Archive for Hardcore

EARTHBREAKER – Voice of the Voiceless

Posted in 'Core, CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 11th January 2017 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

EARTH BREAKER
Voice of the Voiceless
Hardcore/Metal/’Ullcore
Self-Released: November 2016

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Hull – Otherwise known as the City of Culture – has a lot going on for it, especially in the music scene, which is where a promising young band known as Earthbreaker are currently making makes and lots of noise. Having only been around for just over a year, this melodic metal quintet have already made their presence felt – and heard – in North England.

Voice of the Voiceless opens straight up with the powerful and memorable track The Vipers Nest, which features an energetic and tenacious breakdown and some bestial vocal work. Family follows up almost seductively, with its overwhelming assault of guitars and differing and unique vocal sounds.

Misanthropy is a melodic track which is as catchy as the common cold but that doesn’t stop it from being heavier than an elephant’s arse. The guitars are heavy-duty, paving a path of broken bones whilst the rhythm sections lay down the gritty foundations. Whereas Deathwish brings a more emotive but just as unyielding sound to Voice of the Voiceless.

The EP finishes on Psychosis, with its enchanting dance between the guitars, bass and drums, making it a good track to finish on.

Voice of the Voiceless demonstrates Earthbreaker‘s well-founded sound in a way that leaves the listener wanting more and shows that this young quintet can go toe-to-toe in the pit with some of the heavy hitters on the scene.

4.5/5

Nico Solheim-Davidson

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Hatebreed – The Concrete Confessional

Posted in 'Core, CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 31st May 2016 by mickbirchy

Hatebreed
The Concrete Confessional
Hardcore Punk
Released: 13 May 2016
via Nuclear Blast Records

No matter how far away I get from heavy metal I always find that there are a few bands that drag me right back to headbanging and shouting until I have no voice.  Hatebreed are one of those bands.  No matter how long it is since I last listed to the genre, they always give me the one thing that I always look for in music in general.  Passion, integrity and kick ass music. The music of Hatebreed and I go way back now, I think their music is so ingrained into my psyche that I can’t actually turn my head when they bring out new material.  However, there is only one question to answer in this review.  Is this album, The Concrete Confessional better than their previous album The Divinity of Purpose.  The last album was so good and really cemented me as a true Hatebreed fan.

Well I’ll give it this…. There is certainly a more intense, almost overly aggressive, vibe to this. I mean all of Hatebreed’s albums are intense and in your face.  The Concrete Confessional however, is sharper and feels more direct. For the most part Jamey Jasta is quite creative with his wordplay and the language used in his albums.  Here there is more of a direct approach as if Hatebreed are directing their aggression right at the listener.  Some may think that this is antagonising and abrupt.  I think it’s a pretty bold way to get your point across.  Being that this is a very opinionated band, why hold back your though with metaphor and imagery when you can just say how you’re feeling right there and then. The album deals with heavy issues like social injustice, police brutality and drug abuse, so why hold back?

The music is just as direct.  With sharp consistent note changes and tight production the music stands as a way to punctuate the heavy subjects of the lyrics. Though I do feel that something is lost with this album.  I’m not finding it nearly as catchy or musically interesting as the previous records.  Nothing really sticks in your head at all, as if Hatebreed are laying it on a little too thick.  Think of the Hatebreed songs that you know, “Everybody Bleeds Now”, “Destroy Everything”, “In Ashes They Shall Reap” or even newer songs like “Honor Never Dies”, “Indivisible” or “Dead Man Breathing”.  They sticks in your mind because the music was creative and the lyrics catchy.  This album seems to be void of that, barring say a couple of songs “Looking Down the Barrel of Today” being a great example.  Even that only has one phrase though.  What I’m saying is I don’t think there’s a good compromise between the message they’re trying to deliver and the creativity needed to make compelling music.

