Tuesday, 15 March 2016

PEDANT


Pedant are a fairly new band from the Wigan/Bolton area I was only introduced to these a couple of days ago (Cheers Mike!!!) and whilst fitting in nicely with this blog these guys are peddling a different kind of noise than the other bands I've been writing up lately I've played their "I think you'll find it's spelled D​-​E​-​M​-​O" a couple of times and have really enjoyed it!

This quirky 3 piece have a great energetic sound and their bluesy thrashing is really kicking my arse they could have easily downtuned the guitar put it right in your face throughout and could have just fell in line with the likes of Mower and Barbarian Hermit (no bad thing obviously i love those bands) however they have chosen a different path.... firstly the sound is fairly bass driven whilst in a reversal of the usual way bands operate the guitar seems to provide backing for the great bass lines a lot of the time in the verses not that these guys can't hit the overdrive and smash it with a noisy guitar part when it's needed but it is good to hear Bass being played really well and not just providing a bottom end for the sound.The variety on display here in the music is something that will definitely have me coming back to this demo repeatedly, The opening track "Watchers" is a great bluesy, punky thrash which has little nods to the Minutemen (I think? maybe it's just the bass driven stop start thing??) whilst the bass line in the disjointed verse part has that classic 70's rock feel and blending those elements together in the one song is pretty cool Then 2nd track has a kind of Noise Rock meets guitar thrash and that 70's rock motif rears it's head again and is just great! However it's the way they blend all these different sounds with a great groove and a kinda off the wall approach to it that makes these guys stand out big time, the intro to "Giant Killer" would have Jimi smiling down from guitar god heaven with pride but it also has a fucking surprising monstrous groove to temper the Jimi blues which just leaves me with a huge grin on my face and my head nodding and when they hit that "1st-album-Sabbath-on-speed" groove at the end and up the anti with the fuzz pedal it's just mind blowing and that's just one song! "Typo Dave" (a song tile which i sure as shit appreciate any readers of the blog will know why) is a great meandering heavy blues jam with some killer riffing and insane vocals and closing with the quiet/loud jam of "The Hand" i was left happy as you like but definitely craving more and thinking these guys must be a total BLAST live!

I'm really glad I'm not too late to the party with these guys as trhe demo was only released in Dec last year and considering that the confident and accomplished playing on here is all the more impressive and along with some of the other stuff I have been writing about it further affirms that  it was worth my time starting this blog! This is an outstanding demo the musicianship is nails and the sound is sometimes disjointed and crazy whilst managing to still throw grooves and big riffs in at exactly the right places and holds enough surprises not to fade into background music territory and to work electric blues into the equation (which is of course where all great heavy music originates from) and some more off kilter touches is a stroke of sheer mad scientist brilliance! I could easily see these guys slotting into the heavier end of Alive Records roster (Home of Radio Moscow and Left Lane Cruiser to name just a couple) Or at least being on the same bill!

I strongly urge you to go get this demo immediately they are charging a measly £1 for 20 minutes of highly entertaining grooving and crazy tunes that are well written brilliantly played and above all fun to listen to! If something leaves me smiling during AND after I'm listening to it it's a fuckin prize winner and no doubt!


"I think you'll find it's spelled D​-​E​-​M​-​O"Bandcamp

Pedant FacebookHERE

SHEER ATTACK


Sheer Attack are a new band from Liverpool With a line up featuring local Psych monsters Mind Mountain's Bassist Marc Glaysher (Along with Russ on Vox, Broomo on Guitar and Dave on Drums) Marc has also put on some BLISTERING bands in Liverpool including Lecherous Gaze and Dirty Fences! Sheer Attack have been causing quite a stir in the NXNW with some apparently blistering live shows I went down to Liverpool to see them with The Flex, Denim & Leather & Bad Meds I got there 10 mins before the show started and Sheer Attack were opening and it was already sold out! No mean feat for a local band with no music out yet however I stayed in the bar where i could clearly hear them and I was really impressed!!

These guys are about to drop their debut EP and Marc was kind enough to give me a listen for this review and from the second i hit play I was immediately blown away for a band not yet a year into it these guys are on fuckin' fire this is all guns blazin' balls out hardcore rock 'n' roll! Taking a template that is filthy 80's Venice Beach hardcore adding a touch of Motorhead a pinch of Thin Lizzy and the raw chops of classic garage like The Stooges and MC5 and your just about there! you can tell instantly that they are driven by a love of dirty riffing and the case seems to be that these boys HAD to do this not just because they wanted to and there's no arguing with how shredding the music is!

With 4 songs clocking in at 10 minutes this is a perfect 7" EP the sound would fall nicely in line with the current so called "New Rock 'n'Roll" (fucking media terminology when did Rock 'N' Roll ever go away??!!)  and i could easily see these guys on a bill with The Shrine or Hot Lunch as equally as they would fit on a bill with BL'AST! or Suicidal Tendencies (in 1982) The playing is tight and the songs are memorable without losing their gnarly edge they are just brimming with energy and aggression but not in a macho muscle flexing way more of a middle finger, beer in hand skateboard in the other aggression! There's loads of great Mid-era Black Flag type guitar and bass runs and they manage to have a good bottom end without being "heavy" that's no surprise with Marc on bass tho if you know him you know! The vocals are just spot on having enough belligerence to match the energy of the music and enough melody to not just be shouting and the frenetic and awesome drumming holding the whole thing together!

I can't express my sheer glee at hearing this EP the world needs more music like this i can't even pick a favourite from it or single a particular one of the 4 for praise cos they are ALL great I love the gang vocals On "Black Lagoon" and that creepy SST sounding opening to "Public Service Offender" breaking into that running riff and it just KICKS off in the middle and makes me grind my teeth and want to get in the pit even if it would literally kill me now is just fucking great! These guys play well together and they are obviously well versed in Old School influences going back through the 70's/80's and beyond but bringing it crashing and smashing into the present i also know at least one of them skates and that's what this EP  reeks of grinding kerbs,drinking beer, graffitti ridden skateparks,venues with sticky floors ,battered amps and volume!

I am not even joking when i say i have lost count of how many times i have played this EP since yesterday I only stopped to listen to the Boss Keloid album so i could review it properly!!! You owe it to yourself to get out and check these guys out live and hopefully by the time of their upcoming shows they should have this EP on vinyl for sale I would get it if i were you it's just great!

These guys love to play live they have a show on March the 30th at Temple Of Boom Leeds opening for Poison Idea (Also playing are The Flex & Denim & Leather that will be a BLINDER More Info - HERE) and they play the Mayday Mayhem event again at the Temple Of Boom in Leeds (get more info - HERE) however they do play a few local (Liverpool Shows) and other areas round the NXNW so go give them a like on facebook and keep up to date with shows there and I'm sure the EP will be for sale there soon.

Sheer Attack FacebookHERE


BOSS KELOID : HERB YOUR ENTHUSIASM REVIEW


Boss Keloid should be familiar to pretty much everyone in the NXNW heavy scene and I can't think of anyone I know who has a bad word to say about these guys both in the studio and as a live act and the reputation is deserved. Their debut album "The Calming Influence Of Teeth" was a punishing run through underground metal melding influences from the unusual end of the sludgy spectrum inhabited by the likes of Melvins and what sounded to me like a good chunk of post metal ala' Kylesa and Mastodon into new heavy sounds that was as original as it was familiar  However whilst retaining their Trademark style their forthcoming second album is a different proposition altogether.....

"Herb Your Enthusiasm" (great title) is pretty astounding from the off the first thing that's apparent is whilst still properly heavy the production this time around is MUCH smoother and slicker and gives the album a HUGE sound not to take anything away from the debut but where it was decidedly compressed sounding and quite harsh and chaotic this is a big progression from that, where that album was an intense pummeling and it was almost like they had tried to cram every riff in the heavy catalogue into each hermetically sealed song here whilst the songs are still complex and interesting the pace has slowed and this has given the music more room to breathe and maneuver! What else is shocking is the progression in the vocals Alex's voice is utterly soaring throughout I already knew he was a more than capable vocalist but here it's amazing whilst normally singing this clean would put me off his voice is unusual it has a hint of Buzz Osborne to it but beyond that he has a style all his own and I've never heard Buzz reach the vocal heights Alex does, he manages to convey both despair,angst and elation and often together in one verse and during "Axis Of Green" (one of many high points of this album) manages to hold a note from 2 mins 30 to the 3 minute mark which blew my mind I haven't heard anything like that in heavy music for years, if at all!!!!

Clocking in at just under an hour "Herb Your Enthusiasm" is certainly an epic journey in the best sense of the word what's great about this album is the tempering of the huge walls of riffage with off kilter verses and flourishes that are almost too much to take in all at once as though they have taken 2 or 3 shorter songs and made them into one but meld them harmoniously together with tight playing and clever structuring! Don't get me wrong this is in no way one of those bloated overly complex albums for the snooty musos this is a sound that everyone can get into without pushing their glasses up their nose and having a smug grin to themselves! However there are huge riffs by the bucketload take the main riff from "Cone" for example the band teasing you with a crawling bassline and vocals for a full minute before laying the hammer down with a bastard riff that just leaks dread from your speakers!

There's an obvious weed motif to this album in the album title obviously and songs like "Axis Of Green" and "Highatus" but where most bands flying their flag high for the smoke these guys haven't made a "nod out" album in the vein of Sleep they've made an album that will sound amazing when you're baked like the albums of old before Stoner or Sludge or whatever came along albums that soothe but keep you focused by not riding the same motif for 10 minutes! however it will prevent you from being completely swallowed by the sofa! Moments like the Eastern guitar at the end section of "Axis of Green" flowing in and out with a heavier rendition of the same riff is stunning and just melts my head! The maturity in both the songcraft and playing on this album is astounding whilst a band this talented could have easily made a fan pleasing "...Teeth" II here they have chosen to sculpt their complex songs more carefully and dynamically whilst still being monstrously heavy which is no mean feat even with the abundance of talent on display here I mean opening with the near 8 minute "Lung Mountain" a song which crushes as much as it soothes with the band moving from monolithic riffage to the more sedate effortlessly without jarring the listener or being too clever about it, along with it's companion piece "Lung Valley" which treads a similar path but has a guitar sound to the heavy riff which just makes me grit my teeth and go arrrggghhh so goood! Album closer "Hot Priest" has an almost jazz sounding opening which builds into another one of those towering riffs that these guys seem to have pockets full of and breaks down into wah wah guitar which even though it's a staple of this kinda music these guys even manage to make THAT sound their own as if no one else had ever used heavy wah wah since 1970!!!! That's the thing with these guys as well they seem to move as one unit there's no guitar noodling at the expense of the drums or vocal histrionics at the expense of guitar everything has it's equal share among the others these guys are a fluid unit that flow from part to part of each song like a well oiled piston!

I have read a couple of reviews of this album this morning both of which were SHORT and whilst positive I don't think you can do this album justice in a short review it's an hour long and has fresh ideas in abundance and even my verbal rambling doesn't do it justice I wanted to get this review out quickly so even though i have been through the album twice this morning as well as once when i received it I still feel like i haven't fully absorbed it which is great because this is an album that is gonna continue giving surprises for quite some time and repeated listens will be rewarding, this is an unbelievably accomplished album both musically and in it's production and is a vast progression from their first and i can definitely see this album breaking them to a wider audience and I can see the more open minded metal fans from all genres loving this album and judging from the work i can hear they have put into it it's wholly deserved.

I have been hearing a lot of fresh and well played music and great ideas from the various bands I have been listening to from the NXNW but nothing like this it's shocking in it's originality straying far from the normal templates for this kind of music whilst not getting completely lost from being so far out or not delivering the monumental riffs! This should please their already loyal fan base whilst drawing many more new people into the BK fold I for one liked the first album I wasn't hugely into it but i did like it however this album has definitely got me big time there's no doubt about it! If these guys aren't massive after an album this good I'm retiring from my blogwaffle!

"Herb Your Enthusiasm" is out on  April 16th on Black Bow Records a teaser video of "Lung Mountain" is to be released today check out their facebook page for that and here's all the links you need.....

Boss Keloid

FacebookHERE

BandcampHERE

MerchHERE

TwitterHERE

Black Bow Records

FacebookHERE

WebsiteHERE

BandcampHERE

Lastly I'd like to thank Paul and the lads for letting my shady little blog have the album for review! CHEERS

Sunday, 13 March 2016

BURNING FLAG ALBUM REVIEW & STREAM


(L-R Jonesy, Matt, MD & Mark)

(Originally Posted on Under The Surface May 2015)

Burning Flag are a band I have been following since pretty much the beginning some of you more astute readers may remember the glowing review I gave their 3 track EP last year (If not See my post HERE ) Well Burning Flag have been recording their debut album over the last few months with Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studios when they just received the final mastering done by Brad Boatright of oft mentioned Audiosiege studio (both of whom have done a great job because this album sounds HUGE!) and they decided that they would like me to have the exclusive first "media" review and preview so before i even start i want to give a heartfelt thanks to them for being good enough to give my shady little blog the exclusive on this and you readers should be thanking them as well because you get to hear 3 tracks, my personal picks from the album exclusive right here on UTS!!!!

(CD Cover)

I will begin by saying this has been one of the most anticipated albums of the year for me and DAMN it was worth the wait.... Burning Flag have shown a lot of progression here even considering they are a relatively "new" band and this being their debut it's definitely proof that if you want your album to sound good you have to work at it and these guys have definitely done that! Always practicing and gigging (with the likes of Agnostic Front, Extinction Of Mankind ,GBH and Subhumans to name but a few) and once you get a listen to the 3 tracks I have picked out of the 9 from the album you will see that this hard work has definitely paid off....

