Tag Archives: death metal

Review: Razoreater’s Vacuum of Nihil

vacuum

It’s been a long time since we had a new offering from power violence/grindcore mob Razoreater, with only a trickle of new music via 2014’s live split with Oblivionized. Thankfully 2016 has seen fit to bless us with the most unashamedly relentless release Razoreater have ever produced and it’s called Vacuum of Nihil.

This EP does not mess about; this is 5 of Razoreater’s most visceral offerings and fans of Trap Them and Full of Hell will find a lot to love. Razoreater are still worshipping at the altar of the Boss HM-2 pedal and that crunchy, scuzzy tone is put to brilliant use. Every chord is paired with an equally punishing cymbal crash to give every groove the impact it deserves. This is extremely satisfying stuff.

New to Razoreater’s music is more liberal use of blast-beats and tremolo-picked guitar riffs that give Vacuum of Nihil more of a death metal sound. This means that despite the sheer, unabashed heaviness of this EP, Razoreater have put together one of their most diverse offerings. Tracks like Bloodeagled even manage to slow things down to a nice sludgy pace to allow the listener to really savour those mighty grooves.

We even close on another Razoreater first; a power electronics track. The closing moments of Filth Scheming, Shrill Screaming is a thoroughly oppressive burst of harsh noise that is cleverly pressed onto vinyl with an endless run-out groove. I didn’t even realise the track was looping on my initial spin of the record which is a masterstroke on Razoreater’s part.

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.

10/10

Razoreater’s Vacuum of Nihil is out now on limited edition vinyl through Skin & Bones Records and Wooaaargh.


Live Review: Crowhurst feat. Caïna, Conjurer and Warren Schoenbright at The Unicorn, Camden 19/9/2015

Power electronics (or noise music) is a daunting and very strange genre of music to get involved in. Pushing heaviness to its absolute extreme, it favours atmosphere and texture over melody. A lot of people are very quick to dismiss it because without melody, is it really music? As tonight’s evening’s entertainment manages to prove, noise music needs a certain level of context to enjoy and if you’ve not been to see live noise show then it’s something we’d highly recommend.

Warren Schoenbright
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The evening’s proceedings begin with Warren Schoenbright, a two piece noise act that instantly set the tone. Drowning the room in darkness except for a single, dangling lightbulb from Daniel McClennan’s drum-kit, Warren Schoenbright created a beautifully minimalist atmosphere through their use of delicate electronics that were punctuated with bursts of fury. The heavier moments of the band’s music were delivered by a blistering performance from McClennan and an abrasive explosion of sharp, white noise from Matthew Pastkewicz. It was masterfully structured as well. The band’s performance played out as a single piece of music with many movements and the addition of McClennan’s drumming abilities as opposed to simply having Pastkewicz use synthetic drums added an engaging performance element to the band’s music. This was an eerie yet vicious performance that cleverly managed to build cautious tension before letting loose. This was a really fantastic start.

Conjurer
conjurer

Sadly what followed was an odd booking that didn’t sit well with the rest of the evening’s acts. Conjurer are a death metal band that frequently drop into moments of down-tempo doom and the onslaught of guitar-derived heaviness killed the atmosphere that Warren Schoenbright had worked so well to create. Conjurer are by no means a bad band and they are clearly a very talented group of musicians, it’s just they needed to be on the bill of a death or black metal show to really work. Conjurer felt like a fish out of water and while there was plenty to enjoy thanks to their carefully structured and somewhat bleak sound, they simply killed the atmospherics that had previously bathed the venue in such a carefully crafted way.

Caïna
caina

Luckily when Caïna took to the stage, we were back in familiar territory. If you’re not familiar with Caïna as a two-piece then you might be confused as to why the black metal act were making harsh noise via a laptop and microphone. When the band tour as just Andy Curtis-Brignell and Laurence Taylor, they become a nightmarish noise act that drag their audience into the hell they create. Taylor stalks the audience with a hugely engaging yet exhausting performance that sees the man spasm and convulse around the room while screaming and howling into people’s faces. It’s a stark, vicious and haunting performance that perfectly complimented the dense wall of electronic noise and beats that were being generated by Curtis-Brignell. When you’re standing in a room being utterly drowned in atmosphere like this, noise music just makes sense. This was easily some of the best performance art we’ve witnessed.

Crowhurst
crowhurst

Finally it was time for Crowhurst to take the stage. The one-man noise act from Los Angeles easily had the most oppressive sound of the evening. Crowhurst creates a hugely dense wall of sound that rattles its way into your very core. Crowhurst’s music is something you can genuinely feel and it’s this bizarre feedback-loop that keeps you connected to the music. Sadly Crowhurst suffers from not having a stronger performance element as he cannot leave his laptop to engage with his audience in the same way Caïna can. It’s also a shame that Crowhurst’s set is considerably shorter than the others as it would have been nice to spend more time in the crushing atmosphere he was creating.

