A mix of fresh mini reviews mixed with excerpts from larger reviews the team did of June releases. Underground metal and hardcore big and small. Pick and choose, or just shuffle this play list and let the jolly of June surprise you. But be sure to listen to Old Nick, Besieged and Corvus Corone who isn’t on Spotify (who can blame them)
THECHEESEBURGERPICNIC & Thotcrime – whoever wins... we lose
Cybergrind from Illinois, USA
Starting the roundup is a truly thot provoking release, an intense split between Thotcrime and THECHEESEBURGERPICNIC that opens with a song about pissing on Rowling’s grave when the time comes. IF you’re not familiar with cybergrind then you are in for a treat. It’s a terminally online offshoot of hardcore, screamo, grindcore, chiptune and programmed blast beats that tends to go for bright aesthetics and aggressively emotional themes. The latter being the key on Whoever wins… We Lose, the emotion here is ANGER, justified anger from trans and queer musicians presented in a chaotic fashion. The whole expression is chaotic even down to the lengthy song titles that are somewhat jokes and somewhat cries for help (ie cries for utter apocalyptic destruction). It’s become one of my favorite styles in recent years because it has the sheer fucking heaviness of grind and metallic hardcore but with a seemingly infinite grab bag of additional genre elements pulling heavily from electronic genres. You truly don’t know what kind of oddities are likely to pop up across the various tracks compared to more purist genres that restrict themselves to specific techniques and writing. I love the first track so much, IM GONNA PISS IM GONNA PISS IM GONNA PISS ON UR GRAVE.
Old Nick – Ghost O’ Clock
Raw black metal from California,
US Grime Stone Records
Can you believe it had been eight months since the last Old Nick EP? Seems incomprehensible after they cranked out twelve releases (not including splits and compilations!) over the previous two years, but it’s true. The wait was absolutely worth it though, because Ghost O’ Clock is a damn joy. As per usual, it’s all silly supernatural spookiness across several tracks of varying lengths and they’re all delightful. Their use of goofy synths and happy little melodies in their songs remains entirely unique, and nobody else can make black metal this fun. I had a legitimate laugh when “A Witch’s Bike in the Forest” kicked off with that accordion line, and the 90s video game synths going crazy throughout “Spooky Wicker Basket 1994 (yes, a Witch!)” are wickedly high levels of amazing. Listen to Old Nick, please.
Knoll – Metempiric
Deathgrind from Tennessee, USA
“It’s hard to find words to suitably describe Knoll, and I mean that as a compliment. The sheer amount of shit going on at any moment in their music intentionally rides the line between massive stimulation and overwhelming chaos. Death riffs, noise, turbulent grind, more riffs, polyrhythms and head-spinning dissonance; it’s all there and in copious amounts. And yet there’s an intelligence that’s undeniable, intent and design in every angular moment. That’s Knoll in a (poorly drawn) nutshell, and that’s Metempiric, too.” – Full review at Noob Heavy
Terminal Nation / Kruelty – The Ruination Of Imperialism
Metallic Hardcore from USA/Japan via 20 Buck Spin
Holocene Extinction (2020) was one of my major highlights of that year so I’m glad to see new stuff from Terminal Nation, but also to be exposed to the hectic Japanese band Kruelty for the first time. This is a split that spits and spits darkly using the hardest most arm swinging hardcore blended into bleak death metal. It’s albums like this that make me think shit like “Man, if I were rich I’d have a whole room dedicated to listening to the most fucked music where I can freely throw elbows into walls without being evicted”. I love the shouting that accompanies the gutturals on tracks like “Sacrificial Capital” as well as the spewey cleaner gutturals. It’s always a great alignment when a band with unapologetic political stances also make really good tunes, it straight up sounds like the embodiment of a mass violence tearing through the establishment. It’s a fucken slapper.
Alexisonfire – Otherness
Post-Hardcore from Canada Dine Alone Music Inc.
In their first full length release since 2009’s Old Crows/Young Cardinals, and excluding the odd single release here and there, it might have been easy to assume Alexisonfire wouldn’t have staying power in 2022, but I’ll be damned if Otherness doesn’t absolutely fucking rule from start to finish. The band has managed to hold on to what makes them… them, while also demonstrating growth and maturity. While, for me, the self titled from 2003 will always be the pinnacle of AoF, likely due mostly to nostalgia, Otherness easily swoops in and becomes a firm and close second. Well worth your time, and one that I will be going back to a couple more times this year to be sure.
