Tag Archives: Crust Punk

Unru – Als Tier Ist Der Mensch Nicht

(Sentient Ruin / Monotonstudio Records / Supreme Chaos Records, 2016)

At the latest, after the success of bands such as Deafhaven and Altar Of Plagues, it sometimes feels like every hipster wanted to create a raw Black Metal band, often with Crusty or more artistic influences (which is fine by me since art should be free for all men and women to create), but while most of these bands end up sounding pretty similar and boring (unoriginal), one can occasionally come across something unique, when it comes to “Blackened Neo-Crust”, such as this young German band.

Without any info of the previous doings of the band members, I do know this is their first full-length release after a demo, a single and two splits. What makes the music fresh and original enough (to get my attention) is the way the band incorporates the more ferocious blastbeats and classic tremolo riffs with some for example more progressive rhythms or doomy elements (as well as small hints of other styles) usually unheard of in the more popular bands of this genre, as well as some truly twisted vocals and hypnotic song-structures / arrangements, just enough to stick out of the mass in a good way. The outcome is of the sort which keeps things interesting, thoughtful and very atmospheric throughout this release.

While the faster Black Metal parts – besides the obvious more monotonous nineties-worship – often reminds me of the intensity of newer bands like Katechon (or even the classic odd-bird of the early nineties, “Blood Must Be Shed”), a few more groovy and rhythmic parts here and there bring to my mind stuff like Industrial and even Tribal music. There is also a very Doomy and Deathly part to be found in one of the songs, spicing things up nicely. I only wish there would be even more of these varied parts in the music.

The arrangement of the songs as well as the melodic yet repetitive nature of the riffs usually lifts the music to truly epic and even transcendental heights, making this a release of much atmospheric value, which is unarguably the mission of the music style in question. The melancholic apathy towards mankind and the vanity and desperation of all things human can really be sensed thru this stuff.

One major thing that makes the sound of the band a bit more original are the beforementioned vocals, which are not your typical Black Metal screaming nor the average Crusty shouting, but fall somewhere in between the two, often turning into even quite clear vocals, resulting as something truly twisted, desperate and hateful, fitting the music perfectly.

The overall handling of the instruments is good (props for the basslines which are often played quite high, giving these parts also a bit more personal touch as well), and the production of the album is fine when it comes to the style in question, with maybe a bit too much reverb here and there, which on the other hand increases the deep atmospheres of the music.

This album offers about 35 mins of good quality, raw and organic, thoughtful, epic and artistic Crusty Black Metal with enough unique touches to make the band worthwhile a deeper look. Released by the extremely cool label Sentient Ruin, as well as Monotonstudio Records and Supreme Chaos, I definitely urge you to check out this (in all its apparent simplicity) genuinely fresh and original band!

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Sentient Ruin
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Corpspazm – S/T

(Broken Limbs Recordings, 2015)

Even tho it is currently trendy in the realms of Death Metal, Black Metal as well as Crust Punk to imitate the sounds of the classic/cult-releases from the beginnings of these styles, some newer bands actually seem to deliver the authentic sounds and atmospheres with sheer dedication and honesty, rather than copying stuff. Corpspazm (formed in 2010) from Southern California is one of those bands, and this EP (limited to 100 cassettes) is a triumphant display of just that.

What makes this release special, is the tendency of the band to sound like early South American stuff like the classic “I.N.R.I.” of Sarcofago, the cult-demo “Satanic Blood” by Von, Australian crazy shit like Sadistik Exekution, as well as as bit younger more bestial Death and Black Metal like Conqueror at the same time. Needless to say, a mixture of these elements is a match made in heaven/hell for those initiated in the original art of Death and Black Metal.

The songs consists of quite simple (Punk-simple) riffs played through pretty murky distortion, with clanky and pounding drums played with real Thrashing passion, and truly sinister and cool-sounding vocals with enough reverb to sound like been performed 20 years ago. As the material is recorded at two separate sessions, the sounds of the songs vary a bit, but not dramatically.

Only 15minutes in length, this release offers six songs of such stylish and arousing Death-worship, a longer length is really not needed, unlike some beers. This stuff is not for anyone, but to those who understand and worship the occult styles of extreme Metal firmly rooted in Punk, will wet their pants with this material.

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L.O.T.I.O.N. – Digital Control And Man’s Obsolescence

(La Vida Es Un Mus, 2015)

I came across this band via a recommendation of a friend, which was an extremely welcome gesture, since I had been looking for an “Electronic Punk” band with the genuine aggression of a Crust band, and something fresh to offer. In the case of this album, both the classic sleazy and guttural attitude of Punk Rock (and of course Crust Punk) as well as the low-fi hostility of Noise, Industrial and Power Electronics meet in an surprisingly imaginative way.

