Death Metal Round Up: Cast The Stone, Stillbirth, Siege Of Power, Monstrosity And More

It may have taken thirteen years to follow-up their sole release, but with a cast that includes Misery Index, Cattle Decapitation and Scour alumni, the trials of time can be forgiven with Cast The Stone, and new EP release Empyrean Atrophy (Agonia) shows that this band has a lot more worth than simply being a side dabbling for them. Continue reading

Al Ard – Al Ard

Despite what many people might believe, Black metal as a genre was always about experimentation, evolution and about finding an identity, even amongst peers. Right from its roots, Black Metal was an ever-changing force with its famous ‘second wave’ icons consciously taking vastly different directions and styles.

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DSKNT- PhSPHR Entropy

Right from the offset, Black Metal has always been a genre that has championed the more esoteric aspects of art. Whether that being in the challenging music itself, or in its purveyor’s presentation, it is also a style of music has always thrived in mystique and continues to do so to this day. Shrouded in mystery with an almost hidden identity, Swiss solo musician Asknt has been (partly or wholly) responsible for a number of varied projects over the years, most recently with the full-length debut of DSKNT, PhSPHR Entropy (Sentient Ruin Laboratories). Continue reading

Emperor Booked To Headline Netherlands Deathfest 2018

Continuing a string of headline appearances at European metal festivals, Emperor will headline Netherlands Deathfest 2018. Nine other bands have also been added with more bands and details to follow. Continue reading

Carcass, Angel Witch, 1349, Skinless And More To Play Netherlands Deathfest 2018

 

Carcass, by Meg Loyal Photography

Having just completed its latest edition three weeks ago, Netherlands Deathfest 2018 has announced its first wave of bands! Carcass is the first named headliner along with Angel Witch, 1349, Sadistic Intent, Skinless, Broken Hope, Devourment, Rotten Sound and more! Details below: Continue reading

Jody Seabody and The Whirls – Holographic Slammer

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It is commonplace for bands to state their admiration and inspiration from a wide range of influences and styles, and rightly so, ranging from the classics to lesser known and the newer, but very few can take such a multitude and clearly work them into their fabric. Houston, Texas based Jody Seabody & The Whirls are one such esoteric example that have taken a wide palette and concocted what is an undoubtedly barmy concoction.

The cover for second album Holographic Slammer (Artificial Head) suitably illustrates the colourful, complex and multi-layered proceedings with its 60’s style, vivid psychedelic artwork; and proves a throwback to many of the influences on show. Album opener ‘Two Atmospheres’ is a short number, which clearly resembles some of The Beatles more avant-garde catalogue, before ‘Grassman’ opens up into a huge sonic range from Electric Light Orchestra vocal lines, psychedelic fuzz and prog rock’s unconventional time signatures. Later on there are even nods to Fleetwood Mac and blues rock, before both parts of ‘Charlemagne’ and album closer ‘Fucked Up Adventurous’ turns you on your head with a raw, punk like sound ala Black Flag, changing without warning or easing whatsoever.

Surprisingly, this off-kilter change of pace works very well, adding an extra dimension to the album and keeping in line with the band’s quirky and obscure nature, which shows that nothing is off limits to them. This may not invoke any real new sounds or styles as such, but on Holographic Slammer they have skipped genre boundaries and formed something that is progressive in its scope.

 

7.0/10

 

CHRIS TIPPELL

 

Lychgate – An Antidote For The Glass Pill

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“Uncanny Valley” is a phrase originally coined in the field of aesthetics to describe the feeling of revulsion caused by things which look and move almost but not exactly like natural beings, but has since been used to describe anything which familiar but different enough to be unsettling, creepy and… well… uncanny. The easiest way to describe Lychgate’s second album would be a combination of Symphonic Black Metal and Funeral Doom, but though that’s technically true fans of those two genres are likely to be a little creeped out by Lychgate’s approach to both.

One of the most audible ways in which Lychgate stand out is their use of keys, especially the near-omnipresent Church Organ. Nothing new itself, of course, but rather than simply garnishing riffs or creating “atmospheric” space-filler, Lychgate frequently use their organ (tee hee) as a lead instrument, creating a genuinely unsettling sense of otherness in those used to more conventional Metal songwriting. The production lends further weight to this impression, the guitars taking on a cold, clipped feeling that times calls to mind old Castlevania soundtracks.

Both of these things would be irrelevant, of course, without the song-writing to back them up, and Lychgate continue to buck both Black Metal and Doom orthodoxy with broken, nightmarish compositions that draw as much from Prog and psychedelia as from any Metal sub-genre. Greg Chandler (also of Esoteric) uses his distinctively damaged-sounding vocals to lend further emotional weight to an alternately bombastic and ghostly selection of songs.

This is Black Metal for people who like the idea of Black Metal more than the reality. Doom for people who want to go beyond stolen Sabbath riffs and feedback. Prog Metal for people who wish the term didn’t have anything to do with Opeth. Simultaneously familiar and genuinely unusual, An Antidote For The Glass Pill (Blood Music) is likely to be one of the most interesting and distinctive releases in three over-saturated genres this year.

 

8.0/10

 

RICHIE HR

Temples Festival 2016: Major Lineup Announcements

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Hot UK festival Temples, held at Motion skatepark in Bristol, UK, has confirmed the first batch of bands to play next years edition.

Extended to run over four days, and appearing a week later on the calendar than this years incarnation, one of the most must-see events on the UK metal and heavy music calendar has come out of the blocks, confirming the following acts will hit the boards between June 2 and June 5, with more to follow:

ALL PIGS MUST DIE
ARABROT
BONGRIPPER
CORRUPT MORAL ALTAR
DEAD CONGREGATION
DRAGGED INTO SUNLIGHT
ESOTERIC
GNAW THEIR TONGUES
GROUNDHOGS
IRON REAGAN
MGLA
PISSGRAVE
SHEER TERROR
URFAUST
VENOM PRISON
VICTIMS
VISION OF DISORDER
WEEKEND NACHOS

With 3 main stage headliners still to be announced, Temples is already shaping up as the place to be at the start of summer 2016.

Tickets are available exclusively from www.templesfestival.co.uk

Watain, At The Gates, Satyricon Confirmed For Blastfest 2015

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Blastfest will be held 18-21st February 2015 in Bergen, Norway and in case you missed this lineup announcement, here it is again:

Alfahanne
Aspherium
Asphyx
At The Gates
Baptism
Blood Red Throne
Bolzer
Bömbers
Borknagar
Byfrost
Craft
Crib45
Cryptopsy
Dark Funeral
Dark Tranquility
Dead To This World
Decapitated
Demilich
Den Saakaldte
Djevelkult
Destroyer 666
Destruction
Endstille
Esoteric
Falloch
Finntroll
Gehenna
Hecate Enthroned
Impaled Nazarene
Kall
Melechesh
Moonsorrow
Morgoth
Naer Mataron
Orange Goblin
Paradise Lost
Primordial
Purple Hill Witch
Rotting Christ
Samael
Sarke
Sarkom
Satan
Saturnus
Satyricon
The Sickening
The 3rd Attempt
Tortorum
Tsjuder
Vallenfyre
Winterfylleth
Wyruz
+ more yet to be announced.

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