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Withdrawal "Faith, Flesh, and Blood" 7"

Posted on Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 @ 5:45am » permalink

Withdrawal - Faith, Flesh, and BloodAnother recent release from A389 Recordings, "Faith, Flesh, and Blood" is the latest EP from Canadian outfit Withdrawal. Expect four tracks (three on the vinyl plus one bonus track if you purchase the album digitally or use the download code included with each copy of the 7") that continue their brand of thrashy metallic hardcore. For the most part these songs are significantly longer than those on 2009's "Unknown Misery" EP, but interestingly enough the overall attack seems a hint more vicious and to the point. You'll find a sample or a somber clean passage here and there, but for the most part the compositions lean heavily on gnashing riffs and tactfully chunky midpaced breaks – though "Kingdom Come" does focus more on the pounding midpaced tempos and subtle melodies; while the six-minute "Rotten Hell" drops some Slayer-esque riffing before closing with a computerized voice reciting passages from Robert DeGrimston's "Satan on War" over eerie acoustic guitars and washes of atmospheric noise textures. The production values feel just a bit more rugged and in your face this time around as well, which gives everything a thicker and more energetic vibe that brings a nice balance to the character of the material. Awesome bass presence, too!


@ A389 Recordings (black vinyl)
@ A389 Recordings (grey vinyl)
@ A389 Recordings (mp3)

Vermapyre/Parasite split 7"

Posted on Monday, July 11th, 2011 @ 5:47am » permalink

Vermapyre/Parasite - splitThe latest excursion from the increasingly diverse Holy Terror Records is this intriguing split 7" between Vermapyre and Aichi, Japan's Parasite. I believe this is the first recorded output from Vermapyre (though there are rumors of a cassette demo), and all three tracks offer a completely different approach. "March of Thee Vermapyrical Legions" is an extremely raw, distant black metal track that sounds like it could have been recorded live from the back of the room in which it was being performed – complete with eerie, discordant riffing and tortured, wailing vocals that may not even be bothering with lyrics. Unlike most black metal, however, the piece lasts but a mere 1:35!? "Thee Cold Invocation" then offers a little under two minutes of abstract, pulsing bass and sparse dark ambient noise textures alongside bits of faintly whispered and largely indiscernible female vocals. And then to cap it all off, "Return of the Sorcerer" takes a completely unexpected turn towards straightforward, bashing hardcore/punk in sort of a Japanese/D-beat fusion (shockingly catchy song, too). I'm left with absolutely no idea of what to expect from Vermapyre's future outings, but I'm damn sure curious! Parasite then follows with two tracks of rugged hardcore/punk (or, as they call it, "metalpunk") that seems to be heavily inspired by the legendary G.I.S.M. – both in terms of the gruff vocal snarls and their galloping rhythmic churns combined with fluid dual guitar melodies. This split marks my first exposure to their work (which includes a few preceding demos, splits, and EP's), and I can definitely see why they seem to have a decent following out there. Good stuff.

Vermapyre "March of Thee Vermapyrical Legions"
Vermapyre "Return of the Sorcerer"
Parasite "警鐘"

I believe that three different colors of vinyl (yellow, red, and purple) have already sold out, so the remaining black copies are likely soon to follow. Don't procrastinate for too long if you're interested in getting your hands on a copy…


@ Holy Terror Records

You can also download the entire Vermapyre side of the split 7" for free:

[DOWNLOAD] Vermapyre (@ Internet Archive)