Is this a good album? Yes absolutely, without question.  Is it Hatebreed? Yes, again it’s exactly what they wanted to give us.  Is it as good as The Divinity of Purpose, Perseverance or The Rise Of Brutality? No, I don’t think so.  The album is too far removed from what made those albums great. However, I’ll pose another question.  Was The Concrete Confessional meant to be a fun heavy metal album or was it meant to make you feel uncomfortable with the way you’re living?… Sure the band may say something in a press statement, but what a band says in interview and what they say on the record itself aren’t always the same thing.

4/5

Mick Birchall

All Consumed – No World Order

Posted in 'Core, CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 24th October 2015 by Paul Macmillan

All Consumed
“No World Order”
Released October 31st 2015
Death metal, hardcore
Self-released

All Consumed - No World Order

It’s been quite a while since the world churned out a truly engaging ‘hardcore’ metal album. Decent hardcore albums, yes. Decent metalcore albums, also kicking about (indeed, it’s true that such things do exist, I assure you!). However, a fully functioning metal album that is also hardcore, and not sugared down, ‘McAudio’ for wannabe cage fighters..? Let’s just say, I haven’t been holding my breath of late. Listening to All Consumed’s No World Order has been an utterly satisfying rebuttal.

Much of the ‘core’ side of things here has been derived from the harder edge of the mid-to-late 1990s scene. Hewn from the memorable foundations of acts such as Hatebreed and Biohazard, the bottom floor of this hateful tenement is populated with urban aggression, yet there is more here than tribute or replication. In the same way that Pissing Razors brought a new angle to this form, All Consumed have broken down the gates and let the metal flow freely.

With the added layer of Rob Thomas’ Jason Netherton style vocal – although delivered in a slightly heavier manner than in Misery Index – there is further reinforcement to the feeling that this is, in its purest essence, a death metal album, albeit one with head-bouncing hook riffs leading the way. Producer, Samuel Turbitt, has also performed excellently in capturing live energy here, ultimately allowing All Consumed to truly indulge in their innate heaviness, something which, it could be said, limited their previous recording efforts. The blending of genres feels entirely natural, though, and rather than a disjointed amalgam of two distinct sounds, it hammers home a brutality that will appeal to followers of both real hardcore and old school death metal.

This record is a dark and menacing piece of work, with no pretensions to virtuosity, and is, consequently, a highly listenable record.  Repeat spins do it no harm, either, making it a cacophonous pleasure, and an essential keeper for all curators of eclectic, heavy, audio libraries. All hail the No World Order!

4.5/5

Paul Macmillan

Devil In Me – Soul Rebel

Posted in 'Core, CD with tags , , , , on 12th October 2015 by Pieni

Devil In Me
“Soul Rebel”
Hardcore/Crossover
Release: 20th November 2015
Via Impericon Records

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Rumor has it that “Soul Rebel” is one of the most expected albums in the European hardcore scene. Whether that’s true or just publicist talk, this piece will certainly make big waves. And not just among the hardcore fans – “Soul Rebel” is more accurately described as a crossover album, so it has a lot of tweaks prone to thrill a fair share of the metal community as well. Like those thrash-oriented riffs in “Break The Chain” or “Blood & Rage”, for instance – the latter including a guitar solo just as juicy. But even the hardcore-anthem-material of the title-track, “Monster” or “Warriors” has something about it that will make people outside the hardcore sphere want to shout along those gang vocals, if not the choruses or the whole songs. That’s what makes Devil In Me stand out from the rest of their fellow bands – the ability of turning their rough and brisk sound into a catchy earworm.

And no matter how top-notch the work of a musician may be, special guests are always a treat. Poli’s voice is quite unique, raspy and full of the rebellious attitude that both lyrics and music of DIM bear, but getting Freddy Cricien from Madball to add some vocal power to the aforementioned “Warriors” is a sweet cherry on top of the icing. “Monster” is a DIM-meets-Biohazard blast of a thing, as singer Billy Graziadei, guitarist Bobby Hambel and bassist/singer Scott Roberts give their straightforward input in it. And a not-so-popular name but in no way less talented is Orlando Santana, from the also Portuguese Atlântida On Demand, who helps Poli with “SYG” (stand your ground).

