There’s something to be said about a nice, clean production, where every note and lyric can be heard with clarity and precision. There’s also something to be said for the kind of production where everything is a bit of a blur, all the different elements blending in to one another in a demo-level buzz. Suffer by Chicago crust/grind band Euthanized is definitely an example of the later. The raw, basement quality production works in the favour of the band, giving the music that extra DIY underground edge that can really matter in music like this. That the music itself is pretty decent helps, too. Unsubtle, yet also fairly unorthodox at points, Suffer is quite diverse for such a short crust record, taking in different styles without sacrificing any power or conviction over it’s sixteen minutes.
There’s something that’s quite disarmingly charming about the self-titled EP from London indie/emo band Arkless. The clean, angular melodies and restless nature of the songs gives them an instant appeal, topped off with sung-spoken vocals that are all the more powerful for how understated they are. There’s nothing here that attempts to overwhelm the listener; it’s very much a record to get swept up in, carried along by the melodies and energy that Arkless put across in an almost effortless manner.
Svengali is not an album for those who like their music to rely on the subtle or hidden. This seventeen minute of blackened crust from Siberian Hell Sounds is a furious fist to the face, a raging whirlwind of violence that takes absolutely no prisoners. There are no grand pretensions here, no need to spend hours listening until each songs ‘clicks’ and it makes sense; this EP is negativity given form, expressed in the most direct way possible. Unrelentingly bleak, it is a fine example of just how powerful blackened crust can be.
Even though it only contains four tracks, there’s quite a lot of different ideas and influences at play on Symptoms Of The Human Being, the debut EP from Manchester based Pleiades. Post-hardcore, post-rock, and even a few hints of indie rock come to the fore at different times across the EP, but despite the varied sound this results in, there’s a thematic consistency and sense of identity that ties the record together. It’s an emotive listen, and though it’s not as heavy or intense as most music I listen to, there’s still a lot here I found to like.
I wouldn’t normally write about an individual single – especially not when it clocks in just shy of five minutes – but some things are worth making an exception for. Inherit The Dust by Allfather is one of those things. Building on the riff-heavy foundation laid down on their Bless The Earth With Fire album earlier in the year, Inherit The Dust is a slightly mournful, yet still incredibly powerful, cry of protest against the self-defeating Western interventions in the Middle East. High On Fire style riffs and melodic dual-guitars combine with an almost hardcore intensity to superbly rousing effect, with vocalist Tom being in especially fine form as he leads the protest. Metal has a long history of decrying the futility of war and senseless killing, and Inherit The Dust is a strong continuation of that legacy.
What makes the single even more notable though – and especially worthy of your time and money – is that Allfather are donating all proceeds from the single to humanitarian charity Help Refugees. It’s great to see a band not only take a stand for a good cause, but directly support said cause. That the song is great doesn’t hurt, either, and should help Allfather gain some of the recognition they deserve as one of the finest purveyors of riffs in the UK metal underground today – not to mention being thoroughly decent guys.
Inherit The Dust is available to stream and download from Bandcamp.
The biography for Italian band Neravendetta paints a picture of a band who have overcome all sorts of difficulties in order to record Magnum Chaos, their debut album. It’s taken roughly ten years for the band to have gained the kind of stability and resources needed to self-release an album, and that time and effort is clear throughout. Magnum Chaos is a triumphant, stirring 38 minutes of viking metal that isn’t afraid to look to the stars, tapping in to the sense of grandeur that the best bands of the style do. As powerful as a fur-clad berserker, this album is evidence that sometimes, hard work does pay off.
2016 is almost over, thank fuck. What a shithole of a year. But hey, not everything is awful – there’s always good, inspiring music out there to be found. Which brings us to this month’s short reviews, which takes in death metal from Encrypted on Drifting To The Impaled; absolutely not-kvlt metal on Biophobiaby Bearstorm;ambitious noise rock by Phase Order; melancholic death-doom by Marianas Rest on the sorrowfulHorror Vacui; bombastic, powerful symphonic black/death from Seven Sins with their album Due Diaboli Et Apocalypse; and feminist hardcore/powerviolence from the superbly named Cliterati. Enjoy!