Monday, 15 July 2019


By: Eeli Helin

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 07/06/19
Label: Holy Roar Recordings,
Deathwish Inc

”I/II” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Sundrowned
2. Airy
3. Makhachkala
4. Kathexis
5. Atacama
6. Rush

The Review:

Some great waves were put forth last year in the European shoegaze/post-metal scene, when the Danish quintet MØL released their debut album "Jord", through Holy Roar Records. Whenever a band like this comes along the way, a lot of people are eager to dive into their past, looking for any possible prior material. That seems to pay off on many occasions, since most bands today make their demos available through streaming sites, and usually release EP's or other smaller releases before tackling their first full-length. Same goes for MØL, who released their first two EP's in '14 and '15, first carrying the bands name and second being simply "II".  These EP's were then remastered and re-released as a compilation on June 7th through Holy Roar and Deathwish on vinyl, CD and digital formats.

Firstly, the bands style is extremely hard to put simply. The shoegaze/post-metal title in the first paragraph could also use the atmospheric black metal prefix, hence creating just another monster of a genre list for people too busy to actually listen to the music. That's also a tad problematic in today’s music scene; why everything has to be put to strict boxes, when people everywhere are encouraged to be and do what they want to do and not to care about external pressure and limitations? Well, this planet has a lot more work to do with that, so could we at least throw the genre cages to the garbage bin? Okay? Thank you.

Titled respectively as "I/II", the two EP's deserve to finally get a broader release. While you can argue all you want about the necessity of such thing because "digital this and digital that", the fact is that the music world is full of enthusiastic people that want the well-made, eye-pleasing physical copies of albums and that is perfectly fine. The key in having the tracks remastered is to boost up the atmosphere/clarity department and make the old work stand in line with the bands current one, and that's exactly what MØL has done with these EP's. It also has to be kept in mind that regardless of the additional polishing, the tracks themselves are still the old ones. So, the worst thing you should do is to expect any groundbreaking "wow" factors to appear anywhere, if you are already familiar with the old releases.

But the songs, they are good and have stood time better than most. The band also of course knows that, because they aren't exactly in a cash grab position that would "justify" digging up old demos and throwing them to their audience like scraps, which is something that bigger, bland and unimaginative acts tend do ever so often. Side A opens with "Sundrowned", the bands ignition. I personally wasn't aware of MØL before their full-lengths release, but it's easy to say in hindsight that their signature output was already present when they started out. The driving drum beat and painting distant guitars weave a beautiful web for you to coil. A lot of this bands essence has to do with creating mental landscapes through sound, and they excel in it. Similar patterns are vivid through the second track, "Airy". By similar, I mean by aesthetic. Both of these tracks you have to listen to multiple times until you get a grasp of what's happening, since they are overall as the second track suggests, very airy compositionally. The third song "Makhachkala" then again is where it's at. Starting with more black metal oriented feeling and blast beats until proceeding to clean passages, the track is the first longer one and goes to show how MØL thrives in a more ample setting, bouncing between the extremes.

Side B commences with "Kathexis", and early on it's clear that their songwriting somewhat matured between the creation of the second EP. The tracks still carry similar instrumentation, but all of them are more varied and structurally more interesting. Taking both releases into account, the following track "Atacama" shines the brightest. Taking a bit unexpected turns along its way, you'll also notice the aforementioned growth in their writing. The black metal-esque, high pitched howling vocals also have more raw emotion and feeling on this second half. You will get shivers from them, which only adds to the sense of completion you'll get from listening to this. The final track "Rush" doesn't offer any new angles to their output, but acts as a fitting closure for the release.

It's clear that these two releases are meant to be listened to as one entity, which is why this re-release is really fitting. Even if you heard "Jord" before these, you will still enjoy the tracks and won't get the "demo" feeling from them at any point. My only problem with "I/II" is the fact that it gets monotonous on times, which is something they managed to avoid better on their debut LP. Still, it's not a surprise that MØL caught Holy Roar's attention. Music like this doesn't come around that often, especially when speaking about the production side of things. Purists will whine and complain, but let them do that. In the end they're the ones missing out on everything.

