There’s nothing quite like a great sandwich. Whether it’s cookies either side of creme, cold cuts stuffed in slices of bread or earnest, driving hard rock with heart stuck between two slabs of dirty, bludgeoning death. We’re going with the latter on this weeks Celtic Connection with Scottish and Irish produce, as per. It tickles my pickle that I get to cover three bands with nothing shared other than their red haired heritage. Sure, the two Scots acts may share the same rough area but they couldn’t be any further apart in terms of taste, style and fans. Throw in some low end loving Irish folks and hey, we’ve got a party on our hands.
The Death Is Dark And Full Of Doom Thanks To Jenova
Aye, I know. Shite Game Of Thrones related title but whatever, I’ve never been any good at writing them. Dublin’s Jenova forego the dragons and mysticism of traditional metal in favour of 90’s inspired death metal on their new EP The Less You Know The Better You Sleep. This raucous bunch owe much to a driving force of mid tempo battering riffs a la early Morbid Angel – without ever flopping lifelessly like the latter days of this particular comparison. Four tracks, four different beasts of a colossal, crunchy nature. Finalised by Ireland’s busiest man behind the dials Aidan Cunningham (Murdock, Bailer, Ilenkus), the heft of this release is only outdone by the careful crafting of these tomes of toil and terror.
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Seriously. This is hefty; “large and heavy” or “done with vigour and force”. Both definitions are perfectly suited for Jenova’s growling death metal package. “The Walking Dead” is a perfectly titled number, with the shambling undead nature of it’s subject matter (us, not zombies) mirrored with a breeze block battering of guitar and percussion. The tempo doesn’t fluctuate much over the fifteen minutes of misery on The Less You Know The More You Sleep, save for a rare blast or two that cranks the meter up. That doesn’t stop the ferocity of the band from bursting out of the speakers like a wild eyed beast from an ancient, cobwebbed crypt. “Nihil Deorum” is as unholy as it sounds, lifting only the spirits of the undead from their tombs with crisp distorted strings and a kick that rattles the fillings of anyone left standing.
The Morbid Angel comparison is a bit thin, in all honesty. Jenova definitely attack death metal like Cannibal Corpse or Death, but with the attitude of hardcore and the pace of beatdown. That’s definitely not to say this is deathcore, regardless of the Bandcamp tag. Just fantastically produced death metal focusing on the bottom end of everything – fretboards, emotions et al. Expect more heft from this lot. Just one of a great bunch of bands coming out of Ireland right now, but probably the best death leaning music out of all of them.
The Less You Know The More You Sleep is available now via the band’s Bandcamp
wecamefromwolves Will Spook You To Tears On Haunt Me
The eagle eyed among you will recognise wecamefromwolves from previous features on Heavy Blog. Witnessing their progression from starry eyed hard rockers into the country’s finest alternative rock prospect has been rewarding as hell. Don’t get me wrong, the band have always impressed but have been victims, like many others, of the dreaded lineup change. However, these have come to inspire the best music from this particularly sexy sounding bunch of lads. I am well aware that this is not what Heavy Bloggers come to expect from me but c’mon, I know a perfect chorus when I hear one.
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Haunt Me features three new tracks and collects the last two wecamefromwolves singles also. “Places Unfamiliar” and “The Peaks Beneath The Sea” are standout tracks on their own but definitely belong along with these new cuts. The former is a driving, riff and melody fueled alt-rock belter, the latter a darker slice of sweetness; I love the slide guitars that creep in and out of the songs middle third. I challenge anyone to find me a radio rock band that crams as much emotion and honesty into three minute stabs like these two tracks.
The new tracks aren’t available to listen yet but take my word for it, they’re the next step forward for this band. “Falling” marries Kyle Burgess’ ability to carry a tune using his distinct voice with a pulse matching drive. The nuances of layered vocals and harmonies make this track an instant ear worm, even with it’s straight to the point verse-chorus structure. “Haunt Me” and “This Never Gets Easy” round off the new tracks with a softer introspective touch. The title track sways between Cave In and Yellowcard without ever sounding contrived or out of place within itself, something the majority of British rock bands fail to do at nearly ever step. By the closing lighters in the air moments of this EP, wecamefromwolves will win over even the most stone hearted of sour faced Scots and many more from further afield. Gorgeous stuff.
Deathcore Ain’t Dead Yet – Shattered Horizons Make Sure Of It
I’ve been to Stirling. It’s pretty, full of history and tourists looking for Mel Gibson’s hairpiece from Braveheart, probably. It’s also home to several disgusting nightclubs and all the shitey arsed students you could throw a bottle of Buckfast at. Thankfully the city is the spiritual home of Shattered Horizons, a Scottish deathcore unit who don’t and won’t shy from dropping breakdown upon breakdown on anyone brazen enough to press play. For now, I just have the lead single from their upcoming LP Abhorrence to go on, but do you know what? I’ve heard enough to know it’s gonna satiate my need for ‘core (and will soundtrack many a dream of beating Sports Science students into picking a real subject).
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“Hangman’s Covenant” does everything modern deathcore should, with a little bit extra. I dig the sweeps and pick scrapes a lot, with the combined sound sitting between Fit For An Autopsy and Rings of Saturn (not that new album though, I don’t need to hear that shit ever again). The lead single from the new full length makes use of all four minutes of its duration, skipping strings like All Shall Perish on a good day before crashing into several down right dirty breakdowns. Yes, it’s a deathcore track that tricks you with not one, not two but three crushing stomps. The final crumbling of the carnage cookie is the fry vocal, wretching on top a final machine gun riff; the fake out with the second to last breakdown leads into this super effectively and even caught me off guard.
Too many deathcore bands are riding the tails of FFAA and Thy Art Is Murder (who are riding the tails of Behemoth) but Shattered Horizons are playing MySpace deathcore in 2017 and I’m all the happier because of it. Can’t wait to hear the full product and get my ignorance on. Within reason. I’m a grown ass man after all.