Beartooth is one of the most recognizable names in the scene thanks to frontman, Caleb Shomo of Attack, Attack! fame. A side project turned to full-time venture, Beartooth has released two full studio albums since 2014, Disgusting, Aggressive and now Disease (via Red Bull Records) adds to the discography that represents Shomo’s best work. That’s to say that Shomo is the key musician in this band contributing to every element. Continue reading
Having stolen the best band name a gothic metal vampire act had never thought to use yet, Cape Of Bats have spent the last six years belching out a slew of independent releases and splits; fully espousing a DIY ethic and ethos before arriving at Violent Occultism (Broken Limbs), their debut full-length, a thirty-six minute speedball chaser of blackened punk.
On first impression, Violent Occultism is like being forced to endure a series of particularly noxious bottom burps in a small enclosed space, caught, every two minutes, in the ever-regurgitating waves of the putridity. At first it’s hilarious and more than a little impressive, but it doesn’t take many occasions before the joke, unlike the air, begins to wear a little thin and things turn a little stale.
But just when you feel you need a change of scenery and to get some cleaner air in your lungs, Cape of Bats drop another air biscuit of horrid proportions, but this time including some surprising flavours such as the Kveltertak-getting-done-over-with-studded-maces-in-the-car-park ‘Ultimate Evil’, or ‘Follow Me (To Death)’ with its early second wave of Black Metal riffs and atmosphere; the former followed up with the 37 second punk-blast of ‘Blue Hands’ as if to get things back on track, and the latter by the manic start of ‘Buckets of Blood’.
Cape of Bats deal in sloppy, aggressive raw music with black metal, crust and loose thrash permeating their riffs. Add in Francis Kano’s deranged yelps and throat-rips, Cassidy McGinlay’s drumming switching from D-beats to gakked out surf rock grooves, Matthew Geary’s B-movie carnivalesque keys sporadically appearing and some speed metal frantic soloing and Cape of Bats prove an uncompromising and coarse outfit who are particularly effective when they flirt with the more black metal side of their arsenal, and songs like ‘Damned To Sands’ and ‘Grand Evocation Of War’.
Cape of Bats take raw to other side of the lathe, sinking their filed teeth into still breathing vermin carcasses and expectorating abrasive, unrefined, spiky stabs of punky black metal. A fucking mess of chaos and feral as all hell, nonetheless, there’s something worthwhile in their uncultured savagery.
While most bands from Brooklyn should be viewed with caution given the possibility they may be a hipster plot to infiltrate the metal scene, at least according to a certain breed of metal ‘fan’, in the case of power-trio Mortals one should preferably don body armour and a hard hat lest you be flattened in the wake of their thunderous, bulldozing assault. Once their sophomore full-length release Cursed To See The Future(Relapse) starts to move, it barely lets up in single bloody-minded intensity over the course of forty-seven pulverising minutes.
Blending the feral, filth-flecked riffage of Mayhem at their most ugliest with the battering ram impact of crusty US types High on Fire and Lair of the Minotaur, Cursed To See The Future takes the Route One approach in terms of pace and structure; it’s quick, nasty and aggressive with minimal concessions to melody, akin to being repeatedly pounded over the head with a bone by a rabid caveman under a full moon. In short, it’s a wholly Neanderthal, unsubtle manner of playing and for the most part it’s utterly exhilarating as the frenzied attack of opening track ‘View From a Tower’ demonstrates while the more mid-paced, shifting grooves of ‘The Summoning’ remind you just how punishing sludge can be.
All three musicians are exemplary throughout with the triumphant drumming of Caryn Havlik deserving special praise while the venomous screech of Lesley Wolf lends an air of demonic intensity to proceedings that just makes everything that bit more evil sounding. One complaint is that some of the longer songs tend to drag at nearly ten minutes but with the overall assault being so devastating you’ll likely be too busy trying to catch your breath to care.
This is one band for the future we could do with seeing more from.