Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Miserable Failure "Hope"

The grindcore rule book states that songs by bands that claim genre should be short angry bursts that rely on super fast blazing riffs and blast beats.  The myths surrounding this rulebook include that it was written for people with short attention spans so it can be read in less time than Napalm Death's "You Suffer" and that it was originally printed with a lump of black coal then photocopied and handed out at grind gigs on A5 paper.

Lost all semblance of my original train of thought; where was I again?  Oh, yeah.  I was writing a review of French grindcore band, Miserable Failure's "Hope".  It's fast and angry grind.  Four songs in less than four minutes.  Balls jackhammered to the wall by a bullet train sum up this band's approach although they do slow down for a bit in "Goodbye and Good Riddance" to give a sample some breathing space.

If you have four minutes to spare then click the link below for some great grindcore.

Miserable Failure on bandcamp

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mental Killing Spree. "Centrifuge of Man"

 A Facebook friend commented that he has a friend who often asks whether a band is grindcore or death metal and the friend stated that he answered that the difference doesn't really matter as what is important is whether or not it is good.  Mental Killing spree are here to confuse people who need to know the difference between the two.

German band, Mental Killing Spree have their feet firmly in both death metal and grindcore camps.  Often the band play at a pace that would leave Michael Schumacher's car for dead but they also aren't afraid to slow it down and this gives the music a heavy bone crunching effect on "Creator of Hatred". The vocals are angry growls but there is a range that most death metal vocalists fail to achieve.  There's no race between the drummer and the vocalist as both are able to complement the other by keeping at the same pace.

The odd feature is that even though there is grindcore within the music of Mental Killing Spree most of their songs are a lot more lengthy than your average grinders.  Due to this "Centrifuge of Man" comes across as lengthier than it should.  Check the album out yourself on their bandcamp linked below.


Mental Killing Spree's bandcamp

Mental Killing Spree on facebook

Monday, April 14, 2014

Drawers "Drawers"

France isn't exactly the first place you'd think of when you think about metal, rock or sludge.  However there are always a few that are willing to kick against the pricks.   There's no way French sludge/stoner rock band named Drawers could comfortably fit into the mainstream in any county.  The band released their second album which is self-titled earlier this year.

The band are heavily influenced by a few bands from the South part of the United States.  It's difficult to not think of Phil Anselmo whenever the vocals kick in and the reference is more to the slower songs on Far Beyond Driven than any other Pantera.  Thankfully the allusion doesn't mean that Drawers sound like a modern metal claiming to be hardcore outfit due to riffs kicking around in the world of sludge.

Drawers are at their best when they slow down in "Take Stock" as it isn't nearly as reminiscent of other bands.   "Bleak" also takes the slow route and the band comes off better for it as the band are clearly aware that a 10 ton truck driving slowly garners more attention than the same vehicle at ramming speed.  Overall though sadly Drawers aren't much of attention grabber so they get knocked down a peg or two and that is largely due to the plethora of Pantera wannabes in the hardcore and Metalcore arena in the last few years.

Check the album out on the bandcamp link below and feel free to leave your opinion in the comments.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Visions of the Night - Guerrillas within their Midst

Visions of the Night are a Canadian based military themed metal band who alternate between death and black metal.  It would be easy to consider the brainchild of Peter Wolvesblood as a one-man band but that's not completely true as they play live as a full band and even the camouflage they wear on stage doesn't hide that fact.

The title track is fast death metal that slows down at time with an added heaviness due to slow loud guitar riffs that shine through. "War is Religion" starts with a military beat before dementedly twisting into rapid-fire death metal which opts for blast-beats as enemy attacking cannons.  The black metal comes though strong  in "Lost in the Red Snow", this song moves from blast-beat pummeling to waiting to pounce and back again with a military beat that shows its brutal head from time to time.  Visions of the Night use this dynamic in a number of their songs and it works.  The samples fit the mood of the album and the band's theme.

The fact that Visions of the Night haven't gone for the either/or between death metal and black metal may confuse purists but for the more open-minded, it'll definitely be points in the "band's" favour.  Picking a best song on "Guerrillas in their Midst is tough but "War is Religion", "We Will Conquer" Visions of the Night deserve praise for offering something a little bit different to the run of the mill death and black metal out there.


Band homepage

Visions of the Night on facebook

Visions of the Night on bandcamp

Monday, March 17, 2014

Karnivore "In The Halls of the Wicked"


(Lake of Fire records)

 Karnivore are a three piece death metal band from Sweden who have suffered a number of line-up changes.  The biggest blow the band suffered was losing a guitarist to cancer.   The present band line up is Martin Holmqvist(vocals),  Jens Englund(guitars/bass), Mattias Johansson(drums).

The band clearly have a huge love of the letter substitution game, which is not only obvious from their chosen handle but that they chose to name their debut album "The Triumphant Khaoz".  However they decided to not play the double V game with their latest platter "In The Halls of The Wicked".  The album opens slowly and quietly with the sound of the wind mixed with synths in "The Underground" and this is soon blown away as Karnivore plunge head first into death metal territory with blast-beats and vocals that edge between audibly clear grunts that verge on singing and much rawer growls.  

   "Feast Upon the Living" originates with a quick and dirty raw death metal sound though later in the song there is a symphonic sound to the guitar, which gives the tune a much cleaner feel.   The thrash metal influence becomes much clearer in "An Era of Decay" as the rhythm section speeds proceedings up somewhat although the vocals are deathly grunts.  "Psycho" alternates between blast-beats, grunts, thrash metal with somewhat clearer death metal style vocals.

Despite a few of the songs blurring together and overstaying their welcome due to their length, "In The Halls of The Wicked" is an enjoyable album.  However, it's hard to shake the feeling that the band is still growing as sometimes the cleaner sound doesn't really work and may end up alienating a number of death metal fans. 


Karnivore on facebook

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Home "Bound To Gravity"

As a longtime supporter of the underground it's always great whenever a band takes the time to email me rather than just go through a label or a publicist. I'll admit I appreciate hearing from labels and publicists too if they actually have taken the time to look through the blog and realize whether or not the music they are currently pushing fits with the blog.  The amount of rap and country music that comes my way astounds me as it just doesn't fit with the context on the blog.  Anyway enough about the blog and back to the recent email(it was actually received in late February), I really wanted to talk about.  It came from Austria from a guy named Amadeus who said his band Home were Austrian Sludge/Stoner/Post-whatsoever and that because it was release day of their album "Bound to Gravity", the trio were going to get drunk.

On listening to the first track it became apparent that post-whatsoever really means post hardcore as there is a bit of both Quicksand and Fugazi in both the music and the vocals.  The sludge label makes sense for the track "Next To Last", though the song opens with stripped bare metallic riffing, the vocals recall the likes of Killdozer and Clawhammer.  There's no prettying things up here.

I'm willing to bet that "Not Even Me" is a live favourite and unites hardcore and metal kids only to battle it together in the pit before the abrasively raw sludge applies sandpaper to their wounds.  Often the direction where Home go with their rhythms takes the listener by surprise and the unpredictability adds to their charm. The lengthy "Dead City" slowly pulsates with a Black Sabbath heart although Home take a more experimental turn with speeding up the rhythm and lightly applied sandpaper raw vocals.

The initial description of the band by Amadeus still rings true to my ears as this is likely to appeal equally to fans of Eyehategod style sludge, rawer post-hardcore and amphetamine reptile fans.  Check out "Bound to Gravity" on their bandcamp site linked below.


Bound To Gravity on bandcamp

Home on facebook