Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Cacophemisms' 2013 lists

The white noise created by countless year-end lists has faded. Nonetheless, Cacophemisms and some of our friends have a few more contributions to make. 2013 was packed full of great music and it's safe to say that narrowing these picks down was more difficult than most/all of us expected. If you're reading this, hopefully you might find something you want to look into further. We also invite you to help us give a final blast to the din of subjective opinion and add your lists in a comment on this post.



1. Magic Circle - S/T
From the cathartic doom fuelled riffs that break into triumphant NWOBHM inspired flourishes to Q’s thumping drums that lead mightily from the front. From the striking emotional weight of Brendan Radigan’s vocal delivery to the irresistible pull of the recording’s raw, direct, live feel. Magic Circle’s debut album overflows with a special quality that makes you want to relive every moment as soon as it passes by. Months later, as the final lick of closer “Magic Circle/Cloven in Two” fades out, it’s still a struggle not to flip the record over and start again - to have one more scratch at the itch that spread with the first bite inflicted by the galloping verses of “Rapture”.

2. Northless - World Keeps Sinking
With more time to take in the behemoth that is World Keeps Sinking since my review in September, I am no less impressed by it. When the album’s devastating magnitude becomes less intimidating and the songs’ construction becomes more familiar, the details hidden in every corner continue to reveal themselves. It’s the unconventional, sometimes jarring, sometimes uplifting touches that really begin to stand out, keeping the entire album interesting and keeping Northless well ahead of the pack. Brilliant.

3. Agrimonia - Rites of Separation
The first time I heard the intro to “Talion” being savagely torn apart by the explosive verse, I wanted to destroy everything in sight. Agrimonia completely nailed their approach to epic, metallic crust with Rites of Separation, creating an incendiary, dynamic record that is massive in both sound and scope. While the album ebbs and flows, its percussive, driving force imposes a fevered intensity that sears throughout its five howled testimonies to humanity’s dislocation at its own hands.

4. Vhol - S/T
Vhol spew forth an awesomely maniacal blend of thrash, prog, black and power metal, drawing from Voivod, Celtic Frost and even Discharge to create a wonderful, mesmerising racket that defies simple description. Pulsing, tremolo picked basslines and supercharged drumming underpin some stupefying, wildly inventive guitar work. And Yob’s Mike Scheidt tops it all off with his inimitable subterranean growls, scratchy, cavernous vibrato and everything between.

5. Earthless - From the Ages
The latest chapter of Earthless’ psychedelic shred freak-out adventures truly delivers. Containing all the thrills and spills you would expect, From the Ages hangs on to some more straightforward grooves than their other albums do, offering more places to jump on board and enjoy the ride. This is definitely going to remain on high rotation throughout the summer. And the cherry on top: Earthless and The Shrine are playing here in Canberra on New Year’s Day at the Basement.

6. Orchid - The Mouths of Madness
At first, I dismissed Orchid as another pointless Sabbath rip-off. Wrong. Eventually, Through the Devil’s Doorway turned me, and by the time I got through The Mouths of Madness, I was fully converted. Orchid take ownership of what they borrow. You just can’t argue with the stellar songwriting, the perfectly muted heaviness, or the dark but catchy wailing vocal melodies that carry equally well in moments of soaring, classic hard rock glory and blurry-eyed, lava lamp-lit interludes.

7. Phantom Glue - A War of Light Cones
This seems to have slipped by with little recognition, which is a shame because Phantom Glue’s distinctive, hardcore-tinged approach to huge, noisy sludge (with nods to Black Elk and early Mastodon) packs a hefty blow. With A War of Light Cones, the band created a brutal but clever, charismatic, bass-heavy monster with rough, distorted vocals and effective, sparing use of screaming guitar lines and solos. A great album that is well worth checking out if you missed it.

8. Cloud Rat - Moksha
Moksha is an outstanding offering of thrashy, melodic grindcore that isn’t afraid to let its emotions wander into more diverse territory, as in the wistful beginnings of “Infinite Chasm”. But the scathing and the nightmarish dominate, with the ferocious attack of the vocals and drums projecting most of the wrath. The guitar is sometimes buried, but the effect is that its distant melodies actually draw you in closer so Cloud Rat can go straight for your face.

9. The Black Angels - Indigo Meadow
I had never heard the Black Angels before this year, and I’m very glad that a couple of mates alerted me to the band’s haunting psychedelic rock, which conjures Neil Young, the Doors and Black Mountain. I absorbed three of their four albums concurrently - their debut, Passover was the shining light. But even though 2013’s Indigo Meadow is more subdued, it contains some fantastic moments and a compelling, subtly sinister weirdness that keeps me going back.

