Thursday 31 July 2014

Entombed A.D. - Back To The Front (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 4/8/2014
Label: Century Media

‘Back To The Front’ CD/DD/LP track listing

01. Kill To Live (04:43)
02. Bedlam Attack (04:44)
03. Pandemic Rage (04:02)
04. Second To None (04:27)
05. Bait And Bleed (04:37)
06. Waiting For Death (02:57)
07. Eternal Woe (05:08)
08. Digitus Medius (06:00)
09. Vulture And The Traitor (04:45)
10. The Underminer (02:57)
11. Soldier Of No Fortune (06:48)
12. Gospel Of The Horns (04:34)*

* Bonus Track available on Limited Edition Mediabook

The Band:
L-G Petrov | Vocals
Nico Elgstrand | Guitars
Olle Dahlstedt | Drums
Victor Brandt | Bass


Entombed are, without a doubt, one of the most important bands in extreme metal. Anyone who has ever heard ‘Left Hand Path’ or ‘Wolverine Blues’ will tell you that is the truth. They created Death and Roll, defined a genre's guitar sound and rocked harder than anyone this side of Motorhead for most of their records. Conversely, they have also confounded fans with albums such as “Same Difference”, nearly made it very big in the mid 90's with a major label deal and- more recently- lost all their members barring iron throated front man LG Petrov. It is with some interest and consternation that I approach this album, then. With no Alex Hellid and no one else you would recognise from the glory days, this is a different band. Let's make it clear this is NOT Entombed- it is Entombed AD and I will treat it as such; kind of an extension to the original form. Comparisons are, however, inevitable.

‘Kill To Live’ opens things. Not death metal, certainly- this is more akin to Entombed mid to late 90's work and sets us up for what follows. ‘Bedlam Attack’ is again not exactly ferocious but is well structured and stomps out of the speakers with some purpose and some speedy bits here and there. If you were disappointed with Entombed's return to more death-y territory on Serpent Saints, this album may satisfy your craving To Ride, Shoot straight and so on.

‘Pandemic Rage’ opens with violins and guitar (not like Rhapsody or something- it's an intro!). The band then swaggers for the first time. That swinging groove is present until the thrash beats kick in. The best track so far, on first listen- compete with leads! ‘Second To None’ features a half stepping riff- a little like ‘Say it in Slugs’ (what a track that is!) and again swaggers and grooves like it is roughly 1995. Good stuff.

‘Bait and Bleed’ features a pretty cool title, a clean strummed intro and then a slower burning track than you might expect. The pace does pick up, of course, but it marks a more unusual side to the band. Petrov's voice remains intact and is as beastly as ever. Great front man and in possession of a unique voice- being as it is both brutal and clear at the same time.  ‘Waiting for Death’ pushes the record over the half way point with a track of more straightforward thrash/death. Again, though, it is not warp speed and not overly brutal. The chorus will stick in your head- good writing- and lifts the track above other bands who do this kind of thing.  Short and sharp this is a good song and perhaps one to listen to if you were unsure about whether to check the record out.

‘Eternal Woe’ has the guitar sound and tone to the riff that we know and love and allows the band to chug along like a diesel engine while ‘Digitus Medius’ throws in a rather death metal intro before the song lays down a rumbling groove reminiscent of Entombed's work on the “Inferno” album. The riffing is good here and makes the track something of a stand out- along with some memorable lyrics, too. ‘Vulture and The Traitor’ echoes the rhythms found on “Wolverine Blues” to an extent, but it doesn't have the bite of the songs contained on that record- that is not to say it's a bad thing; just different.

‘The Underminer’ puts the pedal to the metal with some blast beat action (!) and quick picking to boot. Again, it is short and sharp and one of the more aggressive tracks on offer here. Despite an acoustic guitar overdub (listen out) this is thunderous stuff! ‘Soldier of No Fortune’ actually features an acoustic guitar to open and a piano (not unprecedented on Entombed's albums) and is a slow burner of nearly seven minutes playing time. It features a triplet groove that works well for the main riff sections and the band again display good groove.

