Archive for December 2017

The Dead Centuries – ‘Race Against Time’   22 comments

The Dead Centuries are a 3 piece Ottawa-based instrumental prog metal band. ‘Race Against Time’ follows their debut single ‘Overdrive’, featuring special guest guitar solo by Mandroid Echostar’s James Krul.  ‘R.A.T.’ is loosely based on the creative song-writing process. A catalogue of challenges have beset the band, during this process, which have just made them even stronger and more determined, as a unit, to create a work of high standards, reflecting the contributions of each band member.

Inspired by the words of respected author and visionary Michael Moorcock, of Hawkwind and Blue Oyster Cult fame, (in a collaborative sense), ‘it is the business of the future to be dangerous’, T.D.C. have carried this theme into their music. Influences include Protest The Hero, Periphery, Paul Gilbert, Sithu Aye and Intervals.
Writing and playing complex and intricate instrumental prog metal, T.D.C. are as skilled and accomplished as they set out to be. Their music is testament to that. There are no egos involved here. It’s about the passion, creation and love for the music. Their cohesion and chemistry as a band is in perfect sync. ‘R.A.T.’ offers 10 tracks of spirited, compelling metal, through which, escapism can be found.

Freddy Lounds – Fresh sounding intro, with plenty of riff-based melody and a breathy sense to it. Good rapid pace and quick-fire timing. Heavy edgy drumming and a high vibe, making for a fun listen. Unusual to have a pure instrumental introing, but it makes a nice change. Likeable and upbeat.

Gotham – Straight in there, with a real NWOBHM feel, not missing a beat. It’s got something really uplifting about it and that always wins out. Again, it’s pure instrumental sound provides space for a free-form style. Hard edged, but with a light atmosphere. Ending on an unexpected piano outro, like melodic rainfall, in an attractive pattern. That lends a certain uniqueness to the track.

Reboot – Hard-hitting, fast-paced drum intro, setting the scene for a lively song, segmented into versatile sections, providing glimpses into high-energy, exciting sounds. Well structured, driven and loaded with simply gorgeous riffage I could listen to endlessly. Slick fade-out. Just a great song altogether.

Tree Fort – Banging intro, offering more of that lively melody and a more considered drum section, with a spacious zone within it, creating a steadily timed riff section, following it. So rhythmic, passionate and fulsome. Characterised by periodic spaces in which the song has chance to breathe. Carefully and thoughtfully timed, stimulating, yet contemplative. It’s exuberant and at the same time, complex. Another hit.

Blood Dragon – Heavier intro, with a more marked edge to the riffage. Still tons of awesome melody, with a harder foundation surrounding it. Growing more thunderous, but still intersecting that with more sentimental guitar solos. Bringing more meaning to the lighter sections, always keeping the catchy flavour, it ends more fittingly abruptly, this time, with a clearly defined edge to the final riff.

Attack Of The Mutant – A darker intro now, with plenty of steel and oodles of aggressive intent. Still, though, it never loses that emotional streak, running right through it. The liveliness returns, within the spaces in between light and dark. Filling your being with metallicised feeling, it’s pure, honest metal.

Venus Gospel – Opening on a softer, shadier sound, before then giving way to a harder attack, it’s intelligently composed. There’s a quieter audible background to the sound, creating room for contemplation. Even within that sense, the heaviness still remains. Hammering its way through the silence, sporadically, it just seems to make each feature that much more meaningful.

Overdrive – A gentler, but firmly handled intro, the faster, harder stuff soon follows. Melody heavy, rapid and driven rhythm, filling the drum sections with excitement and loading the rest with energy fuelled riffage and catchy pace and sound. A racing track, with high-speed power and stacks of likeability.

Attack Of The Mutants – Is this ‘Attack Of The Mutants 2’? Either way, it’s still filled with the same high-class, top-level stuff. Big melodies, soaring riffs, confident, intense drum rolls and a general feel-good sense. So what if it is a repeat? It’s all good music, worth listening to twice and in fact, repeatedly, forever more.