10. Hydromedusa - The Rats Have My Mind
It’s only a three-song cassette, but I couldn’t leave the latest from Adelaide’s Hydromedusa out of this list. They toned down the Eyehategod influence on this release, focusing more heavily on channelling Buffalo and AC/DC. They also stripped back some of the complexity apparent on their self-titled EP in order to crank out wild, raucous, sludgy rock ‘n’ roll that I really hope to see on stage some time soon.

Honourable mentions:
Agents of Abhorrence - Relief
Czarface (Inspectah Deck/7L & Esoteric) - S/T
Noisem - Agony Defined
SubRosa - More Constant than the Gods
Vista Chino - Peace
Windhand - Soma

Unkle K

Flesh Police - Demo 2013
The VeeBees - Meet My Middle Finger/Wife School
Undergang - Som Til Din Ligkiste
Corrupt Moral Altar - Whiskey Sierra
Mansion - We Shall Live
Hoax - S/T
Obliterations - S/T
Slomatics - The Future Past
Laser Flames on the Great Big News - Lambs to the Slaughter
Tethered to a Dying Animal - Impermanent
Mother Brain - Straight to Business (2012)

Drowning Horse - S/T
Weekend Nachos - Still
Jucifer - За Bолгой для нас земли нет
Windhand - Soma
Orchid - The Mouths of Madness
Kylesa - Ultraviolet
Voivod - Target Earth
Year of No Light - Tocsin
Autopsy - The Headless Ritual
Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum
Coffins - The Fleshland
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Mind Control
Magic Circle - S/T
Code Orange Kids - Love is Love/Return to Dust
Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance
Sete Star Sept - Too many 2013 releases to mention
Portal – Vexovoid
To the Point - Shit You Should Have Bought on Vinyl the First Time Around 

Need to listen to these more:
Baptists - Bushcraft
All Pigs Must Die - Nothing Violates this Nature
Black Willows - Haze
14:13 - S/T
Anciients - Heart of Oak
Nightslug - Dismal Fucker
Seven Sisters of Sleep - Opium Morals
Grime - Deteriorate
Biipiigwan - Something for Everyone; Nothing for Anyone
Cult of Luna - Vertikal

TV shows:
Game of Thrones
Ray Donovan
Boardwalk Empire
Eastbound and Down
Orange is the New Black
Magic City
Top of the Lake
The Americans 


1. Lycus - Tempest
2. Hatred Surge - Human Overdose
3. Society Nurse - S/T
4. Moss - Horrible Night
5. Usnea - S/T
6. Full of Hell - Rudiments of Mutilation
7. Portal - Vexovoid
8. Bone Sickness - Alone in the Grave
9. Primitive Man - Scorn
10. Abyssal - Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius

Geoff (Mendicant Music)

1. Inquisition - Obscure Verses for the Multiverse
2. Krypts - Unending Degradation
3. Dead Can Dance - In Concert
4. Perfume - Level 3
5. Autopsy - The Headless Ritual
6. Obliteration - Black Death Horizon
7. Cultes Des Ghoules - Henbane
8. Lantern - Below
9. Portal - Vexovoid
10. Secret Chiefs 3 - Book Of Souls: Folio A
Honourable Mentions:
Agents Of Abhorrence - Relief
Batillus - Concrete Sustain
Bolzer - Aura
Clagg - Gather Your Beasts
Eardelete - Devilogy
Gruesome Stuff Relish - Sempiternal Death Grind
Hail Of Bullets – III: The Rommel Chronicles
Immolation - Kingdom of Conspiracy
Innumerable Forms/Blessed Offal - Split
Vastum - Patricidal Lust

JJ (I Exist/BMA "Metalise")

1. Portal - Vexovoid
2. Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum
3. Exhumed - Necrocracy
4. Clagg - Gather Your Beasts
5. Cathedral - The Last Spire
6. Windhand - Soma
7. Kvelertak - Meir
8. Orchid - The Mouths of Madness
9. Solstice - Death’s Crown is Victory
10. Black Sabbath - 13

Shane (Cutting Hose, Burning Plastic)

1. Beastmilk - Climax
2. The Body - Christs, Redeemers
3. Horisont - Time Warriors
4. Ulcerate - Vermis
5. Weekend Nachos - Still
6. Tombstoned - S/T
7. ASG - Blood Drive
8. Carcass - Surgical Steel
9. Gorguts - Colored Sands
10. Mountain Witch - Cold River
11. Windhand - Soma
12. Altar of Plagues - Teethed Glory & Injury
13. Gnaw - Horrible Chamber
14. Big Business - Battlefields Forever
15. Inquisition - Obscure Verses for the Multiverse
16. True Widow - Circumambulation
17. Obliteration - Black Death Horizon
18. Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum
19. Dead in The Dirt - The Blind Hole
20. Obits - Beds & Bugs

Monday, 30 December 2013

Earthless/The Shrine, etc...

