Kurokuma – Sheffield’s Best Metal Bands Vol 1

 

A cold Yorkshire wind blows through the speakers before a tapped out bass line floats along. It’s immediately reminiscent of the hammered-on, happy-go-lucky turned sinister oddity of Primus’ ‘Here Come The Bastards’, and forms the lilting lynchpin of the song. Quickly, ‘RVN’ becomes a colossal Stoner Metal riff barrage, filled with the same grooving bounce the bass line laid out. Suddenly any quirkiness that evoked feelings of Primus is dissipated, and in its place, a muscular yet peculiar creature is presented. This is Kurokuma. Continue reading

Zaum – Divinations

A histrionic chime of a small bell is the first noise that greets the listener. It seemingly summons spiritual moans and groans that echo in the proverbial temple of Zaum‘s oeuvre. ‘Relic’ begins placidly, slowly building its way up to the riff that forms the song’s centrepiece, and when that riff arrives it is a blissful moment. Continue reading

Black Sites – Exile

Nostalgia can often be treated with cynicism and suspicion. Oftentimes heralding the past can be seen to be a cheap way of living of someone else’s glory through pale imitation, or can equally be seen as a pointless endeavour that does nothing to progress the state of artistry. For those who are not naysayers of throwback music, it can provide a comfort and a safety net; the points of reference are starkly apparent and it does nothing to rock the boat leaving the listener with a warm sense of familiarity. 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

The Machinist – Confidimus In Morte

Hardcore music, and its derivatives, are going through something of a renaissance. With the release of 2017’s Forever (Roadrunner Records), Code Orange astonishingly brought a fresh ideation to a genre already brimming with brilliant bands. It wasn’t so much a reinvigoration as it was a rewriting of the rulebook in a manner that has seen many bands attempting to play catch up or ape the style. Not every Hardcore influenced band is trying to rip off the Pennsylvanians however, and one such example is New York quartet, The Machinist. Continue reading

Ketzer – Cloud Collider

Was Thrash a fad? With the indomitable rise of The Big 4 to the point of global phenomenon in the eighties, along with the likes of Exodus and Testament to name but a few, the sub-genre was a world-conquering behemoth with no signs of relinquishing its stranglehold on the zeitgeist. With Metallica’s turn to stadium Rock on their self-titled effort – better known as The Black Album (Elektra) – and the emergence of the Seattle Grunge movement, Thrash was dead in the water, being dropped into obscurity as rapidly as it had become a buzzword. Continue reading

Wormwitch – Heaven That Dwells Within

Black Metal: Metal’s most infamous subgenre. The bastard son of Sabbath’s breed, Black Metal has always traded on evil and infamy. Where Black Sabbath made passing mention of Lucifer, Black Metal worships at Satan’s blood-stained altar in reverence. With this infernal DNA coursing through the genre there comes a weight of devilish expectation. Black Metal ought to terrify and perturb, it should scare the more conservative listener into a stupor. Can Wormwitch rise to this legacy? Continue reading

Cocaine Piss – Passionate And Tragic

Stereotypes are such a crass and ugly thing. Used as a lazy and offensive descriptor of someone’s personality due to their nationality, they are something that should be abolished. The stereotypical view of Belgium and its people is one of being reserved and downright boring. How better to dispel that myth that with some high-velocity anarcho-Punk? Enter Cocaine Piss. Continue reading

Enterprise Earth – Luciferous

A great philosopher of our age often posits a question. It may be a rhetorical question, but one that every fan of heavy music finds themselves asking every day. It is not a question of faith, nor meant to invoke an existential crisis, but one far more important and intrinsic to the makeup of Heavy Metal. “Do you want heavy?”. Well, if the answer is yes – as it always should be – then look no further than Enterprise Earth. Continue reading

The Glorious Rebellion – Scholars of War

An attacked guitar fades in with a straight Rock n’ Roll riff before spacious strings reverberate around the listeners’ skulls. They give way into the abyss as an almighty Sludge riff threatens to swallow the world whole. ‘This Is Fine’ centres on this aforementioned riff and grinds in a cyclical manner around one’s speakers eviscerating the local surroundings. ‘This Is Fine’ is an understatement: as an opener to an EP, it is borderline excellent. Billy Myers III’s shouted vocals have the force necessary to level council flats, and come across as blissfully effortless to listen to. Continue reading