Rebellion, Manchester, UK21st July 2017
By AJ Phink
Inire have established themselves on the alternative and metal scenes in their native Canada with their blend of northern groove, stoner metal and hardcore energy, Cauchmar is the bands sophomore album and it follows up on their 2007 self-titled EP and their 2009 debut full length, Born The Wicked, The Fallen, The Damned. The album is produced by drummer Chris Bonavia and features thirteen hard edged tracks that will build on the band’s reputation of delivering the kind of energetic anthems that have earned them a loyal following, and led to them relentlessly touring across Canada and performing at one of Canada’s biggest outdoor festivals, Amnesia Rockfest, and headlining Fete Nationale.
This is a blend of heavy contemporary metal blended with hardcore and a touch of thrash, Cauchemar eases you in gently with opening instrumental, Avidya, which builds up the expectation before Wide Awake does exactly what a song with that title should do. The album varies between a faster hard hitting style, where the heavier influences come to the fore, and more traditional metallic compositions. Cauchemar carries on in the vein until you get into the final third of the album, when the heaviness is punctuated with a somewhat baffling orchestral segment. Burn restarts the album with a great distorted chugging riff before the album’s flow is interrupted once more by Into The Labyrinth, a folk sounding instrumental with sinister whispers, before the album builds to a rock finale with the title track and Just A Halo Away.
Cauchemar is distinctly more towards the metal side of it’s roots, but the hardcore influence has generally supressed the self indulgent urges that metal frequently harbours. The guitars, vocal harmonies and double bass drumming are all elements in Inire‘s sound that belongs almost exclusively in the worlds of rock and metal, almost, there is an undercurrent of attitude that gives Cauchemar an edge over many contemporary rock albums. Personally I’d have a preferred a slightly greater influence from the heavier elements as this underpins the albums best tracks, but aside from my personal preference for the faster noisier compositions this is a fine hybrid of rock, metal and punk, albeit one that leans much further into rock than the majority of crossover albums I encounter.
Cauchemar can be ordered here
Heavy metal and punk rock go head to head on this split EP from two bands from the county of Essex in the UK, The Tickturds and Osmium Guillotine.The split EP was released at the tail end of last month and it features five tracks, including a brand new song Imitators, co-written and co-performed by all members from both The Tickturds and Osmium Guillotine. Also on this Split EP are two tracks from each band, a couple of original songs, Wasteland Warriors 2099 by Osmium Guillotine, and Pointless by The Tickturds, and a cover of each other band’s songs, one punked up metal song, City of Chaos and one metalled up punk song, Mr Angry.
The closest thing I can compare Osmium Guillotine to is the spoof rock band Bad News, that was essentially a British version of the legendary Spinal Tap, the track featuring both bands even ends with excerpts from the riffs of two well known rock songs to add to the parody feel of the song. The other two contributions from Osmium Guillotine continue the feeling that they don’t take themselves too seriously, and the Bad News comparisons continue with the spoken introduction to Wasteland Warriors. The Tickturds are a back to basics punk band featuring fuzzy hard edged riffs, to me they sound like the kind of generic punk band that surfaced in the early eighties, there’s nothing particularly wrong with that but it’s now 2016, and to me recreating the past just seems to be a tad pointless.
I will always try and encourage the grass roots scenes of alternative music, but sometimes it’s difficult as neither band on this EP is one that appeals to me. Osmium Guillotine are rooted in heavy metal of the early eighties and The Tickturds seem to be based in the same era’s punk scene, as much as I enjoy a flashback from time to time this isn’t an EP that I can find any positives in. Their cause isn’t helped by the production on the EP, everything sounds like a recording of a rehearsal session and I’m just left wondering what the point was.
September Mourning released their Sumerian Records debut Volume II at the end of last month. September Mourning is the brainchild of Emily Lazar, and acclaimed American comic book artist and publisher Marc Silvestri. Volume II somewhat unsurprisingly picks up where 2015’s self-released EP Volume I left off. Like it’s predecessor, Volume II will be accompanied by the second issue of September Mourning‘s comic book series.
The opening track of the album, The Collection, opens with grandiose vocals backed by keyboards, powerful metal guitars and heavy drums before it breaks into… well more of the same. This is an album that sounds like a very calculated and meticulously planned project, every note and riff sounds like a month was spent in the studio getting it absolutely perfect. Anyone who has read previous reviews of mine will know that overproduction is not one of the things I look for in an album, and this is easily the most overproduced album I’ve reviewed this year. Whilst the vocals are bewitching, and Emily Lazar certainly has an impressive set of pipes, but this is an album that very much comes across as the lovechild of the likes of Evanesence and Nightwish. Having said that I would bet that this sells by the bucketload to fans of the more commercial side of alt rock, and to those with a fondness for symphonic and power metal bands.
