Another wonderful day in
Ruinebell – Demise In Disgrace (Joensuu, Finland) 2011
I’m sharing this incredible three year old crusty EP with all y’all toilet germs whether you dig it or not. This may be an older release but it is by no means flushable; this is a band that needs acknowledgement.
Lasse Pyykkö, the guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, and vocalist of Ruinebell is a busy guy to say the least: the guy is driving Hooded Menace, Claws, Phlegethon and more. On drums is one of my favorite grindcore drummers/vocalists, Jose M. Dopico of Machetazo, Dishammer, and Mutilated Veterans. This crusty duo craft gloomy apocalyptic punk in the vein of the almighty Amebix, Saw Throat, and Axegrinder. It’s almost as if Lasse and Jose were somehow in each of these bands in the late 80’s and consumed their apocalyptic formula. Before we continue on, here is a taste of some essential albums by Amebix, Saw Throat, and Axegrinder that hold dear to my crusty heart and clearly influenced Ruinebell.
Amebix – Arise (Released on September 14th 1985 by Alternative Tentacles Records)
Axegrinder – The Rise of the Serpent Men (Released on January 1989 by Peaceville Records)
Saw Throat – Inde$troy (Released on January 1989 by Manic Ears Records)
Much like the aforementioned bands, Ruinebell keep their crust-punk dark, apocalyptic, atmospheric, and metallic, not to mention heavy. The band mixes crusty punk with heavy riffs (Early Godflesh riffs, anyone?) but also add that gloomy atmosphere that nauseates the listener into grief and anger. Demise in Disgrace is a short but bleak crusty masterpiece that’s become all too rare these days. Hearing a band nail this style of apocalyptic crust punk is a treat, and Ruinebell excel in spite of the fact they have yet to release any material since this EP in 2011.
Horsehunter – Caged In Flesh (Melbourne, Australia) 2014
Horsehunter may be young but they certainly don’t sound like it. These stoners have their sludge/doom songwriting formula down to a THC science. After spreading the word on tours with High on Fire, Kylesa, Beastwars, King Parrot, Conan, and Windhand, the band have finally released their first full-length, Caged In Flesh. It’s difficult for a stoner sludge/doom band to hold your attention for a whole album, but Horsehunter more than accomplish just that while providing a bevy of catchy, dynamic riffs layered with a fuck-ton of heavy tone.
Fukpig – This World Is Weakening (Birmingham, UK) 2014
Paul Kenney is best known for his work with Anaal Nathrakh, but his blackened crust-grind project Fukpig is still in the dark for most people. Kenney has the lion’s share of songwriting and instrumental duties while Duncan “Drunk” Wilkins takes care of the vocals. After releasing two demos in 2001 and 2002, the duo took a 7 year break before releasing Spewings from a Selfish Nation in 2009. This World Is Weakening is a completely re-recorded version of Fukpig’s 3, which was first released in 2012 but ultimately disowned by the band. Expanding on 3, Spewings features a full studio line-up and a beefed-up track listing.
Nothing about this LP is pleasant, to the point I’d call this an overall heinous record. Dirty fuzzed bass, haunting synths and filthy guitars are layered over heavy d-beats and blasts with occasional double bass drumming. The vocals are probably the most vicious element of Fukpig though. Duncan’s screams are raspy and distorted and sound absolutely possessed. If you dig the album and are looking for a CD, you’re shit out of luck because they sold all 100 copies in 24 hours. A vinyl release is planned, so keep on the lookout for that.
The band also just released a brand new song with guest vocals from Emilie Salata. Somehow, this woman sounds even more possessed and insane than Duncan.
Kaliyuga – 7″ (Tunisia, France) 2013
Speaking of Emilie Salata…her band Kaliyuga play a ferociously fast and devastatingly crushing blend of crust and d-beat. The band is apparently quite young and has not released much from what I can find. After a set at Obscene Extreme Festival this year Kaliyuga are making a damn good impression. Salata’s screams are so vicious and raw you’d think she was being burned alive. According to their Bandcamp, Nidhal Mahmood writes all the songs and plays all the instruments in the studio. Mahmood’s drumming is some of the fasted and tightest d-beat playing I’ve heard it a long while. I’d compare his style to Adrian Erlandsson’s precise and fast d-beat playing in Skitsystem. The guitar work is quite catchy and creative with obvious influences from Nasum and Tragedy. Hopefully this young band keeps at it and delivers more crushing crustiness.
Arakk – Self & Distance (Copenhagen, Denmark) 2013
What really drew me into Arakk’s Self & Distance is the uniquely warm and soothing tone they bring to their brand of funeral doom. Howling distant growls and shrieks echo across canyons of mournful synths and guitar chords filled with burden and sorrow. The beautiful, mournful interlude towards the middle of the song leaves the listener in a trance before slowly building back up to alluring heavy guitar chords and sorrowful howls again. Self & Distance is as beautiful as it is bleak, an epic journey that goes by faster than you’d think.