A Pale Horse Named Death – Lay My Soul to Waste

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A Pale Horse Named Death
Lay My Soul to Waste
SPV America

As a Type O Negative fan – and a big one at that – I’m slightly disgusted at myself for overlooking A Pale Horse Named Death’s debut ‘And Hell Will Follow Me’ when it initially emerged. I certainly gave Seventh Void a chance when they emerged from the death of legendary Type O frontman Peter Steele, their debut ‘Heaven Is Gone’ certainly leaving an impression on me though not ripping up the rulebook. Indeed, drummer Johnny Kelly, also drummer for Seventh Void, and guitarist and former Type O drummer Sal Abruscato return for seconds here on ‘Lay My Soul to Waste’, and this time I wasn’t prepared to shoot myself in the foot again.

Much like anything to emerge post-Type O, ‘Lay My Soul to Waste’ doesn’t offer any surprises, with APHND still rocking up like Alice In Chains doing the Type O doom march. But it is a competent record, with plenty of good riffs and tales of death, addiction and serial killers, mired in the same funeral vibe their connections were famous for. Whether this be the horror-rock vibe of songs such as ‘Killer by Night’ or ‘Devil Came With a Smile’, which both undeniably feel darkly good despite a small element of ‘been here, heard that’, or the slow march of tracks such as ‘Day of the Storm’, which nods undeniably to their lineage and unquestionably stand out in the proverbial fog. It’s good to see APHND starting to stamp their own territory with their own vibe; overall, it’s not an outstanding record, but certainly not one to turn up, especially for the dark and desolate among us.

Peter Clegg

A Pale Horse Named Death – DMSLT (official video)

Buy ‘Lay My Soul to Waste’ here

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All Pigs Must Die – Nothing Violates This Nature

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All Pigs Must Die
Nothing Violates This Nature
Southern Lord 

This trend of monkeying around with Entombed riffs has reached saturation point, hasn’t it? All manners of bands getting signed up and making a living off the Stockholm legends who’ve proved so influential, I’ve even seen their named given a –core suffix. JEEZUS CRUST! It’s led me to yawn when a new band comes up with any mix of the words ‘hardcore’ ‘crust’ ‘metal’ and yes, ‘Entombed’ within the same spiel about their noise. That most have these have come from Southern Lord is partly coincidence, though their marketing strategy sure has changed from the label that used to bow simply to the slow riff. And that’s not to belittle those bands coming through, most of whom make a righteous racket, but the symptoms of staid are already seeping through the loins of this movement, and like thrash 2.0, NWOAHM, emo, nu-metal, grunge, thrash 1.0, and any other trend driven movement, the premise is simple – evolve, stand out, or die.

Not that this has ever been a concern to All Pigs Must Die – consisting of Converge’s Ben Koller, The Hope Conspiracy’s Kevin Baker, and Adam Wentworth and Matt Woods of Bloodhorse can be fully relied upon to deliver the goods and boy, have they delivered a supreme package again. If ‘God is War’ was a statement of intent, ‘Nothing Violates This Nature’ is an execution of action, a roaring wave of encrusted hardcore that intimidates and rags you about like an impatient dog with a bone. It supremely careers along with tracks such as ‘Chaos Arise’ and ‘Primitive Fear’, before slamming the brakes on with sludge-tinged ‘Of Suffering’, with chords ringing out eerily among the caustic yells from Baker. This provides the only ‘lull’ in terms of speed – it certainly can’t be labelled tardy – and soon APMD are back on rickety railroad, with no brakes and a flagrant disregard for safety. ‘Faith Eater’ is a particularly savage cut as the album thunders towards the finish.
 
I think its safe to say that APMD long superseded the tag of ‘supergroup’ – a millstone if there ever was one – and their credentials are as strong as the very best the current scene has to offer. ‘Nothing Violates This Nature’ is nothing short of essential listening, a thirty-three minute application of the band’s collective nous and sheer force. Rarely has an opening song (‘Chaos Arise’) felt so appropriate for what’s about to happen, and it delivers in that department in spades, opening up slightly more to the band’s metal leanings to refine rather than dilute their original clatter. True, it doesn’t quite rid itself of all the comparisons to that band, but they stand above, and on top of a giant pedestal too, in a scene increasing filling with clones. So relax, enjoy, and go bananas.

