Tag Archives: metallic hardcore

Review: The Brood’s The Truth Behind

London-based grind-metallers The Brood have dropped one hell of a debut with The Truth Behind. This 33 minute monster sounds like Carcass battling it out with Hatebreed and it absolutely delivers a level of savagery fitting of that analogy.

Now this isn’t a particularly smart album and it was never going to be when it has such song titles as Barbie Voorhees, Free Range Meat and Mindfuck. The Brood have a very specific goal with their music and that is to make the heaviest, fastest metal imaginable. While it’s not exactly as creative as similar sounding crossover acts like Corrupt Moral Altar, The Brood’s song-writing is certainly effective and if you like grindcore then you’re certainly in for a treat.

The Brood’s music isn’t exactly for the faint of heart. We’ve got low-pitched, grunty screams throughout, a near-constant abuse of double-bass drumming and blast-beats and it’s all drenched in a healthy dose of blistering guitar work, full of chunky riffs and tremolo picking. Thankfully, The Brood have the chops to meld their noise into a cohesive package that moves exactly as you’d expect it to and lets you get your mosh on in a thoroughly satisfying way.

While most of the faster songs on The Truth Behind clock in at around 2 minutes, The Brood do manage to show that even when they’re making the loudest racket possible, they’ve got enough ideas in them that they can write some longer-form songs like Lobotomized, GIL and Mud Doll Factory. These tracks showcase more of a metallic hardcore sound that is flourished with elements of grindcore and it makes for the most varied and exciting songs on the album. The Brood might be a heavy band, but they certainly know exactly where to focus their anger with satisfying results.

The Truth Behind isn’t going to win many awards for originality and The Brood do run the risk of finding themselves lost in a sea of similar grind bands, but thankfully their song-writing is robust enough to carry their debut album for its entirety and it makes for one nasty beast of a record. The Truth Behind has enough solid grindcore barnstormers on it to deserve your attention and it’s a great starting point for a band certainly that have the capability to step things up a notch on their next release.

8/10

The Brood’s The Truth Behind is out now and can be bought on CD directly from the band’s Bigcartel page.


Review: Harrowed and Art of Burning Water’s Split 7″

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HARROWED

Harrowed’s take on dark, metallic hardcore is one of the best in the UK and their debut album Into Inferno is a vicious and dangerous sounding record that takes all the best bits from the genre and plays them really well. However, on the two tracks they offer on this split, the elements are all still there but Harrowed don’t sound as volatile. This is Harrowed doing what Harrowed do and that’s fine because Harrowed make great hardcore, but they’re missing the edge that made Into Inferno so utterly sumptuous.

This is mainly due to the production style which is a little rawer than the band’s debut. Into Inferno certainly wasn’t a bright, shiny album when it came to production, but the guitar sounded deadly. It had a real bite that’s sadly missing on these tracks and it just means that they’re missing a special something that would make them stand out better, especially now that dark hardcore is such an overpopulated genre.

Harrowed are still an exciting hardcore band and these tracks are by no means bad, they’re just not up to the band’s usual standard. Fingers crossed Harrowed have another belter of a long-player in the works because it’s about time we saw something more substantial from the band. It’s weird to think that Into Inferno is around 3 years old now.

7/10

ART OF BURNING WATER

Art of Burning Water are one of those bands that have been slogging their way through the toilet circuit for what feels like forever and never really been given their dues. Their music is very difficult to categorise as it draws in so many different influences from the heavy music spectrum, but it’s mainly a form hardcore punk that’s sprinkled with elements of black metal and grindcore. Vocals are always high-pitched and raspy giving their music that nasty, brooding vibe that black metal does so well and the loose, short bursts of almost free-form song-writing definitely lend themselves heavily to hardcore and grind.

Thankfully, despite all these elements coming into play, they manage to fuse in a way that makes Art of Burning Water’s music sound utterly ferocious. Let Me Let You Finish is the perfect example of all these musical styles coming together harmoniously and it’s a terrifying and scattershot explosion of disgusting metal that demands your attention. Please start paying attention to what Art of Burning Water are doing because a band like this shouldn’t be so criminally overlooked.

8/10

Harrowed and Art of Burning Water’s split 7″ is out now and available to buy from Secret Law Records.


Year End: The 10 Best Albums of 2015

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10) Let’s Talk Daggers – A Beautiful Life

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“Regardless, Let’s Talk Daggers have made one of the most electric rock albums of the year. If you can appreciate guitar music that doesn’t sacrifice technicality for song-writing then Let’s Talk Daggers have delivered a record that does just that and even more. A Beautiful Life is an absolute tidal wave of riffs, tempo changes and yelping and despite the madness of its contents, Let’s Talk Daggers have brought it all together into one cohesive yet exhausting piece.”

Click here to read the full review.

9) Limb – Terminal

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“Terminal is the natural continuation from Limb’s self-titled debut and it’s an infinitely more enjoyable and masterfully crafted slab of hard rock. The band haven’t rested on their laurels and continue to get better on every record they release. The pressure is certainly on for the next release, lads!”

Click here to read the full review.

8) Torpor – From Nothing Comes Everything

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London doom behemoth Torpor wiped the floor with the rest of the doom offerings this year. The long-form nature of Torpor’s songs is beautifully tempered by the bands wonderful song-writing which ebbs and flows in a wonderfully natural way that means that 11 minute monsters like From This Time never outstay their welcome. Every riff on From Nothing Comes Everything is a crushing beast of a thing that demands some serious head-banging. This record is a real masterclass of doom song-writing.

Full review coming soon.

7) Svalbard – One Day All This Will End

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“By the end of the closing moments of Lily, Svalbard have taken you on a post hardcore journey like no other. One Day All This Will End is one of the best punk releases birthed in the UK and Svalbard have mastered an amazingly eclectic sound that’s equal parts angry, beautiful and forlorn. One Day All This Will End is essential listening to fans of post hardcore and a welcoming introduction to anyone looking to explore the more progressive side of hardcore.”

Click here to read the full review.

6) Employed to Serve – Greyer Than You Remember

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“It’s impossible to justify any criticism towards this record. Employed to Serve have absolutely mastered their craft and if dense, bastard-heavy hardcore is your thing than Greyer than You Remember is filled wall-to-wall with some of the genre’s finest moments. The album barely gives you a moment to breath in favour of demanding you mosh harder and it’s almost euphoric in its density.”

Click here to read the full review.

5) xRepentancex – The Sickness of Eden

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“xRepentancex have delivered a debut album that’s so furious it feels like it could tear apart at the seams. The Sickness of Eden is a hardcore record every fan of the genre should own and it’s almost beautiful in its sheer relentlessness. God knows how you follow an album this consistent. Good luck guys.”

Click here to read the full review.

4) Press to Meco – Good Intent

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“Press to Meco have delivered an album that showcases exactly what the trio are capable of. It’s a glorious, exciting monster of a record that is stuffed with technical wizardry and choruses so big that they deserve to be blasted across festival audiences all summer long.”

Click here to read the full review.

3) Old Skin – Beneath the Trees

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Old Skin’s debut album was the most bittersweet release of the year because while it is one of the best metallic hardcore albums this country has ever produced, its release also marked the demise of the band. Given away as a pay-what-you-want download to mark the final chapter of Old Skin’s career, this is an apocalyptic hardcore onslaught that never lets up. Old Skin might be gone but they’ve left behind one of the most disgustingly heavy records this country has ever produced and it deserves to be heard by everyone.

Full review coming soon.

2) Oblivionized – Life is a Struggle, Give Up

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“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.”

Click here to read the full review.

1) Caïna – Setter of Unseen Snares

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“Setter of Unseen Snares is an album of unbridled fury, bleak atmosphere and eventually, shimmering post metal beauty. This is one of the most diverse and brilliantly executed black metal albums I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to and it deserves to be heard by more than just fans of the genre.”

Click here to read the full review.

Notable Mentions
Monolithian – The Finest Day I Ever Lived, Was When Tomorrow Never Came. (click here to read the full review)


Year End: The 10 Best EPs of 2015

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10) Geist – Faith Healing

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Faith Healing ends with a monologue about the futility of worshipping a God who hasn’t done anything to prove that he actually, “loves you”. It’s a stark, bleak ending to an EP loaded with some of the most unforgiving hardcore the UK has to offer and a timely reminder that we need bands like Geist to provide a visceral release from the shitstorm that is real life.

Click here to read the full review.

9) Boxkite – Self Titled

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“Boxkite have burst out the gates with a hardcore debut that doesn’t mess about. This is 6 tracks of solid, bouncy yet strangely forlorn punk that leaves a serious mark. Anyone looking for the next great UK hardcore band might want to seriously consider grabbing Boxkite’s debut EP while it’s hot; you won’t regret it.”

Click here to read the full review.

8) Eulogy – Eternal Worth

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“Eulogy have hit their stride on Eternal Worth. This is a record that doesn’t mess about and gets straight to the point. This is a laser-focussed metallic hardcore assault that is big on groove and if the name change wasn’t a big enough indicator, it marks an important step up for Eulogy as a band.”

Click here to read the full review.