The verdict? This is a good album. It is not “Left Hand Path” or “Clandestine”, by any means, but neither is it “Same Difference.” I am enjoying it more than Serpent Saints (if that is of any contextual help, which I doubt). Entombed A.D. are essentially a more polite version of the Entombed of 15-20 years ago. If you enjoy Petrov's vocals and mid to late period Entombed, there is much to love here. If you want pure Swedish death metal, this is not the album for you. Get hold of Dismember's latter day releases instead. A light still burns here, but not as intensely as it once did.

Words by: Richard Maw

You can pick up a copy here

For more information:

Dust Bolt - Awake The Riot (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 2/6/2014
Label: Napalm Records

‘Awake the Riot’ CD/DD/LP track listing:

01. Living Hell
02. Soul Erazor
03. Beneath The Earth
04. You Lost Sight
05. Agent Thrash
06. Living A Lie
07. Awake The Riot - The Final War
08. Eternal Waste
09. Drowned In Blind Faith
10. Worlds Built To Deceive
11. The Monotonous - Distant Scream
12. Future Shock (EVIL DEAD cover)

The Band:

Lenny B. | Vocals, Guitars
Flo D.  | Guitars
Nico R. | Drums
Bene M. | Bass, Vocals


German thrash warriors Dust Bolt return- straight from the heart of Bavaria! This is straight up thrash (OK, maybe with a little punk/hardcore snottiness). OpenerLiving Hell’ sets the stall out. Riffs, pace and vocals that are not clean exactly, but not growls either. There are frantic leads, half time and double times and so on. ‘Soul Erazor’ carries on the carnage- with shouted backing vocals and a touch of Exodus in the vibe. ‘Beneath the Earth’ is a little more measured, but still slays and has a breakdown section. 'You lost sight' has elements of melody in the riffing (in the way that latter day Kreator does- don't worry) and keeps the tempo high.

‘Agent Thrash’ is exactly what you would expect with a title like that. It is a shame that the drummer's right hand (or cymbal hand) is not working at full pelt, though- I prefer my thrash to be played with a fast hand playing all four beats as it gives it an extra element of feel. That said, it is none of my business and the groove is there- propelling the track long nicely- with the right hand gainfully employed in the breakdown section, too.  ‘Living a Lie’ is tremendously entertaining, throwing as it does some great riffs into the mix. Indeed, the whole record is good, friendly, violent fun (to borrow a phrase).

The title track is up next and does not disappoint- employing a kind of rolling Priest-esque groove to start before... settling into a mid pace (that's thrash mid pace) chug and then full thrash. 'Eternal Waste' boasts a cool drum intro (great sound) and then a cooler main riff. Fantastic stuff. There is an almost Suicidal Tendencies (thrash era) approach to this one. Cool!

‘Drowned in Blind Faith’ is the sound of the band spreading their wings a little- an atmospheric and noodling intro prefaces the thrash riffing this time- again with a little more melody here and there. Short and sweet, the track delivers the goods effectively. ‘Worlds Built to Deceive’ makes good use of the two guitar set up as tasteful riffing abounds. ‘The Monotonous Distant Scream’ boasts a clean intro to go with the slow burning bulk of this lengthy and impressive track. ‘Future Shock’ gives us nigh on five minutes of carnage, then a gap ensues before a cool outro that bookends the album nicely. Guitars wail triumphantly- as well they should. This is a great thrash album that is modern but with respectful nods to the past- and not necessarily the bands you might think either. Think Nuclear Assault, ST and to a lesser extent the Teutonic trio of thrash, rather then any of the big four. A good album that is well worth checking out.

Words by: Richard Maw

Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 22/7/2014
Label: Unique Leader Records

‘The Flesh Prevails’ CD/DD track listing:

1). Starlit Path 05:27
2). Carved From Stone 04:23
3). The Night Reveals 04:17
4). The Flesh Prevails 03:22
5). Levitation 05:29
6). Alone With You 03:02
7). Allure 04:08
8). Sapphire 05:30
9). Chemical Cave 05:54


