Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sweatin' the Small Stuff, Part II: Best EPs, Splits, Comps, and Demos of 2012

Hope everyone's had a good holiday. I ate way too much, played too much Wii U and got to see my newborn nephew, so it was great.

Check out my favorite albums of the year and part 1 of my favorite eps, comps, splits, and demos if you haven't already.

Without further delay, here are my favorite eps, splits, demos, comps of 2012.

Meth Lab - Demo

Knuckle dragging power violence smothered in a cloud of basement brewed meth and plenty of shifts in rhythm make this demo a year's favorite for getting some aggression out. P//S Review

False Light - False Light

Brackish, down tuned power violence with enough beatdowns and feedback to make your stupid Hatebreed fan friend a true believer in power violence.

Obolus - Lament

Dense and distant black metal with enough doses of WITTR and the like, but sans the fat and length. Perfect for winter nights.

Beatriz Carnicero - No Reces

An impressive showing from these upstarts from Uruguay. Classic Slap-a-Ham nostalgia wrapped up with a robust production and plenty of dynamics to keep your arms swinging. P//S Review

thedowngoing - athousandyearsofdarkness

One of those bands you "need to know" Australia's thedowngoing mix torrents of feedback, modulated vocals, angular guitars, and cascading drums into a coherrant mess of noisy grindcore that's absolutely gripping. P//S Review

Water Torture - Shellfire!

Maybe my new favorite band, Buffalo's Water Torture are making up for their hometown sports team's horrid showings with a recent slew of releases. The band does the unthinkable in actually being good without having a guitarist. Heavy, vicious, painful and alluring, Water Torture find an odd balance between catchiness, heaviness, and energy with their brand of noisy power violence. Few things stick as well as the ending breakdown with the words shouted "everyone I know is fucking dead to me" and jumping right into this jazzy kind of synth run.


I was hesitant at first due to the fast and constant beat, but I should know better as U.K. godhead Burial is his normal self in creating an alluring, foggy, and urban sounding soundtrack to a night lost on the street. Listen here.


V/A Monomaniac Vol. 1

A great "who's who" of modern fast music encompassing unreleased material from grindcore, power violence, and even black metal bands. Particular highlights are Bodyhammer, thedowngoing, Cloud Rat, and Diocletian. P//S Review.

Flourishing - Intersubjectivity

A fast dirge of dissonance, melody, and brutality makes Intersubjectivity one of the most unique and best things to come out this year. While I couldn't get into The Sum of Fossils I think this one is so paradoxically perfect in so many ways that it's hard not to get lost in. Pushing the envelope right out of the door, Brooklyn's Flourishing are on point with this one. P//S Review

Deathspell Omega - Drought

One of those releases where I struggle to talk about it like I'm some nervous wiener on his first date. There's just so much to say about this gift of an ep. It's what Deathspell Omega's been working towards ever since Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice. Where they got a bit ahead of themselves and lost with Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum, Paracletus finally bridged the gap between dissonance, abstraction, and melody yet was still very chaotic. With Drought DsO's simply perfected their sound. I don't know if the band will be able to outdo Drought's uncanny ability to weave in between multiple moods without space in between and to never be uncomfortable or jarring. The best release this year by a long shot, Drought is a wisp of a dream fully fleshed out into something tangible and perfect. Listen.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sweatin' the Small Stuff, Part I: Best EPs, Splits, Comps, and Demos of 2012

After my favorite full lengths of the year, here are my favorite EPs, demos, comps, and splits of 2012. Split into two parts, this is part one numbers 20-11.

Cold Cave - A Little Death to Laugh

Three songs, last a throw away, middle one okay, first track the catchiest thing this year. Seriously. Listen here

Graf Orlock - L.A.

What I can I say? Cinema grind nerds Graf Orlock tackle one of the  90's best films (Heat) and make an EP about it and the sociological side of the city its set in. Graf Orlock's more Tom Sizemore and DeNiro than the rest, but it's not all THAT crazy.

Adversarial / Antediluvian - Initiated in Impiety as Mysteries

Two titans of modern-retro-heavier-than-fuck-Incantationcore death metal, what more could you want? This one's grown on me for sure, ignore the pompous titles and enjoy the crushing and sometimes truly bizarre stuff they come up with.

Closet Case - It Doesn't Get Better

Old school hardcore; something I know very little about. But Closet Case don't belong in this century  the need to be wearing old flannel shirts and living in bumble-fuck middle america in the 90's to sound this pissed. A promising demo. And man, what a cover. Listen here

Teitanblood - Woven Black Arteries

So Purging Tongues came out last year and I made a big stink about it  even though I had no clue what it sounded like.  Now they've re-released that track with another and put it on this CD for us dolts to buy. "Purging Tongues" is cool, a bit too muddy for my liking, but whatever. I'm really going by the new track which is good, a bit more normal except one thing : the toms are twice as high as everything else. Who the fuck mixed this thing? It's like making a guitarist's A string twice as loud as every other string, instrument, or  singer. It's pretty fucking annoying. Rabble. I still like this though. duuur. Listen here

Spewtilator - Inhale Awaits

Fuck Sleep. They might have an awesome 13 hour album about potheads trapped in the desert, but Atlanta's now defunct Spewtilator were the kind of potheads that would eat all your food, fuck your house up then bail as your parents come home. Inhale Awaits is fun and much trashier then previous efforts. And dude, "Into the Crypt of Rays!?" C'mon. P//S Review

Slave -Demo 2012

This is what you hear when you're waiting in line at the DMV thinking of driving a F-350 through the line and  ripping the place apart. Solid PV from these upstarts in Alabama. Despise You cover makes it about 73% 3000% better.

Moloch / Closure - Split

Representing the UK, Moloch's scummy sludge pairs well with Closure's pitch black power violence. Dismal and pissed, both bands were made for each other. P//S Review

Listen here

Protestant / Suffering Mind - Split

Suffering Mind aka the best straight up grind band out there, brings out the grindier side of Milwaukee hardcore ragers Protestant with this super short and rough 6". Truly DIY, truly awesome. P//S Review

Faith Addiction - Order From Chaos

I can't tell if they sound more like a death metal band trying to play power violence, or a power violence band trying to play death metal. But, either way this short EP is heavy, viscous and hits like a haymaker. Excited for more from them. Listen here

Top 10 eps, splits, demos, and comps to come soon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The End Time: Best Albums of 2012

duuuuuuuurr. another list. This year I've decided to not look up anything I might've missed, or forced myself to find new things. I'm going with what's come to be, and what I've found. Keep in mind, this is my full length list. An ep/ split/ single/ demo/ whatever list will follow soon. Unknowingly naming this "the end time" last year might be a little too true for you wackos out there in regards to this year.


Revenge - Scum.Collapse.Eradication

A hate crime rolled into an album, Scum. Collapse. Eradication lacks any kind of understanding, compassion, or sympathy. If you've heard a Revenge album before, you've heard 'em all, but don't let that stop you as J. Reed and co-conspirator Vermin have added a nice dose of guitar solos, groove a'la Archgoat, and more vocal pitch shifting than you can shake your spiked leather arm at. A nice (ugly) reprieve from some of the more "arty" black metal.


Sakatat - Bir Devrin Sonu

I was really looking forward to this Turkish trio's full length. Unfortunately, like all the cool bands, they've called a quits following the release of this excellent album. A bit short for my liking, Bir Devrin Sonu is an exceptionally great grind album that's fresh sounding in its varied style, dynamic vocals and impressive riff catalog and great production. P//S Review (Unfortunately my stupid analysis of the album's name is even more stupid as the band's done). Listen here


Knelt Rote - Trespass 

I've been waiting awhile for a good mixture of black metal and grindcore and I think Knelt Rote do it near perfect. Sure, it's a heavier helping of death metal rather than black, but Knelt Rote incorporate the super stale sound of bands like Blasphemy and mix it with harsh noise and elements of grindcore and above all else precision to create a brutal onslaught. Ugly, bestial, and overtly harsh Trespass is solely the product of hate.


