Tag Archives: thrash metal

Review: Rash Decision’s Headstrung / Seaside Resort to Violence

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Cornish thrash-punkers Rash Decision have decided to load their third long-player with so much music that it’s overwhelming. Essentially a double album, Headstrung / Seaside Resort to Violence features a brand new record (Headstrung) and it’s paired with 2014’s Seaside Resort to Violence just to make sure you’ve got so much punk that you won’t know what to do with it.

Obviously what you should be doing with it is turning it up very loud and getting proper rowdy. Rash Decision sound like The Exploited, Send More Paramedics and Grand Collapse which means they play no-frills, balls-out hardcore punk and have a bloody riot doing so.

Rash Decision aren’t exactly reinventing the wheel when it comes to hardcore punk. They play loud and fast and they clearly enjoy it. We’re treated to such wonderfully blunt lyrics like, “fuck in crust we trust”, “slippers off, any hole’s a goal” and “argh it’s in my eye, it’s in my eye” which comes from a song about getting leaves blown in your face. It’s not smart and it’s not clever but my God if it isn’t fun. There’s nothing wrong with being silly if it’s entertaining and thankfully Rash Decision don’t cross the line so far that their sense of humour becomes tiresome.

Despite the often humorous lyricism, Rash Decision seem to be able to conjure up riffs like it’s the easiest thing in the world. The songs on this record hardly ever make it to the 2 minute mark and the band deal in so many bouncy, memorable guitar riffs that it shouldn’t be possible for them all to be contained on it. The band’s guitar work will undoubtedly command some intense mosh pits and songs like Rumblestrip, Dogsbody and Sunburn are heavily bolstered by said guitar wizardry.

The sheer intensity of Headstrung and its unrelenting speed is the only real negative we can sling at the band. If you want Rash Decision to mix things up and show some variety then you’ll be sorely disappointed because all Rash Decision want to do is play fast and loud. This would be fine in a live environment, but on a record it can be a bit exhausting.

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.

8/10

Rash Decision’s Headstrung / Seaside Resort to Violence is out now on 12″ vinyl directly through the band’s Bandcamp page.

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Review: Psython’s …Outputs

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Thrash punk outfit Psython have arrived in a terrifically scrappy fashion on their debut album …Outputs. Sounding more than a little like Send More Paramedics and Evile; Psython hit the ground running with one of the most instantly enjoyable metal albums I’ve heard in quite some time.

What instantly strikes you about Psython’s attitude is they’re clearly a band who like to have a good laugh. Opening with a track called Careless Whispers obviously evokes memories of that bloody George Michael song, but this is an absolute barnstormer of a thrash song. Fast-paced, aggressive, technically proficient and with a huge solo to boot, Psython know how to get your attention. Oh, and they finish the track off with the riff from Michael’s Careless Whisper; those cheeky scamps.

The speed of this record continues on an upwards trajectory with a series of absolute ragers that include Dave 1.1, Blunt and GBQ. This is all vastly enjoyable stuff with razor-sharp, galloping riffs that are bound to ignite some dangerous action in the pit. For a band so early into their career, Psython are surprisingly accomplished musicians.

Thankfully, Psython do see fit to change the pace of …Outputs around the halfway mark. When DNA rolls around, Psython decide to get their groove on for some slow-burning yet crushing stompers that showcase another side to Psython’s heaviness and it’s a welcome inclusion. It was obvious the band was going to have a hard time keeping up such a frantic pace, but this is a welcome shift in tone that manages to keep things heavy but gives the listener a breather at the same time.

The only detriment to this shift in pace is that it becomes apparent that Psython are a more exciting band when they’re going absolutely balls to the wall. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the slower tracks on …Outputs, but I just find myself having a more enjoyable time when it feels like I’m giving myself whiplash.

All in all, Psython have burst out the gates with a vicious slab of thrash-punk that will satisfy metal-heads and punk fans alike. …Outputs is a stupidly enjoyable debut from a band who you should definitely have on your radar.

8/10

Psython’s …Outputs is released on the 1st of April directly through the band on CD and digital download.


Review: Karybdis’ Samsara

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London metalcore outfit Karybdis return for their sophomore album Samsara. Despite having a sound heavily rooted in metalcore with its heavy use of single-chord rhythms, Karybdis layer their music with soaring leads and occasional flourishes of symphonic metal and melodeath. This means Karybdis sound less like Killswitch Engage and more like Machine Head or Sylosis.

