Sunday, October 22, 2017

Tuskar - Arianrhod

Record Label: Riff Rock Records

Tuskar are a two piece band from the Milton Keynes area of England. The band is comprised of vocalist/drummer Tyler Hodges and guitarist Tom Dimmock, who are in their early 20's and formed the band around a year ago. The young duo list their main musical influences as Conan, Sleep, Behemoth and Darkthrone. Tuskar describe their sound as nuclear sludge. The 5 track release is described as an EP.

"Arianhod" starts off with a crushingly heavy track named "Fateweaver" which has begins slow doomy riffs coupled with vocals that sound buried in a pool of sludge but the tempo changes into a speedy burst of chaos for a few moments before pounding your head into the walls of distortion. There's a slow lumbering mammoth of a beginning to "Where Strides the Collusus" and then the rhythm changes into a boucier direction. The sparse vocals sound like they're being yelled from a pit covered in ice. This man wants out!! "Toegrinder" staarts out with some crushingly heavy riffs then the sounds depart to the worlds of atmospheric post-metal and black metal. The heaviness is really laid on thick in the sludge of "Moon-Hooch" due to heavy Black Sabbath style guitar riffs coupled with slow doom styled drumbeats. The vocalist sounds somewhere between angry and about to puke, which is undeniably sludgy. There's a touch of psychedelia and punk within the metallic sludge of EP closer "Crimson Skull".

On "Arianhod", Tuskar create a wonderfully nasty noise that sounds like it comes from many more than two people. Apparently the band have another EP and an album in the pipeline for next year. It will definitely be interesting to hear more from this band.


Release Date: 20 October 2017

Tuskar on facebook

Tuskar on bandcamp

Saturday, October 21, 2017


Record Label: Transcending Obscurity

These days it seems that one man black metal bands are a dime a dozen. However the one man band Affliktor is more than a notch above the usual bedroom musician that considers themselves a band as Affliktor not only add a thrash metal element but as the main man behind Affliktor is Toby Knapp, who has been hammering away on guitar since the early nineties and releasing underground metal albums both as a solo artist and as a band.

While Knapp's vocals are of the typically evil black metal goblin variant as you might expect it's the guitar playing that puts this above not only a tonne of one man black metal bands but also many other blackened thrash bands. The thrash metal on "Born to the Breeder" is strong and some mighty fine guitar leads hits the eardrums when the song slows down. "Backwards into Hell" is more black metal oriented although the drumming is more thrash metal oriented than blast-beats and there are wicked guitar leads that push their way out rather than being prominent parts of the song, which helps to strengthen the song. The intro to "Chaos Magick Totaliy"harks back to both 80's Metallica and Megadeth but then heads to much darker area of metal while still incorporating thrash style drumming and guitar solos. "Burn the Earth" convinces the listener that Affliktor really do want to set the world ablaze with the evil vocals, quickly paced drums and blistering guitar work.

It's definitely mainly the technicality of the guitar work that sets Affliktor above other blackened thrash bands out there. That the drumming isn't chock full of blast-beats and favours the more thrash metal approach is also a huge thumbs up. It's worth noting that the PR sheet hits the mark suggesting that is for fans of Slayer, Testament, Inquisition, Desaster, Arrallu, Waxen, Kreator, Sodom and Yngwie Malmsteem.


Release Date: 20 October 2017

Affliktor on facebook

Affliktor on bandcamp

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Eradicator

Label: Stonewalled

The Eradicator was a squash-obsessed character from a series of sketches in the Canadian TV show, Kids in the Hall that aired over twenty years ago. Chicago musician, Andy Slania has resurrected the character and he's still super-enthusiastic about the only sport that matters, Squash. Sometimes The Eradicator performs with a band and other times he goes solo.

The Eradicator plays brash aggressive punk with a melodic edge. The rhythm section often speeds through song at the pace of a squash game and mimic the ball hitting the wall. The opening track "I'm The Eradicator" is the perfect introduction to this squash obsessive outfit.

There's a bouncy appeal to the catchy "I'm a Squash Man", which gives reasons as to why squash is the greatest sport ever.

While only one of the twelve songs on this album runs over the three minute mark the punk energy on this album somehow makes this debut release seem much longer than it actually is. The squash theme is fun. It will be interesting to see if The Eradicator will make more squash themed music in the future.


Release Date: 13 October 2017

The Eradicator on Facebook

The Eradicator on bandcamp

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sound Storm - Vertigo

Rockshots Records

The latest album from Italian symphonic metal band Soundstorm opens with a very short instrumental track, titled "Vertigo", which clocks in at 1 minute at 18 seconds. This song feels like it is over way too quickly. The second track, "The Dragonfly" opens with the operatic vocals of Fabio Privitera and chunky full on power metal but the tempo slows down at the mid-point of the song. The church choir style accompanying vocals lend the song a haunting atmosphere.

