Escape Is Not Freedom


Self Released

Rating: 3/5




Chicago’s Escape Is Not Freedom are set to release their debut full length, Goldsmith, on February 24th, they are a band that combine sludge, metal and noise rock to make an intense, discordant and fuzzy soundtrack. The Illinois trio’s debut album follows on from their 2015 EP, The Truants, and it feels like a logical follow up, however, on their previous release the sound was more refined and precise, for Escape Is Not Freedom the rough edges are firmly in place, for me this gives the album a darker and rawer feel than it’s predecessor, and it’s an approach that better suits their dark hybrid of styles.

Goldsmith opens with the intense fuzz driven riff of Coriander, this is a dark primal number that recalls the heavier end of punk, grunge and alt rock, Annul switches the pace, but not the intensity, this is accompanied by a haunting female vocal that contrasts with the gruff delivery of the opening track. Night Light‘s remorseless bass grind signals that a downbeat heavier element is being bought into the mix, an element that continues through the short but sweet dose of Morphine that follows it. The track Sodium signals another shift, this time into a discordant post punk delivery before we hit the anguished Dispossessed, this is a number that signals a return to a melodic vocal delivery that is juxtaposed against an intense riff. The album continues to vary it’s intensity, delivery and melody across the ten tracks, until you get to album’s finale, the dark, disturbing, extended, and appropriately named, Migraine.

Goldsmith is an album that resembles a collision between The Melvins, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden and Killing Joke, this results in an album of extended hazy riffs that are relentlessly delivered in a discordant and fuzz drenched style. In case you hadn’t guessed this is by no means an easy listen, it is a remorseless dark and heavy album that is born of the suspiciously hazy origins of sludge and stoner rock, but the fact that this is coupled with elements of metal and noise rock, that inject a dose of adrenalin into the album, prevent it from being an album that gets mired in it’s own heady sludge. Goldsmith is an impressive self released album that will be available via Escape Is Not Freedom‘s Bandcamp, and it’s one that is worth investigating if you’re tastes lie towards the heavier end of the alternative spectrum.

Goldsmith will be released tomorrow, February 24th, and can be ordered here

Escape Is Not Freedom‘s Facebook presence can be found here

Deadwound To Release ‘Identity Shapes’ EP On February 17th

deadwound-isBlack Bow Records have announced that they will release Identity Shapes, the debut EP from British blackened hardcore sludge band Deadwound, a band that includes members of Bast and Silent Front amongst it’s members. Their forthcoming five track EP looks set to be one of the most brutal releases of 2017, it was recorded at Bear Bites Horse Studios last September, and is due for digital release by Black Bow Records on 17 Feb 2017. The band had this to say about the release of the EP

we are excited to release Identity Shapes with Black Bow Records. It is a brutal mix of hardcore/sludge metal that will take your face off. Take a listen and come check out one of our chaotic live shows

Black Bow Records website can be found here


Into The Storm

Where The Merfalo Roam

Alive And Breathing Records

Rating: 2/5




Seattle noise makers Into The Storm have released their sophomore album, Where The Merfalo Roam, via Alive and Breathing Records. The band have sated that this is the closest representation to their live sound and if you wanted a metaphor to let you know what you’re in store for on Where The Merfalo Roam, the band have described the album cover as depicting “the mouth of a giant mythical creature that devours chunks of societies with bits of them still stuck against it’s teeth and the creatures that are still feasting upon them.”

Where The Merfalo Roam opens with Truck Van Trailer, it tries to lull you into a false sense of security before the band live up to their name and throw you Into The Storm, this is dark, stormy and discordant number. The album stays in this theme throughout it’s ten tracks,  but they vary between downbeat tracks, such as Seduced and Disappointed and Maths, up to full on aural assaults, such as Ghostmaker and Fell Off A Horse, and there’s pretty much everything in between before you hit the albums grand finale. Where The Merfalo Roam culminates in the title track that is an epic journey across whichever dark and disturbing universe Into The Storm inhabit.

Where The Merfalo Roam contains elements of sludgey stoner rock, metal and hardcore, which I suspect is all combined in a suspicious fog. For me an album that is as remorselessly heavy as this needs something to break it up, which is an element this album lacks, it is a relentless discordant cacophony. What you get on Where The Merfalo Roam is just over forty minutes of doom laden stoner sludge, whilst there is variation in the tempo of the delivery, the entire album is a remorseless and incredibly heavy onslaught that becomes a bit wearing after a while, but if you’re tastes are towards the heavier and darker end of hardcore then you should acquaint yourself with Into The Storm.

Where The Merfalo Roam can be streamed and downloaded here