Instigate – Unheeded Warnings Of Decay
Death metal from Italy via Everlasting Spew
“There are strong elements of grind, brutal death and thrash among the blast beats and techy death foundation, but also a sense of cinematic atmosphere rather than a senseless flurry. It eases in and out of the rampage with cool little one-off guitar bits and strategic pauses that provide a sense of build up before galloping into face-melting territory. The track “Haruspex” is a great example of how they shift the weight of each section to keep it interesting and ensure maximum moshability. “Indoctrinated Reborn” is another big highlight with visceral lyrics like “The flesh spasms, undressed/corruption fluidly ungloves the harmonies/the seeds fed on blood/beg for revenge/guardians of the growing madness” and this banger of a rhyming couplet: “Centuries of evolution drown in fire/survivors’ pains relieved with the balm of the gods and liars“. SPICY.” – from my recent premiere at Toilet Ov Hell
Origin – Chaosmos
Technical brutal death metal from the US
You always know what you’re gonna get from Origin, because they never fail to deliver it: preposterously tight technical performances, absurdly fast brutality juxtaposed against some of the heaviest slamming you’ll ever hear, alien riffs that range from chunky and lumbering to spidery and chaotic, and, songwriting that’s always diverse and exciting. This album is one of my favorites of theirs already, and that’s due to there being not a single moment of filler or a single song that doesn’t slap. “Ecophagy” is an stellar opener, the title track is a scorcher, “Panoptical” and “Decolonizer” are a spectacular back-to-back, and it goes on. The longtime of combo of Paul Ryan’s ludicrously technical flailing riffage and John Longstreth’s inhumanly precise and fast drums is as peerless as ever, and the opening of “Cullscape” is one of the more interesting showcases of the latter’s drumming I’ve heard. They even threw in some space ambient in closer “Heat Death” for all you Timewave Zero stans.
Corvus Corone – To Be Abandoned By Love Itself
Funeral Doom from Kansas
Alright, really fudging the dates here gang, this one was released March 25th, 2022 – but we haven’t covered it here, and I just heard it for the first time so you can just deal with it. On top of that, it came out the day after my birthday, so really it’s a timeless classic already. Now, I will not pretend to be familiar with Funeral Doom as a genre, so I can’t speak with much authority here, but god damn is TBABLI a solid release from Corvus Corone. A single 24 minute track with hauntingly beautiful music instrumentals and some absolutely grinding vocals. I am consistently amazed by how many solo black metal acts there are, it seems like such an impossible task and yet here we are. If you haven’t checked this out, do yourself a favour and give yourself a break from the chaos and misery that is the outside world currently. This does feel like something best listened to in a bleak winter and not right in the early days of summer – but lets be honest, there’s not much difference anymore, and this is real good.
Kardashev – Liminal Rite
Deathgaze from Arizona, US via Metal Blade Records
“when Kardashev ask for a full hour of your time on their new album Liminal Rite, that doesn’t always come cheap. You should absolutely oblige them though; in fact, you’ll soon realise that a single hour is nowhere near enough, as here the self-proclaimed progenitors of ‘deathgaze’ have produced a work of such power and detail that even months of listening might not cover all of its musical and thematic intricacies. At the risk of blowing this whole thing right from the start, it’s one of the best ways you could spend an hour (59 minutes, 59 seconds if we’re being pedantic) all year, with the entire runtime practically evaporating before your ears and eyes.” – Full Review on Noob Heavy
Morkera – Entangled Excavations
“Besides being a contender for “Best Album Artwork of 2022”, Morkera absolutely fucking blasts itself into your ears from moment one, and doesn’t let up. The drumming stand out in particular, a relentless and brutal hammering that manages to show off both the drummer’s skill and the band’s bonafides as a black metal group to keep your eyes on. While there is some great instrumental talent on display, and some fantastic walls of sound, I couldn’t in good conscience not mention how into the drumming on this album that I am.” – Full review on Noob Heavy
Inanimate Existence – The Masquerade
Tech death from California, USA
I have heard so much fucking tech death since starting this website a few years back and it’s gotten to the point where I look beyond simply “good” tech death and must be struck by bands who have a “thing”. The “thing” in the case of Inanimate Existence is a big emphasize on proggy guitar solos. “Endless Waves” has some of my favorite guitar bullshit of the entire year with subtle little palms and timings. There’s a lot elegance here that is on it’s own meta journey separate from the grim realm of death the rest of the band exists in. Like having band practice with a signal in space whose motives and feelings are unknowable. The rest is great, I’m just a guitarist so I’m fixating on that. Too often tech death guitarists go for “fuck yeah thats sick” or so technical it’s boring but this bridges the gap between technicality and beauty like Buckethead would do.
Light Dweller – Lucid Offering
Blackened dissonant death metal, Arizona, US
“If you’re not yet aware of Cameron Boesch’s Arizona-based solo project, you’ve got a bit of catching up to do. Since 2018 he’s release an EP and four full-lengths, including a killer one-two punch of the bestial Hominaland the haunting Apparition in 2020. The overall musical style has been consistent—hideous, dissonance-forward blackened death metal with particularly monstrous vocals and a crawling chaos of grotesque riffage—but there’s been a definite progression of sound as well. Light Dweller has gradually become more polished, the riffs tighter and twistier, the drum programming stronger and more impactful, and, most notably, the atmosphere more full of an all-encompassing dread. Apparition in particular was a highly atmospheric album, with lengthier tracks, a more expansive scope, and several notable passages of synth-y creeping disquiet.” – Full review on Noob Heavy
GOOD COP – Having Fun at Gunpoint EP
Hardcore Punk from the UK Prank Monkey Records
Now, Apple Music says June 24th, and Bandcamp says October 6, but this won’t be the last time this month that I fudge the dates for the roundup – just like any other hardcore punk would. To business, I will say one thing to you that I think sets the stage for Having Fun at Gunpoint: 5 songs, 7 minutes. This blistering anarcho-punk album will kick your ass and then it’s over. Packs enough ferocity and rage into it’s very short run time to make its point, and leave you with time to go and overthrow a government or something. It’s everything that you want in an album like this, and frankly the review should be just as short: go get this thing in your ears right now.
Yatra – Born into Chaos
Death metal from Maryland, US via Prosthetic Records
“A question for those readers who are already familiar with Yatra’s material: do you enjoy their delightfully sludgy, fuzzed-out take on riffy stoner doom? You do, right? Well fuck you, Yatra doesn’t play that shit anymore. It’s not a bad thing though, believe it or not. The band has returned to their roots, frontman Dana Helmuth says, and even though this new-but-old approach is no longer doom and is instead an immense and sludge-tinged form of old school death metal, it’s still everything you should know to expect from Yatra: riffy as all hell, tightly composed, and monstrously heavy. It’s a different beast but a familiar one, and it’s a triumph of a preemptive rejuvenation of their sound.” – Full review on Noob Heavy
Paganizer – Beyond The Macarbe
OSDM from Sweden via Transcending Obscurity Records
It’s good. It’s the new Paganizer album featuring Rogga Johansson from Battle Axis, Bloodgut, Catacomb, Dead Sun, Echelon, Eye of Purgatory, Fondlecorpse, Formaldehydist, Furnace, Gauntlet Rule, Ghoulhouse, God Cries, Grisly, Heir Corpse One, House by the Cemetary, Humanity Delete, Johansson & Speckmann, Lobotomy Dept, Massacre, Megascavenger, Metal Against Coronavirus, Monstrous, Necrogod, Never the Dead, Paganizer, PermaDeath, Pile of Skulls, Putrevore, Reek, Revolting, Ribspreader, Rogga Johansson, Severed Limbs, Stass, Stygian Dark, Svitjod, The Cleaner and Mr. Filth’s Van Murders, The Dead Cold, The Skeletal, Those Who Bring the Torture, To Descend, War Magic, ex-Carve, ex-Demiurg, ex-Eaten, ex-Foreboding, ex-Minotaur Head, ex-Skeletal Spectre, ex-Swarming, ex-Terminal Grip, ex-The Grotesquery, ex-To the Gallows, Disruptor, Troikadon, ex-Banished from Inferno, ex-Graveyard After Graveyard, ex-Sinners Burn, ex-The 11th Hour, ex-Deranged (live), ex-Bone Gnawer. There is nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said by every other blog, the guy is consistent.
Besieged – Violence Beyond All Reason
Thrash Metal from Manitoba, Canada via Unspeakable Axe Records
“Brothers Nolan and Tristan Smit, on guitars/vocals and drums respectively, and bassist Nick Tober don’t waste any time establishing that they’re not going to waste any time, like, ever. Without even a moment of introduction “Last Chance” rips out of the speakers, barrels through an old Metallica-esque opening salvo of chords, and launches into frantic solo of vintage shred. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a sucker for an album that gives me a solo before it gives me lyrics. This first minute truly sets the tone for the whole album, because the seven tracks contain nothing but pure speed and aggression; there’s not a single moment of calm to be found. ” – Full review on Noob Heavy
Bleed From Within – Shrine
Metalcore from Glasgow, Scotland via Nuclear Blast
Melodic metalcore is one of the rare genres where I gravitate towards the established bands more than the underground just because of how volatile the genre can be, it’s really easy to do it in a way I can’t stand listening to. With that said, many metalheads will feel exactly that way about Bleed From Within but I enjoy the things that are kinda bad about this album, sometimes I just want an overproduced record as a treat. While it avoids being entirely Sempiternalcore, it also doesn’t quite stretch the nature of the genre either – it’s a comforting middle ground with a good balance of high energy and cinematic emotion. A good pick for the evening car ride to the exciting event as it’s palatable but also has a lot of momentum.