Showing posts from July, 2018
Dark Mofo Review by Mark Jenkins.
Act Two: Gather the Masses.

Electric Wizard @Odeon Theatre Thursday 21st June 2018.

Wikipedia says Electric Wizard are doom metal, but I think stoner sludge is a more apt description. This band has always attracted the masses to any of their shows and mostly due to some truly great early albums. This was the first time I had seen them live and it was definitely one I have been aiming to tick off my bucket-list for sometime.

There was no support acts, just stoner anticipation.The well thought out light show added to the whole vibe. Pure B grade satanic cult movies alternated between psychedelic imagery.Sheer heavy, groovy stuff indeed.

There is no mystery about what the crowd expected, just simple stoner sounds with a solid rhythm section and sabbath worship. The set was really solid for 90% of the duration. A decent mix of old and new tunes and minimal in between song banter and straight low end phonic adoration.

Like many artists, the older songs shone…
Dark Mofo Reviewed by Mark Jenkins.
Act One: Summon the Cult.
Straight up one of the best events I have been to and had the extreme pleasure of reviewing.You know it's going to be sensational when you are greeted at the airport by "come into my web". Hell yes.

I have always loved the charm of Hobart. Old world with a touch of mystique. But this time was different, in the most unsurpassed manner.

The first event was something I was drooling over since it's announcement.The glorious black metal mini-fest of Hymns to the Dead @Odeon Theatre 20th June 2018 with Spire, Numenorean, Batushka, Portal and Blasphemy.

Spire started this dark ritual, completely ominous and sinister and completely apocalyptic. This band sit between ambient and progressive black metal. What is so incredible about this band is they project an incredible gloomy soundtrack like ambience, but at the same time they crush you with their sinister and crushing heaviness. They envoked the grimness of Mayh…
Northern Widows-Way of Suffering reviewed by Mark J. Straight up I will give you the heads up; this will make my top 5 albums of the year. Northern Widows are a brilliant blackened crust/hardcore band from Ohio. And they are incredible in every way possible.

Black metal, crust, doom, punk, powerviolence, atmospheric grim metal with intensity; it really doesn't matter how you define the band, because the album is a masterpiece. It reminds me of so many of my favourite bands, I literally was overwhelmed with the power of the album.

I have always enjoyed bands that sit dangerously close to musical insanity, whilst at the same moment not wasting a single note or beat. The structure and arrangements are sublime and it never loses a chance to crush your perception of what will happen next. Musical geniuses make up this band and well matched production that just amplifies the staggering force of this release.

Lyrically a sensational mix of personal topics and social commentary on the da…
Penitentiary-Recidivist album reviewed by Mark J. Oh man, how solid are Upstate Records releases atm?, such great artists and variety across their roster. This album drops August 10 and it's one of my albums of the year.

BIO:Hailing from Northwest Indiana, Penitentiary consists of members from Blood In Blood Out, Blackwater, Choking on Reality, To
Tha Pavement, & Shut the Fuck Up. Delivering their form of metallic hardcore with a brutal blend of violent beatdown and thrash.

Formed in early 2016 by Jake and Gabe who brought together members of their past bands to start jamming. Jake and Chris had
already played in bands together since the late 90s while Gabe and Victor since the mid 2000s. Penitentiary started writing songs
and soon added Mason on vocals.This is the best back to back seven tracks you will hear all year. Throw a molotov at the best genres and you got this sensational band burning your house down with heavy hardcore, thrash and crossover. I heard segments of Biohazar…
Embrace the Hostility-Hated since Birth reviewed by Mark. J. Honest, thrashy and metallic hardcore from Pennsylvania and it's gutsy and a solid debut for this band.

Embrace the Hostility is a five-piece metal/hardcore band from Western, PA. Formed in 2009, ETH have forged a reputable name for themselves over the years as a juggernaut in their local hardcore scene. ETH recently signed with Upstate Records to take their music to the next level and appeal to a worldwide audience.

Eight solid tracks that are epic, yet understated.This band doesn't piss about, but the underlying groove and aggressive guitar tone really lifts them above their competitors. The vocals are unique and make the album flow so well.The production was dense and crisp but still so gritty. Catchy hooks and the perfect blend of metal and 90's hardcore is a solid 5 out of 5 headbangs for this reviewer.

No filler on this, but best tracks were Vicious Cycle, Permanent Ending and Victims of Time. but t…
Take Offense-Tensions on High EP review by Mark J.
This five track EP promised so much with this absolute ripper cover art. I dug this EP, but at the same time got bored with it.
Again this is another case of great live band, but very flat on this recording. Strange because they have previously released some real hardcore gems.
United States of Mind was a classic album that never let up.

And yes, it is great crossover/thrash that really has an obvious Suicidal Tendencies worship mixed with crossover like Leeway and Excel. I can't pick why this EP is flat; but I lay strong blame on the average and monotone production. I have no professional audio production qualifications; but I ran it through a few audio apps and got a deeper, more engaging overall sound.

The positives are massive though, well written songs and outstanding musicianship with catchy vocals and capturing the era perfectly.

Trust was easily the standout track on this EP. I gave this release a definite 3 out of 5 skat…
World of Pain-No Utopia review by Mark J. California, ain't it meant to be all sunshine and happy, happy joy filled walks on the beach?. Nope. World of Pain crush that rumour very efficiently. Gloomy, harsh beatdown predominates this decent EP.

No surprises this is a BDHW release, which dropped in April, but it warrants a place on this zine. Here are seven tracks of sheer heavy beatdown hardcore that mean business.

The production is great and live I am sure these tracks would translate even better. The issue with any beatdown band is they really need to stand out from the pack, simply because like any specific genre; there is too many soundalikes.

Like DCA which I recently reviewed, the key will be how the progression occurs and the future direction. BDHW release some cracking artists, but also a ton of average artists at the same time. This is not being disrespectful, just factual.

World of Pain excel at tracks like: Apocalypse Now and Burden. These literally feel like the son…
DCA-Forge reviewed by Mark J.
This is great french beatdown that has unique groove and pummelling metal overtones. Their second album shows that they still kneel to a firm beatdown formula, but seek to gain wider audiences by channeling both old school hardcore and abrasive death metal vibes. It's firmly aggressive, but has decent harmony and sufficient darkness to hold this reviewer's interest for the whole album.

Do the songs vary a huge amount?; well definitely not but I view this album like a Converge album (despite no similar sounds), its a chaotic soundscape to the hellish nature of the world.

That being said, tracks like Blood Ceremony, Dead before I hit the ground and Spitfire are exceptional. They haven't hit their peak yet, but the future releases will be absolute crackers.
3.5 spin kicks out of 5.

Out on now.

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