Touring: Palm Reader to Play Five Shows in One Day

palmreader

Tech-hardcore mentalists Palm Reader return for a mammoth day of live music. The band celebrate the release of their second album Beside the Ones We Love by playing five shows in a single day. The shows all take place on May the 4th and you can find full details for each show and its line-up below:

1st Show: The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch
14.00 – *Secret Headliner*
13.15 – Let’s Talk Daggers
12.30 – Palm Reader

2nd Show: The Black Heart, Camden
14.30 – Palm Reader
13.45 – Exes
13.00 – Ohhms

3rd Show: The Windmill, Brixton
16.30 – Palm Reader
15.45 – TBA
15.00 – We Never Learned To Live

4th Show: The Cricketers, Kingston
21.30 – Headliner TBA
20.45 – Artemis
20.00 – Palm Reader

5th Show: The Star, Guildford
22.00 – Palm Reader
21.15 – Employed To Serve
20.30 – Stallone

Tickets will be available from AYP? Promotions shortly so keep an eye on this link. You can check out the video to I Watch the Fire Chase My Tongue by Palm Reader below:


Review: Nomadic Rituals/Tome Split

nomadicritualstome

NOMADIC RITUALS

Those Irish doomsters Nomadic Rituals have finally returned after a lengthy silence since the release of their Holy Giants mini-album and the band are on similarly nihilistic form. This 14 minute behemoth entitled The Great Dying begins with a gentle, low-end rumble and then unleashes a horrendous, down-tuned chord that could shake a building to its foundation.

Nomadic Rituals may err on the slower-side of the doom spectrum (well, slow for doom) but their heavy use of reverb and disgusting tones means their music is almost suffocating in its density. This is not a listening experience for the faint-hearted and it trudges along like you’re making your way through marshland on foot.

This is not to say that Nomadic Rituals have put together a boring song by any means, but The Great Dying is more of an atmospheric experience than one full of catchy melodies and choruses. The thick, sludgy guitar riffs are wonderfully meaty and when the tempo steps up a notch around the 9 minute mark, the band punctuate an absolutely bleak experience with some devastating heaviness.

Nomadic Rituals have returned with a doom epic that showcases exactly what the band are about. This is an extremely testing yet rewarding experience that fans of doom will be stupid to miss.

8/10

TOME

Tome’s contribution to this split is another mammoth doom track with the name of Bone Divinations. Clocking in at 11 minutes, Tome deal in a similar, funeral-doom-esque march but their riffs are more memorable in comparison to Nomadic Rituals who use their guitars to build atmosphere. You can actually bang your head to the dirge-like groove that features in the first 4 minutes of the song and while the band have a similarly reverb-heavy sound, the melodies are the big draw.

Sadly the band’s riffs don’t change as frequently and as a result the song actually feels longer than The Great Dying. There are no tempo changes and the same riff that opens the track features for a greater amount of time. This means that Tome have a more difficult time justifying the length of their song. It often feels long for the sake of being long.

That’s not to say this is by any means a terrible inclusion. Tome have a similarly filthy, low-end tone that feels like it could crush you to death and the atmosphere is just as oppressive. The band have certainly nailed their sound, it’s just their song writing is a bit repetitive.

Tome show great promise and once again fans of doom metal will find plenty to love, but if the band were tighten up their song writing and spend less time getting to the point then they could be onto something truly special.

7/10


Review: I, The Lion’s Run

Run EP Cover - FINAL

I, The Lion’s Run EP took me by complete surprise. The EP has a rather weak opening during the first half of Hold Strong. It’s a pretty uneventful plod through all the clichés of modern emo, but half way through the song the band unleash a tirade of screaming and off-kilter guitar work and it’s absolutely exhilarating.

From here on, I, The Lion are a completely different beast who meld the alt-rock madness of bands like Reuben and Biffy Clyro with the emocore stylings of bands like A Day to Remember. The band’s music shifts and moves quite naturally considering the number of riffs and melodies the band pack into a single song. Speaking of riffs, there’s an absolutely mind-melting display near the end of Hold Strong and it’s accompanied by a tremolo-picked lead and it’s fucking sublime. Euphoric even.

