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Album Reviews Reviews Short Sharp Shock

Short Sharp Shock #39: Kicking out the Jams

Welcome to the latest edition of Short Sharp Shock, where we take a look at some of the shorter metal releases that are out there.

We’ve got a varied mix of metallic delights for you this time. So sit back, get comfy, and get ready to kick out the jams.

Neolithic - NeolithicBand(s): Neolithic
Title: Neolithic
Style(s): Death Metal
Duration: 15 minutes
Release date: April 12, 2019

I’ve really, really enjoyed Neolithic’s previous material, and this is no exception. The band plays death metal, with extra crust and hardcore influences for extra bite. The tracks on this new EP are heavy, nasty, and full of infectious riffs and venomous snarls. The band are obviously continuing the develop their style, (they only formed in 2018), and there’s an increase in sludge elements on some of these songs, which fits in well with their overall aesthetic and style.

Neolithic were ones to watch prior to this EP, but now even more so.

Moulin Banal - Le Rythme du Maréchal FerrantBand(s): Moulin Banal
Title: Le Rythme du Maréchal Ferrant
Style(s): Black Metal
Duration: 18 minutes
Release date: January 11, 2019

The debut EP from this Canadian black metal duo is a well-formed slice of esoterica that has a split personality of sorts, yet still remains a holistic piece of work. This release alternates raw black metal with French folk and does this in such a way that it doesn’t seem incongruous. The raw blackness is melodic and harsh, but still finds the time for atmosphere and mood. Interwoven with these tracks are the shorter folk sections, which add an extra character to the EP, and provide additional depth of experience.

Overall this is a quality first release from Moulin Banal, and it will be interesting to see what the future brings for them.

Immortal Sÿnn - Capitol PunishmentBand(s): Immortal Sÿnn
Title: Capitol Punishment
Style(s): Thrash Metal
Duration: 20 minutes
Release date: May 24, 2019

Following on from 2017’s enjoyable Machine Men, this new EP from the band finds Immortal Sÿnn in good form. Playing thrash metal with elements of heavy metal and a dash of hard rock, these songs elbow their way out of the speakers with confidence and a brash attitude.

For anyone familiar with Immortal Sÿnn, the largest change here is the lack of their singer, meaning that the bassist and one of the guitarists try their hand at the vocals on these new tracks, (two mainly from the guitarist, one mainly from the bassist, and one shared). The results are quite pleasing, and this vocal approach has worked out well here.

Well-written, quite varied in scope, and a bit heavier than previously, these songs are an enjoyable hit of metallic goodness from the band, and offer a prime opportunity for those who do not know the band to sample their wares.

Dead River Kings - Hymns of Hope and DespairBand(s): Dead River Kings
Title: Hymns of Hope and Despair
Style(s): Heavy Metal/Rock
Duration: 25 minutes
Release date: April 5, 2019

Mixing together sludge rock, stoner doom, grunge, and heavy metal into a riff-loving song-focused ball of kicking jams, this UK band mean business. Armed with beefy guitars, good tunes, and charismatic vocals, Dead River Kings show a lot of talent on this EP.

This reminds me of a cross between Jerkstore, Orange Goblin, Corrosion of Conformity, and Alice in Chains, (at least in places). It’s really quite good and deserves to be heard by many. For a hit of rough and ready honest metal, you could do a lot worse than Hymns of Hope and Despair. Check it out.

Axis of Despair - And the Machine Rolls OnBand(s): Axis of Despair
Title: And the Machine Rolls On
Style(s): Grindcore
Duration: 8 minutes
Release date: February 8, 2019

This new EP from Swedish grinders Axis of Despair was apparently recorded during the sessions for their 2018 debut album Contempt for Man, so you know it’s going to be good before you even press play. Combining a virulent mix of Nasum, Rotten Sound, and Napalm Death, Axis of Despair, (who boast a Nasum ex-member in their ranks), sound blisteringly intense and boisterously aggressive on this short EP. The fast parts are withering, the mid-paced parts are crushingly heavy, and the slow parts…well, this band don’t play slow.

Another quality addition to the growing Axis of Despair discography.

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