hardcore

Interview: Winds of Genocide

If you’ve somehow missed out on the apocalyptic tornado that is Winds of Genocide, then now’s the time to get yourself acquainted with Durham’s crustiest riff enthusiasts. Pulling together the fury of Extreme Noise Terror, the evil might of early Bathory, the vitriol of Discharge, the pungent filth of Repulsion and the all-encompassing “fuck you” attitude of Darkthrone, theirs is a sound that ticks all the right boxes and can’t fail to stir the spirit of anyone with a propensity toward the grottier, gnarlier side of extreme metal and punk. If these truly are the end of days, then Winds of Genocide are the perfect soundtrack. Let’s hope the Mayans were just a bunch of mean spirited pranksters after all though, if only so that we get to hear the band’s upcoming debut full length next year. I caught up with vocalist Kat Shevil to talk about the new record, the resurgence of cassettes and how she’ll be passing the time when those final meteors start falling…

What inspired you to form Winds of Genocide? What are your musical backgrounds/influences?
Well myself and Glynn (guitar) had both been inactive in the music scene for quite a few years and were getting restless and bored not being involved with a band, I was personally really missing being in a band and even just the simple things like getting together to rehearse and write songs, we were hanging out a lot together at my place getting drunk and listening to a lot of music and especially a lot of old school death metal and crust - käng punk stuff so during one of our drinking/music listening sessions it was suggested that we form a band and mix those styles together as we thought that would be a verycool thing to do, this was around late 2005/early 2006...a few months before I had loaned an album by the American crust punk band Masskontroll called "Will You Ever Learn?"(great album by the way!) and I noticed the songtitle "Winds of Genocide" and thought to myself" that would be the perfect name for a crust band" so when it came to forming a band I decided straight away to use that as the band name (after checking it hadn't been used by any other bands) - so it was really a mix of our love for this kind of music and a want/need to start creating music of our own again that inspired us to give birth to this musical beast that has slowly grew in size over recent years.

My personal musical backgrounds ex bandwise are in the death metal and doom metal scenes, I was vocalist in a death metal band called Morstice from 1992-1994, recorded a couple demos with that band in 1993 (all demos were released on a discography CD last year called "Deathography 1992-1995" via Compilation of Death in Chile, South America), also played a bunch of shows in 93/94 with that band before quitting to form a Doom band called Blessed Realm which was heavily influenced by bands such as Saint Vitus, The Obsessed, Trouble, Pentagram, Candlemass, early Black Sabbath and such bands, did a bunch of demos and played a bunch of shows both around the UK and in mainland Europe with that band throughout the mid-late 90's and into the early 00's before it abruptly split up in 2002 due to personal reasons.

Glynn's musical past is more rooted in the HC-Powerviolence-Grind scenes and he has played in local HC/Grind bands such as Offset, Revolt, Hara Kiri throughout the 1990's, Linus (drummer on first two studio recordings, now second guitar) has played in various punk and grind bands over in Sweden one of which was a really good band called Protest. Dan has been involved in various metal and grind style bands in the past. the most well known probablys being Nails of Christ and Matthew our current drummer's musical background is in thrash/death metal bands. So quite a mixed bag right there background wise!.

Influence wise - well again its quite varied, everything from old school Swedish death metal like early Dismember, early Unleashed, Nihilist/early Entombed, early Grave, God Macabre (and Macabre End) and other old DM stuff like early Bolt Thrower, Autopsy and Master, to Scandinavian crust-käng-d beat punk such as Anti-Cimex, Wolfpack, Wolfbrigade, early Disfear, Meanwhile, Skitsystem, Wolfbrigade etc via Japanese punk such as Framtid and Disclose to old UK 80's/early 90's crust like ENT, Doom, Amebix, Deviated Instinct, American HC-Crust-Punk (especially the Portland punk scene!) such as Masskontroll, Poison Idea, Severed Head Of State, Consume etc., some grind like Terrorizer, Assuck and Repulsion to old extreme/black/thrash metal from 80's such as early Bathory, Possessed, early Sodom, early Kreator, Hellhammer, early Celtic Frost..list goes on!!!.


