Mantar – The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze (Review)

MantarThis is the third album from Mantar, a German black metal band.

I’m a latecomer to Mantar’s work, but I can tell you that if you’re looking for filthy, ugly blackened metallic punk that’s still catchy as fuck, then they stand head and shoulders above most of their peers. Continue reading

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Skeletonwitch – Devouring Radiant Light (Review)

SkeletonwitchThis is the sixth album from Skeletonwitch, a blackened metal band from the US.

Well, this is not what I was expecting to hear from Skeletonwitch. I confess that I’ve only ever really heard a small amount of the band’s prior material, and what I did hear was kind of a thrash/melodic metal affair, from what I recall. I approached this Continue reading

Monthly Overview – the Best of May 2018

So, every month I say something along the lines of “this month has been a strong month for metal, blah, blah, blah…”, but May really has been a ridiculously strong month for metal! I really have struggled to keep this list down to manageable levels this time, and removed a few potential entries simply to keep the numbers down, (I’m not happy about this). So anyway, in no particular order, I give you my top picks for May 2018… Continue reading

Wolvhammer – The Monuments of Ash & Bone (Review)

WolvhammerThis is the fourth album from US black metallers Wolvhammer.

This is the much-awaited follow-up to 2014’s Clawing into Black Sun, which was one of my favourite releases of that year. To say I’ve been looking forward to this album is an understatement. Continue reading

Voidthrone – Kur (Review)

VoidthroneThis is the second album from Voidthrone, a US black metal band.

This is the follow up to the very enjoyable Spiritual War Tactics, which showcased the band’s keen ability when it came to dark, dissonant black metal that also employed doom and death metal elements very well. Of this album I said Continue reading

Secret Cutter – Self-Titled (Review)

Secret CutterSecret Cutter are from the US and this is their début album. They play Sludge Metal with an added side of Hardcore/Punk.

The Secret Cutter sound is one of pure unbridled filth, fury and fucking heaviness. This is aggressive and nasty in only the way that Sludge and really pissed off Hardcore can be, and when combined like this it just sounds gloriously horrible!

Think of bands like Eyehategod, Serpent Eater, Ilsa, Corrupt Moral Altar, Wolvhammer, Enabler and the like; distil what makes these bands so interesting, nasty and individual and you’ll have a good idea of the murky swamp of urban decay that Secret Cutter dwell in.

I love albums like this – no messing around, just undiluted heaviness and aggression, whether that’s done at speed or slowly. It’s rough, raw and genuine.

The Sludge is strong and works well with the added Hardcore/Punk influence that the band have.

The songs have a good degree of variety in them for a short album, (only 26 minutes), and within the style they play. Each song is readily identifiable also, (no mean feat for any band), and show a creative force at the top of their game.

They have some great riffs on this release and the songs are surprisingly catchy for this type of band. Although catchy probably isn’t the right term. Infectious, maybe?

Special mention should go to the singer, who absolutely rages and tears his way through the songs as if it’s the last thing he’s ever going to do. His high pitched screams are the very incarnation of savagery.

This really is a top quality release that has so many plus points it’s silly. In many ways this is the best of heavy, nasty music, and this is one I’ll be listening to over and over again.

Play it loud and get it now.

Wolvhammer – Clawing Into Black Sun (Review)

WolvhammerThis is the third album from US Sludgy Black Metal group Wolvhammer.

This is music that’s covered in filth and reeks of the underground; Black Metal that’s so impure it’s slowly mutating into a hideous Sludge Metal behemoth that threatens to corrupt and taint everything around it.

The band are absolutely focused on their misanthropic mission and are honed and coiled to a lethal point.

The great thing about this album is the songs themselves; there is a great sense of Doom’n’roll to these tracks that are propelled forwards with a Punk/Crust swagger that builds on their Black Metal roots and persists through the Sludgy mire they have created for themselves.

Put simply; the songs bleed negative emotion through every sickened pore.

The poisonous, bile streaked vocal shrieks are representative of dire inner struggles. They seem to reach out of the songs and force you to pay attention, all the while though you’re distracted by the grim musical bonanza that is spreading around you.

The guitars ply their Blackened trade with consummate ease and the entire album is just flowing with feelings artfully plucked, brutalised and abused by these purveyors of filth.

Does this sound good to you? Does it? Well it should. Wolvhammer have created a wonderfully dank album that I heartily recommend to all.

This is a stunning album.

Favourite Track: Death Division. It’s just so damn good.

Wolvhammer/Krieg – Split (Review)

Wolvhammer KriegBoth Wolvhammer and Krieg are from the US. Wolvhammer specialise in Blackened Sludge and Krieg play Black Metal.

Wolvhammer offer us a track first called Slaves to the Grime.

This is 6 minutes of Blackened Sludge hate. The band instantly sound confident and quickly lock into a heavy groove.

Vocals are spat out with venom and belligerent riffs lead the way before being replaced with apocalyptic melodies and downbeat pounding. Mid-song the tempo picks up but keeps the same feelings generated so far.

A most enjoyable song and a worthy contribution to the split.

Krieg are up next with Eternal Victim.

This is shorter than the previous track at half the length; only 3 minutes. Krieg are a veritable institution in their own right, and their track is no disappointment. It’s dark and powered by Blackness. The riffs are very good and the entire song seems over far too quickly.

A short release but definitely worth a listen; another definite split to add to your collection.