Dying Whale – Last Moments of Misery (Review)

Dying WhaleDying Whale are a US hardcore band and this is their latest release.

Last Moments of Misery is a 34 minute mix of hardcore, punk, metal and sludge.

Starting with a firm punk/hardcore base to their music, metal and sludge influences are liberally thrown over the top of it to get the end result that they want. Continue reading

Remote – Resilient (Review)

RemoteRemote are a French hardcore band and this is their second album.

You’ve gotta love dark, violent music that creates oppressive, negative atmospheres. Yes? Oh come on, of course you do.

Combing chaotic hardcore, crushing sludge, dark metal and inventive post-hardcore, Remote present us with 33 minutes of angst-ridden darkness that aims to cause damage. Continue reading

Chronoboros – Dialing up the Cutter (Review)

ChronoborosChronoboros are from Greece and play Sludge-fuelled Hardcore. This is their début EP.

Chronoboros play a mix of Sludge/Hardcore that shares some features of Alternative Metal and Noise Rock in its sideways approach. It reminds me of the early-to-mid-90s style in some ways, albeit with a modern delivery and a distinct personality all of its own.

Combining elements of bands such as Fudge Tunnel, Association Area, Kowloon Walled City, No Anchor, Helmet, The Dillinger Escape Plan and a plethora of others, this is an interesting and enjoyable release that shows that a band can be inventive while still having the capacity to rock out hard.

The music is complex and involved. It has a lot of depth and layers to it meaning that although these songs are quite short they make a good impression. Heavy sections compete for space with less-conventional parts and there’s a lot of good ideas on this EP that are barely explored before the band hop off once again on another exploratory trip into their unusual world.

The vocals combine harsher screams with more unusual semi-spoken vocalisations. It works a treat and is thankfully the right side of quirky.

There’s a lot of talent and promise on this release. It’s only 15 minutes long, so what excuse do you have for not checking it out?

That’s what I thought.

Ultramantis Black – Ultramantis Black (Review)

Ultramantis BlackFrom the US, Ultramantis Black play Hardcore Metal.

The first thing to take in is the album cover, which is very striking. There’s something about it which appeals to me greatly.

Ultramantis Black is a wrestler in his day job, so to speak, and it seems he’s decided to have a stab at some angular, angry Hardcore. I’m glad he has as this is 13 minutes of testosterone and fury.

Reference points? Luddite Clone, Deadguy, the Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, Burnt by the Sun, Association Area – abrasive, inventive, atypical and full of rage.

Vocally he has a thin, piercing semi-shriek that’s buried low in the mix and sounds Punk as fuck. It’s different to what I was expecting and a welcome surprise. The best way I can think to describe it is a snarl, pure and simple.

The vocals being lower in the mix allows the music to take centre stage, and it’s strong enough to do this. For a man who is probably used to being the centre of attention it’s a brave and confident move, but the band of assorted miscreants he has assembled to spread his message know their stuff so it’s an understandable one.

The songs twist and turn, rage and subdue, burn and fade and then it’s over. 13 minutes is not a long time. Alternatively, 13 minutes is a very long time in a choke hold, which this is the aural equivalent of.

Repeated spins show this release to be an ungentle grower, as the guitar riffs become more familiar and the unexpected song directions become easier to navigate.

I have a long-running soft spot for this kind of music stemming from a period years and years ago when I was absolutely obsessed with it. I still love it now and it’s always great to hear it done so well.

You can see why a label as prestigious as Relapse snapped this up – this is right up their street and is of the highest quality, especially for a début release.

Give this a whirl and prepare to be floored.

Favourite Track: Sentience. The mid-paced highly emotive main riff brings me out in goosebumps.

Brutal Blues – Brutal Blues (Review)

Brutal BluesBrutal Blues are a Grindcore band from Norway and this is their first release.

The band play ferociously aggressive Grind that feels unhinged and dangerous. The music seems refined to the point of Mathcore and the musical assault is relentless.

The vocals are demented and inhuman, sounding as if someone is strangling a murderous clown in someone else’s nightmare and the howls and screams are bleeding through into your consciousness.

Coming across like a more maniacal mix of Discordance Axis and Association Area with a hint of early The Dillinger Escape Plan; Brutal Blues provide a hypnotically mental 15 minutes of inventive, interesting and effective Grind.

I haven’t heard anyone really play this style of music that became quite popular in the early 2000’s for quite a while. I’m reminded of bands like Botch, Luddite Clone, Uphill Battle, etc. only more extreme. It’s a welcome reminder of something I was heavily into at one point, always seeking out the latest band at the time, and I’m very happy to see that the style is alive and well in the hands of Brutal Blues.

A blast from the past and a warning shot to the future.