I understand you’re working on debut album for Pulverised Records at the moment, how’s that coming along?
Yes we are, the full length album will be titled "USURPING THE THRONE OF DISEASE" and be recorded sometime summer 2013 all going to plan, we are currently in discussions with a producer/studio and hope to confirm recording dates soon (that is all I can say right now as far as that is concerned!). The songwriting process is going very well for it, we have a bunch of songs already written and have more new material in the pipeline, I can't reveal any songtitles just yet but the new material is sounding very aggressive, raw and contains a good mix of the styles we are known for. Cover art for the album is being done by Mark Riddick a well known American artist who has worked with a lot of great death/thrash/black metal bands and his piece for the cover is TOTALLY SICK - quite mindblowing in fact, he perfectly captured the album title in that piece of art!. We will spend the first part of 2013 finishing up and refining the writing process/songs and make sure they are totally nailed down before hitting the studio.


Your split with Japanese metal maniacs Abigail is awesome. How did you get in touch with these guys, and can we expect any more split releases in the future?
Thanks! Glad you like the split! I had been doing some trading with Yasuyuki from Abigail for a couple years or so and we both had a mutual appreciation for each others bands so I suggested to him that we should do a split, he was totally into the idea and so I contacted Jerasak at Witchhammer Productions in Thailand to give him first refusal on releasing the split as he had previously released stuff by both ourselves and Abigail (and also Yasuyuki's other band Barbatos). He was also totally into the idea and offered to release it on CD limited to 1000 copies. It took a little while for everything to come together and for the split to finally see the light of the day but it finally came out earlier this year and so far the overall response has been great as have the reviews I have seen so far for it. It is an honour to share a split with such a respected legendary band.

A couple of months ago we secured a release for a vinyl version of the split. Expect a 12" vinyl pressing of the "Satanik Apokalyptic Kamikaze Kommandos" split to be released in 2013 via Doomentia Records in Czech Republic!.

As for future split releases involving ourselves, we'll see - right now the main (and only) focus is on finishing writing the album and then getting that recorded and released.


‘The Arrival of Apokalyptic Armageddon’ was recently re-released on tape via Doombringer Records. Why did you choose to release it on tape, and what are your thoughts on this supposed cassette revival we’re currently experiencing?
Tapes are great, tapes are old school, tapes are very collectable,  I grew up listening to tapes constantly. I used to tape trade like a fucking maniac with half of Poland and such things back in the ealry-mid 90's so listening to music on tape has been a big part of my life (as well as Glynn's) and when we got offered a pro tape release for this recording I/we immediately jumped at the chance to have those songs on such a release! Esa at Doombringer did a great job with the tape, it looks and sounds great!

I think it is great that more labels and bands are releasing stuff/having stuff released on pro cassette tapes! Everything goes around in circles, just also look at the current vinyl revival - who would have thought that would happen 10 years ago?! But trends and cycles come and go.


Is there any chance of hearing some Winds of Genocide releases on vinyl in the future?
Yes! The split with Abigail will be coming out on 12" vinyl via Doomentia Records in 2013. It will feature the same artwork done by SICKNESS666. Keep your eyes open for more info about it!.

Can you tell us about the upcoming Uncoffined project? It sounds like it’s going to be killer!
Uncoffined was spawned in early 2011 out of myself and Glynn's love for heavy Doom music - I also wanted to try my hand at drumming in a band so we started jamming in early Spring 2011 and wrote two songs in the first rehearsal! We started jamming and writing as a 2 piece and then later last year we were joined by 2 other members of my old Doom band Blessed Realm, Garry and Jonny on 2nd/lead guitar and bass respectively and things really began to take shape soundwise and writing wise after a few rehearsals with those guys. It is great being in a band with them both again and Jonny is a very talented lead guitarist and he has brought some solos into the songs. We currently have 5 original songs written for our debut demo which will be titled "Ritual Death and Funeral Rites" they are called "Twisted Shape of Creeping Terror", "Night Of The Witch Childe", "Ritual Death & Funeral Rites", "The Devil And The Old Cursed Tree" and "Blasphemous Execration Of Holy Ground". We have also learnt a cover version of a song called "Frustrations" by the American Doom metal band Revelation... We have the best part of 40 mins worth of music to record now and will be entering Studio 1in12 in Feburary 2013 Bradford to record them with Bri Doom (Doom, Lazarus Blackstar) producing. Not quite sure when the demo will be released or in what format(s) yet but again keep an eye out for more info via our Facebook page. We will
play our first show here in Durham City on 12th January which I am very much looking forward to.

