2017 was an amazing year for music, with so many top-notch albums seeing the light of day. I pretty much say this every year, of course, but that doesn’t seem to stop it being true. With this in mind, the 2017 list was especially hard to put together, and I agonised over this one more than I did for any of the lists in previous years.
As is traditional, I also want to mention some releases by bands that could easily have made it onto the list, and should have by many rights, if only I could have somehow managed to fit them all in –
I urge you to check out all of the above releases, in addition to the ones in the actual list below. I could probably keep adding more bands you should give a listen to, but a line has to be drawn somewhere, I suppose.
So, without further ado, let’s get right down to it… Continue reading
It’s once more time to gather in Leeds for this year’s Damnation Festival. With another amazing lineup, this is a festival that’s a definite milestone in the yearly metal calendar.
It’s that special time of year once more. With yet another amazing lineup of quality bands both big and small, the UK’s Damnation Festival returns this weekend for another sold out weekend of extremity. So yes, on Saturday 4th November at Leeds University, something colossal will be happening.
It’s an absolutely great lineup, and you can see the full list of bands, including stage times, below – Continue reading
I’ve enjoyed watching Wren develop across their 2015 split with Irk and then on their 2016 EP Host. Both releases impressed me and marked them out as ones to watch, placing them firmly on my radar. Well, it’s now 2017 and they’ve finally released their debut full length. It has been more than worth the wait. Continue reading
Kalloused have a powerfully heavy sound that they still manage to insert nuance into when the need arises. This release features a plethora of textured riffs that manage to show a certain degree of subtlety and finesse even when they’re smashing your skull in.
The band have a black metal element Continue reading
We know Wren from their very enjoyable split with Irk, and I was eager to catch up with their latest release to see how the band are progressing.
The answer seems to be that they are progressing very well, thank you.
These tracks continue to Continue reading
Irk are first with four tracks totalling 13 minutes.
This is angular, Mathcore-style Noise Rock. The bass has a good, heavy presence and drives the music forwards. It maintains a constant, prime position throughout the recording.
The vocals are impassioned and kind of fall halfway between shouting and some form of demented pseudo-singing. It’s an acquired taste yet works well juxtaposed against the solidly-constructed, almost mechanistic music.
The band have the feel of a DIY punk band only with edgy grooves and a detached riffing style.
They remind me of a cross between Hawkeyes and Association Area with a bit of Sultans of Ping FC mixed in. It’s a good, jagged ride they take the listener on and it’s certainly a memorable one. I think the vocal style won’t be for everyone but if it works for you then there’s a lot to enjoy here.
After this it’s now down to Wren to play us out. They offer up 3 tracks totalling 16 minutes.
Theirs is a murkier, slower sound than Irk. Wren take the Post-Metal/Sludge template laid down by Neurosis/Isis/Cult of Luna and make their own mark on it with impassioned playing and heavy riffs.
Walls of heavy guitars mix with transcendent Post-Metal melodies and a Sludgy core. There’s a high level of emotional content to a band like this and it’s all powered along by the relentless heaviness of the guitars.
Shouted vocals make an appearance on the second song and seem to merge with the guitars, providing pointed highlights to the aural onslaught of the six-stringers.
These are very enjoyable songs and if you’re a fan of the heavy Post-Metal style then Wren deliver in spades.
This split is a little unusual when compared to a lot that get released as the bands involved are quite different from each other. It’s a recommended listen for sure though, featuring two bands that show a lot of promise for the future.
Favourite Track: An Approach by Wren. The best is saved for last. Driving, heavy riffs, emotive violence and reflective chaos. Class.