Archive for February, 2013

B and G Podcast – Episode 2

Posted in Badass and Grimness Podcast, Black Metal, Death Metal, NWBHM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2013 by Murderdeth

B and G Podcast – Episode 2

Your wait is over… Just scraping in at the end of the month. The February episode of the Badass & Grimness Podcast for your enjoyment/ridicule.

This month we recommend Frostnacht by Helrunar and Ghost Reveries by Opeth. Deej and I also fail to identify what it was the Rumple was seeing!

Please remember to subscribe on iTunes and follow on Twitter. Other social networks are available, links can be found below!

Cheers

Murderdeth

IMG_1010

iTunes – Badass & Grimness Podcast
Twitter – @BadassnGrimness
Facebook – Badass & Grimness Reviews
Email – BandGReviews@icloud.com

Vreid – Welcome Farewell

Posted in Black Metal, Black'N'Roll with tags , , , , on February 26, 2013 by Badass and Grim

20130226-131336.jpg

Vreid (Wrath) are a Norwegian Black Metal / Black’N’Roll band who formed from the remaining members of Windir following the death of frontman Valfar. “Welcome Farewell” is their 6th full length release coming two years after their last album “V”. My first encounter with Vreid was at last year’s Damnation Festival in Leeds, and I thoroughly enjoyed their live show, I immediately got up tod ate with the back catalogue, and when I saw they had a new album on the way it went straight on my watch list.

Thing get rolling with opener “The Ramble”. I don’t know if this word has some other meaning or significance in Norwegian, but in translation all my mind can conjure up is something like this…….

20130226-131420.jpg

…..anyway, we’re rambling through DARKNESS, so what of it! I imagine rambling is certainly somewhat more hazardous is the freezing nordlands with unexpected fjords and lake-trolls to deal with along the way, and lyrically makes for uncharted territory in these days when most metal song material has been done to death. This track emerges from eerie intro into a great mid-paced stomp along verse riff. There’s also some great vocal work as the song progresses, low growl joined by discordant and not overdone clean vocals.

“Way of the Serpent” throws up some interesting passages which hark back to these guys’ Windir days, with fast paced rhythm guitars accompanied by piercingly harmonised melody lines on lead. For those who regret the cutting short of their former band this will be more than welcome. “Sights of Old” is a high point, with Vreid putting their foot on the accelerator and delivering a storm of ice that will make that ramble a little more inclement.

My criticism of this as a whole has to be that essentially there is little variation through its 8 track length, and it’s not going to blow anyone’s mind. If you like what Vreid have been doing for the last 4 years then you’re going to like this. Hell, if you’ve never heard them before it’s a fine place to start, this is an enjoyable mid-tempo black metal album. However, at times this formula can become repetitive, and to some extent I’d like to see it mixed up a bit more, just something out of left field to knock the shit out of me.

This doesn’t damn “Welcome Farewell”, it is what it is and I’d certainly put it on at the next B&G Staff Party (by the way guys, we’re having a staff party, trousers are obligatory, we’re looking at you Rumple), but I imagine some months down the line most of these tracks will have descended into the primordial soup of blast beats, tremolo picking and chugging that will occasionally be washed up while my audio library is on shuffle. That aside, a sound offering here from Vreid and a welcome addition to their strong back catalogue.

Deej

20130226-131538.jpg

Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance

Posted in Black Metal, Heavy Metal with tags , , , , on February 25, 2013 by Badass and Grim

Darkthrone-The-Underground-Resistance

Well, here we are. Reviewing Darkthrone is a Catch 22: Hail it as ‘DA BEST WORK EVER OMG’ and you’re a fucking sheep of the highest order; on the other hand, criticising Darkthrone is the quickest way I know of to get banned from Norway. Generally, Darkthrone fans fall into two categories: Group A sits around in dimlit hate bedsits crying tears of corpsepaint that they haven’t recorded Transilvanian Hunger II. Group B refuses to acknowledge it itsn’t 1988 anymore and only owns vinyl & beer. Lords Fenriz & Culto couldn’t give less of a flying fuck what either group think. Here at B&G we’re pretty open minded about it – if they want to do another metalpunk thrash album, that’s cool. If you are indeed expecting Darkthrone to do Transilvanian Hunger II then you’re a prick for even using ‘expecting’ and ‘Darkthrone’ in the same sentence. They could release a jazz folk album if they felt like it and some nobody online review dicks like us somewhere would proclaim it the next great thing.

