Burden of the Noose – The Forgotten Plague

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Burden of the Noose
The Forgotten Plague

It’s been a little while since this was released but Birmingham’s Burden of the Noose conjured a masterful live EP entitled ‘The Forgotten Plague’. Squatting equally in sludge and hardcore punk bedsits, residing by the nefariously murky waters of death metal, the quintet provide some of the most evisceral booze grooves known to humankind. Throughout its running time, ‘The Forgotten Plague’ is a game of hiding in the woodlands to avoid mutilation. Burden of the Noose prove that act to be futile, each track here possessing its own brand of violent intensity, be it the grooves of ‘The Begging Game’, the hammering swagger of ‘Family Affair’ , and even doing their bit to raise awareness of testicular cancer (‘Cancerous Bollock’). Ok, maybe I’m slightly off track with that last point, and deliberately so. But the rest is all true. Should you survive this test, ‘The Forgotten Plague’ may in its own evil way call out to you for more.

Peter Clegg

Buy/download ‘The Forgotten Plague‘ here
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Samothrace, Bell Witch and Black Magician

Here is the CLDH guys review of the recent Samothrace show in Manchester. Bazinga.

CLDH

Samothrace, Bell Witch and Black Magician

The star and Garter festers in the heat of the rarely sighted sun, once again the ready receptacle; a decrepit husk that has the privilege of hosting some of the biggest noises you’ll hear, as Seattle based Doomers Samothrace and Bell Witch descend on Manchester with support from Scousers Black Magician.

Black Magician take to the stage fresh from their exploits at Roadburn. Their mid-slow old school doom vibe surpasses musical influence and has made its way through the aesthetics of the band, settling up onto the guitarists truly Iommi-fied upper lip. Endemically heavy grooves accompanied by organ synth keyboards are substantial though seldom change from their pace, and when they do it’s not quite sufficient to be distinguished. After a while, it feels like being dragged along but it seems the crowd don’t share this opinion, as a substantial fan base have…

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Howl – Bloodlines

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Howl
Bloodlines
Relapse

When Howl emerged in 2010 with ‘Full of Hell’, they were hailed as one of the most vicious and aggressive sounding doom bands to emerge for a long time. Not that there’s a shortage of bands doing grim, nasty things with the genre, but that album indelibly left a mark which left people hungry for more. Yet with ‘Bloodlines’, it seems Howl weren’t content to rest on their laurels and have shifted tack somewhat, heading for not exactly radio-friendly territories, but certainly a move towards a more mainstream end of aggressive heavy metal.

By this perhaps I am creating slightly the wrong impression in saying that, but though they haven’t sacrificed all their slow flourishes, ‘Bloodlines’ is much more of a straightforward heavy metal album, with some undeniably cracking riffs, and largely excellent songs with smatterings of speed and trudge in equal measure. The bombastic punch of ‘Midnight Eyes’ and the ominous ‘Down So Low’ are particular highlights either side of these parallels, though lyrically it comes across quite cheesy and uninspired on more than one occasion – ‘Your Hell Begins’ one particular culprit with a not wholly bad but atypical metal chorus. There’s still room for improvement, especially given how they initially impacted with ‘Full of Hell’, with nothing really standing apart from that album or from other bands . But overlooking this minor gripe, fans of the riff will no doubt welcome this latest effort – its not bringing anything new but it at least backs itself up through its raw power, and through Howl’s certain conviction in the end product, you can expect at the very least an enjoyable guitarfest from beginning to end.

Peter Clegg

Buy/download ‘Bloodlines’ here
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Jock Jamz – Demo Volume One

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Jock Jamz
Demo Volume One

We recently covered an excellent Utah hardcore band called Youth Choir who some of their members, not content with being preoccupied with one band, are also part of another hardcore band, entitled Jock Jamz. Based on the artwork and some of the song titles, this demo is conceptually based on their home state’s basketball team, the Jazz, and indeed basketball in general. It does start with the familiar strains of ‘Rock and Roll’ (‘Part X’ in this case), the realm of the Glitter band and their disgraced former singer. Though they give it a typically hardcore boost that would fire up any crew, eventually subsiding to the irresistible ‘Full Court Press’, a tribute to the Jazz’s finest partnership (‘Stockton to Malone’), a hardcore cover of ‘Everybody Dance Now’ and the bold beatdown ‘Not on My Team’. Two projects both laden with humour and irrepressible spirit, these might the guys that finally make UTHC representable as New York, Los Angeles or anywhere else for that matter. Get on this right now.

Peter Clegg

Download ‘Demo Volume One‘ here (free download)
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Gama Bomb – The Terror Tapes

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Gama Bomb
The Terror Tapes
AFM

The thrash metal revival has certainly had its day, with the scramble for places at the top well and truly decided. Acts like Municipal Waste, Evile and Warbringer have long made their gains as the top dogs to emerge from its renaissance, while other bands either continue to thrash away or fall back into the relative comfort of the underground, or worse, obscurity. Indeed, it seems to have done more to prolong the lives of the living legends it created, rather than carving out a new niche for its own. Nevertheless, it would be harsh to judge Gama Bomb on these grounds – I certainly regard the Irish band, for all their mischief and lack of originality, as one of the better bands to come out of it all – their conviction in thrash and their impressive live performances have brought them a considerable fanbase, and ‘The Terror Tapes’ is further testament to the band’s continued sustainability.

