To further strengthen our black metal roster, we’ve signed an exceptional band from Croatia called Bednja. They will be playing hard-hitting black metal mixed with hardcore and atmospheric elements. We can’t wait to put it out but the album will most likely see a release very early next year. Here’s the album artwork of the full length ‘Doline Su Ostale Iza Nas’ –
Transcending Obscurity Records owner Kunal Choksi says, “We’re proud to sign our first band from Croatia. The deal however had been finalized well before the world cup so it has nothing to do with this. The reason such a fresh band is on the label is because their music is an exceptional blend of black metal with elements of hardcore and progressive black metal. It’s a rare treat to come across such a band and it was hard to resist despite our extremely busy schedule. Watch out for their release which will be on multiple formats and box sets.”
Bednja adds, “After years spent on the underground scene, we were very enthusiastic about this new band we started and the music we began to make! Getting in touch with Kunal turned out to be the best thing, and we’re very happy to sign a deal with Transcending Obscurity! As the world around us (and especially here in Croatia) keeps spiralling downward, we hope to get our message across to as many people possible – and what better way than through a label with such a big and diverse roster!”
While we’ve been on the lookout for worthy grind/crust acts, they’re few and far between, at least the ones that appeal to us. Marginal put out a brilliant album late last year, following the devastating HM-2 crust release by Henry Kane, and it’s obviously with great pleasure that we announce the addition of another grind/crust band to our roster this year after Morgue Supplier from US. The fact that they’re from Argentina only makes things interesting. Their work ethics and professionalism are better than most bands in established countries for this kind of music.
Transcending Obscurity Records owner Kunal Choksi states, “I’m extremely happy to get a chance to work with another killer crust/grind band after Henry Kane and Marginal. In fact, it was the latter band’s member Johan Antonissen who tipped me off about this band, even though they had already approached me. I simply adore their passion and zeal for this kind of music. I wasn’t expecting such a band from Argentina but I’m only glad to have this opportunity. Medium‘s album will be out on multiple formats when the time is right. For now enjoy this clip taken from their official video.”
Medium add, “We are utterly proud and excited for being signed by Transcending Obscurity Records. Their support and our commitment join forces to make our debut album and further releases available in all corners known (and unknown)”
False Flag are crust/hardcore band from Pune, India. The band are one of the the few current independent metal/punk bands releasing politically inspired music in India.The others being Heathen Beast and Chaos.
We are glad to premiere Spectrum Disorder, the first track from their self titled EP. The track is reflective of the current political environment in India which can be summed up with the lyric, “As many opinions as many Assholes”.
Find out more about origins of the band, theirs soon to be released EP and the unique cover art in my interview with guitarists Rohit Chaoji and Shaunak Phadnis below.
Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): For those who are not familiar with the band, could you briefly tell us about your origins?
False Flag (Rohit): Few years ago, Shaunak,Prathamesh and I started jamming randomly to on-the-spot improvised grindcore. We abandoned the idea for the band mid-way, partly because we shifted our focus to a death metal project that never materialized and also because it was uninspired. However the inspiration came during Bangalore Open Air 2015,when a part of the would-be band witnessed Napalm Death live. Thus, False Flag was formed with Pushkar, Prathamesh, Shaunak and I as the first lineup.
TO: Why did you decide to start a crust/hardcore band? What about the sub genre appeals to you?
False Flag (Shaunak/Rohit): To be honest, hardcore/crust is very stripped-down, no bullshit, honest music to me. We appreciate things that don’t have a pretense. I remember thinking around that time why there aren’t ANY crust punk bands around when the climate was ideal for it. I still don’t understand why but i guess subconsciously that led (at least me) to this.but also we were listening to a lot of Negative approach, anti-cimex, skitsystem & rakkaus at that time and ended up wanting to make songs like those bands. the songs fell in place quite fast and easily haha. The napalm death gig was a MAJOR catalyst as well. Sonically, this sound can be blended with almost every form extreme music. its fascinating. there is A LOT of scope to experiment i think since a very bare-bones stripped down crust punk song is very simple in structure etc.
TO: Your Self titled EP is quite political especially the track Spectrum Disorder. What is the inspiration behind it?
False Flag (Shaunak): Yes, This song was a response in the aftermath of the JNU incident so its more anti-right i guess. FTII,JNU,HCU,JU,Ramjas. it just seems like one or the other kind of smear campaign from either end. also,repeatedly calling a certain something fascist does not gain you any traction at all. that much should be obvious. It seems as if the function of an ideology is to choose which “facts” should matter & justifying oppression of certain values/speech,violence of certain kind. especially the latter part does not help establishing any communication or successful dialogue at all. you can’t talk censorship and close down screenings of films in theatres or college campuses. You can’t claim to be tolerant and shut down someone because they criticized you. Also,its just fucking frustrating when we are too caught up in calling out people as bhakt/libtard/presstitute/anti-national/sanghi/fascist. like, to what end are we doing the things that we are doing? I don’t care if you are right or left, or what the state is; a strong and vehement critique of the state should always be established.
TO: The cover artwork by jonty paul is quite unique. Tell us a bit more about it.
False Flag (Shaunak): haha yes. so, jonty likes to design hypothetical album covers. I have no idea how he comes up those things but i have seen him do it. He sent this image to me one day randomly(he hadn’t even heard the songs or any demos) and it just made complete sense. We did not want to go for usual high contrast black & white aesthetic in the first place. This gritty/dark style
just fell in place with the overall mood of the songs. it resonates quite well with it. In my imagination, The Album art reflects with the second song on the EP “sisyphus’ lament”. In some sense the image is the depiction of the words of the song.
TO:Do you have any shows planned in the coming year?