So Karybdis have a very accomplished and diverse sound that sits closer to groove and thrash metal. If we ignore subgenres for a second, Karybdis offer up a powerful metal record that draws from a wide range of influences that when put together sound exclusively like Karybdis.

The guitar work on Samsara carries most of the music’s melody. The title track is a great example of this, with its melodeath riffs punching you in the gut during its verses, but then breaking out into some seriously epic leads during the chorus. It makes a very angry song sound almost euphoric and it’s glorious to behold. We’re also treated to an amazing guitar solo that displays a masterful level of musicianship.

As previously mentioned, Karybdis’ music is built on a very noticeable metalcore rhythm with its heavy use of driving, single-chord riffs paired with double-bass drumming. This gives the band a very contemporary sound that they’ve seen fit to garnish with elements of other subgenres. For example Forsaken begins with a high-paced thrash riff, Summon the Tides is interspersed with that lovely, bombastic, symphonic sound that bands like Dimmu Borgir or Blind Guardian deal in and songs like the title track definitely display shades of that wonderful Gothenburg, melodic death metal sound.

Vocally the record even manages to be pretty varied despite the almost exclusive use of screamed vocals. The vocals often switch between low-pitched, death metal growls for verses, and high-pitched, raspy screams for choruses. Occasionally the band even breaks out into a massive, soaring melody like during the chorus of Rorschach or even the delicate, operatic melodies that accompany the rhythms of Summon the Tides. It’s incredibly striking vocal work that once again keeps the album varied.

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.

9/10

Karybdis’ Samsara is out now and available to buy direct from the band.


News: Motörhead’s Lemmy Dies at 70

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This is it guys. Probably the most influential figure in British heavy music has passed away.

Motörhead’s Ian Fraser Kilmister, known to the world largely as Lemmy, has died “after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer”. There’s hardly anything that can be said about Lemmy that hasn’t already been said. Motörhead are probably one of the most important bands in heavy music and they cross-over rock, punk and thrash better than any band. Everyone is influenced by Motörhead.

Lemmy leaves behind a fantastic legacy. Lemmy appeared on 3 Hawkwind albums before starting Motörhead who leave behind a ridiculously huge back-catalogue of 22 albums. Lemmy was the only consistent member of the band but Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee have been apart of Motörhead since 1984 and 1992 respectively, becoming the longest serving guitarists and drummers that Motörhead ever had.

Rest in peace Lemmy; you’re earned it.


Touring: Send More Paramedics Announce London Show

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Send More Paramedics have announced a London show as a part of their farewell tour. The show takes place at the Camden Barfly on May 10th. Tickets are £12 in advance.

Send More Paramedics formed in 2001 and play a form of punk-influenced thrash metal which is complimented by a zombie theme. The band released 3 albums through In At The Deep End Records which are all still available from the label’s webstore. You should probably associate yourselves with those records now if you haven’t already.


Review: Tempestora’s The Battle Begins

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It’s not often we get to delve into the world of thrash metal at UK Scumscene so I revelled at the opportunity to review Tempestora’s ‘The Battle Begins’ which takes the modern thrash archetype made famous by bands like Evile and mashes it together with melo-death in the style of later Carcass and even manages to add speed metal elements that remind us of Blind Guardian songs like ‘A Voice in the Dark’. ‘The Battle Begins’ might be a thrash record but it’s taking a fair share of its influences from outside the thrash world and for that reason alone it makes for an incredibly engaging listen.

Album opener ‘Relentless’ manages to showcase all the aforementioned stylistic choices in its four and a half minutes and it’s a wonderfully engaging listen. Vocalist and bassist Sam Shiers screams his way through a barrage of speed metal riffing from guitarist Jason Deakins, while drummer Alex Hawes absolutely abuses his bass drum with an impressive display of Dave Lombardo-esque double-bass drumming. When the song brings it’s wonderfully indulgent breakdown into effect you then begin to get a taste of the melodic death metal influences the band are channelling. There is a definite Carcass stamp on the lead guitar work which adds some seriously memorable hooks to the band’s sound; a definite plus for a band with exclusively harsh vocals.

