Category Archives: reviews

HEAVY BABY SEA SLUGS – Teenage Graveyard Party EP (2017)

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HEAVY BABY SEA SLUGS
Teenage Graveyard Party EP
(Heavy Baby Records / 2017)
https://www.facebook.com/heavybabyrecords/

HEAVY BABY SEA SLUGS! That’s some mouthful of a name if you ever heard one, don’t you agree? It sounds nasty, dirty and slimy. Believe me or not, it fits like a glove to the kind of music these Texans bring to the table. Their press-release mentions something about a new genre I’ve never heard before, Avant-Sludge Punk, but the whole thing actually makes sense!

The whole fuck-it attitude these guys carry captures itself in these four songs and we can rapidly go from a fast sludgy-sounded riff to a more paced, slow and heavy hitting breakdown, delivering not only the grime but also the rage, spit and snot.

From ‘King Midas of Shit’ to ‘Zero One’, this EP showcases some of the different mindsets you can get through the whole HEAVY BABY SEA SLUGS experience. Just imagine if Bad Brains, Poison Idea and Electric Wizard had a baby together. This is it! 8/10 [RM]

AS IT IS – Okay (2017)

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AS IT IS
Okay
(Fearless Records / 2017)
https://www.facebook.com/asitisofficial/

This UK band has been in a few pages and magazine covers since they released their debut album, “Never Happy, Ever After” back in 2015. They even toured the other side of the pond (for those playing at home, the good old U.S. of A) as part of the Vans Warped Tour. That’s really not bad for any band around, if you ask me.

But, although they sound exactly how you’d expect them to sound when faced with the Pop/Punk/Rock signature, there’s always that itchy annoying feeling that you’ve heard this band before and you don’t really know who to blame for that. I’m always tempted to put all the heat on the band itself because, you know, there may be a million bands out there and you can be influenced by all of them but, please, try to put something more of you in the songs you take to studio, to help uneducated pseudo-writers like myself distance themselves from thinking they’re listening to a new New Found Glory album or something that Fall Out Boy may take a swing at.

I know, I know. Their job is not to make mine easier. I get that. And maybe it’s really my own fault that I don’t get that many kicks from these kind of records anymore. Maybe it’s just me getting older or maybe, while listening to “Okay”, I just missed some stand out moments that could convince me that this album is way better than just okay. 6/10 [RM]

SRD – Smrti Sel (2017)

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SRD
Smrti Sel
(On Parole Records / 2017)
https://www.facebook.com/SrdOfficial/

Since I was such a total stranger with the music and words from these Slovenians, I had to dive into “Smrti Sel” without any safety on, relying only on the belief that I would enjoy this because I read somewhere Modern Black Metal with elements of Black ‘n’ Roll! The cover artwork was also a good indicator. I really like that picture and the whole vibe it sends. I also read misanthropy and ended up finding SRD on the social media networks. I almost bathe in the irony.

SRD is a studio project turned live band, born from the creative mind of main man Goran and, I have to be honest, “Smrti Sel” sounded better the second time I played these seven tracks. In certain moments I was sent to a universe were people like Kampfar or Einherjer could have roamed and played.

Musically, I never actually felt the presence of that Misanthropy ingredient, but maybe it was mixed within the lyrics, as two of them were written in their native tongue. The obvious exception being the GG Allin cover they’ve recorded, ‘I Kill Everything I Fuck’, making it one of the good tracks found here. ‘Soci’ could be another one of those, at least here around the house it certainly was, also serving as nice closer for an album that opened with an exagerated long prologue. I could use those five minutes back. 7/10 [RM]

MIND ASSASSIN – The Pay Off (2015)

mind-assassin

MIND ASSASSIN
The Pay Off
(Alone Records / 2015)
www.reverbnation.com/mindassassin

You can tell I’m a little behind on my review schedule when you start to see releases like MIND ASSASSIN’s EP only getting its well deserved written mention at this point. It took a while to get here, but better late than never, I guess.

This band was formed back in 2008 and this is their only release to date, thanks to Alone Records from Greece, whose support to the Heavy Metal cause has given us many good records in these past couple years.

“The Pay Off” is a pretty solid effort from a band that knows how to balance the somewhat traditional sound of American Heavy Metal with a slower feeling that can bring to mind those brief years in Black Sabbath, when neither Ozzy or Dio were present or, for that matter, some of the more recent work from Candlemass. But, althought the whole EP keeps itself within a safe distance from the flashy and sometimes exagerated clicks that we so often find in these kind of bands, the general feeling is that of band who can hold his own in case of being called upon the Higher Court of Heavy Metal Goodness.

