Tuesday, 30 August 2016

REVIEW: Body Void - "Ruins" EP (Review)

By: Chris Bull

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 16/06/2016
Label: Transylvanian Tapes


Sounding like a seismic shift, 'Swans' instantly obliterates everything. The riffs slowly and mercilessly attack the central nervous system while the vocals suffocate and strangle.  At the tail end of this EP comes the even more epic and gigantic 'Ruins', if you can imagine Andy Dufregne's escape in ' The Shawshank Redemption'; slow, filthy, dark, foreboding, this track is the embodiment of it.  Body Void have set the bench mark pretty damn high now, surely they will follow this up with something truly amazing.

‘Ruins’ CS//CD//DD track listing:

1). Swans
2). Erased
3). Monolith
4). Ruins

The Review:

Damn it feels good to be a Sludgelord; especially when tasty slabs of sonic mass come hurtling towards your face! I'll admit, I'd never heard of Body Void or their previous incarnation; Devoid but man, 'Ruins' their 1st EP has certainly left a lingering taste!

Sounding like a seismic shift, 'Swans' instantly obliterates everything. The riffs slowly and mercilessly attack the central nervous system while the vocals suffocate and strangle. The guitars are lacking a little weight behind them that would make the force of each strum that much greater but it still packs enough grit to cause plenty of earaches.

'Erased' has a slightly faster, crustier opening but slows into some truly blood curdling doom! The titanic 'Monolith' is rather eponymous; standing, solemnly amidst the shrieking vocals and feedback are riffs that are...well, monolithic! The crusty part at the songs midsection is well placed and very welcome amongst the huge distorted slabs of blackened doom. At the tail end of this EP comes the even more epic and gigantic 'Ruins', if you can imagine Andy Dufregne's escape in ' The Shawshank Redemption'; slow, filthy, dark, foreboding, this track is the embodiment of it. Despite being 16 minutes of slow, torturous doom, it still has plenty of twists to keep your attention.

Body Void have set the bench mark pretty damn high now, surely they will follow this up with something truly amazing.

‘Ruins’ is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

RIYL: Khanate, Thou, Keeper, Primitive Man

Monday, 29 August 2016

SONG PREMIERE: "Disgrace" by Implore

Implore has toured restlessly since the release of their first LP “Depopulation” review here (Pelagic Records 2015) with more than 100 shows performed in Europe and Russia increasing this trios reputation and making the underground scene sit up and take notice

On September 11th, Implore will release a new 7” called “Thanatos”, named after the Greek mythology demon, which is the personification of the death. In addition before the end of the year, the band will tour South America for the very first time, visiting Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Ecuador. A month long tour that will undoubtedly help increase their followers with South America having  one of the most loyal and passionate audiences in the world.

New guitar player Petro Manel commented upon their forthcoming release

“Thanatos is like a deep breath of fresh air for Implore's sound. It keeps the essence of the brutality in “Depopulation” adding some new details that bring the songs to a new level. The five tracks in this new EP are full of anger and hate, experimenting with new structures, riffs, and vocal lines, keeping the straight-to-the-point philosophy that makes this new 7" a short and intense one”.

So if you’re a fan of Napalm Death, Nasum, Black Breath, you will certainly not wanna miss this release via Wooaaargh which you can preorder hereYou can also check out the track “Disgrace” which are streaming in full below

Band info: facebook || bandcamp

"...And the earth will be destroyed with undulations of fuzz: An Interview with Jordan Campbell of Mares Of Diomedes & Song Premiere of "Earth Destroyer"

When the very mention of the following bands Slomatics, The Obsessed, Keeper are muttered, it is undoubtedly going to pique your interest, therefore when two bands harness those influences in their own compositions and are pitted together to slug out in an aural death match, you’re going to want to hear this titanic mass.  On September 16th 2016, Heavy Earth Records will release the new split record from Mares of Diomedes and Dreich, and this release  is bone rattling doom that is on par with the best in the genre. Consisting of two tracks from Irish duo Mares of Diomedes and three tracks from the juggernaut known as Dreich, this split album is definitely a must-have purchase for anyone into doom, fuzz or sludge metal.

Mares of Diomedes are a two piece from Ireland consisting of two brothers who started the band in 2014 and released their first self-titled EP; through Heavy Earth Records in early 2015. They toured Europe earlier this year and have taken a break from gigs to focus on writing their debut album. On the flip side, the entity known as Dreich formed in Copenhagen in 2015 but are from different corners of the globe. Although the band is relatively new, they have already shared the stage with heavy hitters such as Mantar and Dopethrone. The split with Mares of Diomedes is the band's first recorded output.

