Pig Destroyer may have helped make it seem normal for grind bands to do away with bassists completely, but bands such as Water Torture have demonstrated that the opposite route can be successful, making grind with no guitars. Italians Repulsione feature two bassist within their line-up, making Desecrating a record that’s full of low-end weight, that works incredibly well with their powerviolence-esque energy, bursts of speed, and old-school grind feel. This is a record that sounds like an infected blade, with a dirty fuzz to the production, and an aura of festering decay. It’s nasty, it’s fast, and it’s pretty great.
Underground extreme music is often a vibrant, exciting place, filled with bands and labels releasing work that pushes boundaries, challenges conventions (musically, socially, or otherwise), and is, by its very nature, often only intended for a small audience. Yet it can also be a place fraught with risk, especially financial. No one with any sense gets in to extreme music for the money, because most of the time, there isn’t any. This means that even if a label is responsible for helping to unleash some superb music upon the world, financial constraints might see that music vanish without a trace. Such was the original fate of Sedation by Rotting Sky, the solo project of Nux Vomica guitarist T. Messing, when the label that originally released it (Grimoire Cassette Culture) closed down around the time of Sedation‘s original release. Eternal praises to the labels involved, then, for giving this record a reissue and helping to save it from complete obscurity, as this mixture of black metal, drone, and noise is excellent.
Toward Akina, the second album from Italian band Seventh Genocide, is a pretty distinctive beast. Though the marketing and press releases tag this album as post-black metal, the emphasis is very much on the “post” part of that equation. There are far more sections on Toward Akina that recall Pink Floyd’s psychedelic sounds, or even the raw emotional passion of late-90’s/early-00’s screamo than there are moments of classic black metal coldness. It may not appeal to those who judge a record by it’s kvlt appeal, but if genre is less of a concern than the music simply being good, then Toward Akina has a lot to offer.
According to the press release, Hyperakusi is a Swedish word meaning “sensitivity to everyday sounds”. Should that be something you suffer from, then you might want to steer away from this split between Finnish bands Resonance Cascade and Järnbörd. Whilst their versions of grindcore may not exactly be considered “everyday sounds”, they are most certainly not suited to those with sensitive hearing. Dirty, loud and uncompromising, both of these bands offer up slightly different sorts of blistering grind, making this split a riotous half hour that fans of the likes of Napalm Death and Nasum will surely enjoy.
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!
It’s sorta amusing that I find these opening paragraphs the hardest sections to write of my monthly round-ups. Who’d have thought it? So, I’ll open this month’s by saying how incredibly excited I am that SubRosa are touring the UK in October. More Constant Than The Gods is one of my favourite albums of the past forever, and if I could go to more than one show, I would. Sadly though, work commitments mean I can only attend one performance, but I expect it will still be an excellent experience.
Anyway! This month’s short reviews take in some American power metal from Iron Fire on Among The Dead; blue-collar punk from Bong Mountain on You’re Doing Great! (For The Record); the oddly named Boobs Of Doom and their 07. (((White Noise))); Plenthora by Michael Anoia, which is a head-spinning tech-grind/hardcore/noise mix; crushing death metal from Warfather on The Grey Eminence; and ambient noise/drone/black metal from ||| (Three Parallel Lines) with their debut demo Lines And Lands.
Death Poems is a very deceptive album. Whilst, on the surface, it may seem to be front-loaded towards the heavy and oppressive, dig a little deeper and you’ll find that this is an album of remarkable subtlety and intelligence. For sure, there is plenty of darkness and despair here, with lumbering sludge-covered riffs backed up by bone-crushing drums and desperate screams. But equally, there are just as many moments when The Fifth Alliance break free from raw, primeval violence, adding hardcore and post-metal elements to the music, and it transcends in to something remarkably cathartic and atmospheric. It’s easy to be dismissive about anyone dabbling in post-metal contrasts and arrangements these days, with many considering the best days of the style to be well and truly gone; but with Death Poems, there is the clear feeling that this is the only way to adequately express what the band intended to put across, with their emotions raw and bleeding. And as such, it feels refreshingly honest, possessing an urgency and force that is so often lacking in this style.