Album of the Month... February 2015

Eternal Misery by No Zodiac

12 Jan 2014

Wolf Down: The Grosvenor, London 09.01.14 Review

It’s been a while since I have been to The Grosvenor in Stockwell but for my first show of the year I was sure I was not going to be disappointed. From first entering the front of the pub it was evident nothing had changed here and probably never will. The venue has a dodgy damp smell coming from the carpet and walls and the toilets are a dingy small cell like room and as always if the show sells out you can’t see hardly anything as it is all on one level. Nonetheless it is still a venue that holds great atmosphere and is a perfect venue for hardcore shows.

The opening band Employed to Serve were greeted by a half full room but still there seemed to be a decent turnout near the front of the performance area as they took to the stage at around 19:50. This fairly new UK outfit do a huge number on providing crazy technical riffs and breakneck speed drums throughout their set. Generating quite an energetic response from the front members of the audience (including myself) I thought they played a fantastic set. As I had never seen these before (I’m not sure why) I was shocked on how awesome they sounded especially with no set time sequences and an attitude of pure misery and negativity. If you haven’t yet seen these then you need to get to their next show!

Let it Die were up next and I maintained my spot up in front of the stage area while everyone else seemed to go to the bar and drink. The performance they put on was pretty good and use this term as I thought they have played better performances in the past. Playing heavy down tuned hardcore mixed with thrash elements the front section of crowd were banging their heads frantically and overall I thought they deserved a better turn out.

Pariso were up next and caused a bit of a buzz for the first time of the night. A few kids at the front of the crowd were going crazy for them. Although their set was quite short they still maintained their heavy and fierce chaotic style throughout. Their crazy instrumental parts mixed with searing vocals really showed a decent performance but not one of their best I have to admit. A short but sweet set that leads on to the next bands who are on tour together.

That’s right Benchpress one of the night’s most obvious hardcore bands jumps on straight after Pariso and is the first time they have been to UK and what a freakin’ performance they put on. I knew they wouldn’t disappointment me. The delivery of each song they played was on point to the very detail and the aggression and confidence of the vocals added a fantastic edge to the performance. The intensity of the riffs and breakdown parts caused quite a ruckus in which there was plenty of movement and moshing towards the front and middle which I was participating in.

The final act for the night was after this and to be honest I think the whole night the audience was waiting for Wolf Down. From when I reviewed their first release I feel they have grown majorly as a band musically and lyrically. As their sound check was going on you could see the amount of people building up in the venue especially towards the front section of the venue. This band are hard as fuck and every song they played on this night went down as well as the last. Every single track played had everyone moshing away, moving side to side and jumping on one another. Their set created such an amazing atmosphere to the night and to me was going to be probably one of the best sets of the year already. Crazy heavy breakdowns were played 10 times heavier than what they sounded like off the records, the vocals contained so much emotion and there was so much passion from this band it was just amazing. Even after they had finished the crowd wanted one more song which they happily played. For such a fantastic and hardworking band it was so worth busting my hand jumping into the crowd, missing my last tube and buying more merch.  If you were there I’m sure you already know how good this show was.

9 Jan 2014

Wolf Down Headlining Show in London Tonight!

If you live in London, or if you don't live in London you need to get down to this show tonight at The Grosvenor, in Stockwell area, London. There has been some awesome turnouts over their tour here with Benchpress so please everyone get down to this and support hardcore music and make it a show to remember. It's only 6 quid and doors open at 7pm so get down early to check out the first bands! See below for band details.

Wolf Down - Vegan straight edge hardcore from Germany currently on Start a Fire Records and Powertrip Records

Benchpress - Heavy and mosh worthy hardcore from the US currently on Stateless Society Records and Marked for Death Records

Pariso - Aggressive and experimental hardcore from UK currently on Tangled Talk Records

Let it Die - Dirty, thrash influenced hardcore from UK

Employed to Serve - Hardcore/Powerviolence from London UK.

