Find us on Facebook!

To keep updated like our page at:

Or on Twitter:

Or E-mail us at:

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Reviews: Perpetua, Dead Head, The Magogas, Divided (Reviews By Patches, Zak Skane, Mark Young & GC)

Perpetua - Resurgence (Seek And Strike) [Patches]

Scottish quintet and groove metal band have released their new feature length album Resurgence . Well I like Groove Metal and I like Scotland, so let’s see what this is all about .

The intro song Resurgence fills me with hope. Building with dark swells forbidden atmosphere and blending perfectly into track 2 Resolve. Riff wise this immediately sounds very Ashes Of The Wake era Lamb Of God. And utilises all the techniques that made that such a great album. 

The clean vocals actually work! sounding more like an ungodly football chant than the Disney lines “core” bands seem to have become accustomed with. The guitar solo contrasts the dark with a cheeky attitude to start, this is yet another positive as Perpetua’s lead player isn’t just relying on the tried and tired shred technique wankathon and shows us some personality.

The Hell It Brings brings pummelling beats, death, thrash sections and those evil grooving motifs metal got from combining Pantera and At The Gates. Even the singing over the pedal tone riff doesn’t piss me off. You can call it subjective but I’m saying they’re doing it right.

Tethered is aggressive in its delivery, fast violence constructs a space that makes the drops an effective place to find out what whiplash feels like. Clever rhythms smashed with diminished strums almost funky in attack like black metal chords in flairs.

Overcome is slower painting its sinister ambience with low drones, sharp discordance and smart percussion. Gojira pic scrapes slice through the breaks like a red hot laser. A cracking bass tone becomes more apparent during the drop before it’s lost under a less thought out but equally effective shred section. 

Human has some interesting finger twisters and some more beautiful discordant stabs. The drop has no hint it’s coming, leading to instant stank face. Nu metal wah sneaks into the background and I stop typing and start slapping the beats out on my knee like some uncontrollable coked up gibbon (This is a good sign).

Trapped Mind is another banger, Seven songs in and the quality hasn’t dwindled in the slightest. I’m especially fond of the desperate and desolate black metal type riff this song plays out with.

The obligatory tom driven intro song on a metal album has appeared. This Is Retribution has a simpler almost early Machine Head vibe to it. Chugs for days! Here’s a drinking game for you; throw back some buckfast every time you hear a chug during this song. disclaimer; I will not be held responsible for anyone stupid enough to attempt this feat.

Forsaken goes all out intense in the drums and riffs department. The anger is complimented by a beautifully twisted darkened motif as the drums drop to half time. The song also contains the first lyric I’ve actually managed to make out… That lyric is the deep thought inducing “Fuck You”.

Ending with Alone In The Static progressing octaves drive us to more groove afflicted melodic death metal. Perfectly appointed stops for the stomp dance. The singing almost pushes into Metalcore but is natural enough to work over the moderately depressing picked riff beneath. There’s an almost Corey Taylor-ness to the softer vocal that follows. Time for harmonic minor shred the Drop! Oof! The riff that fades out under the final chord is akin to a post-credit scene. Yes, we have more, but you’re not getting it yet. Yer damn tease mun!

Resurgence is fucking great! From start to finish it feels like listening to early Lamb Of God with modern production. This is a double edged sword though as I didn’t really spend much time during the album not thinking “that could be a Lamb Of God riff”. 

Heavy as a pizza crunch! Now, if you’ve never had a Glaswegian friend introduce you to this monstrosity after a night on the sauce. Let me explain; a pizza crunch is a deep fried battered pizza, and although that may seem like a great idea while you’re seeing double at 4am, it will leave you feeling dirtier than a trash-panda with mange, chronic diarrhoea and a heroin problem. 