Canberra's first show of 2014 is set to be a ripper, with Earthless coming back to the Basement on New Year's Day with The Shrine and Looking Glass. It will definitely be worth pushing through the hangover for this one!
Facebook event page

And with no real connection to the above, here are a couple of links I have been sent to some end of year goodies.

First, a heartwarming little story (cheers Dave) about bands such as ACxDC, Nails and Xibalba doing it for the children at Christmas time: LA Weekly.

And finally, footage of the recently reactivated BL'AST!, now featuring Nick Oliveri in their live lineup, playing in Santa Ana, CA a couple of days ago (thanks Altree): YouTube.


Thursday, 12 December 2013

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Just when I thought I'd totally lost interest in new death metal, along comes Denmark's Undergang with a filthy three track EP. It sounds like the classic Stockholm buzzsaw guitar sound, but crossed with an even heavier goregrind band. They don't rely on speed, preferring to gurgle along with some of the catchiest headbanging tunes I've heard in ages. Backed up with some brilliant artwork, this is a must get.

Black Willows
I only discovered this band recently from checking top 10 lists for 2013 on the Doom Forever, Forever Doomed forum. The first track I heard from this Swiss band was "Black Magic", which is a trippy sounding track with gongs and triangles. But as bad as that sounds, it was actually pretty good and it seemed to suck me in to listening to the whole album, which totally changes direction from that song. The rest of the album has more of a psychedelic, heavy, melodic vibe with cool deep, crooning vocals.

Lecherous Gaze
Lecherous Gaze from Oakland, CA destroyed the Phoenix Bar last Thursday - a great mix of MC5 and Black Flag, with a highly entertaining frontman and one of best guitarists I have had the pleasure of witnessing in a long time. The fact it was a $5 show in the new and improved Phoenix, the support band from Melbourne, Gentlemen, along with Canberra's Hygiene also made for a great night.
Lecherous Gaze (photo by Gav)

Gig of the Week
With the unfortunate cancellation of the Kylesa show last night, that leaves us with the Melvins/Helmet show at the ANU tonight, Thursday 12 December.

Video of the Week
Who Actually Listens to Black Veil Brides?: YouTube

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Undergang - Søm Til Din Ligkiste
2. Black Willows - Haze
3. Lecherous Gaze - On the Skids
4. 14:13 - S/T
5. Windhand - Soma

Playlist: lxp
1. Bloodmoon - Voidbound
2. Lecherous Gaze - On the Skids (I couldn't agree more with Andy's comments about their show at the Phoenix last week - awesome!)
3. Tombstones - Red Skies and Dead Eyes
4. Black Skies - Circadian Meditations
5. I Exist - From Darkness

Unkle K

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Gig of the Week
Kadavar (Germany), Blues Pills (Sweden) and Looking Glass. Thursday 28 November at ANU Bar.
Berlin trio Kadavar (Bandcamp) play 70’s retro rock similar to Witchcraft and Graveyard. Highly recommended. Support comes from Sweden’s Blues Pills and Canberra’s Looking Glass, with the return of Clinton on drums.

Video of the Week
The Psyke Project - "Winter": YouTube

Playlist: lxp
1. Vhol - S/T
2. Windhand - Soma
3. Melvins - Tres Cabrones
4. War Wolf - Crushing the Ways of the Old
5. Golden Bats - I, II, III, IV and V
6. Occultist - Death Sigils
7. Grails - Black Tar Prophecies Vols. 4, 5 & 6
8. Lumbar - The First and Last Days of Unwelcome
9. Noisem - Agony Defined
10. Sun of Man - I

Unkle K

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Upcoming gigs

This Thursday marks the start of an awesome run of shows over the next three weeks that will see Canberra well and truly rock its way into the silly season with all the volume we could ask for. See you there!

