Live Review: Corrupt Moral Altar @ The Packhorse, Leeds, 16/11/2013

+ DSDNT + Famine + Corinth

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We made our way up the stairs of The Packhorse and edged along sideways into the top room as is necessary if more there’s more than ten people present at the Packhorse. We were already amidst the sounds of the first band Corinth, who contrasted to the blunt aggression and abrasive nature of the other bands. The songs travel through several different sub genres with a subtlety that keeps the sound of the band distinct, Crowbar-esque melodies complete with Windstein-esque vocal strains transcend into something more like the hypnotic rhythm of atmospheric black metal. The theme in the mutation of every sound; through the psychedelic, to the thrash injected, is a backbone of solid leaden doom, which keeps a satisfying power throughout the well crafted songs. Corinth are hefty as they are eloquent, like a terrible crushing river of through a lovely water colour.

After seeking some respite and drink downstairs, it was to our horror we found the bar area entirely ridden with the type of student that thinks it’s funny to dress up as Where’s Wally with a fucking inflatable beach toy wrapped around them. I fought my way past and hoped to God that come some over-priced generic cunt parade like ‘Carnage‘, the poor bastards would be ushered through the most shameless and faceless clubs of Leeds. After being forced into drinking copious amounts of dodgy vodka they would look into the abyss of their own souls, and decide to stop being pricks, or subject themselves to a lifetime of solitude.

There are probably not so many images out there that would set me up so well for the audio grit flinging of Famine, who launch into spats of super violence coming in at around a minute per bout, torn from an unsuspecting three piece. Pissed off as they come, simplicity is the biggest weapon. Bass that sounds like a wasp the size of a truck in a tin can buzzes angrily through the mix and drops into grooves like two gorillas playing swingball with a brick covered in nails. Dismay and frustration-addled vocal barrages are a dual assault tear their own rhythms’ into the grooves fuelling a furnace of complete terror. If we were not so nice or boring, the crowd would be gouging at each other’s eyes and hauling the clientele up from below to attack with our teeth. As it is, we stand subjected to pure fuel for everything great in chaos and stand still sweating for fear of inadvertently tearing the venue apart.

DSDNT are up next with a brand of hardcore soaked negative strained paranoid energy. The four piece churn out groove not too far from Napalm Death with the same style of raged punctuating vocals. This flies by in a dystopian vision; discordant, psychologically damaged jittering that keeps you on your toes whilst shredding in and out of minor abrasion and warped groove. The effect over all is a disturbing and edgy momentum that doesn’t stray too far but successfully obliterates any positive vibe you might be clinging too.

As student loans change hands and people attempt new personas with frightening intensity at the bar downstairs, a different more honest transcendence is ready to take place in the jammed-tight room above. Like the feeling of a thousand trapped nerves Corrupt Moral Altar aren’t something you can ignore; this is something you know whilst stood in front of the band, but it also explains their quickly earned popularity and reputation over the past year that’s also seen two releases. The audio violation is raw energy from the moment the band open up with a tirade of blood vessel popping shrieks and breakneck rhythmic dozing. It would be an easy thing to put CMA within the confines of grind, with the use of frequent barrages of bouncing intensity and relentless vocals, but the omnipotent charge that buzzes from the stage and your gut is created by the effective use of simplicity with creative rhythm. This comes from their homage to the word ‘sludge’, which is something far more local and refreshing than an identity crisis and southern drawl. The crushing Iron Monkey throwdowns are a key theme throughout the set which for made me wish that the gig had a different less confined environment, or that people cared a little less. It’s precisely the kind of thing you should be losing your shit to; as a crawl of malicious notes explode into a snarling, titanic groove. CMA feel like the kind of thing that doesn’t come around too often. Not that they’re doing something unheard of but for the fact it comes off with honesty and a vicious bile that’s good for the soul.

Michael Collins

Corrupt Moral Altar – Whiskey Sierra

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Corrupt Moral Altar
Whiskey Sierra
Dead Chemists

When we reviewed their debut release ‘Luciferian Deathcult‘ here, it was hard to maybe even dream if Corrupt Moral Altar could get any heavier and more menacing than when they first merged as mere shoots from previous bands. But since that particular release, which was perhaps one of the most devastating debut releases of recent times, CxMxA have gone from strength to strength, and as I correctly predicted – along with many others no doubt – they’ve brought the roof down on many a toilet venue, pub/gig venue or festivals bigger or smaller to cement their initial promise and transition from underground supergroup to leading lights of the UK underground extreme movement, and in little under a year as well.

