Friday, 27 September 2019

.GIF FROM GOD

GenresPunk / Hardcore / Math Metal / Screamo / Skramz / Emo-violence / Noise / Experimental
Related artistsOstraca, Swan Of Tuonela, Caust, Samarra, This Land Is Now Dead, Kaoru Nagisa, Cage You Call A Chest, Truman, Listless, Metastatic and 60659-C.
CountryRichmond, Virginia U.S.A.
Years Active2013-present
Song: "no dude... he STILL likes to spray"
Album: "approximation_of_a_human"
Year: 2019
For fans ofMe And Him Call It Us, Black Nail, Frontierer, Hayworth, Sawtooth Grin, Robinson, Truman, SeeYouSpaceCowboy, Letters To Catalonia, Love Lost But Not Forgotten, The Great Redneck Hope, Ed Gein, PG.99, Daughters, The Number Twelve Looks Like You, Meth., Caust, Norma Jean, Kiss 2, Oktober Skyline, (early) Examination Of The..., Letters In Binary, Enkephalin, WristMeetRazor, Fear Before The March Of Flames, Warsaw Was Raw, Coarse, Francis Brady, Heavy Heavy Low Low and Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza.
Label(s): Self Released / Zegema Beach Records / Contrition Recordings / Prosthetic Records
This post's artist is from the August+September 2019 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download: the August+September 2019 Mix#8+9 right here or get the new October 2019 Mix#10 here

Today marks the release of 'approximation_of_a_human' by Richmond, Virginia's .GIF FROM GOD, so the timing of this post could not be better. But, let me start off this review with some facebook messages between .GIF FROM GOD guitarist Christopher Morgan and I from mid-2015, as these were exchanged after Chris sent me an unfinished version of "Let's Look at the Plague" and asked if I would be interested in helping release it.

DAVE: "Okay my friend, I listen to a lot of music and get sent a lot of stuff, but this is blowing my fucking mind. Thanks so much for asking me. I'm really pumped on this."

CHRIS: "Dude. You've shown me a lot of good music that has definitely influenced this. I thought you would enjoy it."

And that is still one of the most amazing things I've ever heard. This little blog and my stupid opinions of relatively obscure music became a small ingredient that ultimately led to one of my all-time favourite bands, .GIF FROM GOD. I guess that's the beginning of my story.

Next, I was sent '...defragmented...reformatted' in its entirety, and it is one of the best chaotic screamo/emo-violence albums that I've ever heard. Even after five years I still come back to it in complete awe. Besides releasing the album on tape (first and third presses), I was lucky enough to premiere their first ever song, the aforementioned "Let's Look at the Plague" on the Zampler #6 'Would You Like to Know More?' compilation released January 1st, 2016. It was the first song that core member Christopher Morgan ever wrote on guitar and it was directly influenced by Me And Him Call It Us' "Innocent Bystanders Watched In Horror", and woah nelly does it show during that final behemoth of a breakdown. Speaking of breakdowns, "self pwnage for a narcissistic nutjub" is chock full of'em and is probably the song most telling of the sound they fully adopted by their 2019 full length.

If you're looking for .GIF FROM GOD's eternal anthem, it's gotta be the utterly mindblowing "rats". This song is truly exceptional as it is very, very accessible at the start but shows the sheer chaos that the band spends 80% of their time doing by the halfway point. The first 45 seconds is reserved for slow, scratchy palm-mutes, buried Neil Perry guitar tones and mumbled vocals that create an excellent tension that is broken by Mitchie's soaring singing, a helluva ear-worm and the perfect build/transition to the devastating breakdown and catharsis that is unleashed come 1:16. If I had to make a list of my top 10 songs of the last 10 years, you bet your ass this song'd be on there.

Opener "adios bozo, this time i'm downloading you straight to hell" showcases the short, abrasive and speed-driven side of the band (save that uncomfortable intro), but this is perhaps exemplified best on "physics problem: sucking nothing but vacuum" alongside some comedically puked vocals and warbled ramblings. The last half of "technology will kill you 111111" is a vicious romp through barbed wire, breakdowns and a plethora of screaming while the first 1:40 of "empty grave, shallow mind, i'm still alive but my head is full of shit" sounds like a digital nightmare that is followed by sassy, myspace-era metalcore/false-grind that tickles my fancy more than any other band that's tried.

I'd be downright shitty not write a little paragraph about closer "maybe none of us understand what we have lived through" because that track is fucking stellar. It begins with a lone guitar that is met with drums after nearly 30 seconds of light, passive strumming. The first set of vocals kick in after the minute-mark, with the second-set overlapping on the second pass, creating an ethereal, almost mystical aura as the song begins to spin down the screamo whirlpool at 1:40. The gang screams of "six feet under in the blink of an eye" are infectious to say the least, and lead the song perfectly to its 2:17 climax of sung vocals, screaming, shrieking, and dare I say post-hardcore instrumentals over lightning drums. Seriously, it's all exceptional in every respect.

In the summer of 2016 I went on a little tour with мятеж and we played Swamp Fest II (put on by a member of .GIF FROM GOD) and even got to put a song on the Swamp Fest cassette comp. While I was there I got to see .GIF FROM GOD put on a almost excessively entertaining show and I interviewed the band (all linked in this post), sang with Mitchie on "rats" and witnessed a very special lineup that included two bassists (Gus from Ostraca joined in) and three vocalists (Benson from Truman & Steph from This Land Is Now Dead/Metastatic). Around this time they released a two-song cassette titled '2016 winter tour tape' which contains two demo versions of songs that appear on the 2019 LP, "no dude, he likes to spray" and "sassafras molasses ass".