Thursday 28 November at ANU Bar
Kadavar, Blues Pills and Looking Glass

Saturday 30 November at Magpies City Club
I Exist (launching their new album, From Darkness), The Fighting League, Sumeru and Hygiene

Wednesday 4 December at the Basement
Guitar Wolf, Little Mac and the Monster Men and Bacon Cakes

Thursday 5 December at the Phoenix
Lecherous Gaze, Gentlemen and Hygiene

Wednesday 11 December at ANU Bar
Kylesa, Looking Glass and Rise of Avernus

Thursday 12 December at ANU Bar
Melvins, Helmet and guests

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Whores - Clean

There is a lot to be said for music that gets straight to the point without fucking around. And that is exactly what Whores do on Clean (Brutal Panda).

The driving first riff of opener "Baby Bird" sets the tone from the outset. There are no long, self indulgent, meandering intros. No prolonged attempts to wring the life out of any of the songs. Just a dangerously infectious succession of heavy, straightforward, pissed off grooves set around breaks that would be miserable downers if the slightly-slower-than-comfortable rhythm section didn't plough through it all so steadily. The huge, rumbling bass and the pounding, meat-and-potatoes drums don't allow the songs, or the listener, to stray. And the way the hook-laden noise rock guitar lines carry the enormous groove immediately and consistently shines.

Christian Lembach's entertaining vocal performance is a real highlight. He snarls, drawls and barks out some great lines drenched in tongue-in-cheek bitterness. His yell tempts its breaking point, and the scratchiness in his voice gives the songs both pointed ferocity and comedy.

Whores are deeply rooted in the Melvins, Unsane and Helmet schools of rock, but they really build on those influences to great effect. The sarcastic swinging rhythm of "I Am Not a Goal Oriented Person", which later churns under a single chord breakdown, a la "In the Meantime", is a great example...and catchy as all hell. Pissed Jeans could be another reference point, but Whores incorporate much more sludge, and the fantastic production of this recording brings all that heaviness to the fore. It seems strange to write this, but the final track, "I Am an Amateur At Everything" almost sounds like the bastard child of Future of the Left and Bongzilla. And it really works.

But enough with the facile comparisons. The point is, if you like no-nonsense noise rock that's heavy on the sludge, then Whores have delivered what you need.

Listen to Clean here.


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Due to my already stuffed ear copping a walloping at the Church of Misery show a month ago, I have not been listening to much music in the last few weeks. Here are a couple of things that have caught my attention.

I'm sure I've seen or heard this band before but if I have, it didn't leave the impression on me that this new track from their forthcoming LP has. This crushing grindy track leaves me highly keen to hear the full length. Another quality Melbourne act.

Weekend Nachos
Most of you are probably familiar with Weekend Nachos. For those that are not, checking them out is a must. These two tracks from their forthcoming LP, Still, contain all the elements that make WN so good. Massive guitar sound, great variety between slow and fast. One of the very few bands that could make these old legs want to mosh like a crazy ape.

Gig of the Week
Cyberne (Japan), Dead (Melbourne), The Reverend Jesse Custer and Machina Genova. Sunday 3 November, 5pm at Magpies City Club. $10 concession/$15 standard.

Also, Beer Day Out is not until Saturday 9 November, but tickets are selling fast, so get onto it: Facebook.

Video of the Week
The VeeBees - "Doin'er Up": YouTube

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Dragged into Sunlight - Widowmaker
2. Mother Brain - Straight to Business
3. Deep Purple - Burn
4. Scorpions - Animal Magnetism 
5. All Pigs Must Die - Nothing Violates this Nature 

Playlist: lxp
1. Earthless - From the Ages
2. SubRosa - More Constant than the Gods
3. Red Fang - Whales and Leeches
4. Great Falls - Accidents Grotesque
5. Woodwall - WoodEmpire

Unkle K

Monday, 7 October 2013

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Not aware of any shows this week but I'm quite happy to live off memories of the awesome Church of Misery show I witnessed on Friday night in Sydney. Bloody fantastic. Cheers to Nathan for bringing them out from Japan.

Frozen Planet....1969
Featuring our very own Lachlan from Looking Glass along with the Mother Mars brothers. Frozen Planet....1969 play improvisational spaced out jam rock. If you are familiar with any of the members' other bands you will know how talented these guys are and you will be all over this. For the uninitiated, highly recommended.

Human Cull
Really digging the explosion of good bands out of the UK playing grindy stuff at the moment - Magpyes, Horsebastard, Corrupt Moral Altar. Add Human Cull to that list. Brutal, unforgiving, foot to the floor grind, not too polished like a lot of the newer grind acts these days.

