ALBUM REVIEW: Code Orange – Underneath

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

ALBUM REVIEW: Kublai Khan – Absolute

On Absolute (Rise Records), Kublai Khan ticks off a lot of the boxes I’m looking for in modern Metallic Hardcore or extreme music, but something isn’t quite passing state inspection. They’re blending equal parts Hardcore and Metal fury, have meaty breakdowns, occasional Thrash tempos and happen to be from Texas. I should like this. Or I should like this a bit more. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Knocked Loose – A Different Shade of Blue

Let’s take a minute and give a proper shout out to the lovely state of Kentucky because despite not being typically known for its extreme music scene it is somehow home to the bruisers in Knocked Loose. Not familiar with Knocked Loose? Well, just know that in the span of two LPs and a handful of splits and EPs they’ve secured themselves a plum spot in the modern Hardcore pecking order. Let’s skip the formalities, A Different Shade of Blue (Pure Noise) is only going to further entrench these gentlemen into the hearts of slam dancers and tough guys alike. Continue reading

Ringworm – Death Becomes My Voice

Diminished twin lead guitars fade in above a filthy, distorted bass line. It segues into the intro of the title track, and Death Becomes My Voice (Relapse Records) begins in ill-conceived circumstances. This intro segment is a slow crawl through power chords and crashing cymbals, and completely unrepresentative of the album as a whole. When the main bulk of the title track begins it’s clear that the slow introduction was a calm before a storm, but perhaps an unnecessary breather to kick things off. It may have worked better somewhere in the middle of this unrelenting album as something of a palate cleanser, but more on that later. Continue reading

Section H8 – Phase One

White noise feeds back into the listener’s ears. An overwhelming feeling of discomfort sets the stage for Phase One (Flatspot Records) to begin in riotous fashion. ‘A. D. (Anno Diabolus)’ starts with a slow, brooding bass and excerpts of a voice talking about “the demon” that “feeds on your hate”, before the screaming starts. As the band kick in underneath the yelped vocals, there’s a carnal urge to flip tables and spin kick like your life depends on it. In a mere forty seconds, Section H8 are able to tap into the base urges of humanity’s inherently violent nature and get your adrenaline pumping like a shot to the heart. Continue reading

The Royal – Deathwatch

It is not too often where I find new metallic Hardcore that gets me paying attention as quickly as the latest release from this group from the Netherlands known as The Royal. Their latest album entitled Deathwatch (Long Branch Records) is a mix of all the fun things you like about Metal, complete with breakdowns with a Hardcore Punk vocalist. There is also a nice atmospheric touch to some tracks, just to add that bit of spice as needed to keep the listener’s attention. Continue reading

Snake Tongue – No Escape No Excuses EP

An EP is an auditory window to the soul. Whether it’s a band in the infancy of their career laying out their opening salvo, or a veteran act dipping their toes into more experimental waters, it gives the listener a glimpse into what lies beneath any aesthetic visage. Following on from their debut album Raptor’s Breath, Snake Tongue returns with No Escape No Excuses (The Sign Records), an EP that is a sonic departure as well as a statement of intent. Continue reading

Ithaca – The Language Of Injury

Those of you with a keen ear to the underground Metal scene will doubtless already be familiar with Metallic Hardcore outfit Ithaca. Whilst it has been several years in its genesis, The Language Of Injury (Holy Roar) is the band’s full-length debut and, if the cliché that good things come to those who wait still has any relevance and cache at the start of 2019, then it most assuredly can be used here to welcome this record of brutal, uncompromising beauty. Continue reading

Cloudburst – Cloudburst

One of the most appealing aspects of getting to listen to Cloudburst’s self-titled sophomore (Samstrong Records) effort is learning that they hail from Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Through years of tape trading, international touring and eventually communicating online we’ve always known that the extreme music market is indeed a global one, but it’s always exciting to receive these imports. Continue reading

Terror – Total Retaliation

No airs, no graces, no gods, no masters; this is hitting hard, beating down, aggressive music. Armed with their seventh studio album, Total Retaliation (Nuclear Blast/Pure Noise) and bucket load of muscle and testosterone to palm-mute chug into your face, LA five-piece Terror, bastions of traditional Tough-guy Hardcore, bring the chants, the slams, the pit-anthems and the attack in their own inimitable and unmistakable approach. Continue reading