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

Cut the Architect’s Hand – We Dig No Graves (Review)

Cut the Architect's HandCut the Architect’s Hand are a Metal/Hardcore band from the US, this is their latest album.

Featuring a Hardcore base, Cut the Architect’s Hand layer Metal trappings on top of this, building an album that has depth and longevity due to its commitment to creating involving and engaging underground heavy music.

This reminds me of the extremely fertile cutting edge/violent Hardcore scene about 15 years ago, when it seemed that almost every band that came out from the US on labels like Trustkill Records were doing something new and interesting.

Cut the Architect’s Hand are torn from the same cloth as this era. Imagine the atypical wanderings of Botch mixed with the primal aggression of something like For the Bleeders by Vision of Disorder; this should give you a good idea of what you’re in store for should you delve into this record. And delve you should.

The songs are gritty and well-worn, like they’ve been harshly sanded down prior to being unleashed on the world. It’s quite a savage, unpolished sound, but it fits the band’s aggressive music and this is 34 minutes that you won’t regret spending.

It’s all very well-written and structured, with fast brutality and interesting riffs around every corner. Moments of introspective Post-Hardcore are dotted around here and there, adding further texture to already textured music. I like that each track has a distinct personality and something of its own to offer the listener.

Absolute top quality. Makes me quite nostalgic for the early 00s too, while also showing that although it’s not as commonplace these days, this kind of inventive and individual heavy music is still alive and well in 2016.

For fans of forward-thinking, Hardcore-based aggressive Metal.

Intensive Square – Anything That Moves (Review)

Intensive SquareIntensive Square are a Technical Metal band from the UK. This is their début album.

This is Technical Metal played with a love of both complexity and crushing rhythms. There’s a Hardcore side to the band that’s combined with a firm Metal base, resulting an album that combines elements of such diverse bands as Botch, Converge, Johnny Truant, Meshuggah, Circle Takes the Square, Pyrrhon, Today Is the Day, Scarlet, Frontierer, Sikth, Periphery and many others.

Featuring a splenetic vocalist who has a vicious screamed shout, these songs provide a satisfying ear-bashing while also catering to those who like a bit of technicality and complexity with their beatings. It doesn’t go too far down the complexity route though, as there’s plenty of big rhythms and grooves provided to get the listener moving and jerking around the place in strange movements.

The album lasts 45 minutes and provides a meaty feast for anyone into this kind of thing.

Give them a listen.

Tharsis They – Formless/Shapeless (Review)

Tharsis TheyTharsis They are from the US and this is their latest EP. They play Hardcore.

I’ve enjoyed this band’s previous work and this short EP is no different.

This is a band who take their cues from classic early 00’s bands like Converge, Botch, Coalesce, Nora, Zao, Most Precious Blood, etc. and combine both Metal and Hardcore into destructive behemoths of pure heaviness.

Here we have 4 tracks lasting just under 9 minutes. As such, it’s short, sharp and straight to the point like a red-hot branding iron.

The first track Wicked Response kicks off with angry guitars and equally angry vocals, snarling at the world, before the blast beats come in and the band begin a full on killing spree. Angular riffs and aggressive attitude dominates proceedings.

Suitable Appellation boasts equally demented riffing and some nightmare melodies. The singer sounds thoroughly pissed and gives a generally great performance across all of these songs. A guitar solo makes its first appearance and is backed up by some chunky rhythms.

New World Vultures is the shortest track here at a minute and a half. Consequently it wastes no time in getting to the meat of the matter and it’s abrasive heaviosity from the get-go.

They end the EP with The Felling, which once again ramps up the speed and intensity. The dynamics are strong and so is the writing. Winner.

I love this kind of Hardcore. Excellent work!

Listen to them here.

Bettyœtker – Barricades (Review)

BettyœtkerBettyœtker are from Germany and play Hardcore.

I have to say I like the cover, so that’s a good start.

The music itself is well recorded with a sound that accentuates the emotive nature of the band.

Angular riffs and chuggy, expressive guitars chop and change their way through the playing time. This would have been at home in the late 90’s/early 00’s Metallic Hardcore scene which spawned the likes of Botch, Zao, Norma Jean, Poison the Well, Nora, etc.

The songs here are wonderfully constructed and boast lots of ideas and interesting riffs to keep the listener hooked.

The singer performs with great gusto and has a voice that’s somewhere between a shout and a scream. He complements and suits the songs well and provides a warmer human side to the band; the music is emotive in its own right of course, but it has a cold, harsh edge to it that the vocals compensate for. Taken together these tracks are dangerously addictive.

This is a class EP full of the kind of meaty Hardcore Metal that’s in much shorter supply these days than it once was.

They’ve made a fan of me and I can’t wait for a full album now. Bettyœtker are here to stay.

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.

 

Teeph – Solid Jobs (Review)

TeephTeeph are from the US and play Hardcore Metal.

This is heavy stuff, in the style of Botch, early Cave In, Knut, Zao, et al. This style hit its biggest point in the late 90’s/early 00’s and Teeph sound like they would have fit in just right back then.

Solid Jobs burns with a refined anger and a timeless appeal of pure heaviosity. The songs are impressive and gather influences from a range of sources, merging them into a cohesive whole.

As well as the loud and heavy parts they also know enough about their genre to add in slower, more introspective sections so that they use light and shade to maximum effect.

Teeph also show a bit of a Sludge influence to some of their riffs, greatly enhancing their songs. There is even the odd Stoner riff detectable, such as at the end of Marijuana Chaos.

Vocally the shouting is strong and deeply satisfying; the singer rages and snarls and really hits the spot.

This kind of music takes me back and it’s great to hear a band do it so well. This is an outstanding EP – it’s like listening to an old favourite for the first time.

Highly recommended.