Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Blistered The Poison of Self Confinement Review

The Poison of Self Confinement
6131 Records
Released: 21 August 2015 digital; October 30, 2015 for vinyl

A stellar metallic hardcore album came out of Florida recently. 6131 has expanded the sonic-scape of their roster with some softer, more palatable bands. But Blistered hold down the heavy. Blistered killed it with their EP, Soul Erosion, a year and a half ago. Recorded by Kevin Bernsten (Red Death, Noisem, Pulling Teeth, Mindset).

Blistered rip through each track of The Poison of Self Confinement with conviction and their unique take on metallic based hardcore. Songs have section and true song writing, not simply drop-tuned breakdowns. The most alluring factor, and the key to Blistered’s power, is that their music creates and atmosphere. Blistered does not simply rely on a heavy chugging riff to display their power on The Poison of Self Confinement.

I am not trying to subvert the impact of those breakdowns and riffs. Each element is persistent and makes any fan salivate. With the tracks all three minutes or under, we do not have to sit to any tech-dude indulgence. The mission is brutality.  Drawing from the nineties’ European (Liar, Length of Time, Down My Throat, Arkangel, etc) and Florida scenes, Blistered balance that unravelling guitar line that bandies with a bombastic drum fit. That call and response of thick riffs and harmonies made those aforementioned scenes so distinguished and Blistered captures that best aspects. The band can play Slayer sipping lean. But Blistered will also charge forward with a fast part peppered into their homages of the breakdown.

“Into the Dying Light” exemplifies this notion. The bouncing of the floor toms rumbling gives the song an anticipation build, not simply resting on the up and down chugga chugga riff. The closer, “Death At Heaven’s Door” rips forward at ludicrous speed only to stop and pummel the instruments for two killer breakdowns. “Caustic Promise”, “Lust for Vengeance”, and “Lash” are other favorites. It’s hard for any one song to stand out as the entirety of The Poison of Self Confinement, from start to finish, is a crushing piece of work. Vicious and strong, the music revealed here is a peak above today’s hardcore landscape.

Peers: Homewrecker, Forced Order, Twitching Tongues, Xibalba, Downpresser, Homicidal, King Nine, Power Trip 

Influences: All Out War, Disembodied, Morning Again, Culture, Damnation AD, Earthmover, Integrity

Monday, October 5, 2015

Vengeance Fools Follow Rules Review

Fools Follows Rules
Six Feet Under
Digital – September 19, 2015; Vinyl - October 9, 2015

Vengeance consists of members of Floorpunch, Underdog, Blacklisted, Reign Supreme and others. They took nine tracks into the study and recorded with legendary NYHC producer, Don Fury. Hard and heavy, Fans of Manipulate, Terror, and Backtrack should pay close attention.

Killer riffs and heavy stomps fill Vengeance’s resume. Nothing new in the genre, but done with sincere venom and ferocity. Marc Zeveny’s bass (Floorpunch, Endeavor, Anger Regiment) rattles with the resurrected sound of the Breakdown demo. Fury gave the entire spectrum a thick, full sound. Songs range from ten seconds, a minute, to three minutes. Vengeance fill time with spastic fits that move into breakdowns. Pepito (Blacklisted, Reign Supreme) spews pissed growls of warnings and hate drenched venting.

Vengeance strip it down to doing right. It’s all about execution. This pissed off hardcore, honed and unfettered. Typical song titles, “Pushed Too Many Times”, “Your Pride”, One Sided Friendship”, and “Brotherhood” show not a regression but a statement of getting back to the roots. After some of these band members’ resumes, some post-hardcore, expansive sounds, I am positive these dudes wanted to just put out ill fucking hardcore. Mission accomplished. 


Neurot Recordings
Release: 9 October 2015

Kowloon Walled City have progressed past the thicker sludge riffs of their prior outputs. After three years, their new LP, Grievances, reflects a sparser, reticent approach. The stripped down approach of the members, one man, one instrument, one pedal have allowed the writing to expand. Less is more. The somber echoes and tones that vibrate through rusted chords create a stark and chilling atmosphere.

The drums plod along. In between tom bounces and scarce snares, the guitars breathe a chilling mood. The constant weight of loss pulls the listener down. Like a painter telling ore of his story with negative space, the emptiness in between each strum coerces the listener to fill in the gaps with macabre thoughts. The San Francisco band delves and revels into dark portrayals of negative emotions.

The bass is a dirty weapon on the title track. Among cymbal splashes and thin guitars, the bass gives the grit and weight in its rumbling spattering. The vocals are pleas; sounding like wisdom from someone who had to learn the hard way.  The heeding is filtered through grey, broken memories. Callous, the instrumentation builds and unleashes and slithers back again. And again.

 Quoted as saying Grievances is a “bummer” of an album, audiences will be excited to be bummed. The album was recorded live in a large roomed studio. The sweat and exhaustion is evident and adds a layer of tortured recitation. This album is a bold step for KWC and a killer one. The somber sonic frustration and desperate grasps for connection can be felt in each tracks. Each pluck and strum and hit is a reminder of our lives’ isolation.

RIYL: 90’s Dischord, Shellac, Unsane, Drive Like Jehu, Jesu, Conan, Coliseum, Neurosis

Nightfell Darkness Evermore Review

Darkness Evermore
20 Buck Spin

If DIY street cred was currency, Todd Burnette could retire today. His past includes Deathreat, His Hero Is Gone, Severed Head Of State, Tragedy, and Warcry. These hardcore bands were uncompromising, heavy, down-tuned and furious. They all claimed a stoic hardcore stance fettered by unrelenting DIY ethics. In Nightfell, Burnette is joined by Tim Call on drums, who has an impressive roster of metal bands to his name. Nightfell released Nightfell’s debut, The Living Ever Mourn, with Southern Lord and McCall’s own Parasitic Records. Call spoke on the pros and cons of this. “The response was positive. I am not sure how much of a push there was behind it. I co-released the vinyl on my label, which is more of an underground entity. I don’t do a lot of big promotion. My releases tend to sell at a moderate pace, as people hear about them through word of mouth. I have noticed more interest in the first record since the tracks for the new one have been streaming.”

Now Nightfell unleashes their second offering, Darkness Evermore, on 20 Buck Spin. Joined in the studio by cellist, Julia Kent, Nightfell churn up some intense d-beat black metal. Use whatever fusion of genre titles you wish, the impact is still as resonant. Heavy, dark, cold music that can trudge glacially and the spark into incendiary speeds. The cynicism is palatable on each track, demining this existence. Burnette’s guttural growls are lower than ever. The weaving dark harmonies of Tragedy are present. That element is cool, but Nightfell truly stand apart from any project either member has done. Heavy and powerful.
The staccato rhythms enveloping the first track’s ending are a belligerent delivery until we return to the cello. Atmosphere and brutality are priority in Nightfell. That is accomplished and surpassed. The opener, “At Last”, is a sinister ten minutes. Forging through “Cleansing” is demonic growl embedded in a swinging riff and thrashing drums. Brad Boatright’s mastering and Evan Mersk’s mixing present all instrumental factors as equal weapons.

Savage misanthropy backed by heavy distortion and whiplash beats, Darkness Evermore is a bleak statement on the desperation of today’s world.  The album holds respites of disconcerting plucks and vibes. But, this LP consistently returns to the meaty, dreadful morose sounds. The eight to ten minute durations give Burdette and Call ample time to destroy with reckless abandon. The building of tension and venting is continuously rewarded with a tenacious delivery. Stark and cold while avoiding the thin, tin production of trve kvlt BM is refreshing and welcomed. Thick low end chugging breathe new life into this loathsome genre. 

White Jazz Lies Split Review

White Jazz/Lies (Deathwish Inc) new ep

White Jazz is a new band from three quarters of Rise and Fall, giving nods to Minor Threat with Greg Ginn type lead attacks. In “Bliss”, White Jazz are cultivating aggression into sweeping waves of exhaustion and release. With “Gutter Rainbows”, Noise and chaos copulate while filter through pedals of MC5 + Rollins Band + Dicks. There are many influences. But this erects itself to be adored by a vast spectrum of fans. The riff is the pith, but many other factors pack a pretty deep bite. The throat of the vocalist is as impactful as any snare or guitar string. These are not songs as much as they are four dudes beating their instruments to vent the frenetic swarm in their heads. Lo-fi, DIY recording adds to the dangerous aesthetic. Listening to this is like listening to the burning of an altar.

Boasting from members of Skin Like Iron and The Hope Conspiracy, LIES play the hardcore of Infest, Haymaker, and Extortion until it bursts into rocky noise. This is dirty and gritty. Lies exhibit a bitter restraint while fusing Motorhead and Negative approach. “Deny Me”, the second track is a blitzkrieg of off timing drums and furious barking, powerviolence or what have you. It is noisey hardcore that is vomited upon the two inch tape until we get that breakdown. It is catchy and will have VFW hall floors absorbing blood. Lies have recorded what the internal dialogue of a mapless Mid-Westener navigating Boston’s downtown.