Monday, 24 February 2014

Monumentomb: "Ritual Exhumation" EP Review


Can I just leave it at that?

Unfortunately not.

I got an invite to like Monumentomb on Facebook a while back.
And being as they're Metal it's rude not to, isn't it?

The Facebook page reads

Forged from fire, death and alcohol in May 2013. Hailing from Maidstone in Kent.”

“Being huge fans of Old-School British and Scandinavian Death Metal such as Grave, Dismember, early Entombed, Carnage, Unleashed, Bolt Thrower and Carcass. This defines the modern take with an Old-School formula.”

What's not to like?

So the wait began to hear them...

Finally it was announced that their EP “Ritual Exhumation” was available to download on Bandcamp for £3.00 which is a bloody bargain for what you are about to hear!

Consisting of Byron Braidwood (B. Iron) - Lead guitars/Vocals, Alex Brown - Lead guitars and Lee Charlton - Drums “Ritual Exhumation” is one of the best first releases I've heard in a very long time.

A bell ringing chanting intro that we all love on classic Death Metal records leads into the title track with pure ferocity and a statement which clearly says, “We're here. Listen to us.”

The EP continues in this vein with “In The Crypt Devoured” and “Perennial Interment” with no let up whatsoever in the quality of the songs with only a slight break in “Perpetual Execution Torment” where you are treated some backing vocals making it possibly my favourite track on the album.

But then the bombastic intro of the final track “Citadel Of The Living Dead” hits you taking the EP to the final level of execution.

Monumentomb is a huge name and they certainly have a huge sound.

All I need now is to see them do this live and I'll be a very happy man.

Is that allowed in Death Metal? You bet it is!

Additional Info:
The drums were recorded at Emeline Studios in Whitstable, and the rest was recorded at 'The Mix Cave' in Gillingham.
All recorded and engineered by Graham Waller and produced by Graham and Byron. Byron Played bass on the recording due to having no permanent member at the time.
They have recently recruited someone who will be formally announced soon after their first promo photo shoot and he will be playing live with them.

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As always, please support your local scene. Attend gigs, buy merch. They are YOUR bands.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Gig Review: Callous, Infected Dead, Vulgate, Hours To Destroy. The Lady Luck, Canterbury. 4th February 2013

I did not have time to do a review of this gig myself so I have asked GIGgle Pics if I could pinch theirs and add a few of my videos of the gig so many thanks to them for allowing this.
The gig was reviewed by George Panchenko.

Hours To Destroy
Many times I have secretly wanted quite strongly to review this band’s performances because of their immense live improvement. First time I saw them was also at the Luck but nearly 2 years ago, supporting Silas. This particular time I think they had sound issues but their performance made it sound like some demon had for some reason confiscated their instruments from them for a while and just handed them back to them. Plus, I really didn’t understand the style they were going for.
The second time I saw them, I still didn’t understand what type of music they were attempting to play, but I say hand-on-heart they did it significantly better! This was at the Blind Dog (which is no longer called the Blind Dog) at a gig they themselves organised. They played with immense passion, and you could easily tell they were putting proper effort into everything. Special hails to frontman Richi Lewis on that night, who was going noticeably red in the face from ripping his throat out! I really thought he failed the first time but on that night he nailed all sorts of vocal styles and sounded absolutely brilliant! Thanks to this, all their radically different musical influences and all their weird effects came through and made them sound tight, heavy yet unique.
At this particular Luck gig, it sounded like for some reason the sound wasn’t doing them any favours but they were good. The band played rather well, their abilities coming through rather nicely. I did get the impression that they might have not practiced too recently because of minor timekeeping issues, but the synth effects and the vocals were sufficiently colourful, although nowhere near as powerful as they were at the Blind Dog show. Mind you, the crowd weren’t exactly co-operating, which is something opening acts have to put up with all the time I guess.
The long and the short of this is that while I don’t directly “get” (not saying that’s necessary) HTD’s music and am normally not massively into that kind of style, I respect them because I can tell they are passionate and they have the ability to deliver a powerful performance, and they don’t want to be put in a box style-wise. They combine many influences. Occasionally it’s a case of good ingredients being put together wrong but I admire their dedication and I hope all goes well for them.

Hours To Destroy
"Yet We All Dissolve"

I’d heard many great things about this band, and they were very fun indeed! They are evidently influenced by things like Cynic but they are definitely more Thrash than Death (which was what I expected) with a good coating of Municipal Waste jokeyness going on. Actually, I don’t quite get Municipal Waste either but good mosh pits, including a wheelchair crowd surf at BOA 2013. Anyway…
These chaps were quite consistent and enjoyable, with good flow of music. No clear end point or start point of songs, good technique but sometimes confusing, and I needed to finish eating, so would have felt rude leaving halfway through a song aha. Maybe I’m turning British?
These chaps are a good heavy metal band who know how to entertain you, throwing in “gay intros” as the frontman put it, and they use a headless guitar! Ooh! And the other guitarist was wearing a Star Wars t-shirt. What the f*** is there to complain about?!