False Flag (Shaunak/Rohit): We don’t have any shows planned as such yet. but we would LOVE to play as many shows as we can. actually, It would be GREAT to play a gig in bengaluru(*hint hint b’lore friends haha*)
TO:Thanks for answering all the questions. Do you have any final words?
False Flag (Shaunak/Rohit): Thank you for doing this interview with us! to everyone reading this i am sure you’ll enjoy this small piece of emotive hardcore/crust music we put out! Please listen to it and read the words. We would love to hear your thoughts/ideas/stories and be inspired from them! Cheers!
False Flag’s self titled EP is out on 25th December. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for more details.
Rhode Island’s hell bent has only been around for about two years, but its members have been a part of bands like Dropdead, Ulcer, and Paindriver and that experience definitely shows. While they may come from a powerviolence and d-beat background, hell bent takes some of these influences and injects a good deal of crossover thrash and old-school hardcore into the mix. The group originally released their self-titled EP on cassette last year in very limited quantities, and now they’re reissuing it on another run of cassettes alongside a digital option on January 12th. Today we’re premiering the song Desert Death Lord so you can discover the raging shot of adrenaline this EP is capable of providing.
Crossover thrash is one of those genres that doesn’t seem to get covered as often as most of the others out there, though in recent years bands like Power Trip and Iron Reagan have pushed the style back into the public eye. But there have been plenty of groups trying their hand at the genre for those that want to look beyond the major labels. One great example of this is New York’s Agony Kings, whose self-titled debut is set for release on October 6th. While there isn’t a lot of info out there about the band, the promo material for the album says it has been in the works for over ten years and features Mike Stack from fellow New Yorkers False Gods on vocals. So what’s a crossover thrash album that’s had ten years put into it sound like? Today we’re excited to bring you a full stream of the record so you can find out for yourself.
Every month when I do one of these monthly round up intros, I hope that the next month would bear good tidings and that I’d have something uplifting to write about the world. But yet again, this month has been filled with natural calamities and escalating tensions among nations don’t seem to make things any easier. With all this doom and gloom, one can only hope to switch off one’s senses to reality. Fortunately we have some solid releases this month to offer us that mental getaway. So before I bring everyone’s mood down, here’s some kickass music to check out! ~ Shrivatsan R.
It turned out to be quite a mix at the month end list this time around. With equal parts big releases (Relapse, Prosthetic, Season of Mist etc) and independent outputs, there’s something here for everyone. Many of the releases highlighted here have a ‘name your price’ offer on their Bandcamps, so make sure to check out the music and buy the release if they please you. ~ Shrivatsan R
Evolution is the key to the continued survival of a species. The same thing can be said about music. As the population of bands playing extreme music grows steadily, there is a need to branch out from the established paths to stand out from the throng. Many bands have realised this need for innovation and as a result, we see more thinning of boundaries between styles (both within metal and outside).
This series of articles has focused on such evolution within the grindcore spectrum, and here is #3 with a few more underground acts that are taking the style forward.
LLNN (Copenhagen) and Wovoka (Los Angeles, CA) may be 5,590 miles apart, but their collaborative effort, a split entitled “Traces/Marks” releasing June 16th via Pelagic Records, shares an overwhelming, spirit-crushing bleakness. Luckily, you won’t have to wait to lash your soul to ribbons, as we’ve got the full album for you to hear in its entirety right here.
Although they describe their music as “post-apocalyptic,” that doesn’t even begin to fully describe “Marks,”LLNN’s six-song share of the split. It’s a good jump-start adjective for sure, but you could easily augment it with other dismal soundtrack descriptors like “dystopian,” “cyberpunk,” and even “grimdark.” LLNN wastes no time subjecting listeners to the collapsing condition of their world with the grimy opener The Guardian. Vocalist Christian Bonnesen provides a potent, distinctly human contrast to the mechanized drone synths on songs like Swarms, his belligerent shouts drowning out pealing sirens like defiance against a machine god.
The heaviness on “Marks” isn’t just expressed through the pounding, bottom-heavy guitars — you can almost taste the existential futility stinging like battery acid on the tongue. The songs are short, yet honed to a needle-sharp point — each is a two- to three-minute declaration of dissension and mistrust, creating a seamless throughline of urban decay. The exception is LLNN’s last track, Gravitated, which drifts along like an embellished John Carpenter song, dripping with dystopian dread. It’s disquieting end to LLNN’s side of the split, and an effective segue into the grief-stricken song that follows.
A steady guitar with utterly arid distortion opens up “Traces,”Wovoka’s sole contribution to the split. At over seventeen minutes long, “Traces” is content to take its time dragging us through scorching passages of luminous intensity. Where the “Marks” side of the split had us fearfully peering into a darkened world, Wovoka’s realm is bright and fiery yet not an ounce less punishing. A severe 6/4 time signature drives the majority of the song’s first half, urging the listener ever onward… or suffer an end in a consuming blaze.
A break seems to appear around the nine-minute mark, but it too clangs and shimmers with discordant static, dispelling the illusion of safety. The bass guitar, which had previously grumbled along like a disgruntled sidewinder, takes on a quicker gait, building momentum toward an unseen destination. The vocals undergo a similar transformation — the parched screams you’d heard only moments before now sound ethereal and melodious, uplifting you from your despair… but that too is a mirage. As your inevitable ascension continues over the next five minutes, you are pummeled and whipped by increasingly harsh waves of noise — shattering cymbals, crashing snares, and throbbing guitars. Then, before you know it, it’s all over.
LLNN and Wovoka have come together to create a powerful piece of music in “Traces/Marks.” Both are phenomenal in their own right, but united they take the listener on an odyssey into distinct realms of hellish grief and loss.
“Traces/Marks” releases June 16th via Pelagic Records. Read our interview with LLNN here.