The Good The Bad and the Zugly – Hadeland Hardcore (2015)


Author: Jan Jakobsen

Band: The Good the Bad and the Zugly

Album: Hadeland Hardcore

Label: Fysisk Format


I am by no means a hardcore punk expert, I wouldn’t even go as far and say I’m a particularly big fan of hardcore punk, but I know what I like and The Good the Bad and the Zugly is definitely one of my favorite bands within the genre. Their music is firmly rooted in hardcore punk, but they’ve also got some hard-rock influence that’s very noticeable on certain tracks on this new album, Hadeland Hardcore and their discography in general. In many ways I would say they’re Turbonegros more chaotic and heavier little brother. Continue reading

Sumac – The Deal (2015)


Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Sumac

Album: The Deal

Label: Profound Lore


Straying from the stricter confined of pure metal for the moment, members of Isis, Old Man Gloom, Botch and Baptists team up for a monumental slab of sludgy, dissonant metallic hardcore. Ever since Neurosis turned their hardcore roots to post metal and Converge released Jane Doe almost 15 years ago, there has been a distinct and creative strain existing within the overall banner of ‘metalcore’. Whilst the more obvious bands play ostensibly (and arguably) metal music in the vein of Gothenburg riffing supplemented with hardcore breakdowns and some vocal traits, the other school of thought usually has a more overall hardcore sound, shape and look, injecting metal in the form of brutal, dissonant and thick riffs reclaimed from the metallic domain of sludge metal. Continue reading

A Pregnant Light – All Saints Day (2015)


Author: Arvind

Band: A Pregnant Light

Album: All Saints Day

Label: Colloquial Sound Recordings

Damian Master, the troubled mastermind behind A Pregnant Light, once told me that “pure black metal must have riffs” ( It’s an epithet shared by many, a simple idea in principle that nonetheless provides a stark guideline for how to gauge and interact with this genre of music. It’s rather fitting, then, that A Pregnant Light, Master’s long-running project, straddles the line between blown-out atmospheric black metal, charging post-punk, and straightforward heartache. Continue reading

Cult Leader – Lightless Walk (2015)

Author: Bloodshot Grub

Artist: Cult Leader

Album: Lightless Walk

Label: Deathwish, Inc.

“Once we were another band, now we’re a better one.”

The opening line from Cult Leader‘s press packet gets right to the point. The other band that they were was Gaza, whose 2012 album No Absolutes in Human Suffering was widely and justifiably lauded as a high point of modern metalcore. Three-quarters of that band went on to form Cult Leader, and, high as the bar is, Lightless Walk is indeed the output of a better band. Continue reading

Mammoth Grinder – Underworlds (2013)


When people mention combining death metal and hardcore punk, thoughts instantly flicker to the often bashed deathcore genre, however with Mammoth Grinder this combination eschews that sound and follows the left hand path similar to bands combining sick concoctions of crust punk and death metal. The interesting aspect about Mammoth Grinder is that their original musical formula was sludge/hardcore punk, which was switched up to a Swe-death (less HM2 worship) with hardcore punk and some remnants of their sludgy days on their 2009 album and continued through to this release.

Continue reading

Ringworm – Hammer Of The Witch (2014)

Ringworm - Hammer Of The Witch

Jesus fucking Christ, Ringworm are certainly pissed off and it shows. Ringworm’s recent slab of thrash/hardcore (not in a crossover thrash sense) has to be one of the most aggressive releases I’ve heard recently.

Everything about this album oozes a level of subtlety similar to a body builder bashing you face to a pulp with a house brick; it’s relentless, it’s crushing and my fucking Christ is it good. The opening track starts out with a bit of a slow death introduction before crushing you with one of the album’s mid-paced songs and the album the pounds you for one song to the next over the 40 minute track length. Musically Ringworm combine guitar riffs similar to Slayer passing through groove central, along with thrash solos and heavy hardcore elements, an absolutely hammering drum and bass combination and some extremely vicious and sheer rage filtered vocals that are shouted over the top of the music. The riffs switch between chug heavy hardcore elements and intense thrash riffs and you’ll find yourself headbanging along like the riffs themselves are grabbing your hair and yanking your head, while the drums incite some pretty mosh worthy beats and the bass chugs along threatening to beat you within an inch of your life. Not too mentioned that the tone on both the guitars and the bass are just so bloody well suited for this hardcore/thrash combination and churn out the right level of aggression and sheer weight (guitar and bass respectively) that the riffing elements are amplified to be that much more devastating.

The songs are mostly mid-paced but flirt between slow, crushing sections and intense, thrashy fast sections, which are both placed perfectly around the album to make all three paces effective and brutal. This is one of the positives of the song writing, so much so that the 40 minutes of relentless aggression don’t stay past their welcome (seeing as most hyper-aggressive albums stick to around the 30 minute mark) without losing out on the hefty impact that the aggression on the album gives off; the album is one dimensional but is aggressive and interesting enough to keep a listener’s interest. There’s no inherent issues with the production quality either, as mentioned above all the instruments are audible and seem to sit just right in the mix in order for them to do what they need to do, and do it bloody well. To top it all off, Ringworm have not just created a 40 minute devastator but have also managed to keep out all of the douche-bro elements that both thrash and hardcore punk are prone to having, which is just fucking excellent.

This album is highly recommended for anyone looking for the intersecting point between thrash metal and hardcore punk that leaves you aching, sore and reading to go another round in the pit with the most aggression and intensity that both genres have to offer.