In early 2017 I headed up the release of the 'Vein split' 7" and it was received with exceptionally warm enthusiasm. The band Vein promptly blew up and their side of the split 7" was repressed without informing .GIF FROM GOD or myself (who still had over 150 copies) and then blasted the band in an album premiere interview...not exactly the most professional or mature thing to do, and quite frankly it was embarrassing to watch. Regardless, the split eventually sold out and obviously will never be repressed. It's an excellent release with a discouraging and slightly depressing backstory to it, but the two exclusive .GIF FROM GOD songs are amazing and the perfect bridge between the band's old and new material. "why i died wide eyed" sounds like the audio equivalent of a simultaneous stroke and heart attack, especially that nightmare section that creeps in after that first minute. Seriously that's some 80s horror movie shit right there. "like a splinter in yr minds eye" is another banger that takes a dark path, with truly murderous guitars that new member Brian incorporates that (at this point in time, 2017) were still vaguely reminiscent of his other band Ostraca.

2018 was very quiet for the band, as they played a few shows, did a tour and wrote for their second full length. It was with said record 'approximation_of_a_human' in 2019 that .GIF FROM GOD signed to Prosthetic Records and crossed over into the mainstream of heavy music. Somehow the band managed to get the label's blessing for me to press some tapes via Zegema Beach Records, so I did. 250 copies to be exact, over four variants. And I gotta say they look pretty sick. Speaking of sick, the record is flawless and without a doubt in my top five of 2019.

The LP begins with a disturbing noise track titled "[creature_moans_in_pain]" before barreling out of the gate with "mandoorhandhookcardoor", a shocking and direct digital injection of mathy metalcore and a few remnants of screamo/emo-violence. The repetitious use of numbers in the lyrics signal the instrumentals to drop out and swing back in again with an annihilating breakdown that utilizes a spacey, trippy guitar layered over-top. The final recording of "no dude... he STILL likes to spray" is so much heavier than the demo it's almost comical. For this album the bassist Andrew moved to vocal duties and really nails the gutteral growls and the high-pitched squeals, as their presence is nourished on this version. Not only that, but the outro has been beefed up substantially with a breakdown and piercing, laser-esque guitars that take it into Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza and Frontierer territory. "possible futures in the minds of children" is the track most akin to their debut album, as the intro guitars and screaming have a very Love Lost But Not Forgotten feel to them. I love the stop/start section around 1:30 with a sassy-as-fuck guitar roll, and there's also the dancey, panic breakdown outro instigated by cacophonous laughter at 2:07. By the time "Kevin fell down the lube well... the perfect trap... gg Kevin" hits it has become apparent that .GIF FROM GOD has (for the most part) ditched short songs, settling instead into a 2:15-3:30 groove that works swimmingly with the new math metal material. At 1:10 we are met with a sensational breakdown followed by some hardcore that bares a slight resemblance to early Graf Orlock material. "BP2BB" is another interlude, although this track favours instruments over ambient noise and leads into the death tornado also known as "cincinnatically speaking". The shrieks and growls on this track are fucking bananas...as is the entire structure, come to think of it. After pinging off the walls at the speed of light the band opts for a dancey part that mirrors The Great Redneck Hope, Fear Before The March Of Flames and SeeYouSpaceCowboy at the 55-second mark before reverting back to absolute chaos. "take the flesh make it stretchy" is an uncomfortable sounding title (especially if speaking to my wife about elbow skin) that is a standard 2019 .GIF FROM GOD ripper, complete with a whirlwind of panic chords and double-bass destruction. The opening chugs and sinister licks of "living off the corpse of the old world" provide the jump-off point for some of the band's best trade-off vocals as Mitchie and Andrew spew nearly nonsensical screams at each other with no breaks. There's a specific line at 1:34 of "and smile for the fucking camera" that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up as well as an apocalyptic breakdown that ushers the track out. "sassafras manassas ass" is the shortest of the proper tracks, reaching only 1:24 in length, but holy shit does it deliver. Prior to the climactic breakdown there is a part that sounds like the screamo equivalent of Neo being unplugged from the matrix as the vocals distort into static noise, which I call "the Matrix part", and it's so fucking good. The last proper track is "when you yell at me, make sure it hurts my feelings" and it is easily one of top songs as chaos, anger and passion is palpable. The entire song slaps but the 1:27-plus midsection is a clusterfuck of everything that makes this one of the most exciting and engaging bands around. Closer "40,000 jobs for a cowboy and counting" is a washed-out alarm followed by a frightening, (likely) John Carpenter-inspired synth beat.

It's been an honor to have taken this ride with .GIF FROM GOD since their inception, and I am so stoked and proud of them for taking the effort to push their incredible music to more people. And thank you Prosthetic Records, for recognizing amazing things that have gone under the radar for too long.

So...goddamn, that's a lotta words. But not enough for the .GIF

I love you .GIF FROM GOD.

