Osk / Bridgeburner – Split (2014) — 7″ REVIEW

IMG_2234 copyAnother split between two of B.C.’s hard hitters in grind, this time the belligerent pairing of Bridgeburner and Osk.

After the break a review of their strong work together on this killer off label 7″.

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AHNA – Perpetual Warfare (2015) — 12″ EP REVIEW

IMG_2305 copyCrusted, charred death metal mixes with the stench of doom, punctuated with mordant battle cries that scar the psyche. Ahna’s recent incarnation on their Perpetual Warfare EP is a ruthless slog through a massacre. Morbid accounts of a ceaselessly rotting humanity are animated by a vocal onslaught unlike any others who attempt this style.

A release from Choking Hazard Records and Neanderthal Stench this is some of Ahna’s most poisonous material yet. Stream it and read on!

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OBSERVE: Vancouver Noise Festival V

IMG_1879 copyAnother noise festival has been visited upon Vancouver.

This was the fifth iteration, the second that I’ve attended, this year with a slightly larger line up necessitating the performances be split between two venues as the afternoon transformed into evening.

Some words, photos, and footage of this year’s Vancouver Noise Festival after the break.

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Adversarial / Paroxsihzem – Warpit of Coiling Atrocities (2014) — CD REVIEW

IMG_1661By way of Canada a rising scourge and a notorious plague birthed from death coalesce on this split CD from Vault of Dried Bones, the resulting malady of Warpit of Coiling Atrocities is unquestionably savage.

This is a long-awaited dose of Adversarial which thrills, and if you haven’t been introduced to Paroxsihzem there will be no forgetting following this release. Read on.

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DEATHWINDS – Endless Wastelands EP (2014) — CS REVIEW

IMG_1548Savage and fatal, an act resurrecting iron-scoured bones from sunken death metal trenches. Deathwinds’ Endless Wastelands is a striking but brief glimpse into a new maelstrom seeping out of Vancouver.

With only three tracks on this EP curated by Vault of Dried Bones Endless Wastelands invades the minds of those who encounter it with a debilitating vision of war. Unbearably heavy, thoroughly satisfying and hideous. A caustic bestial scourge to beware of.

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THROAT SLITTER – DEMO (2014) — CS REVIEW

IMG_1467 copyFrom the corpse of Obacha a new Squamish three piece has recorded a demo that somehow manages to match and potentially surpass the absurd spastic hostility that Obacha was known for. Throat Slitter is not fucking around.

Yeah this is flesh-stripping, paint cracking, organ rupturing powerviolence. A six minute mauling. I’m obsessed with it, jamming it all the time. No bullshit just raw grinding.

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AHNA / Cetascean – Imperial Decline 12″ Split + 7″ Split w/ Contorture (2014) — REVIEW

IMG_8814 copyHere’s two new-ish splits in Ahna‘s camp that I’ve been slacking on talking about. The last record I reviewed of theirs was the Empire LP which continued the filthy powerviolence infused doom trampling they so uniquely inhabit, but stranger still.

Ahna actually just went on a Stench of Death tour so if they play near you, attend.

They’ve been busy evolving since Empire. On these splits specifically Ahna share space with two different hardcore groups while they themeslves venture towards the darkened trenches of old school death metal. They dig up the dust from the likes of Bolt Thrower or Dismember and Morbid Scream but with bursts of Anju’s vocals and their doom-violence past adding a fiercer bite to the battle.

As for their split mates? No slouches here. Cetascean has reputation in Canada as being on top and killer. After seeing them not long ago that’s definitely confirmed and this new stuff rips. Contorture hail from Sweden and grind through a bleak four minutes of d-beat destruction which compliments Ahna’s empire dismantling march.

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OBSERVE: FASTCORE FESTIVAL 5

It hasn’t been that long since the last Fastcore Festival, but once again Vancouver and Squamish was overrun by grind of all stripes for the fifth time in a row on the fourth of July weekend. It was a blast on all accounts.

This was my second time attending and I had an excellent watching nearly thirty absurdly fast, filthy bands coalesce in the wilderness once more. I was a better prepared for the stay this time, the turn out at least felt smaller, there were quite a few groups that weren’t on last years bill that slayed hard; oh and of course there was a slew of weird and hilarious moments.

Organized and accommodated by locals and DIY as all hell. Read on below to see some of the grind madness that I experienced that weekend in photos and video, as well as some decent stories and shit in between the sets.

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Godstopper – Children are our Future (2014) — EP REVIEW

GODSTOPPER2014CAOF_21Children are our Future has me excited enough to skip it ahead of a few other reviews.

I once saw Godstopper while living in Toronto. They were admittedly overshadowed by my excitement seeing Mare headline on a second night of reunion but I didn’t ignore their simultaneously crushing and gentle noisy doom-rock. It would be hard to do considering their curious, irregular patina.

That was the year they released What Matters, the show was actually a month before it, and the LP grew on me quickly quite well. It’s undeniable that you won’t hear much like it.

And now their draw to something deeper in the simpler territories of heavy and beautiful reveals Children are our Future, their new EP, and it’s genuinely stunning. This is a great step for this band.

