From the opening drum roll your doubts are soon laid to rest as it
becomes readily apparent that early ’00s dark hardcore stalwarts
The Banner still know how to bring da muthaf*ckin’ ruckus!
This review is far from unbiased. I confess I’ve booked this band before so I can personally attest to their awesomeness. But biased or not this review will give light to one of the most promising up-and-coming punk acts in So Cal or anywhere.
After being exposed to Nashville, TN’s Bleed the Pigs’s debut EP Mortis Fatum I was intrigued by the promise this young band showed. While showing great potential they nonetheless fell short of expanding their
sound beyond the already aging Entombedcore sound pioneered by Nails and further popularized by a host of bands. However on their followup EP, Overcompensations for Misery they have smashed right thru the
glass ceiling and have, in my mind, established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the national punk/hardcore/powerviolence scene.
My attention was first alerted to the existence of Boddicker last fall when I was tasked with the responsibility of reviewing their split with Kata Sarka. I was immediately impressed with the unbridled fury Boddicker was able to contain in each of their songs so I was very much interested in reviewing their latest release, an EP entitled False Flag.
The phrase “hirn fein hacken” translates from German to “get your brain chopped into pieces”. When a band names an album something of that caliber, they have a lot to live up to. Thankfully, the Austrian racket-makers Bulbul do just that. In the six-year gap between their last album, the eccentric trio have crafted a collection of 10 multi-faceted jams that are bursting with creativity and mild-schizophrenia. Hirn Fein Hacken is a gleefully weird, colorful and erratic album that defies categorization and places Bulbul at the forefront of all things weird.
Instrumental music can be somewhat challenging to make. Music that is devoid of vocals usually needs to be multi-faceted and grandiose in order to keep some listeners’ attentions. Luckily, it is not too difficult to find good instrumental-only acts. Whether it be on the more rock side of the spectrum (Explosions in the Sky, Tortoise, etc) or the more metallic side (Russian Circles, Pelican, etc), solid instrumental music exists in all different forms. But, just like everything else in life, a breath of fresh air is needed. That is where the Arizona’s Tempel come in. Though the duo of Ryan Wenzel and Rich Corle have been collaborating since 2003, it is not until this year that we see the full product of their efforts. Their 53 minute debut album, On the Steps of the Temple, is a metallic marvel and gives a lot of their contemporaries a run for their money.
The world is not a very pretty place, and Lord Mantis knows this. Even if you cannot fully decipher their scathing lyrics, their music alone can attest to that sentiment. These Chicagoans have always had a penchant for the dark and bleak, as previous album Pervertor showcased. So it is not a complete surprise that the group’s new full length, Death Mask, sounds like the soundtrack to the end of the world, or at the very least, a horrendous genocide. Lord Mantis up the ante for their third full length and Profound Lore debut, resulting in what is quite possibly their most sickening display to date.
The Brooklynites Tiger Flowers have been making quite a stir in New York in recent years. The metallic hardcore outfit is slowly becoming a household name in Brooklyn, and is really starting to garner attention abroad. Partnering with Deathwish, Inc and Melotov Records for the release of their debut full length is sure to rake in more potential listeners and hopefully get the band the recognition they deserve. Dead Hymns is the name of that aforementioned full length and it is 31 minutes of blistering chaos, grumpy riffing, and emotionality.
There is very little you can do to prepare yourself for the disorienting madness that is Pyrrhon. You could study the technical death and experimental metal greats for hours on end, but you may still find yourself at a loss for words. The New York experimental metal quartet have unleashed an utterly polarizing, 54 minute behemoth that is sure to perplex and mesmerize those who allow it to enter their ear canals. The Mother of Virtues is proof that there are still boundaries to be pushed and areas left to explore in metal.
When it comes to metalcore, upbeat riffing with clean singing and deathcore chugging…I usually do my eye roll and move on to the next album submission. Yet, Quebec’s The Prestige is something I can not only listen to and tolerate….but somewhat enjoy.