Tag Archives: deathcore

Year End 2017: Best Albums Part 2

Barrabus – Barrabus

“Barrabus’ debut album is a fantastically weird collection of songs that don’t outstay their welcome. It’s all over in 29 minutes and rarely gives you a moment to breath. This is a noisy, sludgy punk album that isn’t too interested in showing any restraint. This album has certainly been a long time coming considering Barrabus’ last release was a demo in 2006, but its arrival is much like Paul Catten himself; unexpected and unrelenting. Long may he reign.”

Click here to read the full review.

Corrupt Moral Altar – Eunoia

“Corrupt Moral Altar are one of the most consistent and extremely exciting bands in heavy music and Eunoia has cemented their position at the forefront of UK grindcore. The band have so many great riffs to share that they end up making a record that sounds like a grindcore compilation but somehow only made by one band. Despite almost exclusively playing as fast as possible, the band manage to sprinkle their music with interesting little moments like the hardcore punk introduction to Burning Bridges and Burning Homes or the enormous, swinging, mosh-pit groove in Rat King. Eunoia is an album that’s almost euphoric in its consistent delivery of grindcore classics for a new generation.”

Click here to read the full review.

Alpha Male Tea Party – Health

If there was one record I’d be considering for ‘Album of the Year’, then this is about as close to it as I can imagine. Alpha Male Tea Party’s Health might look like it has a pretentious album cover and a load of nonsense song titles that wouldn’t look out of place on an early 2000s emo record, but all that is doing is hiding the fact that it houses a gargantuan slab of the best riffs you’ve ever heard. Alpha Male Tea Party blend bright, sugary post rock guitar work with some of the weightiest grooves known to man and they create one of the most satisfyingly pure rock records of the year. Essential listening.

Atragon – I, Necromancer

“It may have taken a long time getting here but Atragon’s I, Necromancer is a gleefully gargantuan doom record that revels in its simplicity. Atragon aren’t exactly reinventing the wheel here, but if big riffs and even bigger crescendos are something that you get your rocks off to then Atragon certainly have you covered.”

Click here to read the full review.

Esprit D’Air – Constellations

“Esprit D’Air’s Constellations is a wonderfully accomplished debut album that’s full of massive anthems that stand toe-to-toe with the more established J-metal acts. The band also manages to add enough of their own love for progressive music and post rock to make the album stand on its own merits. If you like anthemic, sing-a-long pop metal full of massive riffs and soaring vocal melodies then you can certainly rely on Esprit D’Air to become your new favourite band.”

Click here to read the full review.

Watchcries – Wraith

Do you like metal? Well Watchcries’ Wraith has all of it. All the metal. It’s all here. Wraith is the sound of a band blending death metal, doom, black metal and hardcore together to create the unholiest racket possible. If last year’s EP was a statement of intent, then Wraith is the record that comes to your house and threatens to stab you if you don’t bang your head. An extremely dense record that is entirely devoid of any bullshit, Watchcries’ Wraith is a dream release if you like extreme music.

Glarus – Then and When

Sacha Zucconi’s Glarus expanded from being a solo project to having a full line-up and along with the personnel change came their debut album Then and When. The ex-Hammers man expands his dissonant take on sludge metal-infused hardcore and sprinkles a light dusting of dreamy melody over everything to make a record that is truly massive in scale. A record this good shouldn’t be hidden in the UK toilet circuit. Give it a listen and shout about it to everyone.

Jamie Lenman – Devolver

Unlike Lenman’s previous solo effort Muscle Memory, Devolver crams all the artist’s influences into one cohesive record instead of splitting them into 2 discs. What you get is an album that effortlessly swings between low-fi, indie rock coupled with electronics, to messy and bombastic grunge rock and even industrial metal. Jamie Lenman is fast becoming one of the UK’s auteurs of rock and he deserves to have a solo career as wild and varied as progressive rock greats like Devin Townsend.

Regurgitate Life – Obliteration of the Self

“Obliteration of the Self is a natural step forward for Regurgitate Life and the addition of live drums has made this a more cohesive package as a result. Urwin has admitted in the past that his programmed drum patterns are often a little unruly and near impossible for a real drummer to perform, so having a force like Daryl Best in the band has had such a positive impact on the music. Obliteration of the Self is a brilliant death metal record that showcases two musicians firing on all cylinders and is a “must listen” for anyone who can appreciate music this unrelenting.”

Click here to read the full review.

Advertisements

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.


Review: Wraiths’ Hollow

Can changing your style from one heavy micro-genre to another be regarded as selling out? I’d be inclined to say, “no” as I don’t think this change has been influenced by money, but Wraiths have gone from being a pretty solid if unimaginative hardcore band to a full blown down-tuned, 7 string deathcore band on their latest EP Hollow. Sadly all this does is highlight exactly how dull and uninspired modern deathcore music has become.

The biggest stylistic shift comes in the form of the guitar work by Dan Charlton. On the band’s 2012 EP it was clear Charlton had a penchant for chugging a single chord but the man kept the music varied enough with frequent drops into big riffs and melodies that saved the music from becoming the tuneless melange of dirge that metalcore can often sound like.