To get round this, we’re going to ignore the fact it’s Darkthrone: for the purposes of this review, I’m going to refer to them as ‘Bleakseat’ (go with me on this one). You or I, dear listenreader, have never heard of Bleakseat before, they have come out of Norway shrouded in mystery with no known live act or back catalogue to reference. The Underground Resistance has simply dropped onto the doormat of your flat/squat/cardboard box, delivered by an armoured postman sitting astride a mighty mail steed one glorious morning. Unsure what to expect, you place it with apprehensive hands upon your turntables of solid steel (or CD tray of thundering thermoplastic) and give it a listen.

We’re off to a good start as opener ‘Dead Early’ begins with big, thick chords that build to a kicking climax then chugs along grimly. Thunderous, pounding drums underpin everything, making a full, rich production fully evident. The depth and pace this offers gives these tracks the bombastic punchiness that this kind of metal demands, and it deserves to be blasted at high volume in your local metal dive bar. Following a morose acoustic intro,  “Valkyrie’ soars and swoops across fjords, borne on high by the lofty vocals of Bleakseat drummer Fenriz (!), and is hands down one of the best tracks on the album. ‘The Ones You Left Behind’ is the obligatory shout-along-drunk-to song, barbaric in its thunderous retrograde simplicity until the mid track lead break – Join or die, this is headbanging. Following this, the album accumulates momentum with the apocalypse tinged ‘Come Warfare, The Entire Doom’ (pretty self explanatory really) and the 13 minute ‘Leave No Cross Unturned’, another album highlight. It chugs along at a respectable speed metal pace, again with the high-flying vocals of Mr. Fenriz and the expert leads of Mr. Culto. It slows halfway for deliberate headbanging, then takes off again like a stunned bat once they have their energy back, with more furious soloing and drum abuse.

Overall, this deserves a place in your record collection (vinyl or otherwise) regardless of your preferred genres or tastes, especially if you can pick up the version with liner notes. The Underground Resistance is Heavy Metal distilled into its purest form, the best bits of the 80’s minus posing, pretension or bullshit. In the interests of balance, here are some criticisms: It’s a one trick metalpony, it only does skinpounding, fistbanging rock, and it’s offering something new by providing something old, which could be considered a little assbackwards in some circles. The vocals are a little off key at times, but when the modern alternative to that is autotune I’ll take Bleakseat’s drunken pub crawl choruses and fucking run. The final word then –  The Underground Resistance is Heavy Metal  the way it should be, done by experts: you need it in your life. End of.

9 out of fucking 10

Rumple

This album is far too awesome or just a single review so here is a Second  Opinion from Deej….

Second Opinion

I’m thoroughly enjoying the fact that Darkthrone have in many respects become the unflinching conscience of the heavy metal underground, calling “bullshit” on any candy-floss wankspasms Kerrang would give “KKKKK”.

When Death Metal was ascendent they founded a rawer, low-fi “fuck off studio” approach to song writing. Since Black Metal has exploded into “The Myriads” (Fenriz’s term) it was time for these guys to buck the trend again. At first we saw the crust/thrash/punk hybrid of “The Cult Is Alive” and the releases following it, and now comes a retro-active resurrection of classic heavy metal in our time of shiny shiny fucktardery.

This whole disc is incredible but to pick a few favourite moments, “Valkyrie” with the mournful end solo, “Come Warfare, The Entire Doom” where we get what I can only describe as Doomthrone, and the closing epic “Leave No Cross Unturned”.

“The Underground Resistance”, too bloody right!

9/10

Deej

20121220-193157.jpg

 

 

 

Gig Review: Hell, Winterfylleth, A Thousand Enemies (The Assembly Rooms, Derby, 23/2/13)

Posted in Black Metal, Gig, Heavy Metal, NWBHM with tags , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2013 by Badass and Grim

20130224-180642.jpg

Murderdeth and myself were lucky enough to get tickets to the sold out Hell tour launch party at the Assembly Rooms in their local parish of Derby. After queuing in the frankly nut-busting cold for a while, we were allowed entry and made our way to the stage.

