Thieves – LP I (Review)

ThievesThieves are a US hardcore band and this is their debut album.

Thieves play dark, violent hardcore. I can’t help but like this kind of relentlessly bleak and abrasive music. Over the course Continue reading “Thieves – LP I (Review)”

Cowards – Still (Review)

CowardsCowards are a blackened hardcore band from France and this is their latest EP.

I do so very much enjoy the work of Cowards. Their last album, 2015’s Rise to Infamy, was a tight ball of violent blackened extremity filled with hardcore’s passion and sludge’s ugly heaviness. Still continues this theme, boasting three new tracks and two covers. This is 19 minutes of music guaranteed to stop you in your tracks and then hit you around the head. Continue reading “Cowards – Still (Review)”

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.

Cowards – Rise to Infamy (Review)

CowardsCowards are from France and this is their second album. They play a brand of Hardcore that’s a blend of Sludge and Black Metal.

This is the kind of discordant, ugly, abrasive, extreme Hardcore that I absolutely love. Throw in a Blackened Sludge influence as well and you’ve a love affair just waiting to happen.

Well, actually it’s been happening ever since I discovered their début album really, but this new one affirms it.

Cowards incorporate interesting ideas and riffs into their aural assault and every song brings something slightly different to the table.

The granddaddy of this style is, of course, the mighty Converge. Cowards take the template laid down by the masters and dirty it up with Sludge and Black Metal influences until it’s firmly their own. I like a band that stamps their own identity on the style of music they choose to play; Cowards do this with jackhammers.

Toweringly slow, blisteringly fast, chuggingly heavy, Blackly aggressive, sadistically spiteful…I could go on. Suffice to say that Cowards have created an album that’s heavy and extreme in all of the right ways.

And have I mentioned the riffs? There are some choice ones on here. Slow, fast, atypical, angular, you name it.

The singer is appropriately intense throughout. This kind of music needs a singer who sounds like he’s about to lose it and explode into a fit of violence and this is what we get.

Great stuff. If you like music that’s heavy and aggressive you’ll love Cowards.