Demo/Promo Roundup: Trenchgrinder, Gouge, Vassafor, and Temple Nightside

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Has anyone from the Toilet Ov Hell told you lately that we love new music? Some guy named Joseph something said this thing one time, he said “follow your bliss.” Finding out about new music and sharing it with you, our beloved readers, is nirvana for the writing staff here. In case you were doing stuff at work (like actually doing your work, not reading our toilet site) you may have missed recent roundups from Toilet Ov Hell writers/editors Masterlord, Masterlord again, and Dubya. These were roundups from Nuclear War Now! and Iron Bonehead Productions, respectively. We are excited to bring you new music from a variety of spots today, including a self released demo, a promo from Hell’s Headbangers, and yet another promo from Iron Bonehead Productions. Siqq new music is released weekly. We hope you aren’t still trying to catch up on last year’s releases (I am). As the Buddha said about attachments (he said they are bad), check out these new releases and worry about about the superfluity of 2014 releases you missed later.


Trenchgrinder Demo 2015

The first band for this post comes by way of the Toilet Ov Hell’s own Simon Phoenix. Simon keeps his ears to the streets (of San Angeles) for new music, and when he finds something, we pay attention. That was how I found out Trenchgrinder had released a new demo. Trenchgrinder are a relatively new band, so we could forgive you for not knowing about them (but we wouldn’t).

Trenchgrinder’s 2015 demo is their third release, following a 2011 demo and a 2014 split with Skullshitter. You can find both of those albums from the band’s Bandcamp, which you should (don’t be lazy). Trenchgrinder have also been active playing shows in their native New York City. They even played last year with fellow New Yorkers and band I love, Yellow Eyes.

Trenchgrinder doesn’t set out to do anything too fancy; rather, they are playing songs that move over you, or right through you if necessary. “Lay The Earth To Rest” opens at a breakneck pace, but also finds the band slowing things down to make room for sinister riffs and a great bit of drumming. They play an insanely catchy stomp for the last forty five seconds or so. Vocalist Owen Rundquist snarls through “Deterrence and Retribution,” and Bill Dozer plays a brief eye-opening solo in the track’s second minute. “Trial By Combat” finishes this demo. At a few moments (like right before the two-minute mark), the guitar squeal is eerily reminiscent of Lamb of God‘s “Vigil.”

You can pick up Trenchgrinder’s 2015 Demo for $3.00 on their Bandcamp.


Gouge Beyond Death

Next up is Norwegian duo Gouge. Hot on the trail of their Doomed To Death EP, their full length album Beyond Death has been promoted by Hell’s Headbangers as “ratchet[ing] their ravenous deathnoise x 666.” You can check out the eleventh track from the album, “Devil’s Debt” right now! Beyond Death is twelve tracks coming in at about twenty-nine minutes. Gouge play energetic, thrash-inflected death metal throughout. They’re no slouch at naming songs, with “Breath of the Reaper” and “I Smell of Rotten Death” being a couple of my favorites.

This may be an era of heavy cavernous death metal bands like Grave Miasma and Impetuous Ritual, but Gouge is from a different camp altogether. On Beyond Death, Gouge is the band that will kick the shit out of you, then help you up and buy you a beer. These twelve tracks are fast, fun bangers. This band knows how to write songs and they know how to play riffs. The vocals land somewhere between screaming, shouting, and singing. This album rarely slows down. Solos are used, and add to the mayhem rather than detract from it, like at the end of “Wretched Passion” and during “Putrefaction” and “Butcher Attack”. This will be a band to keep an eye on, especially given that they are just starting out.

Beyond Death is due out on Hell’s Headbangers March 24th, 2015.


Vassafor/Temple Nightside Call of the Maelstrom

In case you’re sitting at work thinking “i rly lyk cavernous deth metal and spelunking” this is just the thing for you. If you caught those Grave Miasma and Impetuous Ritual references and thought “I just luv those bands so much lol” you should be very interested in Call of the Maelstrom. This album is a split LP between Vassafor and Temple Nightside. Like Impetuous Ritual, both bands are from down under (New Zealand and Australia, respectively). Four tracks belong to the former, and two tracks belong to the latter. This is roughly thirty six minutes of pummeling, twisting, winding eternity. These are menacing, soul crushing, psyche-rending songs.

Vassafor’s half of this split makes use of repetitive instrumentation and tortured howls. A guitar solo halfway through the album’s second track, “Phoenix of the Maelstrom” is a man taking a swan dive from a cliff. Side A’s fourth and final track employs religious choral chanting in between a firestorm of playing. Temple Nightside’s half of this split opens in death/doom territory, slow, heavy, and drenched in reverb. “Knell” is plodding but deliberate; it takes several minutes for the song to gain steam. “The Howling Void… as Wolves” is fuck-all heavy. Riffs pick up speed and slow again, but like “Knell,” the pacing is consistent. Screams echo from what seems like a vast distance, and guitars morph into screams of their own. The song (and album) ends by echoing into the maelstrom.

Vassafor and Temple Nightside play complex music that requires more than a passive listen. This split showcases the talents of each band, but it also works as a seamless whole.

Call of the Maelstrom is due out on Iron Bonehead Productions February 23rd, 2015.

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