Cripple Bastards – Nero In Metastasi (Review)

Cripple BastardsItalian veteran Grinders Cripple Bastards darken our doors once more with their new album – 18 tracks in 36 minutes.

Playing a pissed off Hardcore-tinged version of Grind; Cripple Bastards may have been around for many a year now but they are not falling short on the ideas or integrity fronts.

Riffs fly around all over the place like splinters and the drums pound like bowling balls being dropped. Effortlessly combining Hardcore, Punk, Grind and Death Metal into short songs with all being presented in their inimical savage style. There is a even a 9 minute epic Splendore E Tenebra which is as unexpected as it is welcome.

The vocals are a thing of rabid beauty; running the gamut from deep, guttural Death Metal vocals to higher rasps, the one thing that never changes is the intensity of them.

Favourite Track: Lapide Rimossa. The Old-School and the New merged flawlessly to create an excellent song. A microcosm for the album as a whole.

When Grindcore is played this well it’s easy to remember what you love about the genre. The energy and passion in these songs is infectious.

This is a Grind masterclass performed by people who are at the top of their game. This album easily differentiates itself from so many Grind-wannabes by the character and individuality of the band, let alone the quality of the songs. A must for any fan of Grindcore.

Haymaker – Let Them Rot (Review)

HaymakerUS Hardcore band Haymaker release a short, sharp, shock of an EP.

With 4 tracks and lasting only 4 minutes it wastes no time in making an impact. High octane Hardcore that is hot enough to leave scorch marks.

The first song Let Them Rot may only be 1 and a half minutes long but it has a good riff, good pacing and character. Each song rumbles along like a bastard hybrid of Converge and primitive Grindcore with the singer reminding me of a harsher version of the guy from Most Precious Blood.

A short release destined for the world of 7″ Vinyl, this is a good old-fashioned rip-through of anger and hostility. I like.

Interview with Barishi

Barishi BandBarishi have recently released their self-titled début album, the review of which you can see here. A harsh, angular, progressive Metal treasure trove; this is an album with a lot to give to those who crave experimentation and music that forges its own path. Their guitarist was nice enough to answer some questions I threw at him…

Hi! For people who are unfamiliar with your band please introduce yourself!

Hi, I am Graham Brooks, I play guitar in Barishi. We are from a town called Jamaica, Vermont. We have been playing together in various forms since high school, about four years ago.

What are your main influences?

My favorite metal band is Iron Maiden, I am also a Beatles nut. We are all big Mastodon and Meshuggah fans. Jon (our bassist) and I are both really influenced by bands like The Cure and MBV. Our singer Sascha is a huge funk fan and also is a Queen and Led Zeppelin fanatic. We draw from a lot of those bands and a lot more that I can’t think of right now.

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

I have been listening to “So” by Peter Gabriel. I think it is incredible. I am sure a lot of full-metalists wouldn’t be into it but I think it is a great album. I have been digging on this band called “Anciients” who kill it and a band from chicago called “Yakuza.” I highly recommend both if you are looking for some metal that comes out of left field.

You have an unusual sound that fuses Progressive Metal with more 70’s-style Proggy vibes, all wrapped up in with elements of more modern avant-garde bands such as Ephel Duath, (at least to my ears anyway!), how did you go about deciding on the sound that you wanted as a band?

Barishi BandCool! Honestly we never really talked about what type of sound we wanted to go for. I think we sound the way we do because we never had one of those talks. Some of the songs that we like playing the most came about because someone in the band wrote something that made us say “I don’t know if that would work in a heavy band” and then we would try it and it would sound cool. I think the freedom to do that had a big impact on how we sound.

I love the angular guitar work on this release. How do you write your songs? What’s the process involved?

One of us usually has a riff or something that they will come into practice with and then we will just try to expand on it. We don’t really have any method or go about writing in an organized fashion. Sometimes it can be a shit show because we will be writing 3 different songs that we think sound cool and we will end up abandoning all of them because we get overwhelmed with all the little parts that are floating around.

After seeing the album art and band pictures, your album surprised me slightly as it contains more harsh and more abrasive moments than I was expecting. Was it a conscious decision to embrace the heavier aspects of music just as much as the more mellow/melodic aspects?

I think we just naturally got heavier. We play with a ton of bands who are way heavier than we are and I think some of it rubbed off on us.

With an eclectic and diverse album like this I can imagine possibly having parts of it that were potentially divisive when creating it – where there many discussions in the band about which parts to keep/throw out/change/etc.?

We wrote a lot of stuff that did not end up on the record. Usually when we did not end up using something it was because we just were not digging it that hard. We try to keep the songwriting process as democratic as possible. If someone really does not like a part or song we usually will end up changing or discarding it. Fortunately everyone in the band understands and it doesn’t require a long talk most of the time.

Barishi BandAre you happy with the finished album? Is there anything you would change next time?

I am. We had a lot of fun recording together and I think the album represents what we were doing for the past year. Brian Westbrook who produced the album is an amazing musician and producer. Thanks to Brian the album sounds way better than we ever thought it would. In terms of things I would like to change, I would really like to record an album down-tuned. It adds a really guttural element that I love.

