When yet another massive riff, this time during the early stages of track nine ‘World Eater’, hits – you know the sort… the type of riff that makes your face do the same involuntary wince/”oooooo” combo as sucking a lemon straight after brushing your teeth might – the smile can’t help but break out on your face: The Conquering (Spinefarm Records) isn’t just Employed To Serve upping the ante; their fourth album goes deeeep.
Metal, for all its anti-establishment credentials, can often be quite conservative. Many of the same old tropes have been rolled out again and again for the past four decades or so. Whilst that’s not a major problem for many metal fans, it is arguable that the same recycled ideas just don’t have the same impact that they once did. What once seemed impossibly heavy, deafeningly loud, even shocking or transgressive, can now be played on mainstream radio without anyone raising an eyebrow.
Twenty-five years plus into his career, Marilyn Manson continues to be an enigma, wrapped tight inside a riddle, not wishing to be fully known. By never making the same album twice with his namesake band, he continues to defy expectations, and be equally loved and hated. While his early albums are masterworks that others from the 1990s would kill to rest their reputations on. However, as the rockstar gains on years and gets further away from his early years, he has transformed into a much more interesting character than when he was freaking out pastors and scarring moms and dads.
At first impression of Uniform’s latest LP Shame (Sacred Bones) the impression I’m left with is that this is a strange album, if not group. And don’t confuse strange for off-putting, quite the contrary actually. Song after song I’m legitimately curious as to how the next slab of noise and guitars is going to render out. Shame doesn’t come across as musicians playing in unison as much as an A.I. becoming aware of what music is and taking a stab at it. Continue reading
2020 has already been a busy year for San Diego electronic darkheart Shrieking. Debut album Let the Galaxy Burn (Self-Release) was released in January; a single, Truth About Demons (Self-Release) appeared at the beginning of May, and is closely followed by this Split (Self-Release) with St. Louis Dungeon Synth project Puddleglum. It’s a curious and enticing prospect, enhanced by both bands weighing in with a healthy representation of the material.Continue reading
If a band consists of members from Ne Obliviscaris and Todtgelichter, it’s a fair bet that the results will be 1) bloody dark, 2) as mad as a sheep in a tree. Sure enough, Omega Infinity provides all of this, with the frosted vocal of the Aussies’ mystical Xenoyr tangling with the musical machinations of ‘lichter drummer and keyboardist Tentakel P for debut album Solar Spectre (Season of Mist).Continue reading
Those who’ve known me for some time will have had their ears blunted by my constant praise for Birmingham, UK Industrial Doom duo Khost. Equal parts sampled violence, malevolent strings and vocal apocalypse, beautiful Eastern lamentations often deflect from that harsh path and create a nuance flavoured by the likes of VAST and Moby. Their fourth album Buried Steel (Cold Spring Records) sees a band now truly at ease with its style, happy to have edgy two-minute psalms populating a set in the knowledge that they serve a purpose for the whole.
It’s a fascinating time to be in the Code Orange camp. It’s been a little over three years since the bruising Forever stormed the Metallic Hardcore gates and they’re finally releasing the proper follow-up, Underneath (Roadrunner) to a hungry world. And the hype is certainly a factor. Continue reading
The more disparate aspects influence a band, the more it’s able to grow. Psalm Zero‘s music prior to the new album Sparta (Last Things Records) was all aggravated Indie, the tunes given an edge by guitarist Andrew Hock. With his departure and the subsequent recruitment of Kayo Dot pairing Keith Abrams and Ron Vodun, remaining founder member Charlie Looker has added a warmer, heavier feel to the Grungey lightness and this, together with a tantalising contribution from Lingua Ignota‘s Kristin Hayter, makes the album an enticing prospect.Continue reading
Well, I had a completely different set of expectations heading into Loathe‘s I Let It in and It Took Everything (SharpTone Records). See, one of my co-DJs on my radio show Stress Factor (cheap plug) had played ‘Gored’ and ‘Broken Vision Rhythm’ a few weeks back so I thought I was headed face-first into a sea of gnarly down-tuned Hardcore riffs with some Industrial elements tossed in for good measure. Not quite. Continue reading