There, that should do it. 💘

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DISCOGRAPHY

2016 - defragmented...reformatted cassetteLP (stream/donate/download here) [buy tapes in U.S. here or here in Canada/Internationally]
2016 - 2016 Tour Tape cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)

2017 - Vein split 7" (stream/donate/download here)

2019 - approximation_of_a_human cassette/cd/12"LP (stream/buy here) [buy 12" here / buy tapes here in U.S. or here in Canada/Internationally]

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(2019) .GIF FROM GOD - "possible futures in the minds of children" (from 'approximation_of_a_human') official music video

(2019) .GIF FROM GOD - "cincinnatically speaking" (from 'approximation_of_a_human') official music video

(2019) .GIF FROM GOD - "sassafras manassas ass" (from 'approximation_of_a_human') official music video

(2017) .GIF FROM GOD - "like a splinter in yr mind" (from 'Vein' split)

(2016) .GIF FROM GOD - interview part 1

(2016) .GIF FROM GOD - interview part 2

(2016) .GIF FROM GOD - "no dude, he likes to spray (demo)" (from 'Tour Tape')

(2016) .GIF FROM GOD - "rats" (from '...defragmented...reformatted')

(2016) .GIF FROM GOD - "physics problem: sucking nothing but vacuum" (from '...defragmented...reformatted')

(2016) .GIF FROM GOD - "self pwnage for a narcissistic nutjub" (from '...defragmented...reformatted')



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.GIF FROM GOD additional links

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Monday, 23 September 2019

'War Ape' by: APE WAR

Song: "Troll Drugs"
Album: War Ape
Year: 2019
For fans ofDiscordance Axis, Pig Destroyer, Shot Twice, Six Brew Bantha, Spazz, Sick Of It All, Bucket Full Of Teeth and Cannibal Corpse.
This post's artist is from the August+September 2019 Mix. This is track #6.
You can download: the August+September 2019 Mix#8+9 right here or get the new October 2019 Mix#10 here

Woah, a band named WAR APE just sent me their album, and I just saw APE WAR in Vancouver. There are two bands with nearly the same name? Nope. I'm just an idiot. APE WAR is from Vancouver and had just released their new album 'War Ape', and finally I put two-and-two together and realized that they were one and the same.

First off, the live show I saw of APE WAR was fucking sick. Their energy and utterly destroyed vocals (as well as friendliness between sets) hooked me early and when I started Tomb Tree Tapes they were one of the first bands we spoke with. In fact, 'War Ape' is TTT001 and I couldn't be more stoked about it. I'm unsure if the U.S. store has any, but I think we sold all of our copies in the first week of releasing it. If you are interested in obtaining a copy be sure to hit up the band, as they initially had 20 of the 26 copies.

APE WAR has been around well over a half-decade now, releasing their first EP in early 2012. Their crusty, thrashy hardcore is tinged with grind and metal, complete with some truly outrageous (in a good way) vocals that are sometimes gruff and yelled and other times piercingly shrieked. 'War Ape' begins with "Other", a quick and violent romp through the aforementioned genre-grinder, with a slight slowdown during the last 20 seconds. "Tight and Weird" features some sick guitars that resemble a swarm of bees, while "Mathurbation" unleashes a ferocious second half not unlike a rabid dog. "Aged/Defaced" is chock-full of palm mutes and even surpasses the two-minute mark, although it is by no means chill, as the venomous first 50 seconds soon gives way to a dark, foreboding outro that lasts a full 1:26. "Archers" features panicked instrumentals that feel claustrophobic and are trying to get out, and make an escape they do, as can be heard by the ridiculous double-bass that acts as a flurry of footsteps to carry the song out. "Hack It Off" sounds pretty fuckin' evil, and I'm not even taking the song title into consideration. The riffs boasted at the one-minute mark are excellent and transition swimmingly into the onslaught that ensues. "Troll Drugs" spends the first minute in the instrumental territory before throwing down, "Blank Territory" is the longest jam on here at 3:30 (that switchover at 55 seconds is unreal) and closer "Thoughts and Prayers" is an assault on the senses and the perfect, raging conclusion.

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(2019) APE WAR - "Hack It Off" (from 'War Ape')

(2019) APE WAR - "Tight and Weird" (from 'War Ape')

(2019) APE WAR - "Blank Territory" (from 'War Ape')

(2019) APE WAR - "Born of Sodom" live video

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Bandcamp

Facebook

Live Show Review

Buy 'War Ape' from ZBR distro
U.S.A. store
or
Canada/Int'l
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Saturday, 21 September 2019

THURM

BandTHURM
GenresPunk / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Black Metal Sludge
Related artistsAmber, Archivist, Anteater and Anopheli.
CountryGERMANY
Years Active2014-2017
Song: "Faroe"
Album: "Thurm"
Year: 2015
For fans ofHope Drone, Hexis, Rorcal, Celeste, Plebian Grandstand, Tentacles, We Are Among Storms, Still, Red WaterNic (aka ██████), ['selvə], Amber, The Pax Cecilia, Buried Inside and Underdark.
Label(s): Narshardaa Records
This post's artist is from the August+September 2019 Mix. This is track #8.
You can download: the August+September 2019 Mix#8+9 right here or get the new October 2019 Mix#10 here

Today's post begins waaaaay back in 2013 when I first started Zegema Beach Records. The very first ZBR release is Amber's 'Amber'. I still fucking love Amber, but the band broke up back in 2014. Vocalist Anna had recently left the band and joined new bands under my radar, and it wasn't until early 2019 when a friend (hi sour patch bro 💗) recommended that I check out THURM that I made the discovery that the vocalist Anna is one and the same. I've also been jamming the new Archivist LP which, it turns out, also features Anna. Goddamn, she's everywhere!

