About This Blog

This blog is for unsigned Metal bands and bands on small labels. Whilst setting up my promotions company, I noticed that a lot of sites don't cover demo bands and bands just starting out. Hopefully this small corner of the internet will have redress the balance, ever so slightly

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sunday Bloody Sunday

As my label (Sixsixsix Music) grows, so does my workload. So from now on, this blog will be updated every Sunday

My label has been very busy the past week. The new Wolves of Avalon album, Boudicca’s Last Stand was released last Monday. I’m pleased to say almost every single review has been very positive (just one minor blip so far, a 6 out of 10 from someone who just didn’t get the band) and we’ve had a stupid amount of attention for the band. So I’m very pleased with that.

Also this week, the new Skiddaw cds arrived (earlier than expected) so they are available now
I’ve just created a Big Cartel store, so you can buy everything online here:

And finally, I’m going to be doing cassettes from September. I know, how retro of me. But to fair, it’s how I started in the 90s and after talking to a couple of people about whether to start it up again, I’m going for it.
Everything will be very DIY as getting professional duplication in this country is stupidly expensive. So I’ll be making everything myself on exactly the same tapes that the duplicators use, but for half the price. First two releases will be the Skiddaw EP, which I’m hoping to have a special limited edition, plus a standard version. Also the HaatE album, As The Moon Painted Her Grief. Again, a limited edition version is planned.

Ok, now it’s review time:

I’m going to kick things off this week in India and the Black Metal band, Solar Deity

Through The Hallways Of Narak is off of the bands latest release, Devil Worship. And for me, it doesn’t get much better than this. A huge 11 minute epic of Traditional Black Metal that I instantly fell in love with.

You can view that video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHgvTjY5TwE as unfortunately it wouldn't embed itself in this page

I’m making my way through the bands back catalogue and although (some of) the sound is slightly rawer than on Devil Worship, it’s good to see the improvements they’ve made with each release. And it’s interesting to see that they deliberately alter their style with each EP, to try and cover as many of the genres different aspects as possible.

The depressive single, Snowless is another highlight, as is the ferocious Circling The Moon from the Darkness Of Being EP, which you can view below

Solar Deity are a very interesting band with an excellent back catalogue to feast upon

Boddicker - Crime Upheaval
Boddicker, are named after Clarence Boddicker, the arch villain from Robocop. And boy are they fucking heavy.

I can’t listen to bands like Discharge as I find their music completely overwhelming, mainly as it feels like a constant wall of noise battering at my senses. Well Boddicker, shit, they’re even heavier.

At first I felt like I was trying to escape from a vat of treacle whilst the sides of the vat were being bombarded by a plethora of sledgehammers. In-fucking-tense.

But surprisingly, especially to me, I got into this after a few songs and my foot was soon tapping along like crazy.

You can describe this how you want. It’s a punked up wall of Death Metal, encased in a thick layer of crusty grind. Unbelievably intense, yet with just a glimmer of melody, albeit melody covered in a layer of shit.

Most of the review material I’ve received this week has been of the heavy as hell variety. And with Mexican outfit The Meatfuckers, I was expecting more of the same.

With an album title like Porn Again, I was preparing myself for another battering of Grind, but received something a little less harsh instead.

The Meatfuckers fall between so many musical styles. This isn’t fast enough or intense enough for Grind. So it’s more like Thrash than anything else. But the vocals are more of a tortured rasp than a death-like growl. And then there’s the guitar hero, sublime flowing guitar solos. Where did they come from?

The Meatfuckers mix up their influences into one big melting pot and the end result is infinitely more accessible than their name or the album title would suggest. And while it’s a reasonably easy listen, there’s not much here to make you go wow. It’s a solid release, but missing a few moments of brilliance to take it to the next level. In saying that, I don’t have a single negative about the album either. It just needs a bit more oomph.

As a Cornishman growing up in the far end of the country, it was hard to find certain LP’s back in the 80s. Where I grew up, the Metal scene was almost zero.

So it was nice to find a small label just a few miles from where I grew up. Although Pervasive Records are not what you’d call a typical label, with every release seemingly as extreme as possible.

Wisdom Without Worship, it would be fair to say, know no limits. These guys take everything to the edge of sanity. Even their more quiet moments feel like the worst nightmare you could ever imagine. So tread carefully if you’re brave enough to check them out.

The dark ambient tones of Sandgrain Universe are very much to my liking. It’s mainly sparse arrangements which shift slowly, building up the intensity, with a constant feeling of someone about to attack you. This would have been a perfect soundtrack to the original Doom game, or for Resident Evil 4. Both creepy games that I played to death.