Musically we are heavily inspired and take influences from bands such as early Cathedral, Winter, early Penance, Dream Death, Revelation, Hellhammer, early Celtic Frost, 13, Grief, Runemagick, Thy Grief Eternal, Saint Vitus, early Black Sabbath, early Candlemass etc...musically it is pretty much traditional/classic heavy doom metal for the most part with a few dark death metal and nihilistic misanthropic sludge influences thrown into the mix for good measure, the vocals are harsh death growls which just make the songs sound more evil and morbid. I am tagging us as "Doomed Metal Darkness" and/or "Heavy Doom Metal Of Death". Both perfectly fit our music/songs.


Do you think a Winds of Genocide / Uncoffined tour could be on the cards at all?
Not together but seperately definetly at some point(s) in the future. Really wanna get outside of the UK to play shows with both bands.


2012 has been a damn good year for extreme metal, in all its different guises. Are there any releases that have really stood out for you?
I have heard SO MUCH great new music this year and have gotten hold of so many great albums and some great demos, E.P.S too - here is a list of some standouts:-

TOP 25 Albums (In no particular order - THEY ALL RULE!!):-

Acephalix - Deathless Master (Southern Lord)
Struck By Lightning - True Predation (Translation Loss Recordings)
Wolfbrigade- Damned (Southern Lord)
Martyrdöd- Paranoia (Southern Lord)
Derketa - In Death We Meet (self released)
Anguish -Through The Archdemons Head (Dark Descent)
Bombs of Hades -The Serpent's Redemption (Pulverised Records)
Okkultokrati - Snakereigns ( Fysisk Format)
Degial -Death's Striking Wings (Sepulchral Voice)
Infernoh -War Tjard (D takt och Rå Punk)
Dead In The Woods -The Sign of The Son of Man (Viral Age)
Putrefaction -Blood Cult (Underground Movement)
Tragedy -Darker Days Ahead (Feral Ward)
Master-  The New Elite (Pulverised Records)
Chapel -Satans Rock 'n' Roll (Hells Headbangers)
Black Breath -Sentenced to Life (Southern Lord)
Nuclear Death Terror -Chaos Reigns (Southern Lord)
Tormentor - Violent World (Iron Shield Records)
Ursut -Dårarnas Paradis (La Familia))
Lazarus Blackstar - Hymns For The Cursed (Undergroove)
Forward- War Nuke and Death Sentence (HG Fact)
Faustcoven - Hellfire and Funeral Bells (Nuclear War Now!)
Usurpress -Trenches of The Netherworld( Selfmade God Records)
Jess and The Ancient Ones -S/T (Svart Records)
Grave- Endless Procession Of Souls (Century Media) - true return to old school Grave form!


EPS / Split E.P. stuff

Deviated Instinct - Liberty Crawls to the Sanctuary of Slaves.... EP (Profane Existence)
Hellkrusher - various split tracks

Demos

SaturninE (Ita) -Demo
Occultist (USA) - demo
Sküll(Nor) -demo
Mabuse (Nor) -Stench of Death demo
Necrot (USA) -demo (Blood Divine)
Lawless (USA) -Nite of The Wolf demo (Blood Divine)
Into Darkness (Ita) - Demo

Quite a few Southern Lord releases in that list but that label has been releasing so much great crust-d beat-HCPunk stuff in recent times... The current roster is the best the label has ever had in my opinion.

I am bound to have forgot some great albums but can't mention them or remember them all at this moment in time! The list goes on....those are a few that really have stood out to me.

According to some (perhaps extremely misguided) folk, this world’s going to end tomorrow… What will you be doing to celebrate the coming Apocalypse?
Getting Drunk!

Thanks for the interest - buy our shit! We have double sided shirts available, skull/wings logo patches, split Cds with Abigail - email me at shevil.kitty666[at]gmail.com for more ordering and price info. Watch out for both Winds of Genocide and Uncoffined releases in 2013. RIDE UPON THE BLACK WINGS OF ARMAGEDDON!

For more information about Winds of Genocide, you can visit their official Facebook page.

Clash Of The Titans (Review: Converge / Napalm Death Split, 2012)

This has got to be one of the year’s most highly anticipated split releases (if I need to introduce either of these two heavyweights to you, then you’re reading the wrong site), especially after Converge’s stunning split with fastcore champions Dropdead last year and Napalm’s triumphant return to form (aside from one or two slightly clumsy moments) with ‘Utilitarian’. These two bands may be firing on all cylinders at the moment, but does this release live up to the hype?

