Friday 31 July 2015

Greenhorn - 'Like Rows Of Crooked Teeth' (Album Review)

By: Chris Bull

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 01/04/2015
Label: Black Bow Records/
Hibernacula Records

‘That's what's so brilliant about Greenhorn; as well as being seriously fucking heavy, you get a history lesson  thrown in too’

'Like Rows Of Crooked Teeth' CD//DD track Listing:

1). They Said It Was Treason So They Cut Her Fucking Head Off
2). Kentucky Boone
3). Long Drop
4). Witch's Bridle
5). Dead Man's Hill
6). Like Rows of Crooked Teeth
7). Outro

Greenhorn is:

Sid | Bass, vocals
AJ | Guitar
Vlad | Drums

The Review:

Greenhorn's demo, released in 2013 was good enough for Terrorizer to label them "the future of British doom" and with this, their first full length, it's not hard to see why. "Like Rows of Crooked Teeth" was produced by producer extraordinaire and current Conan bassist Chris Fielding, indeed he has put his weighty stamp all over this.

'They Said It Was Treason So They Cut Her Fucking Head Off' starts with a simplistic lonely guitar riff before the proceeding monolithic slab of superb doom. Guitarist AJ's sound is thick with fuzz and sounds like he used tar to lube his strings. Vocalist/Bassist Sid's voice is harsh and evil as he sings about Lady Alice Lisle and her execution in the Bloody Assizes. Blood curdling stuff. Second track 'Kentucky Boone' features the vocal talents of Conan's Jon Davis whose high pitched banshee wail fits perfectly with the weighty riffs on this story of Wild West outlaw Helm Boone.

That's what's so brilliant about Greenhorn; as well as being seriously fucking heavy, you get a history lesson thrown in too. 'Long Drop' is a relatively short affair, the opening drum fill from (now former) drummer Vinnie prompted my girlfriend to restart the track 5 or 6 times before I could give the song a proper listen. The vocals are belched rhythmically over the simple yet compelling riffs making this a song that's impossible not to nod along to. A rerecording of 'Witches Bridle' from their demo is up next, Sid showing he can do melodic vocals if he wants. The eerie melody of this song and the grim subject matter (the torture and Execution of an elderly woman at the North Berwick witch trials) provides a sinister edge.

'Deadman's Hill' builds with some almost military drums and wailing feedback before the ridiculously catchy main riff batters you. Around the 4 minute mark it all breaks down to a slow crawl before another brilliant riff takes the song to metallic territory, whilst Sid screams "she was filled with his cum" over and over. Finally the title track and the minute long outro, 'Like Rows of Crooked Teeth' features samples of an interview with American psychopath Carroll 'Ed' Cole mere hours before his execution, played over the toe-tappingly terrific intro and the stellar main riffs, which have the density of an imploding planet. The screeching feedback leads off into the outro which deceptively lulls  you into believing you're about to hear another song with a brilliant doom riff,  before it all ends, much like the tactics of Ted Bundy.

This isn't a concept album; there is a recurring theme with each song having its own concept, mainly about genuine historical figures and their tribulations. I was very pleased to see a mention of my little band included in the album's 'Thank You' notes, this goes to show how much of an impression we made on them. Truthfully, my first listen to Greenhorn left an everlasting impression, they truly are a force in the UK doom scene and this album only strengthens that belief. Give this album a listen; let them leave an impression on you too.

‘Like Rows of Crooked Teeth’ is available here

Band info : Facebook

Ecstatic Vision - 'Sonic Praise' (Album Review)

‘Like Sleep jamming with The Heads whilst Dave Wyndorf tempts you to join him on the ride of your life’

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 26/06/2015
Label: Relapse Records

‘Sonic Praise’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Journey
2). Astral Plane
3). Don't Kill The Vibe
4). Sonic Praise
5). Cross The Divide

Ecstatic Vision:

Doug Sabolick | Guitars / B3 / Vox
Michael Field Connor | Bass
Jordan Crouse | Drums / Percussion 


Philadelphia trio Ecstatic Vision claim they got together in order to "play what they wanted to hear". After listening to “Sonic Praise”, it seems they wanted to hear heavy, mind-altering psychedelic rock of the highest order, which is fine by me.

The band combine hypnotic krautrock grooves, scuzzy garage rock and fuzzed-out stoner rock to devastating effect across the five tracks on offer here. “Journey” kicks things off in fine style, like Sleep jamming with The Heads whilst Dave Wyndorf tempts you to join him on the ride of your life.  Douglas Sabolick’s vocals are a key element of Ecstatic Vision’s sound. The relentless cosmic repetition of the music is enough to transport you to a higher plane, but it’s the shamanic vocals that convince you that there is nothing cooler than following the band on their voyage into oblivion. 

Another key element of the band’s sound is their rock-solid rhythm section. Every song is based on minimal bass and drum patterns which, once locked in, seem to drive on to infinity, raising the intensity of the guitars and vocals around them. This is particularly evident on epic album highlight “Astral Plain” as riffs ebb and flow before building to one last freak-out with added wailing sax. As the album progresses, the bands attack seems to tighten. The final track “Cross The Divide” is focused around a single chord but still reaps maximum rewards.

“Sonic Praise” is an impressive debut from Ecstatic Vision that should have a broad appeal to fans of heavy riffage, blissed-out psych rock, hip-shaking rock’n’roll and everything in between.

Words by: Charlie Butler

‘Sonic Praise’ is available here

For more information:

Year of the Goat - 'The Unspeakable' (Album Review)

‘This is an unstoppable offering, a collection of songs that makes you relieved you listen to the music that you do. A real contender for anyone's end of year list’

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 31/07/2015
Label: Napalm Records

‘The Unspeakable’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1.  All He Has Read
2.  Pillars of the South
3.  The Emma
4.  Vermin
5.  World Of Wonders
6.  The Wind
7.  Black Sunlight
8.  The Sermon
9.  The Key And The Gate (Alternative Version - Bonus Track)
10  Riders Of Vultures


It all begins with the near 13 minute epic 'All He Has Read'. Tribal drumming and disembodied whispers are all that can be heard, as though some grim ceremony is about to take place with you at the centre of it (remember that soul claiming business...).  It continues to build with a gothic tolling bell and some unnerving lead work before the hammer gets put down. The song opens up with some epic guitar work which veers from a soaring melody line right down to a doom drenched chug. This is where Thomas Sabbathi's breathtaking vocals enter. The guy can sing and I mean really sing. The vocal harmonies are just stunning and it seems hard to believe you're hearing this in 2015. It's a mesmerising start to proceedings that takes a few interesting turns.

Continuing with 'Pillars of The South', the band apply all of the tricks displayed earlier but instead condense the result down into a 5 minute rocker (as is the case for the remainder of the record).  A catchy, classic riff is underpinned by a haunting organ, the accompaniment of those soaring vocals, is then met with exquisite lead guitar work. It's not all pace however, with 'The Emma', the band reduce the tempo, make astonishing use of the vocals and organ and connect it all together with a melancholic bluesy guitar and bass, that results in something pretty spectacular. 'The Wind' and 'Black Sunlight' both romp along with all the trademarks you'll know and love at this point. It's always epic, it's always haunting and it's always authentic.

The records closer 'Riders of Vultures', utilises a smirk inducing doom riff and a hypnotic harmony guitar part that just feels classic, as though you've heard it somewhere before but are so glad you're hearing it right now. All this before the lead guitar appears alongside some vintage backing vocals; once again, you'll be somewhere familiar. It's at this point we’re told were going to meet the master and the albums heaviest moment thunders forth. It's massive. It's spine tingling. Get ready.

If this record indicates anything at all, it is that ‘this is the Year of the Goat’. This is an unstoppable offering, a collection of songs that makes you relieved you listen to the music that you do. A real contender for anyone's end of year list and as the great Bart Simpson once said "all the best bands are affiliated with Satan". That's more true now than ever.

Words by: Rhys Miles

‘The Unspeakable’ is available here

For more information:

Wednesday 29 July 2015

'BBQ’s and Spontaneous Combustion' - An Interview with Valley of the Sun

Valley of the Sun spent two weeks trekking across Europe before making the necessary stop in Tilburg, Holland’s own rock n’ roll hideout. At first sight, birthday boy and singer Ryan looked a little worse for wear but when he showed me the van they had been travelling in, it all made sense. He introduced me to a friendly Frenchman, Arnoud, who I learned was borrowed from The Dot Legacy and was a stand-in for this tour. Then Aaron, the drummer, grabbed a chair and rambled on about Creationists and a museum in Cincinnati where humans are depicted riding on the backs of dinosaurs. I was in good company that was for sure. Eventually we got down to the interview, which you can watch below. If you enjoy stories about touring, food, and making music then be sure to check out this video

