Tag Archives: cancer bats

Review: Allfather’s No Gods. No Masters.

allfather

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.

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Review: Radio Alcatraz’s It’s All Coming Up Roses

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Radio Alcatraz have returned and they’ve created a post hardcore album with some pretty interesting names attached to it. The band’s sophomore album is called It’s All Coming Up Roses and it’s produced by Refused’s own Pelle Henrisson. Not only that but it also contains guest appearances from Justin Schlosberg from Hell is for Heroes, Jamie Lenman, Justin Sane from Anti Flag and Liam Cormier from Cancer Bats. That’s some pretty hefty names in the heavy music scene.

So why have these guys decided to take an interest in Radio Alcatraz? It might have something to do with the fact that the band make some of the best post hardcore the UK has to offer right now. Since the release of the band’s debut album Populous: In the Belly of the Beast, the band have grown exponentially as song writers. The band’s music is brilliantly dynamic and while the angular openings of the songs and the quiet/loud dynamic will make fans of the genre feel at home, Radio Alcatraz have an unnerving knack for making each of their songs build up to an epic crescendo full of excellent melodies and leads by guitarist Andrew Eales.

The crescendos are where Radio Alcatraz really shine. There’s a real euphoria that comes from listening to tracks like The Physical Effect as you’re taken on a journey that begins in the weird, progressive area that so many post hardcore bands explore to be lulled into a gentler and more melodious middle eight before the band hit home with some soaring vocal melodies and guitar leads. It’s a beautiful experience that Radio Alcatraz have absolutely nailed on this album.

Not only is the music a wonderful love letter to post hardcore but the guest appearances from Justin Schlosberg and Jamie Lenman have the rather lovely effect of reminding you how brilliant UK rock music was in the early 2000s. This country had some stunning post hardcore to its name and Radio Alcatraz bring back joyous memories of bands like Hell is for Heroes, Hundred Reasons, Million Dead and early Funeral for a Friend and you can’t help but be reminded at how fantastic our rock music is.

It’s a shame that an album this well written should come out in an era where UK rock doesn’t bother the charts in the same way it used to because if It’s All Coming Up Roses was released in 2003 it would already be regarded a classic. That’s not to say that this record sounds dated in any way, just that it calls back to a bygone era of great UK rock music and Radio Alcatraz deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the band’s that championed it.

Do you like post hardcore? Do you like early 2000s UK rock music? If the answer to either of those questions is, “yes” then you should be buying a copy of Radio Alcatraz’s It’s All Coming Up Roses right now. What this album lacks in originality is made up for by being one of the best post hardcore albums to come out in recent memory and I hope a legion of rock fans are still talking about it in 10 years’ time.

8/10

Radio Alcatraz’s It’s All Coming Up Roses is released on the 8th of December. You can pre-order it from Banquet Records right now.


Review: Iced Out’s Jukai

Durham noise-mongers Iced Out return for another round of sludgy hardcore and their first new material since last March’s split with Razoreater. This is their new 7” EP ‘Jukai’, released through Church of Fuck and Moshtache Records and it marks a noticeable shift in the band’s sound.

The key elements of Iced Out’s special blend of crusty hardcore are still here but what you’ll notice from the very beginning of ‘Life Through a Mask’ is that Iced Out have significantly slowed down the pace of their music which brings to mind Cancer Bats’ ‘Dead Set on Living’. The buzzsaw, HM-2 guitar tone is still there and vocalist Chippy is still belching his way over the band’s music, but the slower pace brings an almost sludge metal vibe to the band’s sound which is akin to bands like Gurt and label mates Trudger.

‘Jukai’ sticks with its focus on slower tempos through each of the EP’s four songs and it makes it more apparent as to what is so brilliant about the band’s music. You can’t help but focus in on guitarist Adam Kennedy’s simple yet bruising riffs. It was apparent Kennedy was a talented guitarist on the band’s previous releases, but when the music is laid out so bare you can really appreciate just how monolithic the guitarist can sound. Backed with the thunderous bass work of Matthew Marko and the calculated yet punishing drumming of Andrew Hartley, Iced Out have never sounded so big.

An EP highlight comes in the form of closer ‘Some Kind of Plague’ which trudges along with a huge, doom-like stomp. Just as you feel like the song is winding down, Kennedy’s abrasive guitar work explodes back into action with a riff that will likely snap your neck if given enough time. It’s wonderful to hear how something as simple as changing the tempo can create such devastating moments like these.

Special mention also has to given to the consistent production work of Joe No Studio who is becoming a Church of Fuck mainstay. The man channels GodCity Studio and Kurt Ballou’s production style which gives the raucous noise enough room to breathe. The mix allows you focus in on every layer of the song’s structure but manages to keep the rawness of the band’s Entombed-like atmosphere intact. Put simply, Iced Out have never sounded this good.