They didn’t waste any time in getting their second record, the ‘Whiskey Sierra‘ 7″, off the leash and snarling at people unsuspecting or otherwise. If ‘Luciferian Deathcult‘ was the mean mugger laughing at your misfortune, ‘Whiskey Sierra‘ is its even harder comrade, the one that instead of leaving your smarting actually drags you away to whichever dark corner it originates from to meet an unpleasant fate. It’s almost inhuman – a beast. Something about this just seems even more heavy, malevolent and downright intentional. The title track doesn’t muck around in getting down to business, thrashing away in the same reckless abandon that got this lot their notoriety in the first place. And that’s before they unleash ‘Lord’, the money shot in all of this. A vicious cut of pounding riffs and clattering drums, Chris Reese even exclaiming ‘whoa‘ at one point before the choice cut of the song comes in, thundering along, briefing slamming to a jolting halt, before the boosters fire up again, eventually finishing with the most unholy slow down to mark what is arguably their best song to date. Throw in two remasters from the ‘Needle Drugs‘ demo, and there you have it – one of the single most annihilatic displays of irascible noise you will hear all year around.

Peter Clegg

Buy/download ‘Whiskey Sierra‘ here
Stream it below:

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Corrupt Moral Altar UK tour incoming!

Please read below the following press release with news of forthcoming UK tour dates from sludge-grinders Corrupt Moral Altar, who’ve been tearing up ears and eyes with a slew of harsh, blistering releases and sonically pounding live shows over the course of 2013.

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Following the release of Corrupt Moral Altar’s latest 7″ ‘Whiskey Sierra‘ (Dead Chemists Records) and after a slew of notable support slots and festival appearances, this malevolent four piece are announcing a full UK tour this November.

Check out the video trailer featuring footage from Ryan Fallon’s recently unleashed music video and full tour listings below:

Corrupt Moral Altar – UK Tour Trailer

TOUR DATES
13/11/2013 Racehorse Northampton England
14/11/2013 The Black Bull Gateshead England
15/11/2013 Audio Glasgow Scotland
16/11/2013 Packhorse Leeds England
17/11/2013 Old Blue Last London England

Thanks to Rarely Unable for the press release. Get yourself to one of these shoes – you do not want to miss out!

Peter Clegg

 

‘Kin Hell Fest 2013 – The Review! – Sunday 28th April

Click here for full review of Friday 26th April
Click here for full review of Saturday 27th April

Sunday 28th April

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I arrived a little bit late in the day, expecting to miss Envoys and DSDNT, with the sharper changeover times to make sure of that. Shyeah, right! It was a while before the Leeds hardcore crew were ready to go, allowing me plenty time for that flyer to go up and to grab a beer too. Still, when they did get going, the crowd received a pretty good set. There still seems to be a fair few people asleep, and they missed performance of real intensity, with the band’s vocalist allowed to stalk the floor and bellow his lungs out at any given moment while the others duelled out the soundtrack to their downbeat mood.

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Even that doesn’t prepare us though for The Day Man Lost, making a comeback with a new lineup. They pull off a set that’s all kinds of amazing, seamlessly shifting from one song to the next with little time to draw breath before the next grind barrage hits. The pit perimeter seems to widen with every song with more and more people wanting to enter the frenzy. This is quite possibly the best set of the weekend, hoovering even the most vaguely interested party into undiluted glee with the constant stab-stab-stab of subjugating sonic violence.

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Horsebastard aren’t bad either, albeit experiencing a slightly subdued atmosphere as for some reason all TDML fans disappeared. It’s a rollicking mix of grindy hardcore punk and political awareness, with Chris Reese of Corrupt Moral Altar doing vocal duties here too. Their bassist is fleet of finger and doesn’t relent for the entirety of the set. But having been a guitarist short for the entire set, they do well not submerge in a sea of low-end grooves, making the best of a potentially sticky situation and winding up impressing the pants off many.

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Corrupt Moral Altar trucker caps had been sighted frequently since the beginning of ‘Kin Hell Fest, suggesting there was definite buzz about the underground ‘supergroup’, and if there was anything tantamount to hype then CxMxA didn’t let anybody down. It’s a blistering set and blood is even shed in the pit as the chaos gets a little too rowdy.

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Wode appeared to suffer from technical glitches early on but still manage to plough out a few of their impressive blackened tunes. But the spark to ignite this particular set is somewhat missing. I get that not every musician wants to be an entertainer but with the vibe given off at this festival it would have been nice for the band to appear to enjoy themselves a little more. As it is, the appreciation shown by the crowd doesn’t seem entirely reciprocal, and the overall feeling is a little flat.

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The Sufferinfuck set could have suffered similarly from the opposite perspective, with the earlier hordes of grind rangers not showing up as frequently for the West Lothian powerviolence mob, but any doubts are cast aside from the opening blasts from the back of the room. This is one of most furious sets of the weekend, anf their singer screams himself hoarse, even roaring at one point to the switches on the wall. There’s just enough time at the end for everyone to catch their breath before they close on the cerebral ‘Nature Will Out’, allowing for one brief moment of foreboding malice before they throw the kitchen sink at it again. Bloody terrific.