Interview by: Victor Van Ommen

Camera: Casper Stokhuyzen

For more information:

Death Angel - 'A Thrashumentary' DVD (Review)

Media Type: DVD
Date Released: 24/7//2015
Label: Nuclear Blast

Death Angel is:

Mark Osegueda | (vocals)
Rob Cavestany | (guitar)
Ted Aguilar | (guitar)
Damien Sisson | (bass)
Will Carroll | (drums)


Being an avid appreciator of all things “making of” and “history of”, I jumped at the chance to review this- over two and a half hours of footage combining both those docu-genres. The first half of this engaging film covers Death Angel's history. Yes, they were very young when they started out and yes, the band was part of the second wave of Bay Area thrash so of course you get lots of their contemporaries as talking heads or cropping up in photos from the time. Each band member (as is now) are interviewed extensively and contribute interesting comments to their history and path through the somewhat murky and ever changing waters of the music industry. The spectre of This is Spinal Tap is never too far away but things never get all the way there as the band members come across as hard working and dedicated pros who often laugh at themselves and the business. Certainly, the band has overcome a lot, for example a horrendous bus crash which effectively curtailed their rise to the top- line up changes, industry changes and even complete dissolution. 

It is noted that it took Chuck Billy having cancer to bring them back together, but once reformed things were better than ever. At the heart of all this is the music, of course. Death Angel have made some cracking records (The Ultra Violence and Frolic through the Park are considered early classics) both early on and recently in their career (The Dream Calls For Blood is superb). The process of how they made ‘Relentless Retribution’ is the focus of the final part of the doc. Jason Suecof is the studio maestro capturing the musical magic while the band roll the songs out with new found enthusiasm due in part to a hungry new rhythm section.

For those with an interest in Death Angel, Bay Area thrash or musical history generally, then this is a must watch. You will be pleased to know that it's nothing like Some Kind of Monster, in that those involved come across well and as likeable down to earth guys. There is not a therapist or a sweater in sight. Much like the band's records, this is no frills; a metal documentary that does what is says on the tin. 

Words by: Richard Maw

‘A Thrashumentary’ is available here

For more information:

KLØTT - ‘KLØTT’ Demo (Review)

‘This is 6 tracks of filth. From start to finish, these tracks just drip with pond scum and reek of stale beer, weed smoke, piss and body odour.’

Album Type: Demo
Date Released: 21/07/2015
Label: Self Release

‘KLØTT’ DD track listing:

1). Black Sun
2). Lost in Smoke/Found in Death
3). Anvil
4). Chosen of the Slain
5). In The Gaze
6). Blistered


Hull sludge/grind/crust/hardcore upstarts and Hull Noise Collective affiliates KLØTT have just released their demo on Bandcamp in a "pay what you want" deal, which is what the D.I.Y scene should be all about. These guys maybe young but what they lack in experience they make up in exuberant intensity.

This is 6 tracks of filth. From start to finish, these tracks just drip with pond scum and reek of stale beer, weed smoke, piss and body odour. 'Lost In Smoke/Found In Death' is a personal favourite with its tempo shifts as is 'In The Gaze' in all its unwashed, crusty glory. Plus the noisy intro to 'Anvil' and the uber doom riffing that follows is sheer brilliance. Yeah, the production value isn't the best but if it was any more polished it would disarm the raw fury contained within. Whenever these guys record and release something to follow this up I'll be first in the queue to grab a copy.

Give it a spin, spend a quid or 2 and support the UK scene you bastards!

Words by: Chris Bull

‘KLØTT’ is available here

For more information:

Monday 27 July 2015

Dead Existence - 'Endless Misery' (Album Review)

‘This is sludge/doom at its most painful, misanthropic and unforgiving. Some would say it's a bit long as it is an epic journey of soul crushing proportions and if you're thinking that, you're missing the point of it; the title is 'Endless Misery' after all’

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Releaed: 04/04/2015
Label: Black Bow Records

‘Endless Misery’ CS//DD//LP track listing:

1). Consume
2). End Devoured by Beginning
3). ....
4), Worthless
5). Tear Apart The Veil
6). Obsidian Black
7). Delusion of Hope
8). Regretamine


Ooh this is a bit tasty! Dead Existence has been plugging away at the underground sludge/doom scene since 2004 and have made many a venue crumble to dust. 'Endless Misery' is their first full length since 2007's self titled self release and is 8 tracks of sheer misanthropic, unmitigated filth.