I/II” is available HERE

Band info: facebook || bandcamp

Friday, 12 July 2019

TRACK PREMIERE: Orbiter deliver thick heavy riffs on "Paper Priest"

Orbiter slings thick and heavy guitar riffs cured in the Florida heat and bolstered by a thundering rhythm section. The musical onslaught provides the backdrop for songs about diving headfirst into the darkness while at the same time trying not to fly right off the planet. The band will release their new record “Southern Failures” on the 26/07/2019 and today we’re stoked to debut a cut from it, so if you’re a fan of Torche, Quicksand, The Jesus Lizard, Black Sabbath, Helmet, dial up your stereo to 11, press play and check the awesome track “Paper Priest”.  Preorders from the album are available  HERE

Band info: bandcamp || instagram || facebook

Thursday, 11 July 2019

ALBUM PREMIERE: Boston sludge/post metal titans Cazador debut “FAILURE TO THRIVE"

One of the best kept secrets in the Boston underground scene (and we all know how fucking awesome that scene is) CAZADOR have been dishing out their sonic brew to audiences in New England since 2015.  Blending a thick and gloomy sludge atmosphere with the melody and urgency of post-metal and hardcore, this act has begun to emerge as one of the more unique and raw up-and-coming sludge acts.  I guess it goes without saying upon listening to their music that major influences include the post-metal/sludge titans of Isis and Neurosis, however what differs them from other derivative acts in the genre is their fusion with the melodic hardcore sensibilities of such luminaries as Deftones and Poison the Well.

Upon the release of their studio debut BROKEN SUN” in May 2017, and a subsequent tour of the Northeast and Midwest, CAZADOR made themselves known as a quietly charismatic collective with an emotional edge through their impassioned, high-energy performances.  With their new full-length titled FAILURE TO THRIVE readied for release on July 12th, the collective is very much looking forward to the future while expanding their sonic horizons and sharing their unique brand of emotionally charged sludge with the masses. 
According to the band, the new LP reflects a sublime focus on the natural human negativity bias that forces us all to cope with the slow-burning decay of our world by the minute.  FAILURE TO THRIVE” includes lyrics filled with anger and resilience juxtaposed with lush and solemn compositions combined to create melancholic anthems for a new generation of the jaded. FAILURE TO THRIVE” will be released on July 12th, 2019, so go ahead and dive into the album below with our exclusive album stream.  Turn it up loud and let your speakers die!! Preorders are being taken HERE 

Band info: Facebook || bandcamp

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Friendship. "Undercurrent"

By: Eeli Helin

Album Type: Full-length
Date Released: 14/06/19
Label: Southern Lord Recordings,
Daymare Recordings

”Undercurrent” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Demise
2. Vertigo
3. Punishment
4. Lack
5. Abandon
6. Fiend
7. Plague
8. Garbage
9. Wrecker
10. Hatred

The Review:

Japan's Friendship ground their way to peoples consciousness with their 2017's debut LP ”Hatred”, that saw the seemingly unknown band deliver a unique hybrid of grindcore, powerviolence and sludge that left everyone wondering what it was that so violently and suddenly hit them. Released digitally and on CD by Daymare Recordings and on vinyl by Southern Lord Recordings, they now return with their highly anticipated second full-length titled ”Undercurrent”. The vicious blend of the aforementioned styles has been taken to a higher and more ruthless level, guaranteed to make your ears bleed and slap your blank, music police faces profoundly throughout its duration.