As I said in the review; my favourite track is Through Mountains, Through Plains. It’s brilliant. This is less of a question more of a comment really! This is also the longest song on the album – do you see yourself going for more of the longer, epic-style tracks in the future?

Thanks so much for the kind words. I love writing long songs. I am sure that we will have some longer songs in the future.

What does the future hold for Barishi?

Hopefully a lot of touring. We love playing shows, it is our favorite thing to do. I think all we want is to play as much as possible and keep on recording. Hopefully at some point we will find a label that is a good match.

Thanks for your time Graham!

Barishi – Barishi (Review)

BarishiBarishi play off-centre Progressive Metal that goes down a storm and comes back up a real treat.

This is a rather great album. Unusual but memorable melodies and guitar parts are all over the place, with a meshing of off-kilter tunes and 70’s prog vibes sharing the same space sometimes at the same time. And even some Saxophone.

Barishi are obviously not afraid to experiment or explore and it pays off handsomely. Overall this album has a harsher sound than I was expecting; combined with the eclectic sound that they have it has quite a unique style that is a refreshing change from the norm.

For the most part we get shouted, almost hardcore-style vocals alongside the more occasional cleans that work well together to build atmosphere over the tangential music.

Favourite track: Through Mountains, Through Plains. Just brilliant.

This is the music of a mathematical nightmare come to burn synapses and wreck memories. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes abrasive, never ordinary.

Skinwalkers – Fateless (Review)

skinwalkersA bit lighter than most of the bands featured on this site, but Skinwalkers provide a nice distraction from the norm with some good melodies and a line on post-hardcore aggression.

Be warned, they may come across as slightly too poppy for most hardened Metal fans. Having said that this is music that does have some bite as they aren’t purely about the harmonies and tunes, they also show their more hardcore influences. It sometimes reminds me of Cave In in their less heavy moments, only without the proggy influences.

Even though they are a band that you can sing along with, they have a rawness and honesty to them that is pleasing.

If you have the urge to occasionally dip into the realms of the more accessible, yet still want something that has a rough edge then give Skinwalkers a try, you may be pleased with what you find.

Morality Crisis – Boats (Review)

morality crisisLet’s face it – any band that has a song named Enormous Fucking Death Ass Knife are going to be brilliant. It’s inevitable. This also happens to be the first song on this rather excellent release – slow and sludgy and so ridiculously catchy you’ll find it buzzing around your head like a slow-motion chainsaw as you try to get to sleep at night.

Second track Lumberjane is a bit more upbeat, with a bit of a Mastodon vibe going on, only dirtier. Filth-ridden sludge is the main order of the day, but with a side salad of calm consideration and reflection which allows the band to show off the fact that they’re not just all about the bludgeoning and distortion, but can also do other shades of grim. Some nice progressive elements to this song too. And blastbeats.

Naptaker starts off with some guttural vocals winding its way to some nice Mike Patton-esque croaking and hardcore shouting. Overall the vocals on this release are diverse and accomplished, yet layered in so much grime and muck that it’s hard to focus on how good they are when they’re raping your face and stripping your ears raw. Same goes for the music really.

By track four Gary Plays With Fire I’m well and truly in love with this band. Essentially a short, crusty hardcore song with a twist – it hits the spot.

Next song Touched by an Adult cements the level of quality of the band in my mind. I find that the best albums are the ones that have enough presence to catch your attention but enough depth to keep it. Morality Crisis play a sort of highly-inventive sludge/hardcore mix that has a lot going on and more ideas in one song than a lot of bands manage in an album. And they have a wonderfully filthy sound – have I mentioned that yet? They may be from the US but they sound more like they should be from the UK with a sound that would sit perfectly alongside the best of the dirty, filthy, sludgy UK underground Metal scene past and present, (Raging Speedhorn, The Atrocity Exhibit, Extreme Noise Terror, Corrupt Moral Altar, Charger, etc).

Anxiety Rifle, (another great song title), starts off like a Converge song with Death grunts and proceeds to batter everything around it before dropping into such a nice groove that it’s all I can do to stop myself from dancing on the table.

By the time the final song Electric Friends rolls to a close I am a happy camper.

So many bands seem content to sound like their heroes, thus ensuring that bands like Morality Crisis are so needed. They take their heroes, mash them up in a bin and parade them in front of their loved ones before beating and eating them to absorb their essence. To sum up – this is special music that deserves to be discovered by any and every filth-loving sludge fan out there.

Essential.

Noisem – Agony Defined (Review)

NoisemOld-school Death/Thrash Metal with some distinctly hardcore influences. Not Deathcore, not Metalcore; hardcore. Old-school hardcore. Old-school hardcore mixed with a dirty Thrash/Death. There we are then.

This album is short and to the point. Thrash/hardcore inspired Death Metal riffs lash out at the listener, while the simple-but-effective drums pummel you into submission and the shouted Death Metal vocals roar and gnash angrily. Like a crazed, starved and disfigured attack dog and twice as ugly. This is not music for passers by. This is music for people that live it. For people that want a gritty realism to their songs; a brutality of awareness and apathy to destruction.

A great album for when you want a no-frills approach to aggression, and a stark reminder of all that made you like extreme metal in the first place. It’s not perfect or pretty, but that’s the entire point.