Ulcer – “Grant Us Death”

Ulcer – “Grant Us Death” (Pulverised Records)

Fuck me, how heavy is that guitar – if Tony Iommi’s inner demon burst forth, it would probably look like – well, an ulcer lol! Steeped in down trodden misery comes Poland’s answer to Dismember, early Celtic Frost or Nihilist, and hail from Lublin – the same city that the Nazis used to plan the extermination of the Jews in Eastern Europe – nuff said! Guttural vocals, slime pit filthy distorted guitars, barren wasteland bass and drums that could herald a blitzkrieg shatter any semblance of hope on songs like ‘My Lord Has Horns’, ‘When The Horror Comes’ and – wait for it, ‘The Love Song’ heh heh – which is about as romantic as getting executed at dawn. Brilliantly conceived thru starvation and natural social deprivation, Ulcer even look like psycho junkies and brutal prison guards stalking their victims like slavering wolves looking to send them to a mass grave. Pray for death after this one. Continue reading

Man The Machetes – “Idiokrati”

Man The Machetes – “Idiokrati” (Indie Recordings)

Screeching punk core from the Arctic Circle! Vokillist Christopher Iversen screams so much it’s like he’s freezin’ his nutz off along with Canuk producer Eric Ratz – bet they both had some fun putting this wee gem together ha ha. Formed in a WWII bunker in their hometown of Trondheim in Norway, Man The Machetes are an intense mixture of punk noise, RATM, screamo and believe it or not, a hint of melody a la Billy Talent on songs like ‘Neo-Cowboy’, ‘Sluk Det Rått’ and ‘Sudan’! In a matter of just two years, they’ve gone from playing small clubs to festivals like Pstereo and Hove in their homeland, being awarded Ukas Urørt by the Norwegian radio broadcasters and warming up for bands like Gallows and Kvelertak. Still, the songs on “Idiokrati” make them perfect for the US or UK where their equally in your face live shows will no doubt be riotous acts! Continue reading

Space Vacation – “Heart Attack”

Space Vacation – “Heart Attack” (Pure Steel Records)

Space cadets from San Francisco, these guys play Heavy Metal the way it should be! Galloping Maiden riffs, chugging Motorheadbanger rhythms and Def Leppard vocal melodies converge into one on “Heart Attack”, which has to be one of the rad-rest albums I’ve heard in a while. It’s not like it’s not been done before – most notably by those aforementioned bands in the early 80s – but these beer guzzling sickos actually mix it all together on songs like ‘Boston Massacre’, ‘Bro Hammer’ and ‘End Of The Bender’. Yup, Space Vacation are right up there alongside Cauldron and Barn Burner in revisiting NWOBHM era metal viz air guitar marathon soloing, excessive drum rolls, headbands, and harmony singalong songs. As luck would have it, there have been line-up changes since the recording of this album, but whatever their trip, I’m sure Space Vacation will always have plenty out there for old school headbangers. Continue reading

City Of Ashes – “Then There Was A Hand In The Darkness”

City Of Ashes – “Then There Was A Hand In The Darkness” EP (www.facebook.com/cityofashesband)

Hailing from a sleepy seaside town in England comes the oddly named CoA, whose album title conjures up thoughts of Trail Of The Dead, but instead are far more mainstream if still in the alt / post hardcore genre. Initially starting as an acoustic duo, they’ve evolved into a 4 piece who’ve spent the last 3 years touring with the likes of bands like Skindred, Fei Comodo, Exit Ten, Shadows Chasing Ghosts etc. Despite being youthful, what immediately jumps out on songs like ‘Hourglass’, ‘A Calm Like Lethargy’ and ‘Falling Star’ is the superb musicianship – from Orion Powel’s powerfully straight from the heart vocals, which sometimes are quirky sorta like the guy from La Dispute but being soulful, to James Macdonald’s cool guitar work that at times is like a purring pussycat before unleashing emo punk pop licks in fits of impassioned adolescent infatuation! With esteemed producer Matt O’Grady (You Me At Six, Deaf Havana, Don Broco and millions more) at the helm, the band have benefited from a professional sound that has primed both their musicianship and those killer melodies! Continue reading

Promethee – “Nothing Happens. Nobody Comes, Nobody Goes”

Promethee – “Nothing Happens. Nobody Comes, Nobody Goes” (www.facebook.com/prometheemusic)

Named after the Greek legend of Prometheus, this Swiss band could scream as loud as that poor bastard chained to a rock lol! Combing metal core with an experimental groove in a typically eclectic French style, Josh Ors’s hoarse vocals could bring down an avalanche as Ludovic Lacroix and Elric Doswald’s guitars warble and meander around melodic licks and noise riffs like a hairpin ski run on songs like ‘Banner Of Lies’, ‘Genesis’ and ‘Oblivion’. It’s all very energetic with just the right hint of sans souci that has seen Promethee tour as far away as Canada and Cuba and play alongside the likes of HIM, The Prodigy, Rammstein and The Dillinger Escape Plan no less, which is more than can be said of their album’s less than optimistic title. Continue reading

Northpaw – “Trepidation”

Northpaw – “Trepidation” EP (www.facebook.com/northpawofficial)

Screaming post hardcore with emo melodies! Britain’s Northpaw weigh in with some serious power and aggression from Charlie Grout-Smith’s hoarse, Neil Fallon-esque raw throaty vocals that threaten to tear his larynx right out to the wild pummeling rhythm of Andy Allen’s smashing drum work. Adding hardcore choruses on songs on like ‘Face Needs’, ‘Extinction’ and ‘Gratulerar’ it’s certainly enough to bring trepidation to anyone with feeble ears although the pensive guitars of Huet & Irvine, while at times adding to the wall of noise are otherwise soothingly lulling you away by almost mandolin like melodies – deffo an off the wall band worth checkin out! Continue reading


Canadian ABRIOSIS are new to me but that doesn’t mean that I can’t or will not enjoy this EP. At times the more technical and progressive side of death metal can be too much but when I’m in the right kind of mode I have no problems enjoying the most tricky and complex metal. This is brutal like hell death metal that is borderline schizo metal. Continue reading

AZYLYA “Sweet Cerebral Destruction”

“Sweet Cerebral Destruction”
I get an Italian feeling about this Belgian band. There seem to be no end to gothic metal bands with female vocalist coming from Italy. I’m not going to draw any lines between opera and metal, yes I am. I’m not the biggest fan of opera but Nightwish managed to show that you could mix metal with a classical trained opera vocalist and make it work. In the wake of Tarja we’ve seen numerous bands that have incorporated a classical trained vocalist with their metal and made it work. Continue reading

COILGUNS “Commuters”

(Pelagic Records)
I know that I’m getting older for every year and that my memory will deteriorate but I can’t for the life of me remember if I did a review for COILGUNS EP a while back. I have fragmented memories of liking it but that could easily have been a dream. This new album I’m sure that I haven’t reviewed. Continue reading

DEATHRONIC “Duality Chaos”

“Duality Chaos”
(Mighty Music)
I don’t know why anybody wants to take on the task of doing all by oneself. To me that seems like glutton for punishment. But if the result is anything but bad then I’ll champion anybody that does it by themselves. DEATHRONIC is a Parisian one-man band. To my ears this is melodic death metal close in spirit to Arch Enemy. Continue reading