We start off with 'Consume' with its Celtic Frost like opening riff veering off into Crowbar territory while vocalist Jake bellows about how meaningless your existence truly is. Things get more atmospheric for 'End Devoured by Beginning' as the clean/reverbed guitars play the opening notes before the heavy, sledgehammer like riffs pummel everything in earshot and the slower closing section wears you down like the Project Mayhem initiation scenes in Fight Club. After the brief interlude of the 3rd track it's back into relentless, punishing sludge for 'Worthless' which has some great double pedal work from drummer (and former bassist) Max. It's clear Jake is angry at the world as he shouts more discouraging phrases and anti humanist slogans. Brutal, nasty stuff indeed.

Next is 'Tear Apart The Veil' and it's dissonant, hardcore style riffs that bleed away as the bass plays a slower, claustrophobic pattern before the guitars join back in for some more Crowbar worship. 'Obsidian Black' starts with some nice 3/4 beat action to get heads wind milling and is a highlight for me personally. The riffs slow down towards the end and the guitars use some different tones and effects pedals to make it all the more miserable before it fades out into noise/ambient/spoken word piece 'Delusion Of Hope'. Finally we get the dying beast of the final track, the superbly titled 'Regretamine'. This song is an epic, painful crawl through self loathing, akin to starving yourself to death. The 13 minutes have enough interesting changes to keep the listener involved but man, it's hard to listen to without wanting to off yourself!

This is sludge/doom at its most painful, misanthropic and unforgiving. Some would say it's a bit long as it is an epic journey of soul crushing proportions and if you're thinking that, you're missing the point of it; the title is 'Endless Misery' after all

Words by: Chris Bull

‘Endless Misery’ is available here

For more information:

Atheist - ‘Unquestionable Presence’ Reissue (Album Review)

‘Overall, then, this record still stands as a landmark for tech-death, metal/jazz fusion and all progression in the genre of metal. It is a classic and absolutely essential…’

Album Type: Full-Length (Reissue)
Date Released: 27/07/2015
Label: Season of Mist

‘Unquestionable Presence’ CD//DVD// Reissue track listing:

01. Mother Man
02. Unquestionable Presence
03. Your Life's Retribution
04. Enthralled in Essence
05. An Incarnation's Dream
06. The Formative Years
07. Brains
08. And the Psychic Saw

Pre-production demo:
9. Enthralled in Essence
10. The Formative Years
11. Unquestionable Presence
12. An Incarnation's Dream
13. Retribution (instrumental)
14. Brains (instrumental)

Demo 1990:
15. Enthralled in Essence

Drums & bass tracks:
16. Mother Man

Rhythm tracks:
17. And the Psychic Saw

Atheist were on this recording:

Kelly Shaefer | guitars, vocals
Tony Choy | bass
Roger Patterson | music
Steve Flynn | drums
Rand Burkey | guitars


Atheist. Florida. 1991. These three facts should be very descriptive about the content held herein this lavish reissue... However, this is nothing like Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Malevolent Creation, Obituary et al (not that those bands sound anything like each other anyway- they are only banded by sub genre). In fact, this album has more in common with the direction that Death would head in a year or two later, but is still not comparable. Perhaps Cynic would be a better comparison as this is technical death metal of the earliest and finest variety. The first couple of minutes really marks Atheist and this album out as different. These good ol' boys, way down south in redneck territory were pioneers, carving out a brain twisting path through the musical swamp.

There are a lot of fusion elements here- some of the playing is really jazzy- and yes, that is across the board; rhythm section and guitars. Sure, there are riffs aplenty (all change, all the time!), solos and the virtuoso bass performance but there is something about this record that is very much ahead of this time. If I didn't know that this record was nearly 25 years old I never would have guessed as the production is superb. Everything cuts superbly, which is no mean feat considering how much is going on. The drums are tight and punchy (no pro tools at this time and I assume a limited recording budget so these guys must really have the chops), the bass noodles expertly and the vocals are nowhere near as extreme as some other DM acts from this or any other period. I guess this is like a more cerebral or even jazz version of Death at their peak (which as very cerebral in iteself!).