Pay the label a visit here: http://www.pervasiverecords.co.uk/

Frozen Shield are a Viking/Folk Metal band from Barcelona. If you visit their Facebook page, you can see that the band certainly look the part, adorned with war paint and furs. Thankfully they have the sound to match the look too.

Frozen Shield have a very fluid sound. While the music flirts with a mix of styles, drummer Ivan Bosch keeps it all together as a cohesive force with a very solid display. 

Best song for me is Green Beards, which should come as no surprise, considering that my own beard reaches my chest. It ups the folk element and is a fun “dance around a fire whilst pissed” kind of tune. It’s vaguely reminiscent of what Korpiklaani are best at, but without sounding like them in the slightest.

This 3 tracker is a nice introduction to Frozen Shield. It will be interesting to see how they evolve from here. Personally, I think they need to up the intensity as the only downside for me is that they sound a little “too nice” at times.

Bucking the trend of the previous review completely, we have Uburen from Norway. These guys are out for blood and they are a Viking Metal band that are as aggressive as it gets. There are no subtleties to be found in their music, no fancy sing-alongs. This is pure violence.

Once you past the fact that this is unrelenting, it’s actually a rewarding listen. I was going to say a pleasant listen, but that was obviously going to be the wrong choice of words. The duelling vocals enhance the feeling of war and the atmospherics are used very sparingly, but the melodies are always there, albeit in a harsher setting than you’re probably used to.

I’m not going to say that Uburen are unique, but I’ve not heard many bands that sound anything like this. As a three piece, they’re the Viking equivalent of when the classic Lemmy/Fast Eddie/Philthy Phil line-up of Motorhead 1st appeared 35 odd years ago. At the time, they were the most extreme band I’d ever heard and Uburen have the same effect on me, in terms of bands of their ilk from Scandinavia.

If you’re bored of the same old shit, grab this for something completely different, and dare I say it… unique.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

This weeks Metal discoveries

The Wolves of Avalon album, Boudicca’s Last Stand will finally see the light on Monday
And until then, all releases in my Bandcamp store are £1 or less – so head there now for a bargain or two : http://sixsixsixmusic.bandcamp.com/

The Wolves album will be in the Bandcamp store a day earlier than planned, as I’m not around on Monday to upload it, so it’s available from Sunday. You can also buy it via Amazon and iTunes and if you want a cd copy, email Godreah Records who are doing the physical release, contact them at: godreah@ntlworld.com

Plug over with, time for some music

On my constant quest for new music, the one genre that is really lacking in quality, is Thrash. Be it shit production or bad song-writing (or a combination of both), I’ve discovered a lot of crap the past few months. So thank you very much Nexus One for brightening up my search.

And while I like the music, I’m not keen on the band name as it’s the same name as a mobile phone and I think that’ll hamper the band when someone wants to search for them online

Band name issues aside, Pure Hate is bloody good debut release. With crunchy riffs and a throaty vocal style, 15 Minutes of Shame (which presumably is about the vile culture the UK has now of wanting to be famous for doing fuck all) reminded me of Machine Head, way back around the time of Burn My Eyes.

And that’s where Nexus One dwell. On the catchy side of Thrash, but with plenty of bite. With the gang shout style vocals on Two Face, I’m also reminded (a bit) of the more metallic side of Biohazard. Another band who rose to prominence 20 odd years ago.

So I guess what I’m saying is that if you’re a fan of 90s Thrash, you’ll love this EP.
And I’d also say that Nexus One are one of the most promising UK bands I’ve heard in quite a while.

Play them a visit here: http://www.reverbnation.com/nexusone 

Bloodstrike are from Colorado and are made up of seasoned musicians from the area, including female growler Holly Wedel. And musically, this is straight down the line, no frills, bullshit free, good old honest Death Metal.

Please excuse this very old joke, but this is the musical equivalent of the one were 2 bulls are on a hill and the young one says “let’s run down into the valley and fuck one of those cows”. And the old bull replies, “no, let’s walk down slowly and fuck all of the cows”.

There’s no need to be flash and to show off here. Experience counts when it comes to delivering quality, hence my crappy old joke. Who need to be the heaviest or the fastest? When you produce good music, you just know it.

If these three tracks are a taster of what’s to come, then their debut album will slay.

There was a horrible phase a few years ago when every band under the sun would go and record their debut album almost as soon as they formed. Speaking as someone who experienced the demo tape in all its glory (I even had a demo tape distro in the 90s) it’s nice to see the demo making a comeback.