The choir accompaniment continues at the beginning of "Metamorphosis" although Sound Storm take a much more traditional metal approach even if they do utilize very noticeable keyboards. "Forsaken" opens with keyboards and is a fast moving track that brings both Queensryche and Kamelot to mind. "original Sin" is a bland symphonic metal track. I suspect the sin is sloth as the band have made sin sound really boring. "The Ocean" is thankfully a much more interesting track as it starts slowly and then transforms into a much heavier beast with pounding drums, operatic vocals and some blistering guitar work. The slow beginning to "Spiral" promises heavier music is on the way and the song does indeed get heavier as it proceeds with heavy distorted guitar and the choir adds a contrasting edge but the keyboard outro quietens proceedings and seems somewhat misplaced. Sound Storm get back on track with "Gemini", which starts out with keyboards but heavier guitars take over and the band pick up pace throughout this tune and the vocals go from near black metal style to operatic. The change in tempo and dynamics makes this a stand out track on "Vertigo".

One strong track isn't enough to grab this listener. Soundstorm don't offer much that Kamelot, Epica and Nightwish do a lot better. Now, where is that Alfred Hitchcock DVD?


Sound Storm on Facebook

Sound Storm on bandcamp

Release Date: North America – October 13, 2017 | Europe – December 2, 2016

Monday, October 16, 2017

Dom Zly - Dom Zly

Unquiet Records

Polish band Dom Zly have been together since the Polish autumn of 2016. The band have released a self-titled EP(it's a six song release!). The band's music is described as crust but there is much more at work on this EP than just crust punk.

The first proper song, "Bor" takes in and spits out a black metal influence with a bumblebees from hell guitar tone utilized during the song's faster moments. There's more of a post-metal meets angry crust punk feel when the band slow down mid-song. "Psy" looks towards both Discharge and post-metal.

Somewhere there is a d-beat purist shaking their first at Dom Zly for messing with what was pure. But we'll ignore the unwashed in their heavily studded leather jackets and just accept the fact that "Psy" is a damned good song. There's a sludgy underbelly to "Tramp" , which incorporates post-metal, crust punk and black and even death metal to come up with a glorious noise. The song "Dom Zly" begins as an angry sludgy blast before combining a lighter side with more atmospheric post-metal. The vocalists angry shouts betray the lighter part of the song but eventually he stops for breath and lets the light in for a while, but only to catch his breath to get angry once again. "W Noc" starts off with an ambient style introduction and the departs to a bleaker droning black metal direction where no sun can penetrate.

If you were wondering, Dom Zly roughly translates from Polish to English as “Bad House”. Whether or not they are bad, it's great that this six track release isn't being referred to as an album. Whilst there are only six tracks on this EP, there is definitely a lot to digest in one sitting as the band explore different territories of extreme music.


Release Date: 13 October 2017

Dom Zly on facebook

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Firebreather - Firebreather

Label: Suicide Records

If I were to sum up the self-titled release from Swedish trio Firebreather in three words, it would be "High on Fire". There is some serious Matt Pike worship going on. Blatant worship is not necessarily a bad thing. Count the number of albums you own by Black Sabbath, early Metallica and Iron Maiden soundalikes and consider the number of times you reach for them rather than reaching for the original innovators of sound.

The vocals on Firebreather's debut very much imitate the deep throaty yowl of High on Fire's Matt Pike. Due to the High on Fire influence Firebreather have a heavy sludgy sound, which they marry with doom metal. The final song on this album has the same apocalyptical feeling that New Zealand's Beastwars were aiming at and often hitting.

In my book, four songs don't count as an album even if they are Metallica-type length. This is an EP and not an album, despite the fact that it says otherwise in various places.


Release Date: 13 October 2017

Firebreather on bandcamp

Firebreather on facebook

Suicide Records on Facebook

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Warcall - Invaders

Label: Plan B Music

There's something about three piece rock trios. It just seems that they don't often go wrong or at least, just tour forever until everyone has either heard them or at least heard of them. Main case in point, Motorhead. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who has dug their teeth into rock music that hadn't heard of Lemmy's group. Canadian power trio Warcall definitely come from the same school of thought. While their PR sheet states that the album opener, "Mission Commando" is about the start of a war. It includes the lyrics, "Go hard or go home" which could also be about a persevering metal band and their life on the road. The song itself quickly gets your attention as the tune is speedy, dirty and raw metal harking back to the early days of thrash metal taking more than a twist of Motorhead bass coupled fast pounding drums, speedy guitar riffs and raspy and gruff sandpaper to skin vocals.

"Riding with Zombies" is apparently about touring life and start off a little slower but the tempo changes to full tilt ahead again. The drums are hammered so strongly at the start of "Bully Bastards" that it's impossible not to have sympathy for the poor drumkit as it's likely to have a few visits to accident and emergency clinics in its lifetime. The rhythm section is strong in this one. Compared to what has gone before, "Mass Extinction" belies its subject matter as it nearly sounds like a happy mid-tempo tune but with those gruff raspy vocals layered on top. If you're after noisy as hell, you can relax because Warcall haven't abandoned their dirty and raw core. The vocals on "The Man who Suffers" are very much of the hoarse variation and they will have some listeners wondering if the song title is about the vocalist himself (it's not). There are some great guitar traditional metal guitar leads in this track which also takes the grimiest of thrash into its montage as does "Fight Back", which also includes some great basslines.

The raw dirty noise that Warcall create on their "Invaders" album should appeal to fans of Motorhead, Tank , the rawer Celtic Frost, recent Darkthrone and fans of early thrash metal.


Release Date: 13 October 2017

Warcall on Facebook

Warcall on bandcamp

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Tuskar - Arianrhod

Record Label : Riff Rock Records Tuskar are a two piece band from the Milton Keynes area of England. The band is comprised of vocalis...