Converge waste no time at all in obliterating the listener’s senses with the furious ‘No Light Escapes’, a song that will be familiar to anyone who’s caught them live recently. It’s a powerful blast of the kind of chaotic hardcore that only Converge can really pull off, with a fist pumping middle section and a finish that swaggers like Keith Richards hopped up on speedballs and bath salts, all in the space of 50 seconds. In short, it’s totally fucking awesome! Before you’ve had a chance to catch your breath, the band race on, into their star-studded and much-hyped rendition of 'Wolverine Blues'. Given the amount of contemporary hardcore bands taking inspiration from the mighty Entombed at the moment, the fact that Converge have assembled Thomas Lindberg (At The Gates), Aaron Turner (Isis), Kevin Baker (All Pigs Must Die) and Brian Izzi (Trap Them) to cover the Swedish legends seems like a fitting and wholly appropriate tribute. It’s a pretty faithful cover, but Converge nevertheless manage to put their own stamp on this classic song, riding its meaty grooves with confidence and style. If you’re able to resist the urge to bang your head until your brain cells cry out for mercy, you can also have some fun playing ‘Spot The Vocalist’, with each guest musician taking turns to spit out the lyrics. There’s a real nice atmosphere here, like that time you invited all your mates round to cover a bunch of death metal classics in your garage. Fun vibes, and top riffs – always a recipe for success!

Any thoughts that Napalm Death may struggle to compete with this fine display are quickly annihilated, as the band fire into action with ‘Will By Mouth’, one of the most grinding tunes they’ve belted out in years. The song speeds ahead with a breakneck intensity and a genuine sense of righteous indignation, before concluding with a grotty punk-infused ending that would have Extreme Noise Terror fuming with jealousy. ‘No Impediment To Triumph (Bhopal)’ finds the band playing around with those industrial sounding, Godflesh-esque chord progressions they’ve been using sporadically for the last couple of years, but skewering them with bleak, angular twitches of aggression. The song twists and turns through quite a few turbulent different sections, and is probably one of the more successful of their recent melodic experiments, combining their well-documented Swans obsession with the same unbridled fury that initially made their name. Napalm’s contribution is nothing radically different from the material on their last few albums, but only the most hardened cynic would dismiss this as ‘Napalm-by-numbers’ – the band sound fresh, energised and gleefully destructive, with Barney’s vocals especially standing out as sounding particularly vicious, almost straining with sheer venom in places. My only slight gripe is that Shane’s thunderous bass doesn’t ring through quite as clearly as it has done on previous outings, but you’ll probably be grinding along too hard to notice.

So, to answer my initial question – yes, this absolutely does live up the hype. It may be short, but this is a textbook example of the phrase “all killer, no filler”, with both bands stepping up their game and delivering the goods in abundance. If you’re a fan of either of these bands, you’re probably already cranking this right now, but if not, then you certainly don’t want to miss out on this, a potent reminder of just how good both these acts really are.

Deathwish Records

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Between The Hammer And The Anvil (Review: Hammers, 'Vardøgr', 2012)

When Manchester’s Hammers originally called it a day a few years ago, it was hard to shake the feeling that the UK hardcore scene had lost one of its most innovative and interesting bands, so to say that the news of the band's return was warmly welcomed is an understatement. And If their recent European tour wasn’t cause enough for celebration, they’ve also just released what may be their most aggressive and intricate recording to date.

An ominous layer of feedback greets the listener upon pressing play, before ‘Casting Spells’ kicks in with a feral, wide-eyed intensity. ‘Trepanning Infinity’ strikes with the deadly hyperactive d-beat/blast combo that’ll be familiar to any fans of the band, but with a more streamlined approach this time round, aiming straight for the jugular and successfully tearing it to shreds. While some bands of this ilk run the risk of falling flat on their face with aimless displays of angst, Hammers manage to sound genuinely unhinged whilst retaining an impressive amount of focus and clarity, and keep things varied and interesting enough to keep the listener gripped; you’ll probably find yourself alternating between stages of furious fist pumping and slack jawed awe whilst spinning this.

