For reasons well documented that we are not going to touch on here, notverynicecream (Hassle Records) the sophomore record from Bristolian avant-garde noise merchants Phoxjaw, finally sees the light of day some six months after first scheduled. And focusing solely on the music, is this a record that was worth the wait? In a nutshell … Yes!
Fifteen unfinished chapters don’t combine to make a novel.
A New Tomorrow, the debut long-player from eclectic power-violence outfit Zulu (released via Flatspot Records), feels too much like a compendium of skeletal songs that largely fail to take off to truly work. Three of the first four tracks – the exception being the introductory ‘Africa,’ a piano and strings-infused number – start off heavy and emphatic, but they all conclude with a divergence. ‘For Sista Humphrey’ turns gospel; ‘Our Day Is Now’ descends into sound clips; and ‘Music To Driveby’ is marred by soft singing.
Signed to Los Angeles-based Prosthetic Records (Yatra, ACxDC, Pupil Slicer, Vile Creature) Richmond, Virginia six-piece .GIFFROMGOD bring you their latest release, an EP by the name of Digital Red. It sees the band’s first recorded output since 2019’s full-length debut Approximation of a Human.
When I was young and brash and had two working knees, I used to visit the high street in Camden, London. Me and my mates would dance ourselves into oblivion at the Electric Ballroom, take the night bus home, hit a Tescos for sausage rolls, and eat them right out the package – cold, before returning to Surrey Quays just before the sun rose.
Hailing from Athens, Blame Kandinsky style themselves as the Greek lovechild of Botch and The Dillinger Escape Plan, and dropped their debut album Spotting Elegance back in 2017, before hitting some high-profile tours around Europe including a support slot with Cavalera Conspiracy.
Nuclear Blast Records have had a storming year, and they continue their hot streak with the release of Hell Is Where The Heart Is by Oceans. The four piece whose members hail from Berlin and Vienna released their debut EP Into The Void in 2019 followed by Cover Me In Darkness, a second EP in the same year featuring their interpretations of tracks from the likes of Alice In Chains, Deftones and Radiohead, before dropping their debut LP The Sun And The Cold in 2020.
Since their inception in 2010, Polyphia have proven to be an ever-moving entity; one that is hugely (and purposefully) hard to pigeonhole, even across the duration of each album. Armed with potent musicianship across the board, the band have ever expanded their sound from their early days culminating currently to a cauldron of styles and tones across. It is likely you will hear this about many artists but it is a sentiment that reigns entirely true on Remember That You Will Die (Rise Records).
Sometimes as a metalhead or underground fan it is easy to forget that not everyone knows what you mean when you describe things in ever smaller concentric circles of references, sub-genres or in-jokes. It seems totally clear to me what I mean when I say that Elvenking‘s ‘Silence de Mort’ sounds like if Megadeth had colorful power melodic hooks and a singer who wasn’t such a born-again know it all douche, but some folks might stare blankly at that description and blink at oncoming traffic.
Respect where it is due. Heavy metal titan, political activist hero and System Of A Down frontman Serj Tankian has yet to offer up a project or product unworthy of the intense and continued attention of those who love music, love the world around them and care deeply about the overt inadequacies of those entrusted with its protection and future.
Banefyre (Season of Mist) is the twelfth album from Crippled Black Phoenix, the category-defying collective centred around Justin Greaves, a former doom metal drummer (for bands such as Electric Wizard and Iron Monkey) turned multi-instrumentalist songwriter. The current studio lineup of the band has Greaves joined by longstanding vocalist Belinda Kordic, plus more recent recruits Helen Stanley (keys, synths, trumpet), Andy Taylor (guitars), and new second vocalist and third guitarist Joel Segerstedt.