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Chopper (Northants, UK)

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Mood Poisoner
Mood Poisoner
Price: £9.03

4.0 out of 5 stars Dissonant, jagged, bile-filled noise-rock from Glasgow, 30 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Mood Poisoner (Audio CD)
This is the debut and only release from this manic Scottish four-piece and it melds the groove of early Helmet with the metallic, twisting madness of Converge and the jet-black humour of The Locust to form a truly obnoxious yet extremely satisfying noise.

The second track, "Tonguescraper Parts 1&2" is a seven-minute monster that is split into roughly equal halves, the first part sounding like Today is the Day covering "Meantime"-era Helmet, followed by a lo-fi jazzy interlude and concluding in crushing fashion with staccato guitar work and a frankly unhinged vocal performance from former Stretchheads member P6. "Latrine Lizard" is a Converge-esque blast of stabbing dissonance while closer "Cock Swastika" actually brings some welcome and accomplished melody to proceedings as it slowly fades towards a mangled electronic conclusion.

Desalvo split-up in 2011, so there is unlikely to be a sequel to this fascinating 10 track album that was released in 2008 on Mogwai's Rock Action Records. Shame really, as they clearly had something to offer.


Belong ? Betray
Belong ? Betray
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning debut EP for new DSHS vocalist, 30 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Belong ? Betray (MP3 Download)
Ten years in and Devil Sold His Soul have managed to carve their own special niche within the UK metal scene, consistently delivering intelligent yet crushingly heavy music that flits between moments of outstanding, uplifting beauty and lead-heavy riffs that flatten everything in their path.

With the departure of former vocalist Ed Gibbs in 2013, following the release of the momentous "Empire of Light", DSHS have returned with this 25-minute, 5-track EP that showcases the vocal talents of Paul Green (ex-the Arusha Accord) and picks up where the aforementioned album left off.

If anything DSHS have managed to produce a record that manages not only to be more accessible than anything they've previously released but is simply huge in scope, the massive soaring melodies found in "Time" and "Devastator", paint-stripping aggressive vocals at the conclusion to "Unveiled", an ambient interlude (the unusually-monikered "╪") and a piano-led final track in "Alive" that could possibly be the greatest song they have written to date and is guaranteed to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. Green shows himself to be a more than worthy replacement, his clean vocals are not saccharine and are genuinely warranted, his screams are harsh but powerful, boosted by the crystal-clear production.

A fantastic return after a two-year absence, the only possible negative I can conjure up is that this isn't a full album. If you buy this you are helping to support an amazingly talented British band that cares about the music it makes and wants to connect with listeners on an emotional level to produce some of the most beautiful heavy music out there.


Let's Talk About You
Let's Talk About You
Offered by inandout-distribution
Price: £10.69

3.0 out of 5 stars British power-violence/grind with lashings of ambient electronica., 30 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Let's Talk About You (Audio CD)
Originally formed in 2000 as a side project by the guitarist for Iron Monkey and Armour Of God, PLM's debut album "Let's Talk About You" rages through 11 tracks of ambient power violence/grind and was released on Maniac Beast Records in 2003.

Opening track "Phototonic Omnipresent Spiders" is two minutes of ambience followed by 45 seconds of hyper-speed electronic drums, stabbing riffage and guttural vocals, closing with another 30 seconds or-so of ambient textures. This unique yet bizarre formula is repeated to good effect through the next ten tracks, closing with the near 9-minute "Drink the Wine of Violence", that fairly pulses with malevolence, even after the ferocious opening 40 seconds have been replaced by electronic organ and spooky choral vocals.

It's a distinctly unsettling listen, eerie ambient electronics are punctuated with short bursts of aural insanity that both The Bezerker or The Locust would be proud to own.


10 Years of Abuse (and Still Broke)
10 Years of Abuse (and Still Broke)
Offered by brianpage5
Price: £3.05

3.0 out of 5 stars Compilation album of demo and live tracks from NOLA sludge legends, 30 Nov. 2014
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Released in 2001, this 15-track compilation album spans a period of 10 years, with the opening four tracks taken from the 1990 demo album "Lack of Almost Everything". The next four tracks were recorded live for an LA radio station four years later and the final seven tracks are live recordings from a European tour in 2000. Obviously the sound-quality on certain tracks is not great, but their trademark, low, slow Southern-inflected sludge is recognisable throughout, with "Sister F***er Pts 1&2" being the highlight.

Obviously this album is not the greatest place to start if you are new to these sludge-titans, but it's a worthy addition to any collection if you have even a passing interest in low-end sludge.


Cat With the 45 Calibre Claw
Cat With the 45 Calibre Claw

4.0 out of 5 stars Speedhorn-esque UK sludge EP, 30 Nov. 2014
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Scurge were a four-piece sludge band from Kettering, Northamptonshire and this 2004 EP was their second and final release the five-tracks here clocking in at just over a quarter of an hour.

Following closely in the footsteps of Corby neighbours, Raging Speedhorn (so closely that Scurge's drummer Dave Thompson would later join the mighty 'Horn as bassist) Scurge are a weighty proposition dealing in scabrous, down-tuned sludge, with a definite penchant for 70's hard rock thrown into the mix alongside a good dose of stoner rock.

