FESTIVAL REVIEW: Damnation Festival 2019: Live at Leeds University

When Axl Rose waxed romantically about cold November rain in back in 1992, he clearly wasn’t singing about Leeds on a Saturday morning. A cold, depressing day darkened by oppressive black clouds showering their misery relentlessly from above, there is nothing romantic about Leeds city centre. However, above the sound of rain pelting against umbrella canopies, and cars splashing through ankle-high lakes of dirty water, there is hope. Somewhere out there is Damnation Festival. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Alcest – Spiritual Instinct

Imagine yourself about to jump into an oblivion of feelings, you do not know what to expect, but you feel thrilled because you know that you’re going to enjoy it and that you’re ready for the trip. That is what the new Alcest album, Spiritual Instinct (Nuclear Blast Records) brings to the table from the first track up to the last. I have to admit that I have never really paid any attention to the French masters of post-Black Metal, even a lot of people of my close circle loves them. For some reason, I didn’t want to pay attention and, by God, how wrong I was!

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REVIEW: Rivers of Nihil – Black Crown Initiate, MØL, Orbit Culture Live at Mama Roux’s

With a lengthy and excitable queue having already formed well before the 7 pm opening time, you can already tell heading to Birmingham on a typically drizzly September evening is going to be well worth the effort. After disappearing for a few words with Rivers of Nihil drummer Jared Klein, I arrive back into the previously empty venue to find it heaving with activity. The bar area is already packed, beer flows freely and merchandise is being handed over at an impressive rate. Continue reading

Portrayal of Guilt and Soft Kill Release a Split 7 inch Record

Two of the greatest bands in the underground in 2019 are Portrayal of Guilt and Soft Kill. The two groups just released a split 7 ”, via Closed Casket Activities. Portrayal of Guilt just released their new album Suffering is a Gift just last week! Purchase and stream the release right now via Bandcamp! Continue reading

We Never Learned To Live – The Sleepwalk Transmissions 

Much like Roadrunner Records in the 1990s, a mark of contemporary quality is any band on the Holy Roar Records roster. You are guaranteed an absolute slobber knocker with pretty much everything they have put out over the last decade, whether it’s the all-out Hardcore of Employed to Serve or Secret Cutter, the Screamo of Portrayal of Guilt or the psychedelic Stoner Prog of Boss Keloid. Now turning to Post Hardcore, we as listeners should welcome the arrival of We Never Learned To Live‘s latest offering; The Sleepwalk Transmissions (Holy Roar Records). Continue reading

Tripsitter – The Other Side Of Sadness

They say you should never judge a book by its cover. If you do you might imagine that Ulysses, by James Joyce, is a novel about Irish architecture rather than a masterpiece of modernist literature / a meritless stream of consciousness depending on whose opinion you ask for. A cursory glance at The Other Side Of Sadness (Prosthetic Records) by Austrian quartet, Tripsitter, would imply nu-Metal with its monstrous, Korn-like depiction of a family portrait. What we get instead is a curious blend of Hardcore, Shoegaze and even the tiniest hint of Black Metal – so intertwined are the latter two thanks to Blackgaze. Continue reading

Enisum – Moth’s Illusion

When you think of thriving underground metal scenes, Italy may not be the first place that springs to mind; but it is one that is criminally overlooked and that in recent years has become a hotspot for creativity bubbling under the surface. One of the most important players in this scene is the ever-reliably great Avantgarde Music, who have championed and showcased plenty of great Italian acts (as well as from other locales) such as Selvans, Progenie Terrestre Pura and the subject of this review EnisumContinue reading