I have little knowledge of the New York scenes where this band has spawned, but apparently the group consists of members of bands such as Nomad, Dawn Of Humans, Zatsuon and Survival.

The soundscapes of the album are crafted mainly by putting layers of clanky and exploding Industrial beats and percussions (with a vintage groovy nature, so no “Electronic Grind” going on here) and other effects, waving synthetic basses (such as those of classic Hardcore Techno) and other old-school sounds, and phasing flanging distorted guitars (playing Punk riffs, naturally) on top of each other, with enough space and diversity in their individual sounds to give the whole bizarre mix a unique low-fi kinda three-dimensional feeling, which (especially when finished with the very Punk-oriented screaming vocals) seems to be very much alive and breathing.

The true genius of the album lies in the imaginativeness of the people responsible for this stuff, when it comes to creating eleven cool songs with this specific formula. The music sounds indeed unique and original, which is always a positive thing, and maintains it’s fascination all the way through the album. Altho the end result might be a bit low-fi (as mentioned before) to many, it most likely does not matter to the artists (and most fans of the stuff) themselves, since this work of art comes clearly from the feelings brought forth by the classic styles of Anarcho Punk as well as the more extreme forms of Electronic music, which are pretty low-fi by nature.

I heartily recommend this album to anyone into the rebellious feelings and audial aesthetics of Punk, and the harsh aggression summoned forth by means of Noise, Industrial and Power Electronics. You know what I’m talking about, if you are truly interested. A very inspiring and awesome album indeed.

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God Harvest – Insulated

(Self-Released, 2015)

God Harvest (from Saint Petersburg, Florida) have been active since 2010, and have released a Demo and a Split EP before this their first LP. The band has recently played with the likes of Primitive Man and Noisem, not bad at all for a band of their age.

Clocking around 19 minutes, this album is filled with intense and eventful Extreme Punk anthems of frustration and aggression, spiced with the alcohol- and drug-fuelled madness that is life in Florida.

With influences from D-Beat Crust (such as classic Anti-Cimex or Wolfpack / Wolfbrigade) and Death Metal (as in the styles of the early nineties), injected with the energetic and openminded attitude of Powerviolence, God Harvest manages to craft their version of Grindcore (which brings Disrupt to my mind quite often) using the classic formulas of the mentioned styles, and not only manages to do it convincingly but also in an extremely entertaining way.

The riffs are basically as typical and authentic as they get, but are presented in such an imaginative way, the album stays highly and intensely interesting from beginning to the end. The eventful arrangement (and performance) of the songs tells of the experience of the members, meaning these dudes totally know what they are doing.

The band plays extremely well together, with each instrument handled with great skills. The overall sound of the album is pleasantly warm and buzzing (in sort of a Death Metallic way), due to the combination of growling and low Doomy bass-sounds and the more Metallic shredding guitars. The drum-sounds are nicely tight but pounding, fitting the mix in the most classic Grinding way. The awesome low shouting and sometimes growling, and the higher screaming vocals are filtered through a distortion reminding of an old telephone or a walkie-talkie, a nice and original touch. Greg Wilkinson, who has mixed and mastered the album at Earhammer Studios, has done a very good job once more.

The length of the album is pretty much perfect for extremely intense stuff like this, but because of the high quality of the songs, I am left wanting for a few minutes more. This is naturally a minor minus, as this album is one of the most kick-ass works of art I’ve come across in years, definitely putting a big rebellious smile on an old (and younger) Crust and Grindcore-freak’s face. A highly recommended purchase mos def, and check them out live as well if you have the change!

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Interview with Angoisse

A while back, I was completely blown away by the honesty of the French band Angoisse’s short but strong “Demo 2015”. The band’s attitude towards the style of Crusty Black Metal they have chosen to play comes so tangibly straight from their hearts, I was reminded of how rare it is to find (good) bands of this nature among the newer generations of copycats and imitators. After all, the roots of Black Metal are (at least in my opinion) strongly rooted in Punk, and having this attitude when creating honest Blackened art today, is much more “true” than any recent trends or arrogant elitist attitudes. This interview was answered by the whole band.

Greetings Angoisse! How has the autumn begun for you in your part of France? Is the band situated in Bordeaux and Nantes?

Angoisse: Hey man, actually it’s cold and the weather is bad, like raining a lot, wind etc… And that’s cool because we hate summer. The 3/4 of the band are located in Bordeaux and the rest in Nantes. But all our souls are in Hell, so it’s not a big deal.