So, THURM were from Germany and played a dark, venomous and throbbing brand of black metal most comparable to the almighty Celeste, but with vocals that are even more destroyed. They released but a single 12"LP titled 'Thurm' in 2015. I will waste no time in commenting on the fact that I saw a video from 2016 of the band in the studio, and they broke up the following summer after a tour...so I have to ask...where is the material from the studio? Gawwwwwwwdammit.

Anyhoos, let's discuss that incredible self titled LP, shall we? It begins with "Modern Slavery Exists", an outright assault on the senses. It reminds me a lot of Rorcal and Hexis, and hits a killer groove come 2:08 that explodes at 2:34, which Hope Drone would most definitely high five. There is a ray of hope that shines through once minute three hits, but the positive sound is very rare and seldom found on this full length. The relatively short "Faroe" is an even denser ball of rage, as it barrels through in only 3:11 but manages to tear the listener apart with utterly unrelenting black metal. One of my favourites is "Children of Darkness", a fucking ripper with drums so fast that you'll need to see the doctor due to perforated eardrums. Oh, and there's a section in this track at 1:16 where there is an apocalyptic breakdown that is one of the most evil and sinister things I've ever heard. "FGM" features a sick, cavernous and thunderous midsection that is essentially half of the song while "Enough" is the longest, most epic song on the record, weighing in at 6:27, and therefore being much more Celeste in length. "Shores" is a slow, brooding nightmarish ordeal that straddles a drum beat until 2:30 when they lay on the devastation. Closer "Dawn" is my personal favourite. Why? Because it's fucking awesome. Please expand? Okay. First, it's set at a breakneck speed but includes a ton of ridiculous quick shifts and stop/starts. It may not be the longest song here but it certainly has the most parts, and each part is its own beast that fits together like the ultimate black metal Voltron. Oh, and the epic conclusion brings to mind Buried Inside with dual vocals and an unsettling lyrics on repeat, "We cannot rebuild what is lost forever!"

I was late on this band, but goddammit better late than never.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2015 - Thurm 12"LP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2015) THURM - "Dawn" (from 'Thurm')

(2015) THURM - "Children of Darkness" (from 'Thurm')

(2015) THURM - "Modern Slavery Exists" (from 'Thurm')

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THURM additional links
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Thursday, 19 September 2019

***DISILLUSIONIST / REGARDING AMBIGUITY exclusive premiere***

exclusive split premiere
For fans ofFrail Body, Suffocate For Fuck Sake, Eyelet and Viva Belgrado

DISILLUSIONIST
Bandcamp
Facebook

REGARDING AMBIGUITY 

Yooooooo check out this new, stellar, four-track split between two incredible new Copenhagen bands. DISILLUSIONIST revealed a music video here nearly six months back and play a sick screamo/melodic hardcore hybrid, while REGARDING AMBIGUITY released an excellent six-song debut in February that caught many's attention. The split will be released on cassette by the bands and start shipping in October.

(2019) 1 - DISILLUSIONIST "Breach" (from 'Split')
DISILLUSIONIST's opener starts gritty but injects a wonderful spacey riff over it all, creating a wonderful juxtaposition that continues to build in epic fashion until its 2:34 conclusion. And ooooo baby I love dem dual vox. I think Young Mountain and Okänt are pretty good reference anchors for this track.

(2019) 2 - REGARDING AMBIGUITY "Let's do like pugilists and throw our fists" (from 'Split') official music video
On September 2nd REGARDING AMBIGUITY premiered their music video for this song, and it's a fucking banger. The throat-shredding screams and thunderous instrumentals really hit from the get-go, with a dark and eerie midsection that is lifted come 1:30 with a beautiful climax. I get some Chalk Hands and Frail Body feels from this.

(2019) 3 - DISILLUSIONIST "The Oath" (from 'Split')
The second DISILLUSIONIST song is much more post-hardcore than the first track, creating a warm ambiance with slow, methodical instrumentals and semi-spoken/semi-screamed vocals. Once 1:10 hits we are met with a quick heavy section before reverting back to the head-bobbin' opening until they ditch it at 1:48 for the screamier stuff...capped off with a short instrumental close.

(2019) 4 - REGARDING AMBIGUITY "Keep Running" (from 'Split')
Closer "Keep Running" is a pretty lengthy track, almost equaling the other three combined. It features some very Swedish sounding guitar-plucking and anguished screams for the first three minutes before considering heading down The Exploration's old neighborhood, finally opting for epic post-hardcore/screamo instead. It's a beautiful, ethereal and enthralling conclusion that goes supernova come 4:40.


ADDITIONAL LINKS & WHATNOT

***CROWNING / SWALLOWS NEST European Tour Doc trailer***

For me, watching this 1:26 trailer for the CROWNING / SWALLOWS NEST European tour documentary is like getting slapped in the face with 1,000 beautiful memories all at once. It's staggering. But for most it will be a relatively simple screamo tour doc teaser. Regardless, I think everyone will find it enticing...to say the least. The full thing will be around 30 minutes in length. Put together by Dave Cullen over many days and nights. A ton of friends helped make this and we’ll let you know all the details on its release Wednesday, September 25th, 2019.


