Tag: Review

Demolizer – Upgrade 

Demolizer – Upgrade 

Hutch checks out what the Demolizer lads have been up to…

A tasty refreshed four-track EP from the Danish thrasher which follows on from 2020’s Thrashmageddon, It’s no surprise that this rerecording of Ghoul continues in the gnarly manner of their previous releases with the snarling title track Ghoul a fine way to open the experience. It’s all heads down maniacal carnage before segueing into the thick chugging riffs of Torture Insanity which makes up for in heaviness what it lacks in speed. Guttural vocals are the main tool of Ben Radtleff and he uses his combination of lower octaves with more harrowing screams to impressive effect. 

Torture Insanity is polar opposites to Ghoul, the latter a circle pit inciting maelstrom, whilst for the first two minutes all you can do is slow head bangs but then, holy shit, we are off with a frenetic blast which sees the band let loose – this track should come with a health warning as it’s sheer pace for the remaining couple of minutes could induce cardiac challenges, especially for an old fucker like me who prefers to stand and head bang than risk Achilles tendon damage running with the pack.  

It may only be 16 minutes long, but Demoliser aren’t slowing up with Get Out of My Way doing exactly what it says – get out of the way or risk being hurt! It’s explosive, raw and punishing in equal measure. I can see younger thrash fans absolutely loving this. Even the routine cover of Annihilator’s King of the Kill has a nice blackened thrashy feel which brings the EP to a solid close. It’s more of a sandwich than a sit-down meal, but the filling is sufficient to encourage you to order another, even if it is the same sandwich again. Yum! 

Demolizer – Upgrade is out on the 1st October via the following pre-save links https://bfan.link/upgrade and Mighty Music Store

Orange Goblin – Healing Through Fire (RE-ISSUE)

Orange Goblin – Healing Through Fire (RE-ISSUE)

Paul Hutchings gives the re-issue of Healing Through Fire the once over… yes it’s Orange Fuckin Goblin!!…..

Few bands kick so hard, so consistently as the UK legends that are Orange Goblin. Formed in 1995 under the name Our Haunted Kingdom, their first release was a seven-inch split with Electric Wizard. Their sound changed from the stoner blues style of their first three albums on 2002’s Coup De Grace and by the time they arrived at album number six, Healing Through Fire in 2007, the band had incorporated those original sounds into a much more aggressive and heavy sound. That’s not to say that those roots were ignored, as one can hear on tracks like The Ballad of Solomon Blues which opens the album or the sprawling almost psychedelic workout on Beginner’s Guide to Suicide which closes the album. The latter showing just what a brilliant guitarist Joe Hoare is.   

Sandwiched between are some mighty slabs of heavy metal. There’s the biker size ten stomp of The Ale House Braves, the riff-laden Hot Knives and Open Sores and the bone crushing They Come Back (Harvest of Skulls) which remains in their setlist today.  

This release contains the original album and a plethora of goodies that many fans will not have encountered before. The four tracks from the Radio 1 Rock Show session are as boisterous as you’d expect, with the inclusion of a monstrous Scorpionica from The Big Black and Blue Snow from 1998’s Time Travelling Blues. The three demos aren’t particularly of interest to me, but they show the huge sound the band achieve in the studio. And there’s a cover of The Damned’s New Rose which is given the Goblin once over as well.  

The second CD contains Goblin in full live flow. Recorded at the Mean Fiddler in 2006, this is the audio recording of the DVD that accompanied the limited edition of Healing Through Fire when it was first released. The sound quality is dreadful, a muffled production suggesting the mixing desk was in the toilets, but it does capture the essence of the band in the environment they excel. If you’ve seen OFGB live, there are few surprises. Ben Ward is full on, cajouling and encouraging the audience to engage in “chaos, motherfuckers”. The band are heavier than the proverbial bag of anvils, and it sounds like a raging show. The track listing reflects the band at the time, with plenty of older songs spread through the 11-track set list. A selection of band commentaries has been spliced onto a couple of the songs, which I imagine is from the original DVD. (It doesn’t work particularly well on the audio version, disrupting the live flow of the gig.)