Regardless of this, it’s definitely synonymous with very heavy! And Perpetua are damn heavy! Beautifully constructed grooves, hooks, riffs, drops and discordant atmosphere. I highly recommend Perpetual, Resurgence for their resurgence of that sweet spot in groove and melodic metal. 8/10

Dead Head - Shadow Soul (Hammerheart Records) [Zak Skane]

Just after two year since the release of their previous album Slave Driver, the band are celebrating their 35th anniversary by releasing their follow up 8 track album Shadow Soul

For still being in the game for 35 years the four piece can still pack the energy with songs like their opening track Litany Of The Weak, which comes in with some classic opening cymbal chokes before the band comes in with full throttle energy. This track features some neck snapping skank beats from Hans Spijker whilst Ronnie van der Wey and Robbie Woning lock in with furious picking patterns whilst Ralph de Boer flawlessly matches their intensity with his vocal abilities. Throughout verse and choruses the energy remains consistent until the speeds plummet into foot stopping hardcore tempos that really highlights the grinding guitar tones and pounding drums. 

To match the thrash intensity the following track Serpents Of Fame opens up with some technical hammer on riffs before it comes with some mid tempo punchy riffs that are accompanied with bludgeoning down beats that lures the listener in before they are greeted with transitions of additional up beat technically charged riffs and Slayer style solos. 

Following this The Age Of Hype brings in some Exodus and Testament sounding riffs that are mixed with precise harmonics, wrist snapping tremolo picking and evil sounding scales. On this 8 track album we also hear the bands take on down tempo death metal with tracks like and Caverns Of Fate and The Run, where the band brings in a more Obituary style approach with the riffs being played over bludgeoning half time drum beats, as a result makes them sound more evil and gnarly as a result whist this sea of sludge runs, Ralph spews each lyrics with the same amount of toxicity as Obituary’s John Tardy.

The only time that this album falls short, is when the songs either sound incomplete for forced. For example the triplet riff instrumental of Soul Defiance felt that it didn’t have enough depths to be an instrumental but it had enough potential to be a full song if it featured some lyrics, and their acoustic instrumental Dark Emptiness just sounded like a typical acoustic driven interlude that has featured on many thrash albums. 

Shadow Soul still proves that after 35 years Dead Head can still bring the heavy whist keeping true to their roots. Litany Of The Weak and The Age Of Hype still shows no sign of them slowing down any time soon whilst Caverns Of Fate and The Run know how to keep bludgeoning the listener at slow tempos. For fans of Exodus and Obituary. 8/10
The Magogas - 48 Moons (Go Down Records) [Mark Young]

Instrumental stoner rock, with hints of psychedelia and a garnish of space rock? Go on, treat yourself!! Power trio, The Magogas came together In the summer of 2020 with each bringing a different sonic influence to bear (hardcore punk, stoner, grunge) amongst others. 

As soon as it kicks off, you can hear their influences from a mile away in opener Lost In The Fog, it channels Kyuss and early QOTSA In a straight-ahead rocker and is a good marker for the following songs. They start to find their range on #5 with warm fuzz sound and a riff that again evokes their influence. Its good in terms of keeping you engaged with it and with them, but I wonder if they have dug themselves into a hole by sounding too-much like their influences over the first two songs. Well, sort of. 

Lunar Seal is an immediate collection of some of the best bits of those bands mentioned along with Atomic Beeswax where you are playing ‘Name that album’. I’m trying not to be negative about it because the music is pretty cool, it flows organically and sounds great. It’s just that if you have heard those riffs before there is a risk of it detracting from what they are bringing here. Or you just straight up ignore it and get into the groove they are laying down and enjoy it. 

Lunar Seal deals in grooves from start to finish, cramming a ton in just the first two minutes just so they can ease off a touch with a quieter middle section, which of course allows them to bring the whole thing back to the boil. Cemetery Of Good Intentions brings a little of the power cosmic, its opening guitar lines imbuing a feeling of otherworld’s as it crashes into a snarling riff which they take further into rhythm freak-out territory. It’s a cracking piece, making the following track seems a little pedestrian, but that’s ok. 

Nicoletta The Harlot with the bass heralding a faster attack, a desert version of garage rock with a filthy solo break that screams that they are just having so much fun putting this together and it shows. There is some fantastic bass work on this one during the spaced-out section, keeping everything moving before they regroup and take the song to its natural conclusion. It doesn’t have the same number of ideas as the others but makes up for it in terms of pure energy. 