CROWNING


SWALLOWS NEST

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

FAWN LIMBS

BandFAWN LIMBS
Genres: Dissonant Hardcore / Mathcore / Grindcore / Math-Grind / Death Metal / Death-Grind / Math-Metal
Related artists: Creinium, Infinite Nomad, Mireplaner, Lung Knots, PsyOpus, Commit Suicide, Allan, Overlord Exterminator, Alphanumeric, Artificial Brain, Luminous Vault, Gath Šmānê and Aeviterne.
CountryHelsinki, FINDLAND & Pennsylvania/New York U.S.A.
Years Active2018-present
Song: "Ore Lung"
Album: "Harm Remissions"
Year: 2019
For fans ofInto The MoatMeshuggah, Car Bomb, Ion Dissonance, Crowpath, Discordance Axis, See You Next Tuesday, The Red Chord, Ulcerate, Full of Hell, Pyrrhon, Vermin Womb, Nightmarer, Frontierer, Coma Cluster Void, Psyopus and Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza.
Label(s): Self Released / Wolves And Vibrancy Records / Roman Numeral Records / Sludgelord Records / Dark Trail Records
This post's artist is from the August+September 2019 Mix. This is track #7.
You can download: the August+September 2019 Mix#8+9 right here or get the new October 2019 Mix#10 here

Review by: TARQUIN JONES

Fawn Limbs are a transatlantic math-grind project originally consisting of Eeli Helin (Infinite Nomad, Mireplaner) based in Finland handling all of the vocals and stringed duties and Lee Fisher (ex-PsyOpus) based in the States handling all of the percussion. My initial introduction to Eeli's musical pursuits was by previously featuring his chaotic post metal project Mireplaner on a multi-genre digital sampler for my old blog Reign of Low. I was absolutely blown away by what I heard on the debut EP from the band entitled, 'Diapiric'. With just two tracks and the band's fresh approach on the post metal genre, I was instantly hooked. I highly recommend checking them out and exploring their latest release as well.

After a short while Eeli mentioned to me that he had a new math metal / grindcore focused project in the works and that it would be coming a few months later. I was eagerly awaiting to hear it and knew it would deliver the goods. Enter the destructive sonic powerhouse, FAWN LIMBS.

Since the band's inception, they have kept themselves busy by releasing 3 well acclaimed EPs during the fall of 2018 and delivered a bold single to boot. Examining the band's impressive material, one will notice that FAWN LIMBS expertly showcases their honed songwriting prowess and tightly woven musicianship from their previous projects. They have also established themselves as absolute masters of incorporating calculated bursts of mathematical chaos, grinding savagery and unsettling walls of dissonance in a unique fashion. Over the course of each release, the band has also shown a progression of their sound. Some of the material focuses on highlighting the emphasis of intense technical ferocity and accompanying it with pulsating groove laden passages. On other tracks the band experiments with sonic aural textures and dense soundscapes to elevate the moody atmospherics. This juxtaposition of approaches creates a truly cathartic dynamic for the band's overall direction.

As of January 2019, Samuel Smith (Artificial Brain, Luminous Vault) was introduced into the fold. He is also based within the States and will tackle all of the required bass duties. This inclusion has further rounded the caliber of FAWN LIMBS capabilities in terms of songwriting and musicianship.

On August 2nd 2019, FAWN LIMBS delivered their highly anticipated debut album entitled, 'Harm Remissions'. This is also the first offering on which Samuel Smith features. The album features 13 destructive tracks, which from the very beginning moments hit the listener like a freight train. The production on the album offers a sense of primal rawness, whilst still maintaining an organic feel amidst the calculated attack of the band's musicianship. The album's mix also allows for each instrument to be heard distinctly and shine clearly. This further enhances the overall ferocity and barrage thrown at the listener when the play button is hit. The tones of the guitars on the album are disgustingly twisted and the bass has a pulverizing brooding boom. I'm especially drawn to the percussion section, as the drum sound packs one hell of a punch. I also really enjoy the jagged roughness that is captured within the vocals. They highlight Eeli's range and scathing lyrical delivery.

In terms of the album's instrumentation, 'Harm Remissions' features buzzing and squealing frenetic guitars. Eeli creates an absurdly jarring and cacophonous energy with his explosive guitar work. The wall of amplified sound bombards the listener with such a dizzying effect. It will surely leave your head spinning, trust me. Offsetting all these wildly charged moments are the clever usage of crushing breakdowns to pummel the unsuspecting listener into further oblivion. There are also some very brief moments of melodics in which the listener will try to cling to and find their bearings, only to have it swerve into another direction completely. Fawn Limbs guitar and thick sounding bass are all locked down by the furious percussive work of Lee Fisher. He has a masterful stroke of combining technical patterns with immense groove and feel. Eeli's thunderous roars compliment the volatile mayhem of all the instruments. I am often at times reminded of the best parts of vocalists like Michael Dafferner, Ethan McCarthy, Chris Fox or Guy Kozowyk.

The album also features some killer guest appearances, which adds some more variety to all the calamity on offer here. Each guest vocalist contributed their own lyrics for their respective track features as well. These guests include Andrew Hawkins (Baring Teeth) on track 13, Champ Morgan (BLK OPS, Derelict Satellite, Kill the Client) on track 7 and Mitchell Luna (Maruta, Noisear) on track 9.

Although the album clocks in at just under 30 minutes in length, the selection and placement of each song on 'Harm Remissions' blends into the next with a seamless fashion. This helps to create an easier and comfortable listening experience amidst all the mind battering savagery. I'm sure this will be have listeners hitting the replay button again and again, as I did after the first run through.

