Hey, you. Do you like metal? Do you like riffs that make you want to drive fast, raise hell, and fight cops? Do you like vocals layered in attitude, that won’t stand for any bullshit? Do you like songs that have the ass-kicking power of a demonic skeleton riding down a bunch of other, less awesome skeletons? Then the self-titled EP by Roadkiller is for you. Containing five tracks of no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners speed metal, full of punk energy, snarling attitude, and a hell of a lot of fun.
Fans of Jo Quail‘s previous records might find Exsolve to be a bit of a surprise. The cellist and composer has come to the attention of metal fans in recent years, touring with the likes of Amenra, Boris, and Winterfylleth, as well as appearing at festivals such as ArcTanGent. This is despite (or perhaps because of) her sound, up until this point, taking an innovative approach to the cello, resulting in compositions that have as much in common with drone and post-metal as they do modern classical. So, it is perhaps little surprise that Exsolve sees Quail team up with guests including Dan Capp (Winterfylleth), and Nik Sampson (Devilment, Prolapse A.D.). The result is an album that occupies a unique position in Jo Quail’s discography, being one of her most accessible, but also one where her distinctive musical identity is sometimes overshadows by her collaborators.
This edition of short reviews take in some very interesting stuff, including one of my favourite releases of the year (which is it? Read on to find out!). It also features a split that, though I find it flawed musically, I can’t help but want to emphasise how much I love it for what it tries to do, and how important it will be to some people. There’s a real mix of the underground and bigger names, with three of the six releases being put out without label support.
So, this month, we have melodic punk; crusty powerviolence; not-actually-war-metal; noise rock; thrash/heavy metal; goth-laced metal that all-but resurrects the spirit of Sister; and blissful blackgaze. Enjoy!
Normally if we talk about a band blending hardcore and metal, it’s likely that the term “crossover” will come to mind, and with it, thoughts of bands like Suicidal Tendencies of Power Trip. But there’s more than one way to combine the two genres, with Canavar on their self-titled debut combining moments of Slayer-influenced thrash with hardcore that sits between Sick of it All-style muscle and youth crew melodic sensibilities. It’s a bright, energetic sound, and though it might be a rough around the edges, Canavar is an album that’s a hell of a lot of fun to listen to.
Sci-fi and fantasy is practically woven in to the DNA of metal, and there are plentiful examples of it in extreme metal’s history, whether it be bands taking inspiration from the obvious culprits (see: the plethora of bands taking names from the works of J.R.R. Tolkein), to Trey Azagthoth giving praise to 80’s NIntendo games in the linear notes to Covenant and being pictured with his anime collection, to Gridlink writing songs inspired by Neon Genesis Evangelion and the Culture novels of Iain Banks. One-man death metal band Stormland‘s latest album, Songs of Future Wars, is heavily inspired by the Mobile Suit Gundam metaseries, but as with those previous examples, you don’t need to know your RX-78-2 from your EVA Unit 00 to enjoy it, as this is a solid slice of death metal that pulls from multiple strands of the genre to create something crushing.