It is very interesting to note that while technical means exactly that, progressive here does not mean “play aimlessly for ten minutes plus while everything goes nowhere”- all the songs are very short compared to modern standards; four minutes being a reasonable average. The likes of “Enthralled in Essence” are very weighty in places, but not all the time as there is plenty of use of dynamics and odd rhythms. The double bass drums are not continual and blasting is not a feature. Acoustic guitars feature here and there in intros (excellent) and there is a very palpable sense that the band were really trying to excel themselves on this sophomore effort; better playing, better production, better composition.

There are some very odd poly-rhythms here and there, lots of syncopation, and lots of changes. A track by track analysis is worthless here; suffice it to say that there is a lot of technical metal for your delectation. Bonus tracks are included which feature bassist Roger Patterson, who sadly died before the record proper was recorded. His bass lines survived and were re-created, so the album still stands as testimony to his incredible skills.

Overall, then, this record still stands as a landmark for tech-death, metal/jazz fusion and all progression in the genre of metal. It is a classic and absolutely essential, particularly if you ever stick on an Opeth album and think it sounds too much like AC/DC. As technical as it gets.

Words by: Richard Maw

‘Unquestionable Presence’ is available here

For more information:

Freedom Hawk - 'Into Your Mind' (Album Review)

‘Overall a very strong album that holds strong throughout; immense riffs and licks, explosive drumming, engaging vocals and solid bass playing- it doesn’t get much better.’

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 23/6/2015
Label: Small Stone Recordings

‘Into Your Mind’ CD//DD//LP Track Listing

1). Blood Red Sky
2). Journey Home
3). Lost In Space
4). On Your Knees
5). Waterfall
6). Radar
7). Beyond Our Reach
8). Into Your Mind
9). The Line
10). All Because Of You

Freedom Hawk is:

Lenny Hines | Drums
T.R. Morton | Vocals, Guitar
Mark Cave | Bass


The Virginia Beach rockers are back!

Now a trio since  the departure of Matt Cave, they bring out their 4th album and follow up to their 2011 release ‘Holding On’.  Heavy riffs, rolling grooves and soulful melodious guitar entwine to produce their immediately identifiable sound. ‘Into Your Mind’ brings another dimension to their fuzz tinged offerings with all the swagger one would have expected after their previous effort.

A twinge of Ram Jam sneaks into opener ‘Blood Red Sky’; to what proves to be a bloody amazing album, flecked with stoner vocals and Sabbath like grooves,  it oozes into the sub conscious pummelling the senses with aplomb. Definitely the most radio friendly song, a stoner rock band can write, it has the rhythmic pulse of Led Zeppelin with the charisma of Ozzy. Rather adroitly they alternate and meld the prime elements of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s classic rock, metal, psychedelic rock, grunge and even a tinge of thrash. A belting opener.

‘Lost In Space’ epitomises the Virginia Beach trio at their finest; harnessing every single element that makes them enjoyable to the listen to; sci-fi lyrics, guitar riffs and lead melodies that create momentum and splashes of colour to lift the arrangements. The passion they have for hard rock and its history is transferred directly into this song and its finely tuned style of song writing.  The lead break in ‘Journey Home’; housing more layers than a triple decker sandwich, brings the catchiness up to immensely classic levels whilst the refined drum rolls from Hines and psychedelic chord choices make ‘Waterfall’ an absolute must have for their live shows; housing a slinky funk groove before opening up to a stoner rock ballad, superb stuff.

With a nod to Southern Rock, they take a wander with ‘Beyond Our Reach’, with clean, echoing guitar rhythms that hammer into the brain and take root enabling you to hum them all day long. Putting a pin in their heavy distortive work to get their point across, and they do, so very well.  Smoothly moving into the title track ‘Into Your Mind’ with a Clutch like stomp, you’re subjected to wondrous harmonies that combine Soul, Blues, Hard Rock and Stoner Metal with style,  making this trio diverse- yes but also enticing, flowing with musical chemistry. Jim Morrison’s influence is a shining beacon on the opening vocals here. A track that can only be described as organic; it is like no other on the album but reflects the roots of the Hard Rock/Metal genres. This song reminds the listener; no matter what kind of song they write, what lies at their core- delivering energetic rock whilst worshipping at the altar of the greats. It is by this point that I have realised just how good drummer Lenny Hines is; almost Ian Paice like, his dexterity for fills and his stylistic variations are immense. Each drum part is superbly arranged and executed with intent and attention to dynamics.

