Venom Prison – Animus (Prosthetic Records, 14 October 2016 / deluxe edition 23 February 2018)
British death metal horde Venom Prison, who exploded into international consciousness with their Prosthetic-released debut album in late 2016, are currently touring North America with a whole bunch of other heavy hitters in the genre.
In fact, the month-long tour is a little more than halfway over, so we don’t want to waste any more time — here’s our write-up of Animus, and later you can see the full list of dates, plus a handful of European cities the band will be visiting in August with Dying Fetus!
Employed to Serve – The Warmth of a Dying Sun (Holy Roar Records, 19 May 2017)
The last time I wrote about this ‘post-hardcore/powerviolence’ band from Woking, England (in Surrey County, just outside London), I explained how I had first discovered them when they emailed me about their 2012 EP Long Time Dead. I was absolutely infatuated by that release (and still am!) but for a variety of reasons never quite managed to write anything about it until just last year.
When I heard Holy Roar was releasing a brand-new EtS album (and some of the early press seemed to be hinting at an AOTY contender) I knew I needed to get my hands on it — and also that I wouldn’t let another four years pass before writing about it! So here, I present you with The Warmth of a Dying Sun. Enjoy!
Portrayal of Guilt – Portrayal of Guilt (Miss the Stars Records / Contrition Recordings, 02 May 2017)
Recently I got a message from this band called Portrayal of Guilt, with barely any information other than the fact that they had a brand-new EP out, and a link to their Bandcamp page. So, armed with that miniscule amount of knowledge, I went to check it out, as one does. There I learned that the band is from Austin, Texas; a bit more poking around revealed that they seem to be a relatively new group: all of their social media presence dates back no further than January of this year. Oh, and also I found that one of the keywords they use to describe themselves is “screamo.”
Now I don’t know about you, but that word tends to make me feel a bit trepidatious. After all, just like its predecessor “emo” and distant ancestor “hardcore,” what originated as a great concept became completely perverted and bastardized over the past few decades — to the point where, in modern usage, the term came to be applied to something completely unrecognizable when compared with its archetypal format. But I decided the EP was only three songs — barely more than six minutes altogether — so I might as well give it a shot. And to make a long story short, as you could infer from the fact that I’m writing about it now, that concern turned out to be completely unfounded.
Employed to Serve – Long Time Dead (18 September 2012, Grindcore Karaoke)
Hello readers, and happy Tuesday. For the majority of you, this is just like any other Tuesday in any other week, but for many of my domestic readers, we’re fumbling our way through our first day back to work from a long weekend — due to Presidents Day, which is a made-up American holiday based on the fact that a couple of the country’s better-known presidents had been born sometime in February, and is used as a convenient excuse to take an extra Monday off work. It’s a nice idea in theory, but then heading back to reality is just that much more unpleasant. Everyone hates Mondays, but I’ve mentioned in the past how Tuesdays can be even worse sometimes, and especially when it’s a Tuesday that behaves like a Monday. Ugh.
Fortunately — whether we’re returning to work today or yesterday or any day, since it’s all equally miserable — I’ve got the perfect soundtrack to help make it through.