Groke’s Clan – Vicious Circles (Review)

Groke's ClanGroke’s Clan are a Finnish metal band and this is their debut EP.

This is an interesting and enjoyable release. Blending various different heavy genres into one rocking whole, Vicious Circles showcases a band that are comfortable in their own skin and ready to bring the riffs wherever necessary. Continue reading

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Raised Fist – From the North (Review)

Raised FistRaised Fist are from Sweden and play Hardcore. This is their fifth album.

This is the kind of infectious, energetic Hardcore that I used to love back in the 90’s. This album could easily sit nicely alongside classics by Sick of it All, Biohazard and Pro-Pain.

It’s heavy but still catchy, angry but still accessible, song-oriented but still nuanced. It’s damn impressive. These tracks have an edge to them but are still largely uplifting affairs.

The songs are upbeat, bouncy and have enough hooks to endanger the average passer by. Not content with throwing out massive grooves when they want to, the band also have a good repertoire of melodic licks and tricks that add a depth and longevity to their compositions that probably wouldn’t be there without them.

The singer has a very energetic high voice that is both unusual and charismatic. This kind of music would be lessened by a generic vocalist and Raised Fist have anything but.

This album has made me both nostalgic and excited. There’s a lot to enjoy here and Raised Fist are, ultimately, just incredibly good at what they do.

Great stuff.

Funerals – Human Ruin (Review)

FuneralsFunerals are from the US and play Hardcore. This is their début EP.

This is caustic, aggressive Hardcore which is heavy and full of contempt. Their sound is thick and syrupy and the guitars hit like hammers.

Fusing Crust Punk and Metallic Hardcore with even a hint of a Blackened influence here and there, these are three songs you wouldn’t want to mess with.

Veins of Black starts with a kick-ass Blackened Doom riff that slowly builds and builds until the vocals start and the chugging begins. The singer shows himself to have a charismatic snarl that fits well with the dark nature of the music. The riffs are catchy and there’s a good amount of 90’s Hardcore vibe lurking behind the contemporary sheen.

Human Ruin has an almost Dillinger Escape Plan feel to it before relaxing and sounding more like Gurd with just drums and bass with less angry vocals taking the stage. The guitars and shouting resumes once more though and the feeling of 90’s Metallic Hardcore asserts itself again.

The final song Sick of Sun continues in the same vein, with Sludge-tinged guitars laying a foundation of heavy riffs and catchy vocals. It’s the longest of the songs and twists and winds to its apotheosis.

Think elements of bands like Vision of Disorder, Earth Crisis, Sick Of It All, Sworn Enemy, etc. all mixed together; then give the resulting concoction a Crusty makeover and add a guitar tone that Crowbar would be proud of. Some Blackened Doom influences round off the package and Funerals have a heady list of weapons in their arsenal to utilise.

This is a decent EP that’s made me quite nostalgic for my younger days, whilst at the same time enjoying the fact that there are a raft of talented new Hardcore bands around these days like Funerals who are taking the template and running with it.

Support this up and coming band and check out their EP.

I Will Tear This World Apart – IWTTWA (Review)

I Will Tear This World ApartI Will Tear This World Apart are from Norway and play modern Metal.

The band rage and tear their way through these 9 tracks, concentrating on keeping things heavy and groovy while providing a memorable basis for a good old fashioned headbang.

I hear snippets of Earth Crisis, Hatebreed and even a bit of Sick Of It All in places, so these should serve as starting reference points.

This release boasts a state-of-the-art sound that accentuates every piece of aggression that the band throw out.

The singer is angry and there are no niceties here that might otherwise see the band straying into the dreaded commercial pastures. Instead, we get modern Metal played with passion and fire with elements of both Thrash/Melodic Death Metal and modern Hardcore vying for top position, all the time watched over by the Metal Gods who like things just plain heavy.

The majority of the songs hover around the three minute mark; long enough to make their mark but not long enough to lose interest in what they’re doing.

I Will Tear This World Apart successfully combine the trappings of Metalcore with the song know-how of Thrash and the aggression of Hardcore.

An enjoyable romp through the mosh pit.