Tag Archives: cof records

Review: Wode’s Wode

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Wode’s debut long-player shouldn’t have turned out this good. How does a band debut with something this wonderfully nuanced, textured and accomplished? This album sounds like it came from a band that’s been writing and touring for a decade, not half that time. If Wode’s debut album proves anything it’s that you shouldn’t rush your art and Wode have certainly perfected their own blend of melodic black metal.

Black metal can be a challenging genre to get your ears around. Often lacking in melody, being purposely under-produced and focussing on heaviness instead of melody, Wode’s self-titled album suffers from none of these factors. Well, it’s certainly heavy and there’s almost always a blast beat happening, but it’s so much more than simple heaviness.

First of all the guitar work is astounding. Melody permeates every riff on this record and the amount of tremolo picking is astonishing. It’s exhausting listening to how fast and tight the guitar work on this record is. There’s a wonderful ebb and flow to the riffs as well; always moving in a very natural and calculated way and adding an almost glittery texture to the proceedings.

There’s some real variety to the sound of the songs on this album as well. Opener Death’s Edifice is a pretty bleak and foreboding track that leads into the stunning melody of Trails of Smoke which is almost uplifting in nature. I certainly didn’t expect to have my mood lightened by a black metal song but here we are. There’s also a surprising thrash influence on a lot of this record and the riffs on Cloaked in Ruin certainly have a classic heavy metal vibe which once again adds some welcome melody to the record.

Wode’s debut self-titled album is a fantastic achievement. Every element of the band’s song-writing has been so carefully crafted and sculpted to maximise the impact of their music and it makes this album one of the most approachable black metal releases I’ve ever come across. If you’re a fan of heavy music in general then Wode’s self-titled album is something that has a much broader appeal than most underground black metal and it’s a release I’d thoroughly recommend.

9/10

Wode’s self-titled debut album is out now and available to buy from Broken Limbs Recordings, Vendetta Records and COF Records.

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Review: Ithaca’s Trespassers

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London-based mathcore lunatics Ithaca have returned for their long-awaited second EP Trespassers. If you’re unfamiliar with the band’s work then imagine The Bled and Botch got moshier and you’re pretty much there. This is a testing collection of songs that are screamed with utter fury and conviction.

The record begins with Otherworldly which essentially encapsulates everything the band are about in one song. Vocalist Djamila has a frightening howl that cuts through the chaos that ensues. The band plays a very beatdown-centric type of mathcore that’s big on off kilter guitar madness without straying too far from a weighty breakdown. While the breakdowns do have a tendency to take away from the melody, they never outstay their welcome and they’re often sitting next to a chorus drenched in a thick, foreboding atmosphere. This is not a happy sounding band.

The band are definitely better when they temper their mosh-urges with sections stuffed with melody. Lifelost is a considerably better song when a big, memorable riff cuts through the beatdowns. Sadly there’s some pretty atonal guitar leads piercing the noise as well and it does become a bit harsh on the ears after a while. Thankfully there’s also a beautiful, delicate moment of respite that makes the return of the band’s heaviness feel all that more impactful.

Speaking of impact, that Mastodon-esque groove at the start of Wither & Wane is certainly something to behold. It’s moments like these that showcase exactly how fantastic the group of musicians in Ithaca can really be. The title track manages to prove this the best and earns its right as the title track in the process. Trespassers is a real journey of a song that’s full of heart-on-sleeve emotion. This is an electrifying performance that shows how gripping Ithaca can be when all their elements click into place.

Ithaca’s Trespassers is a dark, crushing affair complete with technical guitar passages, devastating beatdowns and horrific, lung-tearing atmosphere courtesy of Djamila’s haunting vocal performance. The breakdowns and atonal guitar leads do detract from an otherwise impressive selection of mathcore songs but generally Ithaca manage to hit more than they miss and Trespassers has a lot to offer for fans of mathcore.

7/10

Ithaca’s Trespassers is available now on clear 7″ vinyl through COF Records and Soaked in Torment Records.


Review: TEEF’s Admit Defeat

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TEEF are a punk band and like all the best punk bands they deal in nasty, stompy music that will whip a club into a rampage that won’t end until the audience are pulverized by studded jackets. They’re the sort of punk band that live by a ‘no nonsense’ attitude which means their music is fast, loud and catchy. They’re basically everything you want a punk band to be and while they’ve sadly announced their split so early into their career, they’ve left behind one of the greatest UK punk records we’ve had the pleasure of listening to. It’s called Admit Defeat and not owning it should be made a crime.

Admit Defeat is everything you love about punk. It’s an abrasive, snotty, bouncy record that isn’t afraid to tell you to “fuck everything” in its opening track. While these ten tracks clock in at around eight minutes, TEEF take you on a whirlwind tour of everything that makes punk so hugely exciting and it’s an absolutely electrifying experience.

