Today Is the Day – No Good to Anyone (Review)

Today Is the Day - No Good to AnyoneThis is the eleventh album from US unconventional experimental metal band Today Is the Day.

I really, really enjoyed 2014’s Animal Mother, which was one of my favourite releases from this artist. As such, No Good to Anyone was much-anticipated, and had a lot to live up to. Thankfully, it’s one of Today Is the Day’s bests. Continue reading

KEN Mode – Loved (Review)

KEN ModeKEN Mode are a noise rock/hardcore band from Canada and this is their seventh album.

Loved is 35 minutes of violent mood and vicious emotion. Primarily mixing together metal, hardcore, and noise rock, the album also contains elements of extremity that come from black and death metal backgrounds, as well as moments of industrial and experimental forays. Saxophone is used relatively frequently. Continue reading

Horror God/Techne – Split (Review)

Horror God TechneHorror God and Techne are both Russian death metal bands and this is their split release.

Horror God offer up four songs lasting 19 minutes in total; three originals and a Purulence cover. Continue reading

Pyrrhon – What Passes for Survival (Review)

PyrrhonThis is the third album from Pyrrhon, an extreme metal band from the US.

Pyrrhon are not your standard band. I first encountered them on their 2014 album The Mother of Virtues, and even then they were a distinctly atypical and genre-breaking proposition. Continue reading

Intensive Square – Anything That Moves (Review)

Intensive SquareIntensive Square are a Technical Metal band from the UK. This is their début album.

This is Technical Metal played with a love of both complexity and crushing rhythms. There’s a Hardcore side to the band that’s combined with a firm Metal base, resulting an album that combines elements of such diverse bands as Botch, Converge, Johnny Truant, Meshuggah, Circle Takes the Square, Pyrrhon, Today Is the Day, Scarlet, Frontierer, Sikth, Periphery and many others.

Featuring a splenetic vocalist who has a vicious screamed shout, these songs provide a satisfying ear-bashing while also catering to those who like a bit of technicality and complexity with their beatings. It doesn’t go too far down the complexity route though, as there’s plenty of big rhythms and grooves provided to get the listener moving and jerking around the place in strange movements.

The album lasts 45 minutes and provides a meaty feast for anyone into this kind of thing.

Give them a listen.

Lae – Break the Clasp (Review)

LaeLae are from Canada and this is their début album. They play Post-Rock.

Okay, so I say Post-Rock, but not only is that incredibly vague but it also doesn’t really do the band justice, as Lae don’t really sound like you’d probably envisage when you think of Post-Rock. They have an unusual style that’s as enticing as it is seductive.

So, first off I should mention that the band have a very sexy production courtesy of Today is the Day frontman Steve Austin. Apparently he, understandably, became so enamoured with the band’s songs that he ended up providing lead vocals for the entire album. That album is Break the Clasp and the first thing you should know then is that his vocals are stunning.

Haunting cleans are layered together and occasionally enhanced by Austin’s trademark acidic screams to create a performance that’s like a demented lullaby. Breaking the Clasp gives Austin a true platform to demonstrate just how good a singer he actually is.

The music itself is a multi-textured and highly emotive smorgasbord of tasty treats and delights. It’s a hazy, psychedelic mix of Rock and Post-Rock that’s strictly non-conventional and features enough hypnotic melodies to capture your attention forever.

There’s a great variety of mood and feeling to be found here. Doubtless this is not the kind of album to appeal to everyone; it’s not an “instant hit” by any means. It doesn’t suffer from this though, as the songs here have a longevity to be expected of a band who have seemingly taken the best part of over a decade to release their début.

The songs strike a personal note with the listener, drilling down to the core of what’s important in great music; connection, passion and feeling.

Providing band references as comparisons is not easy. Hmm, certain aspects, (but not all by any means – the slower parts mainly), of bands like Today is the Day, Earth, Swans, Fantômas, Angels of Light, etc. are suitable starting points.

Break the Clasp is something of a revelation for me. Albums of this beauty and intrigue don’t come along very often. I’m floored. I love this.

As I write these words it’s nearing the end of 2014, and a lot of amazing album have been released this year. All I know is that Lae will be featuring very highly on my Best of 2014 list.

Achingly necessary.

Wormwood – Wormwood (Review)

WormwoodThis is the début album of Wormwood who are a Sludge band from the US.

Wormwood play abraisive and caustic Sludge that eats away like acid and is every bit as disfiguring.

The songs aren’t long but they don’t need much exposure to be proven toxic.

Heavy and covered in contagious filth, Wormwood are like the bastard offspring of Today is the Day, Rabies Caste, Khanate and Eyehategod.

It’s ugly, crushing music that’s no good for your health and yet is strangely addictive regardless. The songs infect with their virulent strand of aural disease and you find yourself thinking of them when you least expect, usually when the night is in full swing and the negative thoughts are swirling. Wormwood is the soundtrack to hopelessness and woe.

The songs are surprisingly catchy and their relatively simplistic approach of groove-based, heavy Sludge is tried and tested yet by no means less effective because of it. Eyehategod may have originally wrote the book but bands like Wormwood keep adding pages.

Wormwood lack Eyehategod’s Southern tinge of course, and theirs is a sound that shares aspects of Today is the Day and Rabies Caste in particular, as mentioned above.

A warm, yet musty, analogue sound coats all of the songs like a soft, ripe, fleshy exterior. It sounds good.

At only 18 minutes in length this is a release that doesn’t outstay its welcome; one to definitely keep returning to.

Highly recommended.