That being said, this is then a thick, well-woven album, comprised of eleven defiant and spirited songs, aimed at open-minded but strong-willed people. Soul rebels. Like lions.

5 / 5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Casainhos Fest 2015

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 7th September 2015 by Pieni

Mata-Ratos, Angelus Apatrida, Devil In Me, Simbiose, Hills Have Eyes, Reality Slap, Viralata, Tales For The Unspoken, Backflip, Dimension, Artigo 21, As They Come
S.C.Casainhos, Loures (PT)
29th August 2015
Promoter: Tiago Fresco

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Casainhos is a small village in the central region of Portugal (less than an hour to the north of Lisbon) that has been holding this commendable festival since 2012 – more than supporting/promoting the underground scene, it brings together its different subgenres, showing how metal, punk and hardcore are all part of a big, happy family. Like Poli (Dimension, Devil In Me) would say, a festival for open-minded people, people who won’t judge you, whether you’re wearing black or pink.

Stoner/Southern rockers As They Come opened this year’s edition, at 3:30 p.m. sharp. The punctuality at this fest gets another thumbs-up, by the way. And it proved that 15 minutes is the perfect amount of time for intermission between sets.

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Despite the unholy heat, As They Come fans were restless. After all, most of them had contributed to the band’s presence at the festival, by voting in a contest promoted by Rock On Música music shop – the same shop that got a bus and organized a roadtrip from São João da Madeira to Casainhos. Singer Sick Danny even dedicated the last song, “50 Miles”, to the shop owner Vitinha, who was then carried by the crowd. Soon afterwards, that crowd would invade the stage to party up there with As They Come. The fest could have hardly begun in a better way.

www.facebook.com/AsTheyCome


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Punk rockers Artigo 21 came next and they also had a fair share of fans singing along songs such as “Contradição” (contradiction) or “Espera Por Mim” (wait for me). The band is somewhat recent (2012) but the musicians aren’t exactly kids – at some point, when tuning a guitar took a little longer and someone in the audience complained, one of them said something like “take it easy, we’re old people”. On a more serious note, they announced that bassist Aureo had just become a father, to which everybody applauded. All the best to him and his family!

www.facebook.com/artigo21punk


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Another new band featuring veteran members is Dimension. Groovy hardcore “straight outta the nineties” – and for those who grew up in that decade, Poli dedicated the Sepultura cover “Slave New World”. But that was just a bonus, as their original songs, taken from the debut “Life Is A Mystery”, were enough to win the crowd over, proving the band’s worth both on stage and in the studio.

www.facebook.com/dimensionptband


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Backflip play a more straight-forward hardcore, with a female lead singer that kicks as much ass as any guy in the same position. Not sure when they were formed, but they’ve played in all editions of Casainhos so far, and their EP “New Ticket, New Journey” was released in 2011, so they’ve been around at least since then. The debut self-titled full-length saw the light of day in 2013 and features a few guests from other great underground bands, but that afternoon it was the crowd who helped Inês Oliveira (and guitarist Pedro Morais and bassist João Vidigal) sing along.

www.facebook.com/backfliphardcore

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Tales For The Unspoken, on the other hand, had Raça from Revolution Within sharing the stage with them and singing “Taken”, from the band’s second album “CO2”. Their mix of thrash and death and groove metal kept the moshers busy. “CO2” was released in April, so they focused the set on it, but revisited the debut “Alchemy” with “Say My Name” and the usual closing theme “N’Takuba Wena”.

www.facebook.com/talesfortheunspoken


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Back to punk rock, Viralata took the stage. A few problems with Ulisses’ guitar cable delayed the show for a few minutes, leading the singer to joke “what a grand start-up”. Their music is great, but it’s the lyrics – amusing as hell – that make them so popular, meaning that if you don’t speak Portuguese, you’ll miss the essence of Viralata. But if you were there, you’d certainly be carried away by the high spirits of both band and crowd. There was even a fan who climbed on stage and sang the lyrics to “Carocho” (if memory serves me well), totally unexpected but welcomed by the band. Huge fun!

