Written by: Izzy
I’m noticing a bit of a trend in the world of metal music recently. Maybe I’m just oblivious and this has been happening for a while, but in the last two years especially, I’ve noticed what I’d dare say is an old-school deathcore revival.
In 2019 we had Knocked Loose, Fuming Mouth, Vatican, Serration, and Venom Prison (the lattermost being one of my favourite albums of that year), then just out of 2020 so far we've got Gulch, Xibalba, Year of The Knife, Umbra Vitae, and…Venom Prison again? Maybe 2020 isn’t so bad after all. At the very least, this will be a great opportunity to talk about one of my favourite and most underlooked styles in metal!
Village stalwart Izzy is stepping up the retrospective game, and will henceforth deliver a fresh one every Friday! Make sure to check in weekly for a dose of nostalgia. - Ed.
Written by: Izzy
Glass Casket are a bit of a personal gem. While they’re far from being the first deathcore band, their 2004 album We Are Gathered Here Today… is, in my mind, one of the most iconic and seminal deathcore releases out there. It is one of the earliest examples of a modern-ish sounding deathcore release, and, without a doubt, one of my all-time favourites.
But as with many amazing bands, they are sadly overlooked, because their work was sandwiched in a period of time just before deathcore blew up. Glass Casket, alongside many others, ended up getting forgotten in favour of their contemporaries who would go on to bring the genre both its popularity and infamy.
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: Izzy
It’s a little known fact to those who don’t know me personally, but I LOVE MySpace. In general, the whole aesthetic of scene stuff is right up my alley, but I especially love the music that came out of MySpace. No, I don’t mean Soulja Boy or (and I am trying my best not to vomit as I type this) Jeffree Star, those two are just memeable novelties that never actually contributed any genuinely good music to society. What I’m talking about is the amazing mathcore/grindcore/deathcore scene!
There are so many weird forgotten bands birthed from that website that deserve wayyy more credit than they ever got. Expect me, in the future, to dive more into that mystical realm we call 2009, where Warped Tour was the best thing ever to happen to music, where everything was neon colours and everyone had the emo fringe. But right now it’s still 2020 and we’re talking about The Sound That Ends Creations, a MySpace-core revival band of sorts, with their oddly titled latest album Memes, Dreams, and Flying Machines. There’s a very clear and obvious inspiration both musically and aesthetically from that era, which does inform a lot of my opinions about this album, so I see no issue labeling them that, and I doubt they would mind.
Also in the event that Chris Dearing, the man behind The Sound That Ends Creations, is reading this:firstly, I’m sorry, secondly, don’t let a schmuck like me deter you from making music and following your passion, because from this point on I am going to mercilessly tear into this album, but I promise it’s nothing personal.
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.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!