Cloud Rat – Pollinator/Do Not Let Me Off the Cliff (Review)

Cloud Rat - Pollinator Do Not Let Me Off the CliffThis is the fourth album from Cloud Rat, a grindcore band from the US.

In my humble opinion Cloud Rat are one of the most forward-thinking, talented, and innovative grindcore bands out there, although simply labelling them grindcore is misleading and constricting, as their work frequently features so much more than your standard grindcore fare. Releases such as Qliphoth, and their various splits demonstrate this amply. Continue reading “Cloud Rat – Pollinator/Do Not Let Me Off the Cliff (Review)”

Closet Witch – Closet Witch (Review)

Closet WitchCloset Witch are a grindcore band from the US and this is their debut album.

Now here’s a band that don’t mess around. The music on this album is savage and vicious, as well as being pretty damn relentless too. Continue reading “Closet Witch – Closet Witch (Review)”

Cloud Rat/Crevasse – Split (Review)

Cloud Rat CrevasseCloud Rat are a grindcore band from the US and Crevasse are a Dutch/German hardcore band.

Hot on the heels of their recent split with Moloch, Cloud Rat turn up again with over 5 minutes of their imaginative, sophisticated grind.

Sophisticated grind? How is that possible? Well, it Continue reading “Cloud Rat/Crevasse – Split (Review)”

Stench Price – Self Titled (Review)

Stench PriceStench Price are a grindcore supergroup and this is their debut release.

There’s a bewildering array of talent and people involved in this, so I’m simply going to copy and paste the lineup from the press blurb to make things easier for myself –

France – Romain Goulon – Drums (Necrophagist, Disavowed, etc.)
Siberia – Peter Shallmin – Bass (Escapethecult, Kamlath)
Siberia – Max Konstantinov – Guitars (Kamlath, Nebesniesnami)
USA – Danny Lilker (Brutal Truth, Nuclear Assault, SOD, etc.)
Sweden – Rogga Johansson (Paganizer, Demiurg, etc.)
USA – Max Phelps (Cynic, Death DTA Tours, Exist)
UK – Dave Ingram (Hail of Bullets, Benediction, Bolt Thrower, etc.)
Australia – Karina Utomo (High Tension)
USA – Shawn Knight (Child Bite) Continue reading “Stench Price – Self Titled (Review)”

Fuck the Facts – Desire Will Rot (Review)

Fuck the FactsFuck the Facts are a Canadian Grindcore band and this is their tenth album.

Fuck the Facts are always a good listen. Playing by no-one’s rules but their own, they play Grind with their own agenda and are wonderfully individual.

They combine most different aspects of Grind, including some non-Grind elements too. Labelling them as Progressive Grindcore is not too bad of a description. From blasting brutality to melodicism to experimentalism; Fuck the Facts have got it covered somewhere in their discography, (and on this release), and they do it very well indeed.

These songs are largely, (but not exclusively), short blasts of aural carnage, although there’s much more to the band than just this. Longer songs and more experimentally diverse songwriting, (including solos, melodies, Death Metal, Progressive Metal, atmosphere, noise, cello, piano, etc.), mean that there’s a lot on offer here.

Sitting pretty among similarly individualistic Grindcore such as Cephalic Carnage, Cloud Rat, Antigama and the like, Fuck the Facts have built an impressive legacy for themselves over the 16 or so years of their existence and Desire Will Rot only cements their sterling reputation further.

The vocals alternate between the main singer’s acidic shriek and the bassist’s deathgrunts. It’s a combination and team effort that works very well. The main singer has a very individual and charismatic high scream and her voice sounds as nasty as scraping nails.

This is 39 minutes of challenging and impressive Grindcore. It’s not for people who just want the latest scene-clone; this is thinking Grind for the discerning connoisseur, and yet it still remains its visceral nature despite this.

A must listen.

Immortal Bird – Empress/Abscess (Review)

Immortal BirdImmortal Bird are an interesting Death Metal band from the US. This is their début album.

This is not a typical Death Metal album. In fact it’s only Death Metal in the loosest sense really. Elements of Black Metal’s darkness and Grind’s chaos infuse it like diseases, while the brutal core only gets stronger and stronger due to these infections.

The singer has an absolutely scathing voice and her vocals seem to lash out of the venomous music like angry barbs.

The songs are an extremely impressive collection of styles and sub-genres. Fusing the atypical Death Metal of Gorguts, the emotive Grind of Cloud Rat, the Hardcore fury and aural inventiveness of Converge, the classic-style aura of Death and the Blackened taint of Ludicra – this is a real merging of different aspects of Extreme Metal, underpinned by a Death Metal core, resulting in an album that really is an incredibly impressive release.

As well as having a certain soft spot for some well-worn and classic genres/sub-genres, I also absolutely love it when you encounter a band that are doing something a bit different. Immortal Bird are the perfect kind of band for this, and I love that they throw so many Extreme Metal influences into their melting pot. The important thing, though, is that they’re doing it extremely well. This release is well-realised and sounds completely natural and unforced. The songs are just that well-written.

These tracks have it all, from blasting to angularity to atmosphere to melody to high-energy. For all the extremity on display here they still manage to throw in some hooks and the entire thing is actually very memorable, quite quickly.

This is the kind of music that causes you to take a sharp intake of breath and say to yourself, “holy shit”.

What more is there to say? You absolutely need Immortal Bird in your life.

This is going in my end of year list, make no mistake.

Ambassador Gun – Tomb of Broken Sleep (Review)

Ambassador GunThis is the third album from US Grinders Ambassador Gun.

Ambassador Gun play their music with harsh melody, Hardcore abandon and Grinding brutality. On paper their Grindcore is no different to many others’, but in reality the riffs and melodies used are quite atypical and interesting.

The band are upbeat and have their blasting moments, but this is more about the songs having an energy about them rather than speed for the sake of it.

The tracks are somewhat of a cross between the Hardcore d-beat of a band like Martyrdöd, the experimental, unusual Grind of Cloud Rat, the insectile mayhem of Discordance Axis and the Sludge edge of Colombian Necktie.

There’s lots of dynamics on display here and these are songs that are built to last. The band use melody well, but not in a melodic way; I know this sounds almost contradictory, but this is not a melodic band in the obvious sense. However, they achieve it in a muted, angry way and their songs have their own internal colour and sparkle because of this, despite the abrasive, serrated veneer.

This really is an exceptionally enjoyable release with enough bluster and brutality to have an instant appeal, yet with enough nuance and depth to be long lasting once the initial appeal of the violence and carnage has faded.

This is 26 minutes of exciting, visceral Extreme Metal. Highly recommended.

Cloud Rat – Qliphoth (Review)

Cloud RatThis is the third album by US Grinders Cloud Rat.

Cloud Rat haven’t really been around for that long in the grand scheme of things, but they’ve still managed to clock up an impressive number of releases and gain themselves a well-deserved reputation for quality Grindcore that’s not afraid to think outside the box.

This is definitely atypical Grind. The requisite genre hallmarks of savagery and short songs are present and correct, but with Cloud Rat there’s an additional layer of intelligence, sophistication and raw emotion that few of their peers can emulate.

This album takes the listener on a journey of many disturbing sights and vicious sounds. For all of the finesse and refinement of their music, Cloud Rat still know how to GRIND!

The intensity of the music is layered with nuance, subtlety and emotive performances all around. The band can happily rage and curse, that’s for sure, but more impressive is their ability to weave slower and more progressive parts around the chewy Grindcore centre. Progressive Grindcore, maybe? I’ve heard worse ideas.

The singer screams her throat raw with an impressively feral snarl and yet still finds time amidst the carnage for introspection and distinctive mood-setting when she needs to.

The songs are full of depth and there’s more than enough to satisfy over many repeated listens for a long time to come. Their richly textured music stands leagues apart from the majority of their peers and Qliphoth is a real force to be reckoned with.

Cloud Rat share the intensity of Converge with the quirkiness of Circle Takes the Square, and the ingenuity of both. It’s no wonder that their name is whispered in reverential tones by those in the know; Cloud Rat have proven they have massive talent and the ability to deliver the goods.

After 41 minutes in Cloud Rat’s world you feel drained, but satisfied and happy.

I cannot recommend this enough. You need Cloud Rat in your life.