Iron Reagan – Worse Than Dead

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Iron Reagan
Worse Than Dead
Magic Bullet/A389 Recordings

The first thing to anyone new to Iron Reagan will notice is that, in comparison to the beer chugging, beer hat wearing, slam dancing party machine that is Municipal Waste, or the reefer-soaked worship of bassist Phil ‘Land Phil’ Hall’s death-metal project Cannabis Corpse, is just how refreshing passed off they sound here. You could throw the argument that ‘The Fatal Feast’ was perhaps the sound of a band beginning to lose its charm however hard they tried, and maybe its this what Foresta, Hall and indeed the ‘Waste in general needed.

After a couple of listens though, ‘Worse Than Dead’ is more than just a Municipal Waste/ex-Darkest Hour side-project. This is genuinely angry crossover that supercedes into its own identity, furiously thrashing away over nineteen tracks that make you want to throw down that beer and just get straight in the pit, no nonsense, and just rage. At just a shade under 25 minutes, this is a thoroughly enjoyable experience that evokes the spirit of older Municipal Waste and crossover legends like DRI and Cryptic Slaughter, keeping it refreshingly modern and relevant to the ills of today’s society.

Peter Clegg

Buy ‘Worse Than Dead’ here (MP3 – if anyone knows of a UK/European distributor please let us know)
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Visions: Cleavers – I Can’t Wait Around For You

I love this new video by Elgin rockers Cleavers. It’s brilliant. Their vocalist, corpsed up like a young King Diamond, heads off into the woods screaming the lyrics to Cleavers’ new single ‘I Can’t Wait Around For You’, whilst walking his dog and japing around the woods, in homage to/taking the mick out of (delete as applicable) the numerous black metal musicians who’ve jumped around in the flora and fauna, seriously or otherwise. Trust me, this is among the best three minutes forty seconds you will find anywhere right now. Not just because its a top video, but its a cracking song to boot. It seems to be trending a little too, quickly surpassing 4,000 views in just a few days, although how much of this is down to people believing this is actually black metal remains to be seen.

This song is taken from the double-A side 7” ‘I Can’t Wait Around For You/Give Up’, to be released April 20 th via Da Da Tunes. It’ll be available for pre-order soon but for now you can head directly to here and stream the song too to your heart’s content, as well as checking out this prolific up-and-coming band’s discography so far via the label’s Bandcamp page.

Peter Clegg

‘Kin Hell Fest news overload!

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There’s been some changes going on with ‘Kin Hell Fest in the last couple of weeks, and rather than me explaining it all, I’m lifting the official press release as posted on their official page. Needless to say, there’s the odd disappointment but there’s still plenty to cheer. Please read on below:

So, there’s been a lot going on in the last couple of weeks again with the festival. Here it is in brief as time is tight…

NEW ADDITIONS TO THE BILL! – Corrupt Moral Altar This veritable underground supergroup have only been around a few months but already making massive waves, come witness their weird and awesome brand of sludgey riffy grind on the Sunday.

Cancerous Womb will be playing an ‘Acoustic Womb’ set as well! Acoustic death metal shall be following Rompeprop on the Saturday night for a bit of extra special fun.

– We add Grindscene Records to our list of helpers and associates, the awesome Irish label have been helping us with flyer printing and word spreading of late.

Bong have moved from the Saturday to the Sunday so they can also take in another gig in London on the Saturday. They are perfectly placed (I hope you’ll agree) in between Iron Witch and A Forest Of Stars!

A FEW BITS OF BAD NEWS… – Lazarus Blackstar have had to pull out due to understandable personal reasons.

– This will be Diascorium‘s last gig. The band part ways after that (with the exception of a hopeful last recording of their new bonkers material). No bad blood in the band, just each member’s personal circumstances making it not possible to continue. Witness their final set late on Friday night.

MORE FEST INFO! – Full running orders and times are on the TICKETS page. Winterfylleth won’t be on last but are still the Friday headliners, for those knowledgeable of European festivals, it’s often the case to have other bands after the headliners, and to accommodate a lot of people traveling to see these guys, we have them finishing by 11pm. – We will hopefully be unveiling one, or maybe even two t-shirt designs that will hopefully be up for advance order soon. The mightily talented Steve Myles (Khuda / Royal Park Cellars) has been beavering away on some daft ideas for us, the results will hopefully be spread around very soon.

CRASH SPACE! – We can happily announce that Eiger Music Studios will be hosting after show gathering / party / chill out areas / crash space for people, just £5 in and you can stay the night, carry on drinking, eat, chat and order takeaway, as well as sleep! Full details in the HOTELS section on this site. Hopefully this will help people make the decision to come to the fest from afar, as you will now be able to get a full weekend ticket and a place to crash for just £50!

