Tag Archives: allfather

Year End: The 10 Best EPs of 2016

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10) Cold Summer – Fight to Survive

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“Regardless, Cold Summer have finally hit their groove on Fight to Survive. This is an extremely bold and fearless record that sees all the pieces of the Cold Summer jigsaw puzzle fit together comfortably. If fist-pumping, anthemic post hardcore music is what you crave in life, then Fight to Survive is an EP you can rely on.”

Click here to read the full review.

9) Conjurer – I

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Despite making a name for themselves in the UK underground’s live circuit for what feels like ages, Conjurer finally released their debut EP this year and it’s fantastically difficult to categorise which is always a fun job as a music critic. This EP is a seriously challenging slab of metal that draws on so many different elements from genres as wide and diverse as death metal, classic rock, black metal and doom metal. Conjurer manage to sound like Mastodon, Between the Buried and Me and Deicide running at each other full pelt across a room with the resulting impact birthing whatever Conjurer are.

8) Wren – Host

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Wren continue to impress us with their huge, atmospheric take on doom metal. Host may be only 4 tracks long, but there’s an awful lot of music to indulge in. This is a creepy and forlorn take on doom that intersperses the music with elements of post rock to create a truly desperate and bleak tone that permeates the entire record. If you’ve been looking for a doom release that could probably make you emotionally well up, then Wren will certainly deliver that. Host is a really unique record from a band who are doing something very interesting with this genre.

7) Terrible Love – Change Nothing

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“Terrible Love’s Change Nothing is an incredible debut from a band that comes with a lot of expectation and they absolutely deliver. This is a remarkably accomplished start to a band’s career that I hope lasts for a very long time.”

Click here to read the full review.

6) Nembutal – Pay to Die

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When bands put out releases like this I always get tempted to just write, “FUCK” and leave it at that. Nembutal’s follow-up to their 2014 demo is about as no-nonsense as hardcore punk records come. The goal of every song on Pay to Die is to play as loud and fast as possible and it just so happens that Nembutal are bloody excellent at doing both. Nembutal’s music has about as much depth as a roadside puddle, but if you enjoy your hardcore punk being played with as much energy as the human body can muster then you absolutely have to listen to Pay to Die.

5) Allfather – Bless the Earth With Fire

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“Allfather have evolved significantly since their debut EP and with Bless the Earth with Fire we see the band writing more diverse and interesting songs that complement the shift towards sludge metal. It also rocks like a mother fucker.”

Click here to read the full review.

4) So-Crates – v1

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“Overall, v1 is an accomplished and intense debut from an extremely exciting new band. If you’re a fan of post hardcore and math rock then you’ll find a lot to love here and despite some niggles regarding the production, the song-writing really does shine bright and offer a record that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Click here to read the full review.

3) Underdark – Mourning Cloak

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Nottingham’s Underdark exploded out the gates with a black metal release that’s scarily accomplished for a first drop. Mourning Cloak is a wonderfully textured and beautifully structured EP that betrays how heavy it is. The ebb and flow of every song on this record is so gloriously natural and well placed that there’s a dream-like quality to the music that’s at juxtaposition with all the screaming and double-bass drumming on offer. Underdark are a very special band that instantly have my attention and have me begging for more.

2) Watchcries – Watchcries

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Another EP that took me by complete surprise, Watchcries’ debut self-titled EP is never short on ideas. This 3 track offering of metallic hardcore fuses itself with elements of death and black metal and instantly grabs you by the collar and gets right in your face. Watchcries have no interest in nuance; this is a band who are itching to make the most visceral and aggressive metal they can and if this debut is anything to go by then their next record might actually kill you.

1) Razoreater – Vacuum of Nihil

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“Vacuum of Nihil is a loud, noisy, racket of a metal EP and it contains Razoreater’s finest work to date. This band has only managed to get more ferocious with every record and still manage to find new ways to assault your ears. Vacuum of Nihil might have been a long time coming but when Razoreater deliver a record as disgustingly vicious as this it makes you realise that it might have all been worth it. This is an essential UK metal release.”

Click here to read the full review.

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Live Review: Sea Bastard, Hooden and Allfather at The Dev 20/8/16

The Dev is one of those venues that was clearly not originally designed to be a music venue. There’s about as much floor space in front of the stage to accommodate 20 people packed in tight, the ladies’ toilets are right next to the stage and there’s two massive speaker stacks situated at the front of the stage, obscuring the band. But hey, you can’t complain too much because tonight they’re hosting Sea Bastard, Hooden and Allfather for the grand old price of £Bugger All.

ALLFATHER
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Kicking things off with their special blend of sludge metal and hardcore, Allfather have been a band we’ve had our eyes on for a while. With two great EPs under their belt, the band take the stage with confidence and command their audience with ease. Allfather sound great live with the constant switch between bruising hardcore riffs and low-tempo, sludgy beatdowns being just as exciting live as it is on record. Allfather get a suitably warm reception which is lovely to see from the audience, and for the opening act no less.

