Saturday, August 31, 2013


I'm a little surprised that Social Damage (formerly Blind X Justice) out of Indianapolis have released a new demo full of fresh songs. Readers may remember me posting about this bands first demo earlier in the year and how much I liked it. Initially that demo was released under their old name, and then a smaller second run was committed with the new one. Based on how good that tape was I really expected that some label out there would take up the slack and help the band press something like an EP. Alas, Demo II is here, released by Criminal Rights Records. Maybe the band wanted to release some new music under their new solid name, I hope so anyway, because that first demo was really good and could have been released as a 7" in it's own right.
Three new songs here, along more or less the exact same lines as the older tracks, though with a rougher recorded nature. Straight Ahead and other NYHC contemporaries ring the most true, the fornt man's vocals standing out to me as the highlight. Simplistic songs, short and sweet also. Nothing more to say really, just very catchy and well written hardcore, played by guys that obviously know what they're doing.

Friday, August 30, 2013


Another new record from one of Australia's hardest working hardcore bands, Byron Bay's Shackles. The "Disposed Of" 7" comes about courtesy of Urban Rage Records out of Sydney. Continuing on much where the last single sided 12" and split with Worn Out left off, this new EP finds the band delving harder into metallic fastcore territory. Correct me if I'm mistaken but I'm sure that this is the first time the band have recorded with Chris Brownbill, and his more organic style certainly suits the band to a tee. Marks vocals continue to develop further; his low end easily at it's most dissonant yet. I'd argue that this EP would be the best example so far of the sound the band are going for. They've got a new LP due before the end of the year that I'm betting will be great.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Vigilante from Sydney play a pretty accurate Australian take on mind 80's NYHC ala Krakdown, Outburst, Cro Mags, Warzone etc. Members of a handful of previous and well received Sydney bands including Last Nerve and Bad Blood make up part of the group. They did a demo tape that didn't grab my interest a huge amount last year (or maybe the year before?), and now they've released this LP, "Quality Of Life" through Resist Records (AU) and Six Feet Under Records (US). Musically speaking they share a great deal of similarities in sound with Last Nerve for various reasons, most notably because both bands share the same singer. Well recorded, centred mostly around crunchy riffs and chords, mid tempos, the odd lead and dive bomb, and stomp bits, to me this is more or less A-typical Sydney hardcore, and the best of it's kind in years. Not that there's a huge amount that's been comparable in that time, but yeah, good stuff.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Machetazo continue to develop their doom influences with this new album of theirs, "Ruin". Released by Doomentia, this is still a through and through Death Grind record but as with most of their preceding releases, the general recording qualities sink further into a big doom pit, most evident in the guitar tone and mix. Thirteen tracks in around forty minutes should be enough of an indication that this thing isn't pure grind. Most of the songs revolve around a proper developed structure and the average playing time is something like 2:30. One thing that gets me is how different Dopi's vocals sound to his work with Dishammer, I think that can be put down mostly to the more doomy mix I speak of. This would now have to be my favourite release from the band, and with it's minor differences and developments I doubt it will turn off any existing fans.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Sewercide from Melbourne play great thrash/death metal and this is their tape, "Severe Trauma". I'm not sure though if this thing should be classed as a demo tape or as a solid release on it's own. They've got a handful of other releases under their belts or on the way and they're about to head out on tour with Brisbane Hardmen Sick People. The announcement of that tour was the first time I had heard of them, and glazing over the details of said run of shows I somehow came under the impression that they were from the USA. Dabbling in a few of their tracks on their bandcamp did nothing to turn those impressions either. The two tracks on this tape (and all the other tracks spread across other releases too) are amazingly written, executed and recorded Death Thrash that could easily contend with big bands like Toxic Holocaust and Municipal Waste. Riffs riffs riffs. There's nothing more I can say about it. It's just excellent metal. When I found out that these guys were in fact Australian I was even more excited. I was lucky enough to catch them live on my trip to Melbourne a few weeks back and they were brutal live too. Four long haired dudes with a more regular hardcore guy frontman. One of the guitarists was perfect. Waste long hair with a sleeveless white shirt, tight acid washed jeans and white Nike high tops. These guys know what they're on about.