Overall, the rarities on disc one are probably of more interest, although live versions of Hot Magic, Red Planet and Round Up the Horses are well worth a listen. Ultimately, if you love Orange Goblin, you’ll be ordering this double CD. If you don’t, and I know one friend who famously said he’d rather “suck the sweat from a dead man’s balls” than watch OFGB, then Healing Through Fire probably won’t be on the shopping list.  

Orange Goblin re-release Healing Through Fire via Cherry Red Records this Friday the 20th August

Korrosive – Kaustic Hordes

Korrosive – Kaustic Hordes

Canadian Thrash, often the bridesmaid to its North American neighbour, but time after time our Maple syrup smoking’ cousins produce some killer new music that just makes us want to get upside down in a pit.. and the debut album from Toronto thrashers ‘Korrosive’ is one such release….

Now most people know I like my modern thrash towards the blackened death end of the spectrum, and ‘Kaustic Hordes’ delivers that deathly tone in spades, melting of the faces of passers by with breathtaking ease!

Opener ‘Slaughter The Preacher’ teases you for a few bars of acoustic chords, until the heavy, rains down as the first track on the album starts to punch you in the face with riff after riff of punishment and then the guys continue with riff after riff, drum beat after drum beat of thrash excellence.

Through ‘Burning Earth 2029’ into the chaos inducing ‘Terminal Violence’ through ‘Khaotic Evil’ and ‘Vitrolism’ the climbing guitars and guttural vocal raw keep the mini moshers in my head gritting their teeth and banging their heads and the pit is unleashed as ‘Hijo de Puta’ sends even this silly old fucker over the edge into a full on old school moshpit frenzy at least for the 3 and a half minutes that it lasts I die… whichever happens first!

‘Acidized’ completes the first 7 short sharp shocks of metal, and at 38 minutes for 8 tracks, there is no room for fucking about, with the final song ‘Septic Messiah’ being the only track to push over the 4 and a half minute barrier, with a 9 minute monster, that still delivers the blisteringly heavy and mosh pit inducing breakdowns

I usually like to spend a bit longer with an album before smashing out a review, but I have enjoyed this on repeat for most of the day and didn’t want to miss out on sharing what is a killer debut release…

Released on Friday the 13th August… BUY NOW on BANDCAMP or stream it in all the normal places, but don’t let this pass you by, as these guys deserve to be heard!

Rot Away – Nothing Is Good

Rot Away – Nothing Is Good

Hardcore….what is it good for…. power chords and D beats of course!! Asa checks out the new release from Danish HC band Rot Away, here’s what he thinks of Nothing Is Good…

Rot Away are a Hardcore band from Copenhagen, Denmark. The line-up (Jonathan Albrechtsen on Vocals, Christian Mattesen on Guitars, Ole Schwartz on Bass and Andreas Albrechtsen on Drums) are essentially a Danish Hardcore supergroup, with the members being quite prolific in their scene. Rot Away may be a new name, but the members have plenty of prior experience within the scene. They released their first self-titled E.P in 2019, followed by a single (‘Time Bider’) and a short live E.P, both released in 2020. Since then, the band have been working on their debut album, appropriately titled ‘Nothing Is Good’, and it’s pretty evident from the moment it starts that these guys are pissed off.

Tats Oot!!

The album starts with squealing feedback and the building of drums as heavy, savage riffs fill your ears. These are the type of riffs that would get any Hardcore fan two-stepping in the pit. The song, ‘Rot Away’, is short, with a few gang shouts and Jonathan’s angry bellows occasionally exploding over the instrumentals. ‘Deadfriends’ kicks in out of nowhere, with a classic d-beat and open chords ringing out. The chord-based riff is fast, energetic and would get bodies flailing in an instant. It’s less than a minute long, charging headlong into sheer brute force before feedback greets us once more, leading into ‘Bad Way’, which has a slightly thrashier edge. Frantic riffing gets the blood pumping as the drums pound into your skull. The pace slows down as mammoth grooves get necks snapping before one final explosion of turbocharged riff work closes things out.