The style of Blackened Metal you have chosen has to me the feeling of the early­ and mid-­nineties (of especially Norway), as well as the Anarcho and Crust Punk vibes of old I admire totally. Was this a conscious thing when you formed the band, or did it happen by itself?

Asriel: I think that when we formed the band we just said “Hey, let’s play Black Metal”. The first guitars riff were pretty Crust Punk, cause that’s mostly what I am used to play, but I tried to play them with a BM mood in it (by using special chords that I don’t know the name, the ones that feel evil you know?). We haven’t discussed a lot of what kind of Black Metal we wanted to play, we just tried and it appears to be like it is.

Lord: Yes he’s right. We talked about this for a while, tried once, but it didn’t work well. Then we tried again, with just the idea of playing Black Metal. We asked around, found two other guys, and things are going well naturally. Two punks, two metalheads, and here we are.

Äaerzerath: I remember when we decided to form the band, we were at a Crust gig (Ancient Amblem, Ough!!) and Lord came to me and asked “Hey man, we want to play fucking Black Metal, are you in?” I just said “Yeah” and one month later we were playing together ! We wanted to play something old, loud,  influenced by the old tyrants, Hellhammer, Venom and others, and the Crust feeling came by itself, by Asriel’s riffs and Lord’s vocals.

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Do the members of the band share the same kind of musical tastes, or is the band divided when it comes to liking different styles like Crust and Black Metal? Is the style of Angoisse something that comes from all the members, or is one member more into Punk and the other more into Metal, and so on?

Asriel: Everybody in the band listens to a lot of things. Mostly Metal and Punk stuff for sure, and everyone’s got a sub-genre preference. Lord and Asriel are originally more into the Punk/DIY/Crust scene while Äaerzerath and Sorhyn are more into the Metal scene.

Äaerzerath: We are quite different in our musical tastes but when we decided to form Angoisse we all agreed in which musical direction we wanted to go. So this style came from all of us, by adding our own personal feelings but we are all going to the same place. And the fun thing is those who play Crust ask for more blast-beats, and those who are into Metal want more Punk feeling !

Lord: We trade feelings about music, name of bands of each other’s scenes. Stuff like, “You should listen to this and this band.” Same for the shows. We share a lot our different influences, with totally open minds. The only stuff we told ourselves is to play something heavy, fast, evil and raw, and see what happens next.

Sorhyn: Indeed, the band is divided, on one hand Crust Punk and on the other hand Black Metal. It comes into this kind of Black Punk !

You probably agree with me that the roots of Black Metal are firmly situated in Punk, with bands like Venom and Bathory playing “Evil Punk” in the beginning of their careers? If a young dude denies this today, it seems a bit ignorant, don’t you think?

Asriel: I totally agree with that. The music speaks for itself. Listen to “Eurynomos” from Hellhammer’s “Satanic Rites” album, this is fucking Punk Rock. You can’t deny that, it’s fact. If a young dude denies this, he’s not ignorant, he’s stupid.

Äaerzerath: And aren’t Venom’s guys “long haired punks”? I think young people (or not so young!) are often into the “new school” scene, and just don’t know the first bands and the first albums who made Black Metal what it is. I am also fond of Thrash Metal, which is often just Punk played faster !

Sorhyn: Today, most people say that bands like Bathory etc., are not forerunners of Black Metal. It just pisses them off. We can’t deny it, but we don’t feel Black Metal the same way.

Lord: I’m an old dude and I’m barely aware about these kinds of things. So let’s say I’m an old ignorant dude… And truly I don’t care. Who cares about being the best historian of Punk and Black Metal.  But I see your point, and of course everybody should go a bit deeper in the past of all things, to get the sense of it. And not just listen to the mainstream, and not just be on the surface, like we all tend to do thanks or because of the internet. So to answer the question of what are the roots of Black Metal, maybe people should ask what are the roots of Punk. And are we talking just about music for musicians and performance, or are we seeing, thinking, seeking, the music as something that brings you a soul or an aura, and takes its roots in your feelings, your path, your surrounding. Then if all this takes its roots in frustration, pain, rebellion, anger and disenchantment, so yes we can say that the roots of Black Metal are firmly situated to punk. But it is also situated into Punk , if we consider the facts that it has been invented by a bunch of northern rednecks or white thrash, a bunch of losers whom didn’t know what to do with their lives, or in this life. Where the differences stand in this, is in politic, and activism. So to conclude, young or old dude, this music and everything that goes with it, is made by and for people who are dismissed by the rest of the society.

