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Wednesday 15 May 2024

Reviews: SVNEATR, Take Offense, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, Waste (Reviews By Matt Bladen)

SVNEATR - Never Return (Prosthetic Records)

Third album from Vancouver extreme metal band comes as the band celebrate their 10 year anniversary. Following their 2021 album Chinhook, band founder Vitharr Monteith (guitar/vocals) didn't know if the band would survive much longer. He found himself worrying about not only the future of SVNEATR but of the world in general with corporate tyranny on the rise, the global pandemic and the environmental crisis. These things are all what inspired Never Return an album that is about resignation, how to live with the world in it's current state. Monteith's approach to this record was to take everything they have learned over 10 years and create their most progressive record to date.

Swathes of atmospheres driven by strings and the impressive guitar playing of Vitharr and James Readman, lead us out of the last track Reaper Of The Universe, an elongated outro that is just an instrumental journey finishes off Never Return in a way that would make you doubt that this is an extreme metal album. Their duality with the guitars, moving between tremolo picking, death metal grinds, acoustics etc builds on the already technically gifted black metal style the band are known for but embellishing it. The addition of cello and contrabass from bassist Shawn Hillman who adds both of these to his repertoire and uses them on the record to brilliant effect, expanding the sonic output of SVNEATER.

Omen has some slow moving groove ala Gojira, even bringing some of those fret slides the French heavies love. It means that they can unleash metallic hell on the title track, Matthew Logan's drumming dictating the changing pace of And When Comes The Storm. This track is where SVNEATR have added to their sound with some chanting and clean vocals too, the chants coming at the end of Omen especially. This Canadian foursome's third album is an advancement in their overall sound; with the doubts cast over their future erased Never Return is a crowning achievement. 8/10

Take Offense -  T.O.tality (MNRK Heavy)

I've always talked about how picky I am with thrash, a lot of it just doesn't always sit well with me. However crossover thrash is a different thing. Maybe it's the punk and hardcore elements, the more rabid approach or the fact I was brought up with the Tony Hawk's soundtrack, I gravitate more towards any band who have that crossover sound. 

Releasing their debut on MNRK Heavy but their fourth record total, SoCal band Take Offense tick all the right boxes for fans of the crossover style. This is a bunch of Cali dudes playing music to skate, drink and toke to. It's anti-authority, anti-fascist and proudly shouts about Latino/Mexican heritage. Influences are of course fellow SoCal legends Suicidal Tendencies but also shredding bands such as Ratt of Van Halen where the Strip bled into the world of the Z-Boys, listen to the title track. The album is a tribute to the acts that have come before them and their scene in general. 

From the abrasive S.W.O to the shredtastic If I'm Damned Then So Be It, there's aggression in Uncivilised Animals, while Now Or Never brings the speed of Slayer, House Of Shadows has the brooding evil of Kerry, Jeff, Tom and Dave. It's 14 tracks but this ain't prog, most fly past in a heartbeat though No Man's Land is an intro to the excellent and defiant Stolen Land, T.O.tality really takes you on a breakneck listen, culminating with the snarling The Prayer, Take Offense take you to Cali with their frantic crossover stomp. 8/10

Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown - Electrified (Rattle Shake Records)

Nashville rock n rollers Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, club together stories of underdogs and rebels on their new album Electrified. Released on their own label Rattle Shake Records, this trio have had a real meteoritic rise to fame, from playing little shows in rock clubs around the world they have supported bands such as AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, ZZ Top, Jeff Beck and many more meaning that this southern blues rock trio have a lot of experience behind them both on stage and in recorded output. This is their sixth album and their fourth on their own label and it's got the swagger and the style of a band at this point of their career.

Locked into what they do as a band, that fuzz drenched guitar and soulful vocal is insistent, Caleb Crosby's locomotive shuffle drumming rattling the rhythm along as Graham Whitford doubles down on the six stringing. They're a band who are born from the blues and raised in rock n roll but they happen on many of sounds painted by Americana acts. Whether it's the moody Crossfire, the southern style of Happy Gets Made features blues legend Ruthie Foster duetting with Tyler while One And Lonely is a swampy ballad that features Larkin Poe and some slinky slide guitar. 

Bryant wields his custom Strat on grimy country rocker Snake Oil and the wild eyed Shake You Down but on Trick Up My Sleeve he reveals vulnerability in his vocal and deftness in their song writing. Well into their groove as a an act, TB&TS keep quality high but still try to test themselves on this sixth record of American roots rock. 7/10

Waste - In Bloom (Seek & Strike)

In Bloom is brutal, there's no arguing with that. This new EP from deathcore mob Waste is absolutely bloody brutal from the build of intro Be Welcome which moves into the crushing aggression of Wither it's no wonder they're said to be for fans of Suicide Silence, Osiah and Bound In Fear, though they are a lot more than just a copy of these bands. 

Aggression, breakdowns, guttural vocals with poignant lyrics about mental health and music that is infected with electronics and with Serpants Tongue and In Dolore a unnerving dissonance which reminds me of Slipknot. I'm trying really hard to find any other things to say about this but I'm not the biggest deathcore fan, especially when it's all about the sheer brutality however if your music tastes expands to burly dudes beating the crap out of you with music then In Bloom will be for you. 6/10

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