The ALBATWITCH were a mythical group of 4 foot tall ape–men that were hunted nearly to extinction in the early 1800s and lived in the hills and rivers of southeast Pennsylvania. It is from these stories that the band gets their name. Full color booklet includes credits and lyrics as well as lots of artwork and a vinyl sticker (while supplies last). Officially released September 2013, CD package seems to be made of recycled cardboard.
This band is unlike anything I have ever heard before. The two member band that is ALB(A)TWITCH successfully mix dark folk, black noise, and crusty black metal together to create a sonic mass few have heard before. Members come from other York PA bands such as STONE BREATH, LAYR, and CROW TONGUE, among others. The band take influence from the other projects they are in and produce something beyond easy description. Some songs are deeply rooted in a WITTR style of black metal, others are American folk based, while still others are harsh walls of machine made noise. Lyrics are very anarcho – punk in style although not musically, other subjects deal amongst the timelessness of astral reality. Apart from the metal based songs, the primary drums used are the dumbek and the Bodh ran, both of which are hand played drums. Other traditional instruments consist of banjo, celtic harp, lobow, and stick dulcimer, amidst new technology such as oscillators and a harmonium.
The CD opens with an acoustic chamber style tune, devolves into industrial machine noise & distortion, then progresses into non-conventional black metal. I say non – conventional because the vocals and guitar are drenched in reverb beyond clarity, industrial elements persist throughout, and the drums are slower than usual for the style. The entire album rotates amidst these styles for 60 + minutes, although the styles start to weld together by the last 3rd of this cd and become a sludgy mixture which is still great. By the time this album is over, it feels like the collapse of western civilization has commenced and we are naught but survivors in a strange new world. We have survived because we have the integrity required to live through the heat and the cold and the intelligence to stave off the predators for another night. All acoustic songs are performed to remind the listener that revolutionary music existed before electricity and modern technology, and will persist after the industrial collapse.
ALB(A)TWITCH is neither for the scene purist, nor the faint of heart. Aided by the lyrics, the songs make one think, and that is exactly what this band wants people to do. When listening to this album, one will be rewarded only if they bring an open mind.
Lost Grave: http://www.lostgravefound.blogspot.com
Dark Holler: http://www.darkhollerarts.com
Eleventh Key: http://www.eleventhkey.com
When I saw this record in the review box from MCR Company, I thought “no way, why would I get a review album from such a well known and respected band like Extreme Noise Terror?” As I read the letter written by Dean Jones, it dawned on me that this record is actually REALLY different. What I have here is three songs recorded for the Earslaughter split with CHAOS U.K. in December 1986. Only one of the songs went onto the split (False Prophet), and the other two songs were never played live or released in any other way. Basically, no one has heard the songs (Tear it Down, and What a State) since that recording session at the end of 1986! Unfortunately these songs are so underground that Dean Jones himself couldnt find / remember the lyrics. This ep is the first ever recording with Mick Harris on the drum kit, all other members are the original lineup.
Three crust as fuck songs in a blistering four minutes, this is mid 80’s English punk at arguably it’s most aggressive era. The bass is tuned high and is very clear, the guitar also tuned kinda high and becomes a maelstrom of bludgeoning force at top speed. Classic dual high / low vocals, as always barely intelligible since they sing so damned fast. What A State is the first recorded time that these guys us the blast beat, and they nail it down perfectly in short brutal bursts of absolute rage.
Cover artconcept by the guy who found the tapes, Dean Jones himself. Inside is some cool photos of the band during recording, and damn they were young! Songs were remixed and mastered at Springvale Studios in Ipswish England during June 2013 by Dean Jones and others. This is a must – have for collectors and serious fans of ENT. Co-released by MCR Company and Lowlife Records.
I found this split 7″ one day spent at Profane Existence, and was interested primarily because the art is so cool. Nerve Damage are from southern Texas (Brownsville I think?) and play thrashy hardcore punk. Konflicto are from Matamoros, Monterrey Mexico, and play a heavier version of hardcore, with lots of metal influences. Konflicto has 2 singers, one screechy like the guy from FILTH, and the other one much deeper / crustier.
The art is pretty killer on this one. On the Nerve Damage side, is a drawing of the angel of death holding onto a baby in one arm (baby is wearing a gasmask), and a stockpile of nukes in the other arm. The Konflicto side features skulls on a black background, relatively basic, but still cool.