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How do you feel about the state of modern Black Metal in general? There is of course a clear trend of “Spiritual” Black Metal running the markets, with most bands sounding quite identical to each other. Do you find this entertaining, or just boring (like I do)?

Asriel: It’s hard for me to answer as I mostly listen to albums that are at least 10 years old… But I really enjoy Wolves In The Throne Room for instance. When there is blast it can be shit, right? What we surely find boring is the post-hardcore scene.

Äaerzerath: You mean all these bands playing 15’00 songs with a fucking linear blast beat all along? Fuck it! I don’t think the Black Metal scene is dead, if you ignore the “Post Black Metal” bands (which are called POST Black Metal!). There are some very nice bands, in Europe for the most part, like Quintessenz or Belliciste who play old and raw Black Metal. It is not necessary to play very complex riffs or very fast blast beats to be original, just play with your guts and you will be the best!

When was your relationship with Punk and Crust formed, is this something that comes from your teens etc. or did you discover this kind of music later, after discovering Metal? Do you follow any current Punk scenes?

Asriel: As I said I think that we all listen to a lot of different styles. A lot of them has been discovered when we were young of course, but we always discover bands. With the internet, you can discover 100 of them everyday, and some of them are really good. You can also listen to old stuff you haven’t heard when you were young, that’s really fantastic. I’m not sure young people who grow up with this technology are aware of the chance they have.

Äaerzerath: As far as I’m concerned I grew up in a small village where we had a Punk fest every year, so I’ve been close to Punk since my teens. I think Crust and Metal get closer to each other year after year, so you can discover new bands of both these scenes easily, when you go to a gig with a Death Metal band, a Punk band and a Disco DJ for example!

Sorhyn: As far as I’m concerned, I discovered the Crust scene after Heavy and Black Metal. Many Black Metal bands remind me of this kind of music, it’s probably thanks to them that I can appreciate it.

Lord: My relationship with Punk and Crust was formed more than 20 years ago. So when I was a teen… And when I grew up my mind changed due to life, but still I’m firmly rooted in the values that goes with Punk and Crust music. Everything can be discussed, but still… Some not. Then again I don’t know really what you mean by Punk scene… Regarding music I am a total fan of 90’s Crust (Portland, Northern Europe etc…), and I love Sludge stuff.

What can you tell me of the other bands and projects of the members of the band? Is every member involved in Punk or Metal in some way, or is there some other styles of interest to be found?

Ängoisse: Lord and Asriel also play in Aguirre, a Sludge band. They tour a lot in Punk places, like squats etc… Sorhyn have a side project called Sanskirt, a kind of crossover between Black, Death, Thrash and others.

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How are the music scenes in your area in general? Are the scenes divided into for example Death Metalists, Black Metalist and Crusties, or are people of different tastes working together with live­ shows and so on?

Asriel: In Bordeaux, the scenes are now more mixed than before. Metal people come to Punk shows, punks go to Metal gigs… We have a lot of alternative places where really good bands come to play, we have a lot of good bands too, in a lot of styles. It’s really a good city if you want to be involved in music.

Äaerzerath: I think the scenes are going to be mixed more than before, even if some old rivalry is always here (Death Metal VS Black Metal, and other kind of elitism). We have a very great festival near Paris called the Fall Of Summer, where you can hear Death, Black, Doom, Grindcore and others, and I realised that everyone comes to all the gigs, so I am confident about the future. We need to be united if we want to go far, Metal music in general is going to die if everyone only supports his own friends or their own favourite bands.

How has your awesome “Demo 2015” been received? As you perform live as well, this must add to the amount of people discovering your music? Do you feel that playing live is essential to music like yours?

Asriel: For the moment, the demo is well received. We have got good reviews, and people seem to find it really nice. It was recorded really quickly, after maybe 5 or 6 rehearsals, but we needed to put it on tape to move on. Playing live is always an intense moment. For a short amount of time we try to put all our energy in the songs to make them more evil, more brutal… It’s not always easy but I think it’s really good for our band to play live and feel that energy.

Sorhyn: I know that the tape is appreciated by some people, even if not many people have listened it yet. Our music comes to life thanks to the live shows. Even if the sound of the tape releases the energy of a show, it’s not sufficient.

Lord: According to me live is really important, your learn more than when you only rehearse. The music evolves more when you play live. Then you got to know more the people you play with.

Äaerzerath: And there is a very big difference between your tape player and our fucking amps ! I love that kind of energy that makes you vibrate with the decibels !

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Thank you for this interview! What can you tell me about your future plans?

