What a year. Here is a summary of my most pleasurable listening experiences. Quick shout outs to Gaza, Eldrimner, Acrania (Mexico), DisfiguringtheGoddess, GodsofEden, TrashTalk,Xibalba and TesseracT who just barely missed the cut. Sorry guys.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy my list. I didn’t mess around. Just meat and potatoes. Also, I’d love it if you left a comment validating my list or insulting me for terrible taste! Either way, happy doomsday!
01. Agnus Dei
02. May God Damn All Of Us
03. Violent Infection
04. Geometric Power
05. Post Mortem Nihil Est
06. Daily Lies
07. Love Your Enemy
08. Vermin of Dust
09. Darkness I Became
10. Heretic Temple
11. The Bottomless Pit
12. Obscure Dogma
13. Seven Billion Graves
[Southern Lord Records]
There is a certain perverse irony behind the title of The Secret’s fourth album, Agnus Dei. The Italian metallic hardcore outfit’s latest offering bears the title of the peaceful Christian symbol of a holy lamb, yet presents itself as a wolf amongst the flock devouring the innocent beasts. While initially an intriguing and entertaining endeavor, repeated listens quickly reveal that this analogy would be more appropriately adjusted to describe Agnus Dei as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. For while The Secret provide a solid performance of the recent trend of sludgy, grind influenced hardcore, this lycan ferocity is padded down by certain wooly missteps.
Revocation is not only wholly incapable of writing boring material, but seem to alter their sound in a slightly more interesting way for each release. Enter Teratogenesis, the group’s new metal-thrashing-mad lightening shredfest released through the unexpected kings of kickass metal, Scion A/V. Teratogenesis is Revocation’s most focused release yet. It doesn’t jump about between riffs and constantly try to keep you guessing, but holds you down and continuously beats the crap out of you for the full twenty-one minutes. Songs like the title track showcase a little bit of an old-school thrash flair with its lumbering, lurching, 7-stringed grooves that lock in to your arms and force you to mosh about, while ‘Bound By Desire’ is there to remind you that speed is everything. The stand out track is the opener ‘The Grip Tightens’ by quite a bit. If there were ever a song that grooves along with the ferocity of a runaway freight train smashing right into a nitroglycerine plant, it’s this. Not to mention the inhuman guitar duo of David Davidson and Dan Gargiulo rip a solo that can only be described as terrifying. Teratogenesis is something for faithful Revocation fans and potential fans looking to get in to the band alike. Happy thrashing! – GK
Recorded as part of their new album sessions, Converge offer up the blazing new song “No Light Escapes.” Already a staple of their live set, this whirlwind of an emotional charged song is a soon to be a discordant hardcore/metal anthem for the band. Also on the release, Converge offer a “We Are The World” styled rendition of the influential Entombed classic “Wolverine Blues“. Joining them in tribute is a number of friends including Tomas Lindberg (Disfear, At The Gates, Lock Up), Aaron Turner (Isis, Old Man Gloom, Split Cranium), Kevin Baker (APMD, The Hope Conspiracy), Brian Izzi (Trap Them), and more. A new Converge album will surface later in 2012 on Epitaph/Deathwish.
On the flip side, metal pioneers Napalm Death offer up two new aural monsters. First, “Will By Mouth” erupts in classic grind fashion. A buzz of brutal guitars and a crushing blast beat lay a foundation for Barney Greenway’s vicious vocal attack. All of it uniquely bleeding together to paint a vivid picture of social unrest. Also on the release, Napalm Death offer the slower and textural new song “No Impediment To Triumph (Bhopal)”. A deeply resonant number that lyrically sheds light on the horrific Bhopal Gas Tragedy of 1984. Without question, “No Impediment…” is truly a powerful and poignant moment for this legendary band.
01. No Light Escapes – Converge
02. Wolverine Blues – Converge
03. Will By Mouth – Napalm Death
04. No Impediment To Triumph (Bophal) – Napalm Death
With a signing to Southern Lord and members list that includes stints in Trap Them, Shai Hulud, Misery Signals and, of all things, Fallout Boy, it’s probably fair to say that Enabler have a pedigree. And while the idea of a ‘supergroup’ tends to bring out the cynics in flocks, upon first listen of their new album All Hail The Void it’s hard to deny that they do themselves justice. Comprised of crusty, metallic hardcore that seats itself in the same school of ‘Entombed-core’ as bands like All Pigs Must Die and the aforementioned Trap Them — it’s exactly the kind of violent aural massage I needed to start this week and you can catch the full album stream too over at BlowTheScene.com before it drops tomorrow!