Despite a booking that didn’t work in the context of the other acts performing tonight, Warren Schoenbright, Caïna and Crowhurst all delivered performances that deserve to be experienced. If you’re still on the fence about power electronics then make sure you experience it live because the dense, haunting atmosphere it creates is like nothing else in extreme music.


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.


Live Review: Son of Chimpy 16/01/2015

It’s a cold winter’s night in Camden and the seminal live music venue The Unicorn is hosting another fantastic night of hardcore punk. If you’ve yet to pop along to The Unicorn, you really have no excuse; every show is guaranteed free entry and the quality of the line-ups is always exemplary. Tonight The Unicorn is host to the first night of a strange “sequel festival” to Chimpyfest. This is Son of Chimpy and the vibe is electric from the very start.

Bleach

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Kicking things off in a suitably raucous fashion is Bleach; a seriously intense fastcore band. Being the first band on the bill of an underground punk show like this can be a bit of a thankless task but Bleach have the chops to whip the crowd into a frenzy from the get-go.

Despite the speed of the band’s music, Bleach don’t put a foot wrong. This was a surprisingly tight performance that was at polar opposites with the band’s oiky attitude. The only thing that really struck me as any sort of negative was the fact the band were quite static on stage. A performance as explosive as this could’ve done with some more movement, but maybe the band were playing it safe due to their opening slot. Regardless, this was a brilliant opening to a great night of live music.

Clunge Plunger

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I’ve built Clunge Plunger up in my head to a point where they’re this fabled punk act that have an amazing name, but I always seem to miss them due to their tendency to change band members. So here I am seeing the band for the first time and you could tell something wasn’t right as the band seemed a little unsteady, especially in the rhythm department.

The band’s music was still a very strong showing of hardcore with death and doom metal influences and their vocalist was adamant to get in the crowd’s faces and make sure their energy really showed. Speaking of vocals, I was especially impressed with the flawless changes between high pitched screams and lower, gruntier growls. This is quite a testing vocal style but it was delivered effortlessly.

Clunge Plunger have all the right elements to be a great hardcore act but a sloppy performance behind the drum kit didn’t help give them the punch they really needed.

Siege Mentality

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Featuring three members from seminal British doomsters Iron Witch, Siege Mentality is an obvious move away from slow tempos to a more vicious hardcore punk sound. Despite being a relatively young band, the experience these men have had in past projects really shows as the band are incredibly confident in their performance.

Siege Mentality are an extremely tight band and despite the speed and technicality of their music, the band never looked like they were struggling. They also put on a great performance that was full of energy. Vocalist Dave Mould was straight into the crowd, baiting the front row into a bit of slam dancing and there was plenty of movement from the boys on stage. This was an awesome performance to behold and it really felt like seeing a much bigger band on the cusp of moving onto bigger and better things.


Review: Oblivionized and Razoreater’s This is S.O.A.N.

cover

A split UK underground metal release? Recorded live!? You better believe it. Oblivionized and Razoreater have teamed up for a double dose of chaos that was recorded during a gig at Stuck on a Name Studios in Nottingham. The advantages of recording this in an actual studio means that even though this has the energy and rawness that comes with a live recording, it’s mixed and mastered to a professional level meaning this is one of the best sounding underground live recordings released for quite some time.

OBLIVIONIZED

Things kick off with Oblivionized who are one of the most difficult bands to categorise. The band play a mixture of mathcore, grindcore and death metal that is full of technicality and balanced with some absolutely crushing riffs from guitarist Sammy Urwin.

The band are on top form in this recording. The frantic and utterly mental drum work from Will Merlin is on full display and despite his aggressive playing style, Merlin manages to hit every one of his drum patterns with pin-point precision. This man is an absolute beast behind the kit.

What makes Oblivionized so satisfying to listen to is how they balance their bonkers technicality with moments of pure riff worship. Urwin will often drop into a thunderous groove that demands everyone in the room bang their heads and it’s captured perfectly on this recording.

The down-tuned nature of the guitar work also suits the mix as it contrasts with the drumming and vocals making each element of the band’s sound stick out in the mix. This is extremely important in a live recording as it’s very easy for these elements to meld into one unlistenable mess when every musician is giving it their all.

Oblivionized are one of the most exciting live bands in the UK and their sound is fascinatingly unique and devastating at the same time. Despite having to re-start You’re Spineless due to guitar issues, the band don’t put a foot wrong in this entire recording and it’s a beautifully visceral listening experience.

9/10

RAZOREATER

Razoreater deal with a different sort of mayhem; the band make metallic hardcore in a similar vein to Converge, Nails and Weekend Nachos which means that these boys have a thrashier and more direct playing style.

