Elizabeth – Where Vultures Land (Throatruiner Records / I for Us Records, 04 April 2012)
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s worth repeating: I have a lot of respect for bands and record labels who do what they do for the right reasons. Here, “the right reasons” are not to get rich and famous and live a life of luxury by taking advantage of people, but simply to create (for the bands) or disseminate (for labels) art based on a true passion for doing so. Now, I’m not saying that nobody should ever make money from their art — a lot of work goes into it and everyone involved totally deserves to recoup their expenses and bring in enough extra income to hopefully be able to continue what they are doing! But at a certain point, it seems like making a few dollars becomes more important than sharing a mutual love of music, and that is just a sad situation for anyone to be in.
Having said that, it’s obvious Matthias Jungbluth of French (Breton) label Throatruiner Records is in this for the right reasons. Anyone who would start an extreme metal label nowadays has to know beforehand that they aren’t going to be bringing in a ton of money, considering the state of the music industry these days, and so there must be some degree of passion for the art itself. The label specializes in small releases on vinyl or cassette, as well as some other merchandise, supplemented by free downloads of those releases in order to expose the artists to as many people as possible.
Packaged with the free download of an album from Throatruiner is the following text (contained in a file named “FVCK LARS ULRICH.rtf”):
Thanks for your download, we hope you will enjoy this record as much as we did! When I have started Throatruiner Records last year, one of my guidelines was to put all my releases on free download. Because the stuff i love should live without any boundaries. So if you want to support Throatruiner Records & our bands, please visit http://throatruinerrecords.tumblr.com/ and pick some stuff, we need it; and if you think we don’t deserve any $, be kind, share this album with five of your friends!
Sorry for your ears.
I’ve discovered a lot of great new music through this label, one example of which I’d like to share with you today.
The band Elizabeth comes from Geneva, Switzerland, and have recently put out their first EP, Where Vultures Land, the cover of which can be seen at the top of this post. (By the way, that cover is a little bit NSFW — sorry, probably should have warned you earlier!) Although it’s only twenty minutes long, this small sample is enough to really demonstrate the range of this band and get me really excited to see what the future will bring from these guys.
Here’s a brief teaser/trailer they had released for the EP:
The songs on this EP would generally be classified as hardcore, but with plenty of other influences and various twists throughout the songs to keep things fresh and interesting. The beginning of the first and last tracks, “Darkness” and “Rising Kingdom” respectively, as well as other moments throughout, such as “Candles” as well as most of “The Call” and “Sharp Teeth and Knives” sound like pretty straight-forward D-beat-laden hardcore punk. The opening of “The Call” and “Black Eyed” bring in cleaner guitar parts, sometimes in harmonies that give an overall melancholic vibe, before exploding into fits of aggression. The same could be said of the midsection in “Heartbeats” as it breaks down into an almost post-metal atmosphere. Another standout track, notable for its slightly mellower vibe (which is a totally relative term, as “slightly mellower” in this case still packs a fairly angry punch), is “Sailor’s Grave” which to me sounds like it could have been lifted directly off of a Tad album. Actually, to be perfectly honest, it’s hard to pick out highlights, because there really isn’t a weak moment in any of the eight songs presented here.
The album is available for listening at Bandcamp (see the widget below) or for free download — subject to monthly limits, like all Bandcamp releases, so if this is not available at the moment they’ve kindly provided a link on their Bandcamp page for an alternate download via Mediafire.
Where Vultures Land is also available to purchase on 33RPM 12″ clear vinyl, through a collaboration of Throatruiner Records (France) and I For Us Records (Belgium). Only 500 copies were pressed, and the record comes with a full-printed innersleeve and an A3-sized poster (approximately 12×17″). Also available in very limited quantities, you can get a white T-shirt featuring the album art in black-and-white.
All items can be ordered here: Throatruiner webstore
Update, 22 April: the band has just announced that this EP, as well as their 2010 demo (which you can download for free here), will both be made available for limited release in the U.S. (only 100 copies on cassette of each) through Tore Recordings!