Here we have a two track affair from Danish Black Metal band Serpents Lair. I was expecting the usual formula of moody and slightly grim, but this is quite a nasty piece of music. It’s a barrage of fury, topped with majestic guitars and blasting drums.

There are only 2 tracks available, but they do clock in at just under 15 minutes, so there’s plenty to digest on what is a mightily impressive debut

You can buy this from the bands Bandcamp page, or look out for a cassette version that’s been released both in Europe and the USA

Kvlthammer are a Blackened Punk band from Indianapolis. My initial reaction was that their songs sound like an extension of the Punk songs Slayer covered on Undisputed Attitude, maybe with a couple of references to Celtic Frost thrown in for good measure as well.

This is controlled hatred that I imagine explodes like crazy when the band play live. The grooves kept my head nodding along throughout and the occasional pumped fist was also raised. And it’s always a good sign that a band can make you do that whilst sat at your computer desk with a good chance of someone walking past and catching you in the act and wondering what the fuck is going on.

So many bands sound like Slayer, mainly ripping off Raining Blood, so it’s kinda cool to hear some Slayer references that help create something completely different, even if Nate Olp does sound very much like Tom Araya at times.

Best track for me is Terrify Ecstasy, where the band sound completely original and the song is as catchy as hell, with the opener salvo of Pathless coming a close second.

It was only after playing this that I did a bit of research on the band and found that the members all have a ton of experience in other bands, such as Lair of the Minatour, Skeletonwitch and Coffinworm. That might explain why this is so damn good

Dead Hills are an Australian one man band. And as with every other musical singular entity of this kind, Black Metal is their weapon of choice.

Now, before I tell you how amazing this is, unbelievably you can get a single album and a double album, for free via the Dead Hills Bandcamp shop.

Now, I’m not sure why Weaver, the band behind Dead Hills is so generous, but be thankful that he is, as this is a must have collection of music. Wonderfully atmospheric, satisfyingly majestic, the list of superlatives could go on all day.

It’s epic Black Metal that runs through a number of styles and creates a multitude of textures to constantly alter the journey the music takes you on.

For digital, visit Bandcamp: http://thedeadhills.bandcamp.com/
And for a cassette version, head on over to Facebook https://www.facebook.com/dead.hills

And as Germany won the World Cup last weekend, let’s finish with a German band

Giving us an infectious dose of Speed Metal are Blizzen. They remind me a bit of Tokyo Blade and other NWOBHM bands, including a hint of early Maiden, but with high pitched vocals.

All good fun and a nice way to end this weeks update
You can visit the band here:  https://www.facebook.com/BlizzenOfficial

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Another Busy Week

The blog is one day later than planned because of another chaotic week. Anyway, the Skiddaw EP is now in my Bandcamp store and at the end of this posting you’ll find details about the cd pre-order and free badge offer.

Let’s start this weeks blog with a split between Rotten Light and Pestilent Desolation.

I was expecting some very depressing Black Metal, but it’s more in the vein of keyboard dominated atmospheric ambience.

Rotten Light’s contribution is an all too short 3 minute snapshot of utter beauty, with the mesmerizing Vein Consumed, which is layers of keyboards, topped off with an angelic voice.
While Pestilent Desolation’s track, Everlasting Cold, glides along in restrained misery and feels like a soundtrack to a horror based computer game.

A wonderful way to spend 10 minutes and I’d love to hear more from both bands doing something similar, preferably with a longer track from Rotten Light the next time around.

Taking a quick journey across the Atlantic we find New Jersey band Apocrophex

Now I have to confess I’m not a fan of the more technical forms of Metal, nor am I particularly fond of the more brutal forms of Death Metal. And I know you’ve already guessed where this is going. Yep, Apocrophex are a Technical Brutal Death Metal band. But you know what? This is unbelievably good.

Maybe it’s because both tracks are short, that they manage to keep my attention throughout their duration. Wheels Within Wheels, is utterly riveting, as the vocals follow the path of the music and these guys are obviously a very tight unit.

Their sound opens up a bit more on Halos Of Light, especially with the inclusion of cleaner vocals and more atmospheric tones and in less than 5 minutes, I’ve been won over.

I’ve nothing but positive things to say about this EP, surprisingly.

I don’t listen to enough Stoner Rock. It’s a genre I’ve always enjoyed, but one I’ve never really explored and got to know properly. So topping up my quota are Mexican band Turbulence. Their laidback approach reminds me of a Stoner version of Pantera with James Hetfield on vocals. Their sound has a head-nodding feelgood vibe and is pretty cool chill-out music.

