Walk Through Fire – Hope Is Misery

Walk Through Fire - Hope Is Misery

Following 2011′s mirthless and deeply shaded masterpiece ‘Furthest From Heaven’, Gothenburg’s Walk Through Fire make a welcome return with album number two for parent label Aesthetic Death. ‘Hope is Misery’ is another wretched chapter of cataclysmic doom in their career and is their longest album to date (almost eighty minutes in length). Having formed in 2008, they have had more than their fair share of personnel changes, but this line-up sounds tight and in sync with each other. Kicking things off with a slow building, pummelling instrumental ‘Sustained on Grief’, it soon becomes crystal clear at what direction the album will be taking, or should that be tar thick?! The title track is an intimidating deluge of feedback and stabbed drumming from Juliusz Chmielewski, who is also a member of on hold Symphonic Black Metal group Fall ov Serafim. ‘Next to Nothing’ is the sole let up in an otherwise relentless barrage of devastating doom. Every beat hits the listener like a pile driver, hammering home the group’s unique sound impeccably. ‘Another Dream Turned Nightmare’ is a staggering twenty one minute epic, that bleeds despair and anguish. If you liked their debut album, you are going to love ‘Hope is Misery’, it is much like Furthest From Heaven, yet on a much grander scale. The music is unquestionably bigger, darker (if that was possible) and heavier than it’s predecessor. In conclusion, this album needs to be in your collection, album of the year so far.

Walk Through Fire are:
Ufuk Demir (Guitars & Vocals), Andreas Olsson (Bass & Vocals), Fredrik Flegar (Guitars), Juliusz Chmielewski (Drums).

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Artwork by Cihat Aral


Axecatcher – We Watch The Sun Burn

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To use a Video Game analogy -entering nerd territory- We Watch The Sun Burn has a little in common with the latest Metal Gear Solid entry.  The latest in that series (Ground Zeroes) feels very much like a teaser.  Something to get you primed for the main event which is still some way off, to build excitement, hype and get you over excited so that you’re throwing money at imaginary salesmen.  The same can be said of the latest extended play from Northern Ireland four-piece Axecatcher.  Some of you may be familiar with them for their previous work which is reviewed here.  We Watch The Sun Burn is a relatively short EP consisting of three tracks but while short they are sweet.  ‘Genghis Thrash Khan’ is fast and furious with blistering riffs and shrill vocal’s which lead to ‘Cinders’ which while not as fast paced as its predecessor is just as heavy.  ‘N.O.V.A’ completes the set, it’s a thrilling thrash/punk track with some excellent guitar work and frantic drumming.  I have described this as a teaser because it is, what’s here is excellent and there’s some amazing riffs here for fans of Hardcore/Thrash metal but there’s more to come from this Limavady quartet and I can’t wait to hear it.

Axecatcher is:
Karson Browne (Lead Vocal), Ryan Montgomery (Guitar & Lead Vocals), Colin Wilson (Bass & Backup Vocals), Danny Kane (Drums).

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Dö – EP

Dö - EP
In a music genre that is frequently overcrowded with bands vying for listeners attention, prospective fans can be forgiven for overlooking new acts. One trio that has recently been winning fans across the globe are Helsinki stoner/doom band Dö. This debut EP is certainly worth delving deeper into. Lead track ‘G.O.D.’ is a heaving slow paced behemoth, evoking a lurking beast in the shadows, that awaits the perfect moment before pouncing on its unaware prey. ‘The Await’ follows with a sublime fuzzed guitar riff. The vocals are immense against the wall of noise created by the trio. Unfortunately, it sounds as though the band struggle somewhat to get into top gear as they did with relative ease on the preceding track. This is merely a blip however. Closing track ‘Everblast’ is by far the longest, dwarfing the previous two songs, clocking in at close to fourteen minutes in total. Doomy rhythms are the order of the day and the band have also recently released their first video for the track, which you can check out here. Overall a really exciting EP from Dö, let’s hope that there is more from these guys real soon!

Dö are:
Big Dog (Guitars), Peat Rex (Drums), Deaf Hank (Vocals).