Every part of the TEEF puzzle is firing on all cylinders. The sheer amount of riffs stuffed into these eight minutes show an exhausting display of guitar talent that makes you wish you wrote every damn riff on the entire thing. The bass punctuates every massive chord and beat with stunning precision, the drumming performance is beautifully unruly and the vocals display a man who is so close to the edge that he’ll probably throw you off it. This is a seriously dangerous-sounding record.

Let’s talk highlights; opener Scum is a gritty mosh pit anthem with a riff so bouncy it’ll shake venues to their ashes. Cathartic Release rocks a riff so catchy you’ll be headbanging wherever you’re listening to it. The drums on Still Here are enormously fun and full of great fills that sound like they’re fuelled by the most insane caffeine rush. Let’s not forget about the vocals; the vocal performance is just so wonderfully disgusting throughout. The music is also complemented by a fantastic mix which is full of impact and is bizarrely clear considering how painfully raw the music is.

TEEF have put together one of punk’s brightest moments. Admit Defeat is a non-stop powerhouse of grotty violence that’s amazingly memorable despite its aggression. No band in the UK has managed to meld fury with song-writing this catchy nearly as well as TEEF have managed to here and it’s a massive shame that the band won’t be making anymore music. Admit Defeat might be the last TEEF record but as swan-songs go, this couldn’t be any better.

10/10

TEEF’s Admit Defeat is out now on cassette through COF Records and vinyl through Headless Guru Records.


Year End: The Top 10 Best Albums of 2014

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10) Trudger – Dormiveglia

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What we said:

“Trudger’s Dormiveglia is a thick, multi-layered experience that gets better every time you listen to it. The band has grown tremendously since their debut EP and the song writing on Dormiveglia is absolutely top tier. This might be a challenging listen for heavy music fans and the band’s raucous fusion of sludge, doom, death and black metal might make for a bleak experience, but it’s one of the best bleak experiences you’re going to have for a while. Buy this record, light some candles and get moody.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

9) Goodtime Boys – Rain

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What we said:

“Goodtime Boys have really hit their stride on Rain and it’s an album every post hardcore fan should consider owning. The music is still aggressive but it now flourishes into gorgeous melodies drenched in haunting atmosphere. 2014 has been a stunning year for post hardcore records with Vales delivering an equally excellent album and it’s about time we recognise Goodtime Boys in a similar light. Rain is an astonishing debut album that deserves your attention.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

8) All the Best Tapes – All the Best Tapes

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What we said:

“All the Best Tapes have put together an extremely diverse and challenging record that cleverly drenches all the music’s elements in a huge helping of melody. Albums like this are proper once-in-a-lifetime experiences and nothing can prepare you for how utterly bonkers it all sounds while still sounding like a cohesive record. Well done All the Best Tapes and thanks for being so mind-bogglingly weird.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

7) Corrupt Moral Altar – Mechanical Tides

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What we said:

“Corrupt Moral Altar have delivered one of the most amazing debut albums any metal band could hope to make. Mechanical Tides is a raucous, nasty bastard of a record that manages to take influences from as many areas of the metal spectrum it can and it fuses them into the band’s already brilliant sound with ease. It’s not often we get to experience an album that’s so magnificently loud yet diverse at the same time and Corrupt Moral Altar have made us wish this experience occurred more often.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

6) Mongol Horde – Mongol Horde

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What we said:

“Regardless, this is an explosive debut by one of the weirdest bands in heavy music right now. Mongol Horde’s self-titled debut album is equal parts punk and groove and it’s presented as a series of surrealist stories told by Turner that give the band an identity of their own. Welcome back Frank; we’ve missed your unhinged side.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

5) Bad For Lazarus – Life’s a Carnival, Bang! Bang! Bang!

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What we said:

“Regardless, this is a minor complaint on a near flawless album. Bad for Lazarus’ debut album may have been a long time coming but the five years the band have spent writing, recording and touring has changed them into a well-oiled yet raucous, blues rock machine. Life’s a Carnival, Bang! Bang! Bang! is loaded with infectious songs and there isn’t a minute of it that’s not worthy of your attention. Buy this album and tell your friends; Bad For Lazarus are coming to town.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

4) Alpha Male Tea Party – Droids

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What we said:

“This is an easy recommendation to make; you need Alpha Male Tea Party’s Droids in your life. This a wonderfully unique and riff-laden record that is loaded with catchy melodies. Despite the progressive nature of the band’s music, they manage to make it incredibly palatable and Droids is a considerable more enjoyable experience for it.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

3) Sunwølf – Beholden to Nothing and No One

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What we said:

