Phoxjaw - Royal Swan | Album Review

Bristolian quartet Phoxjaw personify the term 'maverick' – they’re utterly unorthodox, unbranded by norms and refuse to comply with typical genre conventions. Whilst many emerging bands rely heavily on the maps and blueprints drawn-up by their respective influencers, Phoxjaw have burnt such maps with arcane magic and have forged their own path through the lands. This is something the two hit combo that was their Goodbye Dinosaur and A Playground For Sad Adults EPs demonstrated, but in retrospective, such releases merely laid the groundwork for what is set to come next. Released July 3rd via Hassle, their long play debut Royal Swan is a deeply mercurial, unsettling and yet thoroughly enthrall

Grey Daze - Amends | Album Review

Grey Daze, the once rough around the edges grunge rock band that played an important part in the creation of a legendary rock star, have today released what may be the ultimate tribute to the one and only Chester Bennington. Having released two albums 'Wake Me' (1994) and 'No Sun Today' (1997), Amends takes songs from both with an entirely new instrumental arrangement constructed around them. With the help of a host of the band's and Chester's friends and family recruited to help make it happen including Brian 'Head' Welch and James 'Munky' Shaffer of Korn, Page Hamilton of Helmet, Chris Traynor of Helmet and Bush, LP (Laura Pergolizzi), Jasen Rauch of Breaking Benjamin, Marcos Curiel of P.O

Invenire Pondere Sanctuarii: Mysterious New Collective Plagues Have Emerged

A new musical outfit has emerged hailing from... well we don't actually know. The collective is called Plagues and consists of 5 members though who/what they are remains unknown as their faces are covered by absurdly terrifying masks. In terms of their music, they have just provided the first offering in terms of their debut single but let's take you back to the start. Here's what we do know, the mysterious group Plagues have surfaced and have been dropping cryptic imagery and the following message for the last two weeks "Invenire Pondere Sanctuarii - XXVI • VI • MMXX" which we researched and it translates as "To Find Sanctuary" with the numerals marking today's date (26/06/2020). We have do

Ohhms - Close | Album Review

Kent progressive post-metallers Ohhms are on the cusp of releasing their latest album Close; initially conceived of as the final part in a trilogy of works that began with 2014’s Bloom and was followed by Cold in 2015, Close does exactly that, coming full circle and is their most introspective work yet. With its mellow beginnings, all laconic drums and clean guitar, one thing opener ‘Alive!’ does well is to invite a false sense of security as after its first minute or so the tectonic plates shift and riffs crash in along with a raw, emotional performance from vocalist Paul Waller (“You can’t get no satisfaction from this song / There ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone”). Despite its exclamato

Long Distance Calling - How Do We Want To Live? | Album Review

Artificial Intelligence – commonly refereed to as AI – has long been a safe and secure trope within the chapters of science fiction. Since the dawn of the genre, humankind has long been fixated with the prospect of birthing a creation that carries our sentience and intelligence all whilst being completely synthetic. Far-fetched in nature yes, but this trope has come to fruition in recent years. Granted, we're but being given the run around by HAL 9000 or a devilishly dashing Micheal Fassbender just yet, but we're getting there. From common household fixtures like Siri and Alexa all the way to the more advanced military systems in development, AI has been achieved and yet we still don’t fully

Bo Ningen - Sudden Fictions | Album Review

“This album is an attempt to present that complexity (history as open structure) in the simple form of a rock band,” says guitarist/synth player Kohhei Matsuda, “or more precisely: it is a rock band questioning itself as to what it could be in this time of bedroom producers, alternative R&B, and modern hip-hop. If this apparent history of music has its root somewhere, and that root leads to this present moment when rock bands are being pushed aside, we thought we could dig deep enough to the root, and re-write the present. We wanted to find a new path to follow an alternative history as a rock band.” Perhaps a big problem with statements like this, and music that experiments seemingly for th

Exocrine - Maelstrom | Album Review

We need to talk about Exocrine. No, really. Since forming in 2015 the French tech-death noisemongers have gone from strength to strength, culminating in 2018’s Molten Giant - a concept record about a giant kaiju monster bursting forth from a volcano and drowning the world in lava. Two years on and the band are releasing their fourth full-length, Maelstrom, a record encapsulating their love of the kaiju genre and this time featuring a giant kraken, synthwave and freeform jazz. Kicking off with the blistering title track, Exocrine are here and they absolutely mean business - a short introductory riff followed by blastbeats and chugs quickly give way to Fallujah-esque melodic flourishes before

