One of the most underrated metal scenes happen to be in Bangladesh, which is burgeoning with all kind of bands and it was only a matter of time till a foray into doom metal was made. We have here a new band called MOONSHINER which comprises of members of PSYCHOTRON and NECROLEPSY. This is a two-song demo that will be a part of their upcoming EP. It’s good enough to get an idea of what the band sounds like and the material over is very promising indeed.
It’s relatively upbeat stoner-infused doom metal with some good riffing that’s matched with able drumming. It’s a tad simplistic but perhaps with more variations and experimentation it’d be even better. The vocals are low and hoarse, muffled, kind of weird given the style but their transmutation into deeper growls could be possible and much preferred. These are two promising tracks and my personal favourite is the second one simply because of the upbeat tone. Whether exploring the stoner or sludge sound or doom metal overall, music that’s going somewhere it always good in my books as opposed to the tunes that wallow in their own misery, unless of course it’s adequately compensated by a suitable atmosphere.
The production is raw but clear and I’d imagine things to sound more powerful and crisp in the EP stage. I love the artwork though – it’s perfect for this kind of material. Well then, don’t take my word for it and give these budding young musicians a chance. Stream the two-song demo in its entirety over here –
I remember receiving a few copies of Buckshot Facelift‘s first release ‘Universal Goat Tilt’ that I ended up thoroughly enjoying. Everyone who got a copy of that through my distro ended up loving it too. It was just undiluted and properly channelled powerviolence/grindcore. So when I got the opportunity to write about their latest release, I was thrilled. I can’t believe it’s been a decade already, and it’s a shame that this highly talented band that shares a member of Artificial Brain, are still not very well known.
‘Ulcer Island’ is their latest full length release and on the whole, the band seems to have matured. The rawness has diminished but not the twisted songwriting. I miss the speed but it’s more coherent and streamlined now. There are a lot of variations on this album and that doesn’t hurt and keeps things unpredictable. It’s a mix of grind and death metal with flashes of powerviolence, and it resembles the sound of bands like Abaddon Incarnate, Nasum, Rotten Sound and even a bit of a Yacopsae, but with their own trademark charm. During the slower moments bands like Mindflair come to mind. The song that we have up for an exclusive premiere is one of their longer ones on the album, titled Weathered Mask of Autumn (Unearthing The Armless). It’s reminiscent of mid-period Cephalic Carnage meets Soilent Green plus all of the aforementioned bands. It’s a lot more meaty and chuggish, and that’s only one of the facets of this highly intriguing release. I’m told the album has a unique concept as well, which as the vocalist explains in his own words, “Ulcer Island is a concept album in which the narrative gradually moves from the oblique street level view into a dreamlike introspection, Ulcer Island’s blend of grindcore, powerviolence, and death metal is arranged in a way that mirrors this transition as the album progresses.”
If you’re looking for grind that’s innovative, visceral and varied in its expression, you must look into Buckshot Facelift. It’s due for release via Paragon Records on April 14th, so make sure to snag a copy for yourself from one of the links listed below.
The Gravehill/Mordbrand split wasn’t the only slab of killer vinyl Doomentia Records released on the 18th, as the same day also saw the release of a split between Chile’s Evil Madness and Norway’s Infant Death on vinyl. Released earlier in the year as a limited run cassette from Ancestral Terror Records and CD from Deathrash Armageddon, this is the first time these tracks have been available on vinyl. Both bands offer different takes on thrash, but keep things as old-school as possible and provide the same of unrelenting intensity and chaotic feel that are sure to remind listeners of some of the best acts from the genre’s earlier days.