“Sunwølf’s Beholden to Nothing and No One is a gargantuan epic that traverses many genres but always feels focussed. A double album clocking in at an hour and 23 minutes might strike you as an impenetrable time investment but Beholden… never outstays its welcome. There’s a reason why this album is so long and it’s because it’s stuffed to the brim with interesting, thought-provoking music that’s always changing and always engaging. Sunwølf have written their masterpiece and it’s one of the most essential listening experiences of the year.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

2) Grand Collapse – Far From the Callous Crowd

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What we said:

“Grand Collapse have put together a début album that I simply cannot listen to without the words ‘FUTURE CLASSIC’ coming into view. Far From The Callous Crowd is a no-nonsense shot of adrenaline and there isn’t a single moment that doesn’t sound like a cacophony of punk’s best riffs. I want more and I need it now.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

1) Marmozets – The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets

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What we said:

“Marmozets have made an album that I would regard a classic had it been released in my youth. The fact that it’s being released now hopefully means that a whole new generation of kids will be introduced to post hardcore through what I regard an essential purchase for any fan of the genre. The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets is one of the best rock albums this year and if you’ve ever enjoyed a catchy rock number then you’ve just found your new favourite band.”

Read the full review by clicking here.


Year End: The Top 10 Best EPs of 2014

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10) Yards – EP2

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Yards completed their double EP release with the thrashy, hardcore punk lunacy of EP2. The record is a wonderfully visceral streak of aggression that puts together an album’s worth of riffs and rams them all into four blistering hardcore anthems. This is a great hardcore release that is only improved by playing it with its sister record.

9) Pure Graft – Casual Labour

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Newcastle’s Pure Graft make an elaborate noise that is extremely difficult to pigeon-hole. The band play melodic punk rock but their compositions are beautifully progressive. If you think Alkaline Trio by way of At the Drive-In then you’ll get a good idea as to how wonderfully bizarre this all is. Casual Labour is loaded with sing-a-long melodies and angular guitar riffs which make this release a wonderful breath of fresh air.

8) Jackals – Violence Is…

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Jackals are not the sort of band who mess around with things like nuance. The band’s latest EP Violence Is… is a hardcore punk EP that has no ulterior motive other than to bombard the listener with screaming, thunderous riffs and drumming that waits for no man. This is a frantic and unashamedly loud release from one of the purest hardcore punk bands this country has to offer.

7) Iced Out – Jukai

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What we said:

“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.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

6) Employed to Serve – Change Nothing, Regret Everything

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What we said:

“Employed to Serve are on top of their game and continue to be one of the most exciting bands in the UK right now. Their sound continues to evolve into a much larger, more technical beast and the band know how to maximise on huge riffs and interesting song structures to keep their audience engaged whilst smashing their faces through their nearest wall. This is an intense and fairly progressive record that deserves a place in your record collection.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

5) Cholera – Plagiarised Hope

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What we said:

“So Cholera aren’t particularly original but so what? ‘Plagiarised Hope’ is an absolutely stunning 7” that takes all the best parts of modern hardcore and delivers an immensely satisfying slab of chaos. If you have any interest in the genre then Cholera make an excellent starting point and ‘Plagiarised Hope’ showcases a hugely accomplished sound that highlights the best parts of the scene. Cholera have never sounded so strong.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

4) Actions & Consequence – Moving On

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Moving On by Actions & Consequence had a bizarre effect on me. Growing up in the nineties lead to a punk rock discovery that only occurred late into the decade and Actions & Consequence brought back memories of all those initial discoveries with full force. If you ever cared about the early careers of bands like The Offspring, Bad Religion and AFI then Actions & Consequence might just become your new favourite band. They’ve certainly become one of mine.

3) Megalodoom – Tectonic Oblivion

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What we said:

“Megalodoom’s Tectonic Oblivion is a thunderous beast of an EP that manages to escape the potential boredom that their lack of vocals could have caused. The band have put together a hugely satisfying selection of riffs and melodies that tie together beautifully and create a behemoth of an EP that doom fans should be clawing over themselves to own.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

2) Cactus&Cardigan – Highland Bastards

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What we said:

“Cactus&Cardigan have put together an alternative rock/metal release that is never short on riffs. The songs are all enormous, groove-laden affairs that deserve to be heard outside of the band’s native Scotland. Heavy music needs bands like Cactus&Cardigan to remind us that heavy music doesn’t need to be overly technical to provide a satisfying impact and Highland Bastards is one of the best examples of this mantra we can think of.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

1) Irk – Bread and Honey

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What we said:

“The only real negative I can throw at this EP is it’s all over in 10 minutes and quite frankly I need more. Irk have whet my appetite for more rollicking, mathcore lunacy and that’s a pretty good indication as to how good Bread and Honey is. You’d be a fool not to give Irk at least 10 minutes of your time. It might be the best 10 minutes you’ve had with heavy music this year.”

Read the full review by clicking here.