From what I can tell, this record was produced very DIY with small batch, and no record companies. There really isnt much info for either band, especially Konflicto (there’s nothing, just 3 songs). Nerve Damage provided band member info, and the lyrics for the 3 songs featured.
NERVE DAMAGE FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/nervedamagetx
KONFLICTO FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/KonflictoKONFLICTO BANDCAMP: http://konflictomx.bandcamp.com/album/split-with-nerve-damage
Prague, Czech Republic, seems to have a really great crust punk scene. This is the 3rd ep sent to me for review from there this summer, and all of them have been great. One of those bands, PROPAGANDA (WOLFBRIGADE style), is mentioned in the thanx list within the jacket of this record from KRüGER. The other band is PRAY FOR DEATH, a band that reminds me of others like HELLSHOCK, KRANG, and to a lesser extent WARCOLLAPSE. To be honest, I’d like to get more review material from Prague and the surrounding region!
This EP is KRüGER’s 3rd 7″ release, their second by themselves. After having listened to all they have on bandcamp, I can say that the other records are just as good as the one I have in my hands. This eight (8) song ep is non-stop intensity with gruff f / m vocals, and the drums keep a charged pace, while still finding space to throw in plenty of drum rolls. The guitar / bass mixing is pristine, the bass never gets buried, even with all the distortion, and the alternating riffs keep things going strong and interesting. Side B starts off with Tomorrow’s Hell, which starts on a fast guitar riff, stops for the bass to repeat riff, and then goes straight into the full fledged assault. I really like the cover song Cash & Greed by BATTLE OF DISARM, very good with perhaps better production than the original! These 8 songs blast away in 13 minutes, which surprized me cos the ep feels a lot longer, perhaps because of everything thats going on in the songs. There is no filler on here, all songs are good and I dont have a favoritie. This ep should be listened to in whole, not just a couple mp3s.
The lyrics for this mini-album (cos thats what it feels like!) were sung in Slovakian, since one of their singers is originally from there. Luckily for those who cant read many languages beside English, there are translations for every song, found in the foldout record jacket. Lyrics are written in classic D-Beat style, which is actually Japanese Haiku, But these songs arent really political, but more personal. The artwork is heavy on the classic bones and war destruction that is seen on many a crust punk record. Its all crust as fuck (existence), and done with pen / ink.. very nice.
As stated before, this is KRüGER’s 3rd 7″ release, and they also have a totally ripping cover of Pay For… on the TRIBUTE TO DISRUPT 2xlp compilation. If you haven’t heard of these guys, get online, and check out their bandcamp page. All songs are offered free, but toss them a couple dollars / euros if you got a credit card (what!? punx with credit cards!?) cos these people work hard to put out the great music that they do. besides, they had to record it, and it’s worth sacrificing a beer or two!
check them out here:
KRüGER BANDCAMP: http://krugerpunx.bandcamp.com/
KRüGER BANDZONE: http://bandzone.cz/kruger
WOLF DRUNK RECORDS: WOLFDRUNK@SEZNAM.CZ (recommended)
SVOBODA RECORDS: http://www.svoboda-records.fr
RAWMANTIC DISASTERS: firstname.lastname@example.org
From the underground basements and bars in the seedy parts of the Pacific Northwest comes this new 7″ on STRING BREAK RECORDS. This is the 8th release for the label, so check out the catalog from this up and coming organization. BALSA are from the rainy streets of Seattle, and bring forth 3 songs of “angular post-hardcore” rhythmic noise. Chaotic dual guitar arrangements over steady bass melodies and post-hardcore style vocals with off the wall drum patterns loaded with rolls and fills.long sentence, but you get the idea. SEI HEXE play 2 rather long multi-genre spanning songs with “symphonic arrangements and vocal rage”. They feature a tight song structure with wierd breakdowns and shouted yet scratchy vocals. The first song ends with a lot of laughter whcich is kind of creepy in a death rock way. The second song, Synapses Crawling, seems way more earthy with tribal rhythms and chanted almost gothic vocals at times. There’s a great guitar solo toward the end of SEI HEXE’s side, which at first soundded like the guitar was not being picked, but rather played with a bow like a cello. This all girl band spew forth so many elements of bands past, and from the wreckage create something new and refreshing. They have an 8 song album available via their bandcamp page. Record is on raspberry splatter (so-called ox blodd splatter), and is in a very earthy colorful package with an anti-gloss finish. Artwork done by Sean Schock. comes with download card.