Souvenir – Right in there, with furious, loaded steel. Riffs with thrashy feel and hard, heavy intent. Bull Riff Stampede fans will get off on them, as will Blaze Bayley fans and all fans of quality speed/power metal riffs and NWOBHM styles. A definite harder edge to this track, but still packed with great melody and another piano section thrown in there, for good measure. Ending on a tasteful fade-out, it’s a class act, without doubt.

Overall – A pure instrumental album, of racing speed/power metal, packed with light, energy, life and melody. Showcasing hard and heavy, played within a lighter backdrop, with a lively, but thoughtful atmosphere. ‘Race Against Time’ is aptly named, as it defines the sound, perfectly.

10/10 **********

For fans of Bull Riff Stampede, Blaze Bayley, Signify, Reign Of Fury, Trivium. id=Biemkneljmnb7oktkan53jca4si&hl=en

Posted December 30, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Tragul – ‘The Tree Of Life’   26 comments

Symphonic power metal band Tragul, (the name being a dream inspiration of founder, keyboardist and songwriter Adrian Benegas), features ex-members of Blind Guardian, Rhapsody of Fire and Tarja, aswell as members of Pergana, Diabulus In Musica and Flotsam and Jetsam. ‘The Tree Of Life’, a self release, is their 4th single so far. It aims to empower people, through hope, via its sounds and the light, joyful feelings these release.

Influenced by Nightwish, Rhapsody, Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius and Dionysus, the word ‘tragul’ defines the marriage of spirituality and humanity, through music. This term was chosen for its personal significance to Adrian, its uniqueness and relevance to his spirituality.

Tragul are open to alternative means of musical exposure and their music can be heard on all digital platforms.

Bennu – Wow! Instant hit. Very lively, thrashy, Blaze Bayley-esque instrumental sound, with powerful melodic feminine vocals, much in the vein of Leaves Eyes, Lacuna Coil, Delain etc. Strong drum presence, fresh, vibrant sound and sense, with a mystical flavour, which given the EP’s title, isn’t surprising. Great fast pace, frenetic riffs and momentous flow. Hugely atmospheric, this’ll win over any fans of operatic metal, such as Nightwish, Within Temptation or Aonia. Fabulous start.

Into The Heart Of The Sun – Another wow. Even stronger intro, stacked with power and ethereal mystique. Really striking vocals, increasing volume and tension in the instrumentals, raising the stakes, with every note. Noticeable catch and drive in the choruses. Over too soon, but it’s an affecting demo of Tragul’s capabilities.

The Message – Opening with a synth led intro, quickly followed by an extraordinary riff section, filled with energy and fuelling the accompaniments with maximum strength passion. Haunting vocals come into play again, urged on, by those magnificent riffs, like a sleigh, being driven, at top speed, through a challenging winter landscape. Ending just very slightly abruptly again, but otherwise, it’s pretty much perfection.

The Tree Of Life – (Radio version). Again, startlingly energised riff and drum intro, soon followed by more of those magical vocals. A very catchy vibe and a well-placed use of glockenspiel, adding that extra touch. It’s just a gorgeous sound, from start to finish. All it really needs is a longer track length. In itself, beautiful.

Overall – A short, but powerful blast of magic, with a wintry feel and a deeply and pleasantly haunting sense. Naturally ethereal, proving that metal and wonder go together, when handled with competent, accomplished precision. Atmospherically charged and abundantly enchanting.

9/10 *********

For fans of Nightwish, Within Temptation, Leaves Eyes, Lacuna Coil, Delain, Aonia, Apparition.

‘The Tree Of Life’ video link: https://

Also on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby.

Released 12th December 2017.

Posted December 29, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Jon Tessier – ‘A Minute Or Two’   10 comments

Jon Tessier is a solo artist, of Brazilian French origin, currently based in Ibiza, Spain. His sound is termed as ‘guitar driven pop, with an alt rock edge’. Having previously been in numerous rock bands, as a teen, his music has now evolved into a solo project. Influenced by Motley Crue, Depeche Mode, The Doors, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Brazilian ‘Bossa Nova’ artist Joao Gilberto etc, Jon’s music is now accessible on all Internet wide, music streaming platforms.