www.facebook.com/viralatapunk


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Hardcore act Reality Slap latest album, “Necks & Ropes”, dates from 2012 but the band’s been working hard on its successor, hoping to release it this year still. Singer Johnny (or at least I think that’s his name – guys, please add who does what in the band in your Facebook page!) said something about not playing live in a while, but either “a while” is a little less than four months to him, or he meant playing in national territory, as the band toured through a few European countries last Spring. Whatever the case, this return to the stages was flawless, and when Johnny jumped to the middle of the crowd, pointing the mike to the fans, many were eager to take on the singer’s role.

www.facebook.com/realityslap


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Despite the rich bill of the festival, I confess it was only Hills Have Eyes that made me ride those 190 miles. So I won’t say their concert was the best, as more than presumptuous it would sound biased; but since I had people coming to me in the end – people who had never seen HHE before, despite their +10-year career – saying that now they understood why I liked that band so much, that I had good taste in music, it’s not the fangirl but the reporter that tells you WHAT A HELL OF A SHOW! This was probably the last gig before the release of their third album, “Antebellum”, scheduled for this month, but still only the first single “The Bringer Of Rain” was performed. The title-track of the previous album, “Strangers”, closed their set.

www.facebook.com/hillshaveeyes


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From the metalcore of Hills Have Eyes, the festival moved on to the crust/metal/punk of Simbiose. Formed in 1991, it was the band on the bill with the longest career, after headliners Mata-Ratos (the latter born in 1982). “Trapped” is the title of their latest, sixth album (released in March) and songs such as “Ignorância Colectiva” (collective ignorance), “Acabou A Crise, Começou A Miséria!” (the crisis is over, the affliction has started) or “Modo Regressivo” (regressive mode) are some of the new tunes – with the same old social and political critique – that were part of one of the most brutal sets of the fest.

www.facebook.com/SimbioseCrustBand


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Devil In Me are among the high-rank Portuguese hardcore bands and it will only take a couple of songs for you to understand why. Once again, Poli brought up the open-mindedness (and lack of it) subject, and staying true to one’s self – how he still loved hardcore now, as a grown man and family man, as much as when he was 15. Adding how much he missed his daughter that night, he invited all parents present to come up front and party. It seems that their new album will be out in October (“Soul Rebel”), but the title-track has been performed live several times now and everybody knew how to scream the chorus verse: “soul rebel… like a lion”.

www.facebook.com/devilinmeband


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Angelus Apatrida was the only non-Portuguese band of the fest, old school thrash metal from “country next door” Spain. But they’re part of the family, not just for the solid fan-base they’ve built here over the past years but also for recording a couple of albums here, at Ultrasound Studios, and becoming good friends with many local underground bands. One of the most notorious is Switchtense and singer Hugo Andrade even got on stage to sing “Fresh Pleasure” with Guillermo Izquierdo. Whether they were songs from the new album “Hidden Evolution” or oldies like “Vomitive” or “Give ‘Em War”, the circle pits were as restless as the thrash that was fueling them.

www.facebook.com/angelusapatrida


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A lot of people left after Angelus Apatrida – not exactly because Mata-Ratos aren’t good at what they do (hardcore punk) but because they haven’t released anything new in eight years, and after eleven bands, half of them performing  while the sun burnt at an average of 86ºF, it became easy to dismiss the headliners. But there was still a good handful of survivors, ready to scream their lungs out at classics like “C.C.M.”, “A Minha Sogra É Um Boi” (my mother-in-law is a cow) or “Deus, Pátria E Família” (God, homeland and family).

www.facebook.com/infamesmr

According to the promoters, circa 800 people attended this fest. Don’t think any had a single reason to be disappointed. I hope this fest will continue to thrive and many more editions will follow. I also hope every country has someone committed to their underground scene like we have Tiago Fresco and his crew here (among others) in Portugal.

Text & photos: Renata “Pieni” Lino

Gallery on our Facebook page here.