SEI HEXE: www.seihexe.bandcamp.com
STRING BREAK RECORDS: www.stringbreak.com
On this new 7″ co-release between REALITY IS A CULT RECORDS and PROFANE EXISTENCE RECORDS, KATA SARKA bring the blackened crust while BODDICKER plays aggressive grindcore influenced crust punk. Recorded by Carl Byers in Detroit April – May of 2012, this one is highly recommended if you like your crust with lots of blast beats. Both bands currently reside in the Indianapolis / Detroit areas.
KATA SARKA’s first release was way back in 2010, an EP called Riding a Wind of Knives. Via a prodigious recording schedule, theyve released 5 eps / splits and one LP in 3 years, the DAVID LEE GORGOROTH split being the 5th. With black metal song structure / riffage and crusty vocals, this band slays all standing in their way. Im not able to understand everything being said, and there is minimal info about them on the record, but in the song Mired in Spleen (which also appears on their newest 7″), they chant “liberation”, perhaps referring to animal lib. A great guitar solo is also buried in the song. Poaching The Boar is non-stop intensity from start to finish, and some of the guitar riffs feel a bit introspective like good black metal does. If KATA SARKA toured out to Victoria BC and played a show with ISKRA, Ive got a feeling the PA would melt by the time the night was over! according to their bandcamp page, their full length endeavor title Existential Oblivion was released March of 2012.
BODDICKER unleash a powerful fury of blazing guitars, amped up bass, gruff vokills, and fast as fuck drums. Plenty of good grooves from these bong heroes and socially conscious lyrics to boot. This is Boddickers 2nd recording, and have released 2 more split 7″s since. Theyve released 4 songs on this one, all brutal with an in-your-face aggression. Insert comes with recording information, and lyrics, and gangland style band photo. Very Intense!
BODDICKER BANDCAMP: http://boddicker13.bandcamp.com/music
KATA SARKA BANDCAMP: http://katasarka.bandcamp.com/
From the pine covered hills of Portland Oregon comes this 6 piece powerhouse right off the busy busking corners of the Pacific Northwest. Playing a kind of punk rock thats not quite gypsy, and not quite crust, but totally anarchist, this is a great adition to the PROFANE EXISTENCE label. Instruments such as accordian, 2 mandolins, and a washboard accompany the more conventional RnR instruments, and everyone in the band sings the songs. There is a ton of different influences prevalent in DIRTY KID DISCOUNT ranging from acoustic gypsy to ripping crust. The drums hit a double time sequence in the song Solomon’s Circle, and vocal style ranges from olde timey ballads to “cookie monster” gruff. Lyrically, this record covers two very obvious issues prevalent within punk rock; that is religion / ignorance caused by such, and green activism / environmentalism. The EP title is a reference to the song “Argoth”, a ballad about the horrors of the logging industry. I would call this style GYPSY CRUST, and recommend for those who like such bands as: MISCHIEF BREW, RUM REBELLION, ABSINTHE ROSE, etc. Limited Edition color vinyl is coke bottle clear. this is the 9th installment of the PROFANE EXISTENCE LIMITED EDITION 7″ SERIES.
DIRTY KID DISCOUNT facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DirtyKidDiscount
DIRTY KID DISCOUNT bandcamp: http://dirtykiddiscount.bandcamp.com/
A cackling intro with a Scandinavian radio voice over gives an inexplicable uneasiness, you just know it’s going to kick off any second. By the time we get to the track ‘Rapport till himlen’, all hell has broken lose. Think Misanthropic Generation era Disfear, later Skitsystem or a massive amp explosion. Real bass driven fury, relentless drums, dirty super-charged guitars and pure gravel yelling vocals storm through nine songs in over twenty minutes. This is 100% proof rowdy crusty swigging kängpunk-rock ‘n’ roll with plenty of attitude.
Passiv Dödshjälp could only be from Sweden with the uncompromising style of music they play. Cranking the tempo up with every song, I can only imagine a real manic crowd reaction to them live. The guitars frantically rip through a constant barrage of riffs and solos. Taking all the best elements from hardcore, metal, crust and punk. Then fucking everything into a high-powered dose of aggression. Lyrically I don’t know what they are singing about, but the band’s name translates as ‘Passive Euthanasia’, so it fits in rightly with their energetic sound.
Pure fire energy from start to finish, all wrapped in a sickly cover with either heavy black or swamp green vinyl. Co-released by Distro-y Records, Phobia Records, Halvfabrikat Records and Embrace My Funeral Records. (Sean Fitzgerald)
The cassette has really made a cult resurgence in the last while. To me I remember growing up fixing unspooled cassettes with a biro or joining ripped bits of tape together again with cellotape. So when tapes faded out I thought good riddance. But now all these years later I get Autarch’s cassette release of “Death of Actiacus” in the post and I think bollocks I must dust off the old cassette deck which has been sitting in a cardboard box full of other old crap all these years. So after a slight dusting off I pop the Autarch tape in, then the nostalgia of eighties tape trading comes back. And I get to thinking, you know it wasn’t a bad release format at all. Once a CDR gets faulty that’s it, it’s knackered. Whereas a cassette can be fixed normally no matter how bad it gets, and they look far cooler than a crappy looking CDR.
Anyway all that is completely besides the point, let’s talk about ‘The Death of Actiacus’. To me Autarch represent that new wave of bands who have completely reinvented hardcore. Bands like Fall of Efrafa, Vestiges and Downfall of Gaia who play eerily dark, emotive heavy music but at times add bleak spacey atmospheric soundscapes. Yet with each one of those aforementioned bands being equally unique.
The opening track “A Message” has a gradual chugging build up with a great eerie lead throughout, which then breaks into heavy fast downstroke riffs with real impassioned vocal screams. Then ends with that great spacey sound I mentioned earlier, real chilling echoey uneasiness. At times these ambient parts could be a movie soundtrack that Clint Mansell would be proud of. It is accompanied lyrically by a real legendary saga type of narrative. “Come to the altar of the sun. Lay your hands on the chest of the mighty. Your mind will deceive you, your body is a puppet for the autarch”.
The songs run really well into each other through nice guitar picking parts. With that distinct twisted eerie lead accompanied by three vocalists each different but gruff, with a real sense of urgency which is the bands unmistakable sound.
Lyrically the band sing about existential catastrophe, ecological collapse and morality all in a very poetic way. It is mastered by Brad (From Ashes Rise) at Audiosiege who has mastered some of the best releases in the last few years. Pro-duplicated cassette with lyric sheet, vinyl sticker and screen printed J-card for $5 from http://headfirstrecords.limitedrun.com Take a listen for yourself on their bandcamp page.
Lighthouse Farm Animal Sanctuary is based in Scio Oregon and they do their part in ALF providing a home for neglected / abused farm animals. Fully one third of bands on this comp are from Portland Oregon, and the list includes such greats as RESIST. The other bands either come from the USA, or as far away as Ukraine, making this an international release. Most bands featured are poppy street punk, but definitely not the kind yer gonna hear on the radio. BURNT CROSS from England coverthe CRASS song “banned From the Roxy”, which sounds absolutely perfect. Like a blast from 1978 and with better production than what they originally had. Other bands that do covers are the Young Turks and Raw Nerves, both of which are from Portland. Raw Nerves cover the Negative Approach song “Ready To Fight” perfectly, and Young Turks cover Bruce Springsteens song “Im On Fire” providing the necessary punk sneer, because the original really sucked! RESIST release a song which was originally recorded for their 7″ Profane Existence release back in 2009. It’s by far one of the best on this comp, straight classic style American hardcore. I recommend buying this not just for the CRASS song or the RESIST one either, but also because of the fact this benefits a grass roots organization that needs our help while they help those without a voice. Limited to 50 copies, and released by 1859 Records, and NXNW Recs.
LIGHTHOUSE FARM ANIMAL SANCTUARY: http://www.lighthousefarmsanctuary.org/
1859 RECORDS: http://1859records.storenvy.com/
NXNW RECORDS: http://nxnwrecords.blogspot.com/2011/04/north-by-northwest-records-online-home.html