7) Simmer – Yellow Streak

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“Simmer’s Yellow Streak is a rare gem of a record. The EP is full of soaring melodies and satisfying riffs that are punctuated with a beautifully reflective vocal performance. Even though this is only the band’s second EP, it feels like they’ve already mastered their craft and Yellow Streak might be a defining moment in their career.”

Click here to read the full review.

6) Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters – Earth Hog

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“Earth Hog is an easy recommendation to make. If you’ve ever enjoyed a riff that might result in whiplash then Chubby have delivered an absolute haven of guitar wizardry. Earth Hog is loaded with some of the best grooves stoner rock has to offer and it’s one of the most satisfying debuts of any band.”

Click here to read the full review.

5) I, The Lion – Run

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“I, The Lion’s Run is a wonderful celebration of riff rock. It’s a gargantuan-sounding EP loaded with some of alt-rock’s most thunderous melodies and it constantly evolves and welcomes new ideas into it’s already accomplished sound. A lacklustre opening hides one of rock’s most enjoyable EPs and I, The Lion need to be a band you start paying immediate attention to.”

Click here to read the full review.

4) Iced Out – Man’s Ruin

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“Iced Out have finally found their comfort zone. Man’s Ruin is an enormous, towering beast of an EP that sees the band embrace slower tempos and tunings so low you might soil yourself. Now it’s time for Iced Out to take their sludgecore leanings and finally deliver the sort of devastating album that Man’s Ruin is threatening to. Good luck, boys; we’re looking forward to it.”

Click here to read the full review.

3) Maths – The Fires Courting the Sea

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“Maths’ The Fires Courting the Sea is a phenomenal melodic punk record which manages to cram some of the most beautiful yet utterly pissed off music it can into its 10 minutes. Maths are still one of the UK underground’s most treasured acts and it would be sacrilege for any punk fan to skip on this record. You know what to do.”

Click here to read the full review.

2) SikTh – Opacities

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“Opacities is a fantastic comeback by one of the most dearly missed UK metal acts. SikTh are just as exciting and vital as they’ve ever been and despite the 9 year gap between Opacities and Death of a Dead Day, it genuinely feels like the band have never been away. Opacities has a wonderfully natural progression to it and it sounds exactly like the follow-up to Death of a Dead Day that we all dreamed of. It feels wonderful to finally say this but welcome back SikTh. We’ve really missed you.”

Click here to read the full review.

1) TEEF – Admit Defeat

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“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.”

Click here to read the full review.


Year End: The Best 5 Splits of 2015

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5) Nomadic Rituals/Tome

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“This 14 minute behemoth entitled The Great Dying begins with a gentle, low-end rumble and then unleashes a horrendous, down-tuned chord that could shake a building to its foundation.”

“Clocking in at 11 minutes, Tome deal in a similar, funeral-doom-esque march but their riffs are more memorable in comparison to Nomadic Rituals who use their guitars to build atmosphere.”

Click here to read the full review.

4) Yards/Astrid Lindgren/Rites/We Are Dust

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This is an extremely diverse offering of various punk subgenres. Smithsfoodgroup and LTD Records managed to band together UK hardcore punk mob Yards, Polish screamo merchants Astrid Lindgren, Netherlands emo outfit Rites and German metallic hardcore bruisers We Are Dust for this hugely eclectic but shouty offering. Special mention has to be given to Yards who manage to sound more furious than ever.

Full review coming soon.

3) Oi Polloi/Grand Collapse

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What we have here is a double-dose of lairy punk from oiky punk stalwarts Oi Polloi and Scumscene favourites Grand Collapse. While Oi Polloi get straight to the point and generally put together songs that have more memorable hooks (e.g. GCHQFU), Grand Collapse continue to tear a seriously aggressive streak through the UK underground punk scene and songs like Turn Coat are an absolutely vicious riff attack.

Full review coming soon.

2) Samoans/Freeze the Atlantic

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“This split from Samoans and Freeze the Atlantic is a great bit of fun that showcases both bands at the very top of their game. Fans of heavy rock music are given an incredibly diverse display of alt rock, post rock and post hardcore that manages to meld together in a strangely cohesive package.”

Click here to read the full review.

1) Irk/Wren

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What an absolutely electric offering this split is. Irk continue to blow us away with their groove-laden blend of tech metal and noise rock. There is simply nothing as satisfyingly unique as Irk and you have to make sure you’re exposed to their music right away. London doomsters Wren also put together a hearty selection of doom anthems that encapsulate the bleak feeling of loneliness. This is extremely dark and brooding metal that is perfectly executed. This is an essential split for fans of heavy music.

