Reviews

Song Review: Chugun – ‘Sadistic Rites’

Song Review: Chugun – ‘Sadistic Rites’

Band: Chugun Song: Sadistic Rites Genre: Death Metal/Thrash Metal Date of Release: 30 August, 2015 Location: Tel Aviv, Israel Reviewer: MC Bombcheck For Fans Of: Toxic Holocaust, Cannibal Corpse, Municipal Waste Well, I’ve been assigned to review Israeli metal sensation Chugun, and oh do I have so much to say. In recent times I’ve been listening to more and more of the music I founded upon, stuff like early thrash and the entire “posers can fuck off \m/” shit (which this song does remind me of a bit, with a name like ‘Sadistic Rites’ after all). But I digress, because this song is actually pretty good. The first thing you notice about this song is the really thrashy, fairly groovy guitar intro which reminds me of the thrash revival sound. The tone of the guitar is surprising but nothing special – distorted, crunchy, and the notes are understandable. However, it is slightly lost in the whole mix, but we will get to that later on. It’s not overly technical, which is extremely refreshing; a lot of the new bands I hear are often trying to out-tech themselves over who can sweep pick the fastest, or how many notes they can squeeze into a riff. It’s important to be able to hum along to a riff as you’re sitting on the bus in your Slayer shirt and ripped jeans. A very nice guitar sound indeed. Next up are the drums. The snare sound is really tight and clean, but also doesn’t ring on for too long. As for the kick drum, it’s very well defined and you can hear it... read more
Song Review: Transcender – ‘Take Me Away’

Song Review: Transcender – ‘Take Me Away’

Band: Transcender Song: Take Me Away Genre: Post-hardcore Date of Release: 30/1/16 Location: Georgia, USA Reviewer: Chemikarl For Fans Of: Solitary Son, the terrible hardcore band the perpetually stoned night manager at your local McDonald’s plays in. Let’s just get this out of the way straight off the bat: for a band who chose to christen themselves Transcender, the name is anything but an aptronym. Forget attempting to transcend genre labels with a bit of experimentation – ‘Take Me Away’ stalwartly refuses to even consider bringing new ideas to the table. Instead, we’re served up with a tepid gruel of thin, watery, post-hardcore clichés that would’ve sounded tired last decade. And I’m not just talking about the production here, however shrill and lo-fi it may seem. Because really, who can blame a young band for attempting to save a few hundred bucks on an audio engineer by recording their debut in garageband with a few stock distortion plugins? The individual band members’ performances themselves, while nothing stellar, actually aren’t too offensive. Apathetic stop-start riffs are underpinned by consistent yet unimaginative double-kick drumming, as frustratingly washed out melodic leads occasionally struggle and fail to break the surface of the mix. The bass, though perfectly adequate, does little to differentiate itself from the guitarists, and the less said about the wet-sock-over-a-microphone tone it has, the better. The harsh vocals, though, may just be the best part of Transcender’s package (aside from the fact their bassist looks exactly like Lord Farquaad from Shrek), and I’m sure with better mixing and mastering they might even present a semblance of emotional power and gravitas.... read more
Album Review: Lionheart – ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’

Album Review: Lionheart – ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’