Today we’re premiering a brand new song from the album alongside an interview with Ethan, conducted by FlightofIcarus. The song, Slave Money, is one of the shorter on the album and comes in like a wrecking ball at 100 MPH. It may only be a minute and a half but I guarantee you’ll want to hit that repeat button and take the ride all over again after that first listen. Sound wise this is somewhere between grind and crushingly dense death metal, but Vermin Womb straddles the lines between metal genres in a way that makes them hard to pin down. What stands out, particularly on this track, is how overwhelmingly dense the instrumentation is and how inhuman McCarthy’s guttural growls sound. I thought that he was already one of the most intense, guttural vocalists out there but he’s somehow taken things a step further throughout ‘Decline’ and it shows. If you’re angry at how things are in the world right now, this is exactly the type of music to blast at full volume and let everything out. Enjoy this brief teaser of how frantic and destructively heavy the album is, along with the interview.
I always like when new projects appear out of thin air with releases that have a clear vision. In recent times there have been plenty of bands that have fit this description, with many keeping their locations or identities secret, allowing the material to speak for itself. This is the case with Crushed Infamy, who has kept the details about their band to a minimum. The only information comes from label Taphephobia Productions, who describes their debut 7” EP as follows:
Savage and psychotic War Noise from Pécs, Hungary. Traditional black death riffs layered with power electronics-like soundscapes. 6 minutes of abrasive audial violation.
French band Akasava have announced their new album via Triton’s Orbit (formerly known as Nordavind Records) based in Portugal and it all looks very promising. Having released an EP last year called ‘Strange Aeons’, Akasava are ready with a new full length that’s to be unleashed on November 11th this year.
The ‘Nothing at Dawn’ album artwork looks mesmerizing and has a refreshing quality to it, and the same thing can be said about the song that we are premiering exclusively over here, in India. While there are many such ‘psychedelic’ bands out there, Akasava sound fresh, smooth and even suitably atmospheric. The cliched riffs don’t find a place on this song which remains somewhat unpredictable yet manages to sound catchy. Nothing seems contrived and even a casual listener will find himself reaching out for the repeat button. Although on the lighter side of the metal spectrum, it’s a very intriguing and well balanced song that bodes well for this release. The first glimpse into this album is rather impressive. Watch out for the album when it comes out, or better, pre-order a copy for yourself right away. Stream the song below –
Fans of Carcass rejoice, for here’s another worthy band breathing new life into the style they created. Horror-influenced, Cropsy Maniac are on the verge of releasing their new album called ‘Further than Fear’ via Dead Beat Media. The music is at once reminiscent of the gory greats, but the horror touch hearkens back to the thrashy, splattery ones that came out on Razorback Records such as Ghoul, Gruesome Stuff Relish and Frightmare and comparisons with Impaled and Haemorrhage are inevitable as well. We’ve got a chance to talk to the band and also premiere one of the songs called Increase the Voltage v2.1. It’s every bit what you expect but is bolstered by a distinct and catchy death metal riff, not to mention excellent drumming that spices up the whole affair. It’s not the same thing all over again, but it’s a new expression of something that you already love. It’s intense, catchy and aggressive – just like how it should be, at least in this era. It’s got the vital ingredients and more importantly, it’s executed to perfection.
Transcending Obscurity (Kunal Choksi): What made you want to start a band playing this form of music?
Cropsy Maniac (Travis Ruvo): This band is the brainchild of Aaron our guitar player. We became mutual online friends while Kevin and I were in Blood Freak, once we departed that band I could clearly see that Aaron was onto something that embodied what Kevin and I wanted to do as well. We are all huge fans of horror movies! Aaron’s main goal was to pay homage to The Burning, which is our favorite of the slasher genre. We wanted to use influences from all genres of movies. We wanted to create a type death/grind that would fit in well with the Video Nasties of the glory days of films!
TO: Which are your favourite movies – clearly there’s some connection between them and your music here!
Cropsy Maniac: That is a very hard question to answer haha! To keep it simple, The Burning, TCM, Cronenberg, Carpenter, Fulci, Bava, HG Lewis, etc.
TO: Your music seems influenced by Carcass and the others that came after that like say Haemorrhage, Impaled, Gruesome Stuff Relish, etc. Why did you choose music of this style over say brutal death metal (which also sometimes explores the horror themes)?