Volume II isn’t a bad album by any means, and I am partial to a bit of metal and rock, but I can’t help wishing it sounded a bit more organic. This is an album that is produced to within an inch of it’s life, with a few changes this could have been something that could well have had a greater appeal for me. All the elements are there, the songwriting, the originality of the concept, the multi media release and the undoubted level of talent that is behind Volume II, but I just can’t get past the sterile laboratory approach to the mix of the album.
Volume II is available on iTunes and September Mourning‘s website can be found here
You can make up your own mind about whether this is your cup of tea by watching the video for Eye Of The Storm below
Heavy metal and punk rock go head to head on this split EP from two of Essex’s loudest bands, The Tickturds and Osmium Guillotine, which was released on August 26th. The EP features five tracks, including a brand new song Imitators, co-written and co-performed by all members from both bands and the result is a metal/punk crossover, featuring four vocalists, three lead guitarists, two bass player and one drummer. Also on the record are two tracks from each band, a couple of original songs, Wasteland Warriors 2099 by Osmium Guillotine, and Pointless by The Tickturds, and a cover of each other band’s songs, one punked up metal song, City of Chaos and one metalled up punk song, Mr Angry.
Austin, TX quintet Fire From The Gods will release Narrative, their Rise Records debut, on August 26. Narrative is based in heavy metal power, hip-hop consciousness, and even a little reggae spirit, the Austin, TX quintet urge for change via an album that’s both personal and universal.
To coincide with the launch of pre-orders, a music video is premiering for the track Excuse Me which can be viewed below
Austin, TX quintet Fire From The Gods will release Narrative, their Rise Records debut, on August 26. Speaking from a platform cast in heavy metal power, hip-hop consciousness, and even a little reggae spirit, the Austin, TX quintet urge for change by conveying a story that’s both personal and universal. That story stems directly from vocalist AJ Channer‘s life. Born in the Bronx to a single mother of Jamaican descent, he spent his childhood moving between London, New York City, Los Angeles, Norfolk, and even Ghana where he attended middle school. Drawing from this diverse experience, he speaks with unmitigated honesty about the state of the world, this story is backed by their brutal blend of hardcore, hip-hop and rock.
That Riot Agents live for the energy of punk rock and the speed of thrash metal could be no more apparent than with their latest album Who Cares!. The album features nine tracks of gruff melodic speed drawing upon everything from The Ramones, Iron Maiden and The Misfits, to Judas Priest, Kiss, Ozzy, and The Adicts. Plenty of loud times to be had. They’re quite opinionated and extreme, so don’t say I didn’t warn you! Oh, and their first effort, Too Hard To Fall, ain’t too shabby either.
Riot Agents – Who Cares! (2011)
Riot Agents – Too Hard To Fall (2010)
Facedown Records hosts a bunch of notable bands like My Epic, Messengers, War Of Ages, Overcome, and Take It Back to name a few. The label has also teamed up with Strike First Records to bring you what they’re calling Facedown Fest 2011, and are celebrating with a brand new compilation CD. It’s not necessarily my scene, but if you like really heavy, gut churning hardcore and metal, then this is an event worth checking out. The sampler is free, but sadly only to those in the US.
Various Artists – Facedown Fest 2011
I can’t really find much about this band other than being based out of Sweden, but this album is well worth posting anyway. The sound seems to fit somewhere between hardcore and punk, with a bit of a scratchy streetpunk overtone to it. It’s pretty easy to get into, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have much bite. It sounds a little rooted in the 80’s, and has some of those great background solos to keep things moving, and a hit of metal in spirit.
Predator – Let’s Invade USA
Here’s one I really enjoy. The boys from Samuel Caldwell’s Revenge are graciously offering up their Wyld Stallyns Split EP for the season’s Free Music Month. Two songs are from SCR, with the other two coming from In Bad Taste. The EP runs a quick sixteen minutes, but offers up a great argument for tuning in to both of the punk/metal hybrids. For those already familiar with SCR, the EP serves as a pleasant little surprise for those looking for something to tide them over until the eventual full length.
Samuel Caldwell’s Revenge – The Power To Consume Ourselves
Darko is an fresh new punk metal band out of the UK some some serious technical know how. They’re a little shoutier than A Wilhelm Scream, but certainly no less able. As far as I can tell, the band came out of nowhere earlier this year, and with the year winding down, has probably earned the title of most promising new melodic technical punk group. For my full impressions, check out my full review.
Darko – Self Titled EP
Metal edged punk with hardcore overtones has exploded over the past several years. The Bellicose Whores have all the edge that has made the genre so dominant over the years. Fans of lighter Trustkill Records offerings or harder Fat Wreck Chords releases should take note.
Bellicose Whores – Fight!
Here’s a rather good little dose of punk fueled hardcore. The group is from Germany and fits right in with the scene over there.
Red Tape Parade – Demo
15th September 2017
23rd August 2017
April 22nd, 2017
May 5th, 2017
April 26, 2017
I Swear My Love Is True
Apollo, Manchester, UK