Saturday, 7 June 2014

Foetal Juice - Big Trouble In Little Vagina

Grindscene Records 2013
1.Big Trouble In Little Vagina 2.Brewkakke 3.Semen Evil Smear No Evil
4.Serpents Of The Northern Lights 5.Service Station Masturbation
Bludgeoning death metal is what greets you from the outset, the opening track and hilariously titled “Big Trouble In Little Vagina” is a punishing orgy of rabid raspy vocals, backed up brilliantly with deep gutturals all supported by European styled brutal death metal. There’s also a hint of a punk/grind influence to the band’s music, which shows itself in “Brewkakke”, beginning in almost ‘Naplam Death’ fashion before settling down into mid-paced death metal that certainly has a heavy dose of groove mixed in. There’s a very ‘loose’ feel to the band's music, not that they’re sloppy by any means, more leaning towards a punk/grind ethos. ‘Semen Evil Smear No Evil’ is a much more potent offering, really blasting from the opening riff and giving off a really punishing atmosphere. It’s a lot more death metal than the previous two tracks and is actually the stand out track so far, being really well written and constructed.
Serpents Of The Northern Lights’ follows on in similar fashion. It seems that when FJ drop the punk/grind influence, their songs sound extremely deadly and have a real sense of purpose and definitely shows the band off at their best. Closing this short e.p is ‘Service Station Masturbation’ which sees the band return to the style optimized in the first two tracks, Napalm Death would again be a close reference point. The dual vocal delivery has been great throughout and again here is used extremely effectively. This closing track is massively brutal, as brutal as the band has sounded so far, having a real sense of determination and purpose. FJ are one of those bands that really appeal and fans of death metal, punk or grind will all find something to enjoy in the five tracks on offer, although I feel the death metallers will be the ones to really lap this up! If FJ reined back the punk/grind elements and concentrated slightly more on the brutal death metal, then they would certainly be an extremely potent force to be reckoned with. That said, this is a massively enjoyable e.p. which shows off the bands talents brilliantly, death metal with a sense of humour is hard to pull off, but these four lads from Bury do it very well. Now, lets see a full length please! Comes well recommended.
7.5 Out Of 10 - Chris Newby
Band Page: Here  Buy It: Here

De Profundis - Frequencies

Self Released 2014
1. A Strange Awakening 2. Illumination 3. Singularity 4. Crystal Mountain
After the release of three straight albums, UK progressive black metal band De Profundis have changed tack slightly and offered up a four track EP to be released through Terrorizer Magazine later this month. Entitled "Frequencies", this four track opus is as talented and inspired as it is frustrating and left field. I've been a fan of progressive rock all of my life but when the prefix progressive is used in black metal the end results can be horrifying or profound. I'd say De Profundis have stayed firmly on the profound side of the fence with this one despite parts of opening track " A Strange Awakening" meandering off on its own whimsical journey in places before returning to the main stay of thunderous black metal savagery.
"Illumination" is kept rather more in check by the band whose melodic meets battering ram style is rather intoxicating, a style they have adopted on previous recordings to great effect! "Singularity" is a destructive hell bent and focused bout of furious extreme metal that deftly rampages through its repertoire before the finale track "Crystal Mountain" adds a maniacal cum catchy finishing flurry of superb black metal majesty! Give it a few listens for sure as De Profundis always offer up more than the first hearing reveals. I think you'll be pleased with the finished work!
8 Out Of 10 - Luke Hayhurst
Band Page: Here

Achren - The White Death

Self Released 2014
1. Archangel 2. The Eschatologist 3. Suomen Susi
Glaswegian black/thrashers Achren have returned with a less than fresh dose of depravity in the form of new EP "The White Death", a follow up to the bands 2011 debut album "The Forgotten King". Opening track "Archangel" displays all the vocal savagery of a Frankie Boyle put down crossed with a poisonous malice fuelled tone that lets you know that Achren means business. Musically the band thrash rampantly through this short opening track in a blizzard of punchy riffs, gruelling melodies and ravenous drumming, all with a solid, cold undertone beneath and room for some impressive guitar solos.
"The Eschatalogist" is almost a complete style change. Longer, slower and with a far more rawer edge than the previous track, Achren lose none of their spite and intensity but come across as more serious and just as deadly.  Yet despite this the song is catchy and has a gripping chorus, signs of a rapidly maturing band sound wise and one who understands the importance of strong song writing. Finishing with "Suomen Susi" (The Finnish Wolf) and Achren build slowly and superbly with this well crafted track which showcases the bands ability to be subtle and poignant as well as a heavy and destructive. Just over a decade into their career and still going strong. On the evidence of this release the band are better than ever!
8 Out Of 10 - Luke Hayhurst
Band Page: Here

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Victorian Whore Dogs - Hobo Chic

Hibernacula Records 2014
I. Gammy Sally 2. Dead Eyes 3. Kromdom 4. Prayer of Dust
If you are in the mood to check out some raw British talent then you could do a lot worse than Guildford based Sludge/Post Hardcore troupe VICTORIAN WHORE DOGS whose latest EP release "Hobo Chic" marks the bands debut with Hibernacula Records and the bands follow up to last years "Fetch" EP. Spanning a fairly short four songs and thirteen minutes, things get under way with the almost peaceful tones of "Gammy Sally" before normality kicks in and savage throat destroying vocals slip loose the dogs of war whilst accompanied by a cacophony of abrasive riffs! In terms of song writing VWD hit the right spot and break their songs up nicely, blending well the utterly raw and often slow and melodic to create something both endearing and at times blisteringly heavy. With yet more ravenous lozenge defying ferocity, "Dead Eyes" has a catchy air and a sing along chorus to enjoy whilst "Kromdom" has a Raging Speedhorn feel to its ravenous, belligerent tirade! Finishing with "Prayer of Dust", Victorian Whore Dogs bring this highly impressive EP to a close and hint at many more great things to come!
8 Out of 10 - Luke Hayhurst
Band Page: Here

Exquisite Ending - The Pain of Passing, I Embrace

Hibernacular Records 2014
I. The Prelude to Suffering 2. The Birth of Regret 3. Foster Vengeful Longing
4. The Peoples Temple of Pogrom 5. The fall of Tranquillity 6. Through Coagulated Clouds
7. Necrotizing Reconstruction 8. Within the Dark Sorrow 9. The Cruciatus of Julia
10. A Mausoleum of Marrow & Loathing
This isn't just an ordinary black metal album. No, this is a misanthropic black metal album and looking through the track list for "The Pain of Passing, I Embrace" you can't help but agree as this tapestry of pain, anguish and evil unfurls before you. Opening with the aptly entitled "The Prelude to Suffering", Exquisite Ending begin in an appropriately dour and sombre tone before adding into the mix the whispered promise of both death and destruction to come. This is a promise that the band are comfortable with following through with as “The  Birth of Regret” takes a hold in the form of a harrowing battering ram of raw, uncompromising and vengeful black metal! With a slightly under-developed production level, grim forceful vocal work and a mixture of double kick drumming and raging cold riffs, Exquisite Ending take the traditional black metal mould and twist it into something even more deliberately foul and sinister, if you can imagine such a thing?Despite the bands ferocity though they are capable of moments of great tranquillity and peaceful thought provoking passages of ambiance and atmospheric reverie, the closing moments of “The Birth of Regret” being one such occurrence.
However “Foster Vengeful Longing” is quick to dispel any thoughts of dumbing down with a mid-paced bout of maniacal tormented darkness, a humbling cacophony that puts an end to halfhearted notions of relenting! Following a bizarre audio clip seemingly about, I’m guessing here, a metaphorical mass suicide but I’m guessing with more genocidal undertones and contexts, “The People’s Temple of Pogrom” opens into more of the same from the band, ravenous but controlled black metal rage that speaks of death in the most sickening of ways through lyrics like “Let your children sleep now”, hinting at the massacres carried out in the past such as in Romania in the Second World War when the Jews we’re slaughtered in a mass riot or Pogrom. (I may be completely off base with that theory). Tracks such as “The fall of Tranquility” continue the bands momentum without adding anything new into the mix whilst “Through Coagulated Clouds” hits home with a deep seated bout of intensity and grinding black metal fury! “Necrotizing Reconstruction” is pure destruction in musical form but with haunting under laying bleak melody within its tapestry and towards the end “Within the Dark Sorrow” and “A Cruciatus of Julia” are both sturdy tracks with a nice blend of insanely brutal and surprisingly graceful beats and harmonies. Ending with “A Mausoleum of Marrow & Loathing”, Exquisite Ending prove once more than they are capable of much more than just you average blast beat fest and round out a highly impressive album!
7.5 Out Of 10 – Luke Hayhurst
Band Page:Here