Friday, 27 April 2012

Visions: Municipal Waste - The Fatal Feast (NSFW)

I'm by and large a big fan of Municipal Waste, having been a big part of satiating my wish for thrash to be the in thing in my lifetime - I missed the original wave as I was blissfully unaware, due to young age, of the effect this style of music was to have on my neck one day. I've been quick to obtain their albums upon release and have enjoyed them all right up to 'Massive Aggressive', which was still a great album even if not quite on a par with the two albums that preceded it.

The 'Waste are back with 'The Fatal Feast' and the title track is the inspiration for a brilliantly and typically over the top video from the Richmond crew, as they engorge their way through a space vessel's crew and its rescue team. The track itself surprised me at first with its more melodic vocals - but its no less thrashy and old school and it certainly picks up a gear at the right time. Their bloodlust is seemingly insatiable and hence, its every bit the reason you should probably not let your boss catch you watching this. As comical as it is, there's always plenty of blood to be spilled in Municipal Waste's world, and they're not holding back here. After the jump.

Peter Clegg 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Feist/Mastodon - Black Tongue/A Commotion 7"

'Feistodon': Black Tongue/A Commotion
Warner Bros.

I just thought I'd add my two pennies on this given that despite not attending Record Store Day (due to personal responsibilities, not lack of support for the cause), I have managed to listen to this limited release 7" that caused quite a commotion (pun very much intended) building up to its release, not least because of the unlikely connection between Canadian songstress Feist and Atlanta, Georgia metal titans Mastodon, which developed following their respective appearances at the same recording of the Jools Holland Show last year.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Pelican - Ataraxia/Taraxis

Southern Lord

Returning with their first new material since 2009, Chicago's Pelican deliver unto us yet another EP – they do love 'em – with 'Ataraxia/Taraxis', their third release for Southern Lord. It's free of the distractions that were brought with 'What We All Come to Need', namely the numerous guest appearances and the presence of a vocalist (The Life and Times/Shiner's Allen Epley) on 'Final Breath' that became such a talking point for a band which, musically, has become more introspective of late. The new EP is a return to basics for the band, focusing squarely on the efforts of its four members, although there's absolutely no surprises from Pelican on this release, and truth be told, there rarely is, although their influences have seemingly shifted over the years.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Melvins - The Bulls and the Bees

The Bulls & The Bees
Scion A/V

The Melvins feel to have been around an eternity, yet show no signs of letting up their prolificacy. Indeed, 2012 is setting up to be an even busier year for them, with the forthcoming release of the 'Melvins Lite' album 'Freak Puke' almost upon us, following hot off the heels of the Scion A/V-backed EP 'The Bulls and The Bees', once again comprising the quartet of Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover and the Big Business rhythm section of Jared Warren and Coady Willis. Now in the 29th year as a band in one shape or another, the Melvins are still bang on form and firing on all cylinders, even if 'The Bulls and The Bees' isn't quite classic material, although still far better than anything you can do.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Black Breath - Sentenced to Life

Black Breath
Sentenced to Life
Southern Lord

Seattle's hardcore thrashers Black Breath have whipped up such a frenzy in the last two or three years after unleashing 'Razor to Oblivion' and debut album 'Heavy Breathing', while touring the blue hell out of both of them. Such is the fervour generated in this short space of time has inevitably led to 'Sentenced to Life' becoming one of 2012's most anticipated albums, but at the same time it's anticipation that should be tempered with caution. No doubt there are still a few people sniping with the 'Entombed-lite' tag, not just at Black Breath, but at the entire hardcore/d-beat movement that has recently been forged with huge backing, particularly from Southern Lord. And the surprise that Black Breath caught people with on 'Heavy Breathing' is no longer that. I hate to refer to that 'difficult second album' cliché, but it's true.

Friday, 20 April 2012

High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis

High on Fire
De Vermis Mysteriis
E1 Music

Despite seemingly continuous revelry, it feels as though in some quarters, High on Fire have yet to please all the purists, despite increasing acclaim for their work. Some would argue 'Snakes for the Divine' was lacking High on Fire's true raw power, beckoning for another 'Blessed Black Wings'. Others, myself included, would argue High on Fire don't need another one of those albums, or indeed another 'Surrounded by Thieves'. They seem to gamely go about their task with the requisite menace and intensity without any need to shift their approach for an audience which widens a little more with each release. Nevertheless, there will always be a few who can never be fully satisfied.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Overkill - The Electric Age