‘The Line’ glides in next; instantly attention grabbing, sombre and melodic, driven with emotionally charged vocals and strong bass lines, it is wondrously morose and melodic. The guitar lines take over about half way through and lead the song to an enchanting instrumental ending. Ending on a high with ‘All Because Of You’; it is a funky, groovy number that will cause those with even the blackest of souls to have a little wiggle round the kitchen.  It is simple yet effective and with more than ample guitar wizardry, catchy drums and bass entanglement, it takes me a minute to calm down and declare that I am in no doubt this record is winning. With the focus honed on refined, hook-orientated chord progressions and the Ozzy like crooning of guitarist T.R. Morton these 10 songs remind me of everything from Sabbath to Kyuss; Clutch to retro Corrosion of Conformity.

Overall a very strong album that holds strong throughout; immense riffs and licks, explosive drumming, engaging vocals and solid bass playing- it doesn’t get much better. They have developed a fantastic writing/playing style that pings the senses and has massive potential for success within the retro/classic rock movement. They balance the vocal and instrumental parts alongside excellent attention to detail with their arrangements. Capitalising on the best of the 70’s whilst adding their own twist based around excellent song writing as opposed to stylistic retro posturing.  If you love classic rock and up tempo metal/hard rock then this will settle nicely between the ears and tickle your fancy.

Words by: Kat Hilton

‘In Your Mind’ is available here

For more information:

A Trust Unclean - ‘Reality Relinquished’ EP (Review)

‘The whole EP is so energetic, inspiration seems to bleed from every available crevice; here is a band basking in a creative flourish.’

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 07/08/2015
Label: Self Released 

‘Reality Relinquished’ EP track  listing:  

1). Enucleation”
2). “Feckless Traditions”
3). “Perverse Agenda”
4). “Insipient Catastrophe”
5). “Reality Relinquished

A Trust Unclean

Joe Corky | Vocals
Steve Hunt | Guitar
Mikey Gee | Guitar
Bobby Hembrow| Bass
Scott Horne | Drums


Music such as this is savage by design, and with a name like A Trust Unclean, you expect this band’s sonic assault to be as rough and splintering as a hangover after a four day absinthe binge. But what has surprised me with the Oxfordshire band’s ‘Reality Relinquished’ EP is just how much character lurks in their overtly guttural and uncivilised demeanour.  Never at any point do they get lost in that unquenched desire to be heavier than Satan’s bollocks and forget about the key assets in melody, structure and imagination. The songs snap every which way, like Steve Irwin – God bless his crazy, crazy soul – wrestling an unsuspecting alligator, but the way, in which these compositions are constructed, you end up sucked into its ebb and flow almost instantly. 

‘Perverse Agenda’ is underpinned by low strung grooves which are interjected by Joseph Corcoran’s hoarse vocals and fly-in-a-glass whizzing fret board runs. The whole EP is so energetic, inspiration seems to bleed from every available crevice; here is a band basking in a creative flourish.

Blast beats, when you venture down heavier roads such as this, can so often be an all-out matter of quantity outweighing quality. But here, especially on ‘Incipient Catastrophe’, Scott Horne’s footwork is deft, intricate and all over the place, tighter than a gnats arse yet so fluent. It gives the songs a chaotic undercurrent, but a chaos that is well organised and executed. It’s these stuttered rhythms, despite the crushing countenance of the overlaying guitars that give this record so much of that aforementioned character. Without it, this would just be a heavy record, another one for the pile of ‘just noise without anything going for it’ records in existence.   

On the title track it is guitarists Steve Hunt and Mikey Gee who impress the most. From the pained lead lines to the Gojira pick scrapes, bursts of tremolo picking and all-round complexity – the tab of this no doubt resembling something akin to a child let loose with a label gun – here are two guitarists with their heads firmly leading, their macro intellect and vision the way. Showmanship isn’t really an egotistical presence here, for any of the musicians. This is a collective effort and, yes, there are moments of brilliant individualism, but it is as a collective where they are strongest, no one ever takes the limelight for more than each particular section requires.

With five songs all either three or four or five minutes long, the EP flies by. It’s a wham-bam-thank-you-mam of technical and devastating death metal. The juxtaposing smile that broadens your gob while listening speaks volumes. Honestly speaking, I’m not too enamoured by this end of the metal spectrum – it’s something I dip in and out of from time to time – so for a band of this calibre to capture my imagination, to have me excited as this record does is, from a personal stand point at least, a pretty darn good achievement.

It is heavier than Satan’s bollocks, but it’s fun and very well written too.

Words: Phil Weller

For more information: