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Reviews Songs

PYJAMA PLANET “THE PRELUDE”

There is something inherently fun about Pyjama Planet; the brainchild of multi talented musical mastermind and guitar shredder Mark Pyjama.

Here is a musical entity in which creative juices and the imagination run rampant. “The Prelude” is a stunning and scintillating slab of utterly smoldering musical dexterity and instrumentation that incinerates solar systems with its staggering, propulsive rhythms, mammoth staccato riffs, blistering drums and lead guitar histrionics.

Featuring, alongside the inimitable Mark Pyjama himself, the honorable Kris Xenopoulos of Vulvodynia providing blistering lead guitar, the bludgeoning bass onslaught of Luke Otto and the ferocious drumming of Gareth Lloyd, “The Prelude”, the first single off Pyjama Planets upcoming 3rd album “Madjenta” sears the synaptic chasms with an almost effortless verve and sparkling vibrancy.

Beginning with a lilting piano intro this freakishly fantastical track morphs into a symphonic piece of Progressive Metal that traverses a galactic morass of deliciously convoluted riffs, rhythms and face melting guitar gymnastics that forges ahead like a firey comet in the milky way, leaving a trail of ether in its wake. Herein stomping Djent inspired- Meshuggah like rhythms meet Rings Of Saturn technical acumen and Necrophagist grandiosity in a manner that will leave you gobsmacked and discombobulated in the most despicable and delicious fashion. At six minutes and forty seconds this seamless and streamlined track, one gleaming with a crystalline production, is such a fun ditty that it passes by with rapidity. That friends, is the value of great music.

Strap in and enjoy the journey of “The Prelude” as you traverse a cosmos of sonic pleasure.

-Asher Locketz-

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New Albums Reviews

A NAMELESS DREAD – “THE FIRST NOTHING”

If anything can wake the dark, otherworldly behemoth Lord Cthulhu from his dreamless slumber in the catacombs of RL’YEH it is, undoubtedly, the heaving, frenetic and surging streamlined sonic savagery invoked by A NAMELESS DREAD.

Their debut album “The First Nothing” , be it either Metalcore, Deathcore or rather a corrosive, unique and crushing confluence of the aforementioned with a penchant for cosmic Horror , is a devastating whirlwind of sound where pummeling rhythms, warped riffs and gut wrenching vocals coalesce into what amounts to a blizzard of bludgeoning proportions. The single preceding this release and included on this album “Rot With Me” is emblematic of the slaughter to be found within its unhallowed depths.

The type of malevolent avalanche conjured forth by this fevered foursome would be right at home in the snow encrusted tale that is HP LOVECRAFT’S infamous “At The Mountains Of Madness”, the narrative that sent “The Cthulhu Mythos” and all the ghastly machinations thereof into motion.

Herein Damian Buys unleashes a frenzied maelstrom of tightly wound, deliciously blackened razor wire riffs that ride alongside the blistering drumming of Des Cooke and unearthly low end detonations of bassist Tim Botes while the vicious vocals of Rhett Freeman command the cacophony with the fathomless force of Dagon himself. In other words, it is utterly bestial.

Not all evidenced in this ferocious bands sonic arsenal is constructed upon face melting ferocity. As witnessed on the opening, clean and eerie chords of album opener “The Great Unclean”, peppered throughout the scorched earth smolder are moments of musical dexterity, seriously unnerving clean guitar interplay and dual layering.

Tracks such as “Enter Chaos”, “Bleached Bone” and “When God Blinks” are triumphant slabs of untethered tumult that flatten the feeble beneath their gargantuan and staggering gait. To conclude, “The Great Nothing” seethes with malevolence of the most unholy and diabolical nature. “Cthulhu Fhtagn” indeed.

-Asher Locketz-

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Reviews Songs

KYPHOSIS -“BLIND”

KYPHOSIS create ferocious Metalcore fraught with skull crushing rhythms, corrosive riffs and seething vocals. Prepare to be pummeled into submission by this bands savage, palpably angry and passionate Metalcore.

