Tag Archives: UK

Malevolence – Reign Of Suffering

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The following review will be quite concise on purpose, since the sound of Malevolence is hard to describe and best enjoyed by simply listening to it. Nevertheless I will try to whet your appetite a bit for their debut album Reign Of Suffering!

The sound of the five blokes from Sheffield can best be described as a bastard child of groove metal, beatdown hardcore and stoner rock with tiny traces of metalcore. It sounds super weird when written out, but when played it just sounds so organic, almost like these genres were always meant to be blended into a tasty mix of musical goodness.

During the thirty-six minute playtime, the vocal effort of the singer is very diverse and adapts to the various influences perfectly; which gives the whole thing a truly authentic feeling. Along with some quite memorable, and easy to sing along to, choruses, the package is nicely rounded off.

I won’t bother talking more than that about the eight tracks, since you just have to give it a go yourself…so what are you waiting for? Click below to listen to Serpents Chokehold and visit the band’s Facebook page for more information! Stay heavy, stay sexy and until next time!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOjuw_VBhTA]

The Smoking Hearts – Victory!

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I’m back! After taking a two week writing break to party like no tomorrow and go to some cool gigs, I bring you The Smoking Hearts‘ debut album Victory! which was released in April. I first heard and met the guys back in 2011 when they opened for The Used, and I immediately dug their stage presence as well as their music. Two years later I read that they were the opener for Stone Sour, which got me quite excited since I hadn’t really kept up with their evolution. To keep it short: it was a bad idea to have put this album off for so long because it kicks ass.

But let me elaborate: the UK-based band refers to themselves as rock’n’roll, but I’d say that hardcore with an occasional punk influence puts it more to the point. The intro track Off With Your Head just kicks you right in the face from start to finish, dictating the pace for the rest of the eleven tracks in total. On the second track, however, you get confronted with the more melodic instrumental aspect during the chorus, which is coupled with gang vocals, thus making the whole thing a lot less repetitive.

The instruments are flawlessly played and provide a driving backdrop which is groovy and heavy at the same time. There is nothing to whinge about when it comes to the production, either. The only thing that might be putting first-time listeners off are the partially raspy, for lack of a better word, vocals. While they do fit the ensemble quite well, I’d say that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

To sum things up, I’d say that while The Smoking Hearts‘ debut might not be a victory for the entire musical genre, it certainly is a big Victory! for them. I for one am looking forward to seeing them on stage in the, hopefully, near future and also, in due time, to their next release. You can find more information on the band’s Facebook page and you can get a taste of the album below.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEOeAz8aAK4]

Golden Tanks – R.D.H.B.

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Ever heard of the band Every Time I Die? Like them? Read on then, because Golden Tanks will be right up your alley! The four guys from Reading recently released their EP R.D.H.B., which demonstrates hardcore punk at its best!

The guitars relentlessly throw riff after riff at you and leave you almost no chance to breathe, while the drums batter down everything in their way. The symbiosis between the two instruments is at an excellent level and it never sounds off when the faster parts kick in during the five tracks.

The thing that strikes me the most during the fourteen minutes though is definitely the vocalist, who sounds very similar to Keith Buckly of ETID in certain passages with his pitch-changing screams, with his flawlessly executed performance.

In conclusion I’d say that Golden Tanks do not reinvent the wheel but they keep it spinning at an extremely fast pace. And I’m positive that they will not be forgotten very quickly, if they keep up the same level! You can find more info on their Facebook page and to make things even better: you can download the entire EP for free on their Bandcamp below! Enjoy!

Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal

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Today’s band needs to introduction since they are widely popular, so I’ll skip that part. The story of the record, however, deserves a small explanation: Bring Me The Horizon were supposed to release their fourth full album Sempiternal on April 29th but it leaked in its entirety in late February. What could have been the worst thing to ever happen to the band turned out to be quite a blessing, since the general reactions were very positive. Encouraged by this, the band pushed the release forward to April 1st and offered a one week-long listening period of a legal stream on their website. So before I give you my two cents on the album, I urge you to buy it, if you dig it.

From the first second onward you will immediately notice that there has been a change in the sound of BMTH: keyboards and synthesizers are now used as a main instrument. This addition might seem (and sound) weird at first but don’t let it scare you off: it’s perfectly used and the eleven songs still sound like Bring Me.