Peter Clegg 

Buy/download ‘Nothing Violates This Nature’ here
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Five more bands for ‘Kin Hell Fest 2014!

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Next year’s edition of ‘Kin Hell Fest, the Leeds extreme metal fest taking things over, was already shaping up nicely with the confirmation of ten top bands and the securement of a 1400-capacity venue. But as Professor Brian Cox’s former band once famously sang, things can only get better. And better they did, with the announcement of some of the top names in underground metal, punk and hardcore, past, present and for the future.

Undoubtedly the biggest announcement here is the addition of pioneering crust-punk/death metal veterans Deviated Instinct. DEVIATED INSTINCT! Having reformed in 2007 have a long time apart, they will be in Leeds to rain hell to the crusty legions at hand. Bradford’s true metal warriors Conquest of Steel will also be gracing the festival with their over the top charge of battle anthems and incomparable showmanship.

The fest also confirmed plenty of new blood, with the addition of Nottingham d-beat/hardcore crew Death Tripper – whose split with Meatpacker kicked off 2013 with style, Scottish crushers Iniquitous Savagery, and London death metallers Acrania, in what is already looking like an ultra-brutal line-up set to blow a hole in White Rose country once again.

Tickets are not on sale yet but do expect information soon as to when they’ll be available. Head to ‘Kin Hell Fest’s official Facebook page for info, updates and more!

Peter Clegg

Let It Die/Monolithian – Because the World is Perfidious, I am Going Into Mourning

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Let It Die/Monolithian
Because the World is Perfidious, I Am Going Into Mourning
Skin & Bones/Moshtache

Let It Die and Monolithian prove here that while they come from different walks, they needn’t have different mindsets. As the cumbersomely-titled ‘Because the World Is Perfidious, I Am Going into Mourning’ here, inspired by the legendary painting ‘The Misanthrope’, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, the emphasis is to balance the slow with the fast; the hateful blur with the scornful misery. If anything, this EP serves to prove how much the lines between conceived genres have been eroded. Let It Die have received some fair praise since their beginnings a couple of years ago, and have evolved from being simply grindy to embracing a more traditional hardcore/metalcore stance. ‘Boredom/Inertia’ is a slow burner to begin with, ‘Boredom’ being the appropriately named menacing chug, before ‘Inertia’ kicks in with a neat little blitz. ‘Torture’ is much more straight-up in its aims, even allowing for a fade-out at the end with a nice booming riff. They make excellent heavy noise for a bass-less three piece, and vocalist Red sure sounds narked.

Alternatively, Monolithian provide just the one hybrid song, in the form of ‘Emaciate/Euthanise’. A blackened doom duo from Falmouth, they’ve played their trade supporting the likes of EyeHateGod and Human Cull previously and though they’ve yet to record anything truly striding in terms of length, quite what they can create within a limited time is something to behold. Bassist Simon is truly the figure of despair, his growls anything between guttural and beckoning, while drummer Shannon controls the ebb and flow of the song exceptionally, crashing away at her kit in metronomic fashion. All this before the ‘Euthanise’ portion explodes into a swirling river of sonic violence, injecting a savage turn of speed at just the right moment, before the song boils down to a close.

Limited to 300 vinyl copies through Skin & Bones Records or Moshtache Records, get your hands on this while you can. If both bands continue to make waves the way they do, they deserve a slightly bigger stage. Though we’d certainly enjoy them most in the catacombs where their respective sounds can generate the most resonance.

Peter Clegg

Buy ‘Because the World is Perfidious, I Am Going Into Mourninghere (Skin & Bones) or here (Moshtache(7” vinyl)

Or download here (Let It Die) and here (Monolithian)

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