HOODEN
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Things step up a gear for Hooden. The band deals in an aggressive form of hardcore punk that utilises a lot of bluesy guitar work to add an extra layer of punishment. Musically Hooden sound great, straddling the sort of punk sound that isn’t quite Cancer Bats and isn’t quite The Exploited but somewhere in between. Vocally is where the band falls down somewhat. Their vocalist certainly puts in an unhinged and wild performance, but his actual vocals suffer due to this. There’s no consistency here; the vocal phrasing seems improvised and he jumps around between low-end belching and high-pitched yelps and wailing and it’s pretty abrasive on the ears. Hooden put on a great show regardless but if they could reign in their vocalist a tad then they’d really be onto something special.

SEA BASTARD
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This is going to be a difficult passage to write. I don’t like to criticise bands, especially if they feature members of other bands I really adore (Oli used to play in the mighty War Wolf) and that’s exactly what I’m going to have to do here. Sea Bastard just aren’t for me. While their stompy, chunky doom metal is certainly commanding, there’s just not enough going on and it ends up sounding like the band play one continuous song with almost no discernible moments of interest. Sea Bastard structure their songs around slow tempos, a thunderous bass-line and lots of power chords, but there’s a distinct lack of riffs and hooks. It’s almost impossible to tell each song from the next and it just wasn’t engaging me in the way I like.


Review: Allfather’s Bless the Earth with Fire

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Allfather return with their debut… album? Mini-album? Can a 6 track record clocking in at just under 34 minutes really be classed as an album? Sorry, I’ve lost myself already. These things matter to me, okay?

Allfather’s debut album is called Bless the Earth with Fire and it marks a stylistic shift in sound that sees the band move away from their groovy, Raging Speedhorn-esque hardcore to a more sludge and doom-lead sound, similar to the way Iced Out have changed over the years. The band now sound more like Gurt or Iron Monkey which is definitely no bad thing.

Sludge metal suits Allfather down to the ground. The songs on Bless the Earth with Fire are now more long-form with a bigger emphasis on groove. No, wait; not just groove, but punishing groove. Album opener Raskolnikov showcases Allfather’s new found confidence and the power of the riffs lends the sound a lovely swagger that persists throughout.

Things get really doomy for The Bloody Noose which puts Allfather’s new found appreciation of long-form song-writing front and centre. Luckily the band have also seen fit to not completely dump their hardcore roots and have blended them nicely into their new found appreciation of sludge. Mouth of the Beast in particular starts out as the most hardcore-sounding song on the album before moving back into the slower, sludgier tempos that have come before it.

The real highlight of Bless the Earth with Fire comes in the form of the 11 minute behemoth Death, and Hell Followed with Him. Quite easily the best thing the band have produced so far, this song starts out like a doom track, unleashes a fantastic solo around the 4 minute mark and then brings back that savage groove around 6 minutes. It’s so wonderfully diverse and loaded with neck-breaking riffs; a real treat for fans of heavy music.

Allfather have evolved significantly since their debut EP and with Bless the Earth with Fire we see the band writing more diverse and interesting songs that complement the shift towards sludge metal. It also rocks like a mother fucker.

8/10

Allfather’s Bless the Earth with Fire is out now and can be bought on CD and cassette direct from the band.


Review: Allfather’s No Gods. No Masters.

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Allfather describe themselves as a sludge, doom and hardcore crossover act and while there’s elements of these genres in their sound I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they deal in the sort of groove metal and hardcore genre hybrid that the mighty Raging Speedhorn and Cancer Bats deal in.

Their debut EP No Gods. No Masters. is a thunderous display of chunky riffs and gruff, bellowed vocals. Opener The Great Destroyer lays down the foundations with a massive groove that will ignite some dangerous mosh pits. The riff is also accompanied with a meaty rhythm courtesy of drummer Kieron and it’s this satisfying combination that makes Allfather’s music so instantly enjoyable. Stick this on in a rock club and the high-kickers will go on a rampage.

No Gods. No Masters. continues to be a wonderfully no nonsense EP that’s big on fun. While the start of the EP leans more on mid-paced sludge metal stylings, the latter half is considerably punkier as a result. Post Austerity Blues and The Worms Won’t Have Us are short, sharp bursts of aggression that once again put forward a huge riff and some pounding drums to devastating effect. Allfather have managed to boil down their sound to its core elements and focus on beating you around the head with them and it’s nothing less than fantastic.

The only thing that really disappoints is how quick it’s all over with. With only 4 songs clocking in at just under 11 minutes, Allfather manage to whet our appetites for more chunky grooves and hardcore punk drumming but the EP ends rather abruptly. This is a real shame because by the end of the last song it feels like the EP should have a lot more to offer.

However this is a minor grievance in what is a seriously intense and satisfying combination of hardcore and groove metal. Allfather have stumbled onto a hugely entertaining sound that will satisfy both fans of metal and punk and I cannot personally wait to see where the band goes from here. No Gods. No Masters. is a debut that any band would be proud of.

8/10

Allfather’s No Gods. No Masters. is out now and available to download direct from the band.