Monday, 27 June 2016

Bloodiest - S/T / Burlap - Burnout King

I obviously haven't posted in a long time (not that anyone except the bots would notice), but here are mini-reviews of two releases that have left very different, but strong impressions in recent months.

Bloodiest - S/T
The music on Bloodiest's self-titled LP takes form from the shadows, and by the time you notice it standing before you, it has lulled you into sinister hypnosis. Subtle drops of sound echo through vast chasms that bring Horseback's heady, misty landscapes to mind. Restrained, disarming guitar riffs and basslines cut from Tool's cloth wind their way in and out of the picture, gaining dominance as they are propelled gradually toward crescendos by compositions that patiently inhale and exhale with increasing malice. The building, claustrophobic tension does not break easily, however, making it much more impactful when the drums and throat are unleashed, for example, to finish "Broken Teeth". Still, it's not entirely surprising to learn from articles elsewhere that Bloodiest do not consider their music to be primarily metal. The ambient sensibility of Dead Can Dance comes through as much as more obvious comparisons like The Atlas Moth or Yob, making this music fascinating, absorbing and oddly unsettling.

Listen here.

Burlap - Burnout King
Sydney's Burlap sound like they're right on the edge of collapse. Burnout King is dirty, depraved, deranged, self-destructive noise rock done right. Hugely oppressive bass, possibly being played lying down in the corner of a room, eyes rolled right back, is forced conscious by the lethargic but insistent pounding of drums. Miserable, antagonistic guitar lines torment at will from a little further away. Everything keeps falling further behind everything else and discordance is thrown around like monkey shit. Spiteful rants about disaffection and isolation are grunted and snarled a-la David Yow and Pissed Jeans, but driven deeper into bitter self-deprecation by rabid, throat-shredding bellowing. And thankfully, notwithstanding all of the cliched garbage I have just written in the lines above, Burlap manage to pull all of it off sounding original and surprisingly dynamic. A snorter of a record.

Listen here.

LxP

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Chthe'ilist
Quebec’s Chthe’ilist have released an absolute monster of an album with Le Dernier Crépuscule. I’m not really fussed with death metal these days, would rather listen to the original masters. But Chthe’ilist have given me that feeling I got when Nile’s Among the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka first came out. The comparisons to Finnish masters Demilich are warranted but Chthe’ilist bring a lot more to the table. The vocals are a great mix of styles and I particularly like the Alien/Predator style. The production is perfect, adding a murky fog to the whole experience. I can’t recommend this enough, especially for those who like me have fallen out of love with death metal.
Bandcamp

Clouds Taste Satanic
I don’t know much about this band, only discovered them recently on Bandcamp and was instantly attracted to the name. What we have here is instrumental stoner doom from Brooklyn. Epic riffs that stick in your memory. There is a large number of reviews on their page that give a lot better description than I ever could.
Bandcamp

Gig of the Week
The Levitation Hex (Cohesion album launch), Red Bee and Imperilment
Friday 15 April at Transit Bar

From the Facebook event page:
Scissor Kick Champs and BMA Magazine proudly present... 

The Levitation Hex "Cohesion" Album launch in Canberra!
With special guests RED BEE and Imperilment.
 

A few years in the making and The Levitation Hex are ready to release their second offering COHESION. The album sees the band start to create their own sound and is a slight departure from the sound and style of the debut. The band decided to use no synthesisers but only Organ and Mellotron to add some tasty slices to the tracks. The album has an upbeat rock attitude and enough metal to keep everyone head banging. Sprinkles of 70s prog and 60s psychedelia are evident through the mesh of traditional heavy metal, hard rock and thrash metal. Cohesion is released April 15th in Australia www.levitationhex.net and the 6th of May in Europe through High Roller records. www.hrrecords.de.

Lying somewhere between the fuzzy borders of punk, hard rock, prog and metal, RED BEE is Daniel Silk (vocalist/guitarist), Jim Silk (bassist) and Ian Dunn (drummer). Quick to dispense with formulaic rhythms and time signatures, RED BEE creates every one of their songs differently. An incredibly tight live band, RED BEE is explosive, atmospheric and energetic; they blow the minds of their audiences and leave them with sore neck muscles the next morning. 

Imperilment are a 5 piece metal band from Canberra, Australia. They have been working tirelessly over the last few years to release their debut EP which is out now. Their sound is based around melodic, progressive groove metal with vocals that range from aggressive screams to clean, skin tingling melodies much like Jesse Leech of Killswitch Engage. With fast passed, technical riffs and complicated yet groovy drum compositions, Imperilment have developed a voice of their own and really make their mark in the Australian metal community.

Tickets are available now from http://www.moshtix.com.au/v2/event/the-levitation-hex-cohesion-album-launch/83434.

Finally, check out www.secretdevilzine.com for band videos.

Unkle K

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Looking Glass - Volume 4
2. Clouds Taste Satanic - Your Doom Has Come
3. Camel of Doom - Terrestrial
4. Rush - 2112
5. Chthe’ilist - Le Dernier Crépuscule

Playlist: LxP
1. Eight Bells - Landless
2. Burlap - Burnout King
3. Northless - Cold Migration
4. Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Arc
5. Looking Glass - Volume 4
6. Magrudergrind - II
7. Black Mountain - IV
8. The Shrine - Rare Breed
9. Zombi - Shape Shift
10. Black Sabbath - Mob Rules

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

This week's gigs

Wednesday 2 March at Transit Bar
GBH, The VeeBees and Urge to Kill

Thursday 3 March at The Basement
Xibalba, Reactions, Honest Crooks, Panic Burst and Hatecrime
LxP

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Upcoming gigs

Friday 5 February at The Basement
Ithaqua, Law of the Tongue, Siberian Hell Hounds,
Loather and BOG

Friday 19 February at Transit Bar
Radio Moscow, Kings Destroy and Holy Serpent

...and up the highway, Saturday 20 February at the Manning Bar
High on Fire, I Exist and Lo!
LxP

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Cacophemisms' 2015 lists

R.I.P. Lemmy Kilmister, 1945-2015
___

LxP


1. Elder - Lore
Elder’s star shone blindingly bright with this masterpiece. My excitement and initial disbelief at how incredibly good it was had me playing Lore almost constantly for over a month to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I am still in awe at how anyone could actually come up with the music on this album. Nick DiSalvo’s ingenious guitar lines are out of this world; but with such an unshakably solid rhythm section as co-pilots, everything remains anchored to the enduring power of the riff, no matter how far into ethereal realms the compositions travel. There is a quicker pace and more classic rock swagger than on previous albums, which opened up new dimensions for the band to explore. What’s terrifying, though, is how easy they made it look when playing these amazing songs live. And as their ascent continues, the question beckons: what the hell are Elder going to come up with next?

2. Acid King - Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere
Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere begins as a faint signal from a far flung galaxy, registering only a miniscule blip on an amateur astronomer’s backyard SETI station. But as its pulses reach closer from across the distance of light years, the supernovan magnitude of its psychedelic power eventually becomes clear. The gravitational pull exerted by its riffs of towering astral fuzz, the transcendent echoes of lucid dreams permeating its exospheric vocals, and the cataclysmic asteroid collisions of drumming that propel the whole transmission through space-time all make the astronomer’s years of patient, dutiful searching worthwhile. Long reign, Acid King!

3. Vhol - Deeper than Sky
The evolution of Vhol’s mind-bending amalgam of prog/thrash/speed metal on their second album almost defies comprehension. It’s still batshit crazy - probably more so than their debut - and the quirks come thick and fast amid the righteous shredding. But the widely disparate sounds and styles seem to implode and explode more cohesively. “3AM” sounds like welcome music for extra-terrestrials who are into D.R.I., yet it goes just fine a couple of tracks before “Paino”, a freeform piano freak-out riding a thunderous polka beat. Notably (perhaps bucking a trend), the black metal elements from the first album have been heavily sedated. Vhol are brilliant and Deeper than Sky is the next level.

4. Meatwound - Addio
There’s no point mincing words: Meatwound’s debut is a fucking killer. Drawing from Unsane-style noise and Coalesce-style hardcore, it suffocates both under piles of filthy crud. Opener, “In Toilet” torturously fights through to a groovy, bludgeoning death knell that is very nearly bowel-evacuating. “Goliath” immediately opens up an even crueller bashing, and it becomes very difficult to turn away from the ugly scenes that continue to unfold through these six tracks. It’s not just pulverising anger, though. With desensitisation to the grit, the progressions and changes that cause such tension in the songs emerge to make Addio even more enthralling. I can’t wait for more.

5. Windhand - Grief’s Infernal Flower
Grief’s Infernal Flower saw Windhand refine the balance they strike between crawling, rhythmic doom and haunting, yearning melody. Their music has become more nuanced and the soulfulness that previously came to the fore in the acoustic “Evergreen” (from 2013’s Soma) is more heavily infused, lending the album strength. Yes, it’s definitely slicker and warmer than the Windhand of old, and the vocals have been brought right out from behind the guitar amps’ buzz. But with songs this good and a voice as engrossing as Dorthia Cottrell’s, the results are magic. Cottrell’s solo album of melancholy folk from earlier in the year is also well worth checking out.

6. Tau Cross - S/T
It was enticing enough that Tau Cross is made up of members of Amebix, Voivod and Misery. But what came out of the speakers when I dropped the needle completely annihilated my expectations. These rousing punk/metal anthems, which also invoke Fields of the Nephilim and Killing Joke, immediately ignite a reaction and stir a sense of empowerment. An instantly memorable, timeless quality soars through the masterful songwriting, from its heaviest percussive bombardments to its sombre, brooding acoustic hollows. And the Baron leads the charge all the way with his poetic ruminations on tyranny and his infectious, raspy calls for uprising. “Our day will come.”

7. Bell Witch - Four Phantoms
Four Phantoms is in this list because after months of listening to it, I’m still grappling with it. So grandiose and cinematic, with so many evocative peaks and troughs, I have loved listening to it as both background music that magnificently fills the silence and as a full-concentration journey through personified elemental devastation and the resulting catharsis. Its tectonic movements carry so much more than just the “sadness” many reviews have referred to. There is a vast array of musicality and emotion hidden within the dominant funeral doom tropes, with more secrets continuing to surface over time.

8. Kowloon Walled City - Grievances
Here is the logical but exhausting next step in Kowloon Walled City’s visible trajectory from bellicose noise rock to something much more exposed and considered. Grievances is built as much around the open spaces between its monumental bursts of sound as the sounds themselves. Every single deliberate string hit, skin strike, bass rumble and voice crack is clearly audible in this remarkable expression of focus. There are trailing remnants of riffs past, but the heaviness now resonates in the music’s minimalism. Notes, vibrations and words are left to linger so their impact sinks in…like the broken hopes of a spirit crushed beneath the weight of a lifetime’s meaningless occupation.

9. High on Fire - Luminiferous
Luminiferous deftly carried all the beloved hallmarks emblazoned on the hearts of loyal High on Fire fans and, with Kurt Ballou on production duties again, presented them with heft, guts and clarity. But it also delivered new surprises. The rolling freight train groove of “Carcosa”. The sheer explosive fury of the title track. The hardcore leanings of “Slave the Hive”. The way Des Kensel’s drumming really seemed to “speak”. And Matt Pike’s open revelations of what he was so rabidly howling about, including the conspiracies he apparently believes (“The Black Plot”) and, most unexpectedly, the brutal hurt of lost love (“The Cave”). Bring on the February Australian tour.

10. Mutoid Man - Bleeder
This brief outburst of blazing, speedy power pop is ridiculously addictive. Hyperactively slashing and bouncing between turbocharged, thrashing hardcore and wild noodling - and very occasionally slamming on the brakes for a smear of sludge - Bleeder is exciting because of the unpredictability that underlies its catchiness. The frenetic, incendiary rhythms are irresistible, mostly due to the beastlike drumming performance of Ben Koller (Converge). The saccharine vocals may be a little much at times, but they also boost the over-the-top sense of shameless fun that makes the album so damn enjoyable.