Moving on, songs like Icarus start with a riff that could’ve been easily pulled from your favourite Reuben song before opening up into that angular, guitar noodling that Biffy are so famous for. Bolstered with some absolutely massive choruses, I, The Lion have nailed this rock music malarkey and despite the vocals often sitting in a comfortable mid range, the music is dynamic enough to help you ignore such discrepancies.

Listening to Run is a beautiful journey into the rock music of my youth. If this record was released when I was discovering Hundred Reasons, Hell is for Heroes and Funeral for a Friend for the first time, I’d happily regard it as a modern classic. Hopefully a new generation of rock kids discover this record and go on to regard it in the same light because it really deserves that sort of praise.

I, The Lion’s Run is a wonderful celebration of riff rock. It’s a gargantuan-sounding EP loaded with some of alt-rock’s most thunderous melodies and it constantly evolves and welcomes new ideas into it’s already accomplished sound. A lacklustre opening hides one of rock’s most enjoyable EPs and I, The Lion need to be a band you start paying immediate attention to.

9/10

I, The Lion’s Run EP is out now and is available to buy direct from the band.


Review: Geist’s Faith Healing

faithhealing

If dark, sludge-ridden hardcore is your cup of tea than do I have a treat for you. Members of Cholera and End Reign have joined forces to form Geist; a metallic hardcore band who make music in a similar vein to Lavotchkin and Converge. Their debut EP is called Faith Healing and all the song titles have the word ‘faith’ in them because why not?

The EP kicks off in a suitably nasty fashion with Faith : Maker and it sets the standard for the five songs that follow. Geist deal in dense, groovy riffs that provide all their music’s melody as the vocals are entirely screamed. There’s an awful lot of bass bolstering the band’s riffs and it’s accompanied by an ungodly drumming performance that switches frantically between unruly, hardcore punk speed and slower, doomier refrains.

As with End Reign, what makes Geist’s music so engaging is how utterly devastating the riffs are. Not only are the melodies in songs like Faith : Commital and Faith : Design going to send any mosh-pit greebo into a frenzy, the beefy production by Chris McManus means that each chord thunders through your ears like a freight train crashing into a car.

Geist aren’t doing anything that bands like Prelude to the Hunt, Pulling Teeth and Black Mass haven’t already done but they do it so well that’s it a completely null point. If you like your hardcore thick and sludgy but played by a group of men who don’t understand the phrase, “slow down” then Geist have you covered in the best possible way.

Faith Healing ends with a monologue about the futility of worshipping a God who hasn’t done anything to prove that he actually, “loves you”. It’s a stark, bleak ending to an EP loaded with some of the most unforgiving hardcore the UK has to offer and a timely reminder that we need bands like Geist to provide a visceral release from the shitstorm that is real life.

8/10

Geist’s Faith Healing is out now and available to buy on CD direct from the band.


Touring: Days of Worth Return to Mark 10th Anniversary of The Western Mechanism

daysofworthpresshot

Remember Days of Worth? The 5 piece rock act were signed to Visible Noise back in 2005 and they released a massively overlooked record called The Western Mechanism. In honour of the album’s 10th anniversary the band are reforming for a one-off show at The Fighting Cocks in Kingston on the 11th of July. Support will come from Freeze the Atlantic who’s members come from bands like Hundred Reasons, Reuben and Laruso. This is a show you will not want to miss.

Check out the video to State of Me by the band below and check out vocalist Simon Griffith’s current band Radio Alcatraz if you like your post hardcore.


Review: Hawk Eyes’ Everything is Fine

everythingisfinehawkeyes

It pains me to say it but Hawk Eyes have lost something on their latest record, Everything is Fine. The riff rockers have been riding a wave of success thanks to their wonderfully thick Engerica-meets-Reuben sound and their last EP, That’s What This Is showcased a more song-driven side to the band that seemed inevitable. It was energetic and exciting and I could hear the band lighting up rock radio up-and-down the country.

Sadly that song-driven style has been dropped on Everything is Fine and the whole record feels like a backwards step back into Modern Bodies territory. This is obviously not a huge issue because fans of that record will feel right at home thanks to the return of the dense, down-tuned and somewhat dark atmosphere that Modern Bodies is known for. That’s all here on Everything is Fine but listening to songs like Permission and Terribly Quelled sit side-by-side next to a re-recording of More Than a Million, which grabs you by the balls and doesn’t let go, makes it clearly apparent that a more direct and less progressive song structure does Hawk Eyes more favours than their moodier material.

