Ancst – Abolitionist (Review)

Ancst - AbolitionistsAncst are a blackened crust band from Germany and this is their latest EP.

I always enjoy catching up with Ancst. This prolific band seem to almost always have a new release coming out. Continue reading

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Lambs – Betrayed from Birth (Review)

LambsLambs are an Italian blackened Hardcore band and this is their début EP.

You gotta love Blackened Hardcore. A sub-genre that takes the best of the violence and darkness from Hardcore and Black Metal? Yes please! This style is getting more and more popular and has already resulted in a plethora of good bands such as Hexis, Plebeian Grandstand, Dark Circles, Ancst, Cowards, Funerals, Protestant and Flesh Born, to name just a few. Some bands go slightly more one way or the other, while others, like Lambs, meet both genres in the middle. That, and a bit of Post-Hardcore thrown in for good measure.

This is a quality little release that showcases what Lambs are capable of, and it seems that they should have big things ahead of them if they can keep this level of quality control and intensity up for a full album. Well, big things for a small sub-genre at any rate.

The aforementioned intensity doesn’t mean it’s a Blackened blast fest, (although they can blast when they need to); Lambs have a darkly emotive and fanged assault that never lets up regardless of the speed they play at. In this way they can be compared to any number of modern violent Hardcore bands, as they keep on pushing and pushing with the relentless riffs, to make sure their point is rammed home; be this by straight forward assaults, dirge-fuelled slower sections or angular, atypical melodies. Lambs cover all of the bases.

There’s only three songs here but contained within them is a lot of dark intent and malevolent ambition. As calling cards go this is up there with the best of the style and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

Play at full volume.

Unsacred – False Light (Review)

UnsacredThis is the début album from US Crusty Black Metal band Unsacred.

This is blistering, raw and nasty but still boasts a powerful sound.

This style of Black Metal that incorporates the visceral, harsh nature of Crust and Hardcore is a particular favourite of mine of late. Unsacred join the ranks of top bands like Hexis, Ancst, Vermin Womb, Protestant, Flesh Born, etc. who all play the style with power and presence.

False Light boasts songs that have a very direct impact with quality riffs that are halfway between the scything, frozen Black Metal style and a more direct and energetic Hardcore one. Combined like this they mix the best of both worlds and the tracks on this album come across as pure class.

The singer has a very satisfying rasp, somewhat akin to a higher, sharper version of the At The Gates singer in some ways. His voice suits the acerbic nature of the music and is another feather in the cap of Unsacred.

The dark energies flow freely through Unsacred. The suffering and pain they inflict is exquisite.

At only 22 minutes in length False Light is over far too soon. I can easily listen to this over and over again, and I suggest that you do too.

Great stuff. Now bring me more.

Ancst – In Turmoil (Review)

AncstAncst are from Germany and this is a compilation of their earlier work between 2012 and 2014.

The band play a combination of Black Metal and Crust that’s endearing and violent without sacrificing emotional depth.

As a collection of tracks In Turmoil is remarkably consistent with sound and style, although the first two songs are easily the longest and after this their output becomes shorter in length and more condensed.

The music is emotive and heavy, with moments of bleak beauty and violent Hardcore clashing in ways reminiscent of bands such as Hexis, Fleshborn and Protestant who share a similar stylistic space of Blackened Hardcore/Crust.

Intense shouting and blasting drums are the order of the day. Blackened riffs and menacing guitars lay a foundation of darkened melodies over which the drums blaze and the singer roars his diatribes.

It’s not all blasting and hyper-violence however, as not only do the band understand dynamics and the importance of taking the foot off the accelerator now and again, but they even have a few forays into softer territory in between the blast beats.

This is a worthy addition to the ever expanding sub-genre of Blackened Hardcore/Crust. Colour me impressed.