Seven Sisters of Sleep/Shaman's Owl
Both bands feature members of the underrated The Arm and Sword of a Bastard God, who released a killer split with Coffins back in 2007. They both play similar styles of sludgy doom, maybe not reaching the heights of ASBG for me yet, but still worth checking out.
Cvlt Nation

Video of the Week
Black Sabbath and the Birth of Heavy Metal - On The Road
Excellent video from Vice Magazine. Noisey teamed up with Marshall Headphones and Jesse Hughes of Eagles Of Death Metal notoriety to go on the road to hunt the spirit of Black Sabbath.

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Joe Rogan Podcasts
2. Human Cull/Oblivionized - This Septic Isle
3. Slomatics - A Hocht
4. Seven Sisters of Sleep/Shaman's Owl - Split
5. Deep Purple - Shades of Deep Purple

Playlist: lxp
1. Bowcaster - S/T LP
2. Bl'ast! - Blood!
3. Royal Thunder - CVI
4. Agents of Abhorrence - Relief
5. Acid King - Busse Woods

Unkle K

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Various artists 2

Some more of my sketchy live photos from the vault.

Akimbo, 2006
Witchcraft, 2010
Super Fun Happy Slide, 2008
Converge, 2006
Saint Vitus, 2013
ABC Weapons, 2008

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Northless - World Keeps Sinking

Northless play a gargantuan, rhythmically confounding kind of sludge that is as enveloping as it is punishing and difficult. Their last full length, Clandestine Abuse was unbelievably heavy, but it didn't let you in easily, and for exactly that reason it was completely addictive. Their releases since then (a split with Lightbearer and the Valley of Lead 10") hinted at the band's evolution, but on their new record, World Keeps Sinking (Halo of Flies/Gilead Media), Northless have launched themselves on to a new plane altogether.

Everything that gave Northless their edge previously is still here, including the characteristic choked, mucous vocals and the teeth clenching, skull fracturing, hard won riffs. But there is a load of additional complexity and control, with a bit of quirk thrown into the mix.

This is the kind of record that needs repeated listens just to make sense of what the hell is going on. The songs are amazingly constructed and completely unpredictable. Titanic, destructive riffs unfold one after another, stuck tightly together by an absolute wrecking-ball of a rhythm section that morphs time and direction so effectively you don't even notice you've been transported to the next beating. Northless have nailed down the ability to forcibly drag their music along an erratic path of fury, misery, frustration, hatred, determination, false hope and...what's this? Dreamlike calm?

When the violence of "Communion" crumbles away to expose a gentle, breezy, clean, almost jazzy guitar finish, it allows the dust to begin to settle, and the full impact of everything Northless have done on this album sinks in. "Passage" picks up from there, providing a 15+ minute lesson in how to melt minds and faces at the same time. Possibly the album's standout track (at least that's my early impression), it exemplifies the whole approach Northless are taking to combining claustrophobic, suffocating heaviness with expansive, preconception-shattering songwriting.

World Keeps Sinking somehow manages to latch on to misanthropy and bathe it in a reflective, almost warm light. It's a fucking fantastic album, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Listen on Bandcamp. Visit Northless' website.


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

Rectal Hygenics
Dirty, punky noise rock from Chicago's wonderfully named Rectal Hygenics.

Iron Heel
Doom from Vienna, Austria, which wanders into stoner territory at times. Luckily the riffs are huge. Vocals are great. I can hear bits of Rev. Bizarre.

Throw Me in the Crater
Nasty, heavy-as-shit sludge from The Netherlands. This has a real dirty swagger, like Autopsy. Brings to mind the under appreciated Accept Death as well.

Gigs of the Week
Sick People (QLD), Sewercide (VIC), Eye Gouge, Hygeine and Coffin Birth
Wednesday 18th September, Magpies City Club

Black Coffee (A.I.B.C EP launch), The Oily Boys, Eye Gouge, Hygiene and Beach Slut
Saturday 21 September, Magpies City Club

Playlist: Unkle K
1. Windhand - S/T
2. Kadavar - S/T
3. Thou - All
4. Shining - Black Jazz
5. AC/DC - Powerage 

Playlist: lxp
1. Vista Chino - Peace
2. Enabler - All Hail the Void
3. Rituals - S/T
4. Jungbluth - Part Ache
5. All Pigs Must Die - Nothing Violates this Nature

Unkle K