Friday, 22 February 2013

Twice The Trauma - Auditory Excruclation

Self Released 2012
1.The Futility Of Being 2.Septic Tank Suffocation
3.The Cannibal And The Corpse 4.Down Another Pint 5.One More Can
6.The Pig Riders Of Leeholme
As 'The Futility Of Being' slowly gathers pace and builds a sinister atmosphere there is a real sense of anticipation as to what is about to happen. This short intro actually has quite a black metal feel to it, but Twice The Trauma are far from that. 'Septic Tank Suffocation' blasts open furiously with punk infused raging guitars and machine gun like drum programming. The production used for the drums is awful, horribly tinny and very electronic sounding which if intentional, was definitely the wrong decision for a grindcore band. 'The Cannibal And The Corpse', obviously a play on words for the well known veterans of the death metal genre, is a really brutal offering, blasting nastily throughout most of its entirety. There is however a change in mood half way through the track, which sounds very atmospheric when the keyboards are used over the frantic drum and guitar work. It actually works surprisingly well, but is spoilt somewhat by that awful drum production.
 'Down Another Pint' and 'One More Can' pass in typical grindcore fashion, being short, fast, brutal and to the point. They are actually the highlights of the whole e.p working much better than the longer tracks, the use of dual vocals particularly well executed sounding spiteful and full of malice. Closing this very short e.p is 'The Pig Riders Of Leeholme' which begins life in very death metal fashion, heavy open chord riffs set the tone for the barrage that is about to follow. Another torrent of raging guitars, blasting drums and snarling vocals deliver quite a punch, but also tends to miss the mark somewhat. Again, its the production that is the major flaw with the guitars been very low in the mix and not very heavy when the faster sections let lose. With a slightly altered production, this, and most of the other tracks would have really kicked you full force in the nuts. Sadly, they are lacking this, which lets the e.p down. The keyboards are re-introduced towards the end of the song to give it an eerie, almost sinister end section. Its fair to say that the production on this release isn’t the best in the world, not sure if that’s what the band aimed to do, but one thing is certain, it doesn’t do the songs any justice at all. All the ingredients are there (frenzied and raging guitars, blasting drums and vicious vocal work) for an amazingly brutal release, its just the end product isn’t up to the job. Worth a listen if you can get over the production (but maybe that’s how you like your grind?)
6 out of 10
Band Page: Here

