Tuesday, December 27, 2016

DEFINED BY FAILURE

Shackles/Fissure- Split 10" (Dead Heroes)
First Pressing, 2016
Black Vinyl /??

Latest material from both bands- Shackles from Byron (covered heavily on this blog), and Fissure from SoCal (my first experience with them) with their split 10". Shackles continue with their heavy, blast beat sodden hardcore, Fissure tread a similar path, arguably with a more obvious lean towards some early 90's Slap-A-Ham Fastcore influences. I'm here more for the Shackles material as always and it does the job it's supposed to. The band continue to progress and develop their own sound/identity, Mark's vocals get better and better, and the recording is pretty suiting here- thick and rough. Possibly the best stuff to come from them at this point.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

STALE AFFAIRS

Magrudergrind- "II" LP (Relapse)
First Pressing, 2016
Black Vinyl /1750

Magrudergrind have been covered on this blog pretty comprehensively over it's existence but they've been quiet for a while now. In that time they've recruited a new sticksman and signed to Relapse Records. And in that time I think I've lost a little interest in them. This is their new LP, their first new release in six years. They're still playing pretty dissonant, straight forward Grind, but I just don't find it nearly as catchy as the previous two releases. Maybe I just need more time with it.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

ON A MANHUNT

Total Reality- "Trigger Time" Demo Tape (Short Fuse)
First Edition, 2016

Excellent new band from Germany playing loud and belligerent Hardcore along the line of Reckless Aggression, Violent Reaction etc. Not a lot to say, the recording is spot on, the songs are stompy, the guitars are hard and the vocals are gruff. Worth it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

MORALITY

True Visions- "Against The Grain" Promo Tape (Quality Control)
First Edition, 2016

Another week, another newish UK Hardcore band ripping it up. While I wasn't massively fond of the bands demo from last year, I'll go out on a limb now and say that this is probably the best thing to come from England in a few years. Reminds me distinctly of a combination of early Ag Front mixed with the Straight Ahead EP. I've also read people describing them as influenced strongly by YOT which is obviously a warranted comparison. As noted, it's a promo tape, to be followed by a 7" to be released by Quality Control in Europe and PKR in the USA next year. On a side note, I have 9 copies of this tape for sale in Australia. Comment on this post of you want one.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

RECKLESS BOYS

Reckless Aggression- 2nd Demo Tape (Short Fuse)
European Edition, 2016

So called "lost" second demo from this now cult band. Levels of misanthropy run at similar strengths to the now infamous first demo, but general eccentricities are increased a little while the recording quality is lowered considerably. As a result, I doubt that the ripples that this recording creates will achieve those tidal levels of the first tape, but it's an interesting page in the bands catalogue, considering how much of an impact they have had on Australian Hardcore in the last 6 years. This is the Euro edition, handled by Short Fuse Records, an Australian version was also released, handled by Rain On The Parade. All sold out now as far as I know.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

LIFE IS A DEATH SENTENCE

Nails- "You Will Never Be One Of Us" LP (Nuclear Blast)
First Pressing, 2016
Black Vinyl /??

Maybe they have helped introduce more underground aspects of Hardcore, Grind and Metal to a bit of a wider 'bro' demographic, but if you don't think about that, it's pretty impressive that a band like Nails have been able to release an album on a uber big Metal label without altering their sound at all. I had never been a massive fan of the band before this LP, due mostly to Todd Jones less than powerful vocal performances, but it seems that his ability has grown a lot here, perhaps as a conscious effort on his part to expand, or perhaps due to some technical tricks utilised by engineer Kurt Balou... I am not sure. Regardless, what you get here is impressive Grind spiked Hardcore that could easily be some of the strongest material that Nuclear Blast has released in years.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

LIGHTNING CAGE

Magic Circle- "Journey Blind" (20 Buck Spin)
First Pressing, 2015
Black Vinyl /??

Superb follow up LP to 2013's immense Self Titled album, this is last year's, "Journey Blind" from Magic Circle. 2016 has certainly blown by quickly for me, it's hard to comprehend that this album has been out for more than 12 months now. Once again, brilliantly executed proto Doom Metal that takes obvious and even obnoxious cues from first Ozzy era 'Sabbath. Maybe not as great as the first album, but certainly the strongest example of any band doing this style in a modern context.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

SCATTERED ASH

Aggression Pact- s/t 7" (Painkiller)
First Pressing, 2015
Black Vinyl /?? 

Debut 7" from Aggression Pact from last year. It would be safe to say at this point that PKR can eternally be regarded as the strongest label in modern Hardcore and while I wouldn't say that I am overly familiar with any of the bands that the label list as influence in their write up for this EP, the six trax of no frills, belligerent Hardcore here are excellent. Members of some other very well known east coast contemporaries active and not so, rumours of an approaching follow up currently circulate. Worth it.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

WASTING AWAY

Nailbomb- "Point Blank" LP (Roadrunner)
Reissue, 2016
Red Vinyl 1297/1500

This album (via a friends older brothers CD) was one of my earliest exposures to Metal when I was a young boy. I think the connection to Sepultura via Max Cavalera and the backing of Roadrunner Records were the two main reasons that my friends and I had taken interest in Nailbomb, but I think that in a time when my favourite bands were simple, groove based bands like Pantera, "Roots" era Sepultura and Machine Head, a lot of the stuff on offer with this album kind of went over my head. It's only in the last 4 years or so that I have really come to appreciate this LP. Recently reissued on vinyl for the first time since the original pressing back in the mid 90's, I had to get myself a copy.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

DENIAL OF LIFE

Death- "Scream Bloody Gore" LP (Relapse)
Reissue, 2016
Black Vinyl /3365

Debut LP from Death, this is a recent Relapse reissue, procured on my recent trip to Tokyo. Of all the colour ways, black was pressed in the widest supply. Very nice packaging that you would expect with most modern reissues these days, gatefold sleeve with all the liner notes, messages from modern and past metal guru's, previously unseen photos of Chuck and the band, red foil stamping for the logo and album title. Very nice.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

AMPUTATION

Gruesome- "Dimensions Of Horror" 12" EP (Relapse) 
First Pressing, 2016
Black Vinyl /1500 

Gruesome's follow up to yesterday's post fodder, the "Dimensions Of Horror" EP. More of the same as their debut, just less songs. Again, it's not sticking like I feel that it should, but it's worth it for the artwork alone.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

TRAPPED IN HELL

Gruesome- "Savage Land" LP (Relapse) 
Second Pressing, 2015
Red Vinyl /500

Pure early Death worship in the form of Gruesome's debut LP, "Savage Land". This band is comprised of various veterans of the US Death Metal scene, and they really managed to garner quite a bit of attention when they surfaced with this album last year. Initial impressions came across very strong to me, with a solid recording and very on point Chuck Schuldiner impersonation from the lead singer, and while it is very listenable, my attention hasn't really held strong since I first secured this record. Not really sure why (I love Death, who's doesn't?),  the songs are strong, but for whatever reason, I am just not as into it as I feel that I should be. With that said, I do believe that it's worth owning a copy of just for the fantastic Ed Repka artwork alone.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

EASY TARGETS

Koward- "Desperate" 7" (Side Two)
First Pressing, 2014
Black Vinyl /?? 

Second excellent EP from Boston's D-beat miscreants Koward. Released in 2014 and their most recent release. Unsure if they're still active but I hope so.