Monday, 25 October 2010

Surrounded By Disgust EP Review

Surrounded by Disgust: Self Titled EP
Frantic Promotions
For fans of: Decapitated, Meshuggah, Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse, Beneath The Massacre
Must Hear Track: Take The Helm

Surrounded by disgust hail from South London's Croydon and although this release came out last year it has only just made its way to my hands after an awesome display at The Hydrant in Brighton on the 22nd of October.
This EP is textbook for how a band of this category should promote themselves in this genre of music. With a huge sound and 6 tracks clocking it in at 22 minutes, this EP makes for a true assault on the senses...

Surrounded by Disgust are a huge melting pot of metal genres, with lot's of influences coming apparent throughout the EP. Their style could be considered to lie somewhere between Tech, Progressive and Grindcore making for an interesting and brutal listening experience.
Ryan Dennington's pedal heavy drum style often reminds me of Witold Kiełtyka from Decapitated for his extreme precision and speed mixed with the inhuman grooves of Tomas Haake.
The Guitar players James Hunter and Jamie Johnson similarly take from a wide range of styles, writing huge riffs that bludgeon the listener with technical prowess and aggression.
This coupled with the dual vocal attack of Robin Boyle and Ashley Scott mixes up the conventional approach to Heavy music adding something different to a genre that spawns countless copy cat bands.

The cover in Comic book fashion depicts a terrified man clinging for dear life as he is sucked into the ground or hell? This leaves much to the imagination, a paradox to the countless and now boring covers i've seen of mutilated corpses smeared in faecal matter atop a pyre of burning Virgins. But also, more importantly gives a hint to what the listener is about to experience.

The track names have been approached with a spot of comical value (I hope!) with the first track 'Bitches Belong In The Kitchen' opening the EP with heavy discordant guitar stabs under a huge roar from the vocalist. This quickly propels into a huge groove from the rhythm section as the vocalist spews his filth down the mic. The complicated section changes meld perfectly together and only give the listener a quick breath before the noise of “Don't tell the Lord” begins. This drumming and At the Gates style riffing really unease the listener before the another savage vocal delivery takes you to the next track.

Take the Helm, for me this is the strongest track of the album (and featured on Terrorizer Magazine's January CD). This track I believe to sum up what this bands about. Blinding riffery, discordance, weird guitar noises a la Gojira and a power groove at the end that practically removed my testicles.
Shit the Bed and Donkey Punch is where the influences start to diverge, and opens with a balls to the floor like attitude taking us into another Meshuggah like groove that this band execute so effortlessly.
Death Is the Beginning is the longest track of the EP and really ensures the listener what they are about. This track ends with one of the dirtiest of schizophrenic riffs of the album and finishes with one last grunt leaving you in silence to try and figure out what's just happened!
Unfortunately other than the song names suggest I have no idea what they're talking about, but do I care? No.

I was pleasantly surprised with the Production here, as with many unsigned bands it can always be a bit of a gamble as to whether or not you would actually want to listen to it once you get home. But SBD have clearly put in the Studio Time and an EP only sounds this good when a band know exactly what they want and what they are doing.
The drum kit sounds huge, with the kick drum in particular blending extremely well with the guitars and bass propelling the listener from track to track.
The guitar players also know a thing or two about tone, keeping every note distinctive as often drop tuned riffs can be easily lost in a mix.
The vocals here are extremely well defined with some truly disturbing growls and screams. This is refreshing as all too many an act fail to impress with almost emasculating shrieks.

It is a big pleasure to hear such Heavy music coming out so near my home town, where Chav trump the Metal community making their collectively numbers shown and voices heard outside every major fast food outlet and sporting brand shop along the high-street. It is for this reason that I can relate to why the band members are surrounded by disgust.
If this is how good SBD can make their EP sound, then I am looking forward to what they will do on a full length album.


Saturday, 23 October 2010

Last of the Summer's Grind 22/10/10

Black Sunday Promotions; 
'Last of the Summer's Grind'
The Hydrant Brighton

Hawka Hurricane

Hawka Hurricane have gained a new member on vocal duties relieving guitarist Martin of his temporary vocalist position. But Hawka fail to make much of an impact tonight through a mixture of band sound, a lax technical performance and awkward stage banter between songs. This in turn causes much of the audience members to leave prematurely, which is no surprise when even the singer looks bored.
The setlist does begin to pick up momentum into the third track revealing the bands potential as a serious act, but more work is needed to smooth out the performance and to fully integrate their new singer.
The band lacked the intensity they normally have for their Slayer/Pantera type thrash leaving them failing to blow the audience away but instead blowing them out the door. 

Woe To The Conquered

WTTC begin with their backs turned to the audience as their intro overtrack is played through the PA system. For a gig of this size I normally find this to be an overkill, but before I've even had a chance to think the bass players performed a karate kick off the stage and WTTC are straight into their take of Mastodon/opeth-esque Prog Metal.
Unfortunately for the band the crowd are still warming up to the night and the singers unconfident commands to fill the front space of the room fail to register.
These guy's are a band that are definitely worth watching out for, as they have the right fusion of dynamics and energy to pull of a genre that often many bands can't.

Surrounded By Disgust

Surrounded By disgust were the band of the night, and by the head count the band most people had come to see. Surrounded by disgust are sheer brutality delivering a set that punishes the crowd in the largest mosh pits of the night.
SBD fuse the technical metal styles of bands such as Gojira and Meshuggah with the bloodthirsty attitude of Cannibal Corpse and Dying Fetus, which by the end of the set leaves the audience screaming for more, and me reaching in to my pocket to buy their new self titled EP that's available on their Myspace.

Drown In Entropy

Drown In Entropy are playing tonight one guitar player down whilst they look for a member to fill the position. This leaves guitar player Matthew Parisi the impressive task of competently nailing all the SiKth like lead lines and dirty drop tuned riffery, that would leave many a guitar player flailing like a fish.
DIE know how to execute riffs that are as bludgeoning as they are groove, and take the listener from extreme dynamics of full on discordant screaming verses to melodic chorus.
This is a band for fans of Meshuggah, Periphery and Sikth, but also people who like some originality chucked in there for good measure.

This Means War
This means war hit the stage whilst only the most dedicated of Midnight Metal heads remain. But this does not water down the bands performance as they play with the same intensity that could fill any venue.
TMW do no take themselves too seriously with the guitar player wearing some sort of retarded Alice in Wonderland type outfit and keeping the crowd comically entertained between songs.
This is a band the exudes confidence, telling the sound man to turn it up a “shitload” as well as demanding a pit and getting it.
During the set Shaun Lonergan of Black Sunday Promotions takes the stage and delivers probably the most disgusting death metal vocal delivery of the night.
This Means War will only be playing a handful of gigs over the next few months whilst the singer has a baby, so make sure you catch them whilst you can! Another great band to a great scene.  

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