Speaking of lead guitar, Deakins gets to showcase some incredibly impressive solos like the one on ‘A New Age Dawns’. Deakins is an absolute godsend and a supremely talented guitarist who deals in technicality and melody with finesse. The performances of this one man on ‘The Battle Begins’ is award-worthy and I really hope that the man begins to get the attention he deserves.

The real highlight of the record comes in the form of ‘Halls of the Slain’ which is hugely memorable for its amazing guitar work. The band find themselves in Slayer territory and put together a series of the best riffs put to record and add another amazing Deakins solo which screams, “KIRK HAMMETT!” Metal-heads are really in for a treat when this six minute, thrash behemoth rears its head. Mark my words; there will be no heads left to bang by the end of it.

We haven’t even had a chance to mention the beautiful production work which compliments Tempestora’s accuracy and aggression perfectly. There is no doubt the band are extremely tight musicians and the clarity of the production work heightens this element perfectly. A special mention has to be given to to Hawes’ drumming which has been given a wonderfully raw mix which allows the listener to hear every snare, tom and bass-drum thump but without drowning out the cymbals which is often the case in metal production of this type. Hats off to the band and Craig Daws who have found an amazing balance of clarity and grit. How often do you get to say that about a production job?

Tempestora are an extremely exciting young thrash band who now have an album worthy of their talents. ‘The Battle Begins’ is an undeniable master-work of thrash metal that deserves so much more attention. Tempestora have managed to make an album drenched in extreme metal influences and it sounds brilliantly cohesive with the whole record delivered via the band’s wonderfully tight song-writing. Just get this album and tell all your friends. Tempestora might be the next great hope for British metal and I can’t wait to see this band get the opportunity to showcase their talent on a big stage. They truly deserve it.

9/10

Watch Tempestora’s ‘A New Age Dawns’ music video but BE WARNED there is a lot of flashing imagery.

Tempestora’s ‘The Battle Begins’ is available to buy now from Casket Records.


News: Ol Drake Leaves Evile

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Ol Drake first from left.

In what has to be one of the biggest downers ever, Ol Drake has decided to leave Evile. As lead guitarist, Ol Drake has helped mould Evile’s sound into something that is truly unique and helped the band stand out as something more than just a thrash-revival band.

The reason for Drake’s departure is an honest and simple one and one that many a touring band in this day and age can relate to:

“I’ve reached a point where I want a family/kids, a house, a steady and definite income and everything in between, and in regard to my personal preferences, a touring band’s income and uncertainties, in the state that I feel they would continue to be in, has become incompatible with how I feel and what I want/need.

There is no animosity between the rest of the band and I. This is purely a personal and financial decision I’ve been mulling over for a while and I wish them all the best for the future.”

It would appear that Evile are planning to continue without Drake but no announcement has been made as to who will replace him. UK Scumscene wishes both Ol Drake and Evile all the best for the future.

[Source: Blabbermouth]


Review: Die No More’s Blueprint

Oh boy. Right, let’s address the elephant in the room; Die No More like Metallica. A lot. They also like the “Rock-tallica” era of the band’s career as well. I’m telling you this because Die No More’s Blueprint EP takes so many cues from everything Metallica have done since The Black Album that I dare say the band are ripping them off.

I don’t want to label a band a straight rip-off and Die No More could’ve gotten away with simply being a decent heavy metal band, but vocalist and rhythm guitarist Marc Farquhar adds some rather Hetfield-esque inflections to his vocals and it means his band aren’t going to escape the Metallica comparison any time soon. Nightmares is so painfully close to Metallica’s signature sound (just listen to those woahs) that you could easily mistake it for a Metallica b-side.

This is a massive shame as well because Die No More have chops. The songs on Blueprint are full of great riffs and melodies that showcase the band’s superb song writing. The real shining light comes in the form of lead guitarist Kev Smith who pulls off some incredible solos. My jaw was on the floor when the Council of War solo kicked into gear. Mr Smith is an extremely talented guitarist who I can see making a big name for himself in the future. Watch this space.

But as mentioned before, Die No More sound far too close to the band they’re clearly the most influenced by. Everyone likes to pay tribute to their heroes but Die No More are just too close in style to Metallica to justify being a different band. There isn’t much the band need to do in order to differentiate themselves either. If Farquhar just tweaked his vocals in a way that made him sound more like himself then Die No More would instantly avoid the Metallica comparison, but as the band are now they simply won’t avoid being labelled a rip-off and that’s a damn shame as Blueprint showcases a huge amount of potential.