“Blind” is a vitriolic admonishment of societal constraints and the herd like mentality thereof. The sonic equivalent to bare knuckle brawling with all the bloodshed that most violent sport entails!

If breakdowns, staccato riffs that heave with menace and bone shattering drumming sound like they might appeal to your sensibilities then do yourself a favor and check out these guys posthaste.

-Asher Locketz-

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Live Music Reviews

THE COLOR BLEW LIVE, VIBRANT AND ROCKING

Witnessing The Color Blew perform live this past Saturday night was an absolute delight. Featuring in their ranks seasoned veterans of the South African music scene; the inimitable Liaan Horton on vocals and rhythm guitar, low end lord Marius Cronje on bass, the superb Timothy James on lead guitar and percussive master Armando Santos on drums these stellar musicians conjured forth a sumptuous and scintillating sonic brew that glistened with splendor.

Its almost impossible to pigeonhole the music The Color Blew create, for it is such a dynamic confluence of sound that is simultaneously funky and forceful. This past Saturday evening’s performance was a case in point. This may be purely subjective conjecture on my part yet I picked up shades of such seminal acts like Candlebox, Girls Against Boys, Nirvana, Days Of The New, Jane’s Addiction and Muse in the impassioned and energetic Alternative Rock that these figurehead’s of Southern African borne music ply with such unabashed kinetic energy. Of course even with the aforementioned comparisons in tow, The Color Blew are a unique entity with an identity all their own and definitive South African flare witnessed in songs such as ‘Dance, Dance, Dance,’ and ‘African Sky’.

This fabulous foursome charged ahead with verve and vigor from the moment the performance began until its end. On many an occasion shuffling rhythms and delicate melodies gave way to brash and chest beating riff driven magic replete with soaring vocals as witnessed on such songs as, but not limited to ‘Incandescent’, ‘The Man’ and ‘These Things’.

With their majestic cover of ‘Under Pressure’ alongside their superb original creations this past Saturday evenings performance was an exercise in superb musicianship and quality songcraft.

Thank you to Howler, Sowaar apparel, Ware Jakob recording studios, The Weekly Wire, Devographic Music Media, PR events & Artist Management and of course The Color Blew themselves for what amounted to a performance that was an absolute treat to have experienced.

-Asher Locketz-

Categories
New Albums Reviews

VOTOV “I.X.X.I” REVIEW

VOTOV are a force to be reckoned with and their beastly brand of bludgeoning and barbaric Thrash infused, odious OSDM will leave you salivating like a lovelorn ape. These Canadian filth mongers ply the type of OSDM that alongside similar acts like Fetid, Vastum, Witch Vomit and Pissgrave harkens back to a time where Death Metal was built upon a bedrock of primal rage that pandered to no trend or pretense.

“I.X.X.I” is their 2nd full length album and is a full frontal assault that has all the subtlety of a freight train colliding with a cement mixer! From the opening scorch of “Activating The Alteration” through to the barbaric staccato rhythmic romp that is “Heinous Lifeform” to the closing crush of “Regeneration” this album is a ferocious display of deadly OSDM that is fraught with ghastly,guttural vocals, gargantuan, groove infused riffs and blistering drumming that leaves a trail of mangled bodies in its wake.

Drenched in the mire of the masters of yore, such as but not limited to Venom, Celtic Frost, Autopsy, Dismember and Broken Hope with a focus on the tightly wound rhythms of seminal works by Six Feet Under and Malevolent Creation VOTOV bludgeon with unmitigated ferocity as they seemingly brandish their instruments like deadly weapons.

I am in love with the firey and ferocious Thrash infused OSDM these bruisers unleash; OSDM of the most bone shattering variety! If you have not given an ear to the monstrous and megalithic music VOTOV ply i suggest doing so with immediacy.