Honorable mentions:


Agency - The Stillness of Speed
Black Breath - Slaves Beyond Death
Captain Cleanoff - Rising Terror
Christian Mistress - To Your Death
Cloud Rat - Qliphoth
Coliseum - Anxiety’s Kiss
Cosmic Psychos - Cum the Raw Prawn
Czarface - Every Hero Needs a Villain
Goatsnake - Black Age Blues
Hydromedusa - S/T
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - The Night Creeper
Witchskull - The Vast Electric Dark
___

Unkle K


Based on the few promo tracks I've heard, With the Dead's self-titled release would have been my album of the year, but I have not heard the whole LP so I have not included it.

1. Magic Circle - Journey Blind - HEAVY METAL RULES THE WORLD!
2. Venus Sleeps - Dead Sun Worship - Irish doomsters' debut deserved more love.
3. Elder - Lore - Backed up this LP with one of the best shows I've seen in years.
4. Goatsnake - Black Age Blues - So catchy and heavy. Great vocals, terrible lyrics. Good ol' Goatsnake.
5. Black Trip - Shadowline - Lizzy/early Maiden worship from ex-Entombed man, Pete Starwind.
6. Lucifer - Lucifer I - Maybe even better than last year's album by The Oath, with the addition of Gaz (ex-Cathedral).
7. Black Breath - Slaves Beyond Death - Better than anything Entombed have released in the last 15 years.
8. Church - Unanswered Hymns - Giant-killing doom. Soundtrack to the apocalypse.
9. Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard - Nachthexen - The name says it all.
10. The Grand Astoria - The Mighty Few/"Masterplan"/"Kobaia Express" - Russian prog metal masters. Three releases in 2015.
11. Holy Serpent - S/T - Great stoner/doom debut from Melbourne youngsters.
12. Melbourne grind/gore: The Kill - Kill Them...All; Captain Cleanoff - Rising Terror; Clogged - S/T; Take That Vile Fiend - Excreted Brain Matters - The best grind releases of 2015 are from Hellbourne, of course.
13. High on Fire - Luminiferous - If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
14. Mansion - Altar Sermon - Kooky, creepy, churchy Finnish rock.
15. Japanese releases: Sobbed/WDLK - Split; Legion of Andromeda - Iron Scorn - Brutal.
16. Year of No Light/Bagarre Generale - Split - French masters can do no wrong.
17. Witchskull - The Vast Electric Dark - Canberra's own. Great debut.
18. The Body & Thou - You, Whom I Have Always Hated - Thou's brilliance almost wrecked by The Body's squawking parrot vocals.
19. Funeral Horse - Divinity for the Wicked - Catchy Texan heavy rock. Production needs more balls.
20. Yuri Gagarin - At the Center of All Infinity/Sea of Dust - Swedish space rock.

Other releases I enjoyed this year include:
Fought Upon Earth - S/T
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - The Night Creeper
Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat
Ghost - Meliora
Drowning Horse - Sheltering Sky
People Problem - Examinations
Corsair - One Eyed Horse
Brume - Donkey
___

Geoff (Mendicant Music)

1. Arcturus - Arcturian
2. Captain Cleanoff - Rising Terror
3. Spectral Voice - Necrotic Doom
4. Witchskull - The Vast Electric Dark
5. Autopsy - Skull Grinder
6. Grave Pleasures - Dreamcrash
7. The Kill - Kill Them...All
8. Viscera Infest - Verrucous Carcinoma
9. Crypt Sermon - Out of the Garden
10. Archgoat - The Apocalyptic Triumphator
___


Shane

1. Sumac - The Deal
2. Horisont - Odyssey
3. Coliseum - Anxiety’s Kiss
4. Goatsnake - Black Age Blues
5. Tribulation - The Children of the Night
6. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - The Night Creeper
7. Graveyard - Innocence & Decadence
8. Black Breath - Slaves Beyond Death
9. High on Fire - Luminiferous
10. Grave Pleasures – Dreamcrash
___


JJ (I Exist/BMA "Metalise")