6/10

Die No More’s Blueprint EP is released digitally on the 9th of September.


Review: Gravil’s Thoughts of a Rising Sun

Despite following that classic rock tradition of taking a word and spelling it wrong on purpose, Gravil managed to surprise me straight off the bat with a brilliantly misleading opening. The first track on their album Thoughts of a Rising Sun is called Structurally Unsound and it begins with a jaunty, almost folky piece of guitar work and just as I thought I needed to grab my nearest tankard, pour a pint of ale and do a little jig, the song absolutely annihilates my ears with the biggest thrash metal riff I’ve heard in ages.

Structurally Unsound continues with frantic speed-metal shredding, some exemplary double bass work and that modern-metal staple of screamed verses and huge, memorable, sung choruses. Gravil have my attention and it’s brilliant to hear such expertly crafted thrash that would give bands like Evile and Sylosis a run for their money.

But then something bizarre happens; second track Enemy Within opens with a metalcore “eeeee-yup” and we enter a world of poor melodies and dull, one-chord riffs that are unashamedly synonymous of metalcore. What on Earth happened Gravil? Where’s the melody, the shred, the catchy choruses?

The rest of Gravil’s Thoughts of a Rising Sun continues in a much similar way. Thrash metal riffs are employed sparingly across the entire record, but generally the whole thing becomes a rather predictable yet serviceable metalcore record.

Thankfully Gravil are pretty enjoyable even when they’re making metalcore and their catchy choruses manage to stick around for most of the eleven songs on Thoughts of a Rising Sun, but we just can’t get over how utterly exciting the band sounded on the first track and how the record dramatically turned into pretty standard, modern-metal territory.

There’s talent in this band and they can definitely create more melodic and memorable tunes. We even get to witness some amazing leads on tracks like The Wanderer, so it’s a massive shame to hear the band waste so much of their album chugging on a single chord. Thoughts of a Rising Sun is an album that could have been so much more.

6/10

Gravil’s Thoughts of a Rising Sun is available to purchase direct from the band now.


Review: Cry Havoc’s New Life

Cry Havoc are a 5 piece thrashy, metalcore band from Exeter who make the sort of noise that fans of Send More Paramedics, Bullet For My Valentine and Sacred Mother Tongue can appreciate. This is their “reboot” of debut EP New Life and despite its’ metalcore leanings it proves to be riotous, scream-a-long fun.

While Cry Havoc won’t be winning points for originality, this EP manages to showcase a group of individuals with an immense talent for writing catchy, memorable metal. The opening riff to Losing Everything could’ve easily been ripped from Bullet For My Valentine’s Scream Aim Fire, but it’s brilliant simplicity paired with Eliot Lipscombe’s visceral drumming will instantly get the hardiest of metalheads nodding.

This is Cry Havoc’s greatest strength; you won’t forget their songs any time soon. Vocalist Gavin Bolt has a fantastically urgent and commanding scream which is implemented in the verses before he breaks out into a soaring chorus that you can hear legions of festival-goers singing along to. Enough can’t be said about how enduring this band are.

At no point on the entire EP does this formula work against the band. Here’s 4 straightforward, crucial, head-banging anthems for the masses and they’re so palatable than you can effortlessly lap them up. They’re all punctuated with some fantastic production which makes the band sound like the sort of arena band they’re clearly aiming to be.

The only real negative is some of the lyric choices. Going back to Losing Everything will submit you to the rather cringeworthy outro where Bolt shouts “raise your fist, shut the fuck up” repeatedly like a 12 year old who’s just watched his first 18-rated movie. But while Bolt’s lyricism can bring some embarrassing moments, you cannot fault his delivery which makes New Life a boisterous and brilliantly enjoyable metal record.

Cry Havoc’s New Life isn’t breaking any new ground, but quite simply it’s some of the most fun we’ve had listening to a metal record in quite some time. It’s catchy and each song screams “mosh-pit anthem” thanks to every beautiful, lasting riff and chorus it throws your way. It’s this sort of song writing that’s going to launch Cry Havoc stratospheric and we’ll be more than happy to watch them achieve those amazing heights.

8/10

Cry Havoc’s New Life EP is released digitally the 15th of April 2013.