Unfortunately we’re now staring directly at that exact problem and Hollow is loaded full of incessant one chord abuse and Limp Bizkit-esque dive-bomb slides. Hollow can only be described as an amalgamation of Hacktivist and Desolated and all the tuneless boredom that entails.

There are occasional glimpses of melody and Gravelord does a good job of including a great riff during its first verse but it soon returns to the down-tuned, dive-bomb mayhem that becomes overly familiar throughout the entire EP.

What’s apparent from Hollow is that these songs aren’t made to be de-constructed by a music critic because there’s not really a lot here to examine. What the band have done is made these songs for mosh pits. This sort of mindless, breakdown-heavy slop is made to wind hardcore kids up into a frenzy and that’s it. You can already envisage the band calling for crowd kill behaviour at their shows as you listen and quite frankly that’s not my sort of fun.

Wraiths have unwisely made the decision to maximise on beatdowns for their latest EP and it makes for a tiresome experience that is low on melody and big on DUN DUN DUN. If you want to discover the soundtrack to your worst crowd kill nightmare then this is it but if you wanted music with riffs, choruses and melodies then you should probably seek out an alternative. I hear Suicide Silence have a new album out soon.

2/10

Wraiths’ Hollow is released as a free download on the 14th of July.


Review: Animus’ Fall of the Elite

animus

Yesterday we reviewed The Valiant’s ‘Empress Heights’. After our first listen of the record we followed it up with a play of Animus’ debut EP ‘Fall of the Elite’. Why is this important? It’s important because I didn’t realise I’d stopped listening to The Valiant and started listening to Animus. Yes, we’ve joined Metalcore Camp once again and Animus have already proven that this genre has become stale and predictable straight off the bat. I was also hoping their name would result in a concept record about the Assassin’s Creed series but alas, it was not to be.

In all fairness Animus do have some subtle differences to The Valiant. Animus are actually a heavier band and probably fall under the category of deathcore more than metalcore. The band share more similarities with Suicide Silence and ‘Count Your Blessings’-era Bring Me The Horizon than they do Killswitch Engage. The whole EP is performed exclusively with harsh vocals instead of using an alternating ‘singing and screaming’ combo like most metalcore bands.

With this comment on the band’s use of screaming we must now address the issue that this brings. If you’re going to exclusively use harsh vocals then your band better be able to bring some melody to the songs through other means otherwise your music is going to suffer from being a bit dull. Unfortunately, Animus don’t manage to bring enough melody to the table and the whole EP soon becomes a lesson in one-chord chugging and double-bass drumming.

This is not to say that there aren’t some decent riffs in here. ‘Damnation’ starts with a huge groove that opens the EP with a real burst of intensity. ‘Home(less)’ also features some brilliant riffs and some even better leads, but the first real surprise of the EP comes with its title track which features some atmospheric use of acoustic guitars and piano. It’s then a real shame to hear these moments spoiled by an abundance of one-chord breakdowns and vocals that never stick with you. I couldn’t pinpoint a single moment when the vocals actually became memorable on the entire EP which is obviously a worrying prospect for the band’s future. Not a lot needed to be done to remedy this situation either. If Animus married their riffs with some gang vocals they could easily create some memorable passages that would help them stand out.

Animus’ unfortunate situation is that they don’t stand out. The band are a real casualty of modern metal. They prove exactly how dull the genre has become by making music that is fixated on breakdowns and getting kids moshing at shows. This mentality might make for an enjoyable mosh pit, but it doesn’t make for an enjoyable listen. Animus really need to give their guitarists more breathing space to bring more melody to their music because there’s only so many times a man can listen to a single chord being beaten within an inch of its life.

4/10

Animus’ ‘Fall of the Elite’ is re-released on March 3rd. Once again I can’t find any pre-order links for it anywhere so good job on that one.


News: Pariso Drummer Leaves, Band Auditioning Replacement

Pariso drummer Alastair Fyffe has left the band to take a break from live drumming. The band have had to pull out of their confirmed European shows as a result of this.

However, Pariso have confirmed they will not be splitting up and are currently auditioning potential candidates now. All you need to do is send a private YouTube video of yourself playing The Huntsman to pariso.band[at]gmail.com.

Further instructions also inform candidates that they should also be “sick” and “22-32 years old” before applying.

UK Scumscene wants to wish Alastair all the best in his future endeavours.


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.


News: Bring Me The Horizon Lose Guitarist; Gain Pianist

Bring Me The Horizon have announced that Jona Weinhofen is no longer the band’s rhythm guitarist.

Weinhofen took to Twitter to say “I am no longer a member of Bring Me The Horizon, however I can not yet comment on the reasons why or who made the decision.” Weinhofen was BMTH’s second guitarist and previously played in I Killed the Prom Queen. He replaced founding member Curtis Ward after he left in 2009. No announcement has been made regarding who will replace Weinhofen (or if he will be replaced at all) at this time.

In other BMTH-related news, the band have enlisted the keyboard and programming skills of Jordan Fish from Worship. Fish is now a full-time member of the band after previously touring with the band in 2012.

Bring Me The Horizon release their fourth album Sempiternal on the 30th of April 2013.

[Source: NME]