Black Breath‘s Sentenced To Life has been one of those albums that initially got lost in the noise of the early releases this year. However as the smoke has cleared and a lot of the bigger names have stepped aside, it’s become somewhat of a hidden gem, full of crunchy and crusty riffs and hugely infectious ‘shout-a-longs’. So given Scion’s track record so far, it’s not surprising that they also picked up on this criminally underrated slab of Entombed-core and whilst it’s not the in-depth masterpiece that graced the recent Atlas Moth video, the rough around the edges veneer it takes on suits the track perfectly and does justice to the ‘No Sleep ‘Til Death‘ mentality that seems to surround the album.
I seriously have to wonder how much money Scion are throwing into these bands and videos. Surely they can’t be making much of a return? However, with the recent announcement of this year’s Scion Fest it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop any time soon. And as for Nick Frost? Well it was the first comment on the Youtube page and now I can’t un-see it, it’s literally uncanny.
02. Gods Of Atlantis
03. Halo Of Vultures
06. Thorn Feeders
07. Amongst Wolves
[Lost Shepherd/Prosthetic Records]
Crossover, metalcore, metallic hardcore, all these are subgenres of heavy metal, which combine the various elements of extreme metal and hardcore punk. Now like most genres of music, it’s flooded with mediocre and lackluster drivel, but every once and a while a band comes along and reassures you that everything will be alright, and that the genre hasn’t completely fallen into disarray. And for one such band that hails from St. Louis, and who play a straightforward brand of fast and heavy aggressive music, Everything Went Black not only pay homage to the hardcore/punk sensibilities of the 80′s and 90′s, but are also able to satisfy the metalhead in all of us.
01. Boiled Angel/Buried With Leeches
02. Volcanic Birth
03. To Hieron
04. Lashed To The Grinder And Stoned To Death
05. I, Aurora
06. Totem Of Skulls
It’s November the 11th, 2011. It’s around 5pm and I’m at Damnation Festival, killing time inbetween bands. I’m drunk. Naturally.
And then the in-house music shuts off and the lights go down. The smoke machines begin to work overtime, pushing out gallon upon gallon of dry ice into the already cloudy room. Where there was only murmurs , an intro-tape suddenly lurches into life with a dry vinyl hiss and mechanical screeching jostling for space. I’ve never before seen such a large group of people snap into such a relentless concentration but all eyes are fixed expectantly on the cloudy haze that was once a stage.
At this point the only thing separating this from some kind of psychological torture scenario is the few sources of light emanating from the candles on stage. The buzzing and hissing becomes more violent. A metronomic low pulse pushes to the forefront, testing the ear drums of everyone present. Minutes go by whilst the endless aural abuse continues before suddenly 4 silhouettes make their way onto the stage and face away from the crowd.
01. Anarchogram Sun
02. Rex Oblivione
03. Surrounded By Skulls
04. Non Serviam
05. Just Add Nauseam
06. Entering The Arena Of The Unwell
07. The House Of Bedlam
08. Apathy In The UK
10. The Hammer Of Witches
11. Put Me Out Of Your Misery
The Rotted (formerly Gorerotted) area London band, through and through. You could hear it distinctly on their 2008 full-length Get Dead Or Die Trying - stories of drug abuse, fist fights and even tour bus surfing nestled peacefully alongside a style of punk-y death metal that owed as much to Motorhead and Discharge as it did to Cannibal Corpse. Whilst The Sex Pistols shambled through most of their material in the name of ‘punk’, The Rotted shifted effortlessly between d-beats and blastbeats to show that you could retain all the sneering swagger of a punk band while still playing competently. Ad Nauseam is, however, a little different to what we’ve come to expect.
01. Death Dealer
04. God Is War
05. The Blessed Void
06. Third World Genocide
07. Extinction Is Ours
08. Sadistic Vindicator
My first run in with All Pigs Must Die came about during a recent gig which involved them and Trap Them playing a ‘versus set’ where they would switch out every few songs and alternate periodically. With only low quality footage available online, it was doomed to only be documented with a hugely over driven sound that meant everything became a smear of distortion. So, in the end, both bands sounded extremely similar… Thankfully, due to the wonders of modern technology in being able to take a snapshot of a bands sound at any time (in this case, in the form of recent release God Is War) we can now all bear witness to the fact that in the studio both bands sound extremely similar…