Author Archives: Mark/Angel

Album Review: Speed Kill Hate – Out For Blood

Speed Kill Hate - Out For Blood

Apparently even thrash fans need to find some catharsis for their anger. Not content with the frenzy he cooks up in Overkill, guitarist Dave Linsk is back with his side-project Speed Kill Hate for something even heavier than his main band. On sophomore Out For Blood, the lineup almost completely differs from last time round; only Linsk remains. That doesn’t seem to have mattered too much, as the new band have had enough time to gel and create a slab of thrash that also dabbles in East Coast hardcore and groove metal. As you can imagine, that combination is pretty testosterone-driven.

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Album Review: Arms Of Tripoli – All The Fallen Embers EP

Despite post-rock’s relatively short 15-year time in the commercial spotlight, the genre has seen a dramatic increase in width and breadth, as many talented musicians make their own mark on the legacy. Sometimes these musicians come together, and the resulting bands make fascinating soundscapes, the likes of which become whispered reverently by acolytes of the genre: Mogwai, Tortoise, Godspeed You! Black Emperor. But what if these musicians were to exist as a collective, contributing around a framework laid out by a core group? This, by way of introduction, is the case with LA quintet-plus-others Arms Of Tripoli and their début All The Fallen Embers EP. Just shy of half an hour, the musicians carve a familiar yet individual style across 6 tracks, naming Tortoise, Shipping News and Rodan as influences.

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Album Review: Cold Summer – Wake EP

The etymology of post-hardcore can be considered as one of the murkiest to discern by those unfamiliar; some bands maintain parts of the old hardcore style and drop in experimental sections, others take the post- element and run with it, yet further examples use post-hardcore as an excuse to slip in clean vocals into an otherwise abrasive style of music. So what would happen if one EP were to incorporate all three approaches? UK quartet Cold Summer attempt just that on their sophomore Wake EP, which features new vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Dan Feast. Four and a half tracks make up 14 minutes of diverse songwriting that cite Poison The Well, Thursday and La Dispute as reference points, although these less-seasoned post-hardcore ears hear some very different styles.

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Album Review: Otehi – Noisy Spirit

Having previously taken on one of Cosmic Swamp’s roster before, I was a little more prepared for the fuzz-attack that this release was going to bring, although several surprises awaited as I sat down with Otehi’s début Noisy Spirit EP. Firstly, the band’s name means “negative karma” in the Lakota tongue, an appropriate name for the music despite the band’s Italian origins. Secondly, the strong songwriting belies the band’s lack of an anniversary, having formed in March 2011 and released this EP before the year was out. Thirdly, the DIY production puts much punk and black metal to shame, while the 37-minute runtime outstrips many full albums. And fourthly, their influences stretch across 4 decades and 3 continents. If the souls of Kyuss, Sleep and Fu Manchu (with the obligatory touch of Sabbath) were to telecommunicate between the Aussie Outback and dusty US Midwest, that should paint a good starting point for where Noisy Spirit crashes in.

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Concert Review: Baroness

To be writing this concert report is slightly surreal to say the least, given the circumstances that unfolded the day after, but I feel motivated to give my thoughts on the happier side of events, the Tuesday evening filled with enjoyable music and excitable people in a small venue in Bristol. Several other gigs were on in the area at that time, but I was certainly glad to be attending this one, despite only knowing the headliner’s latest release Yellow & Green. But first, to describe the venue.

The Fleece in Bristol is a bar-cum-gig venue, relatively small in size and anti-moshpit in setup: several support poles that would be quite painful to run headlong into. That aside (and thankfully Baroness are not a moshpit band), it has a cozy atmosphere, particularly with the posters adorning the walls (Muse, The Dandy Warhols and Amy Winehouse to name a few), and a decent view of the stage from everywhere in the venue. And so, eventually the lights dimmed and the first band were up: local lads Black Elephant.

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Album Review: Kevlar Bikini – Explodisiac

Are you having a party comprised of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll? Then I have the perfect soundtrack for your night: the début album of Kevlar Bikini, Explodisiac, follow-up to their promo Damn rocknrollaz, they shook my booty…again. Not just creating badass names, this Croatian quartet also deliver a combo of “metal/badass rock n’ roll/punk”, according to their bio, with some hefty Swedish support on the Sunlight mixing desk. And naturally, I felt obliged to check them out.

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Album Review: Grand Alchemist – Disgusting Hedonism

OK, hands up. If a Norwegian band labels themselves as “symphonic black metal”, what’s obviously going to be the first port of call as influence? If you said Emperor’s In The Nightside Eclipse, award yourself two points. Now promptly throw that out of the window when I present you with Grand Alchemist and their sophomore album after 10 years. The title, Disgusting Hedonism, gives fair warning of the content; packed with symphonic extravagance on top of a solid metallic base, the quintet lead a merry dance through 45 minutes of lunacy from start to finish.

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Planning A Metal Pilgrimage

This article was inspired by a brief weekend trip that I took to Helsinki while living in Russia, and while there I paid a visit to PRKL, one of the many metal bars in the city. While in there, I got thinking about which other places in the world would be required visiting were someone to make a “Metal Pilgrimage” to the important sites that saw the creation of various subgenres over the decades. Here is the result of this pondering, embellished with a bit of investigative journalism. Places ordered however I felt like it.

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Album Stream: Embassy Of Silence – Antler Velvet

In anticipation of its release date on the 20th June, Finnish prog-goth newcomers Embassy Of Silence have uploaded their album Antler Velvet for streaming. Their sophomore album, it’s a 50-minute ride through catchy tunes drenched in Finnish melancholia, just as that country can do so well. The female vocals are front-and-center, a pleasant mid-range which recalls something of the Dutch scene, and the instrumentation focuses more on dark emotion than technical wizardry, as befits the genre. There’s a rock-steady basis to each track, adding to the catchiness of songs such as “Conundrum” and lead single “Unconverted, and some faint growling for atmospheric effect. The requisite folky ballad “Harbour Of Naryon” has an appropriate doomed maritime feel to it, with haunting guest vocals from Ilpo Paasela of The Chant. My personal favorite is “Through Unknown Gateways” with its soaring chorus and (relative) uptempo feel compared to the rest of the album. Antler Velvet then closes with an almost Amorphis-like feel in “Touch The Zenith”, a great track to round off a solid release from these Finns.

An album teaser is at the bottom of this post, or to hear the full thing for yourselves, go over to Those who speak Finnish (or Google Translate) can read track-by-track descriptions from vocalist Ines Lukkanen.