Vile Creature: The Top 5 Queer Doom Artists Deserving Of Your Time

Photo: Danika Zandboer To say the world is in a pretty sorry state right now certainly wouldn't be a hyperbolic or melodramatic statement. From rampant systematic xenophobia and murder all the way to an ongoing global pandemic that mirrors a plot device from a subpar thriller, 2020 has essentially played host to the worst of the human condition - and the tunnel ahead is still without promising light. With that in mind, it's no surprise unrepresented and oppressed creatives are their channeling their rage, frustration and anxiety into their art. One such band doing so are Ontario's acidic doom-sludge duo Vile Creature. Openly queer, non-binary and inclusive to all, the duo are a rallying call

Luke Rainsford - World In Colour | EP Review

Luke Rainsford has certainly left a sizeable imprint in the national scene over the past few years. Interweaving the steadfast heart-in-hand honesty of artists such as Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties and The Front Bottoms with the national DIY lilt of Whoanows and maybe even Holding Absence, Rainsford’s clear knack of writing deeply intimate odes to love, loss and everything in between has been proven many a time over the years. His last EP – 2018’s I Just Don’t Deserved To Be Loved – proved this sentiment wonderfully, with his gentle acoustic work plucking the heartstrings of listeners with amble precision. Whilst his work thus far has always leaned into towards the more sombre and aching

Make Them Suffer - How To Survive A Funeral | Album Review

Make Them Suffer's career has been interesting so far, to say the least. The Aussie band's first few studio releases were very much grounded in deathcore with heavy key-led symphonic influences. However, as time progressed, the band have made a lot of stylistic changes from album to album. Their sophomore full-length, Old Souls, still had a lot of the ferocious symphonic death metal elements of their earliest material, but it also had some songs which fell more in line with metalcore. Perhaps the most stark change in sound, however, was on Make Them Suffer's third release, Worlds Apart. The album's name is an apt description for the sound, which was far more atmospheric than anything else t

Exploring Mental Health in Isolation: Introducing Mirages and new single 'Rabbit Hole'!

Just before the United Kingdom shut down, Gloucestershire alt-rock band Mirages were busy rehearsing with their newest band members. They were due to play their first gig as a unit, which was unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, cancelled. So what are they planning next? How are they entertaining their audience during this period of rare downtime that many of us are experiencing? We spoke (remotely) to guitarist/singer Jake Chown to find out. Chown explained that Mirages have “generally been focusing on releasing new music” since lockdown. They’ve scoured their archives to find and release ‘Step Behind’, a song they recorded two years ago. They’ll also be treating your eyes and ears to a new s

Wren - Groundswells | Album Review

UK-based noiseniks Wren have been underground darlings for some time and are set to unleash their third album Groundswells upon an unsuspecting world, promising “six melancholy-shrouded ruminations”, taking aim at fans of Neurosis, ISIS and Godflesh. Opening dirge ‘Chromed’ immediately sets the scene, arriving unheralded with a thunderous drum fill before jagged riffing and cathartic roars make themselves known. The band employ repeated riff patterns broken up with swirls of melody; this breathing space in between the passages of grinding guitars and pained screams only serves to underscore the denser moments and it’s just as crushing without being totally unrelenting.The glacial pace of the

The HU Announce Deluxe Edition Of The Gereg

Mongolian metal/throat singing sensations The HU have revealed details of a deluxe edition of their debut record The Gereg. Set for release on July 10th, the record its original track listing as well as three re-imagined tracks featuring a star studded lineup of features from Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), Jacoby Shaddix (Papa Roach), and Danny Case (From Ashes To New). As well as this - the deluxe edition is set to feature three acoustic tracks. The HU have been on a seemingly unstoppable role over the last 18 months, with The Gereg peaking at #21 in the UK Music Charts, appearances at festivals worldwide including the famed Download Festival, and receiving recognition from the likes of Elton John

