Monthly Archives: August 2018

Review: Boss Keloid’s Melted on the Inch

Boss Keloid’s previous offering, Herb Your Enthusiasm, was an album that was obviously pretty comfortable with just being another stoner metal offering and sometimes if you enjoy a genre enough then you’re happy to riff on established tropes and not explore much else to set you apart. With their follow-up, Melted on the Inch, Boss Keloid make a conceited effort to not be just another stoner band and put forward one of the most difficult to define and progressive records ever.

Melted on the Inch is such a drastic step-up in musicianship that it’s bizarre to think this is the same band. We’ve had some tweaks to the band’s line-up since the last record with original bassist Liam Pendlebury-Green returning, but the most significant change is the addition of Matthew Milne on keyboards. Milne adds extra atmospherics and depth to Boss Keloid’s music, with his dreamy melodies adding a spacy, floaty quality to the soundscape.

Speaking of soundscape, tracks like Peykruve really do help conjure up images of vast, barren landscapes. Boss Keloid’s music has a wonderful lilting quality to it as it gently sways between dreamy space-rock passages accompanied with Alex Hurst’s bluesy vocals and groovy, thunderous riffs. It’s the sort of music you can’t help but move to.

The song-writing really does deserve a special mention here because Boss Keloid constantly ask you to commit to 7 minute epics, but thanks to the sheer amount of grooves, technicality and constantly evolving melodies on display it never feels like padding. There might be only 6 songs on this album but those 6 songs contain so many ideas and creativity that they’re actually disguising the music contained within.

With Melted on the Inch, Boss Keloid have evolved from, “just another stoner band” to, “prog-sludge behemoths”. Melted on the Inch is such a confident and experimental release that anyone who is a fan of the slower, groovier side of metal will be doing their record collection a massive disservice if they don’t pick up this album.

9/10

Boss Keloid’s Melted on the Inch is out now and available to buy through Holy Roar Records.

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Review: Deus Vermin’s Monument of Decay

Deus Vermin describe themelves as, “black metal-infused death metal from Leeds” and a combination of two such extreme genres always makes me think that PR people might be overcompensating for a band just sounding a bit heavy. Surprisingly, Deus Vermin are about as unfathomably heavy as you could possibly imagine and that description is pretty much on the nose.

Their debut EP Monument to Decay is such a strong start to the band’s career that it sounds like it should be coming after a string of successful releases and not a single 2 track demo. Deus Vermin’s music is so intense and diverse that within a single song it can quickly shift between double-bass drumming, blast beats, tremolo-picked guitar and evil, down-tuned riffs and make it all sound coherent and necessary.

Deus Vermin are quite progressive in this regard and vastly ignore the need for anything like choruses (not that they would have added much in music where the vocals are entirely screamed). Tracks like Iniquity and Worms even have passages that strip back the intensity for a moment to create some really dissonant, creepy atmosphere before launching back into the blast beats. Everything Deus Vermin put forward is so well considered and their execution is so perfect that it flows surprisingly naturally for such a heavy release.

What’s also interesting is the choice of production which manages to keep enough reverb in the mix to make the music sound like it’s being performed live. Death metal in particular normally favours a very clean mix so you can fully appreciate the level of musicianship that goes into creating such technically proficient music, but Deus Vermin give their music a little more edge by choosing a nastier, raw production style.

Monument of Decay by Deus Vermin is quite frankly an incredible start to this band’s career. These 6 tracks are home to some of the most disgustingly vicious death metal and showcase a level of song-writing that clearly proves Deus Vermin are a band bursting with ideas. There doesn’t feel like there’s a single moment of wasted space in these 21 minutes and if that’s a miraculous achievement for such a new band.

10/10

Deus Vermin’s Monument of Decay is out now and available to buy on limited edition cassette from FHED Records.


Review: Unease’s Society’s Possessed

Newly formed Brighton hardcore outfit Unease have burst out the gates with Society’s Possessed – a 6 track EP spread over 10 minutes that melds hardcore with nasty, crunchy, black metal production. It’s an extremely confrontational style that allows them to put together songs that contain the pure speed of hardcore but with the added oppressive atmosphere that comes with the darkest black metal.

Society’s Possessed may be over and done with fairly quickly, but there’s a hell of a lot going on in those 10 minutes that’s worthy of your attention. Musically Unease structure their songs in a typical hardcore fashion. There’s no blast beats or tremolo-picking to be heard here – it’s all fast-paced drums, big riffs and tortuous, reverb-laden screaming with songs never outstaying their welcome. The longest track is the self-titled opener which clocks in at 2 minutes and 21 seconds.

However, it’s the production choice that really sets this EP apart. Everything sounds super-compressed with the mix favouring the high-end sounds. This is most noticeable in the guitar work which now takes on the buzz-saw tone of an Entombed record, but somehow even more distorted. It’s extremely reminiscent to the low-fi nature of black metal production, but thankfully none of the low-end heft of the bass and drumming is lost in the mix – a common occurrence in black metal.

If anything, the mix is probably going to be the thing that splits people’s opinions on this EP. Some might find it too harsh on the ears, while others might enjoy the added aggression it gives the music. We certainly fall into the latter camp, but it might prove to be a barrier for some.

Unease’s Society Possessed puts forward a no-nonsense hardcore assault on the ears that stands out from the crowd thanks to its black metal leanings. This is an extremely fast and confrontational affair that will leave you begging for more. Fingers crossed that Unease can produce a satisfying follow-up fast because we absolutely need it.

8/10

Unease’s Society’s Possessed is out now and available to download direct from the band.