San Francisco atmospheric death metal unit, FALLUJAH, is very pleased to announce their forthcoming new full-length, The Flesh Prevails. The follow-up to 2011’s critically adored The Harvest Wombs and 2013’s subsequent Nomadic EP was mixed, mastered and engineered by sound savior Zack Ohren (Animosity, Suffocation, All Shall Perish) at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California, The Flesh Prevails boasts guest appearances from guitarist Christian Muenzner (Obscura, Necrophagist), the chilling voice of Roniit Alkayam and serves as the band’s most intricately arranged, methodically executed and cerebrally consuming offering to date. A true master work of progressively tinged, otherworldly death metal.
Notes MetalSucks upon previewing eighth track, "Sapphire," “The Flesh Prevails comes with great anticipation: can FALLUJAH take what they did on Nomadic and extrapolate it into an entire album? Will they continue their evolution into modern proggy death metal heroes? If ‘Sapphire’ is any indication, the answer is a hearty ‘yes’ to all of the above. There’s so much going on here that it’ll take a few listens to really sink in; ambient keyboards, layered background vocals, meaty riffs, expertly crafted leads, and incredibly strong melodies all mashed into one dynamic, absolute beast of a song.”

The Band:

Rob Morey | Bass
Alex Hofman | Vocals
Scott Carstairs | Guitars
Andrew Baird | Drums
Brian James | Guitars


I’ve been trying to write this review for a while now. I really wanted to sit on this album for some time so I could allow it to make an impact, because it’s not easy writing reviews of things that have A; such anticipation/ hype and B: an overwhelming amount of positive reviews so far. As someone who has vicariously witnessed this albums triumphs from the initial album announcement, to final release, I felt it was only fair to give this one an unusually high amount of listens to ensure my fair and honest judgement.

Fallujah’s 6th release and second full-length album ‘The Flesh Prevails’ was released July 22nd on Unique Leader Records, a huge player in the extreme metal scene. It is quite the stand out album in death metal, combining elements of the different sub genres within the umbrella of death metal such as melodic and technical death, ambience and a bucket load of slams too, it sound huge and played out all within 42 minutes of insane instrumental work. It surprises and confronts stereotypes in the genre and is generally considered a masterpiece.

My experience of the album is this.  I listen to albums mostly on my commute to work; this gives me time to listen to albums from beginning to end, sometimes a few times a day. I can honestly say, I can’t remember a specific moment from the whole album. There is not one day I found myself humming along or caught myself singing a little melody later in the day.

It’s just that there is so much going on, so many layers, so much technicality and background ambient string bends and synth pads that I found myself trying so hard to find a riff after the introductions that I could hold on too. Maybe it’s just my taste, but with the amount of stuff firing off in all directions it seems to lose something. The drums for one are excruciatingly quiet. This band must have one of the most insane drummers to pull off blast beats that fast, I mean he sounds like he’s about to spontaneously combust, but it’s just such a shame they are so buried in the mix sometimes. If I had to really say whether I liked this album though, I would say yes. It does so much for death metal as a whole and opens a variety of new doors combining elements of shoegaze in a similar way to black metal and ditches the ambience of symphonic music typically used in death metal to the same effect. It have also got that rare combination of having perfectly matched vocals for the style and speed of music. They are rhythmic and embedded into the nutty riff work so well, I cant imagine what a time the lyricist had writing them.

All the songs have very similar build up periods to get to their climaxes. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, just something that made me feel again that I couldn’t pick out a defining moment in the album. Musically it uses a scale rarely heard in this kind of music and very little harmonic minor. Harmonic minor is that typical breakdown section thing you hear, but to my ears, this album doesn’t use it nearly enough. I sometimes have moments where I want it to go into something really evil, but it just seems to get more and more dreamy as the songs progress.

I feel this album is very much music for musicians, it has so much crazy precise guitar work that all shredders will be left in awe. It is certainly not chaotic, as chaos insinuates disorganisation or a lack of order. The music is sniper precise. It’s their opus, their defining moment in their musical lives. It breaks so many barriers and cements itself so firmly in Fallujah’s career that it can and will be seen by many as one of the best death metal, if not the best metal album as a whole, this year. What remains to be seen now, is what they do with it though. I’m struggling to think of how they can pull it off live without having a massive amount of backing tracks going on. I want to know where they will go from here. Surely writing another album of this magnitude is no easy task, can they pull it off again?

‘The Flesh Prevails’ is already out, go pick yourself up a copy and see what you think. Does it live up to the hype? Thanks for reading Y’all!

