And the first bands for ‘Kin Hell Fest 2 are…

It’s barely been a week since the sequel to the original ‘Kin Hell Fest in Leeds was announced, and already the festival has secured the first eleven bands for its new three-day format!

So without further ado, here they are:

image

Yes yes yes! That flyer does confirm shithot death-thrashers Flayed Disciple, drone overlords Bong, avant-garde black metallers A Forest of Stars and some ripping death metal filth from Cancerous Womb are just a few of the names confirmed to tear up The Well! Also announced, returning from last year’s fest are The Atrocity Exhibit and Foetal Juice, who smashed the fest a new one last year, and more new names in the form of Masochist and Nu Pogodi.

And for the first time, the fest is bringing over Euro acts for the first time, in the shape of Belgium’s Alkerdeel & A Den of Robbers, plus Holland’s party grind legends Rompeprop, whose name is most prominent on the above flyer and with good reason too! Wow, this is shaping up very nicely indeed!

Ticket prices will be announced shortly. The fest will run from 7pm-midnight on the Friday, from 12pm to midnight on the Saturday, and from 1-9pm on the Sunday, allowing plenty of time for that last train home.

The official ‘Kin Hell Fest site has all the videos and info you need on the bands, so get over there now and prepare yourself for one of 2013’s top extreme parties!

Peter Clegg

‘Kin Hell Fest on Facebook

Room for One More #4: Saltaire Brewery’s Triple Chocoholic

image

It seems everyone wants to fudge chocolate with everything these days, whether it be chilli, squid, mole curry, or whatever. Ale is nothing new when it comes to chocolate as an ingredient, used as part of a recipe for many a fine ale. But how many can proclaim it as its primary ingredient?

One brewery who can proudly lay claim to that statement is the legendary Saltaire Brewery, who since setting up in Shipley, West Yorkshire, in 2005, have called themselves home to many a fine beverage from years gone by, winning over 50 trade awards for their hand crafted ales. But even I raised eyebrows at the sight of the Triple Chocoholic ale, a drink that on its bottle proclaims it now comes with chocolate, chocolate and MORE CHOCOLATE! Such a bold statement, but would it deliver my expectations, and is there such a thing as too much of a good thing in real ale?

image

I needn’t have quarrelled myself. The Triple Chocoholic has won two international gold medals and was recently crowned best stout beer at the 2012 Hong Kong International Beer Awards, and upon the first sip, its easy to see why. The chocolatey beer taste is the first thing you’ll notice. How remarkably close it seems to chocolate, yet how it still tastes like a quality ale, full of chocolate syrups and malts. The chocolate flavour you first feel sloshes about before the lively, slightly bitter kick of the hops follows up.

This is, without question, one of the finest ales I have tasted in my lifetime thus far, and as far as chocolate stouts go, this smashes the opposition. Rich, deep, powerful in flavour, not sickly at all. And if there’s any chocolate lovers out there afraid to take the plunge, remember…you can never have enough!

Peter Clegg

Saltaire Brewery official site

Live Review: Dope Body @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, 23/09/2012

w/ Blacklisters, Fawn Spots + Two Trick Horse

image

It feels as though I’ve been the only one counting down the weeks and days to seeing Baltimore, Maryland’s Dope Body hit these shores, aside from the PR company who brought them to my attention. Their latest album ‘Natural History‘ is one of the standout albums of the year, but you’d be hard pressed to find it making waves in many other places apart from right here, and indeed the turnout for this gig is moderate at best. No one can blame the Brudenell Social Club, who are always bringing over scores of alternative acts and putting on some of the best shows in the city of Leeds. They haven’t won a bunch of awards for nothing. Still, I feel like Dope Body are a sleeper band of sorts, waiting for the day the wider press wakes them up. I suspect that they don’t care for popularity – tell me guys if I’m wrong – but in a weird way it feels like some sort of dark secret waiting to be revealed.

Me and my brother-in-law arrive around halfway through Two Trick Horse‘s set, swigging our beer as they crank out one crunching riff after another. The noise trio don’t manage to get many people off the comfy seats at the front of the venue, but it turns out to be a bit of a shame, as they juxtapose between riffs excellently, angling through songs as much as their flexible bassist, who could probably trump anyone in a limbo contest. Still, they become my new discovery of the day, and it’s to be hoped they can be a bigger part in this new wave of noise rock bands that seem to be emerging.

By contrast, York trio Fawn Spots seem a little more awkward, initially overcoming one or two technical glitches to ramble through a set that’s at times part upbeat indie rock and part post-hardcore without the rage. Not my cup of tea but there’s definitely room for these guys to develop their potential, depending on which side of the fence they fall upon.