They may not be that fancy or exquisite, but MIND ASSASSIN were able to cut a good debut here, with solid tracks and an overall good heavy vibe. 6/10 [RM]

BARROWS – Swine Race

BARROWS - Swine Race (2015)

BARROWS
Swine Race
Inverse Records / 2015

Welcome to “Swine Race” the debut release from BARROWS. A trio keen to take you on a violent journey into the world in which Immolation breed with Cattle Decapitation and give birth to what the Canadian band decided to call Swine Grind! Does this description do any kind of justice to the music that these guys brought from studio in this first album? I believe that is the one that comes closest to the level of aggression we find in “Swine Race”.

The nine songs presented here are filled with double bass and blastbeats attacks with a proper side of insane voice work offered by Lee Newton. Joining all this is a whole collection of guitar riffs ready to challenge the quieter individual and that, my friends, is a formula bound to dominate everyone by force.

“Swine Race” comes after a first demo released in 2014 and I believe that any Grind fan will also be starting to pay some of his attention to the things this band is up to and, taking into account everything that we can find in this first record, the future will certainly bring us more quality releases by BARROWS.

(reviewed by: Rui Marujo)

[review] VENOM – From The Very Depths (2015)

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VENOM
From The Very Depths
(Spinefarm Records / 2015)
http://www.venomslegions.com

There are bands which are essential pieces in this great universal puzzle that is our life and Venom are, for me and for many others, one of these bands, one of those leading names that helped lift the safe walls of our world Heavy Metal world, that helped us to endure nights and days of solitude in our room, while also served as the soundtrack to our fantasies and our air guitar sessions on top of the bed while screaming loudly ‘Lay down your souls to the Gods Rock ‘n’ Roll!!’. I don’t think there are many people in the world that don’t pull out their best imaginary guitar while hearing such songs as ‘Black Metal’, ‘Countess Bathory’ or ‘Seven Gates of Hell’!

But these are issues of an important past and we interested in what VENOM has to offer us now, especially those who, like me, have been keeping a little distance from the band’s releases, just scratching a bit of each surface, since the time of “Prime Evil”! The question to ask is whether VENOM can still excite us the same way they did when we were teenagers, if there is still some kind of enchantment left in Cronos’ voice, or time and age brought stagnation and the passive survival on the account of a legendary past and a reputation we all want to keep forever. These are never easy questions to answer.

However, “From the Very Depths” can still bring a little of all that VENOM were and are today. The familiar sound of Cronos’ dirty bass is present. Lyrics that still tempt us to taste the dark side of things are also here. As well as some memorable songs that are sure to stay for the future to come and that without any doubt, will be made mandatory in their shows. Among some more fast and energetic moments as ‘The Death of Rock’ n ‘Roll’, ‘Long Haired Punks’ or ‘Grinding Teeth’ (an awesome song), there is still plenty room left for other tracks with less attack and more groove as is the case of ‘Stigmata Satanas’ or ‘Mephistopheles’. In any of these cases, we can feel a strong connection to the legacy in what this band’s career is based upon, one that can still thrive without any problems with other less common songs as ‘Smoke’ or ‘Evil Law’, and without ever losing the essence or the charisma of such an important institution and all it represents for Heavy Metal.

[reviewed by: Rui Marujo]

[review] LORD DYING – Poisoned Altars (2015)

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LORD DYING
Poisoned Altars
(Relapse Records / 2015)
https://www.facebook.com/LordDying

Things are no longer as they were a few years ago and, these days, getting the sound of a band right can become a real endeavor. Of course, we always try to simplify every description because, after all, it’s all rock ‘n roll or, in this particular case, heavy metal. After all, saying that LORD DYING only plays heavy metal would reduce everything to a common denominator, since the music they present in their second album has its roots in many different territories and provides us with influences coming from other scenes as well, which may well paint a good picture of the trademark sound image that the Portland band wants to leave behind.

“Poisoned Altars” is not your typical classic heavy metal record, who lives nearby and in the shadow of the great metal names up in the Metal Olympus. LORD DYING do not sound like Judas Priest, or to any other band that came from that crop of names that set the way for decades of music we appreciate so much. This band collects the fruits of these decades and returns them in their songs. It is still heavy metal, but depending much more on the weight and volume of their riffs. It’s all much more massive, thicker. The paths that bring in the neighborhoods of classic doom combined with a few moments that hint of hardcore (‘Sucking at the Teat of the She-Beast’) are fused here. This is the way that pulls them side by side, with names like High On Fire, Crowbar or Red Fang, for example, with Aaron Beam even giving a hand on the song ‘An Open Sore’!

“Poisoned Altars” thirty-five minutes may not hold the same amount of memorable moments present in some of the work of their peers, but it is still a very strong album within the genre and if there are things that are always welcomed around here are strong albums like this!

[reviewed by: Rui Marujo]