My choice cuts from the album are, "Odium Pitch", "Ore Lung", "Wisdom Teething" and "Threats Entrench and Renew". I feel these best illustrate the intention FAWN LIMBS set out to convey with this outing. It's an utterly hellish ride from start to finish. One can only hope to make it out in one piece.

A cassette album release is out now via Sludgelord Records. Dark Trail Records also announced a run of CDs to begin shipping towards the end of August. A 12" vinyl LP is set to be released sometime in 2020 on Roman Numeral Records for the US and Wolves And Vibrancy Records for EU based distribution.

For all the listeners who enjoy music that truly pushes the extremes, I highly urge you to check this out and pick up a psychical copy. Don't sleep on this and miss out. The beast that is FAWN LIMBS are only just getting started... I can't wait for more.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2018 - Towing Heads 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)
2018 - Languor digitalEP (stream/donate/download here)
2018 - Thrum digitalEP (stream/donate/download here)

2019 - Love Will Strangle You Forever digital single (stream/donate/download here)
2019 - Hofa Cifra cdLP discography collection (stream/donate/download here)
2019 - Harm Remissions cassette/cdLP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2019) FAWN LIMBS - "Gravitated" (from 'Harm Remissions')

(2019) FAWN LIMBS - "Ore Lung" (from 'Harm Remissions')

(2019) FAWN LIMBS - "Hubris Terrain Expansion" (from 'Harm Remissions')

(2019) FAWN LIMBS - "Love Will Strangle You Forever" (from 'Love Will Strangle You Forever')

(2018) FAWN LIMBS - "Headless Bovine In The Frontier" (from 'Thrum')

(2018) FAWN LIMBS - "Languor" (from 'Languor')

(2018) FAWN LIMBS - "Mouthless" (from 'Towing Heads')

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FAWN LIMBS additional links
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Sunday, 15 September 2019

R. JOSEF

BandR. JOSEF
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Black Metal / Doom / Sludge / Ambient
Related artists?.
CountryLeipzig GERMANY
Years Active2019-present
Song: "II"
Album: "Panoptic"
Year: 2019
For fans ofIsis, Monuments Collapse, AmenRa, Love/Lust, Cult Of Luna, Rosetta, Buried Inside, Hope Drone, Titan, Noise Trail Immersion, Light Bearer and Ikaray.
Label(s): Self Released / Bharal Tapes
This post's artist is from the August+September 2019 Mix. This is track #9.
You can download: the August+September 2019 Mix#8+9 right here or get the new October 2019 Mix#10 here

On the last night of the Crowning/Swallows Nest 2019 European tour we played at AK44 Gießen with semi-local German band R. JOSEF. They kicked my fucking ass. We saw...what, maybe 35 bands on tour (minus all the CMAR fest bands) and R. JOSEF was undoubtedly in the top three along with Cassus and Niboowin. Their doomy, post-hardcore/post-metal mixed with atmospheric black metal is a wonder to behold live, and thank science the music translates wonderfully to the cassettes that I picked up. The music flows between serene moments and behemoth chugs, not unlike Isis, AmenRa and Hope Drone.

The tracks on the debut EP 'Panoptic' are simply titled "I", "II", "III" and "IV". All four are punishing save "III", which acts as a short, dreamy, guitar-driven interlude before the closer. There is a lot of chorded bass (which I'm a huge sucker for) and even some trade-off vocals between the singer and one of the guitarists. "I" builds for nearly two minutes before cursing the listener with devastatingly deep bass riffs. "II" goes supernova come seven minutes with a gargantuan riff that is so massive it nearly knocked my off my feet live. Finale "IV" is kind of short by the band's standards, but at 4:45 there are also little-to-no slowdowns or atmospheric bits, making it a dense ball of fire that gets pretty dangerous around 1:37. Oooo weee what a debut.

Jeez, whatever they put out next I'm gonna be all the fuck over. Ooooo also I spoke with the band and it sounds like there is a 12" vinyl version coming, but don't quote me.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2019 - Panoptic cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here) [buy from ZBR distro U.S.A or Canada/Int'l]

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(2019) R. JOSEF - "II" (from 'Panoptic')

(2019) R. JOSEF - "I" (from 'Panoptic')

(2019) R. JOSEF - "IV" live @AK44

(2019) R. JOSEF - "II" live @AK44

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R. JOSEF additional links
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Saturday, 14 September 2019

TOWER OF ROME

Genres: Mathcore / Grindcore / Hardcore / Powerviolence / Math-Grind / Tech-Grind
Related artists: Amona, Number Six, Sorespot, CSTVT, Grimsrud, Sea Of Shit, Altered Beast, Canadian Rifle, Dastard, Dagger, Vacuus, Constrictions and Carbonleak.
CountryIllinois U.S.A.
Years Active2002-2006, 2007
Song: "I Want My Fifty Dollars"
Album: "All Is Lost, All Is Lost, All Is Yet To Be Found"
Year: 2004
For fans ofPig Destroyer, Ed Gein, Owen Hart, Letters In Binary, As The Sun Sets, Discordance Axis, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Jenny Piccolo, Charles Bronson, Gun Kata, The Great Redneck Hope, Stand Before The Firing Squad, Oktober Skyline, Pope Benedict, Fall Silent, Sawtooth Grin, Machinist, Secondgradeknifefight, Euclid C Finder and Vessels Cast From Crippled Hands.
Label(s): Self Released / Sonic Deadline / Hewhocorrupts, Inc. / Wax Vessel
This post's artist is from the June 2019 Mix. This is track #5.
You can download: the September 2019 Mix#9 right here or get the new October 2019 Mix#10 here


Review by: TARQUIN JONES

TOWER OF ROME was a grindcore band that hailed from South Holland, Illinois. They originally formed as a three-piece band consisting of vocalist Joshua Snader, guitarist Tony Marzilli and drummer Aaron Guitierrez. A short while later the band would round out the fold with Mike Serrano joining on bass duties.