Pulling Teeth "Funerary" CD/LP/2xLP

Posted on Friday, July 8th, 2011 @ 6:06am » permalink

Pulling Teeth - FuneraryThe latest from Pulling Teeth – released by A389 Recordings (vinyl) and Firestarter Records (CD) – sees the group continuing to tread an increasingly unpredictable path. "Funerary" unloads nearly 50 minutes across 12 tracks, and after a brief intro the band launches into some of their fastest and most intense material to date, as the following six tracks are all absolutely loaded with grinding, high-speed intensity; scorching solos; and bitter, snarling vocals (with a number of absolutely excellent guest vocal contributions throughout the album for good measure). All that tremolo picking and pure, thrashing mayhem is perfectly balanced out by just the right amount of noisy, discordant texture and chunky riffing, too. But then the album changes pace, as the 10-minute title track signifies a turn towards much longer, more creatively adventurous compositions with its slow, churning rhythms and heavily-layered approach – including choral vocal samples, experimental noise textures, monotone singing, and sinister whispers… amongst numerous other tidbits. This angle makes up the bulk of the record, really – as the final 30+ minutes of material make even greater use of the vocal variety, strange effects, and unexpectedly pounding midpaced tempos (not to mention more melodic and deliberately composed lead work). Even the more straightforward elements of these tracks follow a much darker, more challenging path, and it's awesome that the band paid the attention to detail to arrange the album in such a way that about 15 minutes of glorious, explosive rage are following by such surprising diversity. It damn sure takes some time to fully digest, and I can tell I'm not fully there yet myself, because the songs are hitting me a little harder with every listen as I continue to discover and appreciate all of the subtle intricacies buried within. Fuckin' awesome.

Pulling Teeth "From Birth" (excerpt)
Pulling Teeth "Funerary" (excerpt)

Copies of the vinyl include a download code, and are available as either a single LP (second pressing) or a 2xLP (first pressing, leftover from the pre-order phase), so… there are a number of different ways to get your hands on this gem!


@ A389 Recordings (CD)
@ A389 Recordings (LP)
@ A389 Recordings (2xLP)
@ Amazon (mp3)
@ iTunes (mp3)

Pale Creation/Abraxis split 7"

Posted on Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 @ 5:37am » permalink

Pale Creation/Abraxis - splitFrom Thirty Days of Night Records comes this new split 7" between Cleveland's Pale Creation and Australia's Abraxis. It's kind of crazy to think that damn near 20 years since their formation as essentially an obscure thrash metal band, Pale Creation is still cranking out new material here and there in increasingly dark, brooding forms. Both of their tracks herein are loaded with droning riffs, eerily melodic bass runs, relatively slow-paced power chords, and an assortment of shouting/spoken vocals mixed right in against the instruments. There's definitely a very specific atmospheric quality to Pale Creation's material, giving them a uniquely identifiable sound not shared with any other artists. Abraxis then cranks out one six-minute track that opens with a few creeping, black metal-esque chord phrasings and some doomy melodic lead lines before breaking into their expected attack of ripping metallic hardcore with a good dose of energetic speed, crunchy breakdowns, and scathing vocals. This piece definitely covers a lot of ground, though, as in addition to the unexpected twists that kick things off, they slow things down towards the end and start to bring in some clean guitars to change up the feel again. I've written about both of these bands multiple times in the past, so I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I'm a fan, and certainly look forward to hearing more new material from each!

Copies of the 7" include download codes, and the record is available on clear yellow/red vinyl (120 copies), white/grey vinyl (120 copies), or black vinyl (60 copies). You can also score the mp3's at Bandcamp for a few bucks, which is always awesome!


@ Thirty Days of Night Records (clear yellow/red vinyl)
@ Thirty Days of Night Records (white/grey vinyl)
@ Thirty Days of Night Records (black vinyl)
@ Bandcamp (mp3)

Envision "s/t" 12"

Posted on Monday, July 4th, 2011 @ 6:10am » permalink

Envision - s/tIt took some time, but Bellingham, WA's Envision has finally followed up their promising 2009 demo with this self-released, self-titled EP. Offered up are seven songs in about 20 minutes that continue to explore that 90's style of metallic hardcore via chugging midpaced rhythms, discordant metal riffs, harmonics, etc. They're definitely working with a wider range of dynamics this time out, though. In addition to the harsh screams there are a number of passages where slightly more toned down vocal performances take shape, and musically there's a good deal more melody present – not to mention a number of flowing clean passages (largely present during the three instrumental tracks that appear throughout). At times the softer side of the material can start to flirt with atmospheres typically characterized as "post-" something-or-other, which actually brings a more contemporary edge to the material, but when fused with that core foundation of plodding heaviness, the balance works out quite nicely. As usual I'm left looking forward to hearing more, and curious as to where the band will go with these new developments…

Envision "Combray"

The 12" is available directly from the band in two colors – 50 copies on "root beer-ish" clear brown vinyl, and 350 on black. If you like what you hear, you know what to do…


@ Envision