‘Hang Low’ is a slower affair, with a monstrous main riff that is infectious in all the right ways. The chorus is also equally catchy, with it’s easy to follow lyrics and simplistic phrasing making it a real earworm. The song gradually builds towards a disgustingly savage breakdown at the end that will no doubt cause utter carnage in a live environment. ‘No Apology’ goes straight for the jugular with a faster tempo during the verse and mid-paced grooves in between,  providing plenty of forward momentum for the album and contrasting perfectly with the slower songs. The halfway point is marked by ‘Atlas Fracture’ which has dissonant feedback, menacing open chords and pounding toms to slowly build us into the whiplash-inducing riffs that will surely cause lifelong neck issues if you aren’t careful. Things pick up a little towards the end before the earth-shattering breakdown deals a piledriver to the face.

‘Graves’ is the longest track on the album, clocking in at a little over 4 and a half minutes. There’s an unease to the overdriven chords during the intro that are slightly disturbing yet despairing. It’s wildly different from everything that you’ve come to expect by now, packing an emotional heft when everything fully kicks in. Jonathan’s performance sounds like that of a man in dire desperation. There’s a haunting quality that permeates throughout, with layers of guitar creating a dense, and often intense, listening experience. However, don’t worry if you think that there’s no more slabs of brutal Hardcore left as ‘Timebider’ grabs you by your throat and doesn’t let go. Dissonant notes ring out and are quickly vanquished by the skull-crushing grooves that make up the body of the track. There’s even some time for the bass to shine, with its gritty, crisp rumbling adding serious girth to the riffs. The slamming breakdown at the end has enough force to permanently contort the faces of anyone in a 10-mile radius.

The penultimate track, ‘Spitshine’ brings back some of the Thrash-infused vibes during the verse riff, something that wouldn’t feel all that out of place on a Power Trip or Enforced record. The song traverses its thrashy terrain with ease, leading to a ferocious two-stepper, monolithic in both size and sheer heaviness. The final track is ‘Prøv Igen’, a song that is no-holds-barred attack on the senses, with blistering d-beats and frenetic power-chord riff work claiming supremacy over your body. There’s a little more Thrash spice to add some additional flavour to this already-delicious slice of Hardcore savagery. All the trappings of classic HxC are on display, in all their delightfully menacing glee. One final show of dominant brute force erupts from the last two-step fueled breakdown and it’s over.

‘Nothing Is Good’ isn’t a completely accurate name as I know one thing for certain that is good, and it’s this album. Yeah sure, it’s not reinventing the Hardcore wheel, but Hardcore doesn’t need reinvention. What it needs are d-beats, tom builds, power-chord slammers, breakdowns, two-steps, a pissed off vocalist and a hearty dose of energy. ‘Nothing Is Good’ has all of this in spades. It’s 25 minutes of unrelenting, visceral mayhem with riffs that tear your skin clean off your face, leaving a bloodied, unidentifiable mess of mass behind. That isn’t to say there isn’t a little something extra here, as ‘Graves’ proves. The band can do a little more with the Hardcore formula if they please and they can execute that just as well as the usual suspects. The performances are all top notch, with everything being tight as hell. The guitars have plenty of crunch to add the appropriate level of devastation to the riffs, the bass is dirty and helps to beef up the guitars and lock in with the drums, the drums are crisp and provide the artillery bombardment to add to the destruction and the vocals are as angry and shouty as you could hope for from an album like this. The mix is also impressive, with everything sitting just right, allowing everything room to breathe if needed but locking in tight to keep things cohesive. Theirs’s no clashing of frequencies or drowning other things out, all the elements can be heard in all their glory.

In conclusion, Rot Away have provided a stellar debut album that provides all the thrills that makes Hardcore so fun to listen to. Put they do occasionally throw something new into the mix and that willingness to experiment takes them a slight notch above most of their peers. If you’re not a fan of HxC then this album won’t really do much to change your mind. However, if you’re like me and love d-beats, two-steps and gargantuan grooves then Rot Away have the perfect album for you. I’m looking forward to seeing what else these guys have in store for us, and so should you. Check out this album right now, you won’t be disappointed.

Rot Away – Nothing Is Good is Out Today – 13th August on Last Mile Records

Killing –Face the Madness

Killing –Face the Madness

Our review machine Hutch, reviews an album that has been getting loads of plays in the Thrash Dungeon… Lets see what he says about Danish Thrashers ‘Killing’….