Full review coming soon.

Notable Mentions
Bastions/Burning Bright – Swan Songs
Employed to Serve/A Ghost Orchestra


Review: Eulogy’s Eternal Worth

eulogy

Stallone have returned under a new name as Eulogy and Eternal Worth marks a distinctive stylistic shift from the band’s previous material. While previous records Cardiac Black and Mire sat more comfortably in the mathcore category bringing in comparisons to bands like Palm Reader, Eternal Worth takes a more direct approach to its song-writing that results in a more metallic hardcore sound akin to bands like Old Skin.

While this is still very much heavy music in the hardcore mould, you definitely notice Eulogy’s music spends less time noodling around with complex structures and more time beating you into submission with a massive groove. This is the clear distinction between the Eulogy of old and the Eulogy of now; the riffs are placed front and centre. While Mire would often get bogged down (no pun intended) in technical wizardry, songs like Deaf Cult clearly favour melody. That nasty, stomping riff that kicks everything off is certainly proof of that.

This shift in structure means Eulogy sound doubly pissed off as a result. The opening one-two of Doubt Shadows and Deaf Cult deal in some of the most disgustingly bile-ridden screams we’ve heard from the band and there’s some liberal use of blast-beats to make this the most metal-sounding Eulogy record to date.

What this change in song-writing also enables Eulogy to do is work with songs in a longer format that don’t outstay their welcome. Closing track Beyond the Skin is still as hate-fuelled and metallic as everything else on Eternal Worth, but now the band can explore more atmospheric lead guitar work and moments of haunting respite that create a considerably bleak vibe. There’s more to this song than your standard mosh-a-long anthem.

Eulogy have hit their stride on Eternal Worth. This is a record that doesn’t mess about and gets straight to the point. This is a laser-focussed metallic hardcore assault that is big on groove and if the name change wasn’t a big enough indicator, it marks an important step up for Eulogy as a band.

8/10

Eulogy’s Eternal Worth is out now and available to buy on limited edition one-sided vinyl with screenprinted b-side direct from the band or from Holy Roar Records.


Live Review: Pariso’s Farewell Show Feat. Employed to Serve, Daggers & Svalbard 4/9/2015

Employed to Serve

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Employed to Serve have turned into a well-oiled, mosh machine since I last saw them. The band has now turned out one of the most intense metallic hardcore records and their live performance is just as visceral. What’s instantly striking about the band is despite their possessed display of on-stage antics, they’re a seriously tight and well-rehearsed act. The band does a magnificent job of stirring the crowd into an early frenzy and put on one of the best shows that UK hardcore has to offer. This is an excellent beginning to an excellent evening.

Daggers

daggers

Daggers were a bit of an odd choice for this bill and the crowd definitely reciprocated this feeling. The band plays an almost free-form type of doomy hardcore that often dips into sombre moments of respite before beating you over the head with a nasty, sludge-ridden riff. Sadly, the band’s quiet/loud dynamic moved back-and-forth too frequently to allow them to gain any momentum and this became a pretty underwhelming performance, especially considering how well Employed to Serve had ignited a lot of energy for tonight’s proceedings.

Svalbard

svalbard

My word, have Svalbard have become something special or what. The band plays a wonderfully euphoric yet punky form of post hardcore that’s big on fast-paced drumming and beautiful, glittery, guitar leads. There’s a gorgeous atmosphere about Svalbard’s music which is very rare in heavy music and despite the band clearly pouring their heart and soul into a very loud performance, the whole thing just feels very uplifting. Svalbard are an outstandingly unique band and tonight’s performance has me super-excited for their upcoming debut album.

Pariso

pariso

So this is it, the final Pariso show. Pariso always felt like the UK hardcore act that would last and while they’ve certainly had a bloody good innings, tonight’s performance makes it instantly apparent how much people are going to miss them. The room is absolutely packed and the moment the band start playing the crowd ignites. Pariso’s special blend of down-tuned metallic hardcore is still one of the most unique sounds to come out of UK hardcore and the band is firing on all cylinders. Vocalist Mazz incites some of the most furious mosh-pits I’ve seen at the Camden Unicorn and he does it with a wonderful humility and appreciation for the audience. An all-star cast of the band’s friends make it on stage with Sammy and Justine from Employed to Serve doing a fantastic job of keeping the moshers satisfied and there’s even a surprise appearance from Kerouac’s Thom Denson who looks absolutely dangerous on stage. Despite some mic problems which were bound to happen with the sheer number of people screaming into them, Pariso’s farewell is a visceral, sweaty celebration of one of UK hardcore’s most beloved acts and despite the sadness of seeing them go, they give their fans one of their defining performances.


