Tag Archives: Sunwølf

Year End: The 10 Best Albums of 2016

2016albums

10) Raging Speedhorn

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Raging Speedhorn released a new album in 2016! Holy shit! And it sounds like a direct continuation of the sound on How the Great Have Fallen! And Frank is back in the band! Raging Speedhorn’s return with their 5th long-player Lost Ritual certainly quashed any worries that their previous album Before the Sea Was Built might have instilled and it’s absolutely fantastic to have them back on top form. The kings of sludgecore have finally returned.

9) Aliases – Derangeable

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“Derangeable is a welcome addition to Aliases very limited library and it’s pretty safe to say that if you were a fan of the band before, then this was certainly a record worth waiting for. However, if you’re well versed in tech metal then you’ll certainly notice the similarities to SikTh and while you’ll probably never ask yourself, “why am I not just listening to SikTh?” you’ll certainly wonder if there wasn’t more the band could have done to differentiate themselves a bit.”

Click here for the full review.

8) Rash Decision – Headstrung

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“Regardless, Rash Decision have managed to churn out 17 minutes of hardcore punk perfection on Headstrung and if the new material doesn’t quench your hardcore thirst then there’s another 19 minutes of songs for you to indulge in, thanks to Seaside Resort to Violence being on the B side. Rash Decision are an immensely enjoyable hardcore punk act that don’t have too many strings on their bow, but thankfully the ones that are there do the job perfectly.”

Click here for the full review.

7) Karybdis – Samsara

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“Karybdis have put together a smorgasbord of metal subgenres and masterfully fused them into a sound that is exclusive to the band. Samsara is a metal album that heavy music fans will be championing for years to come and it establishes Karybdis as one of the UK’s best metal acts.”

Click here for the full review.

6) Iron Witch – A Harrowed Dawn

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“Iron Witch have certainly spent a long time getting to this record and at only 6 tracks long it is a bit slight for a long-player, but those years of writing and touring have turned them into a well-oiled, doom-making machine and A Harrowed Dawn is the realisation of all their achievements so far. This is easily the best and biggest sounding Iron Witch release to date and an essential purchase for any doom fan.”

Click here for the full review.

5) Let It Die – The Liar & the Saint

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It feels like I’ve been waiting forever for Let it Die to put their efforts into a long-player and with The Liar & the Saint the band have finally delivered. In typical Let it Die fashion it’s as heavy as a tonne of bricks to the skull and faster than a cat belting it across the room after having its tail stepped on. The Liar & the Saint is a relentless assault of hardcore punk and grind that demands you’re moshing for its entirety. Let it Die certainly didn’t disappoint on their debut album, but was there really any doubt?

4) The Infernal Sea – The Great Mortality

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“The Infernal Sea’s The Great Mortality is an album that you simply must own if you like metal. The Inferal Sea have absolutely mastered their craft and turned in one of the most satisfying black metal releases you could possibly want. It’s heavy, it’s memorable and it’s pretty much essential if you enjoy metal.”

Click here for the full review.

3) Sunwølf – Eve

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“Eve is another monstrous achievement for Sunwølf. It’s an album of uplifting highs and crushing lows and despite the simplicity in the song-writing and how long the songs can be, everything is crafted with atmosphere in mind. Sunwølf songs will only linger if the atmosphere requires it to and thanks to the simplicity of the song-writing, the band also put focus on their melodies. You wouldn’t think an album like this would be so memorable but thanks to the focus on melody and atmosphere, it’s very easy to find yourself playing Eve repeatedly without even noticing it. Eve is a beautiful album that makes you appreciate good song-writing and if you’re a fan of post rock then it’s an essential purchase.”

Click here for the full review.

2) Wode – Wode

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“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.”

Click here for the full review.

1) Slabdragger – Rise of the Dawncrusher

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“The UK is spoilt for great sludge as Slabdragger are competing with other brilliant acts like Limb, Gurt, Monolithian and Opium Lord, but Rise of the Dawncrusher sets a new standard for UK sludge metal. Slabragger have written a follow-up so utterly devastating that it demands your attention. Slabdragger, man; what a band.”

Click here for the full review.


Year End: The Top 10 Best Albums of 2014

2014albums

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.


Review: Sunwølf’s Beholden to Nothing and No One

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Okay Sunwølf, this is getting a bit silly now. You can’t go releasing an album every year and get dramatically better results every time. You’re making everyone else look a bit naff.

