Here we have 61 minutes of progressive metal/hardcore, the likes of which you rarely encounter among the faceless hordes of most nearly-interchangeable bands. Continue reading
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
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 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.
Irk are first with four tracks totalling 13 minutes.
This is angular, Mathcore-style Noise Rock. The bass has a good, heavy presence and drives the music forwards. It maintains a constant, prime position throughout the recording.
The vocals are impassioned and kind of fall halfway between shouting and some form of demented pseudo-singing. It’s an acquired taste yet works well juxtaposed against the solidly-constructed, almost mechanistic music.
The band have the feel of a DIY punk band only with edgy grooves and a detached riffing style.
They remind me of a cross between Hawkeyes and Association Area with a bit of Sultans of Ping FC mixed in. It’s a good, jagged ride they take the listener on and it’s certainly a memorable one. I think the vocal style won’t be for everyone but if it works for you then there’s a lot to enjoy here.
After this it’s now down to Wren to play us out. They offer up 3 tracks totalling 16 minutes.
Theirs is a murkier, slower sound than Irk. Wren take the Post-Metal/Sludge template laid down by Neurosis/Isis/Cult of Luna and make their own mark on it with impassioned playing and heavy riffs.
Walls of heavy guitars mix with transcendent Post-Metal melodies and a Sludgy core. There’s a high level of emotional content to a band like this and it’s all powered along by the relentless heaviness of the guitars.
Shouted vocals make an appearance on the second song and seem to merge with the guitars, providing pointed highlights to the aural onslaught of the six-stringers.
These are very enjoyable songs and if you’re a fan of the heavy Post-Metal style then Wren deliver in spades.
This split is a little unusual when compared to a lot that get released as the bands involved are quite different from each other. It’s a recommended listen for sure though, featuring two bands that show a lot of promise for the future.
Favourite Track: An Approach by Wren. The best is saved for last. Driving, heavy riffs, emotive violence and reflective chaos. Class.
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.
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.