Ursut – Köp Dig Lycklig (Review)

UrsutThis is the second album by Ursut, a hardcore band from Sweden.

The first thing that strikes me about Ursut is the strong guitar sound. It’s thick, heavy and as black as tar. This is not to mention the winding leads and overal apocalyptic sound that greets you once you press play. Initially I Continue reading “Ursut – Köp Dig Lycklig (Review)”

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.

Interview with Bones

Bones play a simple but very effective brand of no-nonsense Death Metal/Crust which can be heard on their recently released album Sons of Sleaze. I’ve enjoyed listening to this album and have loved their previous work in Usurper, so when the opportunity arose to ask them a few questions I dived in.

For people who are new to the band – introduce Bones!

Bones Band

Sure. Bones is a filthy metal band from Chicago. Our lineup is: Joe Warlord-Drums, Carcass Chris-Guitars/Vox and Jon Necromancer-Bass/Vox. We’re a newer band that formed in ‘09, but we’ve been around forever. All 3 of us have been in Usurper together back in the ‘90s-’00s. We play raw, unpolished metal. We’re not interested in sounding “perfect” or “clean”. We feel that Metal has lost its balls over the years. Now bands spend way too much money to make a studio perfect album that sounds stale, wimpy and terribly boring. Bones is the exact opposite of all that shit.

What are your main influences?

As a band we’re influenced by all the great metal and hard rock that mostly came out from the 70s-90s. I think it’s our individual influences that make Bones sound the way that we do. Joe is way into great drummers like Keith Moon, Dave Lombardo, Neil Peart, etc, while Chris is influenced by guitar greats like Eddie Van Halen, Uli Jon Roth, Kirk Hammett, and he’s a huge Carlos Cavazo fan. I’m way into Dee Dee Ramone, Cliff Burton, Martin Ain, and John Entwistle. Its the weird tension from combining all these influences that make us tick.

What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?

Ptahil’s “Almighty Propagator of Doom and Despair” has been stuck in my stereo for awhile. Super weird metal from Indiana/Michigan. The shit is brilliant and needs be heard to be believed. They’re even better live. Also, Autopsy’s “Headless Ritual” is fucking killer. Love it when a veteran band like Autopsy can make it seem so effortless to continue making such mindfucking, influential metal. Both these bands make pure music not influenced by image or marketing.

Your songs have a savage feeling that’s mixed with a sheer enjoyment of all things Metal. How did you create the songs?

We work together on everything. Usually one person comes up with a couple riffs that go together or have a rough idea of a concept. We rehearse often, so we bring our ideas up while they’re fresh and then we start working the problem; coming up with the nuts and bolts of arrangement, whatever. We usually have 3 very different ideas and we argue them out over a couple of weeks until we got it nailed down. Same with lyrics. It’s easier when 1 person does everything and writes everything, but we think this way the end result sounds better. It takes longer but its worth it.

Your album has a very raw and nasty sound – how much of this was deliberate and how much was chance?

Well, its what we sound like. When the band formed we all wanted a break from the formula of signing with a “big” underground label and spending too much time or money in the studio. The last albums we did in Usurper were like that. We were signed to Earache who were giving us $10,000 budgets to go in the studio for weeks and create something that didn’t really represent us. By the time a band is done multitracking and quantizing and autotuning everything you’re not left with anything real. With Bones we decided right away that we never wanted to be in that situation again. We recorded the drums, guitars and bass live. We only took a couple of takes for each song. Both of our albums were done like this. We didn’t do any multitracking or doubling of parts. What you hear is what we sound like at a show or at a rehearsal.

The feeling of the album is very much one of “I don’t care, I’m playing my songs my way”, (as it should be). How do you feel you fit into the wider Metal scene?

We don’t care how we “fit” in the scene. We never did before, and at this advanced age we could really give two shits. “Scene” people are usually “lame” people.

On Sons of Sleaze you covered Fear of Napalm by Terrorizer – how did you decide to cover this particular band/song?

Bones Logo

We usually mess around at practice with cover songs. Its hilarious sometimes, but there are always a couple of songs that everyone intuitively knows how to play like “Black Magic” by Slayer or something. We were messing around with different songs as a joke, but we kept coming back to “Fear of Napalm”. We played it with a nice groove and we thought our version sounded enough like Bones, but still stayed true to the original. We thought we’d record it when we were in the studio for “Sons of Sleaze” and see if it would make the cut with the rest of the songs. We liked the way it came out so we included it on the album.

What are your plans for the future?

As soon as I send this out I’m walking to the liquor store and then picking up a pizza…..

Thanks!

Bones – Sons of Sleaze (Review)

BonesUS group Bones’ second album doesn’t mess around; no silly intros or anything just straight into a simple guitar riff and then into the action. They play a primitive brand of Death Metal and Crust that is positively rabid.

They bang, crash and wallop their way through twelve songs, (including a Terrorizer cover), and at the end of it still have giant maniacal grins on their faces that lets you know they’re in this for the long haul and they aren’t going away. And nor should they.

This is a band who don’t care about sounding polished. This is proper, raw, underground music for people who know what they like. The weakest link for me personally in most bands with a rawer sound is usually the drums, but here they have an organic, analogue sound that propels these mangy tracks forwards and upwards so the rawness works in their favour and not against them.

Bones do slow and mid-paced perfectly well, but for me they really shine when going all out in top gear. Snarling and foaming at the mouth; these are the songs that make you sit up and take notice.

This is music that just couldn’t care less. It’s not for everyone, but nor should it be. If you are in the mood for some no-frills aggression in a very raw, old-school Crust style then you could do a lot worse than popping this in the player.