The darker and more brooding tracks on Everything is Fine just feel lacking. While they certainly sound impressive on face value with their nasty, oozy guitars and dense production, the songs always lack a tasty hook or riff that could really push them to the next level. Tracks like The Ballad of Michael McGlue are bizarrely pedestrian listening experiences which is not something I ever thought I’d find myself saying about Hawk Eyes.

The weird thing is it’s apparent that this is still the same band. All the Hawk Eyes signatures are here; the riffs are heavy, the drums are thrashy and the vocals are a blend of raw barking and sung choruses. This is still the same Hawk Eyes you know and love but for whatever reason the songs on Everything is Fine simply drift on by without a riff or chorus barely managing to be as devastating or memorable as something like Witch Hunt or Skyspinners from Ideas.

Hawk Eyes have unfortunately made a slight miss-step on Everything is Fine. While the band’s satisfyingly thick riff-rock is still on show throughout the album, the meandering and broody nature of the music doesn’t accommodate memorable riffs and choruses. The absolute barnstormer that is More Than a Million proves exactly what most of Everything is Fine is missing; this album needs to spend more time getting to the point quicker and punctuating it with a catchy melody.

6/10

Hawk Eyes’ Everything is Fine is out now and available to buy direct from the band.


Review: Oblivionized’s Life is a Struggle, Give Up

oblivionized

It’s been a long time coming, but tech-grind lunatics Oblivionized have finally delivered an album. Starting out as a 5-man progressive death metal act, the band have found powerful new legs as a trio and Life is a Struggle, Give Up showcases exactly how far the band have come since their 2011 debut EP.

Kicking things off, Lower Your Expectations manages to sum up exactly what Oblivionized are about in less than 2 minutes. The song deals in mind-melting polyrhythms, relentless blast-beats, bile-ridden screams and down-tuned guitar wizardry. This is extremely testing stuff but guitarist Sammy Urwin always chooses the perfect opportunities to lay off the technicality for a moment of groovy, neanderthal-esque head-banging like in the final moments of Cry Yourself to Ash. It’s the perfect combination of utter recklessness and it’s the sort of madness you’d probably get if members of SikTh and Suicide Silence formed a super-group.

The album’s title track is another great example of Oblivionized making technical death metal more palatable. Half way through the track the song changes from an unforgiving attack of guitar tapping and blast-beats to a slower-paced beatdown that wouldn’t feel out of place on an Oceano record. It’s not often we praise a band for using single-chord breakdowns but Oblivionized use them masterfully. Songs like Whore Dogs are all the better for their stylistic shift from angular craziness to riff-heavy sections.

We can’t continue without mentioning the stunning performance of drummer Will Merlin who absolutely decimates his kit throughout this record. A performance this furious deserves a great mix and thankfully this has also been accommodated. Most tech-metal records aim for robot-like precision in their mixes but thankfully every glorious, bass-heavy tom hit and cymbal crash has been captured with the savageness it deserves.

It’s also worth mentioning that Oblivionized’s lack of bassist is actually an element that helps this record. The addition of another guitar could’ve made this album a considerably difficult listening experience as the band’s sound is already breezeblock-thick. Urwin’s guitar-work cuts through the screaming and drumming and adds all the melody the band could ever need. Oblivionized manage to work a little too well considering their limitations.

Life is a Struggle, Give Up is Oblivionized firing on all cylinders. This is an unforgiving attack of tech-metal, grind and deathcore that is sculpted with finite detail and it’s not afraid to hit you over the head with a monolithic riff for good measure. This might be an exhausting ordeal on your first listen, but give it the time it deserves and it will slowly unveil a metal record for the ages.

9/10

Oblivionized’s Life is a Struggle, Give Up is released on Secret Law Records later this month. Pre-order it by clicking here.


Review: All to Ruin’s Among Us

amongus

The last time we visited All to Ruin in 2013 they were churning out a by-the-books take on metalcore that reminded us of every metalcore band that’s ever had their time in the sun. Has anything changed for All to Ruin in 2015? No.