Cropsy Maniac: The bands you mention are a few examples what we wanted to incorporate into our sound as well as some influence from the 80’s and 90’s. We wanted to take the sound of the “Glory Days” of gore soak death/grind and put it in a blender with the cinema experience!
TO: Is it safe to say that this is your first debut full length? How different were things this time around? How long did you take to work on this one?
Cropsy Maniac: The EP ‘Shear Terror’, 4 Way Split on HPGD and Split Cassette Tape with Revolting were songs that Aaron had written prior to the band forming. Once Kevin and I joined we were able to record the songs. We record everything ourselves. Kevin and I have a home studio where we record the drums and vocals. Aaron records his guitars and file shares them with us. We had a lot more time this time around to create stronger songs. The new songs are longer and more varied.
TO: Jill from Deadbeat Media has been supporting your band since the debut ‘Shear Terror’. How did you end up working with her? How has the experience been so far?
Cropsy Maniac: I have been in touch with Jill since the Razorback days. She has proved herself to be a true fan and supporter of bands. Once we met Aaron, we had the mutual feelings and friendship with her. She immediately wanted to be the person to help us bring it all to light! She has had our back from day 1! We love her!! Couldn’t ask for a cooler person!
TO: The last words are yours. Thank you so much for your time!
Cropsy Maniac: We make this music because of our love of horror movies. Not enough bands do it properly. We aren’t trying prove anything to anyone! Just fans making some Nasties!
Bangladesh is known for its old school metal and the country’s thrash metal scene in particular is commendable. I first chanced upon Dissector, which I felt was terribly underrated (and indeed an attempt was made by Transcending Obscurity Distribution to reissue it but perhaps that is something only the future will tell now). Enmachined and Thrash are other acts, but more recently, Surtur and Exalter have made a mark. It’s indeed exciting to see yet another thrash release emanating from that country, going by the name Psychotron. (more…)
It’s always a pleasure keeping track of releases on the stellar UK label Third-I-Rex, because of the soothing and usually unconventional nature of its releases. Starting from the excellent Sonance release that I discovered on the label, to Slow Worm, The Nepalese Ball Temple and others, there’s a rich variety of music to be found here. Although usually of a doom/sludge nature, the latest release of the mysterious Italian band VIII is more rooted in the black metal style than doom, despite the lengthy and atmospheric nature of the songs.
The song that’s being exclusively premiered here is titled Diagnosis, and simply put, it’s just mind-blowing. There’s not a lot happening initially, when the band begins in a stylish slow yet hypnotic manner, but soon enough, it picks up pace and resembles the dissonant genius of the established bands in this black metal genre such as Blut aus Nord, Bolzer and Deathspell Omega. It’s very competent and seems effortlessly done, but where the band goes from there is something very few would expect – they delve into a subtler jazz territory (reminiscent of the perennially underrated band Disharmonic Orchestra) with the introduction of what sounds like a saxophone and just then everything turns into magic. It’s not often that I hear what I can call a jaw-dropping part in music after two decades of listening experience but this section in particular is out of the world. Brilliantly, the black metal music metamorphoses into jazz while ostensibly retaining the original ambiance – you will have to hear it to believe it. From around the seven minute mark, you’ll hear what can be deemed the best saxophone part in a metal album, in all probability. The song could’ve ended on that high note, but no, this is an 18-minute song and after taking a bit of a break (admittedly affecting the momentum), it goes on to employ piano and just turns it into an epic. Black metal eventually surfaces in the song and the same level of sublime Blut aus Nord-esque dissonant riffing continues, reminding me of Grey Heaven Fall in the manner it effortlessly weaves in many subgenre styles, and goes on to win you over completely.
Based on this one song alone, we’re looking at what could prove to be one of the best albums of the year. A definite year-end contender from this writer. Don’t just keep staring, listen to this song and don’t forget to support the label and the band (I hear the physical copies are very limited) –