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Uncoffined Studio Report

Formed from members of Winds of Genocide and The Obscene, North East death/doom metallers Uncoffined have just returned from Bradford where they recorded their debut offering 'Ritual Death And Funeral Rites'. UKEM asked Drummer/Vocalist Kat to document their time in the studio and to give us an insight into their recording process and general studio experience (including drunk old Yorkshire men!!!). Let the drinking and death commence.....
Finally the day we had been building up to and working towards for the best part of 2 years since the band was formed and we first started rehearsing and writing material as a 2 piece had arrived, I woke up early as I needed to get some things sorted before getting picked up to head down to Bradford on the afternoon to begin the recording process at Studio 1in12 so once I had got a few things taken care of I went back home and finished getting the horror film samples together, writing the times of where the samples were that I wanted to use etc...(typically I left sorting that out until the last minute). I had decided to use samples from a couple of my fave hammer horror films namely "The Plague Of The Zombies" and "The Devil Rides Out"...I was going to take a sample from "The Zombie Dead" too but due to rushing about I left the DVD at home next to the DVD player!
The rest of the band namely G.Hall(guitar), J.Sugden (lead guitar) and G. Sugden(bass) arrived at my place at about 2.30 on the Friday afternoon and once my drum stuff and personal stuff for the recording weekend was packed into the car I squeezed into the back with Glynn...I ended up being sandwiched in between his large bulk and the guitars and various bags...I suppose if we had of crashed I wouldn't have went anywhere as I was firmly wedged in between both...after some initial moaning about the lack of space I settled into the journey and enjoyed the scenic route down to Bradford, there was definitely a sense of anticipation for the weekend ahead in the car and everyone was in good spirits and really looking forward to finally recording the 5 songs that we had crafted properly in a studio.
We got to somewhere in North Yorkshire and decided a toilet break and a pint was needed plus a much needed stretch of legs for us cramped in the back so we went in search for a pub, the first little village we arrived in was very sleepy, so sleepy the local pub wasn't even open...but we parked up behind the pub and the others went off in various directions to relieve their bladders, me being the only girl in the band I had to wait as there was no way I was going to go and squat behind a bush so I waited until we found a pub that was open and much to my relief one was found in another sleepy village about 15-20 minutes or so later...a very idyllic scenic little place quite high up, it was so "in the middle of nowhere" that I barely got a signal on my mobile phone... there was definitely "An American Werewolf In London" vibe to the place...if it had of been dark and foggy it would have been perfect! Anyway I got my much needed toilet break and we all settled down to a pint and a chat.
After that break we hit the road to Bradford again aware the time was pressing on as we had arranged to meet Bri Doom the producer at the 1in12 club (which as well as housing a little studio in the basement is also a world renowned gig venue having hosted countless anarcho/crust/HC punk etc gigs since the early 80's, even bands like Neurosis as well as lots of other now classic and legendary bands played there on their very early UK visits)..we hit the outer limits of Bradford just as rush hour was approaching and it seemed to take forever until we finally arrived in BD1. We arrived at about 6pm..not too much longer after we had planned as it turned out, Bri and his faithful four legged canine companion Devo were already at the club and greeted us on the hallowed cobbles of Albion Street...I unloaded my drum stuff and went to help Bri set up the drum kit while the rest went to check into the various hotels we would all be staying at for a couple of nights.
Bri 'doing his thing'
After I went to my favourite local Polish shop to get some strawberry cider I started to help Bri get the drums sorted ready to start getting the sound levels. It didn't take too long until I could finally start hitting things but not long after I started to sound check the kick drum disaster struck...the headphones I was using started making this awful crackling sound and I couldn't really hear what the fuck was going on so we tried another pair of headphones and they also started to make this horrible sound and were totally unusable and as it turned out were the only other pair of headphones in the studio....Bri was not very happy as it turned out someone had been messing with the sound levels in the studio which in turn had totally blown the headphones...he was getting quite stressed and even said at one point that the whole recording might be doomed before we had even started!! But heading back to Durham without a recording really was not an option as we had already paid for two nights worth of accommodation but Bri saved the weekend and went out and got a new pair of headphones the next morning which thankfully worked for the rest of the weekend.
After the rest of the band had got their guitar sounds we decided to call it a night as we couldn't do anything else without a pair of headphones for me to use whilst drumming so we decided to hit the 1in12 bar for some much needed cheap alcohol and some music (the 1in12 jukebox is one of the best I have ever came across in a bar and first discovered the gems on it whilst doing the first recording at studio 1in12 with my other band Winds of Genocide a few years ago). So we got ourselves a table and we spent the rest of the night getting drunk and putting various old Slayer, Bathory, Nausea, Venom etc..tracks on the jukebox...despite the first day headphone disaster we were all in an upbeat mood and ready to get quite drunk...we met a couple of the local Bradford crust punks in the bar who looked like they had already had one cider too many!! The Sugden brothers decided to go back to their hotel just before midnight but myself and Glynn decided to try and relive our early-mid 20's by staying in the bar drinking and listening to music until the bar closed at 1am or so...after that we went off in search of our hotel which was a bit further took us about 15 minutes to stumble there via a late night supermarket for food but we eventually got to the place not long before 2am! The budget hotel Glynn had booked looked like some kind of sleazy roadside 70's motel that you see in American movies...very retro looking! We had bought beers earlier so decided to drink a couple of them before going to sleep...we ended up not going to bed until after 3am both completely pissed...not really a sensible thing to do in hindsight when we had a long day of recording ahead of us starting at 10am!!
Woke up at about 8.30am not feeling too great as abit of a hangover had manifested itself (serves me right really for staying up drinking so late!) Glynn had decided to go grab some overpriced breakfast in the hotel lobby but I decided to just stay in the hotel room and get ready whilst having a can of lager for breakfast which did the trick and soon pulled me round...we got a taxi back to the centre of Bradford not long before 10 and made a stop at the supermarket near the studio for supplies (booze and food). We met up with Bri and the rest of the guys in the band around 10am and got ready to start recording, Bri had managed to pick up a new cheap pair of headphones which we all were praying (to lord Satan) would work...thankfully the horned one was looking up kindly upon us and we could commence the recording session!