There’s a backbone of Metal that’s present throughout every track and every song is catchy as hell. I spent ages trying to work out who else they remind me of and I came up with a mixture of early Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana and even a bit of Blind Melon.

So a massive pot of influences and also a sound of their own, mainly created by Adri├ín Santana’s ear pleasing vocals.

Well worth checking out: http://www.reverbnation.com/turbulence1

My Spanish is non-existent, but from what I can work out, Colombian Black Metal band Penumbra, have an album coming out soon. And if you head on over to ReverbNation, you can hear a new track, Marchando a la Guerra, plus a small preview of another track.
There’s also a couple of old demo tracks which have awful production. But at least it shows how much the band have progressed in a short space of time

There’s also a track available on You Tube for another new track, Ritual Genocide

And while we are roaming around You Tube, here’s a track I’ve been playing a lot this week
It’s a rough mix of God Is Dead from UK Black Metal band Nefarious Dusk.

This isn’t the first Serbian band to reach me in recent weeks. The quality of what I’ve found from this country has been very good.
Here we have a new Black Metal project, Ophidian Coil. Gloria In Deo is a furious piece whose aggression is tempered by some glorious Gregorian chanting. Manifestum Mortis is just pure hatred in musical form and its darkness is incredibly pleasing to the ear.

The band has recorded 4 tracks this year, 2 of which can be heard here:

Ending this weeks round-up are Hyre, from the UK. I’ve spotted the band spreading their name around online this week, so it would be rude not to check them out.
Technically, I suppose this could be classed as Black Metal. But this is much more refined, the music more complex and, well, better constructed than your average homage to Satan. And their use of more atmospheric textures is spot on.

This doesn’t provide an immediate fix of exultation, it’s more of a grower and your pleasure is gained from repeated plays as you marvel at how well this is actually put together.

Mooted as part of a trilogy, these guys are definitely ones to keep tabs on as it will be interesting to see how they progress from such a strong opening salvo.

Sixsixsix Music Updates

Had another very productive week. The Skiddaw EP can be found in my Bandcamp shop: http://sixsixsixmusic.bandcamp.com/ 

Skiddaw EP CD Pre-Order 
I should have cd copies of the Skiddaw EP at the end of the month
It'll come in a slim cd case with a booklet

The price in the UK is £4 including postage and all pre-orders will receive 2 x 25mm Skiddaw badges free of charge. All overseas orders have to pay additional postage, so please contact me directly if you're interested from another country and I'll work out the price for you.

And if you just want the badges, the price in the UK is £2.50 including postage
contact: steve@sixsixsixmusic.com 

Baalberith - Apparition Of Skulls
The digital download of the new Baalberith album will be online on Monday June 14th
The cd release date will be announced soon

Here's a sneak peek of a new track

The Wolves Of Avalon album, Boudicca's Last Stand will be out on July 21st
Here's another new track from the album, featuring Thurios of Drudkh on guest vocals. 

Below that, in case you missed this track last week. Here's a track featuring a wonderful performance by Hildr Valkyrie

And finally, I'm pleased to announce another new band to the Sixisixsix Music roster, Haate.

Hailing from Italy, this is a dark ambient project, influenced by the the likes of Lustre, Ulver and Wolves in The Throne Room.

The digital release will be online via Bandcamp on July 13th, with a cd release expected at the end of August

For more regular updates from the label side of Sixsixsix Music, keep an eye on the Facebook page, which is updated most days

Thanks for reading and next weeks update will be back on Friday (hopefully)

Friday, 4 July 2014

Deep In The Underground

Before I get on to this weeks update, can I just say a big thank you to the people that have helped promote my business in the past 7 days. It’s nice when people believe in what you’re doing and are happy to give up their time, all in the name of Metal.

And the week has been very busy. The new Wolves of Avalon album is getting a really good response from the press. And if you want to hear a sneak peak of the album, I’ve just added a video to You Tube.

It was going to be a lyric video, but I didn’t have time to sort it. But enjoy guest vocalist, Hildr Valkyries stunning performance on The Sky Goddess.

 And one more item of note. I started work on this weeks round-up of bands for you discover a few days ago. Since then I’ve agreed a deal with Skiddaw to release a limited edition cd run of their 4 track demo. So I’ve not changed the original wording and this blog will remain as unbiased as it can. So the cd will be out in the next 3 or 4 weeks. And rather than me prattle on, check out the video link in their review.

