Terzij de Horde "A Rage of Rapture Against the Dying of the Light" CD
Posted on Friday, June 25th, 2010 @ 5:02am » permalink
"A Rage of Rapture Against the Dying of the Light" is the debut self-released EP from Dutch act Terzij de Horde (technically they released a demo, but they were known as Liar Liar Cross on Fire at the time), and an impressive debut it is. Expect four songs in about a half-hour that seamlessly combine black metal, doom, and even what could arguably be referred to as subtle "screamo"/hardcore influences. Yeah, I know that the prospect of fusing anything of that nature with black metal sends up the "bullshit flag", but trust me, there's nothing to worry about. This shit is great. There's a good amount of completely ripping, precisely-delivered tremolo picking; blasting percussion; bent up and warped dissonant chord phrasings; droning hums and earsplitting feedback; pounding, sustained power chord rhythms; etc. And then there are some peculiar passages from beyond that scope that are slightly melodic, occasionally harsh and chaotic, but definitely not black metal. And that's perfectly fine, I'm not complaining or passing judgment in any way, just making an observation. While the vocals are relentless screams, they really do have more of a hardcore type of vibe (in that they're not completely over the top and fall into more of a bitter, midrange snarl), so I actually think that helps all of the varying influences blend together so well. The recording's nice, too. Obviously they're not going for any kind of brutally raw, "true" black metal aesthetic here, so it's fairly crisp without coming across as polished, and they can get a grating bite out of the guitar work/vocals without drowning out the basslines. Good stuff. I'll look forward to seeing where they go from here.
Terzij de Horde "Non Timetis Messor" (excerpt)
If you like what you hear, please do pick up a copy from the band through the link below. They're hoping to secure better distribution, or perhaps a release on vinyl, so get in touch with 'em if you'd be interested in any of that, too!
@ Terzij de Horde
Pale Creation "s/t" 7"
Posted on Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 @ 6:38am » permalink
Still kickin' after nearly two decades of (unwarranted) relative obscurity, Pale Creation has suddenly resurfaced with this brand new, self-titled, two-song 7" on A389 Recordings. This time out the band's ever-shifting landscape of gloomy metal with smatterings of hardcore is largely driven by reverberated clean guitars and monotone singing countered by chugging power chords and raw, stripped down screams – including some guest vocals from Dwid during opener "Wake of Temptation", which also features loads of droning melodies that occasionally open up into scorching, Integrity-esque lead bursts. And before branching out into a similar approach, "Rose Colored Haze" even starts out with some eerie ambient drones, piano, and martial percussion – proving once again that Pale Creation remains unconcerned with the traditional limitations of their core genre(s). Since the entire EP's just two tracks in about 10 minutes, here's an excerpt to give you an idea of what to expect:
Pale Creation "Wake of Temptation" (excerpt)
I believe the red vinyl pre-orders are already sold out, and the remaining copies (on black) will likely follow. Each record comes with a digital download card, so you'll be good to go even if you don't have time to spin the vinyl. Pick one up if you like what you hear, as always…
@ A389 Recordings
Goldust "Destroyer | Borderlines" CD/LP
Posted on Monday, June 21st, 2010 @ 7:15am » permalink
"Destroyer | Borderlines" (released on CD by Let it Burn Records with Apil Records handling the vinyl) is the latest full-length outing from prolific German act Goldust, unloading another 12 tracks/nearly 40 minutes of their always solid metallic hardcore. Going off track for a minute, I must say that I really appreciate Goldust being so good about keeping me posted on their latest activity. The majority of the bands that I write about never really keep in touch after the fact, and I'm so busy/absent-minded these days that I have a really hard time trying to follow-up with hundreds of MySpace pages to determine when bands have new material available, etc. Goldust, however, is always quick to let me know when a new release is on the horizon – hence this is already the fifth time I've written about this band (two splits, an EP, and two full-lengths since 2007), and they even did a demo and a 7" before that!