Another disaster sprung up though before we could start recording, Glynn's BC Rich Warlock decided to misbehave and kept going out of tune...that had happened during the previous Winds Of Genocide recording session in 2011 too when Glynn ended up using one of Bri Doom's guitars that was lying around in the studio....luckily for us that same guitar was still in the studio so Glynn decided to use that to save time and once again Bri Doom and his trusty stickered guitar saved the day!

I had never drummed in a studio before, in fact this is the first band I have ever
attempted to drum in so I was feeling kinda nervous about recording in a room by myself with only headphones on to hear what the rest of the band was playing but I soon got into the swing of things and didn't really find it too difficult, it was definetly a relief to get the first few tracks down and get final takes under our belts that we were very happy with, the whole drum / initial guitar/ bass tracking went along very smoothly overall and by early afternoon we had got over half of the songs down before taking a quick lunch break in the 1in12 cafe (which serves the most delicious homecooked vegan/veggie food I have ever tasted!).

We bumped into Tony the drummer from Deviated Instinct in the cafe who was also enjoying the delicious grub on offer that day, it was nice to see him again and have a chat before heading back down into the darkest depths of the club to continue recording.
We only had two more songs to nail after lunch and we got those two songs down within an hour or so...we left what we thought would be the hardest song until last which has caused us problems during rehearsals but it turned out that this song was laid down the quickest in the studio..funny how things work out! So by middle of the afternoon we had 5 of our own songs plus a Revelation cover version "Frustrations" recorded and had final takes that we were all VERY happy and satisfied with.

Whilst the other guys continued to double track their guitars I decided to get some fresh air and take a walk to the pub around the corner which is usually full of assorted quirky locals and drunks...this day was no exception..sure enough as soon as I walked into The Castle pub I was surrounded by various quirky old men supping real ale and arguing with each other and just generally being..drunk old men! An old Yorkshire man took a fancy to me and came over and started talking to me, he looked and sounded liked he had already had a good skinful of booze as he kept kissing my hand and saying how lovely I was!!. His friend offered to buy me a drink but I politely declined his offer, finished my drink and went back to see how the others were getting on with their guitar tracking. When I got back to the studio Glynn and Jonny had made good progress and only had a couple songs left to double track...once they were finished with that Jonny did his solos which didn't seem to take too long.
We decided to call it a day once the solos were done as it had already been a long day by that point, I was starting to feel tired...a combination of a late night, hangover and drumming were starting to take it's tool on my body but myself and Glynn went back to the aforementioned pub for a pint whilst waiting for the 1in12 bar to open again.
Once we had finished up our pints we headed back to the 1in12 where there was some kind of hippie gig happening, the club and bar was becoming quite a hive of activity with all kinda of quirky looking hippie-ish arty (hipster?!) types wandering about the place and by that point I was becoming increasingly tired and not really in the mood to continue drinking as we couldn't listen to the jukebox although Glynn was starting to perk up after suffering from a hangover all day and was just getting in the mood to get drunk...We compromised and stayed at the club drinking (and in my case falling asleep) until around 11pm when it was decided to go and get some food then head back to the hotel - Glynn was planning to continue drinking and pick up some booze on the way but much to his disappointment the late night supermarket we had rolled into at 2am the previous morning was shut! I didn't care though as all I wanted was an early night so I could feel refreshed for the next days vocal recording. We watched a film in the hotel which I fell asleep during.
 DAY 3
After an earlyish night and a good solid sleep I woke up feeling refreshed and raring to we got ready and the Sugden brothers came to meet us at the hotel as they had left their car there as for some strange reason their plusher hotel didn't have car parking facilities!. We had arranged to meet Bri around 11.30am so after another stop off for booze and food supplies at the supermarket we went to the club and waited for him to arrive.
Once we got into the studio it didn't take long to get the vocal recording equipment set up and the headphones were still (thankfully) working so we were soon ready to start laying down the vocals...this was going to be the fun part of the recording for myself as I had already got the hard part over and done with the previous day, so armed with 4 cans of strongbow I started growling and screaming like a woman possessed and I really did have a blast doing the vocals for this didn't seem to take too long before I had all my vocals laid down and we could commence the mixing and adding of samples to the songs...the adding of samples proved to be abit of a headache for Mr Doom who had by that point developed a sore hand (probably from checking his facebook page too much in the control room I dare say!!)..but he persevered with adding and editing the samples before and after the songs and he did a great job with that...then we sat and drank some more booze whilst he mixed the whole recording down. By early evening we were pretty much done and ready to hit the road back North with a complete recording in our hands! Bad weather was forecast but we managed to get back to County Durham at around 9.30pm without really seeing too much snow.

The weekend had been a great success and we came away from the studio with a recording that we are all VERY happy with and proud of. The recording was actually meant to be a promo demo but the owner of a label called Memento Mori in Spain heard the recording a few days after it had been finished and said that he thought the quality and length of the recording would easily qualify as a debut full length album so a pact was made with him to release this recording as a full length album which will be titled "RITUAL DEATH AND FUNERAL RITES" and will see the light (of darkness) around late summer on CD via his label and pro tape by the Irish label Underground Movement. Many thanks to Bri Doom at Studio 1in12 for doing such a great job and saving the recording session a couple of times with replacement equipment!. So we unwittingly ended up recording our debut full length album during this weekend in Bradford.
All that is left to say is hope you like the preview track that Chris at UKEM has posted up in this feature and watch out for our debut album....DARKNESS, DEATH, DOOM!!! K.Shevil Feburary Anno 2013.

Note: This version is not the final mastered version that will appear on the bands debut album.

Band Page: Here

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Obscene Entity - Obscene Entity

Self Released 2012
1.Red Tide 2.World For Thought 3.The Nephilim
4.Doomed 5.Hell Goer
Death metal trio Obscene Entity don’t fuck about with any fancy intros or introduce the opening track 'Red Tide' gradually; no, its blast straight in with 'to the bone' savage death metal. Twisting riffs and drums which annihilate lets the listener know that the band really want to get inside your head. The musicianship on display from the outset is first rate, especially the dizzying, groove-laden guitar work, being technically proficient with a very heavy U.S. Death metal influence, with bands such as Monstrosity and Cannibal Corpse relatively accurate comparisons. 'World For Thought' continues the groove heavy theme brilliantly, beginning as it does at a slower pace which really allows the groove to shine through. It doesn’t last for long however, blast beats and frenzied yet technical guitars open in a truly vicious assault of brutal death metal. The slower pace is then re-introduced with the song taking in a melodic, almost progressive element. But don’t read too much into 'progressive', there's a slight hint, nothing more, the song remaining firmly in the brutal death metal territory. An excellent song which shows, yet again, the very high degree of technical ability these musicians have and confirms that they are more than capable of handling their instruments.
'The Nephilim' also begins life as a mid-paced affair with faster, blast-beat laden sections added in sporadically to give things quite a technical sound. Even when the band decide to slow the track right down, the guitars remain as frenzied and as savage as ever. Vocally variety is used, with the main guttural growled death metal vocals being backed up by some savage screamed type vocals – standard fare in extreme metal terms but nonetheless sounding great and well executed. 'Doomed' uses the dual vocals brilliantly, sounding really nasty and creating a really disturbing atmosphere. As ever, the frenzied and twisting riffing is never far from the bands sound. They actually introduce some riffs that are very thrash metal influenced, giving the track some 'bounce' and not sounding out of place at all. Closing this début e.p is 'Hell Goer' which is a 'pinch harmonic' heavy dose of groove-laden brutal death metal. Even more influences are brought into this final track with some of the riffs showing a middle-eastern, Nile-esque style which when incorporated into the bands normal style, mixes well. Tempos, as seen in the previous tracks, are mixed between the slower, groove led style, through to the mid-paced battering all the way up to the blast heavy and frenzied style. For a début e.p, 'Obscene Entity' is a savage offering of technical, brutal and apocalyptic death metal all played to a very high standard and sounding particularly original for such a young band. It will be very interesting to see what the band offers up next, because if it is anything like their début, it will absolutely annihilate! Comes highly recommended
8 out of 10
Band Page: Here

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Subservience - Dystopia

Self Released 2012
1.No Messiah 2.Masterpiece Of Deceit 3.Exit Wounds 4.Concrete Asylum
Describing themselves as 'Groove Death metal', Brighton’s Subservience have their description pretty spot on. As soon as 'No Messiah' bursts open from the speakers, the groove element to the bands brand of death metal is more than evident. Bass heavy, thunderous guitars pummel and pile drive grooving riffs from start to end, with the pace of track adding to the groove-laden feel, being slow to mid-paced throughout. The band do flirt with higher tempos, wandering into blast beat heavy faster sections, but these never last for any great period of time. 'Masterpiece Of Deceit' follows on in similar fashion , however the pace of the song has been upped somewhat and the faster groove of the guitars gives the song an almost Swedish death metal feel and sound. Some of the slower sections have a touch of 'Bolt Thrower' to them, but as the track progresses it takes on a more industrial, almost futuristic feel, maybe Fear Factory or S.Y.L would be more favourable comparisons. 'Exit Wounds' begins quite melodically before the guitars open up furiously with the double kick drums pummelling out at quite a speed which makes this track a more brutal proposition all round. The song then drops back into the more familiar slower groovy death metal orientated structures with the melodic side to the band being repeated throughout the duration of the track.

'Concrete Asylum' sees the band introducing the Swedish death metal sound heard earlier and at this point when the pace is upped into mid-paced territory the band sound particularly catchy with this track probably being 'the stand out track' of the e.p. From a vocal stand point, its harsh screamed vocals which work well over both the slower and faster sections to all of the tracks – no complaints here. Closing proceedings is 'Procedures' which begins with a sampled intro before melodic guitars and drums introduce the track slowly and this allows the song to build momentum until eventually the bass heavy guitars are allowed to come thundering in. Its more of the same really, no real surprises to this final track other than there is a lot more melody on display which is utilised through the use of guitar solos and harmonies. The band now have a handful of demo’s and e.p's under the (musical) belts and I’m sure they have now 'found their sound' which is good, solid groovy death metal. Its not fast, its not technical but its death metal played well and obviously played from the heart, which is what metal is all about. This release isn’t going to be for everyone, especially those who like there extreme metal at lightning speeds, but it is a good, well produced, well played slab of honest, to the point death metal and is definitely worth a listen.
7 out of 10

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Trolls In The Mist - Hordes Of Angband

Self Released 2012
1.The Fall Of Gondolin 2.Hordes Of Angband 3.Dargor Torog
4.Gorgoroth 5.Saruman's Betrayal 6.Flight Of The Nazgul
7.Smeagol's Descent Into Madness And Despair
London based black metallers 'Trolls In The Mist' offer up their début e.p. 'Hordes Of Angband'. Intro track 'The Fall Of Gondolin' is a medieval piece of pipe music which actually sets quite a sinister tone for the following track 'Hordes Of Angband' which bursts to life furiously in a hail of sharp, yet melodic black metal. The guitars are suitably under produced but this fits the music perfectly, adding a really cold and bleak atmosphere to the melodies on offer. Vocally it's as you would expect, harsh screamed black metal vocals which sound like they have had very little done to them in the production stage which actually makes a change as you can really hear the anger and spite in every hate-filled sentence. 'Dargor Torog' follows on immediately with no let up in the pace, the drums blasting along in accompaniment to the furious guitar work at quite a pace. The band influences starting to show through here, Gorogorth is one point of comparison. There's are real sense of urgency with this track, the pace never allowed to drop for any noticeable period of time, the higher pace suiting the bands brand of harsh yet melodic black metal really well. 'Gorgoroth' is the next track which begins life relatively slowly, creating a sinister atmosphere whilst retaining the bands ever present sense of melody. Its not too long before the track then bursts into life, however, rather than repeating the tempos seen in the previous track, the pace is minimised to 'mid-paced' territory. However, this slower pace doesn’t last long either, bursting into a storm of malicious guitar work and drumming that pummels and really adds yet another brutal edge to the song. The dual guitar riffs really shine through in the slower sections and the catchy and melodic black metal riffing adds another dimension to the bands sound – its harsh black metal but it also extremely catchy and very well played and presented. T.I.T.M have got it dead on with the production, just been harsh enough to class it as raw black metal but also with enough punch that really brings the instruments to life allowing each one to compliment the other perfectly.
'Sarumans Betrayal' begins in almost militaristic fashion with guitars and drums introducing the track before the fast and harsh black metal opens up in a storm of demonic black metal. There's even a 'folky' edge to some of the guitar harmonies which doesn’t sound out of place at all, rather adds and enhances the melody on show and complements the black metal style rhythm guitars. Some of the guitar harmonies are also reminiscent on Swedish black metallers Mork Gryning and that’s never going to be a bad thing! 'Flight Of The Nazgul' continues on where the previous track left off, with some of the folk inspired riffing being brought into the track from the outset. Here the band are probably as brutal as they have sounded so far, the pace of the drums and guitars really being upped to a maximum and the production on the drums really punches through when this pace is used. Final track 'Smeagol's Descent Into Madness and Despair' is a beast of a song and a fitting way to end this début e.p. There's a frantic, almost deranged feel to this track, especially vocally, the screams are ear piercing. The riffing is very catchy indeed, a blaze of raw, yet melodic black metal, very Swedish sounding but also with hints of early Enslaved mixed in there. Its a good combination indeed. Its amazing how appearances can be deceptive, because upon receiving this promo CD I wasn’t really expecting too much from it, the cover emblazoned with what can only be described as a quite awful attempt at a black metal logo (get someone to design a new one lads!!!) but upon putting the CD into the player, I was surprised to say least. Its a very good début e.p which shows bucket loads of potential from this relatively young band. Harsh black metal that drips atmosphere and melody, T.I.T.M have produced a commendable début e.p that is definitely worth a listen. It will be interesting to see where the band go from here. Middle earth awaits!
7.5 out of 10
Visit the band: Here

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Frostwork - Lore Of Winter: Ealdspell

Wodfreca Records 2012
1.The Winter Raven 2.On White Carrion Wings 3.Cast From His Wings
4.When Raven Claws The Sky 5.Frozen Veins Shed No Blood
6.The Essence Of Darkest Winter 7.The She Wolf 8.This Woman Wolf Skin Clad
Yet another one man band hailing from these shores, this time round its Frostwork, Dagon being the one man behind this black metal outfit. Beginning this album is 'The Winter Raven' which turns out to be five minutes of eerie and atmospheric samples, Ravens 'cawing', footsteps trudging through snow with the wind whistling around the lone walker. Dark, ambient chanting is accompanied by mournful acoustic guitars which all make for a depressive atmosphere. Personally speaking, five minutes of this to introduce the album is too much, it seems to drag on for an eternity when all you want to happen is for the music to blast in! As the opener fades out and 'On White Carrion Wings' begins we're greeted by more of the same, more ravens and more wind. It doesn’t last long however as the ultra harsh guitars screech in about as high pitched as you will hear on a black metal album. Dagons tortured screams absolutely scathing, drenched in echo to produce some really old school sounding black metal vocals. The production is a strange one, because the guitars are so high pitched it makes the bass guitar really stand out on its own and not gel at all musically with the rest of the instruments. This could also be said about the drum programming, which isn’t the best sounding i've heard by any means and again sounds 'separate' from the guitars, rather than acting as the rhythm keeper to the song. 'Cast From His Wings' is similar to the opening track, not so much a song, rather an interlude that consists of acoustic guitars played melodically with chanting and mournful vocals used heavily throughout. More sampled ravens as well! It's very well played and when the harsh whispered vocals are added sounds extremely atmospheric especially when the screamed vocals are also added, atmosphere oozing from every note. At nearly six minutes long, this again seems to last too long and is extremely repetitive, but maybe that’s the point.
'When Raven Claw The Sky' is another interlude that consists of sampled rain and female spoken vocals. Very short and not really sure what purpose it served. 'Frozen Veins Shed No Blood' is as depressive and mournful as Dagon has sounded so far, the main guitar riffs really catchy indeed whilst remaining utterly depressive and haunting and vocally its tortured, scathing and as desperately suicidal as you’re likely to hear. Sadly the production lets things down again, the guitars, drums and bass never really sounding like they belong together which is a real shame because with a more 'suitable' production, this song would have really hit home – Its a very good, catchy song let down by a production that doesn’t really suit the style of music. 'The Essence Of The Darkest Winter' blasts open almost immediately in a hail of ice-cold scathing screamed vocals and high pitched tremolo picked black metal riffing. This however doesn’t last too long, the song drops off completely to allow a soft acoustic guitar and eerie sampled howls and screams to flood the listener with more mournful and dense atmospheres. The song then returns to the harsh black metal with tempos kept to an absolute minimum, prolonging the torture. 'The She Wolf' is yet another interlude style track which is made up of female spoken vocals, ravens and the 'lone walker' heard in opener 'The Winter Raven'. Wind effects and keyboards / orchestrations add a dramatic edge, but again its something and nothing really. These samples blend seamlessly into the closing track, 'This Woman Wolf Skin Clad' which begins life acoustically with guitars and drums being present along side the sampled winds effects. This is where a human drummer would have really made the difference, especially with a suitable production as the drum sounds chosen here are not right at all. The track slowly builds in tempo and the black metal style guitars slowly fade in and gather the momentum of the song. The production is still a niggling point however, the instruments once again not sounding 'together' as one and they sit rather clumsily alongside each other which is a shame as the black metal riffs on offer are really good. This is an album which promised so much and has definitely been let down by the production. The bass and drums are almost 'too clean' for the style of music on offer and are too far away in sound and contrast from the harsh and fast black metal style riffs. Dagon is a very talented individual and is capable of writing good ambient BM songs, but on this release there just isn’t enough of it on show to fully appreciate his work. There are a lot of 'interludes' which seem to be filling out the album which, to be fair, might be what Frostwork is meant to be about i.e. creating dense, haunting and atmospheric pieces of music, not necessarily through black metal songs. Generally this album consists of well written black metal and atmospheric compositions and is packed full of devastating pieces of music; its not going to appeal to everyone as it is quite unconventional but is ultimately unique but is sadly let down by quite a flat production.
7 out of 10

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Spawned From Hate Interview

UKEM caught up with relatively new Birmingham based brutal death metal band Spawned From Hate to find out more about them and what they have to offer.....

