Seeing as how I am completely lame at writing fun introductions, I will just settle with this awfully flaccid introduction. My sincerest apologies for the lack of clever butt jokes!
Anyway, by the powers that be, I present to you...
Bio: Steve Reynolds's venomous vocals. The skull-flattening riffs of Derek Sykes and James Reilly. Vinny Daze's ultra-fast, precise drumming. By their powers combined, we have Demolition Hammer. This band is highly regarded in thrash circles, and for good reason; their two albums (we're going to pretend their third and final, Time Bomb, doesn't exist) are stone-cold classics. 1992's Epidemic of Violence is often considered their best, but their debut Tortured Existence is certainly a fine place to start, too.
Sounds like: Getting pummelled in the face by a hailstorm of sledgehammers. But in all seriousness, Demolition Hammer doesn't sound like any other bands; other bands sound like them.
Why listen? Simply put, it's quality deaththrash. Not only is the material itself top-notch, but they're a great gateway band for anyone looking to explore underground thrash.
-The Frayed Ends
Old Corpse Road
Bio: Old Corpse Road are a British black metal band that hail from the north east of the country, formed in 2007. The band released their first demo The Echoes of Tales Once Told on Friday 13th March 2009 and received very positive reviews about it. It was upon the strength of this that they were given the opportunity to release a split album with legendary British black metal eccentrics The Meads of Asphodel, titled The Bones of this Land Are Not Speechless/English Black Punk Metal (Old Corpse Road's half was the first). It was released on March 18 2010 by Godreah records. The band continue to play gigs up and down the country, and have had their music featured on cover-mount CDs for Zero Tolerance and Terrorizer magazine.
Sounds like: The core of their sound is melodic black metal. Their lyrics deal with the folklore and mythology of the British isles, and as you might assume from that, their music does have elements of folk metal in it. Don't assume that it's a generic type of folk metal, though, with all sorts of whistles, pipes and violins playing Celtic melodies, it's much more subtle than that. Think early Cradle of Filth, Emperor and Hecate Enthroned, but with Old Corpse Road's own unique folky twist. Each band member contributes vocals in one part or another, whether that be spoken word, quiet low gutturals, black metal shrieks or one of the chanted sections the band sometimes use.
Why listen? Anyone who has been following these columns so far will have likely noticed by now that I'm quite a fan of the UK black metal scene. I think there is so much quality at the moment that just deserves to be heard, and Old Corpse Road are no exception. They are a great live band, they have dedication, they are all really nice chaps, and most importantly, they have really good, well-composed songs.
Bio: Formed in early 2009 in Washington DC by drummer Chris (also of Magrudergrind), guitarist Nolan, and bassist Ashley, D.O.C. (Disciples of Christ) set out to play some filthy fucking grindcore. After losing Ashley in late 2009, D.O.C. played as a two-piece for a few months and eventually recruited young ripper Tim to take over bass duties. Since their inception, D.O.C. has released a rough demo and a second demo with updated recordings. They are currently working on a split 7 inch with Baltimore's Mind as Prison.
Sounds like: Filthy, blown out sludge grind nodding toward the early west coast powerviolence scene la Despise You and Excruciating Terror (covering both, along with Fear of God). D.O.C. is as slow as they are fast and mix things up with spastic, stop and go dynamics. Tim and Nolan's weird riffing styles combined with their devastating bass/guitar tones and Chris' blast-mania trap you in a wall of noise from which you never want to escape.
Why listen? With so many shitty grindviolence revivalists out there, it's really refreshing to hear a band doing everything right. Plus, these guys are tough as nails - they played a show while Nolan was walking with a cane shortly after he got thrown off his bike through a car windshield.
Myspace No Metal Archives page, unfortunately.
The Royal Arch Blaspheme
Bio: A black metal band formed in 2009 by two prominent figures in the US black metal scene, namely N. Imperial of Krieg (vocals) and John Gelso of Profanatica (all instruments, presumably). They have managed to keep a low profile, have given no interviews, and have had no websites nor band pictures (how inconvenient!)
Sounds like: Vicious black/death assault with emphasis on skull-pounding drums accompanied by diabolical riffs akin to Profanatica, a band with which The Royal Arch Blaspheme have utmost similarity, with the latter utilizing more high-register riffs.
Why listen? This is quality metal.
Now for our non-metal feature is Mr. Eazy-c's dashing shoegaze recommendation, The Twilight Sad.
The Twilight Sad
Bio: Formed, like all bands should be, by a bunch of school friends from a shitey wee town in the middle of nowhere (Kilsyth, Scotland), The Twilight Sad originally performed as an improvisational noise band, the two shows they played revolving around half an hour of jams involving hunners of weird shite. Realising this was not the direction they wanted to go in, they locked themselves in the studio and recorded their first demo, composed of more traditional songs. Having sent the demo away to only Fat Cat Records, the band were signed straight on the back of their third live performance. What has followed has been a whirlwind career, with tha band touring with the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins, Idlewild, Aerogramme and Mogwai, their debut album, 2007's Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters, winning numerous album of the year awards (despite being recorded over three days and featuring the only songs the band had ever written). 2009's follow-up Forget the Night Ahead was again released to much critical praise and the band are slowly but surely working their way towards being a major force in good indie music.
Sounds like: If My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields was raped by his uncle as a child, they might sound somewhat like The Twilight Sad do. They feature heavily the wall-of-noise shoegaze guitar approach favoured by the likes of MBV and contemporaries, with Andy MacFarlane's chaotic guitar work continually threatening to spill from controlled noise to out-and-out feedback drenched chaos (although he also shows perfect restraint at the right moments), the perfect complement to vocalist James Graham's disturbingly cryptic lyrics and haunting melodies. Drummer Mark Devine provides a strong backbone, favouring a minimalist approach, every pounding hit of his drums driving the songs forward like a military march. Their second album keeps all of these elements, whilst mixing in influences from early Krautrock, with lots of experimental recording techniques and sounds.
Why listen? The Twilight Sad are one of the few modern indie bands I can say I've heard that sound truly original. They manage to create to a perfect atmosphere that's equal parts urban squalor and rural beauty. With every release they have managed to evolve their sound, whilst sounding completely like themselves and not sacrficing an ounce of musical integrity. The Twilight Sad are perfect listening for a walk in the rain, but, in the words of vocalist James Graham, "if you're looking for a record with a lot of hope and happy songs then fuck off, 'cause you won't find it here."
So there you go, another sticky load spread all over your pretty, or not so pretty, faces. See you next week, or whenever!