Review: Diagnosis? Bastard! - #2 (7” 2014 D-takt & Råpunk)

The world's only diagnosed hardcore bastards are back with their second 7-inch EP. Probably the wax that has been spinning most on my turntable so far this year. If you enjoyed the first one, this will most certainly not be a disappointment, everything from the production to the song writing is just way better. Maybe you're not as blown away by the super insane vocals this time, even though the performance on the new 7” is just as good, but what the hell.

 It starts off with a creepy voice pronouncing the title of the opening I Want To See You Die, and all hell breaks loose. Most intense shit I've heard in a long time. It's pretty much over as fast as it started, and while you're still wondering what the fuck happened, Turns To Shit takes over with its stunning riffing. I'd like to name it their best song so far, extremely enjoyable tune. Am I Stupid? Or Idiot! has been available for a while before the release of this 7”, and together with the rest of all the new songs, it shows no signs of bringing down either the high pace or the high quality.
 The opening of the B-side, I Hate Your Life, is just as chaotic as the one on side A. Last song Join The Queue starts off as fast as the rest of the songs, but then breaks down into a more mid-paced ending, which the band absolutely master just as good as the faster stuff. Hardcore-highlight of the year so far, no doubt. 7,5/10 /H


PARANOID - 生, 被害妄想, 死

5 TRACK E.P. 7" out in april 2014 on Konton Crasher.

Review: Extrakt - Extreme Brutality (MC 2013 Bifrost)

Second demo by the Umeå-thrashers. The sound isn't really as abysmal as on the first demo, but still raw enough. They have surely evolved a lot musically, the riffs are much better, and the songs feels more worked through in general this time. Definitely one of Sweden's best thrash metal-bands, both this and their first demo would probably be regarded as classics if they were released in the mid 80's. I just hope that they don't get any tighter, or better at their instruments from now on, and starts to sound like Kreator's later horrible albums or something, this is how it should be done! 7/10 /H


Review: Dark Forest – The Awakening (CD, 2014, Cruz Del Sur)

 The proud Englishmen of Dark Forest are back with their third album, and three is also the amount of vocalists that they've had on their albums. The new guy this time is none other than Josh Winnard, ex- Wytch Hazel. I must say that I wouldn't like to have been in his position before the recording of this album, since the vocal performance on their previous album Dawn Of Infinity, by Will Lowry-Scott, was as good as flawless. Pretty much in league with guys like Russ North on A Sultan's Ransom or Bruce Dickinson on Number Of The Beast. I also consider the rest of the Dawn Of Infinity just as fantastic as its vocals, I'd even like to call it a modern classic.

 So, in other words, following it up in a worthy way must be regarded as one of the most difficult tasks a band ever have had to face, but Dark Forest have gathered their forces and come up with the highly expected successor that is The Awakening. The biggest question is of course however they've found a vocalist that's able to fill the void that Lowry-Scott left because of his departure. Josh Winnard's voice may not be as powerful, but still he uses his more sort of calm and laid back voice in a remarkable way. It's definitely most clear in Turning The Tides, where his vocals takes over after an intro I'd almost consider as brutal, and sways away in an almost hypnotizing way. He has simply found his place, and managed to give the band a brand new expression, which was just what I hoped that he would do. It's not like they sounds totally different now though, actually I think it sounds quite a lot like their first album, just adding a more secure vocalist and a better production. I'm convinced that songs like The Wizard Of Alderley Edge would be taken to stunning heights played live by this line-up of the band.
 Musically then, the song writing is far away from a flaw in their otherwise great discography. The hit potential might not be as high in each and everyone of the songs as their earlier work, I must admit that I didn't felt as knocked out as I expected to feel when I heard the first samples. When the album is experienced in it's entirety though, it all unfolds, and the order is restored. I've got to have a few more rounds with it to decide whether it's as good as Dawn Of Infinity or not (or maybe even better?), but it keeps growing every time I listen to it. Dark Forest have surely set the bar very high for 2014-releases. 9/10 /H
PS: Could it might be possible that we've even heard the song of the year already? Judge yourselves:

Review: Nomad Son – The Darkening (CD 2013 Metal On Metal Records)

 From a place where most people probably thought that no heavy metal-band would ever dwell, namely the island of Malta, comes Nomad Son and brings forth their third album. This band features the guitarist Albert Bell, also known from the only other Maltese which existence I'm aware of, Forsaken. A band that I count as one of the best doom-bands in recent years, so it came as no surprise that Nomad Son band are playing doom metal as well.

 My feelings for this album are a bit divided, but there's no doubt that in it's best moments, it's basically on the same level as Forsaken. Light Bearer, Only The Scars, the title track and Orphaned Crown are all demonstrations of the craftsmanship of high quality song writing. The Age Of Contempt and Descent To Hell aren't really on the same super-high level, but still decent songs.