The Electric Age
Nuclear Blast

Within many walks of life, age is seen as a potential barrier to any further progress or indeed success. Within music and indeed heavy metal, it couldn't be any more the opposite. Showing absolutely no signs of letting up even as they get well into their fifties, New Jersey thrashers Overkill have unleashed sixteenth album 'The Electric Age' to the masses, off the back of the incredibly well-received and thoroughly awesome 'Ironbound', which no question was a huge shot in the arm for the band which arrived just as the thrash revival began to run out of steam. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Gripe/Diseksa - Indefinite Detention

Indefinite Detention
Tombs In The Valley/Opaques

Regular readers to this site ought to be aware of Gripe by now, the Athens, Georgia, US grind/hardcore punk crew whose first two releases were reviewed by the site. Having originally been a three-piece, it now appears they've added a bassist to their ranks as their sound certainly has a slightly groovier dimension, and they continue their good form shown on 'Pig Servant' with six new tracks of slamming punctuating politically-charged ferocity, and five from their split partners for this release, Malaysian grinders Diseksa.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Pelican @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, 09/04/2012

I can honestly say that Pelican have provided me with some incredible musical mementos, from their heavier early days through to their more recent melodic period, which on occasion has journeyed with me on an almost personal level, being the commuting man I am. Still, I'm not a cannot of any sort. I was oblivious to the fact they last toured over here with Torche in 2008 and only found out they stopped off in Manchester thanks to a flyer I spotted on my way home from a Meshuggah concert on the very same day.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Visions: Gurt - Dudes With Beards With Cats

In what has to be one of most perplexing yet original sludge metal videos yet, London sludge metal crew Gurt have come up with an appropriate DIY video for their new track 'Dudes with Beards with Cats', taken from the soon to be released split 7" with fellow UK heavies Dopefight (available here). Sandwiched between a slight unnerving sequence of meowing cats as the cameraperson shuffles into and out of the house is a sequence of mainly still images of cats, some content, some happy, some pretty miffed, the occasional unreal cat, and the occasional scowler/roarer, and some with dudes and dudettes, some with, some without beards. It's a boss track from the Gurt lads and hopefully the sign of more quality stuff from them.

On a side note, hasn't UK stoner/sludge/doom had a cracking 2012 so far? Let's hope it stays that way!

Peter Clegg

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Sloth Herder - Sluggard EP

Sloth Herder
Sluggard EP

The famous connection Sloth Herder have to modern day heavy music is that Jucifer's Edgar Livengood counts one of Sloth Herder as a cousin. The similarity between them ends there. Sloth Herder's debut displays four tracks of knee deep in the mud grindcore. All tracks hit around the two minute mark, so they're allowed time to breathe before violently fuzzing out. The low quality production gives it a blackened edge but it stays entrenched in grind territory, dipping a toe in sludgier waters on occasion.

I don't know if there's enough yet to set Sloth Herder apart of the zillions of grindcore bands stepping up for a crack, but 'Sluggard' is a reasonable first release. It's available for free via the band's Bandcamp page, so there ain't no reason for you not to give them a fair crack. Stream or download it after the jump:

Peter Clegg

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Every Time I Die - Ex Lives

Every Time I Die
Ex Lives

By now, the law of averages says that Every Time I Die ought to have a bad album by now. With each album comes a further upward swing in a seemingly endless trajectory skywards, and the amount of awesomeness their previous releases have brought coupled with their fans rabid enthusiasm and indeed, expectation, you could argue there might be one or two expecting ETID to hit a snag somewhere. Yet within moments of Keith Buckley yelling 'I want to be dead with my friends!' in the opening to 'Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space', its business as usual, setting the tone for 'Ex Lives' to become the best album of ETID's career to date.

I could easily leave it there having pretty much summed up that you need this album right now. But that wouldn't do the album's many highlights any justice. Keith Buckley's trademark wit is still rife: 'I refuse to be the only man/put to rest in a mass grave' ('Underwater'…) is one such delight from many and his voice lends itself to many other the album's catchy moments, of which I'm sure you'll be able to pick out.

Every Time I Die - Revival Mode (official video)

'Ex Lives' displays a huge range of ETID's influences old and new merging themselves to blistering effect. 'Holy Book of Dilemma' ups the speed and intensity, one of the heaviest songs on the record. The rockabilly beginnings to 'Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow' offer a brief respite but by and large this is perhaps the heaviest ETID record yet – Keith Buckley's howl at times conjures pure hell, evidenced by a blistering roar of 'I have declared a war' on 'Drag King'. For all its intensity, at times 'Ex Lives' does change the pace, and while fairly melodic in contrast to the majority of the record, the darkness of 'Revival Mode', with its catchy refrain of 'Thanks Lord/but I don't need any more/poor advice', is one of the record's stand-out tracks, while 'Indian Giver' even sees the band steering into Melvins territory with a hypnotic psych-tinged sludge riff.

It's still the same Every Time I Die we know and love six albums in, fourteen years down the line. Arguably their defining album, they're still loaded with swagger and packed with more answers than any questions that could be asked of them at this stage of their career, whilst making one unholy din. 'Ex Lives' is, to repeat, ETID's most accomplished album to date, still managing to stay one step ahead of everyone else when it comes to merging heavy-ass grooves and punk rock intensity with a bloody good time.

Peter Clegg

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Chimp Spanner - All Roads Lead Here EP

Chimp Spanner
All Roads Lead Here EP

You may remember when I reviewed Dutch tech-metallers Textures' new album 'Dualism' a while back, I refused to use a certain 'word' aimed to encapsulate their sound. This stance remains today. That doesn't mean I won't stop covering such bands, as evidenced by this particular review of the latest EP from Chimp Spanner, the project created entirely by guitarist Paul Ortiz. Ortiz does shy away from that particular label and prefers to describe Chimp Spanner as 'ambient/progressive metal'. 'All Roads Lead Here' is Chimp Spanner's second release for Basick Records, following 2010's 'At The Dream's Edge'.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Woods of Ypres - Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light

Woods of Ypres
Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light

Whatever talk of this album there may be in future, the only certainty is that it will be forever overshadowed by the death of Woods of Ypres' primary creative force, David Gold, who died prior to the album's release when he was hit by a car whilst walking down Highway 400 in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, near the end of 2011. Their deal with Earache should have been the beginning of a new chapter in the Woods of Ypres' story. Now, it's almost certainly the epilogue, brought to a tragic, abrupt and premature end. Woods of Ypres were certainly lauded in the underground for their effective blackened doom metal, but that reputation and recent events alone shouldn't have any bearing on whether the fifth Woods of Ypres album, 'Grey Skies & Electric Light', produces the results that Digby Pearson foresaw upon signing the band to Earache.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Pelican tour begins this week!

Yes yes y'all, Pelican are hitting the UK's shores this week! We've been mega excited for this tour since it was announced way back in November last year. They're soon to officially release their new EP 'Ataraxia/Taraxis' through Southern Lord on Monday April 9th, a date which sees their gig in Leeds on the 9th as a record release show!

Supports for the tour are mostly locally based, with the exception of 'doom-folk' songstress Chelsea Wolfe who will be heading over from Los Angeles for two shows with the Chicago instrumentalists.

Saturday 7th – The Garage, London (w/ The Skinny Machines + Chelsea Wolfe)
Sunday 8th – O2 Academy 3, Birmingham (w/ Chelsea Wolfe + Bleaklow)
Monday 9th – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds (w/ Blacklisters + Bleaklow)
Tuesday 10th – Stereo, Glasgow (w/ The Little Mill of Happiness)
Wednesday 11th – The Ruby Lounge, Manchester (w/ Blacklisters + Bleaklow)
Thursday 12th – The Haunt, Brighton (w/ Blackstorm + Sea Bastard)
Friday 13th – The Cooler, Bristol (w/ The Death of Her Money + Black Elephant)

Peter Clegg

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Visions: Corrosion of Conformity - Psychic Vampire

The new Corrosion of Conformity video is like watching paint dry.

Just kidding. Or maybe not.

It's just a performance video but I'm digging the backdrop effects even if they don't contribute greatly to a video than doesn't greatly add to what is a cracking song from a cracking album. Scion A/V's last couple of videos haven't been that entertaining to previously - the Weedeater one for 'Mancoon/Turkey Warlock' was entertaining as hell. I just wish they could all live up to that standard.

Still, if you want anyone to do a performance vid, there ain't many who do it better than CoC.

Peter Clegg

Monday, 2 April 2012

Oblivionized - Nullify the Cycle

Nullify the Cycle EP
Grindcore Karaoke

Guildford mentalists Oblivionized have been skewing metalheads' faces a new one for the last few years with their brand of molten brutal technical deathgrind, and following some impressive live shows of late, they're back with a new EP entitled 'Nullify the Cycle'. Oblivionized's initial output showed promise, but 'Nullify the Cycle' is but a taste of not only what they are capable of, but how far they can branch out too.