Archive for Warcollapse

Review: Agnosy

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2019 by Magadh

Agnosy When Daylight Reveals the Torture Scream Records

Every few years the London crust band Agnosy drops another record. They seem to take a little longer between releases than some other bands, but it always seems like it’s worth the wait. When Daylight Reveals the Torture is no exception. As with their first two LPs (Past the Point of No Return and Traits of the Past), this new release is redolent with dark atmosphere. With each recording, Agnosy have managed increasingly complex song structures. They’re not the most melodic of crust bands. They don’t have the spiraling riffs of bands like Martyrdöd or Burning Bright, but they find their way to a happy medium between melody and hard-charging crust that works every time.

I like crust as a musical format, but I don’t find myself reviewing a lot of crust records, and it’s mostly because I don’t have a huge amount to say about them. It’s not hard to sound like Anti-Cimex, but that was then and this is now. So why is it that I find Agnosy so compelling? There are several reasons, but the most important is song structure. If you listen to In Extremis, Martyrdöd’s second record (and the one on which they really found their voice) what you hear is riffs that are longer and more complicated than those of Crude SS and their legion of imitators. This, by the way, is no slam on Crude SS, who were pioneers of crust in the same way as bands like (the aforementioned) Anti-Cimex, or Asocial, or Mob 47, or…well, you get the picture. Crust needed to develop stylistically and In Extremis was a step forward that moved the whole genre ahead.

Since then there have been a lot of very good crust records released, records that have picked up the gauntlet that Martyrdöd threw down. Some of you out there might be reading this and this that I’m getting the periodization wrong, forgetting bands like His Hero is Gone or From Ashes Rise or Tragedy. That’s a fair point, but I think that Martyrdöd’s riff structure is more complicated than any of those bands, much as they are all world-crushingly awesome. To my ears, Wretched of the Earth or Dark Circles are bands that have taken the idea of more complex riffs and song structures forward.

In any case, Agnosy have produced another absolutely raging disc, their best one yet by a ways, and that is really saying something. The guitar sound is crisp and clear, which is always a big question when you’re dealing with down-tuning. It tells you a lot that this disc was mastered at Audiosiege by Brad Boatright. Boatright has made himself into the pre-eminent figure is this line of work by making bands sound awesome without necessarily making them sound like From Ashes Rise. Not that it would necessarily be a bad thing if they did, but his products manage to be both dark and clear in ways that manage to sound original rather than just being copies of what his band sounds like.

When Daylight Reveals the Torture is pretty close to an ideal crust record. It isn’t too long, clocking in around half an hour or so. It leaves the listener wanting more, not less. In a related vein, the song arrangements are good, reasonably complex without losing focus. One of the real failings of a lot of crust music is the need to rehash the same ideas over and over. If you’re going to do really simple riffs, the songs need to be short enough that the people listening aren’t looking at their watches by the end. It’s one thing when you’re playing live and can bludgeon the audience with sound. On record there is a lot to be said for shorter is better. The relatively more worked out structure of Agnosy’s riffs keeps interest quite nicely. The guitars are thick and guttural, but the retain enough tone to make the music sound bright, in a downtuned sort of way. Politically engaged lyrics are a plus, and the singer sounds kind of demented while still making identifiable words. Stylistically they sound a bit like slightly catchier version of Myteri (at least to my ear), or Instinto, or maybe a bit like Warcollapse, although the drumming is a little less far out. Anyway, this release is absolute quality and really stands head and shoulders above what is a very crowded crusty field just at the moment.

Crust/D-Beat Playlist

Posted in Playlists with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2013 by Magadh

We’ve been brewing up some weird stuff down in the bunker, but through the fumes it occurred to us that people might have an interest in what we were spinning in our long nights over the soilent vats. We’re going to try to offer up playlists on a bi-monthly basis, each with a thematic base. The theme here (as the title indicates) is a combination of crust and d-beat.  Discerning listeners will note that there are a couple of things in this list that are a bit marginal in terms of these categories, but I think they fit in terms of atmosphere. In the end, it’s up to you to decide.