Wreck and Reference - Youth

Wreck and Reference craft a dark emotional sound that implements everything from industrial and post-punk to black metal and drone. What I liked most about Youth was its ability to be everything at once; harsh, beautiful, scary, and calm. P//S Review


Column of Heaven - Mission From God

Mission From God doesn't strike me as powerfully as their demo Ecstatically Embracing all that we Habitually Suppress, but it's still pretty fuggin' good. Beyond that Mission from God is a unique effort as every aspect is intriguing and uncomfortable as it's a mash of grindcore, power electronics, bits of death metal and a huge dose of atmosphere. Lyrics, artwork, and of course the music make Mission From God one of the most suffocating things this year. P//S Review


Swans - The Seer

Recently I was redoing my iTunes and was trying to figure out how to categorize all my Swans. I ended up simply tagging their genre as "Swans." I bring it up because what else can I say about this album besides it's Swans? The thing is IMMENSE and absolutely absorbing. Maybe the only band that's been around 30+ years and is running just as strong. Listen here


Cellgraft - 

Dozer tread like guitars, blazing .30 cal drums and thundering vocals pulsate through Cellgraft's first and final full length Cellgraft. Dangerously infectious and monumental in its beginning, Cellgraft is as heavy as as it is viral. Few grindcore bands understand that perfect mixture of riffage, dynamic vocal delivery and rhythmic manipulation and can wrap it all up with a completely devastatingly low end production like Cellgraft did. P//S Review


Botanist III: Doom in Bloom

Get it out of your head that one man dulcimer/drum act Botanist is a gimmick; it's not. III: Doom in Bloom is a fitting title as things have slowed down this time and are much more meditative. I like this approach much more and find the harmonies and drum patterns so engrossing. Botanist might be the only metal band I know of to not have guitars and be completely acoustic (and really good too). It comes with a second disc of drum tracks provided by Botanist for other bands to use. Frankly I haven't really bothered with this and pretend it's not part of the release.


Bosse-De-Nage - III

At first I was so-so about III. The first track might be the weakest one, but the second track's 90's alt-rock vibe and build ups really got me going. Much more dynamic than II and really powerful sounding, Bosse-De- Nage continue to expand upon their unique brand of post-black alt rock whatever-whatever black metal. P//S Review


Dephosphorus - 
Night Sky Transform

Whoa baby. While everyone's been oo'ing and ah'ing over last year's Axiom it wasn't until Night Sky Transform that I became absolutely OBSESSED with this band. Grindcore without any boundaries, Night Sky Transform showcases immense songwriting, great lyrics, and an awesome mood. P//S Review

Honorable Mentions

Horders - Fimbulvetr
The Kill - Make 'em Suffer
Nadja - Dagdrøm
Negative Standards - VI-XI
Panopticon - Kentucky
Protestant - Reclamation
Six Brew Bantha - Six Brew Bantha
Violent Restitution - Violent Restitution
Holy Other - Held

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Kill - Make 'em Suffer

If you're looking for music to accompany your holiday past time of binging on meth and bulldozing your neighbor's gaudy lawn decorations then look no further than Australia's reigning grinders The Kill.

The band's a whirlwind of jagged metallic guitars (pristine in the grindiest way), furious blast beats and raspy shouts becomes staggeringly overwhelming at it's 20 minutes of nonstop abuse on their first full length Make 'em Suffer. Rarely does the band find time to slow down which works well as the guitar lacks that low-end punch to even think about palm muting or getting it's mosh on and they're one of those bands that works you into a dizzying fervor (not into some change picking up karate master). Like many staples of the genre The Kill happily etche their name into the wheel of grindcore instead of trying to remake it. While they might be another name on this proverbial wheel, their scrawl's quite large as few bands make an impact like these Aussies do.