-Asher Locketz-

Categories
Live Music Reviews

RIDDLEBREAK THE INTERNET

This ain’t no Broadway musical folks. This is Johannesburg based collective RIDDLEBREAK and this past Saturday they came to lay waste to eyes and ears across the land with a performance that showcased their propulsive blend of musical fury and instrumental prowess.

Featuring Jade Osner on vocals, Gordon Bosma on drums, Gareth Reed on rhythm guitar, Roushan Van Niekerk on bass, Julian Vosloo on lead guitar and Laura Atkinson on Violin, this scintillating sextet unleashed a maelstrom of their patented brand of self styled Progressive Metalcore; a cross pollination of jarring jazz like time signatures, volcanic rhythms and post rock passages.

From the opening trident of “Launch Initiate”, “Something Sick” and “Rogue” we, the viewers, were treated to a devastating display of dramatic and emotive music of the most innovative and iridescent kind.

Whether it was the convoluted majesty of Ällegiant”, the chugging riffs and bludgeoning breakdowns of “Something Sick”or the smoldering, sustained notes and gargantuan grooves of “The Hog” RIDDLEBREAK performed each song with kinetic energy and impassioned vigor. Throughout the performance it was wholly evident that this sonic collective possess a fevered love for music.

RIDDLEBREAK are purveyors of dynamic and dramatic music which exists beyond the typical Metalcore template. The music they ply is idiosyncratic and pushes the envelope wherein the tapestry of textures and tones they invoke is explosive. Herein the crushing riffs and face melting guitar histrionics of guitarists Gareth Reed and Julian Vosloo alongside the low end detonations of bassist Roushan Van Niekerk are scorching. The lilting melodies of violinist Laura Atkinson are sublime. The blistering drum onslaught of Gordon Bosma is pummeling and the anguished vocals of frontman Jade Osner are heart wrenching. Each of the aforementioned elements merge into a mammoth form of expression that is certainly more then the sum of its parts.

To conclude, this evenings performance showcased a group of musicians with a unabashed adoration for their craft. Even through the glow of my PC screen the passion and emotion of all involved was palpable and amounted to a firey performance by a band to be reckoned with.

Many thanks to Sowaar Apparel, The Weekly Wire, Howler, Devographic Music Media, PR, Events & Artist Management and of course RIDDLEBREAK themselves for making this possible!

-Asher Locketz-

Categories
New Albums Reviews

IMPERIOUS VISION ‘EMPIRE OF ILLUSION’

Durban based Berserkers Imperious Vision have, undoubtedly, unleashed one of the contenders for Death Metal album of the year in the form of the utterly majestic and simultaneously malevolent ‘Empire Of Illusion’. I am in disbelief that this is merely their debut for it is a devastating display of musicianship and maturity that is surely beyond their years as a fledgling collective; one that has existed since 2016. Herein you will be treated to a no holds barred onslaught that is both crushing and catchy in equal measure.

Folks when it comes to this slab of synapse shredding savagery I can only kneel at its monolithic altar of smoldering black fumes in awe.

Featuring Nick Hagan on vocals, the duo of Kai Stewart and Blake Merchant on Guitars alongside Brynn Huxtable on Drums, this four piece are responsible for releasing some of the most bludgeoning, vitriolic and yet streamlined Death Metal i have been fortunate enough to hear in a while.

From the menacing riffs and rhythmic heft of the opening “Intro” to the closing riffs of the title track “Empire Of Illusion”, this is an eight track study in sonic tumult that doesn’t pander to any trends and rather hinges upon a bedrock of glorious songcraft and massive rhythms that reign down like a landslide of lumbering boulders.

Again, the adherence to songcraft cannot be overstated and it is one of the many weapons in their impressive arsenal that set them apart from the glut of bands out there that ply their wares beneath the Death Metal banner. Songs like “Before The Dawn” and “Ignatius” are fraught with fearsome and atmospheric melodies that ride along a wave of double kick fury and scorching rhythmic dexterity. I may use two of the immaculately constructed pieces of pummeling vehemence that construct this corrosive album as examples but rest assured every track here is murderous. Borderline Homicidal! Speaking of Homicidal, I dare not forget to mention the vox of Nick Hagan which are roaring expulsions of torment and violence that paint a portrait of humanity at its most dismal and damned.