Band: Lionheart Album: Love Don’t Live Here Anymore Genre: Mosh/Modern Hardcore Date of Release: 22/01/16 Location: Northern California Reviewer: Benjamin Muir For Fans Of: Hatebreed, pocketless mesh shorts, breakdowns Track Listing: 1. Pain 2:35 2. Keep Talkin’ 2:14 3. Witness 2:45 4. Bury Me 3:21 5. Love Don’t Live Here 2:54 6. Rewind 2:06 7. Still 2:17 8. New Enemies 2:33 9. Lock Jaw 2:39 10. Dead Wrong 2:49 11. Going Back to the Bay 1:18 Lionheart are exactly the kind of band I adored as a teenager. Generally speaking, at the time, the more a band was influenced by Hatebreed, the more I would enjoy it. I managed to miss the hype surrounding Lionheart until very recently however, as the band first made it to my local venue right after I stopped going to shows as regularly – which is a shame, really – for both parties involved. If I’d found these guys, I probably wouldn’t have stopped going to shows, and I would have spent so much of my McDonald’s wages on pocketless mesh shorts and windbreakers with their logo. I recently heard the titular single off this album, and I enjoyed it more than anything I’d heard in months. Eliciting in me a sense of youthful nostalgia and energy (as well as a bizarre compulsion to do spinkicks in my office?), I immediately set to work finding a copy of the full-length LP to see if it was all this good. As an adult and no longer an angry, young man, I find myself unable to enjoy the rampant toughguyisms, hip-hop appropriation, and persecution complexes of... read more
EP Review: I, The Burden – ‘Reaktsiya’

EP Review: I, The Burden – ‘Reaktsiya’

Band: I, THE BURDEN Album: Reaktsiya Genre: Post hardcore Location: Darwin, NT Date of Release: July 13, 2015 Reviewer: John W. Mason For Fans Of: Dance Gavin Dance, Yesterdays Rising, Circa Survive I had already listened to Reaktsyia from beginning to end twice before sitting down to write this review, a sure sign that you have a release on your hands which will stand the test of time. Post-hardcore can be a fickle beast and, while producing some of the most innovative bands to grace the scene, it has a tendency to churn out some of the most recyclable pleb-tier crapola at the same time. I, The Burden thankfully have produced a very considered and well-formed EP, a pleasant surprise in every form, from their locale in sleepy old Darwin to their soul-laden, post hardcore infused jams. The opening track ‘Rations’ is deceiving – as mentioned in the interview, I had a worrying moment when it seemed like I, The Burden were to be placed firmly in the bin of mediocrity. While I feel it may ultimately serve as an unhelpful deterrent to prospective listeners, who might not have the patience to sit through the first track to see what the EP really has to offer, realistically I’m just nitpicking. The song is a little out of character for the EP as a whole, but still quite a solid track in its own right. The second track ‘Strangers on the Sidewalk, Pt. II’ is where we really get down to business. This is where I, The Burden really show their talent for solid and progressive songwriting. Their timing and... read more
EP Review: Polaris – ‘The Guilt And The Grief’

EP Review: Polaris – ‘The Guilt And The Grief’

Band: Polaris EP: The Guilt And The Grief Genre: Metalcore Location: Sydney, NSW Date of Release: 29/01/2016 Reviewer: Harvey Danger For Fans Of: Bring Me The Horizon, The Amity Affliction, Architects, Veil of Maya Track listing 1. Regress 3:29 2. L’AppelnDu Vide 03:14 3. Unfamiliar 04:06 4. Voiceless 03:54 5. No Rest 04:15 6. Hold You Under (Feat. Marcus Bridge) 04:31 Sydney metalcore lads POLARIS have returned in a blaze of hype and glory with The Guilt & The Grief, their first release since 2013’s Dichotomy. Opener ‘Regress’ is tempered with glaring tech influences, brutal screams, and singalongs throughout. Although ‘L’Appel Du Vide’ and ‘Unfamiliar’ showcase obvious The Amity Affliction influences, this reviewer is happy to note that somehow Polaris have managed to avoid following the Amity formula in making every song sound exactly the fucking same. ‘Voiceless’ begins with a guitar-riff which sounds as though it belongs in a mid-2000s motocross game, before moving into WWE entrance song territory when the rest of the band joins in. What’s most notable about this track is that during the bridge, you’re finally able to hear the bass stand out for the first time on the whole EP, though, sadly, it’s an all too brief appearance. ‘No Rest’ somehow manages to follow the old songwriting-adage of “soft verse, loud chorus” to a tee, something not often seen in this genre, with the harmonised guitar work during the outro making for a delightful treat. The EP’s closer, ‘Hold You Under’, which features Northlane vocalist Marcus Bridge is an absolute banger, with the vocal interplay between Bridge, vocalist Jamie Hails, and bassist Jake... read more
Album Review: Lagerstien – ‘All For Rum, Rum For All!’