With such a constant stream of output, you'd almost have to expect the quality of Goldust's material to start fading out a little bit, but that's not the case at all. In fact, this is easily their strongest outing to date. Once more the band has started to introduce subtle new shifts that make a huge difference. This time out it's a handful of sludgy, slightly rockin' riffs/leads; and more importantly some unexpectedly melodic fare that provides an almost catchy sense of energy. This may suggest some sort of significant stylistic shift, but fear not, as the core of the band's approach is still straight up metallic hardcore with plenty of those chugging rhythms and a dark, dissonant edge – accented by occasional fits of more metal-based influences like near-grinding blasts and thrashy picking patterns. Though I must admit that I think the intriguing melodic tendencies heard in "The Clawed One", "To No Avail", and "Passage" should definitely be explored further! Since I've posted about these guys so many times now I feel like I'm running out of stuff to say, so… here's a track to judge for yourselves:
@ Let it Burn Records (CD)
@ Apil Records (LP)
@ Interpunk (CD)
@ Amazon.com (mp3)
@ eMusic (mp3)
@ iTunes (mp3)
Carrion Spring "2010 demo"
Posted on Friday, June 18th, 2010 @ 5:24am » permalink
Carrion Spring is a relatively new band from Portland, OR that formed late last year and has already released this two-song demo of completely fucking awesome, totally top-notch "screamo" (or whatever the hell you want to call it). This is definitely the best material of this nature that I've heard in quite some time, and I'm really flippin' out over the excellence of the songwriting here. The overall approach is fairly familiar in terms of utilizing softer clean passages and lush melodies that explode into surging bursts of frantic drumming and loosely chaotic riffing – loaded with hard-panned guitars that piece together all sorts of dissonant chord phrasings and hammer-on/pull-off runs. And the screaming/shouting vocals don't go overboard either, which is always a plus. The recording is perfectly balanced with just the right amount of acerbity to the guitar parts, a huge bass tone that always hammers away right in the center of the mix, and an overall aesthetic that matches the 90's-styled angle of the music without venturing into overly raw/stripped down territory. The songs completely hit the mark on every level, and I can't wait to hear more from these guys. Love it.
Carrion Spring "Scumfuck Angels"
…these hands may appear to be folded and dormant. Well, these hands they will appear someday around your fucking necks. This year's model has been breaking ground, while last year's heroes are buried, still breathing. So let the bodies pile high. We're bringing out our dead to begin again.
I don't even know if physical copies exist, but you can download both tracks for free over at Last.fm:
[DOWNLOAD] Carrion Spring "2010 demo" (@ Last.fm)
Cowards "Solitude" CD
Posted on Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 @ 6:20am » permalink
"Solitude" is the final self-released EP from Minneapolis, MN's Cowards, who played their last shows a few months ago. This is not the first time I've been introduced to a band with their final release, but better late than never, right? I'm not really sure how you'd classify this material, though. Not that it matters, of course, but… they've definitely got an interesting blend of styles going on here, and everything comes together so fluidly that the lines between their various influences are quite blurred. I guess you'd say it's rooted in melodic/post-hardcore, but it's still pretty heavy, and the vocals fall on the more aggressive side of things, too. That being said, there are also some subtle little emo influences to be found (and of course when I say "emo" I mean the good kind), granted there's a good deal of angular riffing and some really beefy basslines throughout as well, so… who knows!? Whatever you want to call it, the songwriting's solid, everything comes across as sincere, and it's not generic at all. What more could you ask for?
Cowards "No Builders, None"
If you'd like to get your hands on a physical copy of the EP, contact the band via the MySpace link above for details. Or, you can download the entire thing for free via their Bandcamp page:
[DOWNLOAD] Cowards "Solitude" (@ Bandcamp)
Drainland "And So Our Troubles Began" 12"
Posted on Monday, June 14th, 2010 @ 6:46am » permalink
"And So Our Troubles Began" is a new six-song 12" EP (co-released by Headwrecker Records, De Graanrepubliek, and IFB Records) that marks my first exposure to Dublin, Ireland's Drainland. The band cites some of their primary influences as Dystopia, Cattlepress, Unruh, and Godflesh, and you can definitely hear that in their approach – which reminds me of a somewhat stripped down Dystopia with some of that loose, noisy guitar work you'd associate with Godflesh's earlier work. Expect a multi-vocal attack over loads of churning riffs where gnarled, dissonant guitars interact with massive pulses of sludgy bass in the form of everything from slow, pounding rhythms to quick bursts of grinding speed. And then there's also "The Scouring Process", which comes across as more of a surprisingly effective two-minute assault of power electronics. Part of me wishes the recording was a little more blatantly heavy and in your face, but at the same time the rugged sense of space they've got going on here does allow for some nice flourishes of texture, so it does add character aesthetically. I'm really diggin' this. The songwriting is strong, the diversity makes sense, and the overall feeling/atmosphere is right on the money. Great work, and I look forward to hearing more…
Drainland "Limb Template"
Pick it up directly from the band or one of the labels if you like what you hear, and look for more distro options (Crucial Blast, etc.) soon.
@ De Graanrepubliek