For those unfamiliar with the band, please give us a brief history of the band and its members.
We're Spawned From Hate death metal band from the Midlands. Were currently a four piece with Dan Phipps on Vocals, Lee Foley and Scott Smith on guitars and Dave Hudson on Bass. Dave and Lee and started the band back in November 2011 originally as a side project. Line-up changes meant slow progress at first but with Scott and Dan joining in mid-2012 things started to gather pace resulting in releasing our first demo/EP. Finding a suitable drummer has been problematic but rather than hold us back we took the decision to move forward with programmed drums until we find the right person.
You have recently released your e.p. WITHERED AND DECAYED. What has the reaction been to this new offering?
It has been mostly positive, we have had a couple of reviews that provided some constructive criticism on aspects of the EP, mainly regarding the production. This is understandable as we recorded and mixed the E.P ourselves as we are a self funded band and haven't got a label providing us with a recording advance, however we have taken this on board and will be looking at booking some studio time for our next release to improve the production side of things. That aside we are thrilled with all the positive responses we have received from people and critics on the EP. Another element of the E.P that was really well received was the cover design which was produced by Phil Tolfree (, we were really pleased with what Phil created and people's reactions to it have been awesome.
Musically, who influences you, if anyone at all?
We draw influences from Death, Grind and Thrash, but our main influences would have to be Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, Death, Deeds of Flesh, Dying Fetus, Defeated Sanity, Cryptopsy etc. We just really enjoy heavy music with groove, the type of stuff you can't stop banging your head to, everyone in the band brings their own influences to the table.

What themes and topics do your lyrics deal with?
The lyrics themselves are very classic, we deal with murder, torture etc. A lot of new bands try to move away from these topics nowadays which is all good but the best way to write effective lyrics is to write what you are comfortable writing about, however saying that we're not serial killers or gruesome torture freaks, haha).

Composing songs can often be a frustrating process, how do you go about it?
This has changed a bit as we’ve gone on but for the most part the songs are initially developed by individual members who then present it to the band. We then play around with it as a whole, adding changes as we see fit, It’s very much a collaboration effort. The majority of this is done via email and good old guitar pro rather than wasting time and money in the studio. Rough recordings are usually sorted at this stage and once we're happy with the structure and sound, they are then sent to Dan so he can work on the lyrics and vocal patterns. We then go away and learn our individual parts before booking studio time to rehearse as a band and put it all together.

How often do you guys get together to practice and write new material?
Dan’s recently moved to Nottingham and Lee has a new shift work pattern so were getting used to that as we did practice once a week. At the moment, the band (minus Dan) meets in Birmingham fortnightly and practices. Were tight on the old stuff so we’re working on the new material at the moment. We then head up to Nottingham for regular practices at least once a month. Everyone practices away from the studio and learns their parts so this combined with playing the shows seems to work well for us.

What could we expect from one of your live performances?
We are still maturing as a live band as we have only been gigging since November 2012 and you can practice all you want but playing live is a whole different kettle of fish but anyone who sees us play can expect to see people on stage having fun but still maintaining a professional stage presence. We just enjoy playing our music to people and it's always good to look up and see the crowd headbanging, you kind of know that what you're music is getting a positive reaction, which is all we can ask for really.
Plans for the future?
We have been working with a drummer over the last 2 months who is learning the material and we're looking forward to completing the line-up. We are also in the stages of writing some new material which we will be recording and sending out to labels to hopefully get released, at present we're looking at 5/6 new tracks in total, this may be more if the creative juices flow. From then we are just looking to promote the band and our music by playing live as much as possible to help spread the word.

What merch do you currently have available and where can we get it?
We have just had a shirt design finished by Nev ( who has done artwork for Cattle Decapitation, Devourment and Scatorgy to name a few, so we're definitely in good company there! The shirts will available for pre-orders via our big cartel ( and band camp pages (, as well as the 'Merch' tab on our Facebook page ( while we sort out getting them pressed.

Any final words?
We’d like to thank UKEM for giving us the opportunity to do this interview and the support you have shown us. We also need to say a huge thanks to everyone who’s helped us and supported us so far, we appreciate people taking the time out to listen to our music and putting us on stage and we hope it continues!! We’ve made a good start and have a nice platform to work from. Were really looking forward to the new material and how things are progressing as a band and were looking forward to a successful 2013. Cheers!!!

Band Facebook:Here