The keyboards actually add a layer of versatility and freshness to the band’s sound even though it wasn’t necessary since the predecessor, with the freakishly long name, There Is A Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is A Heaven Let’s Keep It A Secret. was already diverse enough, at least for my taste. But there’s no point in comparing the two records since this one is just on a whole new level of awesomeness, for lack of a better word. Side-note: the guitar and drum sound hasn’t been changed much and remains at its usual height.

The thing that struck me the most on my first listening though were the vocals. On more than one occasion I thought to myself “oh, look: guest vocals”…when that same thought came again a song later, and then again on the next one, I became suspicious and paid closer attention: it’s all the same guy. Now, you must know that I dig Oli Skyes’ vocals on all of the band’s previous work, but I wasn’t prepared for this huge improvement! His clean vocals just stand out so much that they still give me shivers every now and then on certain songs. But enough of that, since the lyrics are another very interesting factor of these forty-six minutes. The general theme is a mix between happiness and sadness, which is nicely reflected by the instrumental ensemble, but I’ll let you discover the different aspects yourself.

All in all, I have to say that Bring Me The Horizon have outdone themselves on this one and that Sempiternal has definitely entered my, still young, top five albums list of 2013. If you’re a fan of the band you should not miss out on this, and if you’re a hater of the band…give it a go: it might change your opinion of them. For more information, you can find the band on Facebook and to get an idea of their new sound, check out the song below!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lir3dzYIhz0]

Nai Harvest – Whatever

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What is probably worse than not having a new attire for next summer? Yup, you got it, not having a soundtrack for next summer, the one steady companion for your drives to the beach or to the lake, like we do here in Luxembourg. I was worried that I would not have a cool record for this year as Wavves‘ King of the beach was growing old on me and the time was right to discover something new and fresh.

Fortunately enough, Lauren from Inception Press was kind enough to provide us with new material; this time with Sheffield’s noodly emo-punk duo Nai Harvest‘s newest release Whatever and I must say that this record’s got enough potential to become my new favourite record for the next weeks.

The opening track Whatever is a nice mix between mathy riffs and a cool apathic punk rock attitude. The vocals are everything but polished or clean but that’s what makes this band remarkably pleasant.

Floor‘s carelessness totally kicks in from the very beginning. Following the same scheme as on the first track, the track varies from a cocky beginning to a jolty drum part that is clumsy and awesome, it kinda reminds me if Blink 182 had sex with Born Ruffians, with the result being Nai Harvest.

One of my favourite tracks is Distance, etc., because it best reflects the band’s identity; which is simple, uncompromising music freshened up with a brazen attitude. Nai Harvest haven’t reinvented this famous wheel everyone’s talking about when it comes to music but they surely have their own sound and identity.

The only downside is that a lot of songs have the same structure, which is kind of a pity; as the album tends to get too repetitive but with a total playtime of 28 minutes, Whatever is just the right intermezzo between a depressive winter with lots of melancholic music and a hormone-pumped summer with too much electro and STDs and what do I know…

There might be people moaning about the band’s musical perfomance being too banal, simple or rough; but I honestly prefer to party with these guys on stage than having a wank while listening to Dream Theater. It’s all about taking the right decisions, eh?

Eric

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxxu54iIdak]

Fights And Fires – We Could All Be Dead Tomorrow

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Fights and Fires remain true to themselves, not without refining their rock soup with some nice little ingredients. If spring won’t come in the next months then this will melt the snow just at the right time to start the festival season.

Starting with what remained the same, let’s talk about the very beginning of We Could All Be Dead Tomorrow, or should I say with the first few songs that again won’t give you any chance to breathe? Just like on the debut album Proof That Ghosts Exist, the four Britons tackle you out of nothing, and don’t you expect any pity: 11 powerful punches right into your face, all tracks rarely longer than 3 minutes, yum-yum! Admirers of the dirtier post-core sound of the debut will find a cleaner production, but fortunately not overproduced.

Pop punk as well as a few 90s metalish head banger parts are a bit more present, pushing the rough hardcore air of the debut a bit aside, but those are just bits and bobs. In the end, Fights and Fires have taken one more step forward, sounding more mature overall, which isn’t a bad thing as long as the lightheartedness won’t get lost. Thankfully, there’s no reason to worry about that, given that the boys still take you to corners of the dance floor you probably have never seen. The darker side of the typical Fights and Fires sound also found its place on We Could All Be Dead Tomorrow, arranged in a very powerful trilogy (If I’m The Forrest Then You’re Jenny, Rats and Vultures and Cat’s Lives) towards the middle of the album before it’s fast-tracking again after a nice transition to Mother’s Advice.

