mardi 28 avril 2015

Nibiru - Padmalotus (2015)

It's really time Nibiru gets the recognition it deserves (read my reviews of their previous albums & the interview we did HERE and THERE). When it comes to dark and psychedelic doom the italian band is truly among the very best. I hope their third album, released this month by Argonauta records and called Padmalotus will set the record straight. What set them apart is their improvisationnal approach to music, giving their doom a deep ritualistic vibe. And of course there's also the heavy, dirt sludgy thick and fuzzy sound of the guitars.It's definitely trippy, but definitely not a peace, love & flower power kind of trippy. More like a lysergik nightmare, a crawling ominous atmosphere (the cover art goes well with the music). Padmalotus is even darker than their previous albums. More tortured vocals (but sounding more like slow incantations than frantic death metal screams), creepy keys parts, a bit of ambient noise elements. It's darker and also there's more experimentation making their music even more unique than it already was. There's a bit of female vocals, some near blast beats drumming at times, making them get closer to a black metal atmosphere, but with the strong psych / ritualistic tribal doom element always present.  And the fourth track, a massive 28 minutes one, even ends with an industrial / noise / jungle part, which is surprising but really well done and actually very fitting with the atmosphere, sound and ritualistic trippy vibe of the album. I mention this monster of a last track but the three first long songs are each one excellent, different, bringing new elements. It's darker, more experimental but also it's a bit more "composed" (less improvised) and they gave more space to melodies. They really found a good balance of all the different elements. This is a flawless, very exiting and impressive album.I had big expectations for this album but it's good beyond  every expectations.
I can't recommend it too much, it's not just highly recommended, it's a mandatory listen!

their FB page

lundi 27 avril 2015

Exordium mors - The Apotheosis of Death (2014)

The Apotheosis of Death is the first full-length (after some demo, Ep's etc. the band being active since 2004) from Exordium mors, hailing from New Zealand. This album is just awesomely METAL. It's a powerful merging of black metal (the vocals, blast beats), thrash / death metal (the fast paced riffing / drumming) and traditional heavy metal (the epic songwriting). It's heavy, fast, aggressive, barbaric and epic. It's very well played and written. The overall atmosphere reminds bands like Immortal, Bathory, Destroyer 666 or even Manilla road! A relentless headbanging feast. It combines with powerful result the old school spirit of metal with its modern aggressivity. Really cool stuff!!

The Bandcamp page

jeudi 23 avril 2015

Hadak Ura - Forever dying // Forever dead (2015)

Hadak Ura is a new band with two guys from Vertigo Index. What they play in Hadak Ura is still grind related (especially some drumming parts) but there's also a lot of hardcore elements (vocals, mid tempo groove), hardcore of a raw and very dark kind. their first release (digital only for the moment) called Forever dying // Forever dead sounds really intense and coming from the guts, something more violent and "real" than most of those "blackened hardcore" bands that appeared these years. Grind school is the best school!
My only complain would be that the samples / dark ambient parts last a bit too long maybe (no big deal). Otherwise it's really good.

their BC page

lundi 20 avril 2015

Abyss - Heretical Anatomy (2015)

Heretical Anatomy is the first album from the Canadian band Abyss and it's an impressive one. We could say the recipe is simple : take some elements from Slayer (riffing, drumming and the flow of the vocalist), some others from Entombed (the sound, the raw vocals, the old school death metal vibe) add a bit of crust punk (some d-beat some fast paced straightforward aggression) and you get a fine raging beast of an album.  This thrashy death metal mix has already been tried but rarely the result is as convincing as it is with Heretical anatomy. I think this success lies in the good songwriting and the quality of the execution but also in the diversity on the album, with a good balance between very short and fast songs (the more "Reign in blood" and punk influenced ones), slower and longer ones (more swedeath sounding) and fast / mid-tempo 3 minutes songs.  also (another thing reminding Reign in blood) it's a short album and when it stops you're left wanting to listen to it again.
Highly recommended stuff!

