Review: Black Knife / Lustrum – Split

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Label: Husk Records

Look at that artwork! No, seriously, look at it. Your first impressions will probably be similar to mine – that it’s crude, violent, and wonderfully over-the-top. But look closer, and there’s something more to it; it’s clear that the overall effect is completely intentional, with small aspects that demonstrate subtle talent. The same is true of the music contained within. Both Black Knife and Lustrum make music that, on the surface, is every bit as lurid as the cover to this split, all 80’s extreme thrash riffs, punk violence, and snarling, proto-black metal vocals. But such is the conviction and talent of the bands that there’s no mistaking this for anything other than the real deal, and it’s bloody brilliant fun.

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Review: Gravehuffer – Your Fault

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Label: Self-released / Bluntface Records

Your Fault doesn’t start in the strongest of ways. The opening track to the new album from Gravehuffer contains plenty of powerful riffs, ugly vocals, and furious drumming; but it never quite comes together, with its combination of crust, death metal, and raw punk energy missing the mark. Thankfully, this is an anomaly on an album that is otherwise full of vicious crusty metalpunk, switching between genres at ease, and with songwriting deft that is surprising for music that is so ugly and hard hitting. The first track aside, this is an invigorating listen, and a fine half hour of underground snarl and spit.

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Review: Ghostblood – Honey, I Raised the Dead

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Label: Self-released

Now on to their second album, Ghostblood show no signs of slowing down. There’s a real hunger to this young band that comes through clearly on Honey, I Raised The Dead, an album that’s every bit as fun as you’d hope for from a record named thus. Their brand of thrash draws liberally from metalpunk, with the result being metal that is hugely energetic, racing by at a million miles an hour, packed full of power-chord riffs, blistering leads, and relentless drums. It’s hardly big or clever, but is sure is a hell of a lot of fun.

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Album of the Day: Lindow Moss – 1st

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Label: Self-released

The appropriately titled 1st by Nottingham newcomers Lindow Moss is one of the best demos I have heard this year. Filled with raw, primal violence and fuck-you attitude, its black metalpunk draws from the same pit of darkness as the likes of Bone Awl and Sump. It is nasty, riff-filled, and utterly lacking in grace – yet, my god, what an onslaught it is. With a bleeding red-red production and atmosphere that suggests everything could collapse at any given moment, this is the spirit of the underground in musical form, full of spit and bile, hideously ugly yet all but impossible to resist.

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Five of the Best: Anti-fascist black metal bands

When people think of black metal and politics, odds are they think of bands who are on the far-right of the spectrum. It’s no surprise. Fascist imagery abounds in black metal, to the extent that it’s considered utterly normal by some, and there’s a long history of some of the big names of the genre espousing authoritarian, prejudiced views; and this is to say nothing of the whole NSBM sub-genre. But recent years have seen more and more bands making explicitly anti-fascist black metal. There’s always been those who have had views we would now recognise as anti-fascist – most notably Summoning – but that’s not always come across in their music. So, here are five bands playing various styles of black metal, where you won’t need to follow up on interviews to know their anti-fascist leanings.

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September Blasts

Doesn’t seem that long ago that I was writing lats month’s lot of short reviews. The month has gone so fast! And I don’t think there’s much interesting to say this time around.  I’ve not found as much time this month for reviews, but, that’s neither here nor there. Let’s just get to the reviews. This month there’s instrumental stoner/doom from Spore Lord on In The Beginning; blackened death from Nordwitch with their album Mørk Profeti; Mycelium‘s Volume I, an improvised, atmospheric piece of experimental metal; the Reigning Hell demo from Egyptian metalpunks Exgen; and Irish thrash crew Acid Age rage Like A Runaway Combine Harvester In A Field Of Crippled Rabbits. Enjoy!

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August Blasts

I mentioned last month how excited I was over SubRosa coming to the UK, but that excitement has been matched this month by the announcement of a new Planes Mistaken For Stars record. I honestly never expected it to ever materalise, ever though the band have been playing shows for years since reforming. There’s few bands I hold in higher regard than those guys, so I’m very excited.

But, that’s for the future. For now, we have Bloodshed Remains offering up some hardcore Peace; Austrian D-beat/hardcore/grindcore band Six Score with Lebensräume; metallic French hardcore bruisers Pallass and their Devotion Of Souls; Yūgen from atmospheric black metal act Ashbringer; UK anti-fascist black metal band Dawn Ray’d with A Thorn, A Blight; and the pumelling split between Sea Of Bones and Ramlord. Oof!

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