The latest EP by All to Ruin is entitled Among Us and if you’ve ever listened to Killswitch Engage or Trivium you’ll be in familiar territory. Killswitch Engage are definitely a stronger influence this time as the band have made a more conceited push towards guitar riffs that contain more melody and less “single-chord” abuse.

Where things generally go right for All to Ruin is with their choruses. The choruses on the EP are always full of stadium-sized vocal melodies and beautifully uplifting guitar riffs. All to Ruin definitely have a talent for structuring their songs to emphasise their choruses and it always feels like the song has reached a peak when the choruses roll around. Disconnect in particular has a chorus that sounds like a sea of metal fans would happily scream it back at the band if they were playing the main stage at Download. You can’t deny that All to Ruin have an absolutely massive sound for such a young band.

All to Ruin have definitely progressed as musicians and the lack of reliance on one-chord riffs and beatdowns means they now resemble some of metalcore’s finest and if you told me this EP was released on Roadrunner Records circa 2005 I would have a hard time arguing with you. There’s some fantastic guitar solos doing the rounds as well and songs like History are all the more better for their exemplary guitar work.

Unfortunately, there’s always a feeling of familiarity creeping into the band’s sound and it really hurts their music as a result. All to Ruin sound like Killswitch Engage, Trivium and Bullet for My Valentine and while it’s completely fine to wear your influences on your sleeve, All to Ruin have a difficult time offering anything that you could truly say was unique to them.

All to Ruin’s Among Us is a perfectly competent EP that actually manages to prove that metalcore is a respectable genre when it’s in the right hands. The melodies, choruses and sheer scale of the EP are wonderful to experience but the band simply doesn’t stand out. This style of music has been beaten into submission by an absolute torrent of similarly sounding bands and All to Ruin need to offer something else to stay relevant.

6/10

All to Ruin’s Among Us is released on the 27th of April 2015.


Gone But Not Forgotten: Project Abner/The Abner

Let me tell you a tale of four very talented chaps who got dealt a bad hand. Dave, Olv, Apple and Wilson are the four members of Project Abner; an emo/pop punk/metalcore hybrid act who were functional from 2001 to 2004. The band toured and played lots of shows with bands like Days Ago, Zero Cipher, Eden Maine and Aconite Thrill. In 2002 to 2003 they wrote, recorded and released an EP called All My Love.

Now here’s where things get strange; the All My Love EP made it to press and some reviews also refer to it as the Follow the Pig EP. It would appear the EP was scheduled for a physical release in October 2003 but for whatever reason I haven’t been able to find anything as to the existence of physical CDs. This EP would have contained the songs As Kids Do, The Fable, Pour Fair L’Amour, Suited and Useless, Sighing Like Furnace and All My Love. Sighing Like Furnace and The Fable got released on a promotional CD-R that was given out at gigs.

project_abner_ep aml-inlay-front-cover1064231483

Here’s where things take a turn for the worst. Project Abner’s management got them into a position where they were being blacklisted by promoters and booking agents. It’s not clear what had happened but the band were furious with their manager and decided to dump him and their name in the process.

In 2004 Project Abner are reborn as The Abner. With renewed energy and focus the band record an EP called Chinoiserie Lounge for Basick Records and it’s sprung on the world in 2006. The EP is a wonderful mesh of Horse the Band and early Enter Shikari and the band christen their special blend of noise as partycore. Sighing Like Furnace is also revisited and given a fresh coat of paint and renamed The Penitent Man Will Pass. Copies of this EP are still available from Basick Records and every household should have one.

The band continue to trudge on but it becomes apparent that the band’s live appearances are becoming more infrequent and it isn’t until 2008 that new material surfaces. The Abner release a new single called D.I.S.C.O and it’s a frightfully catchy slice of up-beat punk-metal. I remember seeing the song live for the first time at a Basick Records showcase gig which included Without Thought and Fell Silent and it was an absolute joy to behold.

Work began on what would become The Abner’s debut album but interest in the band seemed to have completely faded. The Abner were appearing at incredibly under-promoted shows and one show at The Hope and Anchor only drew about 5 people (myself included). This sort of reception is heartbreaking when it happens to a band you care about and by 2009 The Abner decided it simply wasn’t worth the effort.

