Dead Cross – Dead Cross (Review)

Dead CrossThis is the debut album from Dead Cross, a hardcore band from the US.

Featuring members and ex-members of bands such as Faith No More and Slayer, there’s immediately a certain level of expectation with this, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Continue reading

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Obake – Draugr (Review)

ObakeObake are an Italian experimental sludge metal band and this is their third album.

Obake are an unusual band, as you may have surmised from the oddly unsettling album cover. They essentially take a sludge metal base and use this to launch an experimental foray into avant-garde waters, usually quite defying the listener in their expectations. Continue reading

Brain Tentacles – Brain Tentacles (Review)

Brain TentaclesBrain Tentacles are an experimental/avant-garde/jazz/grind/doom metal band from the US. This is their debut album.

Experimental/avant-garde/jazz/grind/doom metal is a bit of a mouthful, and in all honesty doesn’t even properly do justice to the sounds that this album contains at any rate.

In addition to the usual drums and bass you’ll also find synth, piano and horns on this release. But no guitars. Continue reading

Beehoover – Primitive Powers (Review)

BeehooverBeehoover are from Germany and play Stoner Doom. This is their latest album.

About their previous album The Devil and His Footmen I said “This is an uncommon band who provide an uncommon listening experience” and I stand by that statement for this newest one.

The band remain a two-piece drum/bass combo that provide the listener with a quirky and characterful interpretation of Stoner/Sludge/Doom that mixes elements of artists like Mike Patton, Tool, Primus and Melvins into its enjoyable and personable style of music.

Considering the makeup of the band there is a lot of content to enjoy on Primitive Powers and the songs are quite infectious. The band are adept at adding real atmosphere into their sound, with the bass seemingly capable of expanding to fill all of the areas that the guitars normally inhabit with other bands, and then some.

The drumming is complex, yet easy to get on board with; along with the music’s warm and intimate production it makes for a very satisfying sound.

Maybe I’m misremembering, but the songs on this album seem stronger and more concise than that of The Devil and His Footmen, and also seem to have a greater abundance of atmosphere and progressive tendencies too.

Either way, Beehoover’s latest release is a left-field success and I heartily recommend it for something a little different. Your ears will thank me.

 

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.