Whether the sheen can last much longer remains to be seen – I feel as though perhaps my faith is being tested by only being able to sustain Gama Bomb’s tempo – not with the general speed – just the general lack of shift. Like these Hell Truckers hit sixth gear and then found they were unable to get back into third. But four years can be a long time between albums, and while the pace of life these days doesn’t make it seem so, its hard to believe the gap between now and ‘Tales From The Grave In Space’ – but given vocalist Philly Byrne undertaking throat surgery, the departure of founder member and rhythm guitarist Luke Graham and the exit from Earache Records, let’s be thankful that Gama have surpassed ten years as a band and yet still retain their charming lunacy.

Back to the album at hand though, ‘The Terror Tapes’ features all the usual Gama Bomb hallmarks – sci-fi themes, frenetic guitar solos, and occasional high pitched screams. But even at thirty-six minutes, this still turns out to be Gama’s longest album to date, even if that’s only achieved by slightly longer than average songs than grand creative ambition. Yet Gama Bomb remain thoroughly entertaining –surgery hasn’t hindered Byrne – his tone sounds much crisper and improved, if anything, a profound voice above the constant buzz of the thrash shred. ‘Backwards Bible’ is a cracking tune in all departments and ‘Terrorscope’ is a thrilling ride with a more than familiar guitar solo to the classically trained ear, and while mentally it begins to drain just towards the end, this is by and large Gama Bomb back to their best. With bands like Gama Bomb still producing to this standard, thrash is more than just in a safe set of hands – its immediate future is secure too.

Peter Clegg

Gama Bomb – Terrorscope

Buy ‘The Terror Tapes’ here

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Koresh – Chump

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Koresh
Chump EP
Witch Hunter/Withered Hand

One look at the artwork for London sludgecore crew Koresh’s new EP ‘Chump’ can instantly hook a person. It’s bright pink and its got unicorns on it! But this is no ‘My Little Pony’. Koresh can easily be placed under the mantle of sludge if you want to label them, but there’s more than a whiff of punk edge about them as they make one incredible racket here. ‘Chump’ is seven tracks of largely fast paced action – not one song passes the two minute mark, and save for one or two dirges here and there, its largely resurrecting the ghosts of Iron Monkey, Mistress, Raging Speedhorn to name but a few noisy so and so’s of years gone by. Beginning with the excellent ‘Straight Edge Till Midnight’, replete with groovy celebratory jango halfway through, and finishing up on the brilliant, almost catchy ‘You Can Call Me Gaahl’. This is proof that not all things connected with sludge have to be mired in misery – Koresh are having a whale of time drunkenly staggering their way through speedy songs and ‘Chump’ is clearly champ at clocking a quick glass over the proverbial head when required.

Peter Clegg

Pre-order ‘Chumphere or here: (both come with immediate download link)
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We Must Obey – Two years!

Well, we made it. We limped a bit towards this date, but we made it.

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Yes, We Must Obey is two years old today! Wow, it feels like a long time ago when we started, but despite remaining a small unit, with an increasing workload thanks to the bands, labels and PR firms that fuel this blog, and

Who to thank? Well I must start with the main people who fuel the fire of this blog. These people being Lauren Barley at Rarely Unable, Kim Kelly at Catharsis PR, Chris at Witch Hunter Records, all of whom are among those who continue to furnish us with the latest output and generally show us the love. Paul Priest and Raw Nerve Zine who really went as all out as we did in support of our promotion of ‘kin Hell Fest and hopefully this is an event and indeed a scene you’ll hear a lot more of. Cheers again to Chris Fane for finally providing us with a logo – if only WordPress had a theme as evil and as accommodating of them as possible for us to display them in their full glory. That’s something to continue to work on. Thank you as well to all the bands and label heads who continue to send things my way. I’m sorry if I can’t remember you all by name but you’re too numerous to mention, and you will at some point have seen your name appear here. And if you’re still among those waiting for a review of your submission to appear, I do apologise. The last month or so in particular has been mental, to say the least, and we do aim to catch up. Thanks for not badgering me.

I must also thank Michael Collins for his continued, if fleeting, correspondence for We Must Obey. He’s been here from the start and continues to be most interesting and entertaining in his views, all while continuing to front his current doom band Wort (shameless plug) and while being a part of the Manchester-based promotions crew CLDH, whom you all keep an eye on too.

And of course, anyone who follows our site, be it through Facebook, Twitter, or you dedicated souls on WordPress who continue to pick up our feed on the Reader. Keep putting the word out there folks,

If I’ve forgotten anyone, I do apologise and I assure you that whoever you are, you’ve been a part of this awesome experience and though its getting more and more stressful trying to keep up to date with this in the wake of family matters, new personal interests, my day job and various other things, I will press on with continuing to highlight the very best –and occasionally the worst – our beloved underground scene, from the UK shores to all over the world. And occasionally, we’ll debate, approve, upset, and maybe even surprise.

Peter Clegg