Album Review

All posts tagged Album Review

These days, creating a concept album seems to be in vogue and many bands try to come up with a “concept” album that has no real story to share. Swampcult, the enigmatic duo from Netherlands on the other hand take up established tales of mystery and create their own musical rendition of said tale. Their second full length effort titled ‘The Festival’, focuses on the H.P. Lovecraft short story of the same name. Swampcult’s style of black metal meets doom, is perfectly suited for this weird, mysterious story and the band makes best use of the atmosphere to drive the narration forward.

Swampcult

Having grown up with the music of bands like Spazz and Black Army Jacket, the supergroup Deny the Cross excites me. Bringing together veteran musicians from different bands in the powerviolence / grind sector, this band emulates the classic powerviolence / hardcore sound of the 90’s in a way that is still engaging and fun. Their album ‘Alpha Ghoul’ is an eighteen track maelstrom that slams like it’s still the 1990’s, but it’s also more than mere imitation. Deny the Cross have a way of writing music that is savage, brutal and insanely memorable, which does not really come as a surprise considering the talent present in the line-up.

Deny the Cross

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Canadian four-piece Iskra, make use of the black metal / crust punk template to issue one of the most savage statements against capitalism in recent times. The band’s third full length titled ‘Ruins’ was initially released back in 2015. It’s a good thing that Southern Lord Recordings are reissuing this album this year, as this album deserves more attention. The music is absolutely vicious in it’s intensity and rarely do Iskra let up during the course of the record. Right from the start, the abrasiveness is set to 11, making this an album not for the fainthearted.

Iskra

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Named after the frost resistant flowers, Helleborus from Colorado, USA are a black metal duo that experiment with the symphonic black metal while adding elements from other styles like psychedelic rock. The band’s debut full length on Satanath Records, titled ‘The Carnal Sabbath’ displays a degree of hypnotic mysticism that manages to resonate deeply with the listeners. The music carries an enigmatic flavour, while not being overtly abrasive. Though there is a smooth flow to the music, none of the venomous black metal qualities are lost. Rather, the melodic and atmospheric take on the style manages to blend well with some of the more harsher qualities of the style. Some of the flairs added by Helleborus instill a psychedelic quality to the record, making this an album that is easy to lose oneself in.

Helleborus

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When one thinks of a black metal / punk combination, bands like Impaled Nazarene or even recent acts like Atrament and Ancst come to mind. The music of the aforementioned bands however, is a bit different from Germany’s Bait, who recently released their EP ‘Sunburst’. Bait’s vision of a black metal / hardcore union gives equal weightage to both sides. The way the band mixes these styles is a fresh and interesting take on this hybrid sub genre. Usually, the anti establishment views of punk rock is mixed with black metal nihilism to produce a scathing sound that focuses on high speed and punk flavored riff work. Bait on the other hand, also incorporate some of the atmospheric and dissonant elements of the black metal genre to produce a well rounded mix.

Bait Sunburst

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