Sunwølf’s third album Beholden to Nothing and No One is a double-disc release and expands the band’s ambient doom from being fully instrumental to now including a disc supported by a range of vocal styles which include female singing and male screaming. The vocals add some beautiful texture to the band’s oppressive and claustrophobic music with the female vocals being used for the more delicate side of the band’s sound and the screaming being used for the more aggressive, metallic side of the music. It’s wonderful to see how well Sunwølf’s music works with the simple addition of vocals.

The first disc also manages to pull off that fantastic Sunwølf staple of taking you on a journey. Sunwølf have an uncanny ability to soundtrack Terry Gilliam films that don’t exist yet and Beholden… is no exception. The disc begins fairly slow and emphasises minimalistic instrumentation to create a foreboding atmosphere that builds over the course of the album before guitarist Matt Carrington stomps on the overdrive pedal and unleashes hell.

Sunwølf experiment further on the second disc of the album by returning to their instrumental roots but only to get even more psychedelic. The second disc of Beholden… messes with texture and builds enormous walls of noise that could summon demon’s from the depths below. There’s a heavier exploration of drone and electronic elements are also employed to add another mysterious layer or intrigue to the band’s music.

Rounding out this monstrous package is a spectacular production job that’s sharp and clean during the band’s more ambient moments to help emphasise the delicate instrumentation, but raw and unkempt during the more aggressive movements. Despite the varied styles the production actually manages to hold all the music together and make a cohesive package.

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.

10/10

Sunwølf’s Beholden to Nothing and No One is out today and available to order on double CD direct from the band.


News: Speedowax Halloween Sale

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Speedowax Records are running a Halloween sale for today and today only. A selection of brilliant 12″ vinyl releases from the label are now available for £6.66 each including postage.

Included in the sale are:

Sunwolf – Midnight Moon on white vinyl (review here)
History of the Hawk – Future Ruins on black vinyl
Mothertrucker – The Power of Independent Trucking on purple vinyl (review here)
Chestnut Road – Self Titled on clear vinyl
The Catharsis – Romance on limited edition Record Store Day green vinyl (review here)

Click here to be taken straight to Speedowax’s online store and take advantage of a brilliant deal.


Review: Sunwølf’s Beyond the Sun

Sunwølf are an instrumental ambient/post rock 2 piece from that great breeding ground of UK talent that is Leeds. The band is made up of Dominic Deane on drums and organ and Matthew Carrington on guitar and also in charge of samples. Beyond the Sun is their debut album and it’s a rather delicate yet overbearing start to what might be an incredibly interesting career.

This is by no means a heavy album. Sunwølf are all about creating atmosphere and there’s a beautiful tension that runs throughout the entire work. The songs always sound like they are going to explode in a hailstorm of riffs but take a more delicate turn by simply maintaining a sombre and oppressive mood.

The instrumentation is extremely minimalist and used rather sparingly to achieve this. A smattering of jangly riffs here, a low-end rumble of bass drum there; it’s actually quite stunning how a 2 piece can hold your attention for so long and without using vocals.

What really makes Beyond the Sun something special is the variety on display. As we’ve already mentioned the drums are very minimalist and the guitar tone is usually quite clean, but there are also more distorted riff-driven numbers like Morose Land and the album’s title track. Time Stands Still also brings its’ own fascinating Ennio Morricone Western feel to the mix for another of the album’s stand-out moments.

The only weak moment on Beyond the Sun actually comes from its’ title track. While the awkward, fuzzy melody is certainly interesting and backed by a massive beat, it just doesn’t build the same atmosphere as the rest of the album which is a damn shame considering it’s the only moment that really does this.

Special mention has to be given to Ross Halden’s production which compliments the ambient nature of the whole piece and that’s exactly what Beyond the Sun feels like; a unified, singular piece of music. Not many bands can claim to have records that feels that way.

Beyond the Sun is a very special album. It creates a bleak yet beautiful atmosphere that will hold you in its’ grip for the full 27 minutes. A minor hiccup cannot ruin what is an essential record for fans of post rock and one of the best albums of the year.

8/10

Beyond the Sun by Sunwølf will be released on 26/11/2012 on CD and 12″ vinyl through Ark Noise Recordings