Enterprise Earth - Foundation Of Bones | EP Review

Tech-deathcore practitioners Enterprise Earth landed a direct hit last year with their highly appraised third full length Luciferous. Whilst the record should have served as a jump-board for the band to spring to new heights this year, 2020 had vastly different ideas. Earlier this Spring, the band had to abandon their Euro run alongside Rings Of Saturn and just a few weeks later the powers that be postponed their mammoth Oceania tour with fellow death-focused kings Thy Art Is Murder, Dying Fetus, Fit For An Autopsy and Aversions Crown. Total bummer. But instead of their licking their wounds, it seems the unfolding apocalypse can’t keep this dog down. Released today is Foundation Of Bones, a

Vile Creature - Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm! | Album Review

There’s a lot to be angry about in the world right now - the rise of the far right and neo-fascism, systemic racism, hatred of anything and anyone different than the white, cis-gendered “norm”, *deep breath*. impending ecological collapse, a giant recession looming on the horizon AND a global pandemic ravaging the planet. It’s exhausting just to type that out but to give in to apathy and just accept it is to lie about the possibility of a better world, one grounded in humanity and compassion - and it’s this attitude that Canadian doom duo Vile Creature are challenging on latest opus Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm!. Describing themselves as an “angry queer gloom cult”, Vile Creature rage agai

Protest The Hero - Palimpsest | Album Review

Since forming in 2001 and bursting onto the scene with the sprawling narrative that was Kezia, Protest The Hero have amassed themselves a sizeable following and a reputation for technical wizardy in their arrangements and vocalist Rody Walker’s astonishing vocal range. During the anniversary tour for Fortress, however, Rody suffered horrific vocal issues that nearly derailed them and almost forced him to hang up the mic for good, so it’s fair to say there was uncertainty aplenty as to if, never mind when, we might see a new Protest The Hero album. Arriving four years after EP Pacific Myth and a whopping seven years after their last full-length Volition and the result of a gruelling, arduous

Barren Womb - Lizard Lounge | Album Review

The phrase ‘never judge a book by its cover’ comes to mind when listening to Lizard Lounge, the new album from Barren Womb. It’s impossible to know what to expect from first impressions and appearances alone and it feels like Barren Womb go out of their way to subvert expectations for those unfamiliar with their work. From the off, the name itself gives the impression that this is some sort of ‘grindcore’ project, however they actually describe themselves as hard rock, which does seem to ring true for the most part. However, it feels odd to try and whack a label on this group at all, as there appears to be a number of different influences at play here. For example, the track ‘Crop Circle Jer

Atavist - III: Absolution | Album Review

Returning after a decade long absence, those now loyal to the UK doom scene would be forgiven by most for being ignorant to Atavist’s namesake. However, it’s difficult to imagine the state of such atmospheric contemporaries such as Moloch, Wren and even Pijn without the existence of the band. Forming in 2004 and releasing two full lengths prior to entering hibernation towards the end of the naughties, to say Atavist were ahead of their time would probably be considered an understatement by some. Some could even say they were responsible for refining the atmospheric doom metal blueprint that many artists take heavy influence from today. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say Atavist’s decade long slu

Junior: The Lockdown Charity Covers In Their Own Words

Regardless of your own personal attitudes towards all things pop-punk, you would probably be pretty damn heartless to dislike Cardiff's Junior. Shunning all the stereotypical perceptions of the genre in favour of spreading joy, genre dynamism and just having a good laugh, the three-piece have long been a welcome breath of fresh air - something that's been dearly needed in recent times. Whilst the pandemic has essentially put a full stop to modern life for the majority of us, Junior have been pretty busy behind the scenes. Following on from the release of their debut record Beautiful Life last year, over the past several weeks the band have been releasing covers of their own personal favourit

Aversions Crown - Hell Will Come For Us All | Album Review

It’s fair to say that deathcore hasn’t always had the best reputation in the metal scene; whether that’s entirely deserved or not is another argument entirely but it’s safe to say the statement is entirely unwarranted. Deathcore-by-numbers has plagued the scene since shortly after its inception from seminal bands like The Red Chord and Job For A Cowboy’s now classic Doom EP. In recent years there has been a significant shift away from the heavily-layered guttural/high vocals and constant breakdowns to a sound that incorporates more elements from symphonic aspects through to black metal and with fourth full-length Hell Will Come For Us All, Aversions Crown are here to prove deathcore isn’t a


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