ALBUM REVIEW: BEAR – Propaganda

Propaganda (Pelagic Records) is the first full length I’ve gotten my hands on from Belgian exports, BEAR. In description to their sound I see lots of online chatter about it being labeled as Progressive Hardcore which to me sounds very appealing as it conjures up thought of Botch or early Between the Buried and Me. And while there are moments of zonked out Prog on Propaganda, I’d say it was akin to Groove Metal even though I’ve never been particularly jazzed about that as a genre moniker. Continue reading

Wardehns – Now Cometh The Foul

It’s not every day you get to put (sic) next to a band’s name, but Wardehns (sic) is just that group of troubadours. Spelling twattery aside, this Wisconsin trio’s self-released debut album, Now Cometh The Foul is a thing of beauty; its angry Sludge much akin to High On Fire via Entombed via, err, Alexisonfire, but in a good way. Continue reading

Saqra’s Cult – The 9th King

Sometimes Black Metal is just a mess of clichés – unreadable spiky fonts, unhinged teens in corpsepaint, blizzards… Yet Belgians Saqra’s Cult treads a different path. As their new EP, The 9th King (Amor Fati Productions), demonstrates, you can still breathe life into the old werewolf. In this case, the band draws deep from the Incan pagan heritage of their guitarist, and some strong yet original Black Metal results. Continue reading

Moments – Outlast EP

If I curve my hands around my mouth and shout, “BELGIUM,” what’s the first thing that comes to your mind (besides What is this nitwit doing randomly shouting the names of European countries)? Maybe you think of delicious, hot waffles with ice cream melting on top. Or an ice-cold Stella Artois on a hot summer day? Perhaps the national soccer team’s outstanding performance in the 2014 World Cup finals that was expected by exactly no one? Continue reading

Supergenius – Supertired

Belgian rockers Supergenius’s début album Supertired (Hypertension/9000 Records) is awash with Nineties influences, it is chunky melodic rock with a strong vein of Indie and pop-Punk running through it. ‘Charmer’ has a nice, whistleable chorus to add to its strong, radio friendly Foo Fighters vibe. They also share the fuzzy guitar tone and slight sense of melancholy of Weezer, the heavy rhythms of ‘Know Your Knots’ demonstrates this. Edward Godby’s everyman vocal style shares more than a passing resemblance to Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer of aforementioned sweater pulling rockers. Continue reading

Graspop Metal Meeting 2015 Announces Lineup

graspop Metal Meeting 2015graspop Metal Meeting 2015logoGMM15-A4-NH-Webposter

Graspop Metal Meeting 2015 has released their lineup, which will be held in Dessel, Belgium on June 19, 20 and 21, 2015. The lineup so far is:

KISS
SLIPKNOT
SCORPIONS
JUDAS PRIEST
KORN
WITHIN TEMPTATION
MOTÖRHEAD
ALICE COOPER
IN FLAMES
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH
GODSMACK
BODY COUNT
LAMB OF GOD
PAPA ROACH
CRADLE OF FILTH
CHILDREN OF BODOM
BLACK STONE CHERRY
DANKO JONES
ARCH ENEMY
AT THE GATES
MY DYING BRIDE
EXODUS
IHSAHN
GOD SEED
ALCEST
CANNIBAL CORPSE
KORPIKLAANI
SARKE
SAMAEL
ORCHID
BLUES PILLS
KATAKLYSM
PRIMORDIAL
TERROR
SEPTICFLESH
AMORPHIS
SHINING
AVATARIUM
EVERY TIME I DIE
ORPHANED LAND
STRAY FROM THE PATH
BUTCHER BABIES
WINTERFYLLETH
THE SWORD
DEN SAAKALDTE
SYLOSIS
SIGH

Hessian – Manegarmr

Hessian coverManegarmr begins with a symphony of heavy, whirlwind guitars in opener ‘Ascension’. Hessian draws comparisons to their countrymen Amenra, but unlike the latter’s penchant for post-metal, Hessian prefer to be more up-front. Manegarmr definitely deserves to be played at obscene volume. The driving guitar is at the forefront of the whole record and it’s interplay with the growled vocals of Bram, makes the feeling all the more menacing. At times it’s metallic, but not so much that it sounds overproduced or copyist. Continue reading