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Scraps Of Tape – Sjätte Vansinnet

Scraps Of Tape - Sjätte Vansinnet

Sjätte Vansinnet, (Swedish for The Sixth Madness) is the fifth album from Malmö alternative, indie rockers Scraps of Tape. Having been playing together since 2001, the quintet have gotten progressively better at honing their craft and Sjätte Vansinnet really delivers across the board. The album is easily accessible and is just dripping in melody from opening track ‘We, The Leftheaded’ right through to closing instrumental track ‘Alla utom jag måste dö’. Main highlights here include the remarkably titled ‘Vultures With High Heels’ which enters with a discordant riff that, at it’s heaviest, heralds the halfway point of the record. It is not all guitars though as the delicate keyboards of Jerker Kaj compliments the verses with effortless gentility. Incidentally, Kaj is also a member of experimental/instrumental duo Lymland, who’s splendid debut album Ensamtidsroman is also well worth checking out in its own right. No two songs sound the same, yet when played through it is obvious that it is the same band playing, which is not an easy thing to do for most bands, further reinforcing the groups creative capacity. Most tracks on Sjätte Vansinnet would not sound out of place on mainstream radio, it is clear that a lot of energy has been pumped into this record. If there is any justice this will be heard by many, many listeners of a somewhat over-saturated genre.

Sjätte Vansinnet is available now through A Tendervision Recording.

Scraps Of Tape are:
Fredrik Gillhagen (Drums), Jerker Kaj (Guitar, Keyboard), Johan Gustavsson (Vocals, Guitar), Marcus Nilsson (Vocals, Guitar), Kenneth Jansson (Bass).

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Avgrunden – Det Stora Oväsendet

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‘Det stora oväsendet’ is the latest offering from Swedish group Avgrunden (The Abyss).  The band plays a drone, doom metal style with an experimental side also.  The album is entirely instrumental reinforcing the experimental nature of the group.  Opening track ‘Duellen’ has a distinct sound with plucked strings and is reminiscent of a soundtrack to a western that serves as an introduction to ‘Polstjarnan’ that has a more structured style including drum beats and heavier riffs.  ‘Tusen Ar’ has a more melancholic feel that is shared with ‘Mylingen’ a consciously slower paced track again employing the western style strings and occasional echoing drum beats as well as wailing guitars.  ‘Domedagsklockan’ has an oppressive undertone running through it with a deep sinister bass sound complementing the drums and guitars that evokes a feeling of desolation.  ‘Drommen’ on the other hand is suitably climactic with its Mexican standoff style instrumental work.  To summarise ‘Det stora oväsendet’ should appeal to fans of experimental or doom metal with the absence of lyrics allowing the music to take centre stage.  It’s a relatively short album but the tracks included make up for it.  It may also appeal to those who enjoy the works of Ennio Morricone or Gustavo Santaolalla,  Morricone’s spaghetti western sound and Santaolalla’s minimalist style are a good fit in the metal genre and is a great investment for those seeking something different in their doom metal.  Well worth checking this one out.

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Avgrunden is:

Victor Granat (Electric Guitar & Devices), Johan Hägglund (Bass Guitar & Devices), Johan Norberg (Drums).


Bast – Spectres

Bast - Spectres

Having been playing together since 2008, this year finally sees the debut release from Black Metal Doom trio Bast. And it seems that the latin phrase of ‘omne trium perfectum’ (everything that comes in threes is perfect) could be true for this London trinity, as this is one of the finest debuts in this genre for some time. The group have no shortage of experience, having shared the stage with bands such as Winterfylleth, Walk Through Fire and Nachtmystium in recent times. The record opens with the aptly titled ‘In The Beginning’, a sorrowful clean guitar intro is soon crushed by the relentless pressure of feedback. The stinging blast beats ensure that the song is driven forward with unwavering determination. Elsewhere, ‘Denizens’ rumbles along with a sauntering riff that is so big that you could park a bus between each note. However, it is without question that the shining beacon here is the title track ‘Spectres’. Awash with melody, and intensity in equal capacity. ‘Psychonauts’ is a mammoth instrumental triumph, clocking in just shy of twelve minutes. Finally, closing track ‘Outside The Circles Of Time’ demonstrates the capabilities of the group as musicians and the best vocal performance of the record from Craig Bryant who incidentally, is also responsible for the dazzling album artwork. However it is not long until the vast riffs surface once more to engulf the listener with punishing aggression. If you are a fan of this type of music then you should check these guys out, you won’t be disappointed.

Bast embark on a UK tour this March with Liverpool’s Conan.

Bast are:

Craig Bryant (Vocals, Guitar), Jon Lee (Drums), Gavin Thomas (Bass).

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