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

KEN Mode – Loved

Canadian metallic hardcore-influenced noise rock band KEN Mode are back with a new album, Loved (Season of Mist), but there’s no love to be found on it. Contrary to the name, the Winnipeg, Manitoba band’s seventh album is a solid slab of slow churning, nihilist hardcore that sounds like it could self-destruct at any minute. Continue reading

Harm’s Way – Posthuman

One of my favorite occurrences in the heavy music world of today is when a Hardcore band with metallic influences can reach fans of both realms. Harm’s Way has done this for a few releases now, but their latest, Posthuman (Metal Blade), is certainly their best collective effort to date. Making the jump to Metal Blade was a clear sign that the Chicago natives are looking to further stretch boundaries of Heavy Metal and Hardcore. Continue reading

SECT – No Cure For Death

Informing me that a band features the talents of Fall Out Boy drummer Andy Hurley probably isn’t the best way to sell me on their album, but I’m glad I swallowed my ignorance. I mean, you should’ve told me that Hurley is super talented and that he’s flanked by members of Cursed, Catharsis and Earth Crisis in SECT. Combine those mega-powers with uber-producer Kurt Ballou and the fabled GodCity Studios and you’ve got a hell of a blast of Entombed-core in No Cure for Death (Southern Lord).

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Calligram – Askesis

I’m not one for subgenres. I mean, I understand why they exist and how they appear to explain why Exodus sounds differently from Sleep all while still operating under the Heavy Metal umbrella, but I think we’re too preoccupied with the minutiae of the subgenres; we’re too busy defending the merits of our style against the perceived weaknesses of the others. That’s why it very refreshing to attempt to make sense of the sounds on Calligram’s Askesis (Basick). Continue reading

Idylls – The Barn

An oft-used phrase is that a band/song feels like it’s going to fall off the cliff at any moment. Well, Aussie Hardcore punks Idylls are back once again to make your brains descend from your earholes, actively looking for the precipice, and then some, with their new album The Barn (Holy Roar). Continue reading

River Black – River Black

Formed after the demise of Burnt By The Sun, River Black release their eponymously titled debut on Season of Mist with a line up featuring Mike Olender, John Adubato and Dave Witte of Burnt By The Sun, and joined by Brett Bamberger of Revocation. Continue reading

Wildspeaker – Spreading Adder

Texan purveyors of blackened crust Wildspeaker release their second full length on Prosthetic Records. A notable departure in the tone of 2015’s Survey the Wreckage (self-released) Spreading Adder has a much sludgier feel. Whilst Survey the Wreckage had a brighter and sharper tone, Spreading Adder is much lower and dirtier and the most obvious change is that vocals are more hidden in the mix, which limits their power. Continue reading

Loathe – The Cold Sun

When you look across the whole metal spectrum you’d be hard pressed to find a sub-genre more over-saturated than Tech-Metal. There has been an absolutely massive influx of bands in that scene over the last few years, with a lot of them falling well short of what is needed to really stand out and make a mark. Enter Loathe. Hailing from Liverpool, this band are still relative newcomers so with The Cold Sun (Sharptone) have they made any kind of lasting impression? The short answer is “Yes”. The slightly longer answer is “Very much, yes indeed”. Continue reading

While She Sleeps – You Are We

It’s nigh on impossible to put a finger on quite why While She Sleeps’ sophomore effort Brainwashed (Search and Destroy) didn’t explode. Everything was in place. It was, as we at Ghost Cult opined at the time, the right album at the right time from the right band. And yet, while it undoubtedly moved them forwards, the smashing of the glass ceiling never happened. Whether that shattering and reaching of new heights is being reserved for You Are We (Sleeps Brothers / crowd-funded) time will tell, Continue reading