the BC page

vendredi 17 avril 2015

The Body - The tears of Job (2015)

The tears of Job is the new self release The Body record. On the origin it's done as a gift to people taking part in the crowdfunding of their new tour van. And a cool gift it is. On these five tracks the stress is on their more noise drone/ industrial side, with also a few discreet melodies on keyborads and electro beats giving it a slight post-punk / darkwave feel on the foruth track. there's also the usual shrieking and a bit of female melodic vocals (I suppose from the Assembly of light choir?).  the fifth track start with these melodic female vocals and you wonder if it's going to be the most melodic track from The Body. But it's a cover of a Jane's addiction song called "I would for you", and anyway it stops after three minutes and then you have droning noise for the rest of the twelve minutes of the track. So it was just a ray of light in their usual bleak grimness. And that's also why we love them! The tears of Job is another excellent release from The Body, as unique as their music always is.

Their FB page.


mardi 14 avril 2015

The Unrest interview

Unrest formed in 2006 and after years of hard work released their first album, called Grindcore, and grindcore it is indeed. And Grindcore is good for you!

I reviewed it HERE. and you can download / stream it THERE.

And just below is the email interview we did with their drummer Chris Grigg.
It turns out that he had intersting things to say and, honestly, I think it's a good read, well worth your time. 

-can you go back to the origin of the band and tell us how it happened? what was he project at the start and how have you evolved since the beginning of the band?

Steve and I were bummed that Nasum was no more so we decided to try ripping them off as much as possible. It evolved as we realized Nasum > us so we resigned ourselves to be the best Unrest we could, which meant taking a lot of their songwriting ideas and injecting more of our personalities.

-can you tell us a few words about the other bands you play in?
I’m more or less between bands right now, but I’ve had a black metal band called Woe off and on for the past 7 years or so. Brooks and Steve are both in Crypt Sermon (vocals and guitar) and TrenchRot (guitar and vocals/guitar), who rule. Steve is the main dude behind Infiltrator, for which I also (will?) play bass whenever we get back to work.

-your album is called Grindcore, it's very fitting but quite a bold choice, what about it?

Your bold is our lazy. All the fuss about our band’s name and the album name is pretty hilarious to us since both were kind of spontaneous choices. I think we went with Unrest cause it sounded cool but also extremely… well, just something a grindcore band would call itself. The album title was decided over text message, I think it was, “Brooks wants to call it Grindcore.” "Yeah, sure, that sounds good." It’s about as bold as calling a restaurant “Food” or titling your book “Book.” I think that the fact that so many people have been all, “ZOMG THEY ARE SAYING THEY DEFINE THE GENRE” makes a statement about how metal fans see metal. They’re so sensitive, like everything they do or don’t like is an affront on this precious flower that they are personally responsible for protecting.

-in my review of Grindcore I wrote that it sounds influenced by Nasum, but also by hardcore, do you agree? and what are your favourite Nasum album and why?

Definitely. I think that grindcore is at its best when it deals with the CORE as much as the GRIND. We wanted the hardcore parts to really be some Neanderthal shit. I think Nasum’s punk/hardcore roots are pretty overt, too. I usually go between Shift and Helvete.

-how was Grindcore (the album!) created (writing process, recording, production, etc..), and how would you describe it?
We wrote it over the course of many years, just putting together songs that we wanted to hear. I could write a goddamn novel about it. When we started, I could barely play a solid blast beat through a song and Steve had never done vocals before. We just pushed, kept writing, kept demoing, kept trying to do what we wanted to do. We made sure that every song had an “Oh shit!” part, pushed for that delicate balance of dumb/brutal without being too boring. We’d typically write riffs, demo, then write/record demo vocals. There’s at least one or two other recordings of every song on the album with maybe a couple exceptions.

How would I describe it? The writing was fun, exciting, spontaneous, crucially formative; the recording and producing was brutal, miserable, frustrating, defeating, humbling, surprising, but ultimately triumphant, since the finished product rules.

-I read that Unrest exists since 2006 why did it took so long to release a record?
See above notes RE: recording. I’m so glad we waited to release it. The finished version is head and shoulders above what it would have been, otherwise. It’s such a special, personal album for us that we couldn’t stand the thought of releasing it in a form that reflected anything other than how important it is to us. I just couldn’t get a mix that felt right. After a few years on the shelf, we revisited it. My newer perspectives on mixing, our collective opinions of how albums should sound, and our growth as vocalists allowed us to finish off everything that remained.

-what do you want to express through your lyrics? can you tell us a few words about the lyrics of a specific song on the album?
Our overall message is to think for yourselves — that’s what we want to express. I write a lot about identity and culture, how the one feeds off of the other and how we find ourselves becoming people who we don’t want to be, parts of systems we don’t want to support.

Specific song? Sure. “Identity in the Internet Age” is about the way we consume music these days. I’m all for digital music, I think that anything that makes it easy for people who don’t want to go through a label to get their music out there is great, but it has the risk of devaluing artists’ work in the eye of consumers. When so much music is coming out every day, it’s easy to forget that most albums are the result of a group of people’s hard work. We ask the question, “When someone gets all of their music for free and then uses it as an accessory for their identity, how much do they really value it?"

-do you think grindcore (or grind related hardcore music)  can be undestood as a reaction against the recuperation and commodification of punk?

Maybe? I think that questions like this have to be answered by the listener. Everything is commodified at some point. The inherent value of a thing can only be decided by the consumer. It can be understood as that as much as it can be understood as gurgling noises about chopping up women. I’d say that your thesis of grindcore’s essence is more valid that any misogynistic nonsense but that’s not something I can force as anyone. Best I can do is avoid and discourage shit I don’t like.

-do you think that the DIY way of action could be a global alternative or do you see it more as a pracical way of growing for an underground band?

Man, there’s so much to say about this. The lines between “DIY” and… Have Someone Else Do It (?) culture are so blurred these days where music is concerned. Most of the labels that we think of as “big” are tiny operations compared to the majors, the bands we think of as having “made it” are making no money and working shit jobs when they’re not on tour, the websites we use are started by tiny startups who just grow and grow and grow… Frankly, I don’t think that the things that come after “DIY” really have much of anything to offer underground bands, at least not in the longterm. Everyone I know who’s “outgrown” DIY eventually burnt out and regretted it… but maybe my perspective is really limited.

I think that bands who are interested in using DIY as a stepping stone to “making it” are gonna have a bad time.

-which bands from your area would you recommend?

I like Anicon, Belus, Infernal Stronghold, Krallice, and Crypt Sermon (naturally).

 -Which evolutions would you like to see happening in the underground scene?
I’d like to see less attention paid to music reviews, more to articles that really examine and dive into the work of artists. With all due respect — we always love a positive response — I think that the value of a normal music review, a “this shit sucks” or “this album is awesome” type of thing, is practically nothing now that everything is on Spotify or Bandcamp or YouTube. It takes as much time for me to listen to a track and form my own opinion as it does to read a review. On top of that, negative reviews can still be extremely harmful to artists, even though music is such a personal thing. Some joker who spends an hour or two listening to a record is in no way qualified to present their opinion of what an individual or band probably spent months creating as anything special. So why do we perpetuate this shit? Why do we spend ANY time on simple responses when they’re so much time out there? Why are people writing negative reviews of unknown bands when they could be writing about experiences?

So that’s what I want to see: more personal responses to underground bands. I’d like to see people valuing the people who are giving up their time to create art for almost nothing. “I spent a lot of time with this unknown band’s album. It made me feel this. It made me consider this. It made me look at things differently. It changed my expectations of this.” I want to see a culture that embraces creativity.

-what is planned for Unrest in the coming months?

Rehearsal? Maybe live shit? We’ll see...

-something to add?

Really, how much could someone really care if they do not want to pay?