The album starts with a longer drone/feedback intro until starting an inextinguishable fire on "Vertigo". The track itself is a promise of an excellent album, wavering through d-beat passages and blast beats into a colossal breakdown and back to where it started. The following burst titled "Punishment" delivers what it states. The track, and the whole album for that matter, is punishing and unrelenting to the point of being exhausting. This is where the shorter running time comes to play, since shorter albums like this are easier to manage and you won't get that listeners fatigue at any point. From the beginning, Friendship's influences are quite apparent, but whereas the previous album lacked originality to a certain extent, "Undercurrent" makes up for that, providing a strong bedrock for the band to build on.

The exquisite, self-dependent writing is mostly distinct towards the latter part of the album. Tracks like "Fiend", "Plague" and "Wrecker" stuff more filth in a few minutes than a lot of bands do throughout their entire albums. There's a lot of variety and well placed hooks all around, which makes Friendship stand out as an interesting act that will certainly give you your money's worth. That being said, this album will fly over the heads of those who are not familiar with this type of aggressive, constantly pummeling execution. Others are born to it, others will never tolerate it, but if you keep an open mind, it is rewarding as hell when material like this comes along the way. While the band is still young, finding their own voice so early on is really exciting and interesting, and erects high expectations for whatever it is that they'll do next.

The only pothole they trip on a few times on "Undercurrent", is the repetition of similar song structures. Gladly this doesn't dominate the feeling of the entire album, you won't get the vibe of having the same song on repeat for ten times. These few dips and bends are overshadowed by the sheer brutality and suprisingly concrete, honest emotion, yet by the end you might have hoped that they would have explored themselves a bit further than they did. I don't find it necessary to get too much into it, but perhaps some slower and muddier tracks along the way could've made a significant change to the albums musical narration. Yes, there is slower, monumental riffs throughout, but they tend to lead up to the same, fast-paced conclusion from time to time.

Not to leave with a negative statement, "Undercurrent" is an album that every grindcore/powerviolence aficionado should check out as soon as possible. Highly akin to the kinds of Full of Hell and Nails, Friendship are bound to become a house hold name in the scene as their predecessors. They've already managed to generate a good amount of buzz within the last few years, and now on "Undercurrent" they prove themselves to be hungrier than ever. Having the support of the previously mentioned notable labels, there's no telling to where Friendship will head off to from here.

Undercurrent” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Morass of Molasses, “The Ties That Bind”

By: Chris Bull

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 07/06/2019
Label: Wasted State Records

“As a live act, MOM are an unstoppable force, taking the audience on a journey and able to uplift and perplex in equal measure; with 'The Ties That Bind', they have released an album that captures their live magic.”

“The Ties That Bind” DD//LP track listing:

1. The Darkening
2. Woe Betide
3. Death of All
4. Estranger
5. Legend of the Five Sons
6. As Leaves Fall
7. Persona Non Grata
8. In Our Sacred Skin
9. The Deepest Roots

The Review:  

Morass of Molasses can stake a claim of being one of the hardest working bands in the UK with their relentless touring and balls to the wall live performances, 'The Ties That Bind', their second full length is a testament to this.

After the brief intro of 'The Darkening', first song proper 'Woe Betide' sees MOM's trademark sexy doom riffs and non traditional approach to song writing pushed to the forefront. (Relatively) new drummer Raj Puni is an excellent addition to MOM, his fills and runs punctuate the songs and act as a counterbalance to the bluesy chops as evident on 'Death To All' and the Stevie Ray Vaughan like 'Estranger'.

Vocalist Bones is at his soulful best here, sounding almost like a throwback to 90s britpop before the melodic bellows shine through. While their plentiful riffs are a powerful weapon in their arsenal, the most potent is their use of melody; 'Legend Of The Five Sons' (featuring the vocal talents of Alunah's Sian Greenway) and 'As Leaves Fall' sounding like they wouldn't be out of place on a Jethro Tull album with folky guitar work and yes, flute creating layers of beautiful musical scenery.

