Out on September 23rd will be a new album from Sweden’s death metal monarchs Usurpress. Okay, maybe not monarchs but they are a great band and The Regal Tribe (Agonia) will be a continuation of what they have been doing to fans, and that is be supplies of brutal progressive death metal with a hint of crust and a touch of doom. For a taste of the ugliness, have a listen to “Across The Dying Plains”.
Austin, Texas band Expanded had recorded a 6-song EP and pressed it up themselves, only made 25 copies on cassette and decided to see if a few copies would sell. It did and Caligari Records decided to give the EP new pressing done on professional tapes and nice looking covers. Only 150 copies were made on cassette but if you are someone who loves thrash and hardcore with blasts of crust and punk, you’ll really enjoy what these guys have to offer. Stream the EP above and if you want to go for the cassette, you can find out how to order by heading to Caligari Records.
If you are a fan of Germany’s Acnst, then you may already be familiar with the music on their latest album. In Turmoil (Fragile Branch Recording) is a compilation of tracks from a few split EP’s, their first demo, and their EP The Humane Condition, along with a song previous unreleased. Everything has been remastered so if you enjoyed what you heard before and want to hear them together again, you get to hear them here. They play a nice mixture of death metal, black metal, and speed metal to where you might want to blur it within progressive metal too, a bit like Voivod and Celtic Frost with hints of Bathory and Dark Angel too, where you’ll hear the blood-curdling screams and the guitars arranged in a manner that makes you want to bang your head hard and strong. As gloomy and doomy as this may sound, the arrangements played are quite beautiful so if you’re an underground metal fan, you can comprehend what I’m trying to say here. To outsiders, this may sound like it’s one step closer to a metaphorical hell but to everyone else, this is the right sounds for the right time, the sounds that make you feel good as a way to understand the ugliness that exists, to get you through the true darker moments. Even the jazzy moment in “Entropie” may make you think of the mellow moments found on jazzy label ECM Records, a nice surprise that will make others want to investigate their music even more.
From Denver comes Vermin Womb, the latest project from Ethan Lee McCarthy. After being known for his work with Death Of Self and Clinging To The Trees Of A Forest Fir, he has returned with a new band and a new destination to head to with Permanence. The six-song EP sounds incredibly bastardly, as if there’s no sense of morals musically but done very cohesively. It’s brutal grindcore in some parts while other portions sounds like the best of NWOBHM before it cuts its abdomen open for all to see and hear. “9 Fruitless Years Of Total Fucking Agony” is the first time the band get into a slow grind and urge, complete with the type of drums that will make you want to lift your hands in the guy for ultimate percussion glory, but still holding in the pain the music is meant to convey. Imagine if Bathory went to a more intense level, this is what Vermin Womb sound like.
If you are a fan of some of the more brutal and tasty aspects of metal, you’ll want to be aware of a new album by Calvaiire. This French metal band will be releasing a new album on New Year’s Eve called Forceps via Throatruiner Records, and you can preview it in its entirety via Bandcamp stream below. The vinyl pressing will be packaged not only with a gatefold cover, but will be matte-laminated. The record itself will come in “color in color”, in this case black & milky clear, as shown above. You may pre-order it directly from Throatruiner Records by clicking here. Along with vinyl, you can also pre-order the digital, compact disc, and cassette versions.
It’s great when a band comes out with new music out of nowhere, or at least that’s the common phrase to use when someone makes music that blows you away, leading to the question “where did these guys come from?” In this case, Black Goat Of The Woods are from Indianapolis, Indiana and they play the kind of music that makes you want to deny everything good in the world, only to lead you to want to cut your eyes open with a razor blade. Some of it comes off like Venom if they were raised in the 90’s or 00’s, still bringing on that dark heaviness that made them famous in the 1980’s but playing with the kind of precision that lacks toe sloppiness Venom sometimes had in their heyday. With tracks like “Terrorize The Church”, “The Whoring Cunt”, and “Fisting Angels”, they will most likely not be welcome at your holiday get-togethers but outside of the shock tactics of the titles, Black Goat Of The Woods, don’t dwell too much on embellishments for most of the album, keeping things under the two minute mark (sometimes under the one minute mark). But when they do go for demonic anthems, as they do in “Crawling Through Hell”, they show what they’re all about by playing in a number of different speeds and structures, offering a glimpse of what they are capable of. There’s also a track here where the vocalist allows himself to get into David Lee Roth grunt mode, which for me tells me that while they are serious about creating brutality in metal form, they can add a bit of unintended/unexpected humor to throw listeners off. I hope the expected and unexpected will follow in future releases.
(Their EP is a CD-only release, which can be ordered by clicking here.)
The last time around, I had said the music of Generic Concession Stand had a bit of a “nu-metal” vibe but with their new Restoration EP, I’m hearing metal on a more crusty vibe on a Buzzov•en level, and I’m loving it. What I also like is the punk vibe that can be felt within the vocals, and while I would have loved the sound quality of the vocal tracks to be up to par with the music (but that’s my producer ear at work), this sounds like something you’d hear if you went into their basement or practice shed. When the songs offer up a light hip-hop vibe, they do it quite well, making sure they do it the way they want to without sounding like others who have blended the two styles.
The best song has to be the incredible title track, which adds a slight progressive metal groove by bringing in different textures, tempos, and paces in a six minute time period, where it feels like if they wanted to get into Voivod or System Of A Down mode, they could. Restoration simply makes me want to wait around to hear more.
Fans of stoner, sludge, doom, and crust metal will want to keep an ear and eye out for a forthcoming 12″ from the Head Of Crom label out of the UK, for they are releasing a split 12″ between Slabdragger and Meadows.
You can pre-order the 12″ directly from Head Of Crom by clicking here. Those outside of the UK should keep in mind that the cost of postage will be considerably high, so if you don’t want to pay the postage rate, feel free to ask if the record will be available elsewhere for ordering. You can have an audio preview by clicking the Bandcamp player below (or if it’s not showing up, click here.)
This album was discovered through an e-mail from Throatruiner Records, and when it stated it was an album the band were offering for free via Bandcamp, I figured it would not hurt to give it a listen. I’m glad I did.
For those who love the ultra-heavy slow grungy freak-out sludge of metal, check out this French band who call themselves Love Sex Machine. These guys play in a way that sounds like apocalyptic slaughter and survivor, combine bands like White Mice and Kowloon Walled City and you feel like you want to pull out your flesh and feed it to yourself. In truth, it’s that kind of metal that makes it feel like you’re in a world of oblivion, where instruments are tuned down significantly and the feedback is just murderous as it is heavenly.
On top of that, when you have a group who have written songs with titles like “Vagina Curse”, “Anal On Deceased Virgin”, “Killed With A Monster Cock”, and “Plenty Of Feelings” (the latter for the sensitive types even though the music is anything but gentle), one can’t help but listen to find out if they are as sick as they’re suggesting. Find out for yourself.
(NOTE: The album will be released on vinyl as a single LP in March, more details to follow when they are made available.)
A name like Meadows may sound like a nice river or pond, or it might bring in visions of flowers and free flowing streams. But Meadows, in this case, are a loud ass 4-piece from England that bring together brutal metal and punk and blend it with a vengeance that at times sounds like getting lost in a dog kennel, and someone just threw in freshly cut steaks. Their 4-song EP (self-titled) packs in a lot of content, moving from songs that may have a massive grungy wallop to others that will make you want to rip your mind out for fun. There are elements of sludge, doom, and stoner metal, but when they get into punk mode, they may remind fans of some of the best bands who combined different elements of these songs without remaining in their for too long. Imagine bursts of The Accused, Superconductor, Eyehategod, Aspirin Feast, and Crowbar, and then having these sounds pulled out of your eye socket. You feel enraged just listening to it, but it’s exciting to hear, especially as layers of feedback lead you to places you never thought you wanted to me. When they grind, they grind well. When they speed up their attack, there’s no place to hide.