Basilysk – Emergence

Progressive music and Death Metal have always been strange but undeniable bedfellows. From the very early days of Death’s career, Chuck Schuldiner would play with a technical precision akin to the most progressive bands around and this overt musicianship has continued through the genres’ long and storied histories, from Dream Theater to Tool to Black Peaks, and from Cannibal Corpse to Venom Prison. Musical dexterity is the cornerstone of the two genres, so when they collide you get something mind-bendingly complex. Continue reading

PUSH! – Dark Dive

While the Crossover scene (Heavy Metal and Hardcore Punk) has been flourishing in North America, it is nice to see that the same love for both genres of extreme music are found fused together even in Portugal. PUSH! is back with another Crossover album entitled Dark Dive (self-released) and it is ensured to impress. Equally groovy and crushing, the Lisbon, Portugal natives put together eleven tracks which is the perfect sample size to start listening to an up and coming potential gem in Western Europe. Continue reading

Thunder Horse – Thunder Horse

Fancy that, Thunder Horse (BC/TX) just happens to be the debut LP from well, err, Thunder Horse. I’m only surprised because even the youngest bands today seem to have a trail of EPs and singles before jumping onto the hollowed full length. And as far as musical maiden journeys go, this San Antonio outfit has hit the ground running. Continue reading

Irk – Recipes From The Bible

I get a real kick not only out of reviewing a band from the UK, but also a band that are from the city I hold very dear. Irk are a Noise Rock trio from the bastion of Yorkshire, Leeds. It will never be the most commercial genre, but there is a lot about Irk that is worthy of note, and to show exactly what they’re all about, they have served up their self-released crowdfunded debut album, Recipes From The Bible. Continue reading

Deathkings – Ex Nihilo

I guess Deathkings really missed us since the release of 2016’s All That is Beautiful and decided to do something really nice about it. Being the sweethearts that they are this Los Angeles collective have gifted us a little something in the form a new EP, Ex Nihilo (self-released). And while it’s only two tracks on the shorter end of the spectrum (compared to the usual Sludge/Doom fare) it’s a potent and deadly reminder of what Deathkings is capable of. Continue reading

Chthonic – Battlefields Of Asura

In their time away from the music scene, life has been busy for Taiwanese act Chthonic. Five years have passed since their last studio album Bú-Tik (Spinefarm), and family has played a large part, most notably with married couple, bassist Doris Yeh and vocalist Freddy Lim, having a baby last year. Having also taken up politics, Lim swapped his stage make-up and black leather for a nice clean suit and tie, his progressive New Power Party, formed in 2015, becoming elected into the Taiwanese Parliament in January this year. Continue reading

Shrykull – Shrykull

 

From the fetid depths of Nottingham’s catacombs comes Shrykull, a duo whose severe, wicked noise would shake the foundation of their city. Debut album Shrykull (self-released) is a sub-half-hour blast through blackened hell and pummelling Sludge which commences with the unholy ‘Plagued’: a brutal maelström preceding a morose, often funereal-paced second movement which is wonderfully controlled by William Powell’s spiked riffs and Kez Whelan’s hammer blows. Whelan’s screams cut to the the bone, never better displayed than on the rampant ‘Deafened By The Echo’, Powell’s ireful guitar buzz covering the frantic yet controlled battery. Continue reading

The Uncharted – Perspectives EP

I’m an absolute sucker for any art form which tries to tell a story and has some form of concept to it. I just love to have my nerd string pulled on I find I get way more invested in something if the artist(s) has gone that extra mile in creating something. In line with this come The Uncharted with debut EP Perspectives (self-released) where the story behind this release is that the technicality and progressiveness of the music is paired with an unknown narrator looking for the meaning of life through various ideas and philosophies he encounters. Continue reading

REVIEWS ROUND UP: Black Mirrors, Lowlives, Wildways, Bruise, Arabrot, Lord

Nearly twenty years into this twenty first century of ours, and retro is once again the chicest tone in town. Fuzzed, bluesy guitars, seventies licks and threads, and an aching earnestness for a sound of yesteryear is where the coolest of cats are chilling. And down such alleyways we find Belgian quartet Black Mirrors and their impressive full length debut Look Into The Black Mirror (Napalm). Continue reading