Split Cranium – I’m the Devil and I’m OK (Review)

Split CraniumSplit Cranium are an international hardcore band and this is their second album.

This album features members/ex-members of Isis, Old Man Gloom, Converge, Mamiffer, and Circle, (as well as others). The band play crusty d-beat hardcore punk, with a decidedly more simple and straightforward approach than a lot of the band members’ other projects. Continue reading

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Buckshot Facelift – Ulcer Island (Review)

Buckshot FaceliftBuckshot Facelift are a grindcore band from the US and this is their fourth album.

Here we have over 40 minutes of well-written deathgrind. The band take the brief, energetic bursts of punk and grindcore, and entwine them with the staying power of death metal, making for an album that exists on both worlds. Continue reading

The Drip – The Haunting Fear of Inevitability (Review)

The DripThis is the debut album from US grindcore band The Drip.

The band’s 2014 EP A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics was a brief glimpse into the world of The Drip and what they were capable of. I said in the review that the EP bodes well for a future album release and that they were ones to watch. Well, after a longer wait than Continue reading

Gränslandet – Solidum (Review)

granslandetGränslandet are a hardcore band from Sweden. This is their second album.

This is 41 minutes of filthy hardcore that combines d-beat, crust and sludge together into a grime-covered mass of aural pollution.

The band have the kind of production that sounds as if they’ve been dragged out of the swamp, kicking and clawing into the sunlight. Raw, underground and filthy doesn’t quite cover it in many ways. Continue reading

Nuisible – Inter Feces et Urinam Nascimur (Review)

NuisibleNuisible are a blackened hardcore band from France. This is their debut album.

Inter Feces et Urinam Nascimur sort of sounds like what would happen if Darkthrone embraced a love of Scandinavian d-beat and produced one massively pissed off record. Add in some elements of crusty death metal and grindcore and you have 23 minutes of red-hot anger. Continue reading

Dark Circles – MMXIV (Review)

Dark CirclesDark Circles are from Canada and play Hardcore. This is their latest release.

This is dark, violent Hardcore with a D-Beat element.

There’s a tendency at the moment for dark Hardcore bands to have a Blackened influence, (like Flesh Born and Protestant, for example), which I’m all for as it sounds great, and although Dark Circles fit in well with this style, they’re also different; they have a very obvious Punk background that mixes with the Blackened influences to sound warped, disturbed and evil in their own charismatic way.

The best word to describe Dark Circles is hostile. Really, really hostile.

The guitar sound is utterly abrasive and seems sharp and rough enough to do some real damage. On top of this the acid vocals spew all kinds of hatred and venom, so much so that you begin to wonder if the singer is in fact human at all. It’s a visceral display of hostility, (yes, there’s that word again).

There’s a boat-load of aggression here for sure, but it’s not a wild, killing rage; this is focused and tight, and all the more lethal for it.

These songs channel what must be a never-ending rage into coherent and dangerous-sounding songs that have more to them than initially meets the eye. The Blackened, harsh melodies and the angular, piercing riffs don’t just exist to assault the listener; there is method and intent to these tracks, the key to which is the quality songwriting.

Energy, enthusiasm and dynamics are displayed in abundance, and the band know how to pace themselves. They never let up the intensity though, as even in the rarer moments of reflection and almost Post-Metal darkness that they occasionally slip into for short moments, there’s still the rage and hatred, briefly and barely tethered whilst the band collectively get ready to resume their terror strikes once more.

This is almost 26 minutes of state-of-the-art Blackened Hardcore horror. Yes, it’s an essential listen for anyone who likes this kind of thing.

Turn the volume up, turn the lights out and let your anger take over. Dark Circles are here to guide you.

Collision/The Rotted – Split (Review)

The RottedCollision are a Grindcore band from the Netherlands and The Rotted are a Crust-influenced Death Metal band from the UK.

This is a short split at just over 6 minutes in length that shows off what both bands can do, so let’s see what we have here.

Collision have two songs. The sound is raw and brutal, with serrated vocals screaming and shouting out over speedy Grind. Both tracks are a fast and furious blend of Hardcore-influenced Grind and angry outbursts.

Both are good songs that have plenty of blastbeats mixed with moments of heavier restraint. The riffs are solid and the band seem to be having a blast.

I’m sold. Bring on The Rotted!

CollisionAfter Collision’s barrage of ferocity The Rotted pound out Rotted Fucking Earth which is a d-beat Punk-esque song with a good sound.

It has a drunken swagger and an aggressive temperament; it’s probably not something you want to mess with.

Simple-but-effective songwriting is powered by decent riffs and pure attitude. As Metal songs go it’s a veritable anthem.

Short but oh so sweet, this is a worthy split to add to your collection.

Martyrdöd – Elddop (Review)

MartyrdodMartyrdöd are from Sweden and play Hardcore Crust. This is their fifth album.

Elddop has a heavy sound with the music sounding organic and lively; a well-produced rawness, if you will.

The band are quite melodic with their riffing. Typically the rhythm guitar lays down a firm, heavy foundation whilst the lead guitar adds colour and flavour over the top. Some of the riffs are quite inventive and the band gives a passionate performance.

The music is of the d-beat Crust variety but is not purely limited to this. The drums power the songs as the guitars make their melodic massacres. This style of music has its roots in the past in bands like Discharge, but a more modern point of reference would be Kvelertak I suppose.

Vocally we have savage shouts that sound hoarse and desperately urgent. It’s as if the singer can’t quite wait to blurt out what his message is, but he feels so disgusted by whatever he’s talking about that he can’t help but just shout it at the top of his lungs. It all adds a refreshing energy to the tracks. Thinking about it, he reminds me of the singer of At The Gates/Lock Up/etc., only deeper and a bit harsher.

Occupying that rarest of spaces where harshness and melodics meet, Martyrdöd have produced an enjoyable album that takes the Crust template, adds a little bit of Metal to it and then vomits vitriol and poisonous invective over everything.

Listen loud and let Martyrdöd shake your world.