Every year there are albums on end of year lists that I read about, hovered over, played one track and then forgot instantly. Not ‘cuz they sucked. I just didn’t care right then and there. It happens. Thankfully, this time of year is for reflection. On every stupid decision you made, hoping upon hope that the next year won’t suck so hard. This is eased by gushing about bands that hit me late on in the year. And they’re all British. Because why not?

Carcer City

After a couple of releases that skimmed mostly under my radar, I finally got round to listening to this band’s 2016 release Infinite // Unknown. Guess what? This is pretty damn cool and I hate this stuff nine times out of ten. That much might be apparent to anyone who has so suffer my music taste at home or at work, but it’s really a big deal when I dig progressive metalcore (I like this term because it doesn’t mean anything).

They play emotionally charged, down tuned metalcore with all the clean edges of Periphery or After The Burial, but it’s the quintessentially British vocals in the pop parts that hit home. Fellsilent and SikTh before them are my British tech metal kings, tough ones to topple too, but Carcer City hit the same kind of notes for me that those two stand out acts did when I first heard them. “Black Mirror” is thee perfectly structured metalcore song with all the right parts and nearly every other track on Infinite // Unknown plays out in the same way. Bleeps and synths provide a stellar accompaniment to the meaty grooves and bountiful bounce a long moments provided by these young Brits.

The band released this after a long string of bad luck and the usual human bullshit. Going to prove that sticking at something will achieve results. Not all of them are great results, but this is one. Bounce along with me on this one.

Venom Prison

A debut full length that should not, repeat, should not have gone unnoticed by myself like it did. I even caught Venom Prison at Temples last year so I’m an idiot. This one’s for all the death metal freaks who want something cumbersome and weighty along with their blasts and trem picked riffs. Not powerviolence, not grind, not traditional death. Just the right amount of heft behind some truly blissful noise.

Animus is full of stabbing attacks, whether it’s in the lyrical content or the berating savagery of the music. There’s not a happy moment to be found during this half hour, no sirree. Get crushed entirely by the pseudo breakdown in “Celestial Patricide” but pick yourself up in time for the gut churning squeals and kick drums in “Immanetize Eschaton”. The push and pull of the extreme metal of Venom Prison might be too much for a casual listener but for those in the know, this is a beaut.

Turning death metal content on it’s head, Venom Prison attack the patriarchy and gender norms within extreme music. The brutal nature of this record is summed up preciously by the stellar album art. The castration and horror afforded to the rapist of the gorgeous oil painting is all the man deserves. Let’s make 2017 a year for death metal lyrical attacks on man instead of women.

Gendo Ikari

Leave it to us North of the border when it comes to the most disgusting of tastes, sights and sounds. Imagine nine minutes in the scummiest parts of Scotland, deep fry that time period and Unit 1 pops out, covered in grime and piss and shit. Gendo Ikari might just have put out my favourite blast of scum this year, and this has been a filthy fucking year.

Frantic blasts of grind and maelstrom burst out of every second of this short, sweet debut. Given that the members all have residency in some of the country’s nastier acts it’s no surprise. Game is as game does. Gendo Ikari got game. Unit 1 is raw and unrestrained, much like the early , urgent recordings of grind heavyweights Napalm Death and Brutal Truth. It’s so much fun that it’s hard to resist the urge to rage listening to the scything battery of “Categorised”, “Epitome” et al. Closing track “Politics” will always make me laugh due to the traditionally anti Government attack of grind and its coy title. A savage, stomping track with flutters of incandescent grind fury rounds off one of the best brief releases of the year.

Yes friends, you have done it. You’ve made Scotland grind again. Hur hur.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lio4Uto0QCY

Now, I’ve obviously missed your favourite British releases of the year. That’s a given. Don’t just piss and moan, tell me what I passed by, tell me I’m a piece of shit, tell me how to make myself a better human being with your impeccable musical suggestions.  I’m all ears. Not unlike the guy on the Gendo Ikari artwork.

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