I really, really want to like Blacklisters, I really do. Their unhinged racket makes for some of the best heavy music Leeds has to offer, but tonight they’re on home turf and that ends up with the singer basically dicking around between songs too much. He says they wouldn’t play ‘Trickfuck’ because ‘everything knows how it goes, everyone goes mental…‘ etc. I suspect really its cos they overran their set. When they do crank out songs like ‘Mouthpiece’ and new track ‘The Bully’ they are truly a force, their vocalist being suitably imposing and sneery, but the constant banter ruins any attempt at continuity, which is what you’d want if you want a band like this to cave your head in. Maybe next time, in a venue they can’t quite call home.

Still, all these events conspire so that by the time tonight’s headliners hit the floor, I’m already thinking about that last train home. There’s time to bear witness to two of ‘Natural History‘s finest cuts: a cracking opening salvo of ‘Weird Mirror’, starting with its bleeps and bloops before taking us on a kaliedoscopic rock journey; and ‘Road Dog’. Vocalist Andrew Laumann appearing like the bastard lovechild of Iggy Pop and Alex Zane, seemingly feeling every convulsion that rumbles through the floor, twisting like a python and going fucking mental when required, i.e. at all times. Zachary Utz is also a dab hand at guitar, firing off a seering, joyous solo during ‘Road Dog’. Alas, we can’t really continue the experience beyond the third song (a number I’m honest enough to say I couldn’t identify), and leave as the opening, brooding strains of ‘Out of my Mind’ enter the fray.

It was a decent turnout if disappointing nowhere near a sellout. Fair enough, the Brudenell isn’t the easiest place to get to on a Tuesday night, but I’m still scratching my head at why the wider UK rock press haven’t picked up on Dope Body yet. Are they too hipster, or something? Sure, they don’t all dress like the hardest rocking band, but why should that matter? Their appeal stretches wider than the confines of their current popularity. I’m sure if they can keep producing records like ‘Natural History‘ the penny will drop for us here in the UK. Irrespective of that, hopefully Dope Body’s return to these will be more well received next time. If they can party out like that all night, I’m pretty sure we owe it to them to do the same.

Peter Clegg

TWO TRICK HORSE

image

FAWN SPOTS

image

BLACKLISTERS

image

image

image

DOPE BODY

image

image

image

image

image

Year of the Flood – Crisis Fuels the Fire

image

Year of the Flood
Crisis Fuels the Fire
Witch Hunter 

Year of the Flood are yet another UK band who seem to be having their material put out posthumously, breaking up prior to the release of ‘Crisis Fuels the Fire’, which compiles together material from their previous EPs. It’s a damn shame that this keeps happening, as it did with another recently reviewed band, Knife Crimes. Clearly, there’s something in the UK water that prevents consistent up-and-comers like YotF from rising to the cream of the crop, be it internal band mechanics or indeed the mechanics of dysfunction that allow certain bands to rise to the top, backed by bigger labels and big name sponsors (according to Knuckledust in a recent interview). Alas, it is a plague that I feel does hold the UK underground metal/hardcore scene back – since starting this blog I’ve noticed a vast number of cracking bands who really deserve more recognition.

Still, it is better late than never indeed to not only review but indeed check out the Nottingham crew, whose fall into the Entombed-style d-beat wave without exactly sounding like Entombed. Unless you go looking for that comparison, I personally feel its not like another band aping their riffs, and ‘Crisis Fuels the Fire’ is the works of a band who were certainly well into their prime that it stands out as an excellent work on its own. Comprising two EPs which sold out fast, plus five more unreleased songs, it starts of fast and frenetic and tracks like ‘Blysspuss’ are full-on ragers that would be a sin not to bang your head to; and more cerebral numbers such as ‘Engineers’ and the ripping ‘(No More) No Means Yes’. All in all it’s a much more considered approach than most of their peers, tinged with progressive elements and sections nodding to the odd 90’s alt-rock influence. And the way they shift from one riff to another at times is frankly magical, seemingly able to deliver kickass riff after kickass riff. 

YotF were heavily influenced by the literary works of Canadian author Margaret Atwood and Aldous Huxley, both of whose dystopian work filters through into the lyrics on ‘Crisis…’. Indeed, you’d think this was the metal soundtrack to ‘Brave New World‘ at times, such is its downcast view on humankind, predicting our demise due to our own arrogance. On paper, such lyrics aren’t that revelatory, but its still a damn interesting approach and it’s a bit of a shame we won’t get to see what other directions YotF might have gone in. 

So if like me you’re very late to this party, you can stream ‘Crisis Fuels The Fire’ below and download it for a price of your choosing. The planet might not be mourning its own funeral – yet – but British hardcore/metal is poorer for losing another potentially great set of up-and-comers.

