John Frum – A Stirring in the Noos (Review)

John FrumJohn Frum are a death metal band from the US. This is their debut album.

This is very much not your standard death metal album.

Featuring present and past members of bands such as The Faceless, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and John Zorn, this release combines progressive, avant-garde, atmospheric, dissonant, technical, and psychedelic death metal into a darkly enjoyable whirlwind of chaos and heaviness. Continue reading

Advertisements

Bear – /// (Review)

BearBear are a Belgian metal band and this is their third album.

Okay, so the album cover and band name pretty much sum up what this sounds like – you’re gonna get mauled.

This is a balanced offering of complex technical math metal and muscular, taut modern metal. It’s Continue reading

Sloth Herder – No Pity, No Sunrise (Review)

Sloth HerderThis is the debut album from Sloth Herder, a blackened grindcore band from the US.

Sloth Herder are a murky underground monster that’s slowly been rising up through the underworld over the last few years to claim its victims. With No Pity, No Sunrise, they’re finally ready to make their big assault. Continue reading

Zeit – Monument (Review)

ZeitZeit are an Italian hardcore band and this is their latest EP.

It seems like only yesterday that 2015’s The World Is Nothing tore into the world with their brand of dissonant, violent Hardcore. The band are now back with a new EP, consisting of three originals and an At the Gates cover. It’s 11 minutes of intensity. Continue reading

Ion Dissonance – Cast the First Stone (Review)

Ion DissonanceIon Dissonance are a Canadian hardcore/mathcore band. This is their fifth album.

As one of the leading lights in the hardcore/mathcore/whatever scene, Ion Dissonance’s new album certainly has a lot of expectations attached to it. Of course, as you would expect, the band 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

Coma Cluster Void – Mind Cemeteries (Review)

Coma Cluster VoidComa Cluster Void are a death metal band, (of sorts), and this is their debut album. They have an international lineup, with members from Canada, Germany and the US.

This album features not one, but two ex-Cryptopsy singers. You heard that right. To be fair, one of them, (Lord Worm), is only a guest vocalist on a couple of tracks, but still. The other, (Mike DiSalvo), is only one half of the vocal attack, the other half being provided by Continue reading

Between the Buried and Me – Coma Ecliptic (Review)

BTBAMBetween the Buried and Me are a progressive Extreme Metal band from the US. This is their eighth album.

If you haven’t encountered Between the Buried and Me before then you’re in for a treat. They’re one of the best examples of a band individualising what they do, and what they do is progressive Extreme Technical Metal. It’s a bit of a mouthful but it’s hard to describe this band in simple terms. Over the course of their career they’ve pretty much done it all, and over time they’re only getting more ambitious with their releases.

As with anything like this though, it’s not for everyone. If you favour music that has traditional song structures and predictable layouts, then move quietly along. If, however, you like the idea of listening to a band that can effortlessly combine the type of stuff you’d hear from bands like Queen, Deicide, Dream Theatre and The Dillinger Escape Plan, while simultaneously remaining entirely their own entity, then make sure you check this out.

This latest album is as ambitious and grandiose as always, more so in many respects. Piano and keyboards probably feature even more heavily than previously and add to the progressive structures in innumerable ways.

The singer uses both clean vocals and growls, although there seems to be a trend developing now that shows him using his clean vocals more and more. This is reflected in the music too, as the band use blast beats more sparingly than they used too as well. It may be less extreme than some of their other work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any more accessible for the average listener. After all, there are more ways to be extreme than just playing fast.

The music is flawlessly delivered and the level of musicianship on Coma Ecliptic is staggeringly high; this is a band who know how to work their instruments. The compositions are long and involved, as usual, although the average track length is slightly shorter than some of their previous work.

Eschewing anything close to standard song structures, Between the Buried and Me are all about the song sections and how these holistically fit together. There’s a lot to take in over these 69 minutes and the album certainly requires multiple spins to give up its secrets.

All of the songs have their own personality, as you would imagine, and it’s easy to differentiate between them. They’ve always been a highly textured and nuanced band, and this only seems to be becoming more pronounced over time.

Anyone into challenging music that successfully mixes progressive music with extremity, heaviness and quirkiness should definitely check this out.

Chronoboros – Dialing up the Cutter (Review)

ChronoborosChronoboros are from Greece and play Sludge-fuelled Hardcore. This is their début EP.

Chronoboros play a mix of Sludge/Hardcore that shares some features of Alternative Metal and Noise Rock in its sideways approach. It reminds me of the early-to-mid-90s style in some ways, albeit with a modern delivery and a distinct personality all of its own.

Combining elements of bands such as Fudge Tunnel, Association Area, Kowloon Walled City, No Anchor, Helmet, The Dillinger Escape Plan and a plethora of others, this is an interesting and enjoyable release that shows that a band can be inventive while still having the capacity to rock out hard.

The music is complex and involved. It has a lot of depth and layers to it meaning that although these songs are quite short they make a good impression. Heavy sections compete for space with less-conventional parts and there’s a lot of good ideas on this EP that are barely explored before the band hop off once again on another exploratory trip into their unusual world.

The vocals combine harsher screams with more unusual semi-spoken vocalisations. It works a treat and is thankfully the right side of quirky.

There’s a lot of talent and promise on this release. It’s only 15 minutes long, so what excuse do you have for not checking it out?

That’s what I thought.

Maruta – Remain Dystopian (Review)

MarutaThis is the third album from US Grindcore band Maruta.

This is one I’ve been looking forward to. Maruta play ferocious and ultra-modern Deathgrind with plenty of violence and brutality.

There are some top quality guest vocalists on this album, (At the Gates, Pig Destroyer), but that is merely the icing on the vocal cake, as the grunts and screams that populate these seventeen tracks are more than competent enough to hold their own.

The songs are short and nasty. There’s lots of blast beats and chaotic drumming going on while the guitars rage and tear through the playing time.

Strange and atypical riffs share space with more traditional Death Metal grooves and there’s a touch of The Dillinger Escape Plan’s unorthodox take on brutality on this release, as well as a feeling of Crowpath’s equally unorthodox style.

There’s a little here for all Extreme Metal fans. However, mashed up together like this it ends up being a formidable proposition for those not fully inducted into the league of Deathgrind. For paid-up members though, Remain Dystopian is a twisted, nasty joy to experience.

Deathgrind for the modern connoisseur.