...Opening with the sounds of riot and a really realistic sound of crackling fire (what I can only assume to be a torched flag at least that's the picture i see in my mind) MD screams "BURNING FLAGS ON BATTLEGROUNDS" And the adrenalin immediately begins to pump!  "Burning Flag" is a great opener, a mid - fast paced number that immediately pulls you into the album and what is instantly impressive is the guitar tone it is thick and supremely heavy without falling into that "so-downtuned-it's-killing-the- riffs" territory which along with the bass gives the album the serious bottom end required and the trade off male/female vocals throughout give this song a really intense feel, like these guys just grabbed you by the scruff of the neck and dragged you in for the whole ride!

Next up is the testament to feelings of rage that is "Crash And Burn"  (Which you can get an exclusive listen to below) opening with a dramatic driving riff and some great drum work from Matt this song continues to spiral upward until breaking down to just gentle tom drum and Md chanting "I Know I'm Real At least I've That" over and over like a mantra and makes you feel like you are listening to someone looking in a mirror and desperately trying to convince themselves of their own existence and sanity before the riff thunders back driving you upward and just coming to a full halt leaving you feeling battered and bruised in the way only music as great as this can.

It's moments like these that showcase the fact that whilst intense and heavy Burning Flag are bringing something entirely fresh to Punk/Hardcore/Noise/Metal/Whatever. The blend of different influences on display here is refreshing whilst there are flourishes of the familiar throughout, like for example the way the riff changes subtly about halfway through third track "Nightmares" taking it from a barreling heavy hardcore riff to something that reminds me of GBH in their early 80's (though way heavier) but if you weren't paying attention it's gone and back to the barreling main riff and bridge before breaking down into a neck snapping heavy ending that reminds me of the best of sludgy grooves whilst MD just roars over it!

It can't be stated enough that this album is a really compelling listen there's high speed intensity from the likes of "Broken" which over its just shy of 2 minutes throws you in the pit and just slams you to the floor whilst this, I'm sure, is a route Burning Flag could have easily taken churning out a dozen variations on a theme, it is their reluctance to do this that separates them from the pack. Take "Parasites" (One of my personal favorites and again you can get an exclusive first listen below) with it's tribal pounding drums which (seriously) remind me of Adam and the Ants (on Steroids) that is of course until the understated yet menacing riff kicks in and MD's almost spoken rhythmic style here gives this song a real sassy groove that is until you hear what she is saying...

"Some People Make You Feel Heavy, Few, Make You Fly, Some People Try To Pull You Under, They Need To Die"

then it takes on a whole different vibe! It's a song that while builds brilliantly into a supremely heavy peak it makes me wanna get up and bounce more than it does wreck shit! Then there's the "stop start verse riff in "A Code To Live By" that takes the template set by the great early stuff of bands like Helmet and Godflesh and just dirties it up making for a real nasty sound! Or the bridge riff of "Early Graves" that tempers it's heavy verse riff with a "melodic" run that actually puts a smile on my face! No bad thing for an album chock full of punishing riffs!

However it's last song the dramatic and longest on the album "Wretched" clocking in at over 5 minutes that really showcases the maturity of the songwriting on this album opening with a strum of chiming guitars that put me in mind of early PiL or early Wire the song opens out into a supremely heavy and slow riff which repeats throughout the main part of the song it just pins you to your seat it's such a serious sound, this builds to a fast part that breaks out with some real dischordant industrial Voivod type riffage before moving into one of those great barreling riffs that to me, are becoming a BF trademark, before crashing to a shuddering halt and closing the album out with some eerie noise and what sounds to me like a cell door slamming shut! I hope they plan to play this live because i for one can't wait to here this crushing tune at ear hurting volume! I'm reading between the lines here but opening the album with the sounds of rioting and closing with the sound of a cell door slamming well I think it's pretty clever.

It can't be said enough how well everyone plays their parts on this album from the absolutely amazing vocals from MD who has really used her voice to encompass more than just mere "shouting" here, going from almost talking to screaming to, in fact, damn near "singing" to the stellar riffage and back up vocals from Jonesy on Guitar underpinned by the engine room of Mark & Matt on Bass And Drums respectively, providing a solid and intense backbone to this great sound. Whilst normally with "heavy" music it's either the speed, the vocals or the guitar that commands attention here, everything has been given a voice and as much as the production has played a part in that I also think it's the fact that these guys are a solid unit and play well together.

This is an absolutely amazing 5 star, 2 thumbs up 10/10 album here the variety in pace and style keeps the album from becoming A.N. Other "Heavy" release and also keeps your attention focused because it's such a powerful sound it's really hard to drag yourself away from it once you hit play you're in till the end!  I personally have not found myself becoming overly familiar or wanting to reach for the skip button even once throughout my MANY repeated listens of this album, I have also found that I keep hearing things that I hadn't noticed before as well it was only after repeated listening that i had noticed some of the touches I have mentioned in this write up making this an album that will stay with you rather than something you will listen to a couple of times and forget about and again this is because BF have made each song memorable it's not just something that washes over you I have found myself even humming the riff from "Parasites" a couple of times!!!! Also it has to be said that these guys deserve respect for their commitment to the underground scene otherwise you wouldn't be reading about this album first here on this blog!

In closing I want to say that I predict that when this album comes out that Burning Flag are gonna be a name on any if not every fan of "heavy" music with even the slightest of good taste and it comes as no surprise but was definitely good news to me that these guys had a succesful spot on the Boardie Takeover event at Download festival last year  Because a band as good as these need to break out a little (or a lot) and be heard by more people other than just say a small gathering of Punks and Hardcore fans because i can say for definite whilst not Pigeonholing them in any way that the modern metal crowd are gonna eat this album up!

Below is the three tracks I picked for you on my first listens to this album as my favorites however on reflection and repeated listening I could not pick a favorite now as there is no filler on this album every song is great but these are as good as any to give you an idea of what to expect and one listen to these 3 and i can guarantee you'll be straight to google using the keywords "burning" "flag" "album" and "pre-order" yeah it really is THAT good!

Here's your tracks.....

Crash & Burn - Soundcloud

Parasites - Soundcloud

Wretched - Soundcloud

Burning Flag's Self Titled debut album will be self released by the band on their own Broken Records imprint this summer it is coming out on CD and limited vinyl.

(cover for the limited vinyl release)

Below are links to their homepage and facebook page go check these out and like their facebook page for more up to the minute news on gigs and the release of the album.

Homepage - HERE

Facebook - HERE

Also you can still get a digital (and Possibly) physical copy of their AMAZING 3 track debut EP at bandcamp....

Burning Flag EP - Bandcamp

KUROKUMA


Kurokuma are a band from Sheffield whose Japanese name translates to Black Bear (according to google anyway!) which is fairly apt  because their 2 track demo is the very aural definition of being mauled by a bear!!! I only got onto these guys a couple of days ago though this demo has been out for well over a year! I only got onto it after starting this blog and Joe from the band contacted me which prompted me to check them out and I'm gutted I'm only getting to this now!

Whilst only being 2 tracks and 12 minutes of music there's plenty packed into these 2 songs! first track "18.2 Tons" certainly lives up to it's name! Opening with a howl of feedback and straight into a riff that would floor the hardiest of riffmongers at 100 paces! the verse is full of discordant riffs that just tingle the spine then moving effortlessly back to the main riff with some, I think phased (?) guitar layered over it which just works brilliantly the thing i like about the main heavy riff is along with the pounding drums it doesn't just make you nod your head, it's a proper happy grimace, rock throw your whole body back and forth kinda riff! Also towards the end the main riff slows to a crawl and the phased guitar returns with some MANIC lead work add to this the utterly anguished howling and roaring vocal work,something I'm not usually a big fan of however it works perfectly here, then Going out on squalls of that phased guitar work this song just destroys!

2nd track "Ursus Thibetanus" (Again according to google this translates to "bear with a black coat living in central and eastern Asia" i think there's a theme here) is a bit of a different beast altogether Opening with another killer heavy riff and more uptempo than "18.2 Tons" it has a kind of groove that's not typical of this sort of music but still has you nodding your head and the main verse is peppered with some great harmonic guitar that is no doubt a nod to Godflesh at their most twisted but the big surprise with this song is when it breaks down into what i can only describe as a kinda Latin influenced drumming which leads into some guitar work that is quite psychedelic however when i say psychedelic think black nightmares not blissful dreams! the song then breaks down again with an almost dub-like section before slaying you with a return to more familiar riff laden territory and those anguished vocals back to the fore creating an atmosphere of sheer desperation! Upping the dynamic with some Double bass drumming and more of that nightmare psych guitar over the heavy riff is just a brilliant touch! However my one criticism is it ends far too suddenly and the cymbal wash/guitar thrash ending is to my mind sub par to what they have created with a song this good! If i had been at the desk i would have encouraged a long fade out instead,however it's only a VERY minor niggle and if i scored music like other reviewers it wouldn't lose them any points!

There's that old showbiz adagae "Always leave 'em Wanting more" and it definitely applies here! It has to be said to my ears these guys are obviously above average musicians the drums are amazing the bass is more than just back up to the guitar and there's some really good runs and flourishes along with the various styles of guitar going on here from the pummeling riffs to the more spaced out crazy stuff and discordant touches is the sound of a band well practiced and who definitely know their way around their instruments and considering this demo was released in Nov 2014 I shudder to think what their next recordings are gonna be like with over a year of practice and gigging under their belts!

Whilst the "18.2 Tons" is an absolute aural mauling and doesn't lack fresh ideas, it's the second track "Ursus Thibetanus" that shows this band using really progressive and original sounds within the framework of their chosen genre managing to keep their sound heavy and intense but utilizing elements outside their sphere of influence to create something truly astounding!

Below I have linked you to their Bandcamp where you can download the demo for free I would get on that right now because whilst on first listen these guys may seem like just A.N. other heavy sludgy band paying some attention to the music will reveal the different layers of sound and you will realise you are onto something pretty damn original! you can also check their facebook page out at the link below as well so go there and hit them up with a like.


DemoBandcamp

FacebookHERE


Saturday, 12 March 2016

BARBARIAN HERMIT

(Photo by Rachel Bywater, Website - HERE)

Barbarian Hermit are another band from the utterly phenomenal "heavy" scene that is going off up here in the North/North West. Hailing from Manchester these guys have been causing a serious stir with their apparently phenomenal live performances (I have not yet had the pleasure but SOON I hope) Although their name has been doing the rounds for well over a year and were one of the bands that I was told to check out for my original North/North West Heavy report (See that HERE )  But as was the case with some other bands i have written up recently at that time they had no recordings available they have however just unleashed their debut demo upon the world and it is a BEAST of a recording and well worth the wait!

At 6 tracks and just shy of 40 minutes this demo is almost a debut album which is great because sometimes it's frustrating when you waited ages to hear a band and their demo is 10 mins long! Barbarian Hermit play an addictive and memorable blend of sludgy riffage tempered with a good sense of melody and some serious bottom end and the vocals are quite tuneful but with a gruff enough edge to stop the singing from being completely clean! The thing I like about this band is their ability to draw you in with good head nodding groove but also knowing exactly when to hit you with a BIG dirty riff but without sacrificing the groove for sheer bloody minded heaviness ,they also punctuate many of the songs with great melodic guitar runs that reek of PROPER doom metal and put me in mind of Pentagram,Trouble, Count Raven and of course early Sabbath! That's the thing about these guys that I like a lot while their sound isn't 100% retro or anything there's a lot of great old school touches to their tunes, the original "doom" bands of the 80's had little to look back on for influence then which meant they were taking influence from traditional metal and melding it into new slower,super heavy and twisted shapes and creating something new and at that time it was something fresh and exciting and I get exactly that kind of vibe from what these guys are playing with the melodic flourishes tempering the heaviness.These guys have managed to take that retro sound and blend it with more contemporary styles by adding the kind of grooves that bands like Down and Corrosion of Conformity strive for! Don't get me wrong these guys are HEAVY the opening riff to "Burn The Fire" is a fucking MONSTROUS one and they have more than enough of these in their armory to satisfy the most dismissive of heavy riff heads but again it's the great vocals and the melodic and groovy touches in nthe music that puts these guys head and shoulders above the pack of bands that trade on heavy riffs as their entire sound, and a track like the 9 minute "Bea" is a real epic journey with plenty of twists and turns and has enough great riffs for a whole separate demo! and the more uptempo "Alma" is like the ghost of Philthy Phil of Motörhead  jamming with Crowbar!!!

This demo is a killer non stop ride from end to end it's a sheer pleasure to listen to, ALL the songs are great there's not one on there that lets this demo down and are above everything else i have said they're memorable and if my mentioning of "melody" has put some of you heavy heads off checking these guys out go listen to closing track "Widowmaker" with a riff and pace that just OOOOOZES from the speakers like treacle on laudanum! I have been doing a lot of posts on this kind of music recently and it's getting harder and harder to find the descriptive terms and i find that i am repeating myself a little I'm no writer i do this blog to share great music and my enthusiasm for great music so you can ignore the review above if you like and just hear this.... Barbarian Hermit are just simply fucking BRILLIANT and well deserving of the buzz they have been creating over the last year or more! They are giving this demo away free/pay what you want to download on bandcamp miss it at your own peril and then sob your heart out when all your cooler mates are decked out in 'Hermit merch and you missed the fucking boat!

Here's your links to the demo and their facebook page go check them out right fucking now and give them a like on facebook, trust me you'll be well glad you did! I Have also linked you to their merch page where you can pick up their demo on CD or a patch but shirts are, for the moment, sold out but i would think with all the gigging they will be back on sale soon?

P.S. apologies to the guys in BH for taking so long to get round to this review despite them very kindly giving me this demo pre-release! Hope this makes up for it?

Barbarian Hermit Demo - Bandcamp

Facebook Page - HERE

Merch - HERE


SICK TAPESTRY


Sick Tapestry are a new band from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire formed from the ashes of Heavy Psych/Metal band Formes who's "Dysphoria Pt.1" from last year was definitely a challenging listen (no bad thing! you can see for yourself download the Formes album free or buy the CD for £2 on the No Fun Intended Bandcamp page HERE also home of Corinth who have recently graced these pages) They had started to cause quite a stir and played at the Liverpool Psych Fest in 2014, however Formes split late last year and Jordan Mcnamara (Drums/Vocals) and Rob Hemingway(Guitar/Bass/Vocals) formed Sick Tapestry with James Render (Lead Vocals & Synth) completing the line up.

So band history out of the way let's move on to Sick Tapestry's forthcoming debut EP "Self Diagnosis" (out for download on 19th march through the No Fun Intended bandcamp) there's 3 tracks all around the 7 minute mark and what immediately struck me after the building discordant intro was how huge the drums on this EP sound, they are nice and clear and loud but have a "woody" quality which reminds me a little of the kind of sound Albini gets from drums! Whats apparent straight away is that whilst still retaining elements of experimentation from Formes, Sick Tapestry are a little more straightforward in their structure going for strong contrasts in sound from quiet to loud and clean singing to brutal howls effortlessly, when i say straightforward don't be fooled the loud parts of first song "Where" are utterly crushing especially when set against the quite creepy riff that forms the main verse of the song, then towards the end when the double bass drumming kicks in over the heavy riff it's like Armageddon setting you up for the closing part which slows the riff to a crawl and you're looking straight down a portal to hell!!! Just as the song ends and is ringing out with squalls of guitar you are straight into second track "Day [Light]" before you even had a chance to absorb what's just happened to your ears! This song is a bit more uptempo and brings the clean vocals to the fore a bit more opening with quite a psychedelic riff and some great rolling toms the song opens into what I would say is an almost straightforward "metal" structure which reminds me of a less complex and FAR heavier Tool, not that it's lacking in chunky riffing there's plenty of that throughout but it is used in quite a dynamic sense to push the song forward between the more sedate verses and the neat shuffling drums on the quieter part and kinda sneaks up on you! This gives way to a noisy psychedelic swirl which bridges nicely into what I can only describe as a "Classic Sabbath" type groove punctuated with some great noisy splash cymbal which accents the groove perfectly before one more crushing riff is pulled out of the bag before the song seems to stop quite abruptly before ending! A mere breath of synth wash takes you into last track "This Place", of the three tracks I have to say that this is maybe the weakest of them it has a decent mellow intro which gives way to a big riff gruff/clean vox bridge then back to the quiet main passage however the second time it goes up to the heavy part it is extended and lifted by some pounding double bass and get's really noisy which i liked however the clean vocals on this song just feel like maybe James (lead vocalist) is just pushing himself a little too far melodically with the vocals and towards the end there's some brief blast beat drumming which I felt was a bit unnecessary to the song it does however have a pretty cool take on the "bombastic ending" and the sudden stop on a dime end is really effective however against the high standard of the first 2 songs I just felt this one whilst NOT terrible just wasn't quite as good as the first two.

Considering these guys are quite young fellas and 2 of them are now onto their second band and have a full album with their first band behind them all in just over a year to release an EP of this high quality is no mean feat I found the melodic clean singing a bit hard to take at first and it took me a few listens to "get it" so to speak but it does add a unique touch to have such a melodic voice over such heavy music it does also provide a good contrast to the gruff vocals from Jordan and though i have been critical about one of the songs,all in all this is a great EP and they have taken their influences and channeled them into a sound that is interesting,diverse and certainly fresh! I think once these guys get some gigging under their belt that their next recording will surpass the already high standard set by this one!

The EP is not out until the 19th but you can preview opening track "Where" at the "Echoes And Dust" website (who once again get the drop on UTS with an exclusive maybe i should get some fancier graphics and a soundcloud page?) Anyways you can listen to it there and as you have read above it's a beast of a track!! And as i said before it will be available through the No Fun Intended bandcamp. I've also linked you to Sick Tapestry facebook page go show these guys some love.....

THE EP IS NOW AVAILABE TO DOWNLOAD ON BANDCAMP FREE/PAY WHAT YOU WANT...GO GET IT!!!!


Track Preview/Stream - HERE

No Fun Intended Bandcamp - HERE

Sick Tapestry Facebook - HERE

For locals these guys will be playing an EP release show at Beerhouses-The Old Turk in Dewsbury alongside Nomasta and AlasBlackArches see the Sick Tapestry Facebook page linked above for more details and get yourself down there!!!

EP Cover

MOWER


Mower are a band whose name I'd heard a few times and were one of the bands that should have been in my North/North West Heavy Report (see that HERE ) however at that time they had no recordings available to report on. I was lucky enough to catch them opening for Pentagram in November and I had no idea what to expect from them and they did not disappoint and opening for the sheer legend that is Pentagram is no small deal especially for a new band with nothing but T-shirts to sell, regardless these guys were more than up to the task if they were nervous it certainly wasn't apparent from watching them and they pulled off a blinding set that must have left the touring support band Order Of Israfel feeling some serious discomfort! They have just recently finished their debut EP and Jared (Vocals) was kind enough to pass me a copy for the blog.

So These guys are a 3 piece band but not in the traditional power trio sense these guys have no bass player whilst for a band playing Heavy music I would normally see this as a drawback in this case their guitarist has the bottom end easily covered with a crushing guitar sound and pedals!!! So the EP, clocking in at just shy of 30 minutes it's more of a mini album than an EP and it  is a blinding listen the first thing that struck me when I hit play was the opening riff to first song "Tundra#64" immediately grabbed my attention and pulled me in because it just reeks of classic 70's rock it just has such a sleazy feel it had my head nodding straight away and immediately said to me that these guys have done their homework! It has to be said full marks to guitarist "Fuzzstortion" because with no bass to back him up he has a big gap to fill and his guitar sound is immense throughout it's equal parts sludgy & stoner tempered with an early Celtic Frost fuzz edge to it which whilst keeping it heavy is a refreshing change to the super down tuned style a lot of bands employ whilst i don't mind that style the thing that a lot of bands don't have a handle on that Mower DO is you can droptune till your strings are hanging off but if you haven't mastered the art of the riff then you're just treading water but these guys certainly have it nailed!

What I love about this EP is the fact that so much of it feels familiar without directly ripping bands off, I hear shades of things like Iron Monkey, Pentagram,Raging Speedhorn, Sabbath etc but at the same time they have something that is all their own and they throw in plenty of grooves and changes in tempo to keep your interest, the other great thing is Jared's vocals which move from bluesy howl to throaty growl seamlessly there's also almost singing in some parts see the breakdowns of "Big Doris" and "Ursula" for evidence of this it adds a good contrast and works really well.There are only 4 songs on the EP ranging from the 2 minutes to 8 and 9 minutes in length but each song has plenty of twists and turns and keeps your interest throughout one minute your nodding your head to a fat groove the next thing these guys are crushing you with pounding drums, mountainous riffs and howling vocals. Another thing that I love about this EP is the songs are memorable whilst many bands release fine quality EP's one song and riff sometimes blurs into the next but in Mower's case i find that the songs firmly stick in my head and have seen myself humming some of the riffs and vocal lines almost unwittingly and in some cases the riffs just pile up to the point where I just go ARGGGGHHH and want to smash my head into the wall all in the most blindingly brilliant way!

I can't say enough good things about this EP It's amazing, these guys are quite young and this being their debut it's a really confident and accomplished release for such a new band it's got catchy and crushing riffs by the truckload that along with the great drumming and Jared's varied vocal style once you hit play like me you are in for the whole ride!

The EP is set to be released in a fancy 4 panel Digipak in time for their show at Manchester Music Collective on the 30th of this month (Jan 2016) and should be available for download around the same time, in the meantime you can stream it at the bandcamp link below.

I predict big things for these guys with their utterly addictive blend of heaviness, grooves and the high profile Pentagram support i can see a lot of people getting to hear about this band so get in now while the goings good I've linked you to their EP and their facebook page go show these guys some support they are most definitely deserving of it! 

EP Preview Stream - Bandcamp

Facebook - HERE


Mower live supporting Pentagram 15/11/15

CORINTH NEW EP REVIEW


Corinth hail from the Leeds area and I got on to these guys by virtue of them containing one Ben of BongCauldron in their ranks (Check out my posts on BongCauldron's IMMENSE EP's HERE &  HERE) However while BongCauldron may be masters of pounding you into the ground like a fence post with their brutally heavy sound, Corinth have a slightly more technical and considered approach.

I doubt there was anyone more excited than me when I heard Corinth had a new Self Titled EP coming out (the amazing artwork for which is pictured above) I was a big fan of their first 2 EP's which I wrote about in my oft referred to North/North West Heavy Report (HERE) Whilst their first 2 EP's already displayed some fairly accomplished sounds this new one has progressed their amazing sound even further! Opening Track "Solar Blaze" begins with some fairly flashy high end harmonic riffing and uptempo pounding drums which is the backbone of this song I was initially surprised by this as it's different territory for these guys however it still manages to pack a one/two punch by bringing in a slaying mid tempo heavy riff for the verse, before returning to their uptempo drum/riff combo, I've heard these guys compared to Mastodon before and I never saw it, but with this opener I get a hint of that vibe here, whilst not exactly similar, definitely on the same page but the great closing riff of the song totally makes me think of Kylesa during their mid era prime all crammed into what feels like a fairly short 5 minutes! Second song is more familiar territory for me with these guys the fuzzy yet melodic opening creates a nice building atmosphere and kinda had me waiting with baited breath to see what would drop while the opening riff is given room to breathe there's a point where the drums drop out and I was expecting a sheer avalanche of heavy but instead the riff builds in a far more restrained way which is absolutely stunning there's a brief moment of "chugging" riffage before the song expands into a gorgeous break with some very angelic vocals which just build the song up further although the main riff is thematic this song takes quite a few twists and turns and there's some of that harmonic high end work from the guitars again in  this song which just work beautifully, closing with some feedback and keyboard before hitting you with the last of the three songs the nearly 10 minute "Ironclad" Whilst these guys are no stranger to a BIG heavy riff this last song has an absolutely fucking destroying mix of the crushing post metal riffing you'd expect from someone like Isis combined with the Wah Wah inflicted sheer pummel that is the trademark of Sabbath & Sleep! This builds up and up in tandem with the rhythm section into a dizzying spiral brings you back down then crushes you with a locked groove fading into infinity that just left me stunned!

This is a stellar EP from a band with an already impressively high quality back catalog the reason i like these guys so much as whilst they have familiar touches from both the post and sludgier side of metal they've always progressed with each release and this new one is no exception the sheer amount of ideas packed into these 3 songs shows a real talent for writing this kind of music they know how to make lengthy songs and keep your attention and know exactly when and where to hit the gas on the tempo and those HUGE riffs for maximum effect if i have one complaint it is that although clocking in at 21 minutes long this EP just feels too damn short it's frustratingly over before you know it and just leaves me grabbing my head going ARGGGHHH MORE!!!!

Corinth are most firmly part of the huge explosion of great underground metal going on up here in the NXNW (someone start a festival!!) however these guys are definitely starting to run ahead of the pack with this EP and are another reason to make me feel some local(ish) pride that so much great stuff is coming from the region of the country I live in! These guys are playing music that is easily the equal of any of their more famous contemporaries and any label with an iota of sense are bound to scoop these guys up soon!

This EP is available to stream & download at the bandcamp link below you can also buy a shirt or a CD there, also pick up there 2 awesome previous EP's free/pay what you want on bandcamp and go show em some love at their facebook page too. I hope that a few more people get onto this band because as I keep saying there's so much good music coming out up here now and if you lIke your music heavy,considered and well played these guys are worth your FULL attention.

Bandcamp - HERE

Facebook - HERE

BONGCAULDRON ACID CATTLE EP


If you have been following my recent posts on the North/North West heavy scene in the UK then you will have seen that one of my favorites are Leed's masters of the monolithic riff BongCauldron (if not shift your arse and go see my post HERE ) Their self titled EP from last year was one of the best things I heard in 2014.

So you great readers of mine seem to be actually reading my blurbs and using the links i provide because i was asked by Ben from BongCauldron/Corinth (See North/ North West Heavy report HERE for Corinth they are also amazing!) If i would like to hear and review their forthcoming "Acid Cattle" EP because you people have been checking them out linked via my post on them so first off CHEERS readers!!!!

Enough chit chat so... The new BongCauldron EP "Acid Cattle" Firstly what a great name for a record! there are only 2 tracks but the title track clocks in at hefty near 12 mins! Opening track "Swamp Law" is a great mid paced driving number that is not a radical departure from the debut EP these guys are still HEAVY and in it's less than 3 mins it manages to drive you though a great charging verse towards a killer breakdown groove that's an immediate head nodder and then back into the charging verse part and it's over before you know what hit you.

However Title track "Acid Cattle" is a different proposition altogether and not to take anything away from the shorter and still GREAT "Swamp Law" but this is the one that needs your full attention opening with some eerie feedback and amp hum over which you hear a sample stating... 

"The Doctor had warned me it would be bad,It was horrible, It smelled of Disease and it smelled of Death" 

Which really sets the tone for what's coming!!! The opening riff kicks in and it's great, a brilliant slow motion sludge groove which breaks into a more uptempo part which immediately grabs your attention this song chops and changes quite a lot in pace and style throughout though not jarring you as it flows well and that's whats so great about it one minute your nodding to a heavy groove next minute you are in the middle of a classic Slayer "Reign In Blood" style thrash part (although definitely given the BongCauldron "Heavy as Fuck" treatment!) before they are caving your head in with a cavernous riff of titanic proportions before getting your head nodding again with an even more killer stoner groove than the last one I have no idea how the hell these lads come up with the amazing riffs one after the other but they got 'em by the dumper truckload! However the big surprise for me was the breakdown near the end which uses riff/feedback/amp noise while a gentle undistorted bassline starts to rise in the mix tempered with some light drumming touches and ethereal guitar sounds which is NOTHING like these boys have ever done before and it's a real treat as this ethereal part slowly morphs into the closing CRUSH riff before your very ears and you realize whilst it's back into heavy territory that it's the same groove the bass had been playing through the quiet part it then slows down to a crawl before fading out with some truly nasty amp squalls and you are left picking your jaw up off the floor and wondering what the fuck you just heard! 

It has to be said that whilst still sludgy and fuck off heavy the production here is a little cleaner than the last EP none of the drive or sheer dirty nasty sound has been lost but if i had one little niggle and it is only a small one I would have liked the drums to have been a little louder but I am a drummer so that's probably just me and believe me that really is just a tiny little criticism and the only one I have!

Whilst there are many heavy bands playing this sort of thing out there I really feel that BongCauldron are one of the finest and most interesting of them whilst just over a year since the last EP this one shows some REAL progression from that whilst still maintaining their own recognizable sound all the elements that made their debut so great are still there they have just made them even better and to me that's no mean feat! I don't normally do reviews without giving the music free as well but as i said in my own blog rules it's the one rule I am willing to bend when something is truly worth it and this is most definitely the case with BongCauldron.

"Acid Cattle" gets released on 1st of April ahead of that you can listen to "Swamp Law" from the EP at their bandcamp page at the link below where you can also take advantage of some of their VERY generous pre-order bundles as well (I strongly suggest you do my shirt/patch/CD bundle was ordered the minute i found out they were posted) I think the shirt is gonna be the picture at the top of this page as well which just looks ACE!

FULL EP IS NOW UP FOR DOWNLOAD


Go like em on Facebook as well as they play a shit ton of gigs and you'll find out about them here first.....

https://www.facebook.com/bongcauldron?fref=ts

BongCauldron are a bunch of northern lads who really love their music it's obvious in the way they craft their songs and this EP is defo gonna be in my top 10 best this year (unless they do another it is only March!!)  and a band more worthy of your time and support there isn't!


NORTH BY NORTHWEST HEAVY REPORT



So over the last year or so and even more so in the last few months I have come to discover that in the North/North West of England (I live In Merseyside, main city : Liverpool for any international readers) there is a vibrant and busy little scene for "Heavy" music when I say heavy music I mean of the metal variety however I am not going to pigeonhole these bands all together as one style most of these bands are friends, some share members, play gigs together it's a great network and has produced some great music. Most of these bands are at the demo stage and because some of these releases go from a couple of tracks to a full EP I felt that looking at them individually would be a bit pointless and decided in the tradition of those old Maximum Rock 'N' Roll scene reports that I would do this post in that style and cover a small selection of bands from round then North that i have been impressed by so here goes (Note these are not in order of favoritism just as they come)...

Also NOTE all of these recordings are given free on bandcamp but i chose to upload them to mediafire to take a bit of pressure off the free downloads traffic on their respective pages but I will be giving facebook, bandcamp and website adresses so you can check them out some more and show them some love maybe buy some merch or whatever these are all NEW bands just starting out and more in need of your support than the established ones so that being said I leave it to your conscience .....


So let's begin... first up we have PIST these guys are from Bury in Greater Manchester and appear to be part of the When Planets Collide collective (see them HERE other When Planets Collide artists include Gurt , Nomad & WORT the latter 2 who will also feature in this post) They play a real slick and heavy style of stoner influenced metal which put's me in mind of something like Down or The Sword the riffs are great and immediately have your head nodding and vocalist Dave Rowlands has a really good voice choosing to "sing" rather than scream and shout. There's groovy riffage by the bucketload but also plenty of heavy riffs as well making for an accomplished sounding band and considering this is their first recording these guys sound more professional than a good deal of their more famous peers! I would definitely say these guys whilst heavy are definitely coming from the more tuneful end of the heavy spectrum but their addictive blend of groove and heaviness makes me think these guys will be huge soon. They have an upcoming split album with the mighty BongCauldron (See my posts on BongCauldron HERE & HERE ) in the works and are recording their debut album at Skyhammer studios later this year here is their debut "Riffology" EP go check it out you heard it here first!!!...

PIST - "Riffology" - Mediafire

Facebook - HERE

Website - HERE

So while we are on the subject of PIST next up we have...


So WORT feature Mike Collins Bassist of PIST he handles both the bass and vocals in this band however WORT are an entirely different prospect altogether  I literally only heard this band a couple of days ago as PIST posted them on their facebook page however as the "Not Your Cup Of Tea" EP was only released April last year I'm not too far behind!This is some heavy hate filled sludgy stuff here I was really impressed with it, they have a similar grimy sort of guitar sound that put me in mind of the guitar sound on the first High On Fire album and a little bit of Dave Chandler's trademark Saint Vitus guitar sound as well but with riffs that remind me a lot of something like Iron Monkey but not in a derivative way just that kinda feeling but what sets these guys apart is the ethereal and kinda scary vocals! They remind me a little of the Black metal type of style without being ear piercing or screechy OR annoying it sounds like they locked this guy in the basement and he is screamin to get out!!! All in all this is one of my favorites of this bunch of bands as it's got a real thick and heavy sound to it without being so downtuned as to be barely discernible as music!! Great mountainous riffs a serious bottom end sound altogether a tight unit and with a love of tea that can't be disputed! These guys are slaying and well worth a 1/4 of an Hour of your time.

WORT : Not Your Cup Of Tea - Mediafire

Facebook - HERE

T-Shirts - HERE

Bandcamp - HERE  (Where you can also pick up their demo free)


CORINTH from Leeds are a band who feature Ben Corkhill who is also the bassist of BongCauldron (See post on them linked above) however with music as professional and stunning as this it's obvious this is no mere project band! Corinth display a maturity and songwriting skill that is shockingly good for such an unknown small band blending elements of stoner/sludge/post metal and post rock all together within their sound it makes for an utterly compelling listen and I have had these guys on heavy rotation since i found out about them. What I like a lot about this band is as well as having a fantastic grasp of dynamics with their dual guitars one supplying the bottom end riffage whilst the other just SOARS off into peaks that just make the hair on the back of your neck stand up also that the songs are memorable, when i play Corinth i can think oh yeah this is the song with that great riff or whatever whilst this is no disrespect to other bands in this post or in general but with a memory as bad as mine and the amount of music i try to cram in this a very rare thing with me! Alongside the heaviness of this band it has to be said they are obviously talented players and are not afraid to add a little melody and groove to the proceedings either, all together their blend of styles is just brilliant and makes for what i feel to be a highly original sound! I have put both EP's their debut self titled and their latest "Frontier" in the file below the 5 tracks total are just amazing and I hope they get the recognition they deserve really soon as if they can cram this much amazing music into 2 EP's I cannot wait for a FULL album. FANTASTIC!

Corinth - S/T & "Frontier" EP's - Mediafire

Facebook - HERE

Corinth and BongCauldron Shirts - HERE


Nomad are from Manchester these guys play a pretty damn heavy style of doom/stoner/sludge however what sets these guys apart from the usual riffarama is the vocals this guy is gargling from the bowels of hell, it seems this band have chosen to have a kinda black metal vocal style rather than the more traditional styles that you'd expect from a band playing some heavy Sabbath/Sludge grooves whilst it lends an originality to their sound and there's no mistaking them for any other band I have to be honest the vocals put me off a little it's a brave choice to have such an unusual style but i feel it slightly detracts rather than adds to their greatly produced and well played songs however the strength of the music outweighs my minor concerns about the vocal style. I love the "Bouncing" head nodding grooves they supply and whilst not exactly reinventing the wheel riff wise these guys play with conviction and bring their own flourishes to their sound making them a band I have returned to a few times!  Below I have given you their debut EP "The House Is Dead" and whilst his write up may seem a little negative just remember I do NOT include bands here that i don't like so for that reason alone you sure as shit know these guys need checking out!

Nomad EP - Mediafire

Merch (Inc CD of the EP) - HERE

Facebook - HERE


Ok so moving away from the SUPER heavy stuff here we have Manchester's (again) Ten Foot Wizard with their debut album "Return To The Infinite" so I almost feel with the band and album name a description would be moot!!! anyway Ten Foot Wizard play some really groovy stoner rock and would definitely appeal to fans of stuff like Monster Magnet, Kyuss, Nebula etc etc and to my ears are as good as any of them considering this is a debut album these guys have obviously been honing their chops for a while and peddle a sleazy groove that whilst i say stoner has as much influence from great 70's rock as it does contemporary Sabbath pilfering! This has some great head nodding ass shaking riffs that are just addictive they may not be anywhere near as heavy as any of the other bands here but what they lack in subsonic bottom end they make up for with sheer cheek and bombast! Below is a link to the album go put a smile on your face and check these guys out who would have thought that music this groovy and sunny could have come out of Manchester (totally love that city I lived there for 5 years but it's not exactly known for it's sunshine!!!) Great stuff

Ten Foot Wizard - Return To the Infinite - Mediafire

Merch - HERE

Facebook - HERE

Buy the CD - HERE


Lizard Tongue from Bradford have definitely been listening to a lot of Down and Pantera this 3 track demo/EP is their debut so maybe I'm being a little unfair whilst this is a heavier/bleaker prospect than either Pantera or Down their vocalist is definitely from the Anselmo school I'm sorry guys there is NO denying it! I hope that is a compliment rather than disrespect because I actually really like what these guys are doing musically it has some real heavy riffage there combined with the sort of crushing groove you'd expect from someone like Raging Speedhorn and I'd definitely put them in that sort of "metal" category rather than in the sludgy/stoner style of most of this post whilst there's elements of that style in there there is a more muscular metal feel to it and this is no bad thing whilst these guys may not be "Re-inventing the steel" (sorry couldn't resist) they have plenty of chops and are certainly talented and i will be keeping an eye on them for future releases because whilst i may have been poking a little fun here these guys are really good and worth your attention 100% i guarantee you will be throwing horns a minute into this demo!

Lizard Tongue Ep/Demo - Mediafire

Facebook - HERE

Reverbnation page - HERE



I caught Chester's Black Years live at the same "Keep It Heavy" gig as Apple Cannon (See Post HERE ) and Bongcauldron As soon as they started playing all I could think about was how much they reminded me of the rocking hardcore/metal of the early 00's like Hope Conspiracy, Suicide File and particularly Bars ( A great suicide file/hope conspiracy side project that only released one album in 2005) however i dismissed this as coincidence until near the end of their blistering set they played a Suicide File cover!!! so afterwards i cornered one of the band to tell them how great they were and mentioned the band Bars and he was very enthused and said that that Bars album is the only one the whole band agreed on!!! So in short I nailed it!!! So if you are unaware of the bands I mention then I guess i should say Black Years play a blistering and catchy brand of hardcore influenced metal that has a huge sound and groove to it whilst still kicking your arse I have given you their debut "Black Years I" which is only 2 songs and just over 5 minutes but it's a fuckin shredding 5 minutes their vocalist has a great voice that whilst agressive still allows you to understand the majority of what he is saying! Black Years II is out now on 7" but will be available digitally soon and having seen them play a great live set I can assure you it will be worth seeking out! In the meantime here's Black Years I and links to their facebook etc. GO!

Black Years - "I" - Mediafire

Facebook - HERE


And so we come to the last band of this mini scene report Leeds Tree Of Sores above is the cover of their self titled debut album and with the name and the cover I had kinda expected some sort of Black/Blackened affixed to their chosen style however I was completely wrong Tree Of Sores play some seriously accomplished,stunning and utterly destroying post metal and are among the best i have heard of this style from this country. These guys were a real shock to me as they appear to have been around a few years but I only just discovered them and i don't know how i missed them! These guys and gal are one real talented bunch they write epic songs that are as much soaring to the sky with their riffage as they are crushing you with the heaviness of it all! Whilst building up a song and quiet/loud isn't exactly new these guys do it with real conviction and originality the dual female and male vocals are great and Talia (Bass & Vocals) passionate anguished style remind me of the queen of post metal vocal brutality Laura Pleasants of Kylesa back when she still did WAIL!!!! I hope this is a compliment because the male vocals are also great but Talia's just shred!!! However it's not all about the brutal these guys add some great flourishes the intro guitar to the track "Sandford" sounds to me like "If Husker Du had downtuned their guitars it would sound like this" Whilst their sound is most definitely bleak and crushing as this style of music is supposed to be i can't state how fucking great these guys are at sending the songs peaking and troughing it's a mesmerizing and wild ride! I am really impressed! . I have given you a file below containing the self titled debut album from 2011 (tho trust me it's so fresh and contemporary it coulda been out last week) plus the 27 minute epic " A Cry Of Despair" which was also released on CD in 2012. This is completely essential and compelling stuff if you're a fan of this sort of thing as I am you NEED this right NOW!

Tree Of Sores - S/t And A Cry Of Despair - Mediafire

Bandcamp - HERE

Facebook - HERE

(Note last update on their facebook page was from new year 2013 so whether these guys are still going or not i don't know)

So there you go a little insight into some of the stuff that's going on round my way (or at least within about a 70 mile radius ha ha) this post is linked to some bands i have done separate posts on you will find links to those within the text however this is just a tiny fraction of what's going on in the North west and i can't claim to be the expert here but I cannot urge you enough to do your own digging get in touch with bands ask them whats going on in their scene send messages and get involved!!! That's how i found out about ALL of these bands. remember members of bands are just people like you and me and if they love music enough to be in a band then they are sure as shit happy to talk about it in most cases i have had great conversations and found most people to be real nice and real friendly! Hope you enjoyed this post as much as i enjoyed listening to the bands and doing the blurb anyone wants to give me any more info comment i'll make sure it's heard in the meantime go and check these bands out and when they are massive you can say you were onto them ages ago! Enjoy!!!