Monday, August 26, 2013


It seems every year I don't make it to Chaos In Tejas and in turn miss out on a handful of cassette tapes that get released there in limited numbers, and under some vale of secrecy. For fuck's sake, someone who knows my taste, please help me out next year. What I missed from this year's festival that I would really like to get my hands on for reasonable prices:

Battle Ruins - Promo cassette. I couldn't enjoy this bands previous 7" one little bit. Something about Radigan's vocal approach that just didn't sit well with me, and still doesn't. Please don't get me wrong, I ride pretty much every one of his other endeavours (as documented here, often), but his singing on that EP just doesn't work. Thankfully (and maybe it's down to the mix or mastering), the two new offerings on the bands new promo cassette showcase a man with a relatively differing approach, and both of the songs are just catching, hooky, OI! masterpieces. I know it's a preview of the bands upcoming LP due in the next couple months on Rock 'n' Roll Disgrace, but the total collector fuckwit in me wants this tape to add to the Boston vaults.

Eternal Champion - Demo tape. Apparently this is what's labelled as Epic Heavy Metal (yes, really), and research over the last few days shows me that there's an entire and intricate scene built around this style of power riffed, mystic, NWOBHM influenced stuff. I've never enjoyed anything like this, and I doubt I'll ever take an overly consuming interest beyond this demo, but I must say that I can't get enough of the two songs I've found on the groups bandcamp page. Of course my interest was sparked initially (and perhaps remains) solely because this is the work of Jason Tarpey, former throat-man for the hugely popular and now defunct Iron Age, along with one of the dudes from Power Trip and two other guys. Apart from the odd hardcore fellow here and there, I really can't see Eternal Champion appealing to fans of the blend of crossover thrash that Iron Age were most well known for, on a lasting basis anyway. Where Tarpey was vocally with those final IA recordings may hint ever so slightly at what to expect here, but if you're not familiar with this style of music, like I'm not, I think you'll be surprised. There's no yelling or shouting here, only mellow, almost falsetto singing. Trippy, mid paced power chords, riffs, leads and melody fill it all out. Like I said, not my bag usually, normally I'd laugh at this stuff to be honest (it's cheesy as hell), and maybe it's the novelty that's holding my interest at the moment, but I really can't get enough of these two songs. Fun, catchy Heavy Metal. Apparently it's seeing a vinyl release in the coming months, but like the Battle Ruins tape, I want this to add to the (Texas) vaults. On a related note, Jason's also involved with another band that plays the exact same style of music, Graven Rite, also responsible for a demo that I wouldn't mind getting my hands on.

Torture Chain - "Mutilating Astral Entities" tape. I've blogged once about this band, and I really wish I had the opportunity to do so more, but it seems that (along with quite a few of these really lo-fi geared, underground American Black Metal bands), getting any of their stuff is nigh on impossible, thanks in part at least to a rabid and savvy fan base. Originally released in limited numbers at Chaos this year, and then subsequently put up for sale in the Yersinia Pestis webstore, only to sell out in about 10 minutes. A tape, but to be considered the bands full length, MP3's tell me that's it's around an hour of dissonance, drear and desperation.            's shriek is in full force here and certainly at it's most Black, and it still astounds me the range and variance he packs through all of the bands that he's involved with. Again, one for the Boston vaults.


As I mentioned in my recents Coffins "The Fleshland" post, 20 Buck Spin out of Washington State has recently taken on the task of reissuing the Japanese bands 2008 onslaught, "Buried Death". Unsure of how it compares to the original, but my copy has arrived with a gatefold sleeve and on this hazy sky blue vinyl. Of all of the bands full lengths, until now this one had been the hardest to obtain for new comers to the band like myself. It just so happened that it's the only album of theirs that I really wanted to get my hands on too, mostly because it was the first stuff of theirs that I ever heard, but secondly because of the MEAN breakdown in the albums third track, "Cadaver Blood". Musically speaking, this thing is just about exactly the same as pretty much all of the bands other material; rough, doomy, dirty Death Metal.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


As I was writing this post about the latest Eyehategod single from last year "New Orleans Is The New Vietnam" I learned of the death of the bands drummer and founding member Joey LaCaze. I can't say that hearing this news has effected me emotionally in the same way as the passing of say someone like Jeff Hanneman, the band have just never been a big enough part of my life as one like Slayer, but it's certainly sad enough to here of such events. Considering Eyeyhategod's wide influence over the stoner and NOLA metal scene as a whole, and thinking about how his drumming has probably influenced many bands of the same ilk over the last 20 years, it is a sobering, and assumedly unexpected tragedy for some people.
Out with a bang then I guess, as the one song on this 7", the records namesake, is a pretty ripping one. Exactly what you'd expect from the band, it's a slow to mid paced jam centred around Mike's grimy vocals, and resting on a pretty reliable and catchy guitar riff. Running into the four minute territory, for an Eyehategood song, the recording is relatively slick, put down somewhat to the mixing job by the man himself, and godfather of the New Orleans metal scene, Phil Anselmo. I suppose access to modern day equipment likely has something to do with that also, this is after all the first new recording from the group in around 6-7 years.
Pressed and distributed by hardcore label A389 Recordings, the release of this single, and perhaps anything to do with such a band in the first place is a prime example of the ever expanding and developing taste of Domenic Romeo, label owner and guitarist of (now defunct?) Pulling Teeth. I for one was quite surprised when the label first announced the upcoming release of this record. There's been a few more examples like this from Dom over the last 18 months, but this one would have to be the one that has stuck in my mind the most, along possibly with the recent Ilsa records. Split black and orange vinyl of a supposedly limited press, though I managed to casually stumble across this in the regular metal section at Heartland Records in Melbourne for stock price, so who knows how limited it actually is. Discogs doesn't disclose such figures, but when pressed, something like five or six other colour-ways were also committed. The single track on the A side leaves room on the B for some etching of the logo that the band has used loosely over the years.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


This new EP from London's Stab kind of came out of nowhere for me. Followng their first 7" from 2011 I must admit that I kind of just forgot about this band. I like everything they've committed to tape so far, but the brand of hyper speed hardcore that they play can wear a little thin in larger chunks. In my mind I compare them to Vaccine in this respect, but without as much regard. This record is called "Blindness And Lies", it was pressed by the ever impressive Quality Control Records, and I landed the limited press on red wax.
The band certainly haven't strayed far at all from their already tried and tested path of early 80's UKHC worship. As has been said by many people in many places, these guys clearly hold quite the penchant for a handful of those early greats. Ripcord rings the truest obviously, but just about that entire early scene would be rated by the band as influence I am sure. The biggest difference with these new songs is their ultra blown out recording. Loud and abrasive and fast. Seven songs in around seven minutes, they don't fuck around. Cool cross sleeve design ala the second and subsequent pressings of the Violent Reaction EP, of which QC was also responsible for.

Friday, August 23, 2013


I wouldn't say that I've ever been a huge fan of Power Trip. Their 7" from a couple years back was certainly entertaining, but generally these thrash crossover acts struggle to get my attention usually. Realising that Chris Ulsh of Mammoth Grinder is actually the drummer for this band certainly helped grab my interest a little more. Artwork by the ever impressive Paolo Girardi helps too, but I've preferred other works of his. This is the bands new LP, "Manifest Decimation" pressed by Southern Lord. As stated, this is some pretty straight up thrash hardcore crossover stuff. Razor riffage with mega up tempo skin bashing. Lightly reverbed snare head and delayed vocals. My reference point for this stuff doesn't really extend beyond the second Cro Mags LP,  Leeway and early Iron Age so I have no real idea how I'd compare this to anything in the grand thrash spectrum, all I know is that it's pretty great, better than I expected it to be, and probably the best thing Southern Lord have done since the Nihilist reissue.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Another part of the current surge of great bands using Violent as part of their name comes Chicago's Violent End with their debut s/t 7" pressed by Lengua Armada. I passed over their demo from last year for the most part because of a myriad of other great bands that were consuming my attention at the time and I'm feeling a little silly for it. This is great, pissed, depressing hardcore punk from members of a heap of other well known bands from similar areas including Vile Gash, Manipulation, Chronic Seizure and Raw Nerve. In terms of pin point sound, all four of those aforementioned bands would serve as a pretty good basis as to what expect with Violent End. They employ d-beat a little more often though, and the vocalist probably doesn't' come across as quite as desperate and manic as he does in Vile Gash.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I don't post about CD's. I rarely buy them. Buying this In Disgust Demo CD was an accident but I guess I won't complain. I've had the bands demo tape listed on my Discogs profile as a 'want' for a year now and in that time not once has it become available. A few weeks back I got my daily email telling me that one had come up for a stupid good price. With little to no proper research of the listing I clicked the buy now option and waited for the invoice to arrive from the seller. I paid for it, and waited patiently for the demo in the mail. Last week and this CD arrived. Surprised and feeling a little duped I headed home to review the listing. In the description portion of the sale, sure enough there was a blurb stating that it was in fact the bands demo on CD-R. It's a good thing I didn't pay a stupid amount for it then I guess. In lieu of one of these mysterious In Disgust demo tapes, I suppose this CD version could possibly be a good insight into what the tape would look like and how it might be packaged. Basic copied grey scale sleeve and insert with a spray painted CD.
For anyone who hasn't heard the stuff here, a good portion of these trax went on to appear on the "Bay Area Thrash III" compilation CD released by 625, and some more were re-recorded for the bands debut 10", "Reality Choke". Relentless American Grindcore, one the best bands to do it in the last 10 years. All of their stuff was/is unfuckwithable. When the hell with that split with SFN finally see the light of day??

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Prime contender for album of the year for me has finally arrived in the form of the brand new Mammoth Grinder full length, "Underworlds", pressed by 20 Buck Spin on this limited blue wax of 227 copies. As always, a larger black wax press was also committed. Following a lead-in single that was originally released over a year ago now, I really wasn't sure about what to expect from this new stuff based purely off the relatively low quality, more punk sounding recording on that previous record. Both of the original tracks on that EP are totally shredding numbers that suit the recording perfectly, but I was really expecting more of a metallic sound as with the bands previous releases. They have delivered here though with what could easily be considered their most high end studio sound to date. Normally such a statement would be a pretty instant turn off, but it seems to work well with Underworlds. I think benefit could have possibly been had from a recording resembling something a little more akin to their  "Extinction Of Humanity" album, the rougher edges, but I suspect that may just be a personal taste judgement of my own. Again, the band seem to have developed and refined their sound further again, relying less on blatant Autopsy/Entombed mash-up and incorporating more of a welcome punk vibe with the more simplistic and less bullshit structures. Chris Ulsh's clear interest in Venom and even Discharge are as evident as ever. There's a couple tracks here that with a less quality recording probably wouldn't be out of place on the upcoming Impalers album. I really wouldn't be surprised to hear if he cherry picks some of his songs for each band as he sees fit. Ten songs here in just under half an hour, the bulk of them of the fast and sharp. Of all of them, there's only one that bores me a little, "Barricades", a mid placed jam with a pretty repetitive riff. Admittedly I do find said riff playing over and over again in my head, so maybe it's not that bad. The closer, "Moral Crux" is a total slow jam introduced with a catchy bass groove and it really reminds me of the bands very early days, as in their first LP, before they took on their more focused metal vibe. Fantastic artwork by none other than Joe Petagno, possibly some of the best work I've seen on any LP in a few years.

Monday, August 19, 2013


I've said just about everything that I can about Dishammer. Everything they recorded during their short tenure possessed a similar sound and style and all of it was fucking great. This is their split 7" with The Warwolves pressed by Parasitic Records back in 2009. Two tracks from them here, both driven by a fierce d-beat and frantic chords. As expected, the ultra blown out recording is in full effect, and of their entire catalogue I think this one is the loudest. The two tracks could arguably some of their best too.
What I know about The Warwolves is minimal at best. I know they're from Oregon and that they play a dirty, punk tinged form of vague Death Metal. Blasts are intact, as are the filthy riffs and tremolo picking. The singers down trodden vocals are also smothered in a thick layer of reverb. The recording lends itself heavily to a pretty punk vibe and I suspect that's what they was going for. From what I can tell the band were never really involved in any other releases other than this, which is a shame, because their two songs here are pretty great.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


I'd been riding on MP3's of Kremlin's 7", "Will You Feed Me?" for a few months before I decided to get my hands on a hard copy of this record a few weeks back. American press on black wax by Grave Mistake Records following an earlier Euro edition on Hardware Records. Manic, dirty hardcore punk from nowhere else but Toronto. They remind me a little of fellow Countrymen Wastoids, though they employ more higher tempos more often, they clearly don't mind a bit of a d-beat, and their recordings are a little rougher. There's also somewhat of an early 80's UK sound here in a couple of the songs. A couple tracks feature heavily reverbed vocals and the last one is a bit of a slow(er) jam with awkward guitar noodling and shrieks from their demented vocalist. For fans of punk.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Was there ever any real fear that another album from modern day Autopsy would be a bad one? Following a slew of vomit worthy releases from other various American Death Metal groups of old reformed over the last few years, I think that may have been a genuine concern from many a metal head prior to the bands 2011 comeback, "Macabre Eternal". The brutality and sheer brilliance of that album though certainly cemented how powerful and not dead this band still was and is for any naysayers, so much so that I think it was safe to say that nobody doubted how good their latest album, "The Headless Ritual" would be. I certainly never doubted it anyway. As it's always been, Peaceville Records is the responsible party. Black vinyl here with a gatefold sleeve.
What could I possibly say to quantify how good this is? It's messy, angry, classic Death Metal as the band has always played. The crunchy riffs, simplistic structures and Chris Reifert's demented, inaudible gurgles are largely intact, though as with the last album, his age is showing here in his slightly less hedonistic performance. I guess you can only hit some of the lows he did with earlier material for a certain amount of youth. Ten songs here, and all of them are rippers. Some short and sweet numbers and a few longer, more dirgy moments. Over forty minutes of music and all of it brutal. Cover artwork by the always impressive Joe Petagno.