Words by: Asher G. Alexander.

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Ommadon - V (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 4/8/2014
Label: Burning World, 
Domestic Genocide, 
Dry Cough Records

‘V’ DD/LP, track listing:

1). V1 47:15
2). V2 39:24


Ommadon record heavy doom by ourselves in the forest in the highlands of Scotland - all live, no overdubs, no bullshit, just pure doom. Split across 4 sides of vinyl, the double LP was mastered by Billy Anderson (Sleep, Eyehategod, High on Fire, etc).

V will be released as a 180gram double-vinyl (gatefold) on August 4th but is available for pre-order now from Dry Cough Records (UK), Burning World Records (Netherlands), and Domestic Genocide Records (USA)

The Band:

David Tobin | Guitar
Ewan Mackenzie | Drums, keyboards


Ommadon’s ‘V’ is a massive album in just about any way that you might want to measure an album. Sonically, it’s gargantuan and weighing in at an hour and twenty six minutes, it’s also a colossal time investment. The obvious question would be: is it worth it? I would have to imagine that the range of experiences that people will have with this album are going be all over the spectrum. I could envision someone being infuriated by the length of an album with such a narrow direction. I could also see someone enjoying the challenge of trying to sync themselves with the seemingly structureless nature of the album. It’s easy to get lost in an album like this unless you prepare yourself for what you’re getting into.

The omnipresent elements of ‘V’ are always the same: crashing downbeats, heavy chords sustained for long periods of time and woozy guitar sliding occasionally found in the interim. There are some moments of respite; most notably in the second half of “Side B” leading into the opening third of “Side C”. Guitar drone and noise take center stage before coming back to the deliberate bludgeoning characterised during the album’s earlier stages. Because of its length, there might be an inclination to call ‘V’ epic, but I feel like that would be a bit misleading. Rather than taking you on some vast musical journey, Ommadon seems content to stay in one place and crack your ribs with a sledge hammer over and over again. I don’t mean that as an insult, either. They’re dealing in a very confined musical space, and yet they’ve gotten so much out of it. It’s really pretty remarkable in that way.

In a sense, Ommadon have released one of the least commercial albums I’ve ever heard. There aren't any drum beats sustained for any real length of time until you get into the second half of Side C, so for the most part there isn't any groove to get into. Even when the more traditional drumbeats do show up; they usually just collapse into to a crawl when they started out walking. This album is perfectly happy giving you a series of aural stab wounds for the majority of ninety minutes.  It’s too repetitive to just be doom and it’s way too jarring to be drone. There are no vocals or lyrics communicating a message for you to hold on to or to take with you. You’re there to take its beating, and that is it. I know it really sounds like I’m writing a negative review; but I’m not.

If you want some reference points based on other albums, I can give you a couple. Imagine an album where the overall production sounds like an updated version of Thorr’s Hammer’s ‘Dommedagsnatt’, but was musically more like a completely derailed ‘Rampton’ from Teeth of the Lions Rule the Divine. It’s like that, except there are likely hundreds more downbeats on this album. I feel like I need to reiterate that I actually love this album. I love this album because it’s so preposterously barbaric and for such an extended period of time and it’s beyond excessive. It’s an absolute endurance test, and by the end of it I was not the same as I’d come into it. There aren't a lot of albums you can say that about.

Words by: Daniel Jackson

Pre-Order or buy the LP the links below.  Digital copy if available for free here

Burning World:

Dry Cough:

Domestic Genocide:

For more information:

Heavy Metal Movies by Mike "McBeardo" McPadden (Book Review)


Format: Book
Date Released: Now
Publisher: Bazillion Points Publishing

Book Information

HEAVY METAL MOVIES, by Mike McBeardo" McPadden. It's an in-depth investigation of the unholy marriage between metal and films. A compelling alternate history of heavy metal, told through the sights and scenes that shaped its visions, an exhaustive and hilarious look for origins behind the silver screen instead of the buzzing amplifier.