The focus of today’s exclusive is a track by Mares of Diomedes and the title “Earth Destroyer” couldn’t be more apt, as the following nine minutes, is simply seismic.  Prepare the ground, because this track is gonna cause ripples.  Pre-order the album on cassette, vinyl or digital formats here

I also hooked up with Jordan Campbell from Mares of Diomedes for a short, yet on point interview which you can also check out below.

SL: Can you give us an insight into how you started playing music, leading up to the formation of Mares of Diomedes

Jordan: My brother Shea and I grew up together in Ireland and when we were teenagers I think we followed the typical path of starting off listening to rock music, followed by seeking out progressively heavier and heavier forms of music to play air guitar to, while intermittently beating each other up. Around that time we had an uncle who played guitar and when we went over to his house he would teach us to play the starting riff from Deep Purple'sSmoke on the Water”, on an old Vox electric guitar he had. The first time I played that riff through an amplifier I knew that I wanted to play guitar. 

Soon after, that the same uncle gave us an acoustic and a Vox electric guitar (which is still my main guitar!).  Shea became really proficient on the guitar very quickly, at which point it made sense for me to buy a drum kit.  Over the following years we weaved between different genres of music but never really coincided on the same thing at the same time as each other.  We played in separate bands (rock, metal, punk etc.) up until a couple of years ago when we finally decided to start a band together which became Mares of Diomedes. We had both learnt to play the guitar and drums, but in the end the best dynamic for both of us playing together turned out to be me playing the guitar and Shea playing the drums. 

SL: For folks unfamiliar with your band, are there any bands, on the scene past and present that you would use as a reference point to describe your band, and who continue to inspire you and push you to try new things?

Jordan: It’s always a difficult question as we are influenced by a wide variety of music from different places. Both Shea and I have quite different tastes in music but one area that our tastes do tend to converge a bit is in doom and sludge. Some stuff that we are into (but that we don't necessarily sound like!) -  Ictus, Pallbearer, Morne, Kongh, Samothrace, Church of Misery, Celtic Frost. We are constantly inspired by the other bands around us as well. Throughout all the gigs that we have played before Mares of Diomedes and since forming we have come across a lot of really cool bands. While on tour in Europe we played quite a few gigs with a band called Lost Pagan who we had never heard of before. They completely blew us away with their live show. I picked up their album on vinyl over there and I have been listening to it a lot since then. Also from touring we have come across other bands like Link and Geranium who are doing good things.

There are also many awesome heavy bands in Ireland at the moment, like Venus Sleeps(also on Heavy Earth Records), Subordinate, Slomatics, Nomadic Rituals, Tome, Graveyard Dirt, Harvester and Tusks. There are also a few really good labels in Ireland that release a lot of stuff we are into, like Chainbreaker Records, Distro-y and Freak Flag Recordings. There is an abundance of great stuff to be inspired by every day.  

SL: What can you tell us about your upcoming record and where do you feel it sits within the context current music scene?

Jordan: The upcoming record is a split with another band from Copenhagen called Dreich. We had been searching around for someone that would have suited the split musically, as well as having the same ethos as us as a band. Shea came across a live recording of theirs through some contacts of his in the DIY scene and just based off that we thought they would be a great fit. Luckily they were sitting on some tracks already that they were just finishing recording at the time. Once we heard them we knew we definitely wanted them to be a part of the release as their tracks absolutely crush. From our perspective, the tracks from our side of the split are a progression from our first EP, in terms of both the song writing and the tone. It’s definitely the heaviest thing that we have recorded to date. 

SL: How was the mood in the camp going into the recording of the record?

We love the whole process of recording so every time we go into the studio it’s always with a great deal of excitement and anticipation. We hadn't recorded with Niall at Start Together before, but we had heard a lot of good things based on the work that he had done with other bands like Nomadic Rituals and Slomatics. Since recording our debut EP I had been improving my guitar rig set-up based on what was working or wasn't working well at our shows.  By the time it came to recording the split I had a completely new guitar set up compared to what I used on the EP, so we knew that the outcome at the end was going to be a lot different. Niall is the man when it comes to recording heavy music and I think that coupled with the progression we had made ourselves as a band, it resulted in a much heavier record.  

SL: What can fans look forward to from you over the next 12 months? How is your schedule shaping up?

Jordan: We have a tour planned in the Ireland/UK at the end of year which we will be confirming soon. Apart from that, our main objective at the moment is to continue working on our debut album which we are in the middle of writing. We have a few songs down for it and we will be using any time we have this year to finish it before booking any new tours/gigs.  Shea will also be on tour in Europe with his other band Absolutist during September. Early next year we plan to get out on tour in Europe again, hopefully doing a run of shows along with Dreich as well. 

Band info:

Mare of Diomedes: facebook || bandcamp || Driech: facebook || bandcamp

Saturday, 27 August 2016

VIDEO PREMIERE: Haunted offer a s(low) sub-sabbathian dirge with "Watchtower"

We’re always in the mood for new stoner doom bands at The Sludgelord and today is no different, Haunted worship at the altar of the godfathers of doom Black Sabbath and latter day retro saints Witchcraft.  Forged in Catania in 2015, what came out in the wash was with their s(low) sub-sabbathian dirge.

Now these five banshees are set to release their first full-length LP “Haunted” via Twin Earth Records on 31August 2016 and today we’re premiering their new video “Watchtower” which you can check out below. Hail satan, worship doom! “Haunted” is available on 12" 140g color-in-color (Purple inside cloudy-clear), black vinyl and CD.  Pre orders are up here

 “Haunted” CD//DD//LP track list:

1. Nightbreed
2. Watchtower
3. Slivercomb
4. Slowthorn
5. Haunted

Band info: facebook || bandcamp

Friday, 26 August 2016

VIDEO PREMIERE: "Eurocide" by Montreal blackened doom band Éohum

Montreal blackened doom Éohum (pronounced ee-o-um) have teamed up us at The Sludgelord for the premeire of their video 'Eurocide' directed by Chris Kells of The Agonist and his film company FTB Visuals.

"I believe this video clearly depicts the message and ideas behind Éohum. The music and concept of this project are well demonstrated. We are truly honored as the quality, location and mix are awesome."comments band founder / guitarist Jeremy Perkins.

'Eurocide' is off  Éohum's latest EP 'Ealdfaeder' released during March 2016 via founder/guitarist Jeremy Perkins' indie label Mycelium Networks and was produced with Chris Donaldson of Cryptopsy at The Grid along with a special guest recording from drummer Simon Mackay (The Agonist) on tracks 2-4-5 to follow up their debut album 'Revelations, Aurora Of An Epoch'. Lyrically the EP is inspired by poems written by Perkins on the loss of culture and tradition due to greed and colonization across the globe. 

Band info: Bandcamp || Facebook || Twittter || Reverbnation || Youtube

"Like Converge played at Half Speed": An Interview with Hammerhands & Exclusive Song Premiere of "Thunderchunk"

In 2013 Toronto’s Hammerhands’ released an undeniable powerhouse of a record. The band’s debut full length “Glaciers” exhibited Hammerhands’ sonic dominance in a submissive scene. The band continued to turn heads, playing numerous shows, proving to their growing audience that men of average height can create giant sound. Hammerhands subsequently released a cover EP called “1995” which paid tribute to the year that the band’s initial spark of musical inspiration occurred.

Despite “1995” being an entertaining and engaging love letter to the past, it was not enough to fill the chasm of anticipation created by the release of “Glaciers”. After three years of waiting for new material, Hammerhands is releasing their second full length “Largo Forte”. “Largo Forte” is a huge step forward for the band without departing from the elements that define Hammerhands

The record often digresses to unsettling nods to Italian genre film scores and Cohen-esque vocal styles, juxtaposing crushing jams with cinematic atmosphere. Hammerhands establishes an auditory narrative with “Largo Forte” that takes you on a fulfilling journey that is both beautiful and blasphemous. With “Largo Forte”, the future of Hammerhands seems promising. The band’s off-kilter approach to their distinct style creates a new dimension to their musical canon. As the band continue to push themselves down the road of devastation, one can only be curious as to how they will top something so bold and interesting.

Largo Forte” will be released on September 15th and today we offer you the first taste of this exceptionally bludgeoning new record, in the form of “Thunderchunk”.  We also hooked up with Collin from the band to get the low down about their history, the recording process of the record and why they sound like “a Converge record played at half speed"”.  

SL: Can you give us an insight into how you started playing music, leading up to the formation of Hammerhands

Collin: Jon and I started playing together as 13 year olds, and went through various terrible musical phases until forming The Love and Terror Cult like ten years ago. We ended up playing a lot with NJ's bands Dance Electric and Strawman Fallacy. For some reason, all those bands seemed to dissolve around the same time, so it seemed natural to join forces. Our previous bands were all spastic and hyperactive, so we made a conscious effort to go in the opposite direction. We recruited Justin because he's awesome and always moshed the hardest at our shows.

SL: For folks unfamiliar with your band, are there any bands, on the scene past and present that you would use as a reference point band to describe your band, and is there anyone who  continues to inspire you and push you to try new things?

Collin: A review of our previous record said we sounded like "a Converge record played at half speed" and I've always liked that description. I think The Melvins have been a strong influence for some time, but they're kinda like The Beatles of sludge, and any band within the genre owes some debt to them really. Some bands within our scene that we take inspiration from are Godstopper, who we frequently have the pleasure of sharing the stage with, and Mare who we used to play with in our older bands and in many ways inspired us to start doing what we do now.

SL: What can you tell us about your upcoming record and where do you feel it sits within the context of current heavy music scene

Collin: What I'm hoping will come across with this new record is a sense of diversity. While I love the idea of extreme music pushing things to the limit, I find too often that bands of our genre will get stuck on a particular sound then ride it out until it's exhausted. We tried to take this record in as many different directions as we could while still maintaining a common thread.

SL: What was the mood in the camp going into the recording of the record

Collin: It's been overall a pretty relaxed process. We don't have any deadlines to meet, and we do all the recording and mixing ourselves, so we've always been able to work at a pace that's comfortable for us. We took our time writing the songs until we were confident that we had something solid, and we took the time working on the tracking, mixing and mastering until we felt it sounded good. And we've ended up with something we're all quite happy with.

SL: What can fans look forward to from you over the next 12 months? How is your schedule shaping up?

Collin: No immediate plans just yet. Looking forward to being able to break out the new tracks at gigs and seeing how they're received. We'd like to eventually put the record on wax, so if anyone would like to help us out with that, hit us up, please!

Hammerhands will play a release show on September 16th in Toronto with Godstopper and Foreigns.

“Largo Forte” track listing;

1). Eighteen
3). High Plains
4). Largo Forte
5). Mezzo Grave
6). If You're Not Part Of The Party, You’re Part Of The Problem
7). Where We Go 
9). The Hardest Thing

Band info: Facebook ||Bandcamp

Thursday, 25 August 2016

SPLIT REVIEW & EXCLUSIVE STREAM: Black Tar Prophet/Iron Gavel - "Black Tar Prophet/Iron Gavel" Split

By: Hunter Young

Album Type: Split LP
Date Released: 16/09/2016
Label: Broken Limbs Recordings

“Black Tar Prophet/Iron Gavel” Split LP//DD track listing:

1). Black Tar Prophet – Malignancy
2). Black Tar Prophet – Ruinous Decay
3). Black Tar Prophet – Sociopathic Society
4). Black Tar Prophet – Abuse
5). Iron Gavel – Teeth/Torn
6). Iron Gavel – Shroud
7). Iron Gavel – Germ

The Review:

Splits are always a great time, but when you have the Likes of the sonic muck makers Black Tar Prophet on one, you must cleanse the soul for what's to come oozing from your speakers. BTP have been dragging fans into a sludge infested quagmire for a while now, and when paired with funereal Iron Gavel, thou shalt not leave unmarked.

Kicking the piece off, Black Tar Prophet lets loose the malignancy with their harsh, throbbing brand of sludge, with the track “Malignant”. Throughout their half of the split (4 songs, #1-4), it's like listening to cancer grow, an almost bulbous sound generated by their nothing-but-low-end approach, as it just slowly grows from one song to the next.  The soundbites are religious, anxious, full of nothing but bad vibes; and their music is the sonorous black velvet curtain behind the show. They only stray from slow trudging at the end of “Ruinous Decay” and the aptly titled “Abuse”, going faster and more violent throughout the latter, and towards the last minute more groove oriented on the former, respectively. And for the record, BTP makes 3 minute songs feel like a whole album.

And after that punishing journey, Iron Gavel gives us some simple midnight oil stained doom, spread across the remaining 3 tracks. They have a more traditional feel in the doom/sludge area, closer to an Electric Wizard type sound but with a more bass heavy tone; hard to explain until you pick this one up. Opening with thunderous “Teeth/Thorn”, Iron Gavel riffs like a giant striding across distant lands, shaking everything around with its mighty steps. They utilize effects well, giving a spacey vibe and large sound to the track, and then busting out some truly fun riffage with distortion and some phase. “Shroud” follows suit, keeping that deep, muddy distortion tone, but is much faster, and so much shorter at 1:31. Fun track to just jam out to. They end with “Germ”, another long song at a little over 6 minutes, and just as full of fuzzy goodness! These guys fill rooms with a sound large enough to blacken the lights, if this split is any to go by.

If you're a fan of doom/sludge bands with no vocals and nothing else other than pure volume from their amps, these two bands will delight you! Treat yourself to one of the most even matched records of the year, and prepare to feel a beating in your ear canal as we offer you the full and exclusive stream of the whole split below.   

“Black Tar Prophet/Iron Gavel” is available here

Band info: Black Tar Prophet: bandcamp || facebook || Iron Gavel: facebook