The staggering, sea-sick lurch of ‘Endoteric’ bursts into the ferocious ‘The Sun’s Journey Through The Night’, complete with riffs that sound like an anxious and sleep deprived Trap Them coming off a week long amphetamine binge. Rather than allowing them time to mellow, it seems taking a break has renewed the band’s vigour, and much of previous album ‘Orogeny’s subtle hints of melancholy have been replaced with sheer, balls-out fury (just wrap your ears around the utterly psychotic rampage of ‘The Spectacle’), making ‘Vardøgr’ an incredibly angry sounding record, doused with liberal splashes of piss and vinegar. That’s not to say that Hammers’ aural battery has become emotionally one-dimensional however (the turbulent chugging of ‘A Coffin In The Shape Of A Chapel’, for example, contains that same unrestrained sense of despair that made ‘Year One’ such a gripping listen), it’s just that whilst previously the band seemed to find themselves abandoned and confused in a stark, hostile world, now they’ve struck back with vicious intent, determined to destroy all in their path (as evidenced by the absolutely raging ’22:22’).

There’s no doubt about it – Hammers are back, and twice as angry and pissed off than ever before. If you dig the kind of bleak hardcore currently being supplied by bands from across the pond like Trap Them, Nails and Dead In The Dirt, then you’ll be pleased to hear that Hammers are a European band that can easily match the aforementioned acts in terms of ferocity, passion and sheer pulse racing awesomeness. In ‘Vardøgr’, the band has created a powerful and engaging record that will remain with you long after its all too brief 20 minute running time has expired.

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This One's for Fun. It's Called "Never Surrender!"

  I have posted about Negative Approach before, quickly reviewing their 10 song 7".  It really is a nearly flawless piece of music history tightly rolled up in a tiny package to be unleashed upon the unsuspecting. Negative Approach then put out some tracks on a couple of comps and finally an LP called "Tied Down". On this sweet ass DVD entitled "Reproach DVD Vol. 1" you see the band evolve from a very early show(their first?) with only songs from demos to a full on wrecking force destroying venues full of young hipsters and punks. There are three full sets present, including a bonus song I talk about below, each showing off the bands growing strength and expanding repertoire of songs including favourites of mine such as "Can't Tell No One", "Pressure", "Live Your Life", "Whatever I Do", "Lead Song" and "Lost Cause".

 

 Here's a link to them doing a fucking amazing cover of "Never Surrender" by Blitz. They do this three different times on the DVD, and to be honest I NEVER get tired of it. I have a deep seeded love of covers, and this one fucking rules. I have this link starting at the cover because the rest of the video is a mostly poor rip of the DVD. When I watch my copy it's not nearly as bright and the sound is much better. You need to see this either way.

 Never say why, never say die, it's always worth another try"!

 

Also the very last song on here is ANOTHER cover. This time it's the Misfits playing a show in MI and having John Brannon(with hair!?!) helping them vocals for a rendition of "Can't Tell No One". Brannon's voice overpowers everything else that has mics attached to it, although you can hear Danzig in the backround during vocal pauses yelling "Go!" in true Danzig fashion.

Incarnated Solvent Abuse (Review: Huffin' Paint, Demo, 2012)

There’s been no shortage of musicians praising the effects of various intoxicants and altered states of mind on their creative process throughout musical history, but this Northern foursome could well be the first to publicly declare their love for the simple joys of paint based solvent abuse. Whilst heading down to IKEA to plunge your nose into a bucket of their finest emulsion may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s hard to argue with the band’s extra-curricular activities when the result is this good; 5 minutes of blistering, tongue-in-cheek fastcore guaranteed to please any self-respecting Hellnation fan.

The vocals possess the same kind of snotty, obnoxious yelp as the late, great Charles Bronson (the band, that is, not their gun toting, moustachioed namesake), and lyrically, the demo touches on drunken Brits abroad, Ray Winstone’s floating head, the seedy underbelly of the Lake District, and, of course, huffin’ paint – and all of this whilst being bombarded by numerous blink-and-you’ll-miss-‘em blasts of spazzy hardcore fury! The demo has a fair amount of variation during its short running time however, with the fist pumping, early 80’s hardcore style intro to ‘LADS!!!!!’ and the slightly slower, more melodic crunch of ‘Vice Punx’ providing a brief bit of respite before launching back into the speed laden chaos. As is normally the case with Nottingham’s ever reliable Stuck On A Name Studios, this is spot on sound-wise, with every instrument clearly audible and the suitably abrasive guitar tone helping to heighten the feeling of being slapped about the face whilst hurling up your dinner into the nearest paint bucket.

At a lean 5 minutes, the demo does its job in acquainting you with the band but still leaves you wanting more by the time closer ‘The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’ (an ode to getting rat-arsed at Christmas) comes to a fittingly abrupt end. On the basis of this demo, this seems like a promising band indeed, and this is well worth checking out for any fastcore fanatics out there. Just make sure you have your paint cans within arm’s reach…

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