Author Bio

McBeardo is the defining moniker of the Brooklyn-born miscreant occasionally still known as Mike McPadden and Selwyn Harris. Mr. McBeardo’s ongoing rampage through the most gloriously ignoble gutter-rungs of show business began with his early-’90s sleaze-zine HAPPYLAND, followed by a stint as Entertainment Editor at Hustler, and gigs at numerous subsequent slap-mags, mo(i)st notably, Celebrity Skin.

As a screenwriter, McBeardo gave us the softcore epic Animal Instincts 3: The Seductress (1995), as well as the XXX-rated milestones Devil in Miss Jones 5: The Inferno (1994), Sex Freaks (1995), Gregory Dark’s Flesh (1996), and at least one more he can’t remember.

For two weeks in the late ’90s, McBeardo labored for Troma Films. Unpaid. Plus Mike is the head writer for celeb nude site – Mr Skin.

Review: Heavy Metal Movies: Guitar Barbarians, Mutant Bimbos & Cult Zombies Amok in the 666 Most Ear- and Eye-Ripping Big-Scream Films Ever!

How close have Films and Heavy Metal music been linked over the past 50 years or so? It was never really a question I thought about until now. It seems that both of these mediums have influenced each other in a big way.

Remember those big encyclopaedia books of film reviews from the 70s/80s that offered a personal review of 1000’s different films. They were used religiously by film fanatics to compare different films against. The books themselves held mini reviews, which offered a brief synopsis of the plot, and the reviewers own personal thoughts of the film. Some of the reviews usually pointed out some fun film facts.

Now we have things like IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes to fill that role where everyone can be a critic and explain why this film is so lauded or hated in equal measure. In addition, that brings me onto my book review of – Heavy Metal Movies. A forthright and downright hilarious disturbing book outlining 666 reviews of the most insane Heavy Metal movies around. Now these reviews are not all about proper Heavy Metal Movies. Mike offers his critical eye over films such as Star Wars & Twilight. You should read why he feels these movies should be classed as Heavy Metal movies. The Star Wars review had me laughing out loud for hours. Have a read yourself.

Since the release of Star Wars on May 25 1977, no aspect of human existence has gone untouched by the movie, especially not heavy metal. But which came first, the effect of Star Wars on heavy metal or heavy metal's effect on Star Wars? Consider, below, how each can be seen as interlocked with one another.

The opening crawl is symphonic metal. The Death Star is drone metal, The Jawas are doom metal. The Tusken Raiders are crust punk. The land speeder is 70s van rock. The Max Rebo band is groove metal. Han Solo is thrash. Han Solo shooting Greedo first is death metal.

Chewbacca is stoner rock. Obi-Wan Kenobi is prog metal. The Force is pagan metal. C-3PO is mathcore. R2-D2 is Nintendo-core. The Empire is black metal ,with more than a few particular nods to NSBM. Grand Moff Tarkin is New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The giant eel in the garbage compactor is sludge metal. Luke and Leia's incestuous kiss is that weird corner of metal occupied by Anal Cunt, the Melvins, the Mentors and the Butthole Surfers. The aerial dog-fight between the X-wings and the TIE fighters is power metal. The big ceremony at the end where everybody gets a medal is Viking Metal.

And Darth Vader, of course, is all aspects of all forms of heavy metal in every possible permutation. Only perpetually heavier. And perpetually more metal, as proven by the awesome Polish Death Metal band Vader.

Star Wars. That's all. It's Star Wars.”

Mike has had a passion for movies and Heavy Metal music for the best part of 35 years or so. He has seen, breathed and lived through almost every terrible film imaginable. He offers a deep hysterical insight on his youth and how he became a fan of certain genres and music. Mike has even included a section by Alice Cooper describing his very own Heavy Metal Movies. How cool is that. Alice Cooper discussing his own work. You don't see that on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes.

The book goes through an A to Z format of reviews featuring different genres of films you know and love. Mike even includes movies you may hate with a passion or never even heard of. It is to Mike’s credit that he offers a thrilling historical insight into some of the movies featured. I discovered a ton of great facts from reading this book as Mike has definitely done his homework here.

The book can be quite disturbing at times as Mike points some of the most horrific and disturbing scenes from classic horror and science fiction movies. Though Mike does feature proper heavy metal movies from such well-known artists as: Kiss, Lamb of God, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult. Nearly all widely praised and derided if Mike feels the mood calls for it.