We Could All Be Dead Tomorrow surely is a very strong and worthy successor of the 2011 debut. Put on your dancing shoes!

Recommendations: Chase The BluesBack Bone, If I’m The Forrest Then You’re Jenny, Bff… For Now

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d3yc4luUD8]

The LP will be out on February 22nd, you can pre-order it in the format of your choice or immediately download the digital album here.

Trash Monday L

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Kids, when I was your age, the world was not ready for geniuses like Nicki Minaj, David Guetta or any “America’s Got Talent” test-tube retard. Instead, the UK vomited this bullshit out of its arse all over Europe! We all survived it with no further damages…

Basement – Colourmeinkindness

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I think it’s time for a little variation, which is why I’ve decided to review the British band Basement and their new release Colourmeinkindness. Let me start by giving you a little back story: in 2011 I saw the band at a hardcore show here in Luxembourg and I was immediately amazed by them because, not only did they stick out with their style but they also laid down a killer performance. Needless to say I went home and bought their back then freshly released EP Songs About The Weather which I still listen to every now and then because of the raw and honest feel it has to it. A bit more than year later I saw that the band had released a new full length album, so I bought it without even thinking about it: a wise choice.

The album has a different feel to it than the previously mentioned EP, in the way that it feels more mature and also more diverse. But it has also become a bit softer in the process, which doesn’t bother me all that much since the songs have gained a lot in structure and recognition value.

The guitars will surprise you with catchy riffs that might sound familiar at first, but more of that later. The same goes for the drums: a clean, organic sound with catchy beats and interesting fills. The vocals range from clean to slightly screamed and perfectly fit the ensemble since they add the right amount of melancholy to the whole thing.

The thing that stands out the most, to me at least, is that I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve loved this album before I even knew it was released. The reason for this is that I’ve encountered a lot of elements that remind me of bands that I used to listen to ten or more years ago and still listen to from time to time. I’m going to go out on a limb here and just say that it sounds like Nirvana‘s In Utero meets Foo FightersColour And The Shape meets Bush‘s Golden State and a touch of Pixies thrown in for good measure. I’m aware that I might get death threats for that statement but that’s my honest impression and that is also the reason why I was so awed by this release. It just struck a little nostalgic nerve in me and sucked me in.

But instead of trying to explain it to you, you should just check it out for yourself. Especially since the ten tracks can be legally downloaded for only 5 bucks on Basement‘s Bandcamp page. For more info you can check their Facebook page and I strongly urge you to listen to the song below and tell me if you think my description was accurate.

Architects – Daybreaker

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I’m pretty sure that everyone that is at least a bit into metalcore has heard of Architects before as they have managed to establish themselves in the scene quite well, at the latest in 2009 with their album Hollow Crown.

In 2011 they released The Here And Now which was quite different from the aforementioned album: a lot more melodic and “softer”, but still a very powerful record nevertheless. Their latest endeavor Daybreaker however is very reminiscent of the 2009 released record.

In terms of instruments this means that it is a bit more complex and definitely heavier. Great, almost mathcore-ish, riffs are found througout the whole 42 minutes.

Sam Carter’s vocals are, who would have thought (wink wink), at their usual high level. This guy just manages to deliver on all levels, be it super clean vocals or very emotion-ladden screams. You just believe everything he sings.

Then there are 3 guest appearances on vocals: Jon Green of Deez Nuts, Oli Sykes from Bring Me The Horizon and Drew York of Stray From The Path. The one that sticks out the most to me is Oli Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon on the song Even If You Win, You’re Still A Rat. This is, of course, mostly due to the fact that I’m a big follower of BMTH but also because he sounds very different to the way he does on his albums. This might be because it’s mixed differently or it might be a foreshadowing of THEIR upcoming album.

Lyrically the whole record is very sociocritical and songs like These Colours Don’t Run are a prime example of that. And, because of the vocalist’s talent, you can actually make out about 90% of them without even looking at the booklet.

All in all I can only say that this album is, in some ways, a step back but not really in a bad way: their previous record might have been too much of a change for the band and this feels much more architectural. See what I did there?)

Be sure to check them out on Facebook and listen to the song below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHHJF2cUwyY]