 Then we have The Devil's Banquet and Caligula, which both differs quite a bit from the rest when it comes to the arrangements. They are both possessing some kind of dark, haunting, almost unpleasant feeling, in a good way though. I'm actually not sure if it's either good or bad, since they aren't really as memorable and straight forward as the rest of the songs, but still creates a more dynamic feeling to the album in it's entirety. Either way, in conclusion it's nothing but a great album. I hope that these guys, along with Forsaken, continues to provide us all with high quality doom for many more years to come. 7/10 /H


Review: Sex Dwarf - Full Av Aska (7” 2013 D-takt & Råpunk)

9-minute rawpunk noise attack. It's so raw that it might be a bit hard to discern the songs from each other, but still too filthy is always better than too clean of course. The closing Ångestattack stands out a bit from the rest of the distortion inferno since it's more mid-paced, and probably the only song that is longer than two minutes. A perfect ending of this EP, looking forward to hear more from this band. 6.5/10 /H


Reviews: Suffer The Pain - The Last Massacre & Bombs Of Hades / Suffer The Pain - Split

Suffer The Pain - The Last Massacre (MC, 2012, Krig Tejps)

As we all know, bands with names consisting of three words or more should in general be avoided at any cost. However, there are a few exceptions, and one of them is definitely Suffer The Pain from Västerås, Sweden. This is their second demo, and their sound could best be described as a bastard child of Swedish death metal and punk. It's raw and filthy, but the riffs are still well executed and most of the songs are very memorable, despite being very short. Straight to the point and no bullshit, one could say. 6/10

Bombs Of Hades / Suffer The Pain - Black Goat Chant / Nuclear End (MC, 2013, Krig Tejps)

Bombs Of Hades starts of this split-tape with the furious Black Goat Chant, which is nothing but a hell of a song. Just look at the title, is it even possible for such a wonderfully named song to be anything else than fantastic? Don't think so, this is nothing but absolute madness. Their second and last track is a cover of Scorpions “Can't Get Enough”. It's definitely an original and interesting version of that song, but it's still Black Goat Chant that confirms Bombs Of Hades as one of the absolute best Swedish death metal-bands at the moment. After such a great song, I don't think the feeling of wanting more from this band has ever been stronger. New album now, please!

Suffer The Pain gives us three tracks, all in the vein of the previous demo. They could even possibly have been taken from the same recording sessions, since both of the releases says “recorded in April 2012”. I think that they have stepped it up a notch when it comes to quality, maybe they were saving the best tracks for this release? The phenomenal opener Break Your Chains has got a tinge of black metal, which I think suits the band very well, hopefully we'll see more of that on their next release as a fine complement to the characterized sound of these deathpunx. A great split, a shame that it's over way too fast though. 7/10 /H


Review: Guerra Total - El Armagedón Continúa (CD, 2013, I Hate Records)

 Colombia's Guerra Total have returned to ravage the rainforests with their fourth album. They have been around since 1997, and this is claimed to be their darkest, blackest and finest recording to date. I'm not really sure if I'm willing to agree with that, since the production isn't very impressive at all. I can't tell if sounds too bad or too good, it just doesn't sound right. The previous album “Antichristian Zombie Hordes” sounded much better in my opinion.

 At the end of the day though, when everything comes around it's the songs that matter and nothing else. To be honest, the production only bothers me about halfway through the opening “Nuclear Zombie Division”, then my thoughts passes on to the high quality of the music. The band definitely delivers the goods when it comes to raging speed metal riffs and memorable songs. Add to that some surprisingly melodic solos and elements of odd instruments (theremin, anyone?) and you've got a very interesting and enjoyable album.

 I see a lot of potential for future evolution though. Even though the vocal performance is great, I'd like more songs with vocals like the closing “Black Metal Speed Rock and Roll”, which vocally possesses a feeling more reminiscent of heavy metal, rather than the speed/black metal-screams of the rest of the album. It makes the Spanish accent way more distinct, which I totally adore. The words “ Rock and Roll” haven't been pronounced better since Baron Rojo's “Volumen Brutal” (1982)!

In conclusion then, a great effort, but with the right improvements, their next album could be monumental. 6.5/10 /H

Interview: Terminus

Terminus from Belfast, Northern Ireland, is a band to keep your eyes on if you're into classic heavy metal, check out their music on the bandcamp-player below. Answers by vocalist James Beattie.

When I first heard your tape "Into Exile", I really had a hard time to categorize the music, other than it sounded very damn good! The music feels quite general, still somehow it sounds very unique. How would you describe the music of Terminus, and which are your major influences?

- I would describe our music as a bit of a mixture between '80's US metal and the NWOBHM. I think it's fair to say that the NWOBHM influence is most apparent in the vocals. Musically our big influences are bands like Iron Maiden, Attacker, Slough Feg, Savage Grace, Solstice/Isen Torr...I could go on, but you get the idea!!!