Peter Clegg

Buy/download ‘Crisis Fuels the Fire’ here (name-your-price)
Stream it below:


 
Bandcamp
Facebook
MySpace
Last.fm

‘Kin Hell Fest is back – and BIGGER!

image

That’s fucking right people. We Must Obey unofficially promoted the inaugural ‘Kin Hell Fest when it debuted back in November 2011. There was no such repeat lined up for this year, but Raw Nerve and festival main man/all round good guy Paul Priest has officially announced the return of the festival in a new three-day format!

GET IN!

The second edition of the festival will take place over the weekend of 26th-28th April, at The Well in Leeds (which reopened a few months ago). At least 25 acts covering grind, hardcore, death metal, black metal, thrash, slam and more are expected to be announced including some international names for the first time. More details will be confirmed over the coming weeks and months.

In case you missed it, here’s our round-up of the original fest in all its glory, featuring Ingested, Astrohenge, Khuda and more.

Please click here for the full announcement, and get ready to have your back doors smashed in by some of the best ear-splitting noise on offer!

Peter Clegg

‘Kin Hell Fest Facebook page

Live Review: Napalm Death @ Rolling Hall, Seoul, South Korea, 01/09/12

My associates and I began the long and not exactly direct journey to South Korea a month prior to Napalm Death In Seoul, the capital. I have always found traveling to be tedious and agitating, with many an opportunity for something to go horribly wrong, this journey was no different. The beer we drank to get to sleep for the last and longest leg our flights wore off only a couple of hours in the air.

I woke up with a bad head to the terrible noise of a baby screaming and a desperation, to be somewhere other than the two square foot I was confined to for the next 8 hours. The rest of this time consisted of falling asleep in discomfort and sporadically jerking awake 2 inches away from an elderly Korean woman’s face or the trolley running over my foot, both of which can be startling in the first moments of consciousness.

The reason why I tell you this is that you appreciate the time and grit taken to bring you this review. Why not review them in England you say? Because its not the same, also I cant spend a month before hand in England in a hedonistic haze of food, Buddhism, monolithic neon cities and alcoholism.

1 month later, having returned from Japan that same day and with a string of flights home to follow in the morning, grindcore had become a little less appealing. We had been up all night drinking and leaving the relative comfort of our cheap sleazy motel, with a bath, a bed and a free softcore channel was difficult. In spite of this, we got ourselves ready, walked out onto the busy neon streets of Seoul and got a taxi to the venue. We eventually found the place called the “Rolling Hall” hidden in a backstreet by a “7-11” convenience shop across from one of Seoul’s many 4-lane death traps.

Korean cities are generally not aesthetically pleasing. The buildings mainly consist of high-rises, rearing their ugly heads as far as you can crane your neck, with only a few of the newer built buildings being of interest. Neon signs face you everywhere, perpetually advertising the bustling bars and restaurants. While there is always something interesting to look at, this does not put a fragile mind at ease. One other sensory shock is the possibility of walking into a solid wall of choking noxious gas. The haste to build when Korea gained independence from Japan after the war meant that sewer system was built shallow in the ground. The sweltering heat and humidity of the summer means that the smell of rotting shit hangs heavy in the air over drains, waiting to hit you in the back of your throat like a horrid, stinking, lead pipe.

As predicted there were plenty of foreigners at the venue. The first to meet us while we drank outside the shop were a group of loud humongous Americans comparing how metal they were and pretending to be in BLS. We made our way through the crowd to pay around the equivalent of around £30. Despite this blatant extortion, we walked down the stairs into a dark and surprisingly large basement venue.

Curiously, there were large amounts of Koreans present. Although the capital has a little more in the way of alternative culture, what passes as desirable in South Korea seems to be very linear. A superficial orgy of high street brands, male cosmetics and sculpted haircuts. Couples frequently wear the same sickening matching outfits. Every song heard in a street club or bar sounds like a ripped off version of “Riverside Motherfucker”. One of the more prolific male model’s frequenting the cover of billboards would not have to persuade you he was a woman. My friend swears to bludgeon his face to a pulp every time we see his stomach turning dreamy gaze upon us.

After some checking levels for a while, Mitch and Napalm’s sound guy, standing in for Shane (Embury) make themselves visible. The sound that suddenly erupts is an undistinguishable mess, but as Barney flies on stage, all flailing limbs and fists, the local crowd become wild and it’s easy to get in the mood all the same. It can’t be often that a band with Napalm’s repute visit and the crowd are visibly giddy in the good natured violence. The Koreans seize every opportunity to fly into someone or off-stage, the rareness of the occasion leaving no room for reservation, which meant keeping one eye opened for a well built mohawked man that landed on some poor bastards head every couple of minutes.

I’m not sure anything would dampen the spirit for the local crowd but the terrible sound made it hard to tell what was going on at all. The only clarity came with the vocals, which caused the rest of the mix to melt away entirely. Mitch’s attempts to correct this are lost in translation, “Turn the bass down”! he says in a way that you might negate with a deaf man issuing you a parking ticket.

image

A few songs later, as the sound man was dragged outside and shot, the clarity seemed to be improving vastly. The viscous groove could be made out from the blasting madness giving the much needed distinction between riffs.