Once again Iced Out manage to bottle pure fury and put it on record. The shift in atmosphere that is brought about by the slower-paced songs suits the oppressive nature of the band’s music perfectly and creates some absolutely crushing anthems of despair. Iced Out have proven that there’s more to this band than straight-forward hardcore and ‘Jukai’ marks a huge evolution for them. If you get a chance to see the band perform this material in a live environment then make sure to wear a neck brace because with riffs this big you might do yourself some serious damage.

8/10

Iced Out’s ‘Jukai’ will be out mid-April through Church of Fuck and Moshtache Records.


Review: Roll on Three’s Roll on Three

In an age where rock and metal is no longer in its’ infancy, we’re beginning to hear more and more bands join a “scene” and just happily ride the wave of popularity with their friends. These bands never last and are doomed to become irrelevant as soon as the bubble bursts. We’ve seen it with nu-metal, we’ve seen it with emo and we’ve seen it with pop punk. The bands that last are the real innovators, but how can you innovate when the rock and metal formula is so tried and tested? Roll on Three are here to tell us how.

Roll on Three are 4 guys from Edinburgh throwing an awful lot of influences in their dirty, punky, blues-metal melting pot and making it work phenomenally well. Think Cancer Bats, Black Spiders and Black Stone Cherry having a massive ruck and you’re getting warm. There’s so much groove on their debut self-titled EP that your head will have a hard time keeping up with all that banging it’s about to do.

First up we have to talk about riffs. The guitar work on this EP is outstanding throughout. The riffs are tight and the songs are structured magnificently to maximise on optimum headbangery (copyright UK Scumscene 2012). These riffs are going to be stuck in your head for days and they’re backed up with some pounding bass-lines and exemplary drumming. This could well be the best Southern metal party you’ve ever been to in Scotland (figure that one out).

It’s a bit of a shame then that the vocals don’t give the music that final push into the stratosphere then. Don’t get us wrong, the gruff and burly screams do their job perfectly well, but the chorus’ in My Lost Way and The Road could have sounded amazing if a big vocal hook was employed. Even the inclusion of some backing vocals might have made certain lines a little more memorable. However, what we get is a pretty standard scream-a-long which is perfectly acceptable but feels more functional than anything exciting.

Please don’t get the impression that the vocals are a deal-breaker; this is a fantastically well written slab of Southern-fried, punky, sludge-metal that sounds remarkably unique. Enough can’t be said about how memorable and distinctive the music on Roll on Three’s self titled EP is. The songs throw huge blues riffs at you only to break down into some serious sludge and then launch back into an incessant punk shred that’ll make you want to lose many personal belongings in a mosh pit. But we can’t help but feel that Roll on Three could use a little more variety in the vocal department. Some big melodies or backing vocals would give Roll on Three that all important edge that will turn them from great to amazing.

Keep your eyes on these boys; they’re going places.

8/10

Roll on Three’s self titled EP can be downloaded for free from their Bandcamp. Bargain.


News: AxeWound to Release Debut Album ‘Vultures’

AxeWound, the UK supergroup featuring Matt Tuck from Bullet for my Valentine, Joe Copcutt formerly of Rise to Remain, Jason Bowld from Pitchshifter,Mike Kingswood from Glamour of the Kill and Liam Cormier from Cancer Bats (obviously not from the UK but that’s cool, Liam is awesome) are to release their debut album ‘Vultures’ on October 1st. You can pre-order a signed copy of the album from Play.com now.

The band are also going on tour in October to support it. Check out the full list of dates below:

1st Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
2nd Glasgow – King Tuts
3rd Manchester – Academy 3
4th Wolverhampton – Slade Rooms
6th London – The Underworld
7th Bristol – Thekla

You can watch the video for ‘Cold’ below:


News: Members of Bullet For My Valentine, Cancer Bats, Glamour of the Kill and Pitchshifter Form ‘AxeWound’

Bullet For My Valentine’s Matt Tuck had recently revealed he was working on a ‘metal as fuck’ side-project but we had no idea that it was going to involve such a plethora of great UK rock and metal talent. And a Canadian.

AxeWound are a new heavy metal super-group featuring Tuck, Liam Cormier from Cancer Bats, Joe Copcutt formerly of Rise to Remain, Jason Bowld from Pitchshifter and Mike Kingswood from Glamour of the Kill. Now that’s a line-up and a half!

You can listen to their new song ‘Post Apocalyptic Party’ via the YouTube embed at the bottom of the page. You can also download the track for free from their official Tumblr by clicking here.