'Persona Non Grata' contrasts the previous tracks and is the quintessential MOM track with Bones' post hardcore screams delivering the goods over Phil Williams' trademark stoner/blues/doom licks. The production is top notch, each element never sounding more than the sum of its parts but still prevalent in the mix enough to be picked out, this may be most evident on the stomping 'In Our Sacred Skin'. As the off kilter drumming and acoustic guitar builds to a 70s prog freak out, the riffs, creamier than a teenage boy's socks, envelope and hug the listener before the dark folk tinged 'The Deepest Roots', which also features Sian Greenway. By far, the most experimental track, at the halfway point, the musical textures build upon the tremendous percussion and weaves a musical tapestry unlike anything else.

As a live act, MOM are an unstoppable force, taking the audience on a journey and able to uplift and perplex in equal measure; with 'The Ties That Bind', they have released an album that captures their live magic. The fact that they are some of the nicest people is an added bonus. Breathtaking stuff. 

“The Ties That Bind” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Yawning Man, ‘Macedonian Lines’

By: Andrew Field

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 14/06/2019
Label: Heavy Psych Sounds

What you have here is sublimely crafted and utterly beautiful musical moments which don’t outstay their welcome and leave you wanting more.

‘Macedonian Lines’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Virtual Funeral
2. Macedonian Lines
3. Melancholy Sadie
4. Bowie's Last Breath
5. I'm Not An Indian (But I Play One On TV)
6. I Make Weird Choices

The Review:

It has often been said that bands who stick around forever eventually lose some or all of their creative pulse and start churning out music of ever-decreasing relevance and quality. That claim can be laid at the feet of so many acts: from the Rolling Stones to Helmet and Aerosmith to Metallica. Those groups might remain incendiary in a live setting but let’s be honest – when was the last time you listened toA Bigger Bang”, “Dead to The World”, “Music from Another Dimension” orHardwired…. To Self-Destruct?”

Kudos then to Yawning Man for turning that theory on its head by brewing up their best works thirty-odd years into their musical journey. Those generator parties outside La Quinta in the Californian desert in the mid-1980s must feel like a long time ago to sonic travellers Mario Lalli and Garcy Arce, but the spirit of those events can still be found deep within the grooves ofMacedonian Lines”.

If their stunning 2016 third album “Historical Graffiti” started a purple patch, last year’s “The Revolt Against Tired Noises” consolidated their reputation as masters of their art. Ambient and achingly melancholy, it tingled and shone and soared and sounded like heaven. Macedonian Lines” wisely doesn’t try to trump it. There was no point them trying: nothing will ever better “Black Kite” which opened that 2018 opus.

On this new record the trio take their “less is more” approach one step further: from the flab-free 31-minute running time to the effortless ease with which these six tracks roll and undulate without any unnecessary excess. Whilst all the Yawning Man trademarks are present and correct, Macedonian Lines” belongs to four-stringer Mario Lalli. His bass owns this album, underpinning everything. On seven-minute opening cut “Virtual Funeral” Gary Arce’s instantly familiar guitar progressions are anchored by Lalli’s fat, fuzzed bassline and from there on his presence dominates the album’s sound.

The title track reeks of wide-open spaces and is pure musical cinema, whilst “Melancholy Sadie”’s echo-drenched sweet gloop of multi-tracked, picked guitar notes builds into a thick and filling sonic melange. An album highlight is “I’m Not A Real Indian”’s elegiac final 50-second sprint, which motors along and will sound fantastic this summer with the top down on a mid-American highway. It’s the kind of musical moment you don’t ever want to end.

They leave the best to last. Final cut “I Make Weird Choices” is a monster, gliding along until it’s explosive coda before fading into an unassuming close which neatly defines everything that’s great about Yawning Man. Lalli’s rumbling, guttural bass is the perfect counterpoint to Arce’s lush soloing, with Bill Stinson’s subtle drum work giving both of them acres of room to breathe. No showing off, just sublimely crafted and utterly beautiful musical moments which don’t outstay their welcome and leave you wanting more.

When Macedonian Lines” ends, all you want to do is listen to more Yawning Man because nothing else will do. And that is why this defining, vital band is as important today as it was way back in 1986. Long may they reign.