To add a special something to the album, they've done an amazingly faithful, yet fluid and blistering rendition of one of my favorite Slayer songs; "Necrophobic" complete with the echoing squeals and awesome snare rolls to match. CD out through Blastafuk and LP to come soon from To Live A Lie.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Bandcamp of the Week - Slave

There's a Despise You cover... I really shouldn't have to say anything else, but I guess I could say that this is some fucking ugly, pissed off and rough power violence from Birmingham, Alabama that kicks dick.

Throw out that Baroness cd you just bought like a tool and start punching holes in your walls.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Deism - Deism

A constant plucking bass, a floor tom build up and a sheet of feedback introduce Alabama's Deism and their 5 minute demo by the same name. Deism's approach is undoubtedly oldschool, although the slightly effected vocals detract from this nostalgic sound, the band's of a particular ilk that I don't come across too often.

The guitar's thin and hazy without too much distortion and the drums ride comfortably below everything else. While Deism's "to the point" they find enough time within their minute long songs to switch up tempos, energy and approach. What they most remind me of is a time when hardcore was only know as punk. A touch of    Die Kreuzen, a smattering of early NYHC, and a touch of the new and I think I've created a vague idea of what Deism are all about.

5 minutes of material does leave a lot to be desired, but Deism is a refreshing look at a style I don't come across too often. The cassette itself looks awesome (I've only got a promo download).

Up the punx.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Heartsick? Forlorn? A tad depressed? Autumn and Winter will do that to you.

I've always felt lows around this time of year and it's not much different circa 2012. Music's always been a strong sense of relief and fascination for me, and I don't know where the logic lays in listening to sad music while you're down, but it's what a lot of us do.

Perhaps there's no better soundtrack than Jesu's brand of gloomy drone/doom/shoegaze hybrid, most perfectly distributed by their first full length Jesu.  Right in tow there's The Angelic Process, a former couple that took My Bloody Valentine's whirling layers of melancholy to new levels with crushing vats of guitars and some of the most otherworldly vocals.

A touch of despair and animosity goes a long way with Leviathan's brand of black metal most perfectly encapsulated in The Blind Wound. While going by a different name, Leviathan main man Jef Whitehead, produced possibly my favorite album of all time under the moniker Lurker of Chalice. Combining all kinds of genres, the self-titled LP is a powerful murk of neo-folk, black metal, and ambiance. The sample, coming from the Sylvia Plath biopic, shouldn't turn you off, no matter how angsty it might sound, this track is really overwhelming.

Alongside Justin K. Broadrick, no one's done as good a job as forging a musical path based around their own depression than Wesley Eisold of  Dark Wave/Synth Pop outfit Cold Cave. Cold Cave's first album's title says it all; Love Comes Close.

Swans made their name through their harsh beginnings and ever-changing sound, but I came to enjoy them through this simple acoustic track that does more for me than nearly any other track.

A bit on the cheesy side, Roy Orbison holds a special place for me as he was a favorite of my mom. His croon has gone nearly unmatched and a track like "No One Will Ever Know " is unbeatable.

Undeniably most of these acts are frowns, but every so often they surprise us with glimpses of joy, hope, or just something positive sounding. This is what pushes them beyond simple angst.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bandcamp of the Week : Vemod

A bit unusual for me to do a BCOTW for a basically one song, but the upcoming track from Vemod's Venter på stormene is just so awesome that I couldn't help but share it with you guys and gals.

An epic, sweeping black metal track spanning 13 minutes lifts you out of your sorry computer chair and brings you into winter's bliss, above darken snow laced lands and  lost in a sky ripe with stars. This is some powerful stuff and shouldn't be missed by any black metal fans.

No exact date is given for when we should expect this, but I hope it's soon.
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