Primitive Man / Hell – Split

Nothing beats a good split between two solid artists putting together a song or two each since we all know as music lovers, we all want new tunes! Primitive Man and Hell have joined forces on Split (Relapse) where Primitive Man brings forward two tracks of about six minutes each while Hell brings a single near-ten minute track to the table. This particular split is a great pick me up for after a long day at the office and is long enough to help soothe your head and be over before your commute home is complete. Continue reading

Un / Coltsblood – Un / Coltsblood

When I heard about this particular collaboration, I swear a little bit of wee came out. Seattle’s Un is still reveling in the success of last year’s coruscating, moving Sentiment (Translation Loss Records), while Scouse / Scottish hybrid Coltsblood have laid waste to the UK Underground for the last five years. This split, therefore, promises to be a leveller on both sides of the Atlantic. Continue reading

Swallow The Sun – Lumina Aurea

As their legion of fans will attest to, Swallow The Sun is not your average Death-Doom band. The inventiveness and melancholy melodies lift the Finnish outfit to another plain and, after 2015’s lauded triple album Songs From the North, any release from the sextet is anticipated with a relish akin to hero-worship. Single Lumina Aurea, all fourteen minutes of it, is a precursor to next year’s album When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light (all Century Media) and, although not a track from that album, is an eerie, monumental aperitif – a gateway to the full product. Continue reading

Slipknot – All Out Life

Easily one of the most anticipated albums of 2019, the new Slipknot album is sure to be picked over and examined by fans and the entirety of the music press. The album will be the follow up to 2014’s .5: The Gray Chapter (Roadrunner) and their sixth overall. The band is in the top echelon in the world for heavy music, and even kvlt and underground bands that feel unaffected by the heaviest commercial band out there, are indeed impacted by a Slipknot release. In short, this band is good for metal. The kid that discovers Slipknot today, may find Carcass, or Imperial Triumphant, or Bell Witch tomorrow. Anyway, the band dropped a b-bomb on Halloween when ‘All Out Life’ (Roadrunner) was surprised released. Continue reading

Iron Reagan/Gatecreeper – Split

The side project of Municipal Waste members Tony Foresta and Landphil Hall, plus Mammoth Grinder‘s Ryan Parrish and Mark Bronzino, and Hellbear bassist Rob Skotis, Richmond, Virginia based crossover Thrashers Iron Reagan team up with Arizona Death Metallers Gatecreeper for a split EP/LP (Relapse) that should leave you with a satisfyingly sore neck. Continue reading

Sleep – The Clarity

Back in September, Matt Pike dropped a bombshell on us with news of a new Sleep record some time in 2017. The new year has come and gone and prior posts on the band’s Facebook page suggest that that the boys have indeed been hard at work in the studio over the last few months.  Continue reading

Memoriam – The Hellfire Demos (I & II)

With Birmingham-based Death Metal act Benediction on a seemingly indefinite hiatus, and fellow Midlanders Bolt Thrower having officially called it a day, it doesn’t come as any great surprise to find the two regional bands putting their creative heads together to produce some good old fashioned, balls out Death Metal. Combining the sound of both bands and adding the cantankerous thrash of criminally overlooked Brummies Sacrilege into the mix, Memoriam have arrived to make your neck wish it had never been born. Continue reading

Davie Allan/Joel Grind – Split EP

Davie Allan Joel Grind - Split EP cover ghostcultmag

For those of you who are unaware (and I dare say there will be a few), Davie Allan is a Californian guitarist probably best known for his work on a variety of biker movies in the 1960s. Taking the traditional surf guitar sound, he twisted it into something entirely different using the newly invented Fuzzbox. Allan’s fuzzed up guitar tracks have been used in many films over the years, most recently in Quentin Tarantino‘s Inglourious Basterds.

Joel Grind, on the other hand, comes from a completely different arena. His band Toxic Holocaust have been tearing up the Thrash scene since their inception in 1999. Their (or rather his, as Grind played all the instruments on the band’s first few releases himself) brand of Punk/Thrash relying more on creating sweaty, violent carnage in the moshpit rather than any kind of bizzaro Surf Rock atmosphere. Grind is no stranger to his music being used on soundtracks either though, having ‘Bitch’ from ‘Conjure and Command’ (Relapse) blasting out during a car chase in a Season 5 episode of Sons of Anarchy.

An entirely instrumental affair, this split four track EP (Relapse) consists of some seriously dirty hard rockin’ surf music with a greasy ’60s/early ’70s vibe. From the moment the motorbikes cease their revving at the beginning of Allan’s opening track ‘Recycled Too’ you are immediately thrust into a world of psychedelic, violent biker movies like Devil’s Angels, The Wild Angels or even Werewolves on Wheels where Hell’s Angels smoke weed, drop acid, have hairy, leathery sex, and beat up anyone who looks at them in a funny way. And all this happily continues with his second track ‘Buzz Saw Effect’.

Unsurprisingly, Grind’s contribution is somewhat heavier than Allan’s. ‘Peacekeeper’ kicks off his side of the disc enthusiastically, while second cut ‘The Invisible Landscape’ is driven by a more traditional clean surf guitar tone. Also, being instrumental tracks only, people who aren’t familiar with, or don’t usually care for, Grind’s Dalek-receiving-a-proctological-exam vocals don’t have to worry here.

If Rob Zombie directed a movie about Hell’s Angels on acid fighting a gang of machine gun wielding Go-Go dancers on the back roads of Hell, then this would absolutely be the soundtrack.

8.0/10

GARY ALCOCK

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Coffins/Ilsa – Split EP

coffins ilsa split ep ghostcultmag

You can file Coffins and Ilsa’s Split EP (Relapse Records) under heaviest thing you’ll jam out to for a while. No time to waste here with pretentious orchestral arrangements or cliché samples; Coffins and Ilsa immediately start their brutal eardrum massage with relentless riffs and grooves.

Case in point? You only get roughly 12 minutes of music on this EP. Maximum effort and distortion crammed into two songs.

Japan’s Coffins gets first crack at it with ‘Tyrant’ and they somehow make it sound more demonic than on last year’s Craving to Eternal Slumber. The guitar tone remains Coffins gnarly, but the production has dialed up the grit and smoke inhalation. Jun Tokita’s grunts sound like the product of a lifelong sand and gravel diet and are perfectly paired to Uchino’s skilsaw on asphalt guitar tone.

Tempo-wise, Ilsa aren’t as jackhammer intense as Coffins, but they certainly bring the decibels on ‘Cult of the Throne.’ But what they lack in speed, they make up for with an even grimier atmosphere and steady double bass stomp. Orion Peter’s pained howling and the crawling breakdown at around the 4:15 mark conjure up images of prime Eyehategod.

You may not get much in the way of running time, but Coffins and Ilsa satisfy if heaviness is what you crave. Can we get a tour now?

8.0/10

HANSEL LOPEZ

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