‘Macedonian Lines’ is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

Monday, 24 June 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Origin, ”Abiogenesis – A Coming Into Existence”

By: Eeli Helin

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 03/05/19
Label: Agonia Records

”Abiogenesis – A Coming Into Existence” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Insanity
2. Mauled
3. Autopsied Alive
4. Spastic Regurgitation
5. Bleed As Me
6. Mind Asulym
7. Infestation
8. Murder
9. Lethal Manipulation (The Bonecrusher Chronicles)
10. Sociocide
11. Manimal Instincts
12. Inner Reflections (The Pain From Within)

The Review: 

I was excited to the point of being overwhelmed when the extreme tech-metal gods Origin announced "Abiogenesis - A Coming Into Existence", a retrospective anniversary release that includes eight previously unreleased, re-worked tracks and their first EP, getting a worldwide release for the first time. While the inclusion of the extended play is a nice touch, I'm pretty certain that the most fascinating part of this release are the pre-Origin era tracks. The tracks initially composed under the monikers of Necrotomy and Thee Abomination in 1990-1993, were recorded and performed solely by the founding member and mastermind Paul Ryan during 2013-2018.

The two leading single cuts "Mind Asylum" and "Infestation " promised much. It shouldn't be a surprise that both songs sound like they could've been on the first few Origin albums, but with a production that's way clearer and perhaps up to par with the sound they have today. At times, it's also hard to believe that the performances on these tracks were indeed executed by only one person, since the listener can so easily imagine the songs being a product of a full band and more than a single composer. Speaking of performance and compositions, the tracks are definitely more straightforward than their later doings, yet that doesn't lessen the sheer impact of throat cutting precision and punishing rage that's constantly present. These tracks certainly amped up the anticipation for the rest of the release.

However, apart from these two tracks, "Abiogenesis" fell short on few fields; Firstly, some of the tracks feel a bit unfinished (granted, they're recreated thirty years old demo songs after all) and secondly, the band stepped into a major pothole by releasing the best two tracks beforehand. The latter point of view can be discussed and debated endlessly, but personally I prefer the pre-released tracks to be the agitators and the full release to be the hangman. Anyway, it took a few listens to get a better grasp of the album as a whole, and to find more depth in it. Disappointment might be too strong word to use here, but I noticed I had too big expectations considering the nature of the release. It should also be pointed out more strongly that while "Abiogenesis" is released under the Origin name, it's not an Origin album per se, but a special, anniversary release that's mainly meant to expand their discography to previously unheard material, which in itself honestly is interesting enough to justify the whole release.

Despite the aberrations mentioned earlier, if you like Origin, you'll most likely enjoy this too. Perhaps not right away, but you will. Besides the aforementioned singles, tracks like "Mauled" and "Murderer" are guaranteed to give you shivers, stupid grins and scratch the itch of getting new material. While these songs were initially composed almost three decades ago, they do have that certain feel and vigour in them that later on shaped Origin to be the band we all know today. "Abiogenesis" works as a whole but requires your full attention, blink and you’ll miss it.

The latter part of the release is the remastered version of their first EP "A Coming Into Existence". If you've ever listened to the band, you've more than likely listened to this EP as well. There's really nothing particularly fresh or new to say about it, so I won't be blabbering about it longer than necessary. "A Coming Into Existence" was the grand launch of this pioneering band and deserves to finally get a worldwide physical release. The physical pressing is also a sight to behold, and will not leave any collector cold.

Take all of this as you may. My feelings about "Abiogenesis - A Coming Into Existence" are more than twofold. The juvenile brilliance and the insipid turns here and there create a bit of an oxymoronic feel to the release, but that doesn't mean you couldn't enjoy the trip back to where it all begun. I can't stress enough that this indeed is a free meal, so to speak, and you know what they say about free food and complaining.

”Abiogenesis – A Coming Into Existence” is available HERE

Band info: facebook