The band split without a farewell show but they gave their fans one final gift in the form of 5 album demos and the previously released D.I.S.C.O single. This final release is even more tragic in the fact that it shows a noticeable progression in the band’s song-writing. The songs are all wonderfully unique and progressive numbers like A Cowshed Riot Against the Glutton sit side-by-side with straight-forward rockers like Whiskey Punchout. The songs were initially shared by the band via mediafire but thankfully Basick Records have seen fit to give the songs another lease of life and re-released them as an iTunes EP called If You’re Listening To This… Where Were You In 2008?

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Did The Abner’s management kill the band’s chance at success? It’s difficult to say but in 2009 the UK lost one of the most original sounding rock acts to ever grace the toilet circuit. It’s not nice watching a band you love fall into obscurity and making heavy music in this day and age is a real labour of love. The Abner stuck with it for 8 years and they don’t deserve to be a footnote in UK rock’s history. Go and hunt down The Abner’s 2 EPs on iTunes and indulge in one of the weirdest rock bands ever birthed in the UK. You won’t regret it.

Andrew has kindly put together some additional information on the band which we present below:

“Our very last attempt at a show was in 2009 at the Water Rats where we turned up on a Thursday night to play and were told by the venue that they thought we would bring a crowd. We told them that they were sorely mistaken (haha), so they told us we wouldn’t be playing. We packed up our gear and that was that!

All My Love was a massive blow for us. We had been promised the earth by a con man and left out to dry with his dirty laundry. Basically we got an initial run of one hundred CDs and the printing was wrong on them. They never got a re-pressing because the label head hadn’t paid the bill. Almost cursed, you might say. One of the main reasons that Evolving Music (the label) collapsed is that they over stretched themselves time and time again. Properties in central London, full page adverts in Kerrang! and Rock Sound, t-shirts, stickers, you name it. All good stuff if the money is coming in. They booked a huge 30 date tour for the 3 bands potentially signing to Evolving (ourselves, Through Silence, and Shellshock) with 2 revolving headliners. Half the dates were scheduled for Skindred, and half for Mahumodo (with Mahumodo being the headliners for our shows, drawing a more suitable crowd for us). 3 days before the first show Mahumodo split up and the tour was a disaster as a result! Then we were lied to, etc etc. and the rest is history!

Basick Records saved us from the brink and we helped them by signing a free deal. They pressed our CDs and we bought them at cost. Any that Basick sold were their own. It worked for us and Nathan always had faith in us and our music. It was just a shame that the small piece of momentum we had left when we signed with them ran out before we managed to write a whole album.

Another note worth mentioning is that we toured with My Chemical Romance on their first 3 date UK tour (just before being blacklisted) and also with Skindred around the time that our label collapsed.

We got to the point where we had more fun being ourselves and we never ever fit into a pigeon hole from a visual perspective. We just enjoyed rocking out (and slagging off the crowd between songs).

I’d have loved it if we could have carried on but sometimes life just gets in the way. It’s really nice to know that there’s a little legacy out there though!”

PROJECT ABNER/THE ABNER WERE
– Dave Shanley (vocals)
– Andrew Wilson (bass)
– Apple (guitar)
– Olv (drums)

DISCOGRAPHY

As Project Abner
2 Track Promo CD-R (2003)
Subverse Volume 1 Compilation (2003)
All My Love/Follow the Pig EP (2003)

As The Abner
2 Track Demo CD-R (2004)
Chinoiserie Lounge EP (2006)
A Day for Light Refreshment Promo DVD (2007)
D.I.S.C.O Single (2008)
If You’re Listening To This… Where Were You In 2008? EP (2009)

Do you have memories of Project Abner/The Abner? Let us know in the comments below or drop us an email at ukscumscene[at]live.co.uk.


News: Ex Members of Bossk and The JCQ Form Bowhunter, EP Out in May

bowhunter

Members of Bossk and The JCQ have joined forces to form a new band called Bowhunter. The band features Jack Saunders from The JCQ on vocal duties, Edward Li and Nick Corney of Bossk on guitar and drums and Chris Corney on bass.

You can stream the first taster of the band’s debut EP To Love Again below. The track is called Count to Ten:

Bowhunter’s debut EP To Love Again is released on the 4th of May. You can keep up-to-date with the band’s activity by visiting their official website.


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