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Thantifaxath – Sacred White Noise (2014) — LP REVIEW

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While living in Toronto in from 2011 onward Thantifaxath became a regular presence at black and death metal shows I had attended. And due to their distinct approach as well as stage presence those attending were always drawn to their performances.

I must have seen them at least five times not including Messe des Morts II in Montreal which was the last chance I had. I’m quite familiar with their self-titled EP as well. It’s burned into my brain: practically lustrous at times while simultaneously able to explore eccentric dark textures, verging on surreal atmospheres.

The promise was there to develop further in this fertile territory of their sound, it just took some time. I saw glimpses in each live appearance. Sacred White Noise delivers on that promise thoroughly as a record that expatiates in unexpected, breathtaking ways the meaning of uncanny black metal. This is an impressive album.

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Frail Vessel – Frail Vessel (2014) — REVIEW

Frail Vessel - Frail Vessel - cover

UPDATE 14/07/2014: Frail Vessel have informed me that they are active again and had only taken a break. They are putting out this recording on tape soon.

You may recall that one of my favorite releases last year was a 22 minute demo cassette/cd of grind-violence by Newfoundland’s Frail Vessel. It had a blistering tempo and striking vocals, structured by strong, gratifying writing; as well as equally awesome subject matter. Something that left an impression.

Well earlier in February this three piece ended their short existence with a final self-titled digital release that continues confidently; it is sharper with less chaos, a change in vocals and lighter on the powerviolence with a leaden foot on the grind pedal.

This is another slayer guys. On the heels of such a strong demo it keeps pace. Remaining informed by Discordance Axis and Insect Warfare this last release sees Frail Vessel move forward losing no momentum.

Oh and it’s free. Wicked, free Canadian grind…

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OBSERVE: Vancouver Noise Festival IV

IMG_8748 copyLast Saturday on the rainy Vancouver coast there were several good shows being organized. Two in particular were my focus and unfortunately would be happening simultaneously. You can see plainly which of these I attended, Vancouver Noise Festival IV, while the other was an occult death metal gathering headed by Mitochondrion and Ævangelist during the Wacken Metal Battle in the same city.

It was difficult deciding which to attend honestly. The days before this I believe Behemoth, Inquisition, Goatwhore, Tyrants Blood, as well as Nile, Infernal Majesty, and Auroch were all in B.C. so there was that as well.

Anyway it turned out in the week leading up to all this Ævangelist cancelled their appearance (replaced by Dire Omen) which also meant a friend and fellow writer/musician I was meeting wouldn’t be able to make the journey either.

As much as I love Mitochondrion I chose to attend the fourth Vancouver Noise Festival. It was a good choice and I suggest showing up at fests like this even if, like me, you have novice-level experience with the noise/power electronics/death industrial realm.

After the break check out photos and even a few full sets as a sampling of the striking, corrupted, and very loud sounds of the evening.

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OBSERVE: Head Hits Concrete / Cetascean / Ahna / Cooked And Eaten / Soot

HEAD HITS CONCRETE_8290 copyThis is the second post in the hopefully on-going series of live show write-ups. This time the focus is a gathering of Vancouver and Winnipeg bands on the mainland, getting my ass of the island for the first time in a few months.

After spending a little time at the New Amsterdam Cafe in the afternoon I walked to the show. The lineup included the dissonant legends Head Hits Concrete who wrecked shit and injected potent socio-political energy into the city. They alongside Cetascean, whom toured from Manitoba with them, the evolving doom-death-grind entity AHNA, Cooked And Eaten which brings some serious grindcore, and a new blackened death formation known as Soot gave a  formidable battering to those in attendance

If you’d like a glimpse into one of the stops on their tour, read on after the break.

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Osk – We Will Never Change (2014) — 10″ EP REVIEW

OSK_WWNC_7892 copySo there’s a lot of good grindcore out already this year and much promised as well. I’ve already got some favorites, and I’m sure most people have already decided to check out of this specific arena for 2014 having begun digesting GridLink’s uncanny grind. I would implore you to hold on that impulse because there’s shit like this popping up all the time.

Osk’s We Will Never Change. It’s twelve minutes, it’s no fucking around, it’s metallic and dirty with enormous staying power. Visceral, punk-as-fuck, DIY fastcore poetry front to back. I’m very pleased to see a new release from Osk and such a damn strong one once again.

Next thing you know Mass Grave and Shooting Spree will being dropping things… oh wait…

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OBSERVE: BUNGUS / 30XX / AMNESIAN / WAKE

BUNGUS_7644 copyI managed to peel myself away from work in Parksville this past Monday and get some grinding in. The first show I’ve attended in 2014 and a good place to start a series of live show articles that will no doubt be strewn about The Plow Behind You.

On February 17th two local grinders Bungus and Amnesian came out to lend support to Calgary’s WAKE on their recent tour; and cyber-dance-grinders 30XX jumped in to mix shit up as well. All four and a bunch of islanders packed into Logan’s Pub for a good thrashing playing into the damp and cold Victoria night.

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