Angoisse: We are working on new material, to prepare an album for next year, and we are planning to go to Spain (Basque Country) late September to play some gigs! We go step by step, we do not have crazy plans, but crazy lust of going forward ! Thanks for your time and interest, cheers !

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Angoisse – Demo 2015

(Self-Released, 2015)

There was a time called the early- and mid-nineties, when Black Metal (compared to, let’s say, Death Metal) sounded original. Actually, most of the more known bands all sounded unique and individual. Original. Which is the opposite of the bands of today. I often hear young people into this kind of shit saying how “modern Black Metal is a perfected form of this art”, but I say fuck that. It’s just sheepish, trendy, and boring. Every time some band comes up with a cool and “unique” idea, hundreds of others emerge with the exact same idea. And I’m extremely bored with the whole pattern. That is why my attention often turns to bands whom may not sound or look as “good” as the more trendy ones, but still have the youthful (despite their actual age) fire of the nineties burning in their music, besides the elements of the original Black Metal styles musically. Angoisse from Bordeaux is one of those bands.

This is their first Demo, clocking around 15 minutes, and what a cool Demo it is. Some might argue the style of Black Metal they play comes from a more Punk-oriented realm, which is true, but from what realm do you think early Bathory or Venom came from?

To me, there is a strong feeling of Gorgoroth’s “Pentagram” present on these song, as well as the dark and apocalyptic feeling of Anarcho- and Crust-bands like Amebix. In fact the music often sounds like Disrupt played on half-speed. Also some Heavy Metal elements are present, although the music is mostly carried by D-beats and blast-beats, as well as some Sludgier parts.

The sounds are extremely Crusty, but not inaudible in any way. The production is actually very good considering the style in question. The drums are played with a lively attitude and cool details here and there, with a nice reverb in the sounds. The guitars and basses are played with needed skills as well, with riffs and sounds taking mostly from both old-school Black Metal and Crust Punk. The vocals are a combination of the Crust of old, with both lower and higher screams (coming from one dude), but both styles sound delightfully unique. To be honest, I can’t really think of any band that comes to mind from hearing them, which is a good thing indeed.

A very well made and strong Demo from this young band, whom play live as well. Let’s hope they achieve artistically what they crave for. They certainly have the passionate fire burning in their hearts. This Demo is available as a Tape from the band.

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Subterror – Antropomortum

(Black Hole Productions, 2015)

Subterror from Brazil has been active since 2009, and that is all I know about the musical past (or ages) of the three members, although it is quite apparent they are highly experienced in the styles of extreme Punk and Metal.

As their Bio / Press-release states, “this is a commingling of early Bolt Thrower and Disrupt, or Dismember and Doom”, and I couldn’t have said it better myself, as the music is a perfect combination of albums like “In Battle There Is no Law!”, “Unrest”, “Left Hand Path”, and other early nineties Death Metal of more brutal nature. I’m also thinking of newer albums / style of bands like Suffocation, going classic American Crust / Grind, as their sound reminds me more of the States than for example Europe.

Just like their countrymen Sepultura did decades earlier, Subterror takes the essential elements of extreme Punk and Metal and merges them with such dedication and talent, I’m pretty sure even old man Cavalera himself would totally dig this stuff (if he hasn’t already heard it). This album rides on with the intensity and energy of a Wolfbrigade-record, stopping to take a breather as slower Death Metal at times, or taking a turn to Grind away with more technical riffs, still (usually) straight from the early nineties.

The drums are performed on the other hand with amazing natural organic humanlike grittiness of true Crust, and on the other hand with great technical preciseness of technical Death Metal, and the end result sounds like a hi-tech drum-computer programmed to sound “a bit too human”, meaning the playing fits this style of music perfectly. The playing is filled with awesome details in form of fills, and double-bass- and ride-work.

The guitars and basses have a similar authentic but good (while being distorted and heavy as fuck) sound such as modern Crusty Death bands like Acephalix and Vastum. The riffs are played with amazing skills, imagination and real authenticity. The vocals are a perfect combination of low Crusty shouting and Deathly growling, quite dry in nature, but extremely effective.

The individual instrument-sounds as well as the vocals each have a perfect sound to them, as does the overall mixing and the production of this album. It all really sounds as Deathly and Crusty as possible, yet having a high class feel into the overall sound reminding us of the possibilities of modern technology. In other words, this album is pounding, heavy and guttural as shit, while being clear and of high-quality at the same time, like watching an early black-and-white VHS-recorded Napalm Death gig remastered in HD.

To summarise my feelings of this 23min Ep: I haven’t been this excited about Crust Punk or Death Metal in many months. This Ep just has to be experienced by any fan of both worlds!

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