Written by: Izzy
Svalbard are a relatively new face in the world of metal and punk, their first release having been unleashed upon the world in 2014. Since then, they’ve been a consistent talking point for both their gorgeous melodies and blend of neocrust, post-rock, screamo, and blackgaze, as well and their political stances, frequently angering basement-dwelling neckbeard metalheads who proceed to furiously write a tweet about how women are ruining metal--Oops, was gonna try and not get too political on this one. My bad.
When I Die, Will I Get Better? is in many ways a logical trajectory for the band. Elements of post-rock and blackgaze have always been present in their music, starting at their debut One Day This All Will End, becoming more pronounced on their amazing 2018 release It’s Hard to Have Hope, and finally reaching its climax here on their latest. Those influences have become pushed so far to the forefront to the point where I think calling them a neocrust/blackgaze band wouldn’t be too far off, but that descriptor would still be missing something.
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
So here we are: 2020. We've seen pandemics, political unrest, and so much more. But we've also seen the return of nu-metal.
Typically this isn't something I would be interested in, because there are many aspects of the genre I don't like. There's a lot of macho-man jock mentalities in the scene, and quite frankly, most of the 2nd-wave bands were so watered-down and generic without any heaviness or balls. But with Tallah, it's a different story. With their debut album Matriphagy, Tallah bring back nu-metal in a big way, with a modern take and a storyteller-based approach to the lyrics. To summarize without giving away the story, the concept of this album is about a man named Kungan who is his mother's caretaker after she was paralyzed when he was a child. His mother is unappreciative and manipulative, forcing him to basically be enslaved in his room, tending to her every need. Long story short, he slowly goes insane, and that's where I'll leave it so I don't spoil it. Lets enter the psychotic world of Matriphagy.
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Simplicity and brutality go hand-in-hand, particularly in heavy music. Sometimes a simple chunky, meaty riff is all that you need to fuel your fire. Two genres in particular that hold these elements well are hardcore and death metal. Both genres hold that ethos of making music that feels like a real gutpunch.
That leads us straight to this review. Year of the Knife is a straight-edge hardcore band from Delaware, and this is their debut full-length album. I was introduced to this band via the hate5six YouTube channel after I saw their set at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia on 7/28/2018. I was quite blown away. Their set was a visceral, brutal, and an unhinged display of metallic hardcore savagery. So with that in mind, lets dive into Internal Incarceration.
Written by: Izzy
For those keen eyed followers of mine, who’ve stuck with me through my (many) tribulations, you may remember I was in love with Fawn Limbs’ output in 2019, their phenomenal debut Harm Remissions landing comfortably on my top 30 of that year, and their fantastic followup EP Their Holes Aroused... earning an honourable mention. While there have been some significant shifts and changes in that list since, I stand confidently by my inclusion of Harm Remissions as it’s still an album I listen to today.
So, as expected, when Sleeper Vessels was announced I was absolutely giddy with excitement. The band was on a roll after releasing both an amazing LP and EP the same year and I was happy to throw myself under their bus once more for another dose of their hideously brutal mathcore/grindcore, after eagerly waiting just over a year their sophomore LP is here, and I got some things to say.
Written by: The Administrator
After receiving official word that my current sequestered life shall extend, at the very least, for another seven months, I decided that it would be worthwhile to rearrange my living space/prison here at the Sleeping Village. Y'know, alter the stuffy environment as much as humanly possible, given a marked inability to go outside.
As such, much furniture hath been moved here within the past few days, and, given a need for a high-octane kick in the ass, the highest quality furniture moving music was required. Crossover thrash was the only thing capable of injecting a little oomph into my disturbingly quarantine-atrophied biceps, and so the debut from Warsaw's Sanity Control--veritable paragons of the modern crossover aesthetic--was spun a disturbing number of times. And here I sit, icing, in hopes that War On Life (or the furniture) didn't push my haggard body beyond the brink. But enough talk. Let's get into it, shall we?
Written by: Blackie Skulless
Nothing like a good ol’ slice of death metal from an area not far from me. Spesimin are an upcoming act out of Philadelphia, PA, and their debut EP Born In The Crypt is an instant burst of in-your-face discomfort. With only thirteen minutes of runtime, they certainly gauge a healthy idea of what they’re all about, as they waste zero time opening on such a harsh kick.
