Once again we’ve been slacking on the Core coverage so I figured we should do a bit of housekeeping and do a two part round up of the stuff we’ve kindly been sent for review. Most of us have been somewhat preoccupied of late, getting armies ready for Dark Throne (full report coming soon), working on the forthcoming CH fanzine and numerous other projects. Anyway enough excuses , lets get down to business.
Deep within the nuclear winter of the post-Cursed underground landscape, (the Cursed Earth if you will) the very notion of‘Dark’ hardcore seemed to have become as much of a trite and embarrasing ghetto as the whingeing ‘melodic hardcore’ flea circus that preceded it. A few years ago it seemed like every other heavy hardcore band was claiming to be influenced by early Entombed and plastering ill considered runes and meaningless glyphs across their shirts and record sleeves in order to convince us all of their arcane heritage and firm standing with the god below. The reality however was that most of these clowns just REALLY sweated Cursed, had never listened to Entombed and pulled all their esoteric sigils straight out of WingDings. This cookie cutter crust-lite, this Holy Error, this fucking LARP-Core was mockingly dubbed BROCCULTISM by Column Of Heaven’s Andrew Nolan and lo, we did laugh long and hard.
So with all that said we come to Kent’s Beroth and their debut EP Burning Sermons soon to be released by CH’s very own Chris Kaye via Witch Hunter Records. It should be said that Beroth does indeed flirt with those same played out mystical aesthetic sensibilities I just mentioned, and that’s kind of a bum out to me because musically they are a far more fearsome prospect. Whilst this is still very much hardcore there’s a distinct black metal influence at work here, think the volcanic wrath of Behemoth rather than abyssal darkness of Darkthrone. Absolutely shredding hoarfrost guitars and a blizzard of harrowing vocals like an arctic gale across a barren tundra.
Considering this a debut release from an untested band, this is a really accomplished set of songs. The structure and songwriting is incredibly well executed and one ponders what the future holds for Beroth if these guys are already this good on their first studio outing! The songs build and wane perfectly, there’s no clumsy moshcore breaks or blatant attempts at pleasing the lowest common denominator just a savage aural assault, Beroth clearly write music to please themselves and I can get down with that. Have a listen for yourselves HERE and watch out for the physical release on Witch Hunter Records in due course.
Anyone who follows @Corehammer on Twitter will be embarrassingly aware that I have been sucking Outrage CC’s collective pecker ever since I stumbled across their demo last year. I make no bones about it, they are straight up my favourite UKHC band of the last ten years. Outrage are one of the few contemporary bands that play HC in 2014 as I recognise it, that actually speaks my language and taps into that slowly dwindling well of hate in the pit of my stomach. Seething with resentment like the best bits of Think I Care and the bleak urban horror of classic Integrity. Guitarist Rofe very kindly hooked me up with advance copy of their new 7” and as far as I’m concerned it’s the gold standard for hard music in the UK in 2014. Please go check out the Band Of the week feature on them HERE and if you dig what you are hearing go forth immediately and pick up that new EP. Released by Mr Bradley Tompkins (a tattoo artist of prodigious talent as well as being an all round good bloke) on their own CC imprint, naturally this looks awesome as well as sounding absolutely nails. They play seldomly but when they do you’d better fucking duck.
London’s Ithaca were a new name to me and when their self released Narrow The Way EP suddenly appeared in the communal inbox it was uniquely pleasing to have no prior opinions or experiences to colour my view, a rare treat to hear new music free of preconception. With that said Ithaca are a brutally efficient exercise in angular, abrasive dynamics. Dischordant metallic hardcore like Acme pioneered offset with bleakly spartan melodic flourishes and grating harmonics that reminds this old man of Judas Factor or Cave In back when they were fucking sweet. Whilst I’ve never been as enamoured by the likes of Converge or Dillinger Escape Plan as many of my peers but I can definitely appreciate the musical skill and grasp of precision and dynamics required to make such a crushing racket and it’s clear Ithaca share that appetite for ingenious songcraft as their execution is teutonically tight. Vocalist Djamila Yasmin bellows psalms brimming over with mournful lyrics, the words perfectly complimented by a voice rasping with belicose desperation. Theres a palpable sense of claustophobic frustration about these songs and I can imagine them being a suitable soundtrack to sitting on the tube every day at rush hour. Possessed of a red eyed thousand yard stare, a stinking tide of human garbage pushing up against you from all sides, breathing in the fetid stench of stale breath, overpriced coffee and junk food, all the while wondering exactly what the fuck you did wrong to deserve an existence like that.
Visit Ithaca HERE