Album Review: Lagerstien – ‘All For Rum, Rum For All!’

Album: All For Rum, Rum For All! Band: Lagerstein Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia Date of Release: 02/02/2016 Genre: Pirate Metal Reviewer: 420 Glazed Ahoy! Piracy is alive! Well, it is for the crew of Brisbane pirate metal act Lagerstein. We have already established my love of folk metal and pirates, as made evident by my Alestorm review back in November. So, when I was given the opportunity to review Lagerstein’s sophomore effort All For Rum, Rum For All, needless to say, I welcomed it with open arms. Their debut album Drink Til We Die has been on heavy rotation on my iPod since I first discovered them, so there were so pretty high expectations for this album going in. Would it be worthy of raising the jolly roger high, or would it walk the plank and plunge into the deep? (come on, I had to get at least one pirate related pun in this) First things first – god, do these motherfuckers like drinking. This album is just one big anthem to the appreciation of the answer to (and cause of) all of life’s problems: alcohol! I mean, I should have expected this with titles such as ‘Drink The Rum’, ‘Land Of Bundy’, ‘Jungle Juice’, and ‘Fountain of Rum’, but Jesus Christ, I think vocalist Captain Gregarrr should probably see someone, because he is – at the very least – a high-functioning alcoholic … or maybe he’s just Australian, I dunno. While we’re on the topic of the Captain, I noticed that there was a massive difference in the vocals between DTWD and All For Rum. No longer was... read more
Live Review: Laneway Festival – Brisbane, February 6, 2016

Live Review: Laneway Festival – Brisbane, February 6, 2016

So, I pretty much only decided to go to Laneway 2016 in Brisbane because Chvrches was playing. Arriving pretty early at 2pm, I quickly realised that this was how all festivals should be: fuck all people, heaps of places to choose from when it comes to alcohol, and so many food options! There were plenty of chill-out areas, and friendly security guards made for a great start. The festival also didn’t incorporate the main arena like Soundwave did, probably because they restrict the numbers to keep it a ’boutique’ festival. Walking through the gates at the RNA Showgrounds has never been smoother. The more ‘punk/rock’ stage was situated right near the gate too, so as soon as I got through security I was blasted with the screams and wails of High Tension. As usual, they were putting on an in-your-face full-frontal assault. I was there in time to see Japanese Wallpaper play some great catchy tunes. They played their hit track ‘Forces’ (feat. Airling), who indeed made an appearance for this song. Her voice could make Slayer actually sound good for once. East India Youth was up next and, not knowing a lot about his tunes, I was pleasantly surprised. A one-man synth machine and guitar shredder, he made synth-pop seem effortless. Slum Sociable was up next with more of the same but once again, they really amazed me like East India Youth. I had a big gap between bands so I sat through uninspiring sets from Big Scary, checked out DIIV (one-dimensional weird pop indie rock), and Royal Headache, which gave me a headache. There was also a... read more
Song Review: Eshtadur – ‘Heavens To The Ground’

Song Review: Eshtadur – ‘Heavens To The Ground’

Band: Eshtadur Song: Heavens to the Ground Location: Pereira – Bogotá Release Date: December 5th 2015 Genre: Metalcore, death, progressive Reviewer: Samuel Worsfold For Fans Of: Sikth, Destrage, The Dali Thundering Concept Coming into Eshtadur’s ‘Heavens To The Ground’ from their newest album, appropriately titled Oblivion, I don’t think I was ready to expect what my ears were thoroughly penetrated by when I cranked the volume on my computer when opening the YouTube link. While listening to the track, I quickly found myself smothered in different influences, thrown back and forth from hardcore chugs, metalcore riffs, synth sections, and progressive influences of technicality and the narration styled vocals found in the genre. To say the least, I was blown away, ‘Heaven’s To The Ground’ has been one of the most original “core” influenced song I have ever heard. Sure, you might see my description of the genres bouncing off of each other as a burden and somewhat of an annoyance, but it is in fact very much the opposite and provided an intriguing listen that was very enjoyable. A lot of times, seeing a band trying to cram as many influences into a song as possible can throw the listener off and either make or break a song. The thing I loved about this song was that the song actually flowed well even with all of these crazy things going on, without it sounding like it was being technical for the sake of being technical. There are plenty of head-banging moments in this song (naturally), as tight and precise stop start rhythms laced together with the melodic guitar riffs... read more
Thrashers, Rejoice. ANGELUS APATRIDA Are Coming To Australia!

Thrashers, Rejoice. ANGELUS APATRIDA Are Coming To Australia!

Emerging touring company Green Hell Touring has announced an Australian tour for Spanish thrash metal powerhouse ANGELUS APATRIDA this May. ANGELUS APATRIDA formed in Albacete, Spain in the year 2000, a time where people were too busy doing things for the nookie to give a shit about thrash metal. While Spain has a solid extreme-metal following, Albacete is a small, isolated town with no musical infrastructure – but against all odds Angelus Apatrida (Latin/Spanish language combo for “Renegade Angels”) have managed to stick around for more than 15 years and belt out five albums of face-ripping, bay area-esque thrash metal, the last three being released through Century Media Records. Now the band finally has the chance to tour Australian shores (also stopping in Asia) on the wings of their latest effort Hidden Evolution. The band will be touring Australia at the end of May, backed by our finest thrash and heavy metal bands as local supports. Melbourne is lucky enough to have In Malice’s Wake, Harlott and Mason on support, while Sydney and Brisbane get Darker Half and Asylum respectively, with more supports to be announced soon. Tickets can be purchased from Oztix, and you can RSVP to the Facebook event page here. This tour is going to be one that’s not worth missing. My only advice to Green Hell Touring – please don’t pull an ‘Oceanic Sharks’, if you know what I mean. Thu 26 May – BRISBANE – The Back Room 18+ with Asylum and special guests www.tickets.oztix.com.au/?Event=59592 Fri 27 May – SYDNEY – Bald Faced Stag 18+ with Darker Half and special guests www.tickets.oztix.com.au/?Event=59598 Sat 28... read more
Song Review: Shangrilá – ‘Guiding Light’

Song Review: Shangrilá – ‘Guiding Light’

Band: Shangrilá Song: Guiding Light Genre: Metalbore Date of Release: 28th January, 2016 Reviewer: Chris Giacca For Fans Of: Valerian, Sedatives, Sleep What is the point of life? That’s what this immediately made me think. What is the fucking POINT, man? I’m certain that James Hilton wasn’t a fan of heavy music. To be honest, if this band was somehow to be his point of reference, I wouldn’t blame him. I’m equally certain that, when he envisioned Shangri-La in his 1933 novel Lost Horizon, he didn’t equate peacefulness with boredom. Apparently, these Perthicans do. Huh. I’m pretty much going to state right off the bat that I really don’t see the appeal at all here. I love metalcore, I love emotion, I love piano interludes, intros, outros, all of that. What I don’t love, is 3 ½ minute tracks which somehow feel too long, and too short, at the same time. How the fuck do you even do that? How do you simultaneously make someone wish the song was over a minute in, and then somehow make them feel like the song is unfinished when it finally does end? They should have named it ‘How Long Was Schrodinger’s Cat’s Tail’, actually. And while we’re at it, mind you, what the fuck is with the way they’ve written it? How pretentious do you have to be to take an already pretentious book, written by a pretentious Englishman in the 1930s, and then somehow heap an extra dollop of pretence onto it by giving it a fucking accent mark? Shangrilá? Fucking REALLY?! This is so boring that, had I been reviewing... read more

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