TOWER OF ROME first came onto my radar around the height of the Myspace era and have remained a firm favourite of mine since then. Their initial rise to popularity began prior to this when the band uploaded some well received demo tracks to the music sharing website hxcmp3.com. This website would also feature other related contemporaries such as The Sawtooth Grin, Thumbscrew, See You Next Tuesday and Bodies In the Gears Of The Apparatus to name a few and helped to spring board their rise to popularity as well.

The band's 2003 'Tower of Rome Demo' featured 10 blistering tracks of high energy blast driven grindcore. TOWER OF ROME also moulded this abrasive sound with a spastic chaotic twist to killer effect. Musically, the band featured a heavily distorted guitar and bass sound with some chugging metallic breakdowns thrown in for good measure. The percussion featured what would become Aaron's signature popping snare drum sound. The vocals on this release featured an obnoxious and sneering delivery akin to the likes of vocalists like Justin Pearson or Mark McCoy. Each track on the demo was given an absurdly named song title, which was an inside joke reference for the band members themselves. The band packaged all the physical copies of this demo release as CD-Rs in manilla envelopes with Xerox'd inserts in true DIY fashion and sold them at shows to further extend their fan base.

Following a meeting with Hewhocorrupts, inc label owners and fellow Chicagoans at a live show, the band would sign to the label and release their acclaimed debut full length, 'All Is Lost, All Is Lost, All Is Yet To Be Found' in November 2004. The release featured 11 crushing tracks that the band buzzed through at breakneck speeds in just under 10 minutes. The recording production saw a much crisper and polished approach. This further accentuated the bombastic direction that the band had delivered on their demo. Re-recorded versions of some of these demo songs were given even more intensity, by having the drums and vocals pushed to the forefront in max effect. Standout tracks like 'They Say She Died Because She Was Too Honest", "I Want My Fifty Dollars' and "Girls That Smoke Gross Me Out To The Max" perfectly highlight TOWER OF ROME's intention to audibly knock out the listener with unrelenting assaults. As Hewhocorrupts, inc quite aptly put it, "Pick up the disc and get dat ass kicked!!!".

In 2005 the band worked on a split release with fellow Chicago based grindcore outfit Gun Kata. The material on this release showed some further progression on their already established sound and approach to songwriting. However, the recording production on this split went into a much rawer and dirtier lo-fi approach. It gave the split a messier and visceral feel. The vocals also strayed somewhat from the sassier yells which featured on the demo and full length. Josh adapted more of a corrosive screamed delivery here. I found this really complemented the overall urgency and savagery of these songs. At a mere 24 seconds, "Rewriting the Plotline of a B-Grade Slasher Film" is an excellent example of this. The material on this split was also used as a homemade CD-R that was sold by the band during their 2005 summer US tour with Stand Before the Firing Squad. This release was titled the 'Summer Tour EP' and 200 copies were made overall.

The band's second full length 'World War 1' was released in 2006 and would showcase a slightly newer direction taken by the band. This album would feature a matured songwriting approach, with some songs veering over the one minute mark. The tracks would also incorporate a moulding of some newer genre influences, thus broadening the band's tonal palette. Concerning the artwork and production, the band would take a complete inverse approach from their debut full length. Gone was the bright colours and overall visual vibrancy from before. WW1's cover is a minimalistic and stark grey and white layout. The contrast of this imagery would help match the brutally raw and sandpapered textural sound that followed once the listener hit play. The recording also had a distinct rough and messier old school grindcore sound, but managed to attain some form of audible cohesion for the listener. WWI also saw the band dropping their sassier and noise rock influences from prior releases and adopt a more traditional blast driven and double bass heavy grindcore attack. The throat-shredding vocals also shared some similarities with the Gun Kata split and introduced some deeper mid-range moments as well. My personal standout tracks would be 'I Have To Tell You Something...I Eat Light Bulbs', 'Save Art; Kill An Art Kid' and 'Does Your Friend Have A Name Or Should I Just Call Him Lawyer?'. I feel these tracks best illustrate the intention TOWER OF ROME had set out to achieve with this album. Turn it up real loud and piss off your next door neighbours.

To help with the promotion of WWI, the band had planned to tour all over the US and head abroad to Europe. Unfortunately, the band would be put on hiatus later that same year. This was due to touring difficulties with their van and other set backs regarding their band equipment being destroyed in a flood and having to then cancel a slew of shows as a result.

In 2007, the band reunited. They wrote around 5 to 6 newer songs and played some shows before eventually bowing out completely. TOWER OF ROME has affirmed they had never officially broken up, but just quietly became more and more inactive. Members of the band would later move on to join other projects, most notably the post hardcore band CSTVT and the powerviolence band Sea Of Shit.