TICKET PRICES ON THE DOORS ANNOUNCED… – Friday will be £10 (£9 in advance) – Saturday will be £17 (£16 in advance) – Sunday will be £13 (£11 in advance) – Full weekend ticket will be £39 on the door (£35 in advance)

Without wanting to beg, but the sooner people sort out their advance tickets, the more this will help the festival as there are things we need to pay for in advance to make it happen. We have recently had a few setbacks with the technical side of things, and with just FIVE WEEKS TO GO until ‘kin Hell Fest 2013, we need to know that you, the awesome audience, are all fully behind this and supporting us, otherwise there will be no future festivals. So, please, if your intentions are to come to this, please get your tickets in advance of the date, and it will help us out a lot more than you realise. Any word spreading of this website, the flyer and the event page is immensely appreciated. You can all say you’ve played a massive part in the success of this festival, into making sure all the bands don’t make a loss on their travel from all over the UK and Europe, and that we can confidently book 2014 with a few even bigger bands.

Cheers, Paul / ‘kin Hell Fest

So there you have it. Hit up the link in the top corner now – only FIVE WEEKS TO GO!

Peter Clegg

Nails – Abandon All Life

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Nails
Abandon All Life
Southern Lord

I’ve now come to the conclusion that with any albums that literally seem to scream with rage and absolute anger right now that the best way for me to address the quality through the sea of furiously heavy grindy brutal death metal and otherwise assorted bands is to judge it on whether, after a few listens, it still makes me want to rock out, possibly in the street, and if it makes me want to smash stuff up and indeed, if it makes me angry. In a good way. I can be angry too about a bad record, Michael Keene! But I digress.

For I can’t stop listening to ‘Abandon All Life’, the latest release from California’s quartet Nails. For all their good work previously including the excellent ‘Unsilent Death’, nothing to date tops this latest effort, where everything, from the writing, to the riffs, the songs…everything. Its only seventeen minutes long and the majority of songs slip just past the minute mark, mixing up grind, hardcore, crust, even death metal in the mix. Sure, this record was hyped up beyond belief, but Nails excel in areas where many simply cannot live up to. After the all out speed of the opening few tracks, showing fine but no plagiaristic Nasum influence, they drop ‘God’s Cold Hands’, which has a little more in terms of structure but is no less intense for it, particularly as they roar the song’s title as a chorus. There’s also the title-track, which has a cheeky nod towards Suffocation territory with a sweeping tempo change to finish off the song. I can’t find a flaw. The hammer drops from the off and for its entirety, ‘Abandon All Life’ pounds away with every last breath, leaving behind a caustic trail to char the streets for all time to come.

Peter Clegg

Nails – God’s Cold Hands

Buy ‘Abandon All Life’ here

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Cape Canaveral – Scrapbook

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Cape Canaveral
Scrapbook

This week, Kerrang! magazine is running an article about ‘The amazing untold story’ of emo, featuring the bands who rebelled for a generation, yadayada. While Kerrang! aren’t specifically to blame for the ruination of the genre, they are fallible, in my eyes, in their evident failure to support the UK underground during the genre’s promising growth, an untold story in itself. What would a bit of national pride done for a band like Cape Canaveral, who recently released ‘Scrapbook‘, a collection of their material released during their active years between 1998-2006. You may have caught them live supporting the likes of Hundred Reasons, The Copperpot Journals, Garrison and more besides. There were probably many other factors at work that caused them never to get that break, as with so many bands below the surface.

Still, ‘Scrapbook‘ is a fantastic reminder of the true spirit of emo, bearing all the hallmarks of its classic 90’s/early 00’s era, with a sound often compared to acts such as Buffalo Tom, Mineral, Sunny Day Real Estate and indeed, comparable to Jimmy Eat World too. The first half of this compilation is fantastic stuff, and not half a reminder of the sound that accompanied my teenage years, my initial forays into rock and metal. Tracks such as ‘The Way Home (Homesick Song) and ‘Martian’ show a real drive that existed about this band, and ‘The Last Song Ever’ is the emo anthem that never was, with the line ‘you can call it sorrow/you can call it what you want/cos I don’t give a damn any more‘.

I can’t say my enthusiasm holds for every track, as the odd track doesn’t do anything for me in any sort of reactionary sense. But at least Cape Canaveral were never in the process of following the dilution of the genre, and in a style so heavy on feelings and confession, they were as honest as anyone in the business, and for the most part, ‘Scrapbook’ is a collection of a talented band not fully realised.

The UK used to be awash with these bands, substance over style, not the other way around. If emo had a return to its roots, maybe I could overlook its porous image. This is a free release, and though I kind of grew out of this scene and admittedly railed against its metamorphosis, I wouldn’t mind a return to these halcyon days. I’m sure you wouldn’t too. So go check it out, and stop by the band’s MySpace page too, which is still open with a blog section chronically their journey, the praise they received and more. Those days of past are worth reliving.

Peter Clegg

Download ‘Scrapbook‘ here
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