A Thousand Enemies

To kick things off were local band A Thousand Enemies. I’ve seen these guys a couple of times before and am yet to be disappointed. They’ve got a great modern metal sound which is tight and well executed, and enough riffs and gnarly rhythm to hook your interest where other acts of a similar nature would probably have lost me by the third song. There was a warm reception from the crowd (no small feat considering 10 minutes previously our average temperature had been -2 degrees centigrade), and we were off to a good start. Heads banged, guitar solos whipped our ears, and my initial metal-lust was sated. Job done sirs!

20130224-180947.jpg

Winterfylleth

Up next, and honestly the reason this show came to my attention, Winterfylleth. If you have yet to look into this band then get at it, they’re one of the best Black Metal acts to have emerged from the UK, and were present at both Bloodstock and Damnation Festivals 2012. There’s a great mix of brutal rhythm infused with rising melody, at times triumphant at others melancholy, as you would expect from a band who are so focussed lyrically on Anglo-Saxon history and prose.The live show was no disappointment, with the band playing a mix of tracks from sophomore release “The Mercian Sphere”, and their latest album “The Threnody of Triumph”, with song “The Swart Raven” being a particular highlight.

The live sound was great, with two part harmonies from the guitars and the distinctive chord progressions that sweep through their songs. The response was receptive, however compared to their performances at the aforementioned festivals, there probably weren’t quite as many in the crowd familiar enough with the material to chant back those clean vocal sections the way they were made for. I’d love to see these guys as a headline act to get the stage time their mostly legthy catalogue deserves. That said, they’ll have made a fair number of converts with yet another strong live set, and for those of us for whom they were the primary incentive for attending there was a good mix of new and old, and the obligatory awesome set closer of “Defending The Realm”.

20130224-181314.jpg

Hell

Following Winterfylleth, Murderdeth and myself took another trip to the bar, this time to sample the ale brewed specially for the tour launch, the 6.66% “Devil’s Deadly Weapon”. Pitch black pints in hand we returned to the the stage room to find the crowd suitably swelled in number for the oncoming headliners.

The palpable anticipation from the crowd was broken by none other that Bloodstock’s Rob Bannister, who gave the audience a jovial tongue lashing and highlighted the number of hardcore fans who had travelled from across the continent to be at this event (how about those seditious sodomizers from Sweden?) Then things really got going as the band made their entrance and we were treated to ‘the greatest show on earth…..in hell.’

And what a show it turned out to be. This was a perfect combination of outstanding musical ability and dedicated showmanship. It would be a lazy comparison to simply describe Hell as NWOBHM, but it’s a good starting point of reference. Mixed with this were elements of thrash, gothic and more progressive styles. The songs were of an epic scale, and the show had a pleasing narrative quality which captured the imagination as we took a trip through the underworld.

As I said before, the whole band put on a clearly polished performance, but the singer David Bower was imperial in his command of the stage and crowd. In my 10 years of attending gigs, he is without a doubt one of the best frontmen I’ve ever seen. When Tenacious D joked about blowing the audiences’ mind with their vocals in “Master Exploder” they might as well have been writing about David Bower. The performance was theatrically augmented with a liberal dash of stage props, at one point Bower preached from the pulpit with a flaming cross in one outstretched arm, later Satan appeared before us wielding a sparking trident, and as you’d expect in Hell, there was a copious amount of fire.

Hell laid down a lesson in heavy metal and how to put on a stage show tha I urge anyone who gets the chance to attend. Even if you’re not a big fan of the 80’s heavy metal sound you would have to be a complete robot not to enjoy this amazing performance.

20130224-181507.jpg

20130224-181531.jpg

20130224-181720.jpg

Deej

Nuclear Death Terror – “Equinox” & “Blood Fire Chaos Death”

Posted in Crust Punk, Deathcrust with tags , , , , on February 17, 2013 by Badass and Grim

20130217-185124.jpg
Formed in Copenhagen in 2003 and now living in sunny Australia after 5 years of worldwide touring, Nuclear Death Terror are undisputed intercuntinental crust lords. They have just this month released one track off the forthcoming ʻEquinoxʼ demo, which gives us a splendid opportunity to revisit last yearʼs ʻBlood Fire Chaos Deathʼ album. Two for one eh? Bargain!

Equinox
Perhaps a little disconcertingly, the track kicks off with a clean acoustic intro nailing Beneath The Remains-era Sepultura. The howling & d-beats kick in 1.30 and the savagery is unleashed, and as you would expect (nay, demand) from anything endorsed by the mighty Southern Lord, itʼs black as hell in an infernal powercut. This is underlined by a frankly astounding tempo-drop at around 4:30. I challenge you not to bang your idiot head along to it. Thatʼs the challenge. If you win you get a Mars bar from Deej or something, stick it up your ass for all I care. The track closes with a piano outro, which was absolutely the last thing I was expecting (SPOILER ALERT: Now Iʼve ruined it for you, hahahaha you dick.) Iʼm not sure where it came from, but I like the idea that NDT found a piano in their squat or stole one and wheeled it through Melbourne. Everything about this track demonstrates hard-won versatility: itʼs exciting stuff, and the other two tracks promise to be nothing short of gut-ripping.

Blood Fire Chaos Death
Originally recorded in Japan in Jan 2011, this four track beast wasnʼt released until Dec 2012. What you get: D-beats to the death, crunchy bastard riffs and growled vocals about global civilisation collapse. Thatʼs the formula, and it works – if any of those things sound good to you, youʼre well in. At least, thatʼs the simple version for those of you who want to shotgun beers to it and work on your bangovers. For a slightly more in-depth analysis, the album can be viewed as a chronological account of humanityʼs extinction over four tracks: ʻCrisisʼ presents the initial breakdown of global order and the spread of panic; ʻCollapseʼ details the fiery terror of a nuclear holocaust (with the album title chanted as a chorus for barbaric effect); ʻDescentʼ, as the name suggests, records the plight of survivors struggling to cope in the bleak aftermath and finally ʻAbyssʼ describes the howling blackness of a nuclear winter as the notion of civilisation becomes myth. Then it fades inexorably to silence. There are time changes here & there and stylistic nuances that set Nuclear Death Terror apart from any sort of crust punk herd, and itʼs this continued development that is evident on ʻEquinoxʼ. Itʼs that kind of album that you can headbang your face off while stroking your chin to, if such a thing were possible without poking your own eyes out or looking like a prick.

Roll on the end.

Rumple

20130217-185350.jpg

Bode Preto T Shirt Watch (The Quest to retrieve it from Mordor)

Posted in Black Metal, Blackened Death Metal, Death Metal, Merch with tags , , , on February 13, 2013 by Badass and Grim

So the shirt got within inches of my door but I wasn’t here to pick it up, so I ended up going on a magical quest to the sorting office in the middle of nowhere to collect it, I have chronicled my adventures here……

First I passed through the mines of Moria,luckily there were no trolls

20130213-124752.jpg

After some time I transversed the Dead Marshes….

20130213-124837.jpg

I then came to the climbing stair passing Cirith Ungol, in was covered in filth

20130213-124938.jpg

There I beheld the mighty battlements of my foe…

20130213-125029.jpg

Having crossed their outer defences using the uttermost stealth, I came across evidence of how lawless this dark land really was:

20130213-125138.jpg

Then I spied my true destination:

20130213-125316.jpg

BACK INTO THE FIRES FROM WHENCE YE CAME!!!!!!!

20130213-125358.jpg

Mail from Brazil is hexagonal

20130213-125952.jpg

Voi la!

20130213-130010.jpg

Thanks Bode Preto!!!

20130213-130118.jpg

Oblivionized – Fresh release update

Posted in Grindcore, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2013 by Badass and Grim

Keep within 10 feet of that disused Anderson shelter as avant-grinders Oblivionized will soon be carpet bombing your aural tract with the release of two 7″ Split recordings with Plague Widow and Human Cull.

Oblivionized have also been confirmed for this years Obscene Extreme festival, playing alongside Napalm Death, Cryptopsy, and Aborted to name a few.

You can check them out at:
http://www.facebook.com/Oblivionized
http://oblivionized.tumblr.com/
https://twitter.com/oblivionized

And watch their studio footage here… http://www.youtube.com/user/MalignantMProduction/

Deej