"Rape Of A Nation"

Infected Dead
Yes, stop being confused, this is indeed Neon Halo's new name. This was the band I was mainly here for. It was indeed their first show with the new moniker. I heard that they were slightly nervous prior to this one! This is NeonHalo but with slight line-up changes. They particularly lucked out on the new man they have behind the kit. Master Drummer Martin Tang from Venomous Outrage. Probably the most talented man of the entire night. Mind you, Neonh… Err, Infected Dead also have a fretless bass. How the Hell do you even play those things?!
I know than this band are known for their pits and I had a strong moshing / general head transcspinning itch which was more than satisfied! People went flying around all over the place just as I expected. Better even! Unfortunately there was a certain chap who might have been on something, who was just annoying everyone and dragging anyone and everyone into the pit, but that made decision-making easy. We eventually moshed into him mostly. Beer and cider (or in my case, water) went flying everywhere, the band blasted out their death/grind and were obviously having fun. Vocals insane yet varied nicely between low growls and spews. Fretless bass man filled me with awe and jealousy. He also had a Cynic shirt. I wonder if Obscura played any part in the influence too hehehe.
Martin f****** Tang obliterated the night. Nailing every single beat of songs he didn’t even write at terrifying speeds! He really is like a machine. Evident influence from George Kollias himself. Although, he looked remarkably calm and almost expressionless while drumming. Not sure if he’s like Terminator or Hannibal Lecter, but I’m sure his heart rate was lower than most drummers if they were in his seat! In fact, before the show, I was impressed to find out he was drumming for Infected Dead and expressed how much I was looking forward to the show and his machine-like drumming, to which he replied “I’ll try to make sure it’s not a Windows-based machine that blue-screens every song” d’aww.
Now that I think about it, despite being sober and despite this being the band I was there for, I really struggle to comment on the playing since the whole time I was moshing, being moshed or windmill-headbanging as fast as possible. I know they were great though, since I got 3 moderate injuries and did not notice any until after. It was only when I went to tie my hair back in the bathroom mirror I noticed my elbow area was covered in blood!

 Infected Dead
"She Was Dead When I Got There"
As everyone already knows, Callous’ set was cut ridiculously short. Quite unfortunate since they were playing last replacing Transcending The Flesh, who lost their frontman and therefore had to pull out. I mean I don’t think he’s dead but it sounded like he quit. Transcending the Flesh are Death with deathcore influences so they would have fitted slightly better.
Callous are melodic metal and I saw them at RockSoc at the Attic on campus many years ago too. I’d say they’re quite good if you’re into Killswitch Engage or Trivium type of things. They should play with Seven Deadly oh wait they have…
Callous are a very enthusiastic band, and I remember quite enjoying them when I last saw them a couple of years ago, but I think they suffered that night due to obvious timing issues, plus the fact that their style didn’t directly fit the theme of the night, especially after all the Mayhem that Infected Dead caused. Again, the crowd weren’t exactly co-operating either.
Callous aren’t a bad booking, but they weren’t quite right for this night, not sure if it was their choice or not but I feel quite sorry for them considering everything that went wrong for them on the night.
Well, some reviews have to end on a downer?

"Dry Earth"

"As Martyr's May"

There you go!

Once again I can't thank GIGgle Pics enough for allowing this.
For their review page please click HERE.

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As always, please support your local scene. Attend gigs, buy merch. They are YOUR bands.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

In My Car: Merciless Terror

I'd never heard of Merciless Terror until I was on my way to the Hell Inside Festival in Wurzburg, Germany in October 2012.
I was making my way to the departure gate at Gatwick Airport and saw a group of lads that were Metal. 
I approached them and asked if they were going to Hell Inside.
The response I got was not one I would ever have expected, "No, we're going to Japan to play a festival. We have to go to Germany and get a connecting flight."
Needless to say the conversation from then on was somewhat of a success.
I mean, come on, a Metal band, me, and, well...
Coming from Nottingham, I asked if they knew a good friend of mine, Mick Devlin.
"Who doesn't?" Was the response, stating what a great guy he is.
I can only agree with that statement.

Well, I got in touch with them upon my return from Hell Inside and finally upheld my promise that I would get round to seeing them play sometime when I made a trip from North Yorkshire to Nottingham to see them supporting the mighty Warlord UK at The Old Sal on the 25th May 2013 with my Best Bud Phil Smith.
Needless to say we met up with the aforementioned Mr Devlin and his wife Keri and some of their friends and had a blast!
Also playing this gig was Wretched Soul and Masochist.

The sound wasn't brilliant that night resulting in both Merciless Terror and Warlord UK asking me to take down the videos from my You Tube channel so, unfortunately, there is no footage 'out there' of these two immense bands giving it their all in such a small and intimate venue.
Wretched Soul's set and three from Masochist are there if you want to go a looking for them!

Merciless Terror released their album "Vile Extinction" on the 7th October 2013.
I've been listening to it in my car for quite some time now and all I can say is, "WOW!"
It's a fair length at about 35 minutes with some cracking, perhaps innovative, intros and endings to the songs which is what a lot of bands lack nowadays.
The titles are, however, what you'd expect from a Death Metal band.
I don't wish for that to sound detrimental in any way whatsoever as Death Metal is my thing.
So bring on "Baptized In Blood" and "Imminent Death", and while there are some noticeable influences this should not deter you from the overall originality of this album.
It is extreme, yes, but there are a few surprises that are well placed in the album giving you the minute break that is often required on an album instead of being relentless throughout.
(I hope it's not just an age thing!)
If you haven't got this album yet do yourself, and Merciless Terror, a favour and get yourself a copy.
All I can say is you will not regret the purchase.
Hopefully this can persuade you!