Ok, here’s the real beginning:

I’m going to start this week, buried deep in the underground

Nox Aeternum are a one man band from Pittsburgh, USA. Mixing Death Metal with a Blackened core, In the Midst of Scarlet Pathways is a great introduction to this project.

I’ve been informed that an album is the works, so expect regular updates on its progress.

And while you’re checking out the new track, give last years, Vale Nostri Moriens Spiritum EP a spin. It’s not a polished as the new track, but it’s a good indicator of how much the music has progressed in the past 6 months. And it’s still a very good release in its own right.

Chronicle are a Thrash band from Denmark and they’ve just released their debut 4 tracker, Welcome The Darkness.

Apart from a bit of guitar work on Blizzard Of Blood, which sounds out of tune, to my untrained ears, this is almost flawless. Its core is Thrash metal, but the growly vocals and hints of Black Metal expand upon the solid foundations to keep it all sounding nice and varied.

The drumming feels very old school in a very nice 80s kind of way and the guitars generally gallop along in a similar vein. I wonder if one of these guys is related to Lars Ulrich, such is the 80s feel to this, especially with the Metallica sounding guitar solo on The Iconoclast Of Tomorrow.

Overall, it’s a very promising debut.

Skiddaw are a raw Black Metal band from Northern England. Taking their name from a mountain in the Cumbrian Lake District, the music is of a similar nature, a thing of towering beauty, with references to their surroundings and local mythology within their lyrics.

There’s only one track online at present, but expect more in the near future and possibly a limited edition cd release of their debut EP.

Visit the at Bandcamp or at their Facebook page

Having spent my last 2 summer holidays very close to Swansea in Wales, it’s nice to bring you news of a band from such a glorious part of the UK – As a side note, everyone should go to The Worms Head on The Gower at least once in their lives. Arguably the best place I’ve visited.

Ok, tourist information plug over with, on to the music

Welsh Black Metal outfit Ghast have previewed a song from the forthcoming 2nd album. And what an unholy racket Scorn and Death is. With one of the best screamed intros you’re likely to hear this year.

You can also view an extremely raw live performance from last years Live Evil festival. It’s just a shame that the sound is a tad bombastic. https://www.facebook.com/GhastUK

And it was a pleasant surprise to find their debut album, May The Curse Bind, on Spotify, complete with 3 tracks from a split album.

If you're still looking for another fix of Underground Metal, don't forget that In God We Trust was released last week.
11 bands for just the price of a single song download

This weeks update is slightly shorter than normal, so I’ll try and do a huge update next Friday

So let's finish up with a bit of headbanging

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

In Metal We Trust Volume 1

In Metal We Trust Volume 1 is out now for the bargain price of just $1

You can buy the album here: http://sixsixsixmusic.bandcamp.com/ 

Crucifixion BR - Eternal Judgement
Sorrowseed - Arcana (of the Lich Queen)
Heid - Golpejar
Heavy Chains - Fugitive
Pick Axe Preacher - Angels In The Ground
Dolentia - Voragem
Chiral - Atto I: Oblio
Aramaic - The Pledge
Awake The Sun - Snow Stained Heart (Promo Version)
Vomitous Mass - Devour Excrement
Godless - Felo De Se

Cover artwork by Chaz Smith

From concept to creation, it’s taken less than a month to put this album together, with no compromise in quality. Most of the bands are unsigned, which just goes to show that there are a number of outstanding underground bands, just waiting to be discovered.

We really hope you enjoy this compilation and please show your support to at least one band, even if it’s just a “like” on their Facebook page. 

All the money received is put towards paying for the albums promotion, including sending out promotional copies via the ipool system.

We are already working on In Metal We Trust volume 2 and the release date will be on September 1st 2014.

There will also be a Black Metal compilation out in September. It will be the 1st release in the Helvete series of Black Metal albums

Here’s a lowdown on all the bands involved:

Track 1:  Crucifixion BR - Eternal Judgement

Crucifixion BR (Brazil)
Anti-religious Black/Death from Brazil

Track 2: Sorrowseed - Arcana (of the Lich Queen)

Sorrowseed (USA)
Progressive Black / Death with Symphonic and Gothic elements

Track 3: Heid - Golpejar

Heid (Spain)
Pagan Folk Metal band from Madrid

Track 4:  Heavy Chains - Fugitive

Heavy Chains (Costa Rica)
Heavy Metal / Thrash band from Costa Rica, one of the great teams of this World Cup