Heavy Metal Movies truly comes alive when Mike lets rip on a “so bad it’s good” classic movie as he gives the movie both barrels with a string of insults. That happens quite a lot as Mike has picked a few B and Z listed movies to check out. Mike even criticizes his own invaluable contributions to movies. Wonder if he will allow me to say which movies he has been involved in. I will state one. Animal Instincts 3. Another one the book's stand-out reviews. 

The best part of each review is why Mike thinks this movie should be classed as Heavy Metal and the reasons for. He name checks all of your favourite metal/hard rock bands from a whole range of different genres. Thrash, Noise, Stoner, Sludge, Doom, You get the point. I may disagree with a few of the film choices he has included here. Twilight. Mike – that film series will never be Heavy Metal, no matter how funny and fantastic your mini review is.

Heavy Metal Movies has a lot of pages devoted to the fantastic posters from the films featured in the book. Some are very disturbing indeed. Some you may recognise and some you will not. Heavy Metal Movies is a brilliant read from start to finish. Mike has written a hilarious, heartfelt, disturbing and in-depth book that is a must have book even if you are a Heavy Metal Movie fan or not.

I hope Mike writes another instalment of Heavy Metal Movies as I think he is onto a winner here.

Thanks to Magnus at Bazillion Points Publishing for sending me a copy to review. Heavy Metal Movies is available to buy now.

Written by Steve Howe

Witch Charmer - The Great Depression (Album Review)

Album Type: Album
Date Released: September 1st 2014
Label: Argonatua Records

The Great Depression - track listing:

The Cull
A Watching Of Wolves
To Death (I'll Drink)
Stare Into The Sun


A hard-rockin', groove-laden, doom soaked audio assault voicing tales of disdain and suffering about this world gone mad.

Band Members

Kate McKeown - Vocals
Dave McQuillan - Drums & Vocals
Len Lennox - Guitar & Vocals
Adam Clarke - Guitar & Vocals
Richard Maher - Bass


Witch Charmer released a superb and well received EP earlier this year. It’s style of dark brooding Occult based Doom/Stoner Metal won them a lot of fans within the Doom/Stoner Metal community. Witch Charmer are ready to unleash their highly anticipated debut album – The Great Depression.

So what makes Witch Charmer different to all of the other Occult Rock/Doom/Stoner Metal bands currently out there? For a start, they have a great lead vocalist in Kate who oozes style, grace, confidence with her deliciously dark doom tinged vocals. Though Witch Charmer boast 4 band members who provide vocals at different times on the album. It is a strange and wonderful setup as the vocals can be very deafening at times to match the atmospheric doom and gloom riffs that await you.

First track – Suffer – proves their debut EP – Euphoric Curse – was only a sign of things to come as Witch Charmer set the scene for a dark gathering that packs a lot of groove into the mix. The guitars are primed and ready to unleash some magical riffs to get you into a hard-rocking dark mood. The dual vocals of Kate and Len (I think it’s Len. But it’s hard to tell when the band has 3 male vocalists to choose from) offer a contrasting style to each other as Len feels he is from a legendary 70s Hard Rock band who has seen it all. While Kate is the newcomer aiming to prove, she can sing with the best of them. Witch Charmer seductively blends the different genres for one captivating tale where the mood has a slight dangerous vibe to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Suffer is the perfect track to open the album with as it shows you what Witch Charmer is all about. The other tracks follow the same template mainly spellbinding vocals from Kate and other members of the band coming in with grizzled vocals of their own. The instrumental work ventures from Pure 70s based Doom to the more riffier modern based Stoner Metal vibes that the band excels at. Tracks such as The Cull and A Watching of Wolves prove Witch Charmer are master storytellers with their bewitching tales of doom and terror. The album has a hidden addictive quality to it as the band make you feel part of their dark world. Things become very sinister indeed on the second half of the album as the riffs become ever more heavier and the vocals slightly more disturbing.