Extra Every Time I Die show in London – but only for some

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 6th August 2015 by Pieni

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If you think that playing 4 shows in a row in the same city is too much, think again – Every Time I Die managed to sell out almost immediately the previously announced 3 gigs in London, hence the need for a fourth. But tickets won’t be available for everybody:

“If you purchased a ‘season ticket’ to the London shows we’re doing in November you should check your email now. We will be doing a fourth show at Old Blue Last on Sat 21 Nov and in the email there will be a private code & link as you’ll be the only ones who can buy tickets. First come first served. Maximum 3 tickets per person. Superheaven will join us for this extra show. Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Friday) at 9am. The other 3 London shows are now sold out with other UK cities selling fast”.

The full UK tour hits the following places, the London dates featuring different sets each night:

Nov 06 Southampton, Talking Heads
Nov 07 Plymouth Underground
Nov 08 Bristol The Fleece
Nov 09 Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Nov 11 Manchester Sound Control
Nov 12 Glasgow Kings Tuts
Nov 13 Aberdeen Tunnels
Nov 14 Newcastle Riverside
Nov 15 Sheffield Corporation
Nov 17 Birmingham Asylum
Nov 18 London The Dome ETID TAKEOVER SOLD OUT
Nov 19 London Borderline ETID TAKEOVER SOLD OUT
Nov 20 London Underworld ETID TAKEOVER SOLD OUT
*Nov 21 London Old Blue Last ETID TAKEOVER* (SUPERHEAVEN ONLY)

“If you’ve ever been to an Every Time I Die show in the UK, you’ll understand why we would want to spend almost an entire month playing shows there. Intimate venues, cold pints, good mates. Don’t miss out. These gigs will be ledge”, says frontman Keith Buckley. 

http://everytimeidie.net/
http://epitaph.com/
https://www.facebook.com/everytimeidie

Diesel King – Concrete Burial

Posted in 'Core, CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 30th January 2015 by Paul Macmillan

Diesel King
“Concrete Burial”
Sludge/hardcore/death metal
Release: 02nd February 2015
Via When Planets Collide Records

Diesel King - Concrete Burial

Having only heard the freely available sample track from this release, Brainhammer, I immediately knew I had to hear the full thing as soon as possible. Cue pestering Diesel King’s manager for an advance copy for the purpose of this review. It was the right move, too, as I’m already on a second spin, and loving every minute of it.

The overall character of Diesel King comprises a collision of sludge, 1990’s hard-core, death, and straight up extreme metal, with none of these losing out to the other. Some influences seem obvious, such as Crowbar and Stampin’ Ground, but there is an individual atmosphere pumped into every living note, and it far exceeds the heaviness of either of those aforementioned artists. Think more in the realms of Nile or Dying Fetus, but with a penchant for Earth-crushing doom in place of the need to shred, and you’ll be somewhere near the level of musical obesity incorporated.

Unbelievably guttural, yet comprehensible, vocals drag, determined, across a shattered wasteland of churning riffs and tank-heavy bass. There’s nothing overly complex or technical, here. Just well written music that reaches out, grabs you by the soul, and drags you into the maelstrom. When at speed, this is a gunship opening fire on endless hordes of the undead; when slumping back into a groove, it’s Unicron colliding with the Death Star. Either way, destruction ensues, though swamped in waves of emotion. Hell, they even make the occasional beat-down sound like full-on, intelligent, real music!

Concrete Burial is the band’s first full-length, and it’s some way to introduce yourself as a potential major player on the UK extreme metal scene. Although their previous Ep – The Grey Man – is nothing to be sneezed at, it does pale a little in comparison to this new beast. Having already graced the stage alongside Eyehategod, Corrosion Of Conformity, and Entombed at UK and European gigs and festivals, the groundwork is already laid for them to launch an attack further afield, and it would be no big surprise to see them landing slots at many of the growing fests these fair isles have to offer in 2015.

If I sound a little like a kid in a candy store here, that’s pretty much bang on the nose. I just recaptured one of those golden rays of youthful excitement, and I’m absolutely buzzing. All in all, this album has totally blown me out of the water. One of the heaviest and most addictive things unleashed in some time. Absolute classic. Absolute keeper. Keep a close watch on these guys!

5/5

Paul Macmillan