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Album Reviews Beneath the Vault Reviews

Beneath the Vault #4 – Metal Up Your Ass

Towards the back of the Vault, just past Reese’s cell, there’s a small staircase that leads to a hidden subterranean chamber where we keep the real underground shit. These are the obscure releases and rare finds that will get you points with the cool kids.

Welcome to Beneath the Vault, a column in which we take a brief look at the many review requests we get from bands that aren’t always fortunate enough to afford a promotional campaign or the backing of a big record label. Whether you like your music like you like your coffee or prefer listening to groovy tunes with headphones and some smoke, we’ve got you covered with these underground treasures. If you’re a band and would like a review or a spot in this column, click here to put in a request.


Plague of Carcosa
Rats in the Walls
Genre: Instrumental Doom / Sludge
Release January 5th, 2018

I decided to dig a little deeper into our inbox for our next two entries, and boy am I glad I did. Chicago’s Plague of Carcosa put out a crushing 15 minute instrumental track earlier this year that was mastered by no other than Dennis Pleckham of Bongripper. Aptly titled “Rats in the Wall,” you can’t help but feel a sense of confinement while listening to the title track. I mean, you’re essentially being pummeled with variations of the same four chords over and over throughout the entire composition. They trick you into thinking that the buildup is going to let up about half way through, but it’s a trap! Just as the tension starts to ease off, they come back and hit you with another dose of pulverizing doom. There’s definitely a feeling of relief when it’s over, but within a few minutes you can feel the main riff crawling around in the back of your head compelling you to give it another listen. It’s basically the musical representation of Stockholm syndrome. Listen if you dare! (Bryan)

RoadRash
Thunder in Paradise
Genre: Speed Metal
Released November 3rd, 2017

With song titles like “Asphalt Assault” and “Petrol for Breakfast,” you instantly know what you’re getting, and it doesn’t disappoint! Vancouver-based RoadRash have whipped up a nice dose of riotous old-school speed metal. This is a fun listen for all heavy metal fans and it’s executed to perfection, and matched with a lo-fi recording style that makes you wonder “what decade did this come out?” Add another one to my list of bands that I desperately need to see live. Highly recommended! (Bryan)

Soul AttritionSoul Attrition
Vashon Rain
Genre: Alternative Metal/Grunge
Released July 13th, 2017

Have you heard the band Escape Is Not Freedom? If not, I suggest you check out their brand of alternative metal/sludge/noise rock. I bring this up here because Soul Attrition is a solo project brought to us from the bassist of Escape Is Not Freedom. Vashon Rain concentrates largely on influences from the 1990s, from the creative side of grunge and alternative metal before it truly became fodder for the major labels of the time. As such, this album is an enjoyable and well-written ode to that era, sounding authentically honest while still obviously carrying the legacy and perspective of the intervening decades. The entire album has a strong emotive base on which it builds its musical structures, making for an interesting, affecting, and ultimately very enjoyable collection of songs. (Nigel)

Sykelig EnglenSykelig Englen
Hagall
Genre: Black Metal
Released June 12th, 2017

Here we get some UK-based raw, underground black metal, with a slightly fuller, warmer production than normal. The songs are enjoyably straightforward and true to the original 90s Scandinanvian blueprint, while still managing to imprint the artist’s own personality on things. Hagall has plenty of character, and I particularly like a lot of the decent riffs and blackened groove that populates this album. Speed is used well, but it’s the slower/mid-paced parts that really hit the spot for me. There’s also somewhat of a slight progressive edge to the music in places too, (part of the title track is a great example of this), and I’d certainly like to see this aspect of the music developed even further in the future. (Nigel)

CarchosaCarchosa
Carchosa
Genre: Progressive Thrash/Death Metal
Released June 9th, 2017

Taking heavy influence from old-school thrash and death metal, this album contains long songs, a feast of riffs, bright melodic leads, and a progressive Death-influenced edge that’s sharp enough to draw blood. Well-written and substantial, this is an enjoyable journey into the type of expansive, experimental death/thrash waters that many bands instinctively avoid. (Nigel)


The Shiva HypothesisThe Shiva Hypothesis
Ouroboros Stirs
Genre: Black Metal
Released May 18th, 2017

The Shiva Hypothesis play esoteric, avant-garde black metal, with elements of the symphonic and atmospheric styles included, as well as a healthy amount of death metal’s brute force. Throw in a few touches of progressive metal, and the band’s mysterious, darkened take on extreme metal is one that is well-written and thoughtful. Think of a twisted, mutated, less-accessible version of bands such as Emperor and Behemoth, with a maybe a touch of Dimmu Borgir here and there. It’s an effective formula, and Ouroboros Stirs should hopefully appeal to fans of occult extremity. (Nigel)

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3 comments

Sykelig Englen - Official
Sykelig Englen - Official June 22, 2018 at 2:19 pm

Cheers!! Appreciate the including of Sykelig Englen very much!

Reply
Plague of Carcosa
Plague of Carcosa June 22, 2018 at 3:07 pm

Cheers! Thanks for the kind words!

Reply
Carchosa
Carchosa June 24, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Thank you very much, for the kind words!

Reply

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