Like Oblivionized, Razoreater have a live show that will grab you by the balls and then run across the street while still clutching them. Razoreater’s music rarely slows down and the pace is exhaustingly fast. You can expect blast-beats aplenty on this recording.

Sadly the mix doesn’t work as well for Razoreater’s recording. This is down to the buzzsaw guitar tone clashing with the crash-heavy drum work. Because of the similarity of the two sounds it means it can be hard to hear the melody in Razoreater’s riffs. It’s not completely lost but sometimes you really have to pay attention to hear what’s going on in the guitar department. This is quite apparent on Razoreater’s cover of Slipknot’s Eeyore.

Regardless of mix, Razoreater’s performance is still utterly electric and it’s frankly amazing how they manage to keep up this level of intensity for their entire set. This is an exhausting experience that will keep the craziest mosh ninjas incredibly satisfied.

8/10

Oblivionized and Razoreater are champions of the UK underground music scene and this recording showcases exactly what’s so great about going to a dirty club show and getting your mosh on. This release is also accompanied by a live video recording of both band’s sets which is essential viewing if you’ve ever cared about the long lost art of the concert film. If you pre-order the split on cassette from Witch Hunter Records you also get a bonus Let it Die set which was also recorded at Stuck on a Name and like the Razoreater performance, it’s an utterly devastating streak of hardcore.

Order Oblivionized and Razoreater’s This is S.O.A.N. on limited edition cassette from Witch Hunter Records.


Review: Trudger’s Dormiveglia

trudger

It’s been 2 years since Trudger’s debut 3-track EP Motionless in Dirt and those 2 years have been put to good use. The Barnsley sludge metallers have gone from down-tuned, relentless doom to a more atmospheric and blackened sound that still draws on elements from sludge and doom metal but these are now just smaller parts in a much more accomplished sound.

Trudger have returned with a 45 minute debut album called Dormiveglia (which is the state of being half-sleep, half-awake for those interested) and it’s an extremely dense and challenging listen that’s incredibly rewarding once you scratch the surface.

The band’s move away from slower, sludgier grooves has resulted in tracks like opener Into the Abysmal Future which is over 7 minutes but cracks along at a decent pace considering the running time. The track also relies heavier on melody than past Trudger material and it’s drenched in a thick, foreboding atmosphere that leaves an uneasy feeling in your stomach.

This tactic is employed for all of the albums 6 main songs. Despite the vocal delivery still drawing from sludge and death metal with Chris Parkinson favouring a lower-pitched grunt, Trudger have found a new comfort zone in making their music a far more textured affair. The progressive nature of the band’s music suits it incredibly well and riffs are rarely revisited. This means a frequently changing track like Become Joyless can contain around 10 great riffs.

Trudger also employ a couple of short instrumental interludes which are helpful little breaks from the band’s musical onslaught. What they really excel at is the way they manage to keep the music on Dormiveglia flowing, almost to the point where the album ends up sounding like one cohesive piece of music with many movements. I wouldn’t be surprised if Trudger originally wrote the record with this intention. It’s this structure that makes repeated listens of the album so rewarding as you uncover more melodies and riffs that stick with you long after the album has finished.

Special mention has to be given to guitarists Richard Matheson and Jack Kavanagh who carry all of the band’s melody and are extremely creative guitarists in their own right. The sheer number of riffs and leads these two men create is a staggering achievement but the fact they’re so expressive and memorable is a true testament to their skill. We’ve also got to mention the amazing guitar solo in Thickening Fog which adds another layer of complexity and intrigue to the band’s music and wonderfully compliments the crescendo the song builds to.

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.

8/10

Trudger’s Dormiveglia is out now on 12″ blue vinyl through Church of Fuck.


Touring: The Rodeo Idiot Engine and Oblivionized

rodeooblivion

A double-dose of heaviness is currently wreaking havoc across the UK. The Rodeo Idiot Engine and Scumscene favourites Oblivionized are currently touring and you’d be a fool to miss them. Check out the remaining dates below:

July
31 – The Fenton, Leeds

August
1 – London, The Unicorn
2 – Nottingham, Stuck on a Name Studios
3 – Brighton, Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar

The show at The Unicorn promises to be a special one because while it’s free entry it has a stunning bill that includes Stallone, ITHACA, Somme and Meatpacker.


Touring: Oblivionized and Old Skin UK Weekender

OBOS

Here at UK Scumscene we have made no qualms about our love for both Oblivionized and Old Skin and now the 2 bands are heading out on a short tour that sees the band hit London, Brighton and Bristol for an intimate weekender that is bound to be one of the most crushing tours of the summer. Check out the dates below:

6/6 – London – Power Lunches
7/6 – Brighton – The Lectern
8/6 – Bristol – The Red Lion

You can grab a free track from both bands from the recently released Church of Fuck compilation False Metal Eternal. Get that via the widget below:


Review: Monolithian’s One/Zero

Being a 2 piece band, Monolithian have no place sounding so huge. The sludge metallers who consist of Simon on bass/vocals and Shannon on drums are like a freight train of doomy grooves, smattered with the odd moment of death metal prowess.