The Great Depression ends on a fantastic note with the 14-minute epic – Stare Into the Sun – that sees the band venture more into the Doom Metal side of their music. It is a dark captivating tale that feels influenced by legendary bands such as Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus and Pentagram. The Stoner Metal riffs are not too far behind to bring this track kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

Witch Charmer deserve credit in getting Mos Generator main man – Tony Reed – to mix and master the entire album as it’s sounds loud as heck from the word go. As he gives the album, a more richer and heavier sound compared to their EP. The Great Depression is an outstanding album on all levels. Witch Charmer may have the potential to be one of the UK’s leading Occult Rock/Doom/Stoner Metal bands.

Thanks To Argonauta Records and Witch Charmer for sending me a promo to review. The Great Depression is out to buy from Sept 1st 2014 on Argonauta Records.

Check the Band from Links Below

Written by Steve Howe

Haikai No Ku - Ultra High Dimensionality (Album Review)


Album Type: Album
Date Released: August 20th 2014
Label: Box Records

Ultra High Dimensionality - track listing:

I. Dead In The Temple (09:24)
II. Strung Out Beyond The Rim (09:23)
IV. Blue At Noon (09:02)
V. Void In Aimless Flight (07:52)
VI. Unbroken Reign Of The Violent Yagu (04:16)

Album Info:

Box Records is proud to present the second full length album from Newcastle, UK brain-melters Haikai No Ku. Following last years outstanding début 'Sick On My Journey' on Burning World Records the three piece stepped into Blank Studios to record their follow up, a 40 minute pilgrimage through 5 mind-altering tracks.

By now avid fans of doom and psychedelia will be familiar with Mike Vest's (Bong, 11Paranoias, Blown Out) patented hyper fuzz guitar shrieks and damaged feedback. In Haikai No Ku he is joined by Jerome Smith (Female Borstal, Charles Dexter Ward) on bass and Sam Booth (Foot Hair, Bin, Obey) on drums to deliver a burgeoning psychedelic doom trip of the highest grade.

Band Members

Jerome Smith – Bass
Mike Vest - Feedbacker Guitars
Sam Booth – Drums


Haikai No Ku released one of the best if not the best début Noise Rock/Psychedelic Rock albums of 2013 with Sick On My Journey. The album truly pulverized me with it’s style of Noise, Doom, Drone and Psychedelic Rock overtones being played at a loud violent level for 45 mins or so.

Well 12 months on, Haikai No Ku are back to continue that journey with their 2nd full-length record – Ultra High Dimensionality. 39 minutes of even more twisted Doom, Drone, Psychedelic Noise Rock riffs to prove why Haikai No Ku are masters of nightmarish noisy based feedback that would have BORIS or Mainliner running for cover. This album should come with a Government Health Warning to advise people how violently loud the mood becomes.

First track – Read In The Temple – once again sees the band playing by their own rules with each band member trying to play the lead role within this dangerous power trio. Mike on lead guitar is on fire as he lays down a barrage of spectacular noisy guitar riffs that Jerome and Sam match on bass and drums respectively. The album walks a fine line between drone based doom metal vibes and distorted slabs of heavy heart-pounding noise with enough power to shatter your body to dust.

As with their début album, this will take a few listens to get the overall feel of the album. It is not an easy album to listen to as Haikai No Ku add different styles and ideas that will potentially put many people off. However, that has always been Haikai No Ku’s intent in releasing music that is different to everything else.

Second track – Strung Out Beyond The Rim – carries on the instrumental brutality from the earlier track. Haikai No Ku pound the heck out of their instruments as they turn the noise way up to dangerous levels once again. This takes the listener into a violent psychedelic world where each passing second lasts a lifetime. Haikai No Ku slowly destroy every shred of sanity you may have and turn you into an emotional shivering wreck.

Haikai No Ku unleash more sonic warfare on 3rd track – Blue At Noon. They blend ambient-based noises with psychedelic riffs that even had me feeling dizzy at times. A brutal and uncompromising track unleashes attack after attack of heavy pounding distorted riffs that can be described as deafening and painful at times. However, I still loved every warped and disturbing second of it. Haikai No Ku take no prisoners with this track. Trust me. A loud and violent offering will leave you in a cold sweat questioning what have I just witnessed.

