Review: noemienours – As a Bear Doth her Whelps

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Label: Self-released

Now on to record number three, the aesthetic of noemienours is becoming well-established. Rooted in an underground DIY mindset, and with a vegan perspective, the music on these records is beautifully low-fi, filled with a tension and tenderness that is at once arresting and soothing; the kind of music that is perfectly suited for late-night listening, to quieten the noise in your head. New record As a Bear Doth her Whelps continues to use bears as a central part of imagery and aesthetic, but increasingly this feels like a metaphor to express ideas about isolation, society, and disconnect from nature. It’s sad, beautiful, and quite moving.

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Review: Singular – Singular (self-titled EP)

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Label: Self-released

Taking in a huge variety of genres and influences, yet with the end results being remarkably focused and cohesive, the self-titled EP by one man band Singular is an impressive slice of noisy post-hardcore/black metal/emoviolence that succeeds in finding the common thread between the genres and stitching it together in impressive style. Moving between emotional soundscapes and blisteringly violent outbursts – and taking in everything in between – this is varied in a way many other bands try, and fail, to be; an achievement made all the more remarkable for being a solo creation.

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Review: Omination – Followers of the Apocalypse

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Label: Self-released

Funeral doom, by its very nature, should not be easy to listen to. Music so steeped in misery, in world-ending sorrow and soul-crushing heaviness, should consume the listener, overwhelming you with its desolation until all you can do is immerse yourself within its dark currents, letting its slow tides of despair carry you away. That’s something that one-man act Omination understands, with debut release Followers of the Apocalypse demonstrating why the funeral doom genre is so named. With seven huge, lengthy songs, this album is a monolith in more ways than one, with black metal influences giving its sorrow a vicious edge that keeps the album interesting, never losing momentum no matter how slow or sorrowful it may be.

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Review: Arid – Scars of War

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Label: Self-released

The previous release from AridOfferings, was a punishing EP of “anti-fascist, anti-state, anti-human” crust, fueled by a righteous anger and sense of protest. It was a great release, that hinted at something very special to come. Now, following a shift in line-up and direction, the band return with Scars of War. Whilst you might expect such changes to potential undermine the momentum the band had previously displayed, Scars of War displays a band that are still possessed by the same sense of anti-fascist anger, determined to kick back against the growing tide of fascism, with these four songs (and Doom cover) being the soundtrack to protest marches and direct action.

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Review: naisian – Rejoinder

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Label: Self-released

Sometimes, the most productive thing in life can be to step back. It can be a difficult lesson to learn, but the way forward can, at times, involve not working harder, but removing yourself from a situation, re-assessing what is going right and wrong, and catching your breath. I don’t know whether such thoughts are behind the five-year hiatus that Naisian took, but whatever the reasons, it has paid dividends, as Rejoinder is the sound of a band in love with their brand of nasty, down-tuned sludge and noise-rock. In the space of twelve short minutes, it demonstrates a band who are at the top of their game, moving with the power and agility of a champion boxer, and hitting every bit as hard.

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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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