One/Zero is an expanded version of the band’s One EP with an additional 4 new recordings. Monolithian don’t muck around when showcasing what they’re about and quickly begin with a massive, sludge metal riff before launching into a furious blast of death metal. This is Monolithian’s winning formula and the band pull off this fusion of genres effortlessly. It doesn’t surprise me that 5 different labels are backing this release.

A real stand-out moment comes in The Dry which puts the band’s heavier side at the forefront. The death metal riffing and drumming is balanced nicely with a punky bounce that proves there’s a lot more to this band than alternating between doom and death. It also goes a long way to prove that electric guitars are unnecessary if you have a bass guitar and a dirty distortion pedal. It really is outstanding how Monolithian have managed to sound this big with such a limited set-up.

It’s a bit of a shame then that the Zero half of the record turns out a mixed bag. While it is obvious that the band are talented songwriters, the production quality changes and greatly juxtaposes with the One half. The drums in Baptism are a good example of this as they are significantly under-produced which results in them taking on a much muddier sound. The double bass drumming is reduced to a low rumbling which doesn’t do Shannon the justice she deserves.

Luckily, this is improved on the following 3 songs which include the epic Under the Obelisk. This song thunders along for a staggering 7 minutes without getting boring. Doom metal has the tendency to worship one riff for far too long but Monolithian keep things nice and varied, giving the listener a lot more meat to tuck into over your typical, pretentious, sludge. They even get a chance to throw in a faster section which will more than likely whip up some violent circle pits.

Monolithian are an impressive little prospect. The doom metal duo pepper their music with the right amount of death and crust that offers up one of the most interesting sludge releases we’ve heard in a long time. One/Zero is an enormous, towering beast of a doom record that will make the listener feel like they truly are standing Under the Obelisk.

8/10

Monolithian’s One/Zero can be pre-ordered now from Church of Fuck, Moshtache Records, Bitter North, Riotous Outburst Records and Atomsmasher Records.


Review: Corrupt Moral Altar’s Luciferian Deathcult

Whoa. So this is heavy then. Breathtakingly heavy in fact. Corrupt Moral Altar certainly know how to craft extreme music. The Liverpudlian 4 piece make intense, visceral, blackened grindcore in the style of Napalm Death and Hammers and it’s showcased here on their Luciferian Deathcult EP.

Extreme metal of this calibre can be pretty difficult to pull off without sounding like a load of fools smashing their instruments as hard and fast as possible and pig-squealing over everything. Well I can’t thank Satan enough because Corrupt Moral Altar do a rather incredible job of putting one of the most anarchic things ever to record and also structure it in a way that isn’t completely overbearing.

The real powerhouse in the Corrupt Moral Altar sound is drummer Tom Dring. The man unleashes some of the most furious blast-beats and double-bass drumming heard in ages and does it so furiously that I can imagine a lot of sticks were broken during the recording of this EP.

Adding another element to the Corrupt Moral Altar sound is vocalist Chris Reese who’s harrowing scream gives Luciferian Deathcult an uncontrollable element that makes the record sound like it’s going to fight its’ way out of your stereo to slit your throat.

It’s these 2 elements that give Luciferian Deathcult its’ overbearing sound of sheer brutality. What actually manages to tie it all down into a package that you can appreciate is the simple yet effective work of guitarist John Cooke. Cooke’s riffs might not be the most technical work around (and they certainly rely on the single-chord breakdown a bit too much), but it’s their simplicity that helps round out the EP into one you can actually remember.

Cooke brings some much needed groove to songs like Politics is a Bargain Between Beggars that allow the songs to flow and give them that all important element that will win them over to an army of headbangers.

Also helping to temper the storm is the pacing of the EP. While the songs are never slow, they don’t barrel along at a pace that’s too quick to comprehend. Each song is a fully formed slab of vicious metal that has room to breathe unlike the 30 second stabs of violence you get from the fastcore scene.

Finally, the spectacular work on the mix also helps the listener to take in all the elements of Corrupt Moral Altar’s sound without them meshing into one, giant, brown note. Every bass-beat, riff, scream and cymbal crash is presented with stunning clarity that really helps you appreciate the musicianship on show, regardless of how utterly mental it all is.

Corrupt Moral Altar’s Luciferian Deathcult is a master-work of extremity. These men like their music as loud as possible and for those looking for an experience that’ll rearrange their innards, you’ll be hard pressed to find one as expertly executed as this.

8/10

You can pre-order Luciferian Deathcult by Corrupt Moral Altar from Bait in the Trap Records now. The EP is officially released on the 18th of February.