T.T. of the Austrian black metal band Abigor.
There are some truly hair-raising screams and some jagged growls in “Femme Fatale”, but it’s also an exception to our rule, as you’ll discover. You will also discover a dark, decadent, mid-paced rocker that’s powerfully infectious — the song’s central riff is licensed to kill, and there’s a cool, squalling solo in it, too.
(Austin Weber reviews a new EP by Escher from Raleigh, North Carolina.)
It’s been very interesting to witness the influence Between The Buried And Me has had on the scene. Because of their eclecticism, few if any have tried to truly copy them, but instead have taken cues from their songwriting style and their ideas about how to make aggressively focused yet complex, progressive-minded metal. Joining the pack of new-school prog metal in this vein are the Raleigh, North Carolina band Escher. One can only guess and hope that their name is a nod to the famed Dutch artist M.C. Escher.
The band just dropped an impressive new EP called The Ground Is Missing on January 20th. As suggested above, they owe a big songwriting debt to Between The Buried And Me, and to some degrees a stylistic one as well. Where they’ve made the music their own, though, is in a way similar to the path followedfellow young progsters The Odious – by infusing their key influence with snippets from technical death metal, earth-shaking deathcore, and a few djent-y chugs.
This is a collection of recent music I heard over the last 24 hours that I want to recommend. As the post title suggests, the music is loosely connected by elements of black metal — and I do mean “loosely”, especially in the case of the first song.
I first learned of the Dutch two-man band Urfaust when our long-time supporter Utmu wrote about them in a guest post two years ago, a post I would commend to people who are new to Urfaust. Even today, I’ve still only dabbled in the band’s previous recordings, but enough to recognize that their approach to black metal is highly distinctive.
More than four years have passed since their last album, but Germany’s Ván Records is now poised to release a new 12″ vinyl EP from the band. Entitled Apparitions, it features painted artwork by ThornyThoughts Artwork.
This is the third of three EP reviews I’m posting today. The first band was Australia’s Ur Draugr, the second was New Zealand’s The Skull, and now we leap across seas and continents to visit a band from Italy named…
MINDFUL OF PRIPYAT
Mindful of Pripyat are a new death/grind collective from Milan who released their debut assault — …And Deeper, I Drown In Doom — via Bandcamp last week. I was drawn to explore the music because the band includes Giulia (aka Doomed Warrior) from the fantastic Into Darkness on guitars, bass, and vox. Her bandmates are Tya (lead vocals and noise) and Gio (drums and vocals) — and yes, all three members vocalize.
Taking their inspiration from old-school grindcore in the vein of Napalm Death, Terrorizer, and Dead Infection and with a conceptual focus on dystopian futures and post-apocalyptic scenarios, Mindful of Pripyat have delivered 16 tracks in less than 20 minutes. They make very good use of the time.
This is the second of three EP reviews I’m posting today. I began the day (here) with Ur Daugr from Australia, and now I’m jumping across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand and a band named…
The Skull includes ex-members of Demoniac, as well as current members of Bulletbelt, Dying Of The Light, and DBC (Dead Brain Cells). Their debut demo, which surfaced last November, is named Nuclear War. It seems to have been in the works for quite a while; it appears from their Facebook page that recording took place back in March 2013. But hey, having heard the demo, I’ll happily say, “Better late than never!”
Listening to the five songs on Nuclear War — which will race through your earholes in a tight 10-minute blitzkrieg — is to be victimized by auditory slaughter, and I mean that as a compliment. It’s a one-two punch of old school speed metal and venomous death/thrash that will lay you out.
This is the first of three EP reviews that I plan to post today. The EPs are all very different from each other, but they’re all very good.
I have a feeling that metal fans have lost a real gem, but the significant fragment that remains still gleams brightly.
Ur Draugr are from Perth in Western Australia and the band’s ranks include past or present members of Impiety, Wardaemonic, DeathFuckingCunt, and Morphica. When I first wrote about the band last November (here), it was in connection with their release of an impressive new song named “Unseen Golgotha”.
(DGR reviews the debut EP by a Canadian band named Unbeheld.)
And so, a new year dawns. We’re already close to a week into it and honestly things don’t seem that much different, other than the fact that we are still releasing a massive spate of lists as well as beginning to hammer our way through the seemingly never-ending and always growing list of infectious songs, eventually creating a huge playlist that will hopefully help people discover a huge batch of new bands when all is said and done.
Normally, around this time, you find all sorts of garbage floating around about resolutions, promises to be better people, “new year, new you”, like the fact that accidentally writing ’14 on all your dates for the next half month is going to somehow change you at the sub-atomic level and some brand new, fresh being is going to be borne of it.
I can’t make too many promises on that front, and given that I already got my scientifically accurate horoscope this year, I can consider that crossed off the list. What I can promise you is a grand NCS tradition of always poring over underground pages, trying to find new bands, writing reviews that are way too long for their own good, occasionally posting utter blasphemy in the form of clean-sung music on this site because it’s so good that people should be able to look past that, and discovering groups and discs far too late to be relevant to the initial burst that comes from a just-released new EP/album.
SLUG SALT LAVA
I first encountered Slug Salt Lava (from Istanbul, Turkey) in the early fall of this year, when their First-Promo rumbled my innards and captivated my mind (I reviewed it here). They’ve now released a new EP entitled Radiated Soundscapes, and these five new songs have only strengthened my affection for what they’re doing.
The music is entirely instrumental in a style that straddles sludge, stoner, and doom. Consistent with the band’s post-apocalyptic thematic concept for the music, the melodies have a dismal atmosphere and the pacing never accelerates past a mid-paced rumble, but guitarist Ersin Taş again shows a talent for concocting fat, fuzzy riffs that have a way of taking up residence in your mind — while getting your head bobbing to their beat.