Opener "Horse" begins with a romping riff and some fine ride-cymbal action before getting down and dirty as Cliff Lambert's tortured vocals kick in, "God Botherer" has a cracking ending and "Straw Dogs" has some fantastic guitar licks throughout. "The Heights" wouldn't sound out of place on a Fu Manchu album if Scott Hills was on vocals while EP-closer "Cut Throat" is the highlight, a 100mph belter of a song that pounds your ears and wills you to shake your ass.

The production is raw, but that enhances the music on offer and none of the instrumentation gets lost. It's a real shame Scurge only released this and an 8-track mini-album, because on the strength of this EP, they had the potential to be a stand-out talent in their chosen field. Well worth buying.


Gretzky
Gretzky
Offered by shining heart books and music
Price: £8.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Canadian four-piece eschew vocals for sheer shred, 13 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Gretzky (Audio CD)
Vocalist? No. Bassist? No. Three guitarists? Yes. Fantastic drummer? Yes

This is Electro Quaterstaff's debut album and it was released through Willowtip Records back in 2006. It features eight tracks of churning, unpredictable, inventive and downright savage instrumental progressive thrash. "Neckwrecker" is as apt a name for an opening track as you're ever likely to get, the ending to "Twisted Squid" is frankly guitar insanity and "Eyepatch Romance" sounds like classic Thin Lizzy. The album closes with brilliantly titled ten minute opus "Something's Awry in the Hetfield of Dreams" which wears its influences on its sleeve and is none the worse for it, an absolute blitzkrieg of riffs and double kick.

Highly recommended for fans of progressive metal or metal in general.


Criminal Element
Criminal Element
Offered by samurai_media_JPN4UK
Price: £37.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Original post-hardcore from defunct Ohio trio, 13 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Criminal Element (Audio CD)
This was the third album from American post-hardcore trio God and Texas and it was released back in 1993. The band went onto release one further album, incorporating saxophone and jazz-stylings (the album closer "Cruel and Unusual" hints at this direction), but this is mostly a dense, claustrophobic take on early 90's math-rock/post-hardcore. The ten tracks on offer owe a debt to Black Flag, Helmet and to a lesser extent, Fugazi with relentless pounding rhythms and staccato riffs. "Incoming" opens things up with a squall of feedback, "Bury Magnets" is a stomper with its drum-led intro but the undoubted highlight is "In the Blast Furnace" which hammers away accompanied by John Humphrey's gravelly vocals.


Pick up Artist
Pick up Artist
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Kentish post-metal quintet return in fine style, 6 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Pick up Artist (MP3 Download)
This is Bossk's first release since reforming and on this 2013 release the Kentish five-piece have provided another work of art, turning in a single 7 minute track that starts in crushingly heavy fashion before becoming beautifully reflective and ambient at just gone the four-minute mark. The vocals are also far higher in the mix than on previous releases.

A full album in a similar vein would definitely not go amiss as Bossk's entire back catalogue can be counted without running out of fingers. More please lads.


Suicide Silence
Suicide Silence
Price: £14.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Debut EP from deathcore leaders, 16 April 2014
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This review is from: Suicide Silence (Audio CD)
This five-track debut EP was released back in 2005 and marked a fairly decent, if a little repetitive, introduction for a band tragically affected by the death of vocalist Mitch Lucker in 2012.

The drum work here, courtesy of the talented Josh Goddard, who would later depart before the band recorded their first full-length, is a frenetic mix of blast beats and double kick, with the snare work taking it's cues from grindcore due to the lightening pace employed at times. Memorable riffs are largely absent, a few leads here and there but nothing overly memorable, with the bass blending into the overall heaviness without lasting imprint. The songs on offer lack a little variety if not power. However, the vocals of the late Mr Lucker are the stand out, deep gutterals face-off with high pitched screams, both styles belched out with genuine venom.

Not a band loved, or even tolerated by metal elitists, but nevertheless they proved to be one of the more enduring and experimental bands of a much-maligned genre, going on to produce stronger work than this EP. If you wanted to hear where it all began, then this is it.


Scorched By the Flames of Vengeance
Scorched By the Flames of Vengeance
Offered by vsmusic_com_us
Price: £3.63

3.0 out of 5 stars Above average UK melodic death metal, 16 April 2014
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Released on Candlelight Records in 2005, this is the debut, and only, release from this Worcester-based five-piece. Ten tracks (well, eleven if you count the throwaway intro) of solid, melodic death metal with occasional slight hardcore tint ("The Promise"). The drums are very competent, a nice bit of ride here "The Day the War Began", a bit of blast beat there "Awaken to the Carnage" and plenty of rapid double-kick. The guitars show some nice riffs, and a good bit of duelling and are probably the album highlight, touching on several genres throughout the ten tracks, keeping the album from feeling stale. The only let down is the vocals; raw and gruff but seriously lacking in variety and maybe a bit of power too, it all becomes a bit wearing and one-dimensional by the end.

It's a shame they split, there was definite promise on this release, a sophomore album with a bit more finesse and fine-tuning may have found them hitting their stride.


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