For a band who formed in 2013, Face the Madness has probably been a long time coming and a realisation of ambitions that were ignited many years ago.

Their debut EP Toxic Asylum arrived in 2018 followed by a single, Raise Your Anger in 2019. Although they had to take a pause due to the pandemic, that hasn’t done them any harm as Face the Madness is a delicious 40-minute rollercoaster of old school thrash.

The Danish quartet of drummer Jesper Skousen, guitarists Snade and Rasmus Holm Sørensen and vocalist and bassist Rasmus Soelberg clearly worship at the altar which was erected in 1985 because this is a vicious, feral and savage beast that takes no prisoners. 

There is nothing remotely modern about this record, but if it doesn’t make you want to bang your head and bounce of the walls then there must be something wrong. For like all old school styles, Killing have captured the essence of Exodus, Death Angel, Slayer and Kreator and curled it up into one leather studded glove that slams repeatedly and relentlessly. 

Except for the meaty final track Killed in Action, everything is powerful, aggressive and clocking in at five minutes or under. There’s the stomping mosher Don’t Get Mad, Get Evil, all out thrashing of opener Kill Everyone and the Vikings themed Straight out of Kattegat. All demand the neck snaps hard; all ignite the thrash fires and all are nicely executed.

The production is spot on, giving a crisp edge without losing that essential older feel. Stuffed full of razor sharp riffage, pummelling drums and blood curdling roars, Killing have released an album that hits the mark.

This is an album well worth getting your listening gear well and truly directed toward.

Killing – Face The Madness is out on the 13th August via Mighty Music

Grave Altar –Hell’s Necromancer

Grave Altar –Hell’s Necromancer

Hutch explores the latest release from Grave Altar.. here’s what he thinks to the Bristol Speed Mongers latest offering…

Short, sharp and filthy –probably the best way to describe this four track EP from Bristol blackened thrashers Grave Altar. 

Hell’s Necromancer follows up on their debut full length Morbid Spell, released in 2019. The power trio, who lurk under the pseudonyms of Fiend, Maniac and Krow play pacy, black thrash with little regard for their or others safety. The two original numbers here, Angel’s Crypt and the title track are nasty little fuckers, guaranteed to get the dirt forming under your pristine fingernails. Thundering riffs, roaring vocals and a production straight out of 1982. It’s all there and with occultism themes thrown in for good measure. It’s raw, savage and spikey. 

The additional tracks here are cover versions. Sepultura’s Troops of Doom and Slayer’s Black Magic. Both are given a decent workout, albeit in a faithful way. It’s always enjoyable to hear a fresh take on such classic tracks and Grave Altar give both tracks a good bashing. What’s not to like?

Nothing at all is the answer, so head over to BandCamp to grab your copy

Amnessia Eterna – Malditos

Amnessia Eterna – Malditos

Frank head to South America to check out the new album by Amnessia Eterna, here’s his thoughts of this Spanish language Thrash…

I am entering into this review completely blind. Now I like thrash metal from South America, In fact, I find so much of it to listen to on Spotify or Amazon music that it’s easy for it to blend into a blur without really finding out too much about the band I’m listening to.

Enter a new band to me. The Santiago-based quartet “Amnessia Eterna”. Formed in 2017 where they spent the next couple of years touring relentlessly on the live scene across Chile and beyond. Gaining a decent fan base with well-received shows. March 2020 saw them enter the studio to record their debut full-length release “Malditos”. An eleven-track album featuring a hand full of songs from 2020’s digital download self-titled offering, along with new material. The recording process took a marathon nine months due to covid restrictions, but the result was well worth the effort.

It is not what I was expecting, to say the least. The furious all-out attack that seems to be a South American trademark is replaced with a more subtle approach, with lots of melody in the structure of each song. It leans towards a more Spanish approach to things ala Angelus Apatrida with a sprinkling of the bay area with a nod towards Testament. This mature approach has set them above a few of their contemporaries and pushed them to the forefront of the South American scene. Having said that there is enough lightning-fast riffing with a dirty groove to keep the purists happy.

Opening up with the title track “Maltidos” you immediately get the impression of a well-produced record with some very good musicianship. The drumming of Jairo Sepulveda immediately comes to the fore as being very clean and precise. Then the curveball hits you. The lyrics are in their native Spanish. This for me was very surprising but also a breath of fresh air.

Once past the initial shock, you can settle down and get absorbed into the music. Each track eases into the next seamlessly and the eleven songs go by before you know it. There is no straightforward blueprint here, the first four tracks set a fast tempo but each has enough variation to keep it interesting. Track five “Initium” takes things to a more mid-paced and almost traditional metal instrumental where the band show off a varied array of technics before setting off at high speed on the very European thrash-sounding ”Infeirno” .Then they slow thingsdown with ”TanSolo” an Unforgiven style track.

“Falso Predicador” and “Todo Cae” are both mid-paced and possibly could have benefitted froma faster section within the structure of the songs at some point. These two songs are separated by a two-minute classical guitar interlude “Desvanecidos” akin to the beginning of Battery or Ride the Lightning only longer. The closing track “Caminos” is back to the thrash and probably my favorite track on the album.

On vocal duties is Camilo Sanchez who does a fantastic job throughout while doubling up on guitar duties, alongside Rudy Pereira. They together form a tight dual guitar attack with solid riffs and screaming solos. Accompanied on bass guitar by Fernando Martinez, who while not being outstanding he does a solid job in keeping the rhythm section tight and precise. Taking on all the production duties including recording, engineering and mixing is Fernando Guerra, of Darkshape studios Santiago. He has made a very good job in delivering a full-sounding album where all the musicians are clear and on an equal footing.

Overall this is a very good debut album but perhaps loses its way ever so slightly in the final third. I enjoyed the fact it is in Spanish even though my knowledge of the language is limited, I would have liked to have understood what was being sung but that is a minor point.

“Malditos” is due to be released on 30th July through Brutal Records and can be purchased via

bandcamp.

Underdark – Our Bodies Burned Bright On Re-Entry

Underdark – Our Bodies Burned Bright On Re-Entry

Asa delves into the belly of the beast with a review of some new post black metal from the UK, here’s what he thinks…

Underdark are 5-piece Black Metal band from Nottingham that blends elements of Post-Rock, Atmospheric Black Metal and Second Wave Black Metal. Formed in 2016, the band consists of Abi (Vocals), Adam (Guitars), Ollie (Guitars), Stephen (Bass) and Dan (Drums), and have released 1 E.P (Mourning Cloak, 2016) and 1 split (with Antre, 2018), alongside a few compilations. The lyrics cover societal and political concepts, seemingly on the left-winged side of things. All of this should give you a pretty great indication of whether or not you’re going to enjoy this release. Post-Black Metal is already a controversial enough topic for most Black Metal fans, mix in some political elements and it only helps fuel the controversy. However, this review won’t explore the views of the band as that is down to you listeners to dig into, instead focusing on the music provided.

‘Qeres’ starts things off in suitably atmospheric fashion, with ambient, melodic clean guitars, rumbling bass lines and spoken word vocals creating a somber tone. The Post-Rock influence is on clear display, with the blackened elements seamlessly blended in with raspy gurgles and distorted chords. The slow build turns into a terrific storm of Atmospheric Black Metal majesty, with the riffs being simultaneously hopeful yet despairing, based on your mood. The switches in tempo and moods help keep things interesting, with the drums providing a savage backbone with furious double bass work and ferocious blast beats. Abi gurgles, gargles, rasps and roars through the 7-minute plus ripper, adding a sense of urgency and desperation to the affair. Second Wave Black Metal flourishes add further depth to the darkness, contrasting with the beautiful melodies of the atmospheric riffs. All of this culminates with a thundering outro that slowly fades to nothing. It’s a brilliant opener that sets up a lot of what is to come.