It should probably also be mentioned that there is a TOWER OF ROME 12" discography coming soon via Wax Vessel that includes a poster and stupidly beautiful vinyl. Big news on that soon 😏

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DISCOGRAPHY

2003 - Tower of Rome Demo cdrEP (stream/donate/download here)

2004 - All Is Lost, All Is Lost, All Is Yet To Be Found cdLP (stream/donate/download here)

2005 - Gun Kata split cd (stream/donate/download here)
2005 - Summer Tour EP cdrEP (songs on the split)

2006 - World War 1 cdLP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2003) TOWER OF ROME - "I Guess Moods Go With the Season Around Here" (from 'Tower of Rome Demo')

(2003) TOWER OF ROME - "There Are No Buts About It It's Just Plain Scary" (from 'Tower of Rome Demo')

(2003) TOWER OF ROME - "This is a Film About a Ghost" (from 'Tower of Rome Demo')

(2004) TOWER OF ROME - "Girls That Smoke Gross Me Out To The Max" (from 'All Is Lost, All Is Lost, All Is Yet To Be Found')

(2004) TOWER OF ROME - "We Put the Fun in Funeral" (from 'All Is Lost, All Is Lost, All Is Yet To Be Found')

(2004) TOWER OF ROME - "I Want My Fifty Dollars" (from 'All Is Lost, All Is Lost, All Is Yet To Be Found')

(2005) TOWER OF ROME - "I Want A Phone Company That Will Murder My Boss" (from 'Gun Kata' split)

(2005) TOWER OF ROME - "Abbreviating Words Can Be Time Efficient for Example I'm Going to Die Tomorrow by "Leath Injectch"" (from 'Gun Kata' split)

(2006) TOWER OF ROME - "Oh My God! He's Got an Arm Off" (from 'World War 1')

(2006) TOWER OF ROME - "15 Year Olds Dude, 15 Year Olds" (from 'World War 1')

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TOWER OF ROME additional links
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Thursday, 12 September 2019

***GHOST SPIRIT exclusive song premiere***

"Rome"
exclusive song premiere
For fans ofLord Snow, Youth Funeral and Tower Of Silence


Another year means another GHOST SPIRIT full length, with 2019 unleashing 'Hourglass' upon the world on October 16th via Blue Swan Records and Twelve Gauge Records on clear, black and white 12"s. I've heard the entire record and it's without a doubt their best work. The sceamy songs are more chaotic and the melodic tunes are as catchy and driving as ever. Today we're premiering "Rome" aka track two (of 8) which falls in the much more chill and melody driven category. If you are somehow unaware of this California powerhouse, they have members of Nuvolascura, Curtains, Elle, Lord Snow, Fight Fair, Seeing Means More, Calculator and Letters To Catalonia so there's no way in hell this can't be amazing.

(2019) GHOST SPIRIT "Rome" (from 'Hourglass')
"Rome" falls right in between the ripping opener and stellar third track, attacking with righteous hooks and a nice balance of clean vocals and throat-shredding screams. As usual the drums are outstanding with Niko's signature guitars washing over the listener and the bass keeping it all together. You'll notice the first half is kind of poppy, then it slides into a heavier section before getting epic and journeying through the post-hardcore realm. It's a lot to take in in just 2:04 but something tells me you'll be listening to this again...and again...and again...

ADDITIONAL LINKS & WHATNOT

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

***LOWMENINYELLOWCOATS exclusive album premiere***

'lowmeninyellowcoats'
exclusive album premiere
For fans of: The Fall Of Troy, Eyes Of Verotika, Mustaphamond, Ten Grand and Coma Regalia



Back in late 2017, Crowning was trying to book their first real tour, and without any real contacts, I was doing embarrassing things like googling “Ohio screamo band”. Which is how I stumbled onto the LOWMENINYELLOWCOATS’ 'Summer Demo'. The Akron 3 piece was the first to admit it was recorded live on a field recorder in as few takes as possible. And while It was certainly rough, it was frantic and had riffs for days. We booked a show with them at Blank Slate, and even though they dropped I kept in touch, and now here we are in 2019 and I’m absolutely stoked to put out their debut self titled LP.

They remind me of those first few years in the early 2000s when I was getting into screamo in Massachusetts, going to local shows and finding a taste for music that didn’t follow a recognizable structure. Seeing bands play to the height of their abilities, hanging on by a thread, but still hanging on. It was as exciting then as it is now. And right out of the gate it’s apparent that LOWMENINYELLOWCOATS don’t shy away from some of the tried and true elements of screamo. The art is a hazy black and white, the song titles are references that on their own appear nonsensical, and there’s samples for days.

This thing is angry, sharp, and chock full of piss. There’s some riffs that remind me of The Fall of Troy. There are unhinged and vulnerable vocals that remind me of the late great Matt Davis and Ten Grand, the kind that sound like they hurt every single time. Some of my favorite sections are the cleaner ones, like in “i need to return some videotapes” where the vocals really bounce around the riff in a more melodic way than I’m used to hearing from current bands while the hi-hat flourishes keep the pace on a firm lock. For a new three piece, they really have a hold on the importance of momentum and not letting anything wear out its welcome.

So do us all a favor and treat yourself to an album that holds on just long enough.

Available on yellow cassette from Zegema Beach Records and Tomb Tree Tapes.


(2019) LOWMENINYELLOWCOATS 'lowmeninyellowcoats' (full LP)