1. Witchskull - The Vast Electric Dark
2. Horisont - Odyssey
3. Church - Unanswered Hymns
4. Pissgrave - Suicide Euphoria
5. With the Dead - S/T
6. High on Fire - Luminiferous
7. The Kill - Kill Them…All
8. Captain Cleanoff - Rising Terror
9. Ufomammut - Ecate
10. Goatsnake - Black Age Blues
___


Brad K

1. Take That Vile Fiend - Excreted Brain Matters
2. Legion of Andromeda - Iron Scorn
3. Captain Cleanoff - Rising Terror
4. Howls of Ebb - The Marrow Veil
5. Clogged - S/T
___

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Unkle K's Bands of the Week


Gigs

The VeeBees
Saturday 31 October at Snowy Vineyard & Microbrewery

The VeeBees are playing a show at Snowy Vineyard & Microbrewery on Saturday 31 October. Bus numbers are a little down and they need some more recruits, so come and join me on what should be a fantastic day of fine beers and hot grog rock. Here are the details:

Ever since we wrote the song "I'd Rather Be On A Brewery Tour" we've dreamed of playing at a brewery. And now we are! It's on beer drinkers. We're playing on a brewery tour!!! And you're invited along for some fun.

On Sat 31st Oct jump on a bus with us and head out from Canberra to The Snowy Mountains Brewery & Vineyard in Dalgety (about a 2 hour ride), sample some beers, eat some tucker, sample some more beers, watch The Vee Bees play some shit hot grog rock, more beers, wipe off the beer goggles and stumble back onto the bus home again. Oh yeah and it's a winery too, so if beer isn't your thing.... 

Tickets are $99.
For your money you get a full day of unique fun including:
*Pick up at 10am and dropped off at 6pm from Jolimont Centre (Canberra City).
*Travel to and from the Brewery.
*Free beer and wine samples. Samples only.
*A two course meal.
*The Vee Bees famous rock'n'roll show.


Tickets are limited and available from the ticket tab or here: https://snowywines.fasthit.net/events.cfm (This link doesn't currently mention The Vee Bees by name but there is a photo of us. Purchase with confidence!) 

Or if you just wanna rock up on the day there will be a $10 cover charge for the band. Food and grog available over the bar. There are no tickets for this option, just rock up on the day.

Check out Snowy Vineyard and Microbrewery here: https://snowywines.fasthit.net/index.cfm And check this out too!! http://theveebees.bandcamp.com/track/id-rather-be-on-a-brewery-tour 

Lecherous Gaze, Frown and Hygiene
Thursday 22 October at The Phoenix

Alright, anyone who saw Californian punk rockers Lecherous Gaze when they toured a year or two ago will tell you what a great show they played at The Phoenix and that they are well worth checking out on this return trip. (Support these gigs, folks. We need more people at these midweek shows, which are pretty much the only time we get international shows here.)
Listen to Lecherous Gaze on Bandcamp
 

Captain Cleanoff, Wretch and Blight Worms
Friday 16 October at Transit Bar

They need no introduction. Crushing, extreme grindcore at its finest!! 


One more plug. I have started uploading old metal videos that you can check out at www.secretdevilzine.com or on YouTube. The website also has flyers and photos.

Unkle K

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Funeral Horse - Divinity for the Wicked
2. Funeral Horse - Sinister Rites of the Master
3. Witchskull - The Vast Electric Dark
4. Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower
5. Lasers from Atlantis - S/T

Playlist: lxp
1. Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower
2. Khemmis - Absolution
3. Uncle Acid - The Night Creeper
4. Goblin Rebirth - S/T
5. False - Untitled (2015)
6. Czarface - Every Hero Needs a Villain
7. Kadavar - Berlin
8. Flagitious Idiosyncrasy in the Dilapidation - S/T
9. Witchskull - The Vast Electric Dark
10. Kylesa - Exhausting Fire
...not to mention Neurosis reissues.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Unkle K's Bands of the Week


Church
Wow. Epic doom from Sacramento, California's Church. This release is on the awesome Transylvanian Tapes label, which specializes in cassette releases. I expect this release will get the vinyl treatment sooner or later as it is, in my opinion, the best doom release of 2015. Three crushing tracks of epic psychedelic doom that absolutely crushes with its heavy parts and mesmerises with its slow parts. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Thank you for the heads up, JJ Doomeddisciple.
Bandcamp

Venus Sleeps
Dublin's Venus Sleeps continue the production line of great doom/stoner bands coming out of Ireland, along with Slomatics, War Iron, Wild Rocket, Weed Priest, etc. Venus Sleeps started out as a one man band but Sie Carroll seems to have got a full band together for this release. Most of the tracks have a bit of an E.Wiz feel, but they add enough of their own magic with fine results. Love the vocals, clear and creepy. I didn't know until I did more research that track 3, "Golden Hair" is a Syd Barrett cover.
Bandcamp

Two Wolves
What an album cover. Those responsible are Two Wolves from Auckland, Zealand. Two Wolves are terrific. They play dirty, sleazy, gritty, punky rock complete with heaps of slide guitar and harmonica, catchy tunes and gruff vocals. I could imagine this band being right at home on stage with The VeeBees or Boonhorse/LOG. This release came out in 2013 but is still worth tracking down. Two Wolves released a single, "Sand Purgatory" last year - the song rips but lacks the dirty sound of the The Roar and Peal of Distant Thunder LP.
Bandcamp


Playlist: Unkle K
1. Church - Unanswered Hymns
2. Two Wolves - The Roar and Peal of Distant Thunder
3. Venus Sleeps - Dead Sun Worship
4. Take That Vile Fiend - Excreted Brain Matters
5. Fought Upon the Earth - S-T

Playlist: lxp
1. Tau Cross - S-T
2. Meatwound - Addio
3. Blackout - S-T
4. Church - Unanswered Hymns
5. Weedeater - Goliathan
6. Blockheads - Human Parade
7. Royal Headache - High
8. High on Fire - Luminiferous
9. Noisem - Blossoming Decay
10. Pod People - Mons Animae Mortuorum (first spin of this cracking vinyl pressing as I type!)

Unkle K

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

I have not posted for a while as my tinnitus of the last five years has spread to my right ear and has been excruciating lately, so music has unfortunately taken a back seat. Apologies to the Witchskull lads for missing your show last Friday, and I had to give the Black Cobra/Jucifer show a miss as well (anyone go? How was it?).

The Grand Astoria
This Russian band's name had me interested right from the get go, so I was very pleasantly surprised to discover how good they are. Formed in 2009, they have pumped out around ten releases, so I have much catching up to do. The songs on the latest releases tend to go from 10 to 25 minutes, whereas the earlier releases tended to stick to the five minute mark. There are multiple members but Kamille Sharapodinov (vocals, guitars, korg monotron) seems to be the main man. He has a great voice and sings in Russian, which really works. They play a weird mix of jazzy progressive metal that is highly recommended.
Bandcamp

Lucifer
Last year I reviewed The Oath's stunning debut. Unfortunately they broke up not long after that release, but their brilliant vocalist, Joanna Sadonis has returned with a new band that features riff master Gary Jennings (Cathedral, Death Penalty). Not as upbeat as The Oath but mystically epic, catchy, doomy heavy metal. Headbanging guaranteed to start during the track "Izrael".
Soundcloud
Interview and debut album stream: Invisible Oranges

I usually try to feature at least one Australian band but nothing has really jumped out at me the last few months. I will endeavour to uncover some gems this month.

Playlist: Unkle K
1. The Grand Astoria - The Mighty Few/Kobaia Express
2. Lucifer - Lucifer I
3. Legion of Andromeda - Iron Scorn
4. Pink Floyd - Live at Pompeii
5. Goatsnake - Black Age Blues (Brilliant)

Playlist: lxp
1. Acid King - Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere
2. Mutoid Man - Bleeder
3. Goatsnake - Black Age Blues
4. Cloud Rat - Qliphoth
5. Metz - II
6. Seremonia - Kristalliarkki
7. Abyssal - Antikatastaseis
8. Refused - Freedom
9. Hellbringer - Dominion of Darkness
10. Frank Zappa - The Man from Utopia/Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch

Unkle K