Plebeian Grandstand – False Highs, True Lows (Review)

Plebeian GrandstandPlebeian Grandstand are a Black Metal/blackened Hardcore band from France and this is their third album.

If you haven’t encountered Plebeian Grandstand before, then strap yourself in and prepare for violence. The band are a veritable explosion of grim aggression and antagonistic intensity.

Twisted riffs and dark melodies are encased in a solid black approach that merges the band’s Hardcore nature with a blackened corruption that seems to seep into every part of the guitars. The blasting drums are intent on nothing but causing harm and the bass is a malevolent rumble that underpins everything else.

The singer’s deranged screams form an integral part of the blasting mayhem and his is an intense performance.

The songs combine Black Metal and Hardcore into a dissonant, maniacal amalgamation that is pure viciousness embodied. As time goes on it seems that Plebeian Grandstand are embracing their Black Metal side more and more, to the point now on this album, (as well as their previous one), where it’s actually quite hard to describe them as a Hardcore band as has been done in the past.

Either way, this is another top-drawer release from a band that just keeps getting better and better with every release.

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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.