Polish Brick recentres on that stoner / desert motif once more, taking in some of those influences mentioned earlier and stretching them out into an 8-minute opus. This gives them chance to really spread their sound, adding in sonic textures here and there. There is a sense of them finding that effective balance and making their music more about taking a journey with them to destinations unknown. What is apparent is that they can absolutely rock out. None of these ends on a quiet note. 

Too High To See The Coast brings us to the last three songs, its another high-energy riff out that pays homage (ahem) to the Queens of the desert with a laid-back middle that would not be out of the place elsewhere whilst Despotic Bitch’s Blues drops a little sludge amongst the crashing drums with a cheeky riff, changing tempo to suit from rapid to slow, hard rock posturing and with Closure bounding out of the gate heads down and arse up it’s a fine end to a solid collection of instrumental rock. 

I think that if you dig the same bands they do, there is a great deal to enjoy here. They don’t allow energy levels to drop, they avoid the sin of repeating the same idea over and over again and above all, its sounds like they are having a blast doing it. Like Desert rock? Like instrumentals? You’ll like this. 7/10

Divided - Light Will Shine (Dunk! Records) [GC]

Little in the way of background info on Divided, I can see after checking they are from Belgium and after the release on an EP four or so years ago, they have been working diligently to perfect their debut album Light Will Shine and that’s about as much as I know!! It all starts off in a very promising way with Cinder which is jagged and djenty and all mixed in with some lovely sounding hardcore riffs and this is all in the first 30 seconds of the song starting! 

At first the vocals sound ferocious and really hit the mark but then when it all slows down and gets a bit moody and post-hardcore the vocals are a bit odd. It feels like the vocalist is just having a bit of a rant and it’s got some music behind it, and it’s not really something that clicks with me if I am honest, but when it does kick back in and gets back to being hectic and unpredictable, it’s a much better listen all round but this song has to much of a mix of both and kind of drags a little towards the end. 

Days Undone takes on the opposite end of the spectrum and is full of dense atmospherics and sensitive, almost soft dynamics and doesn’t really explode into life until about 2 minutes in and when it does the harder edged post-hardcore sound is back and suits them perfectly and the mixing in and out on this song actually pays off as you can see a path and feel a direct identity, Kattestraat is just 2 minutes of ambient noise that seems utterly pointless as it offers nothing at all, before The Vicious Loop aims for the epic style you need when it comes to ambient noisecore and it almost nails it but there is just a nagging feeling that they need to add something to really step to the next level.

I have heard this type of style done much better than this by say Devil Sold His Soul or Rinoa and I can only compare this to what I know of the genre and when a song last 9:40 seconds I really need it to hit me hard early and keep my attention throughout which this just doesn’t do as the last 5 or so minutes are just a bit dull and lifeless. 

Remaining In Limbo does fare better though and ramps the aggro back up and has some nice guitar work and clever mixing of the atmospheric and noise elements and it really needed at this point because its all got a little one paced and lacking in direction, but this is the jolt that you need to get your attention back but it falls into the trap at the end of not really knowing how to end the song and just drifts away before one final flourish right at the end. 

The City Slowly Undresses then absolutely pisses away the momentum and is 6 minutes of whispered words and muted sounds that don’t do anything and is just boring in all honesty!? Directly after this we get The Warped Loop which is back to the heavier side of the sound and again it’s the pick up that is needed, its harsh and frantic in places and mixes in the quiet/loud dynamic really well and it just adds to the frustration because if they are capable of this sort of thing they need to do it WAY more often to stop people getting bored and turning off! 

Anyway, the last track Sleepers is predictably disappointing as for 5:30 it is more of the tedious side of Divided and by the time they try and get the attention again, I have totally given up even trying anymore. This was a wholly frustrating album, when it was good its was frantic and heartfelt but unfortunately the vast majority of it was just a bit boring and uninspiring, they manage to drag songs on way past the point of them being enjoyable and need to learn when to cut back a bit. 

As I said, some of it I really enjoyed but most of it I didn’t and the odd blast of excitement does not make and album worth listening to again and I certainly wont be going back to this in a hurry. 4/10

No comments:

Post a Comment