ALBUM REVIEW: Khanate – To Be Cruel – Sacred Bones Records


Seemingly coming out of the blue — like the sudden emergence of a horrible memory buried for years — drone doom supergroup Khanate returns with To Be Cruel (released digitally on May 19th and on physical formats on June 30th via Sacred Bones Records) the group’s first album since 2009’s Clean Hands Go Foul. Shrouded in secrecy prior to its release, To Be Cruel delivers three tracks and 62 mins of harsh, cold, sparse, experimental sounds fit to ruin any good day. 

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In the world of heavy music, there needs to be some degree of weird, strange, maybe even taboo. Without this, all we have is anger and aggression with little bursts of sadness. This need is currently being filled by that of Pennsylvania’s own duo dissonant black/death metal group, Veilburner. These two have been dropping full-length releases consistently since 2014 (first I am hearing of it, color me interested) but now the sixth record has disturbed the planet in the form of VLBRNR (Transcending Obscurity). Sometimes the most comforting music, given the right environment and levels of vulnerability, is actually the most uncomfortable music.

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EXCLUSIVE: Scorn Shares Guitar Playthrough for “A Lack of Communication”, New Album Out Now

Rising Canadian Technical Death Metal act Scorn released their new album, A Comedic Tragedy, earlier in 2020 to strong reviews. The album was produced by Steven Rowlands and Alex Snape of Nomadic Media. Today the band teams with Ghost Cult to share a new guitar playthrough for the track ‘A Lack of Communication’, which you can watch right here!Continue reading

Morne Shares New Single – “Scorn”

Boston sludge/doom band Morne are swiftly approaching the release of their new album, To The Night Unknown on September 7th via the Armageddon Label. The band has shared a new single today, ‘Scorn’ which you can jam out to on the link below.Continue reading

Primitive Man – Sea Bastard – Trudger: Live at the Roadhouse, Manchester


If this place does indeed close later this year, there will be mixed feelings. Despite the incredible sound few, least of all photographers, appreciate the subterranean levels of darkness; even less are fond of the bloody great pillar obliterating the view of a third of the stage.

Trudger, by Rich Price Photography

Trudger, by Rich Price Photography

Backing up last year’s highly-rated début album Dormiveglia (Church of Fuck Records), Barnsley’s Trudger opened proceedings with a seriously impressive showing. Vocalist Chris Parkinson prowled the apron, his back to the crowd, his cavernous roar coating the irresistible blend of Hardcore, Sludge and Post atmospherics in murky phlegm.

Seabastard, by Rich Price Photography

Seabastard, by Rich Price Photography

Full of amusing anecdotes during their soundcheck, Brighton Funeral Sludgers Sea Bastard’s monstrous tales of horror are nevertheless fed from a natural gravitas: opening track ‘Door Sniffer’ a titanic weight upon the strongest shoulders, vocalist Monty’s demeanour at the coda both static and electric. The crowd were transfixed by the plummeting, sparing chords and funereal weight of recent split contribution ‘Astral Rebirth’: an implosive, eviscerating mass, shrinking heads with its unfathomable power. Skyscraping guitarist Oli Irongiants heavily-tattooed torso rocked and swayed as bassist Steve Patton knelt in studious, faraway contemplation of the sheer expanse of sound; whilst the scything, slashing coda was both brutal yet swaddled in the band’s collective confidence and ruthless execution. There will be few more impressive tracks this year, and there’s arguably no more involving, crushing UK act at present.

Primitive Man, by Rich Price Photography

Primitive Man, by Rich Price Photography

When your shoulders begin to ache and your balls quiver in their home, you know you’re witnessing something unspeakably affecting. Surrounding each other like they’re the only people who know just how they feel, Denver trio Primitive Man laid pure fucking waste to the venue. Colossal rhythm section Jon Campos and ‘Spy’ threatened the City’s architecture; while frontman Ethan McCarthy’s febrile tension was palpable, biting his guitar strings during horrific opener ‘4330’, the infamous bark like no vocal emission I’ve previously encountered. ‘Bag Man’ is utterly terrifying, every word of McCarthy’s tirade flung from his face with honest feeling, the power almost unbearable yet strangely cathartic and enlivening. ‘Antietam’, a microcosm of despairing misanthropy on record, was vomited forth with heartfelt malcontent, leaving those of us who’ve experienced such issues twitching, pounding monitors and shaking our heads in awe-struck wonder. ‘Loathe’ sealed the lid on a cacophonic show of mortifying power and untrammelled bitterness. Transcendent in a painful, shocking way, Primitive Man are unmissable.

Primitive Man, by Rich Price Photography

Primitive Man, by Rich Price Photography




INTERVIEW: Pleasure from Pain – Ethan McCarthy (Primitive Man) and Oliver Irongiant (Sea Bastard)

The calm, traditional setting of Manchester’s Crown and Anchor suits the affable off-stage demeanour of Primitive Man vocalist Ethan McCarthy, and Sea Bastard guitarist Oli Irongiant. Strange for two men whose bands purvey some of the most brutal, Sludge-based horror around today. Before resuming their joint UK tour in the City, we spoke candidly about the tour itself and their forthcoming dual ‘split’.Continue reading

Primitive Man – Home Is Where The Hatred Is


Abstract is the new brutal. The principal focus of Extreme Metal has always been to make music that sounds as violent or destructive as possible, but over the last couple of years a growing number of bands in different sub-genres have embraced a more subtle approach. Whether it’s Gnaw Their Tongues and their followers blending Black Metal with Noise elements, Blut Aus Nord embracing dissonance or Portal deconstructing familiar Death Metal into something totally other, it’s becoming more common to encounter Extreme Metal which doesn’t so much punch your face as make you doubt its existence.

Primitive Man are one of a current circle of bands – Sea Bastard, Keeper and Indian among their peers – engaged in stripping so-called “Sludge”, that ugly child of Punk and Black Sabbath, of its Blues influences and sense of groove and focussing entirely on its capacity for bleakness and discomfort, and are arguably the leaders in their circle when it comes to abstraction. Home Is Where The Hatred Is (Relapse) continues from their independent debut album Scorn with thirty minutes of abstract rhythms, broken chords and growled vocals that steadfastly refuse to describe anything as uplifting or recognisable as a riff.  It’s a thick, genuinely unsettling morass of noise and almost ambient amp abuse, and when they do allow themselves a brief moment of Grind-fuelled violence at the start of Downfall it’s almost a relief – though one that’s rapidly overtaken as the song collapses once again into dissonance and atmospherics. There are similarities to Khanate, of course, in their use of dissonance and unorthodox song structures, but as their name would suggest they seem less artful and refined, more… well… primitive.

It is extremely difficult to criticise HIWTHI, not because it’s without flaws, but because any apparent weaknesses (tracks blurring into another; the lack of satisfying climax; the sense of dislocation and frustration that pervades) are so obviously the result of very deliberate choices by the band.  They’re not bugs, to borrow from the clichés of IT, but features. This isn’t the dirty, angry Rock ‘n Roll of Eyehategod or Iron Monkey, and it doesn’t seek to press the same buttons – this is genuinely ugly, unsatisfying, dissonant music from a band who aren’t interested in catharsis or making you rock out.



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Primitive Man – Scorn

ScornFrom the get-go, Primitive Man thrusts the listener into the black mire known as Scorn. This re-release on Relapse Records is a damningly heavy release, full of wretchedness; a wide spread of monolithic riffs and sludge induced tones. There is no sunlight where this album goes: it only keeps going down further into the dark.Continue reading