Void In Aimless Flight and Unbroken Reign Of The Violent Yagu draws this album to it’s natural and violent conclusion to prove why Haikai No Ku are in a dangerous league of their own. Ultra High Dimensionality is another excellent album from this demented hard-rocking power trio. If you want an album that challenges you and dares to be different, this is the album for you. Another masterpiece from Haikai No Ku.

Thanks to Matt at Box Records. Ultra High Dimensionality will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl from Box Records on August 20th 2014.

Check The Band From Links Below

Written by Steve Howe

Fórn - The Departure Of Consciousness (Album Review)

Album Type: Album
Date Released: July 22nd 2014
Label: Vendetta Records

The Departure Of Consciousness - track listing:

1.Emergence 04:30
2.Dweller on the Threshold 07:35
3.Gates of the Astral Plane 07:28
4.Alexithymia 06:05
5.Suffering in the Eternal Void 05:12
6.Cereberal Intermission 01:23


Formed in the winter of 2012, Fórn draws inspiration from its predecessors; Grief, Burning Witch and Asunder, while remaining true to natural progression. Blown low end, and gritty leads make Fórn one of the leading sludge bands currently in Boston. Their very first ritual was with highly regarded metal acts, Floor and Thrones (ex-Melvins) and were featured in a write-up Boston's weekly dig. Fórn toured the east coast in July 2013 with fellow Boston local's Finisher.

Band Members

Chris P. - Vocals
Joey - Guitar
Brandon - Guitar
Brian - Bass
Chris D. - Drums


Fórn is a Blackened Sludge/Funeral Doom Metal collective who I originally featured back in 2013 with their stunning debut EP. The guys told me after they were working on their debut full-length record and would be in touch once it was ready. Well true to their word, the guys are back with a vengeance with their bleak as heck debut album – The Departure Of Consciousness.

Fórn bring the HEAVY in a big way, as this album is a bleak atmospheric journey into the vastness of space. It can be very trippy at times with the band showing why they are highly thought of indeed. This is 33 minutes that crushes everything in it’s wake. Violent moods collide as Fórn unleash a barrage of heavy riffs that will leave you in a very dark mood indeed.

Opening track – Emergence – starts with a slow-paced ambient/post-rock vibe before Fórn unleash their identity to the world for one of the heaviest riffs I have heard this year. Shades of Neurosis and ISIS maybe present but it is the blackened sludge metal vibe that fully grabs your attention. My advice – From this point on. Get comfortable, as Fórn are ready to destroy your very existence as The Departure Of Consciousness acts as a portal to the depths of sell itself.

2nd track – Dweller On The Threshold – is your worst nightmares and fears come to life as Fórn bring an indescribable brutal force for you to witness. As the death based growls/vocals tell a chilling tale of what is lurking in the darkness.

Fórn play a highly intelligent mix of Death Metal, Blackened Sludge, Post-Rock, Doom and Psych Metal that has a slightly claustrophobic feel to it. The instrumental work is almost cold, calculated and unflinching as the vocals themselves. This is an album built on violent moods and despair. If you’re not in the mood to be taken to some very dark places I recommend you look elsewhere.

3rd track – Gates Of The Astral Plane – slowly build up the nightmarish atmospherics once more as Fórn venture between slow paced and fast-paced riffs that feels like a heavy pounding hammer coming to wake you up from your eternal slumber. It’s not going to be a pretty sight as the darkness briefly gives way to impressive hazy psychedelic riffs played with a distorted edge. Is that some delicate Post-Rock music that I detect? Yeah it is. But it doesn’t last for long as Fórn return to their bleak based riffs for more soul-destroying punishment.

Alexithymia and Suffering In The Eternal Void both have an icy cold as heck post rock exterior running through their veins. Though as before, nothing is, as it seems as Fórn unleash more destructive riffs and vocals to drown your soul with. By the time the last short track – Cerebral Intermission – has finished, you’re ready for a long rest, as this album has taken you on an exhilarating and punishing journey. Now am I feeling brave enough to experience it once more?

The Departure Of Consciousness is a startling and unflinching album that proves Fórn are an exciting band for the future indeed. Brilliant. End Of.

Thanks to the band for sending me a copy to review. The Departure Of Consciousness is now available to buy on DD from BandCamp and Vinyl from VendettaRecords.

Check The Band From Links Below

Written by Steve Howe