Acid witch - Midnight movies EP (2015)

Acid witch is a duo known for their horror inspired death /doom / heavy. This Midnight movies EP, five year after their last album, is a bit different, but while staying in the same "spirit". It's four covers of obscure hair metal / hard rock songs from 80' horror movies soundtrack. The vocals is half their usual death metal vocals and half "clean" heavy metal / glam singing. the first sing is very surprising and funky, the second is a bit like rough AC / DC with spooky keys parts. third one is a twisted kind of "power ballad". the fourth, called "partytime" is a kinf of hard rock / metal boogie closing with a "carpenter like" keyborad part. And between the songs you have "horror / fun" samples. Overall it's rocking, groovy, surprising and funny.

their FB page.

vendredi 10 avril 2015

Hellucinate - Destroy (2014)

Hellucinate is a new black metal duo from Jakarta, Indonesia, and Destroy is their first album. What they play is raw, barbaric black metal, with some trashy riffing and a crust vibe, good aggressive vocals and a drumming that has a primitive simplicity which is just perfectly fitting (I really like it!). Something closer to Darkthrone than to Wolves in the throne room if you see what I mean. Destroy is a great sucess in capturing this old school no bullshit fuck everything that early black or trash metal had. And still can have with bands like Hellucinate. A very convincing and ejoyable fisrt release from the indonesian duo. good stuff!

Their Bandcamp page.

mercredi 8 avril 2015

Sammal - Myrskyvaroitus (2015)

Last year I played many times Sammal's EP called No2 (read Here the review I wrote) and would have been happy if this new album, called Myrskyvaroitus (yes they're finnish!) would have been as good. But with this album they improved a lot and the result is absolutely marvelous. Myrskyvaroitus is an instant classic (and you like it more with each new listen) and it's probably the record released this year that left the biggest impression on me so far. Compared to No2 they widened their scope enriched their sound (that Moog / Farfisa kind of keyboard sound on the album is really awesome!), adding more diversity in style and mood. There are darker moments along with the brighter parts, it's based into progressive and psychedelic rock from the 70' but you can find also touches of jazz funk / rock / fusion (for exemple the second track can remind The Meters or Dr John but also Miles Davis Bitches brew or maybe even Herbie Hancock) and all that with their typical finnih melodic sense. sometimes it gets more trippy / meditative like the fifth track, and there's even the final track reminding at the start some sci-fi /horror synth based soundtrack and going on to evolve into very different phases (even something like Santana's like guitar parts and percussions...) during it's 10 minutes. or maybe you'll hear something completely different, but well, you get the idea, there's a real diversity in this album and it never caese to surprise you. The playing / singing (in finnish) and the production are as good as the production is and every detail is very finely crafted. This is released by Svart records, a finnish label confirming it's very high quality and originality release after release.
Very highly recommended!

Their Bandcamp

their website

mardi 7 avril 2015

Unaussprechlichen Kulten - Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath (2014)

The cover art is awesome, the music is awesome as well. Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath by Chilean band Unaussprechlichen Kulten is truly a masterpiece in old school US death metal (reminding the Floridian masters Cannibal corpse and Morbid angel but also Suffocation and Immolation). Brutality, dark and heavy grooves with some lovecraftian inspired weird  and epic atmospheres. This is a really enjoyable album (their third full length, the first since 2008, released by Dark descent and Iron boneheads) that I listened to many times.  Highly recommended!

The Bandcamp page.

mercredi 1 avril 2015

Unrest - Grindcore (2015)

Unrest debut album is called Grindcore. And yes, it definitely is grindcore, and good one. Grind of the modern (post-Nasum) kind with a powerfull sound and a very high intensity. Unrest grind is also characterized by it's hardcore influence (even more than Nasum was), with it's use of mid tempo groove (between faster parts, were talking about grindcore, right?) and the (good) syncopated flow of it's vocalist. it was quite a bold move to call the album grindcore but they didn't fail to deliver it, and did it faultlessly, so there's no arguing with it and we can just applause. well, done! grindcore indeed and of the finest  quality!

The BC page.