7 Jan 2014

Surveyor: 'No Life, No Future'

Surveyor - 'No Life, No Future'
I think beatdown hardcore seems to be developing a greater following in this current time and over the past few years has seen a massive increase in the number of beatdown, down-tempo style bands. The definition of 'heavy' though is changing throughout this scene and it feels that each band is trying to outdo another with heavier and heavier breakdowns (nothing like a bit of friendly competition I guess). In this instance Surveyor are new on the block from California US and oh boy, their first release No Life No Future left me feeling like I’ve had all of my teeth kicked out!

Although beatdown style hardcore isn’t the most technical or adventurous approach, it still packs one hell of a punch. From listening to this EP for the first time I felt the idea of Surveyor is to slam crowds with chugging down tempo riffs and ninja kick worthy breakdowns that make you wanna punch a hole through the wall. This is straight up gritty beatdown hardcore played with 500% pure negative attitude. The first track No Life kicks off with catchy double bass and a drawn out intro section which soon snaps to a slamming tough guy breakdown and throaty aggressive vocals. To me it sounds a little reminiscent of bands like Drowning and World of Pain and the heaviness should raise an eyebrow or two.

Surveyor havn’t set out to be groundbreaking and bring nothing new to the table but tracks like Vida Dura and Lost Sleep definitely show an onslaught of bulky guitar two step rhythms and lots of strung out build ups to yet more fat breakdowns. The deep throaty vocals fit perfectly for this style of hardcore with lyrics to match especially in the track No Future.

All in all this is a mosh fest of a record and I think it’s pretty clear they have achieved their main mission of releasing a heavy and angry record that all fans of this genre should enjoy. I have to say if you do like beatdown hardcore, this ain’t half bad, check it out and buy it below.  

4 Jan 2014

Warhound: 'Freedom'

War Hound - 'Freedom'

War Hound are back and are better than ever with a brand new EP release titled Freedom. With a new and improved line-up this is an EP not to be missed out on. If you are not too familiar with this band then here is a little background information for you. Based in Chicago (US) they started in 2009 and their first releases Call of the Hounds and Return of the Hardstyle gained them appreciation in the hardcore scene and last year they released a full length Colder Than Ever which was awesome and in the vein of bands like Biohazard and Fury of Five.

I have been looking forward to this EP for a while now and it is nowhere near disappointing. This smashed all my expectations and they have completely redefined their sound and have developed incredibly as a band. I can’t quite put a genre to it but imagine a mix up of Biohazard, Korn, hip-hop, intense screaming, dark metallic hardcore, beatdown style and BOOM you've got War Hound. The new song structures and lyrics are also a big step up from the last release.

Opening with the track Anger this is an instant favourite for me, this is a solid 3 minutes of pure aggression and heaviness. Constant chugging guitar riffs and crushing drum beats dominate this and towards the end part of the song there is an earth shaking breakdown which repeats a few times and really gets stuck in your head. Stress follows this and really shows off Ronnie Vinal’s vocal power of raw screams and pure anger. Towards the end of this track there is a very strange harmonic guitar melody that is very Korn-esque which I love.

This then continues into the second half of the EP on the track Jealousy but soon breaks out into some slow, down tuned guitar ring outs. The pace starts to slow down throughout this track and into Fear but it never gets boring. They throw in some technical guitar solos alongside the droning chugs and heavy hitting drums and yet again there is a frenzy of crazy raw screams and gang shout outs which shows a great contrast between the paces and pitches.

Freedom stands out to me as a fantastic release and shows some very strong beliefs and attitudes that the hardcore scene should have! War Hound have created a monster of a record so do not sleep on this! They are on a tour later this month in the US with Lionheart and Havenside which I am jealous I can’t attend as am based in the UK. Hopefully War Hound will try and play here again in the near future. I’d love to see how the new material goes down live!

Freedom is currently available for downloads at the below links: