Usually, Metal from Finland is incarcerated inside a cocoon of cold Death and/or melancholy. For the last seven years, however, Helsinki trio Slave Hands has rebelled against the norm to peddle a particularly horrific brand of Doom-flavoured Sludge, and No More Feelings (Dry Cough Records/Gate Of Deliria/Minor Obscure/Sewer Prison), the band’s fourth album in that time, continues down that solitary, diseased path.Continue reading
It has been three years since Scandinavian-based duo A Swarm Of The Sun released the critically acclaimed album The Rifts. The time taken between records serves them well, with each release being more absorbing than its predecessor. The Woods (both self-released/Version Studio) is no exception, taking the band down a distinctly bleaker path, with a slow and menacing atmosphere that evokes a sense of unease akin to the feeling being watched by something unseen and malevolent.Continue reading
In 2011 Boston quartet Morne tore up the Atmospheric Doom template with sophomore album Asylum (Profound Lore): a dark, brooding masterpiece with strong Crust influences, it garnered favourable comparisons with the likes of Neurosis and Agrimonia whilst acknowledging their own identity. Fourth studio album To the Night Unknown (Armageddon/MORNE) is the band’s first recorded output for five years, and it kicks in with fizzing tension. Continue reading
Since their inception in 2009, New York City’s The Things They Carried (either an obscure reference or a simply naff name, likely the latter) have been on a self-produced quest to push musical boundaries with their, self-proclaimed, “Nerd rock” hybrid of styles and oddity. With a début full length under their belts and some lineup changes (by now seemingly the staple characteristic of any metal act that delves in to the world of Prog), they appear to have found some stability, and a new EP which sees their vision come to some fruition.
Consisting of 5 tracks, two of which push the five-minute marker, Melancholia (Revival Records) is a fairly short sample for the unacquainted but one that packs a plethora of styles, twists and turns. Album opener ‘18G’, for example, proves a very dissonant number, which brings to minds the likes of Sikth and The Dillinger Escape Plan; veering from extreme pace and more melodic sung passages, and even deathcore breakdowns. The following ‘Nightingale’ then shows an almost folk like start with a clean guitar and vocal before it builds once again.
Proceedings only really begin to simplify on the mostly acoustic ‘Death Of The Nameless’, where its simplistic nature feels out-of-place and unnecessary. It also highlights the real shortcomings of Steve Schwartz’s vocals, which, as versatile as they prove, at times are pretty weak and lowest common denominator; here especially they are very limp.
What 3TC (as they are affectionately known by local fans) set out to do here is very bold, especially for a band that is still in relative stages of youth, and for the most part it comes off very well. At times there is a mind-boggling level of technique and abstract styles that somehow flow together seamlessly. Other times there are moments that show they still have some naivety and are still not quite the finished article. Certainly ones to keep an eye out for however.