1. Skitsystem, “Apokalypsens Svarta Änglar
2. Martyrdöd, “Vägen Ur
3. From Ashes Rise, “The Final Goodbye
4. Hellcrawler, “Devastation
5. Infäme, “Adeu Amarg
6. After the Bombs, “Bloody Aftermath
7. Monastery, “Mutilating
8. Passiv Dödshjalp, “Virtuella Bojor
9. Viimeinen Kolonna, “Sinä Häviät
10. Livstid, “Permafrost
11. Misantropic, “Raise the Gallows
12. G-Anx, “Victims of Our Ignorance
13. Instinto, “Dominación
14. Crude S.S., “Destroy Capitalism
15. Anti-Cimex, “Braincell Battle
16. Final Warning, “The Bunker
17. Disfear, “Misanthropic Generation
18. Warcollapse, “Timebomb State
19. Mördare, “Rivers of Diesel
20. Masakari, “Rapid Dominance
21. Kvoteringen, “Sjuk Värld
22. Discharge, “Doomsday
23. Infernöh, “Länge Leve Mig
24. Wolfpack, “A Basic Urge to Kill
25. Sacrilege, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind


New Death and Crust

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , on November 19, 2012 by Magadh

I’ve been flakey to the point of really annoying the Captain, which as it happens doesn’t take much doing. At least I’ve known him long enough that he doesn’t threaten to set off a tactical nuke in the bunker every time I don’t get the duty logs filed. But you know how it is: everyone’s patience has its limits. Anyway, I don’t even really have a good excuse for lagging. Really, I’ve spent every free moment in the last couple of weeks at the bottom of a bottle and just haven’t had the energy to get things posted. As a result, things have piled up a little. There are bands out there (you know who you are) to whom I have made undertakings about getting things reviewed and stuff. I’m going to work through the backlog.

I’ve heard a lot of stuff recently, but the thing that really sticks out for me is the Töxik Death demo. These Norwegians have apparently been around for quite some time (2003 if the information on the web is to be believed), but this is their second release, the first having been an EP of some kind. They must really have been swilling a lot of Ringnes if it took them nine years to get it together. Perhaps there is something to be respected in that. In any case, what I do know for a fact about this band is that they rock incredibly fucking hard. This is raw, primal death metal played at blistering fucking speed. There are some blast beat passages thrown in for good measure, but the vast majority of this is just breakneck thrash with no quarter asked. It’s a little tough to tell what’s going on lyrically, although song titles like “TerrorSexSlaughter” do not portend a particularly high level of consciousness. On the other hand, you’d have to say that they are of a piece with the rest of the product.

For those with an interest in knowing more, they did an interview with another site here and one of their cuts has been uploaded to Youtube here.

I stumbled on to Bombs of Hades quite by accident. They’ve been a thing since 2002, driven forward by Jonas Ståhlhammar and Anders Ekman who were both in Abhoth in the late 80s/early 90s (their Forever to Be . They put out a demo in 2006 called Meathook Diaries which was ok but nothing to write home about. Their first full CD, Chambers of Abominations which came out in 2010, was a big stylistic step forward. The Serpent’s Redemption came out in October and is pretty much more of the same…only better. This is death metal with an even mixture of crusty and Gothenburg influences. Buzzsaw guitars and guttural vocals really pop in the mix. It’s not quite Nominon, as it has a bit more of a straight rock influence, but those who loved Terra Necrosis will most likely dig this as well. These guys have been doing this sort of thing for a long time and it really shows. The arrangements are pretty straightforward, but also very effective. You don’t find yourself scratching your head and wondering why this part came after that, as you do on some of the rawer releases in this vein. I have to say, I really love the black and white cover as well. It adds a really down market element to the whole thing which makes it that much more appealing. Here is a bit of footage of them doing a cut from their earlier release, while this is the first cut off of The Serpent’s Redemption. Thrash on you crazy diamonds.

Finally, I picked up a copy of Chaos Reigns, the compilation of EP releases and stuff from Denmark’s Nuclear Death Terror. Props to the people at Southern Lord for putting this thing out. NDT was a band whose name I’d heard but really hadn’t gotten around to pursuing. Did I say Denmark? Jeez, I guess I mean Australia, since that’s where they’ve decamped to since last I heard about them (at least if their Facebook page is to be believed). In any case, there is a lot to like about these guys, not least the fact that they seem to have coalesced out of the squatter scene and to have some actual political consciousness, which is of course not always the case with this kind of music. This is thick, metal tinged crust, reminding one sometimes of Nausea, at other times of more straight crust acts like Warcollapse. The singer sounds like he is actually pulling pieces of his lungs out, which you have to really appreciate.

Ok, enough from me for now. I’ll be back in a day or two with a bit of new d-beat for you. I also have a couple of book reviews in the works. Maybe once I get this shit posted I can convince the Captain to take his finger off the button.