Review: Employed to Serve’s Greyer than You Remember

Employed-To-Serve

Employed to Serve have fucking arrived. Going from a 2 piece studio project to full blown metallic hardcore band has been a long journey and while the band’s previous EP Change Nothing, Regret Everything hinted at greatness, nothing could have prepared us for Greyer than You Remember.

Greyer Than You Remember marks Employed to Serve’s first foray into the world of long players and the moment Live Without bursts out the gate you’re instantly bludgeoned with some of the most devastatingly dense hardcore this side of a Converge record. Employed to Serve are clearly cut from the same sort of cloth as metallic hardcore’s finest like the aforementioned Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Coalesce but this is a band born and bred in the UK’s hardcore scene and you can hear shades of Throats and Pariso running through their veins.

So let’s talk about the music because my God there’s a lot to dissect. Employed to Serve have given up on singing entirely in favour of sounding like a tornado is ripping through your home. Justine Jones’ vocal performance is nothing short of terrifying and she’s managed to evolve into one of the leading female screamers this country has to offer. Sammy Urwin continues to floor the opposition with as many riffs as he can produce and if anyone’s familiar with his work in either Oblivionized or Regurgitate Life you’ll know exactly what madness this man can achieve.

These two elements are bolstered by additional guitar work by James Jackson and bassist James Venning who give the record that devastating thickness. Tying everything together is a drum performance by Robbie Black who should probably be having a hard time keeping up with his band-mates but there are no such worries here. The drums have that wonderfully enormous live quality to them that producer Lewis Johns is so magnificent in capturing. Employed to Serve sound like a fucking rampage.

The band does manage to muster a few moments of melody like on the Vales-esque Bones to Break. These moments act as a temporary reprieve from the onslaught contained in the rest of the record and they show a wonderfully introspective side to the band that manages to add some real texture to the record.

It’s impossible to justify any criticism towards this record. Employed to Serve have absolutely mastered their craft and if dense, bastard-heavy hardcore is your thing than Greyer than You Remember is filled wall-to-wall with some of the genre’s finest moments. The album barely gives you a moment to breath in favour of demanding you mosh harder and it’s almost euphoric in its density.

9/10

Employed to Serve’s Greyer than You Remember is out now and available to order from Holy Roar Records.


Review: Geist’s Faith Healing

faithhealing

If dark, sludge-ridden hardcore is your cup of tea than do I have a treat for you. Members of Cholera and End Reign have joined forces to form Geist; a metallic hardcore band who make music in a similar vein to Lavotchkin and Converge. Their debut EP is called Faith Healing and all the song titles have the word ‘faith’ in them because why not?

The EP kicks off in a suitably nasty fashion with Faith : Maker and it sets the standard for the five songs that follow. Geist deal in dense, groovy riffs that provide all their music’s melody as the vocals are entirely screamed. There’s an awful lot of bass bolstering the band’s riffs and it’s accompanied by an ungodly drumming performance that switches frantically between unruly, hardcore punk speed and slower, doomier refrains.

As with End Reign, what makes Geist’s music so engaging is how utterly devastating the riffs are. Not only are the melodies in songs like Faith : Commital and Faith : Design going to send any mosh-pit greebo into a frenzy, the beefy production by Chris McManus means that each chord thunders through your ears like a freight train crashing into a car.

Geist aren’t doing anything that bands like Prelude to the Hunt, Pulling Teeth and Black Mass haven’t already done but they do it so well that’s it a completely null point. If you like your hardcore thick and sludgy but played by a group of men who don’t understand the phrase, “slow down” then Geist have you covered in the best possible way.

Faith Healing ends with a monologue about the futility of worshipping a God who hasn’t done anything to prove that he actually, “loves you”. It’s a stark, bleak ending to an EP loaded with some of the most unforgiving hardcore the UK has to offer and a timely reminder that we need bands like Geist to provide a visceral release from the shitstorm that is real life.

8/10

Geist’s Faith Healing is out now and available to buy on CD direct from the band.


News: Grab Old Skin’s :consume: EP Before It’s Gone Forever

consume

Old Skin are currently supporting the release of :consume:; a two track EP that is available directly from the band for one week only and then it’s gone forever.

The limited edition CD version is unfortunately sold out but you can still download the release for any amount of money (yes, even no money if you’re that much of a cheapskate). Make sure you grab it via the widget below because at midnight on the 1st of June the band will be taking it down and you’ll have to source it by “other” means (which the band are openly encouraging by the way).

Check it out because you won’t regret it. You’ll have a hard time finding a more interesting/punishing slab of metallic hardcore today: