July 2018 Blasts

After a break of, well, much too long, the (hopefully) monthly review round-up is back. Truth be told, I missed writing these, despite the work involved. I intend on publishing these towards the end of each month, covering… well, as always with TSNTW, covering whatever I feel like that I think is worthy of your time. This month’s selection takes in the progressive metal of Khôrada (featuring former member of Agalloch and Giant Squid); high-speed thrash from Black Fast; a first-time on vinyl reissue of a Sarcófago album; dark ambient courtesy of ELMA; punk-infused thrash metal nastiness from Butcher in the Fog; and crushingly negative hardcore from Sense Offender. Enjoy!

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Review: Take Offense – Tensions on High

TO COVER

Label: Demons Run Amok  / Flatspot Records

The world is, quite frankly, fucked. With all the shitiness in the world today – whether it be on a global, political scale, or a more local one with your crappy job – it can be hard to find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning. That’s why we all need a band like Take Offense in our lives. Sitting between old-school NYHC and 80’s crossover, Tensions on High is an EP that contains no small amount of crushing riffs, killer leads, and a huge amount of energy. It’s one of the most convincing, passionate hardcore releases to have come my way in recent times, and is just what you need when things seem bad.

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Review: Bronson A.D – Warpath

BE111 Bronson AD_Warpath Cover 3000

Label: Bastardized Recordings

You get home after a long day at work. Your job means nothing to you beyond a way to pay the bills. Your boss has been on your back all day, and the outside world isn’t providing much comfort either. So, what do you do? You could sink in to self-pity, and let the cycle repeat day after day. Or, you could stick on Warpath, the new record from crossover/hardcore bruisers Bronson A.B, and have it help you find the motivation to make a positive change in your life. This is the kind of record that’s perfect for lifting you out of a negative mood, using its pissed-off energy to create something that’s invigorating and inspiring.

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2017 Favourites – Top 5

And so to the end; here, after a few hundred records, and lots of thought, are the five records I consider to be the best released this year. It’s interesting to note that, whilst 2017 has generally been considered a strong year for death metal, it’s black metal which dominates my list – there were lots of good death metal releases, but none I felt that matched these five. Feel free to disagree, and there’s some strong albums that didn’t make the final cut, but this is a rock-sold five that have, in large part, defined 2017 for me. Enjoy!

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Various Artists – Hammer Smashed Faith IV

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Label: Blackened Death Records

And so, all good things come to an end. Well, sort of. Hammer Smashed Faith IV is set to be the last in Blackened Death Records’ regular compilations of artists drawn from all corners of the metal, noise, and neofolk underground. Instead, the label is moving towards genre-specific compilations; a move that makes sense in a way, given how diverse these compilations are. Still, it will be a shame to see such eclectic releases come to an end, but Hammer Smashed Faith IV is a fine way for the series to bow out.

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Herida Profunda / Hellbastard – Split

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Label: Vleesklak Records (Belgium) / Tercer Mundo (Chile) / Here And Now Records (Italy) / Incredible Noise Records (Germany) / Phobia Records (Czech Republic) / Grind Your Mind Records (Brazil) / NIC Records (Poland) / 783 Landsberg Hardcore Crew (Poland) / Svoboda Records (France) / Civilisation-Records(Germany) / D.I.Y Kolo Records (Poland) / Mundo En Kaos Records (Mexico) / Pandora Records (Germany) / WOOAAARGH (Germany)

Very much a split between the new(ish) and the old here. Herida Profunda are a relatively new crust band, with one album released prior to this split and members based in Poland and the UK. Though, they’re only really new when compared with the other band on this split, who should need little introduction. Hellbastard are one of the grandfathers of crust, and it’s great to see them teaming up with a comparatively new, underground band for this release. At just over 30 minutes, it’s a solid, satisfying listen, full of power and invigorating energy. It’s not music for sitting around and passive listening; it’s music for fighting intolerance, making a difference, and getting shit done – exactly as crust should be.

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