- Vocally I worship Solstice, Marquis De Sade/Sanctus, Warlord and Virtue. There are of course many more, but those examples will probably give your readers a good idea of what to expect.

I haven't studied the lyrics that closely, but I get the feeling that there's some sort of futuristic concept involved, since some certain terms (and names?) are being repeated several times in the four songs. Is that the case (and if it is, tell us more about the story)?

- The entire demo was based on Isaac Asimov's Foundation. It is essentially the story of the fall of a Galactic Empire, and the turmoil that surrounds its rebuilding. The central character to the first story "The Psychohistorians" develops a scientific method of forecasting future events and the powers that be fear what he has to say. He ends up exiled along with a group of followers and he devises plans to shorten the coming age of chaos.

- I read somewhere that Asimov was inspired to write it upon reading the history of the fall of the Roman Empire.

How did you came up with the name Terminus? Are you aware of the band Terminus 5 from Ireland, who apparently released an album in the 80's?

- The first I have heard of Terminus 5 is right now!!

- Terminus is the name of the planet that the central character from "The Psychohistorians" is exiled to. It fits in with the overarching concept of the tracks on the demo.

You announced recently that you'll release a split 7" with Portugal’s Ravensire. How come you chose to co-operate with them, are they a band that you think you can relate to, musically?

- Ravensire have become firm friends of ours over the last year. We came into contact with them because Nuno enjoyed our stuff and made contact with us. The feeling was entirely mutual as I had bought their "Iron Will" MCD and loved it. We were offered the opportunity to release a 7" single and we liked the idea of doing a split release. RAVENSIRE were top of our list to work with, so we were very very pleased that they agreed to it. We even managed to meet up with Nuno for beers when he was in Dublin. That was a messy train ride home!

- Ravensire and Terminus sound very different from one another, but there is no doubt in my mind that the two bands have an almost identical attitude in terms of where we see ourselves in the Heavy Metal Underground.

Will your contribution, the song "Centaurean" be exclusive for this release only, or could it possibly be included on future works as well?

- At present we have no plans to use the song again. But if the 7" should sell out, it may surface at a later date.

The coverart of your side of the split indicates that there's some sort of sci-fi based story behind that song as well, is that right?

- Absolutely! This time is based on M John Harrison's "The Centauri Device". This story follows the exploits of an absolute fucking loser called John Truck who gets into all sorts of scrapes trying to locate an alien weapon for the human government/military. He didn't have a great start in life bless him.

To conclude it then, what does the future hold for Terminus? Could the next release possibly be a full-length album?

- A full length album is next on the agenda. The songs from the demo will most likely be recorded again and given a better sound. We hope to begin recording by early 2014. We won't be rushing it.

- Other than that we want to play more gigs, especially some of the festivals, so if you could have a word in the ear of those fine folk at Muskelrock, we'd be much obliged! Haha!




Review: Attacker - Giants Of Caanan (CD, 2013, Metal On Metal Records)

Attacker has been around since the early 80's. Some might know them for “(Call On) The Attacker”, which was their contribution to the fifth volume of the essential Metal Massacre compilations, along with bands like Voivod, Overkill, Fates Warning, Metal Church, Omen and, of course, Hellhammer. Mandatory in the collection of each heavy metal-fan.
Anyway, this is Attacker's fifth album, and as usual, when it comes to this band, it's filled with bone-crushing riffs (The Hammer!), galloping speed and killer tunes. The quality is very high throughout the whole album, and the new vocalist Bobby Lucas delivers a stunning performance (it isn't for nothing he's called Leather Lungs). “The Glen Of The Ghost” could very well be their best song ever, nothing but an epic and brilliant closer of this ridiculously strong album.
In a time when most of the old bands who are still active are nothing but a shadow of their glorious past, Attacker are the exact opposite, and even actually overshadow their past. An achievement very unusually occurring these days. 8/10. /H

Playlists 15/3 -14

Convent Guilt - Guns For Hire (song, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yye-6MFon40)
Black Oath - The Third Aeon (MC)
Parasit - Välj Din Egen Bödel (LP)
Virtue - We Stand To Fight (MLP)
Forsaken - Anima Mundi (CD)

Portrait- In time (song, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPaNoKCr8zQ)
Nervvrak - Nervvrak (MC)
The Black Angels - Directions to see a ghost (LP)
Black Breath - Razor to oblivion (MLP)
Onslaught - Power from hell (CD)


Welcome to the slaughter...

Lockyard Records is a project with the intention to release our own music. Several releases are planned during the year. The webzine is our way give some attention to the ones who deserve it, regardless if it is positive or negative. Our musical focus will be mainly rock, punk and heavy metal in all of their different forms.

...I hope you're having fun. // A. & H. Lockyard