What makes Napalm Death great live became strikingly apparent, like a reflection of a flash camera off the top of Shane Emburys head, had he been there. ‘The Wolf I Feed’ from their newest album Utilitarian‘ is a slab of crusted aggression that utilizes simplicity with awesome effect, sitting alongside personal favourites’ from ‘Smear Campaign‘ easily, and proving that the strongest days of the veteran beast that is Napalm death continue.

Barney is true to his good and honest form, telling a Korean manically waving a flag on stage that he was “about people not flags”. The Korean got off stage looking not too dejected, unfamiliar with the stronger English dialects.

image

The Brummy frontman always seems refreshingly eager to let the audience in on the concepts of the songs, like the corruption of the music industry, politicians, or racism, as is always brought up with the now staple Dead Kennedys cover ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off’ which is later in the set. It should also be noted that they are one of a few bands that make it so far around the world, and consider their movements ethically; for example touring South Africa avoiding apartheid supporting venues and areas. Barneys predictable rant on religion arrives on cue for ‘Practice what you Preach’. I have always this a little simplistic and off point, but its certainly more relevant than when playing England, every Korean cities skyline is adorned with neon crosses, Christianity’s not struggling here.

Grinding relentlessly onward, the mic is passed across the front row, subject to guesswork and beaming faces for, ‘All is Said and Done’. ‘Suffer the Children’ is the one everyone knows and gets involved to, the chugging monster that leads into some of Napalm’s and less refined work. I cant say the ‘Scum‘ era is my favorite, but there is an appeal in its honest raw sound and the band have obviously decided to hit the crowd with a shovel load of gravel and finish on a primitive hateful note, which the venue is only too grateful for.

Barney sticks around and talks to some of the fans who clamour to get in sight before the band finish packing up; one Korean fellow squeals “I love you”, with an ecstatic smile and no reserve. Before long a large man in a suite ushers us outside and we all disperse, heading to the bars to become helpless victims of Korean drinking culture for another night.

Michael Collins

Images courtesy of Popkorn Music – more images from the show can be found here

Krallice – Years Past Matter

image

Krallice
Years Past Matter

Many within metal circles seem to have found New York’s Krallice a polarizing band – as I touched on in a recent review, some can’t handle black metal’s recent evolutionary process, finding it too elitist. The reality is the elitist boot fits those people better, but Krallice for me aren’t the definition of perfection – ‘Dimensional Bleedthrough’ was rightly hailed, but though last year’s ‘Diotima’ was lauded by many, but for me the production was too wishy washy in places, and let down what should have been a near-perfect black metal album. ‘Years Past Matter’ sets that right. Although it’s not exactly revolutionary any more, Krallice’s now tried-and-tested take on the genre has ripened, and the fruits of their celestial labour and arguably yielded the best results this time around.

The self-released album sees Krallice unleashing six incomprehensibly named songs (named in ascending order beginning with ‘IIIIII’, ‘IIIIIII’ and so on. A move which many may call pretentious but in which these days I choose to look beyond. Compared to its predecessors, ‘Years’ feels that bit more dramatic (and all the better for it) than previous releases, with synths and ambience being deployed occasionally to provide a gap in the lengthy fast paced environment they create within. The third track (‘IIIIIIII’) works this nuance with aplomb, morphing between various passages of blasts, tremolo picks, Mick Barr’s shrieks and Nick McMaster’s howls and changes in tempo beyond exploding with a dramatic ambient/synth only section that really does feel like a soundtrack to the constantly re-evolving, tumultuous worlds cast in galaxies far and wide; while the 16-minute instrumental closer ‘IIIIIIIIIIII’ is perhaps their most glorious work to date, cycling and blasting through various riffs and forms, to build up an epic climax worthy of the word.

Krallice – IIIIIIII

The more I listen to Krallice, the more it feels as though I struggle to get them. I fully understand that Colin Marston and Mick Barr are two of the finest guitarists in the world today, and I fully understand that Krallice are constantly trying to raise the bar for black metal and make it a different beast altogether. That’s not a criticism of Krallice at all – detractors might call its aimless noodling but the complexity and scope of what they do is worthy of positivity in itself. But moreso than other Krallice albums, ‘Years Past Matter’ isn’t instantaneous – it uncoils itself gradually with each listen, with each passage of music gaining clarity with each further listen, resulting in a highly rewarding experience. You can’t argue with the results at the end of it all. There’s a reason why Krallice are considered top of their pile, and that’s because they continue to push forward – never looking back.

Peter Clegg

Buy/stream/download ‘Years Past Matter’ here

Bandcamp
Facebook