Album of the Month... February 2015

Eternal Misery by No Zodiac

28 Oct 2011

Anchor: 'Recovery'

Anchor is a straight edge hardcore band from Sweden and to me is definitely up at the top of the list for European hardcore. They have played a tremendous amount of shows and have been on an endless number of tours and I finally got the pleasure of seeing them play with Trial in London a couple of weeks ago. Recovery is definitely one of their most powerful records, which has recently been released through Let it Burn Records and is a great follow up to their previous releases Relations of Violence, The Quiet Dance and Captivity Songs.

This album contains 11 tracks of good quality hardcore music which takes all the solid parts from old school hardcore and incorporates it into a newer catchy, melodic sound with a much more modern feel. Straight away after putting this record on, you can sense the passion and devotion that each of the band members have put into this, and soon enough you will find yourself screaming along to the lyrics. The sound and style of this album is not as original as I hoped, however the messages and points of view put across in the songs is incredible and compelling.

This is most definitely a record that you will want to listen to over and over again. The strong guitar chords combined with the pounding drum rhythms produce an overall heavy feeling which is a little different from their previous material. The vocals are much deeper too which adds a raw edge to this album. The instrumental sounds are very skilful and enjoyable to the ear and the crisp passionate vocals alongside this fits perfectly with song structures. I love the heavy moshing sound that is present in the track Hemingway and on Recovering which also contains some gang vocals. The songs Lake Elsinore, Sleeping World and Echoes contain some melodic guitar work, which is more traditional of Anchor, and a constant array of metallic riffs just keep popping up and drilling into your head.

Overall, this album is intense. The more metallic sound gives Recovery a meaner and aggressive sound, which I think complements the lyrics and themes. I think this album shows Anchor at their true form, creating great songs that come honest and straight from the heart. One of Sweden’s finest! Pick it up here.

12 Oct 2011

Free Show Tomorrow at The Unicorn

If you are free tomorrow evening and are around London, then make sure you get to The Unicorn pub as there is a free show going on. It's an offer you cannot refuse. Things kick off at 8pm, don't sleep on this.

11 Oct 2011

Set Apart: '2011 EP'

Set Apart, from Hertfordshire, UK, are a hardcore hand that have been together since 2009. I saw Set Apart play an all dayer in March this year, at one of their early shows. I was impressed with what I heard and saw considering how new they were at the time and there was a positive reaction from the crowd too, which was promising. I listened to their old demo (a rough recording), and recently Kyle from Set Apart sent me a copy of their new EP released this year. The new mixes of songs are much better quality, this band have improved and come far in a short space of time. They have dropped some of their melodic sound and adapted a hardcore sound very prevalent in the UK scene currently.

First impressions of the newest recordings are that the sound is a lot heavier than their older material. Although there are a lot bands that have taken this heavy hardcore style in their stride, for example Breaking Point and Broken Teeth, I am sure that Set Apart will do well in the future and will stand out with their powerfully written tracks. Set Apart deliver moshing hardcore with a slight melodic twist, which works really well together. I love the energy and hard riffs alongside the steady rhythmic drum beats, even if it is at times a little predictable. Although they do not separate themselves from the current UK hardcore sound at the moment, they still play heavy, enjoyable and entertaining music.

The EP kicks off with groovy, catchy instrumental that makes you want to bang your head.  Instant  heavy guitar riffs and drum beats merge with overlapping  sharp guitar sounds and followed out nicely with a low melody. I particularly like the track Breaking Free, reminiscent of Dirty Money, with the memorable tunes and shrill vocals. There’s a nicely placed build up incorporating harsh gruff vocals, blasting into a small breakdown. Another track that I like is Hopeless which includes fast paced guitaring and a medley of varied vocal parts, eventually breaking out into a stomping section.

Overall, it’s a pretty decent EP and if you’re into the current UK hardcore sound, in the vein of Bays and Deal With It, then this band will be for you. Set Apart has worked hard at this and definitely deserves as much support as they can get. UK hardcore is still on the up rise so make sure you buy this EP here and catch them at a show soon if you can! 

I will also have an interview coming soon with the band, so stay tuned...

5 Oct 2011

Expire: 'Suffer the Cycle'

I am a huge fan of Expire’s Demo and their EP Grim Rhythm but the new record Suffer the Cycle is the best material from this band so far. Containing 4 new tracks this EP contains incredibly audacious instrumentals and furious vocals. This is exactly what I was expecting from Expire, I love the sound and the energy that the music gives off, this resulting in being one of the best records this year so far.

Their overall sound is not necessarily original but this has not stopped them from gaining a massive fan base in the hardcore scene. The record contains traditional style hardcore sounds mixed with modern pounding, stomping parts that has a certain metallic edge. Compared to the previous recordings Suffer the Cycle has a much cleaner sound that has especially rubbed off on the vocals. Grim Rhythm, which was released last year, consisted of rougher, raspier sounding vocals. This has slightly changed on the latest release as they are now higher pitched on the screaming. Do not worry though, this does not mean that they have lost their aggressive edge.

Just like the rest of their material the tracks are kept to an average of a minute and a half long which I was disappointed when noticed there were only 4 songs. I wanted more and I still do. I am much looking forward to more material from Expire, hopefully up for release in the not too distant future. Each track is solid, mixing heavy riffs, powerful drum rhythms and punchy bass lines. Although tracks come to abrupt endings, the next in turn kicks in with more punchy tunes leaving the listener far from bored.

Sleep Lost and Grip were my favourites but I am sure some of you will disagree. There were a lot of mixed feelings on this release but mine are all positive. At first I was unsure about it but after a few listens this new EP really grew on me. I recommend listening to it a few times before judging and I am sure if they keep this up the future material will be simply awesome!

Pick up the record here.

1 Oct 2011

Knuckledust 15th Anniversary Show

If you are in London tonight then get to this show at 12 bar club (just off Tottenham Court Road). Celebrating 15 years of Knuckledust, this lineup is not to be missed. This kicks off at 7 so get down and cause some chaos!