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If the first chunk of the day was largely fast, it’s mid-section was about to hit a sudden bump in the road, and the Scouse whiskey machine Iron Witch were on hand to slow things down. Always a class act as usual, they manage to sneak in a new song or two and still retain a familiar feel about their set, with the new material from ‘Hangover Suicide‘ fitting like a glove. Today’s set felt like they were doom trippin’ more than the last time I saw them, which was back when ‘Single Malt‘ was the flavour, but that’s no bad thing when the riffs flow as they so often do, and

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Things slow down even further for the arrival of Bong. A divisive act, in terms of people who can’t stand drone no less stand through 40 minutes of it, and of course those who can, whether we’re into it or slightly curious. Those that stay are greeted with a masterful display of pure focus and attrition, building and maintaining the volume throughout, with only a morsel of chanted vocals and a spacey upward movement in tempo as the set progresses on which to hang any hat on the coathook of melody.

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The room become tightly packed for the return of Leeds’ own A Forest of Stars, who use their soundtrack to ensure everything is precise to the most minute detail. The local crowd seem more than happy to let them get on with it and they don’t disappoint, providing a thorough, professional and wholly unique experience. The septet and their ensemble of instruments fill the seemingly tiny stage yet the crowd equally squeezes down to the front to glimpse to see their unique blend of progressive black metal, holding everyone’s attention like the mass conductors they are.

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After that display of utmost composure and sincere appreciation, some depravity had to be in order, and London goregrind louts Gout were on hand to deliver it. Decked in their now trademark Hawaiian clothing and entering to the ‘Trololol’ song, the lights turn a blood red over the stage and when it all kicks in everything goes nuts. An explosion in the pit felt like it was forever waiting, until Gout came along and in one fell swoop opened up a sea of flailing, circling humanity. Eddie Spengler revels in his frontman role, unleashing ridiculous song titles – ‘Interspecies Zoophiliac Sex Safari’ being a nugget of pure gold in its utterance – and plumbing the deepest gutter of the vocal bucket whilst having a good old jape around the stage, as his bandmates blast and groove everything to pieces. It’s over in 30 minutes but the good times experienced here will long live on when looking back over this weekend.

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Not to be outdone, Bury death metallers Foetal Juice don’t waste too much time in delivering their own gleeful battering, hitting the jackpot with every song, vocalist Sam Read revelling in the role of growler and conjuror, keeping the crowd enthralled throughout and spending the whole gig with a maniacal expression across his face. 18 months ago they were a proud part of the original KHF. Sub-headlining this time around, how much longer before they’re headlining things like this in their own right?

Unfortunately, my carriage awaits as stamina gets the better of us and we decide to call it a night at a reasonable time. So apologies to Man Must Die and indeed Envoys from earlier, though I’m assured both were excellent.

Finally, I must close out this review with a massive thank you to Paul Priest and to all the KHF staff who made our time there very accommodating whilst running an excellent operation on a large scale throughout. I implore everyone to head over to the ‘Kin Hell Fest page over on Facebook and to continue to support this festival in any way, shape or form. We’d love to see this fest return in 2014 – it was a blast from start to finish, and its grand to see UK hardcore and metal, in all its forms, is very much alive and well in the catacombs of the underground.

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

Corrupt Moral Altar – Luciferian Deathcult EP

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Corrupt Moral Altar
Luciferian Deathcult EP
Baitin’ the Trap

We’ve made no secret of the fact we dig Liverpudlian sludgers Iron Witch, and not content with ripping a new one in venues across the UK, it seems one of them is giving this running a record label business a go. Bassist Rick Owen is the owner of the UK’s latest underground name, Baitin’ the Trap Records, and those with a close eye on developments will not be disappointed with its initial offerings.

The label’s first release is for north-western sludge/grind crew Corrupt Moral Altar, which features members of Malevolent Creation, Magpyes, Horsebastard and Salem Rages. With a line-up like that, you should expect nothing but complete audio anarchy, and from the moment the words ‘I want to get pissed for a reasonable price’, some of the heaviest, filthiest extreme music imaginable comes billowing out in the form of ‘Play Stupid Games and Win Stupid Prizes’. Not a moment passes where you’re not being beaten senseless – this is the sort of music that gives you a good kicking and stands over you, pointing and laughing. Their vocalist Reese can’t be ignored at all, his high-end shrieks surely skewering any listener like a rusty kebab at some questionable takeaway. The band’s low-end sludge grooves and occasional blast-laden plundering mean nothing and nobody is safe from this assault. And harsh as Reese’ vocals are, there’s some wonderful gang-style vocals going on in the backline that diversify their approach. For me it’s a wonderful mix of stuff like Acid Bath, Mistress, Army of Flying Robots, even Iron Monkey, perhaps none more so on the immense ‘Flattening the Cultural Pyramid’, which shifts through shrieked grind, shouted sludge, and a nice atmospheric doom passage which, though brief, sounds absolutely evil. Venues up and down the country might well be in danger of collapse when these guys show up to play. Its completely unrestrained, much like the fabled big bad wolf, except these guys won’t just blow your house down, they’ll downright dismember as well. A fantastic first release for Baitin’ the Trap and it really sets a marker for the year ahead.

Luciferian Deathcult’ is available to pre-order as a limited CDEP from the Baitin’ the Trap store, and can be downloaded as well. It will be released on Monday, 18th February 2013. Please check out the links below.

Peter Clegg

Pre-order ‘Luciferian Deathcult’ EP here (7”)
Stream it here…or stream it below

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