Composition wise, Spesimin injects a surprising amount of thrashier elements. It’s quite riff oriented in that sense, boasting plenty of bounce and energetic life under a harsher mix. This allows for a solid balance between melody and chaos--the former being lesser in quantity. Most of this comes from a crustier, punk-like push that can be heard especially in “Violent Sanctification.” It’s your perfect moshpit banger with plenty of sharp leads breaking the buzzing rhythmic surface.
In the rush to cover the constant waves of new music, we all too often neglect discussing the releases that leave the most substantial impressions in our lives. As such, we recently invited some bands and artists to wax poetic about an album that was deeply impactful or influential to them, either musically or personally. The next guest in line to graciously offer a retrospective in this series is SW, the sole bleep and blooper of black metal inspired chiptune act Lunar Cult, whose work can be found lurking over at bandcamp. I don't listen to much chiptune, but when I do, it's invariably the nuanced and intriguing work of Lunar Cult. Needless to say: when yer done here, check it out!
Written by: SW
It’s a cliché that our teenage years are a period of rapid development, and something we can take for granted; and sometimes, it’s only in hindsight that we can appreciate how much we changed in a short space of time. This is certainly the case for my own journey as a music fan. At 15, my favourite bands were the likes of Ash and Green Day--radio-friendly rock with a hint of transgression. Yet by the time I was 16, I’d gone through a period of massive growth aided by Napster, jumping from Green Day to Korn to Slipknot to Marilyn Manson to Nine Inch Nails to Atari Teenage Riot in a matter of months. Whilst Nine Inch Nails are undoubtedly one of my favourite bands, and changed my relationship with music profoundly, it’s Atari Teenage Riot’s first album, Delete Yourself!, that I think may have had the biggest overall impact on me.
Written by: Volt Thrower
Bootlickers beware: this album is not for you. But for anyone else who wants to see the institutions of systemic racism burnt to the ground, this is the revolutionary anthem for you. Rising from the red of Little Rock, Arkansas, Terminal Nation delivers a brutal sonic indictment of humanity with Holocene Extinction.
Right from the get-go, Terminal Nation establish a catchy death doom sound in "Cognitive Dissonance." Raspy howls devolve into a sickening “bleugh”, which sets things off in a beautiful direction. A crushing mosh call to close out the album opener is a damn fine start. "Arsenic 'Fucking' Death" kicks things up a notch with a tasty grind passage, also bringing in the first pit chant in “extinction of mankind!” If you can listen to this album without getting a single riff/line stuck in your head, I'll paypal you $100 (CDN, so not much). But seriously, this album is just littered with memorable hooks and quotable lines.
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
It seems rather apparent that I don't review a lot of doom and sludge metal bands. It's not due a distaste for the genre, moresob just not looking hard enough. There are plenty of great albums/bands in the genre, but I find myself gravitating towards other sub-sects of the overarching metal genre. But here we have Of Wolves--a "newcomer" to the scene and already making a name for themselves due to the fact that they combine everything great with punk and metal. If you want crushing slow songs, you'll get them. If you want hardcore headbanging songs, you'll get them too.
Of Wolves have something to prove with their second album Balance. As for the quality of the songs... let's find out.
Written by: Alex, Bringer of Payne
Forest Boher, the single member of Adzes, is rather angry on No One Speaks About It. In this case, “it” represents the broad threats that existentially threaten our societies as we know them, from unaddressed climate change to rampant poverty, and his anger is directed exclusively at the elusive 1% that maintain an inescapable influence over all of our lives. Accompanying his ominous message is a thick soundscape of sludgy, shoegaze-influenced metal.
The project opens with "Divide," a sludgy, downtuned track that’s driven by a melancholic, undulating bassline. Swirling vocals haunt the instrumentation, insistently questioning the world’s borders and the lack of compassion that is required to uphold them. As an introduction it’s stellar, for it showcases the sonic and political tone candidly; if you dislike this track, for whatever reason, there’s no need to go any further. "Jesus Built My Death Squads" follows suit, although sonically, it’s a little brighter with a needling guitar riff that reoccurs. This track is perhaps the closest that Boher strays into the mainstream, and is one of many highlights that are littered throughout the project’s tracklist.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!