This is stellar Death Metal without pretense. The grandiose riffs plied by Blake Merchant and Kai Stewart are gargantuan and yet intricately nuanced. The solos that adorn the songs are tasteful, titular, triumphant and enthralling.

Imperious Vision has amalgamated their influences in such a way that they sound fresh, unique and vibrant. This is conjecture on my part yet imagine if you will, the majestic and anthemic grandiosity of Behemoth alongside Kataklysm, colliding with the savagery of Blood Red Throne, Krisiun and the technical acumen of Beneath The Massacre, in spirit anyway, you will be close to the framework of frenetic and fiery configurations the mighty Imperious Vision create. This is a barbaric work of dark wizardry that is fraught with precision.

To conclude, if you miss out on “Empire Of Illusion”you will do so at your own peril!

-Asher Locketz-

Categories
Reviews Songs

CHAOS DOCTRINE – new track “FATHER GRIGORI”

I have been salivating at the prospect of wrapping my ravaged eardrums around the newest track by Johannesburg based wrecking crew Chaos Doctrine for some time now!

Hot Damn! After having given it repeated listens I have emerged from its sulphur drenched sonic depths floored and in awe.

Featuring in their ranks members of legendary South African Metal covens such as Sacraphyx and Malachi, Chaos Doctrine are renowned for unleashing music of the most vitriolic nature whilst drawing upon the darker depths of the human condition in a harrowing fashion.

“Father Grigori” is a case in point. This feverish and furious track begins in a ominous, haunting manner where reverb drenched guitars, ambient textures and atmospheric layering insidiously converge. The initial magnetic undertone then gives way to a explosive frenzy of ferocity that is built upon a bedrock of blistering drumming, tightly wound thrash infused riffs and scathing vocals. Industrial overtones and pummeling instrumentation continue to collide alongside a guitar solo that would make Trey Azagthoth (Morbid Angel) blush. After said savagery “Father Grigori” then settles back into a malicious stupor; unleashing us from its searing stranglehold.

All in all an immaculate taster of an upcoming album that promises to be majestic especially if this track is anything to go by. Executed with precision and stellar instrumental prowess evoking notable bands such as Fear Factory, Slayer and The Amenta. I have no doubt that the sadistic and darkly fascinating Russian Monk upon which this track is based is dancing in the underworld with a gleeful smirk upon his rotting visage.

-Asher Locketz-

Categories
Live Music Reviews

Black Bone Nation – Urban Sessions

This past Saturday night the indomitable Black Bone Nation set the Urban Sessions stage ablaze with their patented blend of propulsive Hard Rock.

Led by band figurehead, vocalist and rhythm guitarist, the captivating Zakk Styles; alongside talented lead guitarist Brendan Forer, low end master; bassist Leroux Engelbrecht and classy drummer Henri Viljoen, this quartet unleashed a set chock full of anthemic Rock of the most ravishing kind.

Fat, infectious riffs, sparkling solos, pounding drums and soaring vocals collided in a confluence of sonic bliss. The performance was one fraught with passion and unbridled energy.

Sheathed in flickering light, Black Bone Nation treated us, the viewers, to a robust collection of songs replete with catchy melodies and fist pumping rhythmic heft. Songs such as “Born To Rock”,”Live To Ride” and “Here I Am” were executed with aplomb, channelling the hedonistic flare of notable 1980’s Rock bands such as Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses with more then a nod to classic Zeppelin and Blues Rock.

The sound was crystal clear and each instrument could be heard in its beauty which enhanced the entrancing music Black Bone Nation create. Visually I was impressed as the resolution was superb as the stream progressed smoothly and without a hitch. All in all a great show representative of a local band playing prime Rock!

Thank you to both Black Bone Nation and Urban Sessions for an experience that was fun and enthralling.

-Asher Locketz-