The title track follows next with more melodic riffs and pummeling blasts. The bass adds another level of dirt to the admittedly raw production, giving the guitars plenty of added heft. The way the band seamlessly blend various styles together is quite incredible, with the darker, menacing tones of Scandinavian Black Metal worked brilliantly with the softer, entrancing riffage of contemporary Post-Black. At the halfway mark, a calm ambience takes over, as soothing clean guitars wash over you after 4 minutes of an emotional rollercoaster. This section wouldn’t feel out of place on Workhouse album or even a Melodic Hardcore release (think Being As An Ocean for a reference point). The different layers all add depth, pulling you deeper into their trance. Things slowly build until everything breaks into a horrific frenzy of dark, chaotic riffs, blasts and vocals for the homestretch. ‘Coyotes’ calms things down with another clean intro, ambient layers and all. After the disharmonious finish to the previous track, it’s a much-needed breath of fresh air. Slow, delicate drums lead into a distorted version of the intro, accompanied by Abi’s rasps and ground-shaking bass. The expected melodic riffs and blast beats follow the soothing beginnings, with the song switching between slower tempos to contrast with the faster blackened sections. There’s some wonderful use of melodic layering, with atmospheric leads underlining the rhythms creating a surreal feeling of serenity.

The penultimate track, ‘With Ashen Hands Around Our Throats’, goes full-throttle to the floor with grim tremolo picked riff work and head-crushing blast beats. Paired with the ethereal melodicism of the other guitar parts, it makes for some intense listening. The pace slows down at the halfway point, leading into another excellent clean section that is pleasantly mellifluous. Even when things become distorted once more, this feeling is extended over the top. It keeps you locked into an enchanting daze until the song rather abruptly stops. It’s the kind of thing that could be repeated for another 4 minutes and you wouldn’t care, still disappointed that it eventually must end. We’ve now reached the end of the album, with the final track entitled ‘Skeleton Queen’. Slower paced drums married with melodic riffs, uneasy layers and harsh bellows flow effortlessly into blast beats and atmospheric guitars. Back and forth between slow, deliberate sections and fast, blasting chaos keeps you on the edge of your seat as you never know what is going to happen. A brief clean interlude and a frantic, rather desperate sounding spoken word passage quickly lends itself to a particularly doom-ladened section that adds a gloomy atmosphere. This doesn’t last long however, as another clean section greets us, basking us in golden sun and a sense of hopefulness. The difference is day and night but is excellent for those who often feel hopeless. Distorted chords ring throughout, with a wonderful clean lead played over the top adding heaps of additional wallop to it all. And then it ends, almost as quickly as it started.

So… Final thoughts? I’ll get the production out the way first. It’s a rather raw sounding record, though it’s a Black Metal release made by an independent band so that’s to be expected. It isn’t so raw that you can’t hear anything as everything is easy to decipher with crisp guitars making all of the atmospheric and melodic undertones incredibly digestible, gritty bass adding plenty of thunder and drums that still pack incredible heat, despite the rawness of their sound. The vocals are very much at the front, which works well for what the band are trying to achieve. The additional layers are also easy to pick out so, despite the raw quality of the record, you don’t have to strain your ears. This is a Black Metal album made by English people in 2021, not by some edgy Norwegian kids in the early 90’s. The performances are also excellent. Everyone plays exceptionally well with tight guitars, bass that is simple in technicality but massive in impact, drums that sound like a human played them yet maintain an insane degree of tightness and a vocal performance that is in your face and proud of it, adding an intensity to the record that most Black Metal bands fail to reach.

Lastly, the music. It’s impressive stuff, that blends a few stylistically different genres together into one cohesive package. There’s a maturity to the music that puts them on par with more notable bands of the style, and a clear passion for the music they play and the message they convey. It doesn’t take much for you to feel convinced of their love for what they do as it’s felt in every note played, every rasp, shout and lyric, even in the savage blast beats. The album is rather short, but it warrants repeat listens. It doesn’t pull out many surprises with a lot of the same ideas used in every song but that shows a clear sound they’re trying to achieve, and they achieve it to a supreme standard. It’s a hypnotic, dark, sorrowful, hopeful listen that will either make you cry tears of despair or of joy, dependent on your mood. If you like Post-Black or Atmospheric Black Metal then this is an album for you. Underdark have crafted something special here and it’ll be interesting to see where they go from here. They should be proud in their achievement, and you should definitely go give it a listen. Fantastic work.

The Album is available everywhere today – 30th July 2021 – follow the Linktree to get connected, physical or streaming