A Minute Or Two – Smooth, gentle acoustic intro, in a Kooks-esque, Britpop, alt rock style. Mid-paced, strong feeling, with an echoic sound, a clear rhythm and decent melody. Fairly short track, but enough catch to make it memorable. Works potentially well as easy listening territory. There’s a cosy 90’s feel to it, with plenty of relaxed, laid-back strumming and similarly styled vocals. A warm nostalgia pervades this sound and it’s effective as mood music, to kick back and chill out to. Or even as a steady soundtrack, to match the pace of life, in its more contemplative rhythms. Cleverly focused, yet calm. It captures the essence of human moods.

7/10 *******

For fans of The Kooks, Kasabian, Embrace, The Luka State. – YouTube clip of ‘A Minute Or Two’.

Posted December 28, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Final Coil – ‘Persistence Of Memory’   23 comments

Mixing decimating riffs, with dreamy, post-rock atmospherics, Final Coil are a Leicester-based band, playing what might be called traditional alt rock. Having come a long way from their humble beginnings, F.C. have developed their sound, from its early American underground influences, to a finer, more traditional English, prog like style, though A.I.C. and Anathema still form part of their inspirations.

2014 saw them release an acoustic EP, including flute, synth and piano sections. Entitled ‘Somnambulism’, this recording showcased the evolution of their sound, with F.C. saving their energised demos of all-out rock aggression for their live performances. F.C.’s independent release, ‘Closed To The Light’ (2015), received rapturous acclaim, bringing the band to the attention of WormHoleDeath. (Their current label). 2016 was focused on the production of ‘Persistence Of Memory’. ‘P.O.M’. Is a versatile, accessible album, depicting transparent, yet stark images of new-age disconnection, displacement and lamentation.

Recorded by Wahoomi Corvi (Way Of Purity, Cre Tura), at Real Sound Studio, Italy. Mastered by Cult Of Luna’s Magnus Lindenberg. Artwork by Andy Pilkington, of Very Metal Art.

Corruption – Introing with a low bass and grinding guitars, in a very A.I.C.-esque style, with much the same kind of melody, that works instantly. There’s an unmistakable, immediate catch to that sound, which’ll get you unawares. Be warned, it’ll hold you in its thrall. This is real accomplishment and pure born for rock stuff. Genuinely spine tingling, these guys are masters of the alt and grunge rock combo.

Dying – Cautious, gradual, controlled deep noted bass intro, again, it’s classic A.I.C. Smooth, dreamy, yet solid. Your soul will feel at home and at peace here. Great rhythms, which just slide right into place. There’s comfort to be had in this song.

Alone – Picking up the pace now, with an unusual key, no doubt hard to nail, but they succeed. Staying with that A.I.C. sound, F.C. really make it their own, with visual imagery, evoked by the sounds. Subtle, fitting slide sections add to the thrill. Well harmonised, precisely timed and making that guitar sing in just the right places. Some rarely heard cymbal techniques create extra effect. That fretwork’s an absolute dream, as is the descending fade-out. Just magic, of the purest kind.

You Waste My Time – Dreamy, intriguing intro, hinting towards ambient realms, but quickly and competently moving into heavier, grungy territory. Softer edged vocals, yet they never detract from the hardness of that grunge flavour. Hearing this is like someone opening a door and admitting you into rock lovers paradise. Truly, truly beautiful. You’ll just want to climb inside that feeling and savour it forever. Ending on a shimmering cymbal hit, it’s absolute perfection.

Myopic – Hitting the harder line now, with that intro, of grinding bass and heavy drums, a slightly sinister edged vocal, lyrically astute and catchy. Soaring riffs, a tasty bit of wah wah and intuitively blended vocal, so well able to flit from one effect to another. Closing on a watery sound effect, adding perfect emphasis.

Failed Light – Opening with a blues-based riff and a looser, space giving feel, slower paced and in no hurry, it gets into its stride gradually and creates a guitar-based fluidity, almost haunting, in its way. Instrumentally showcasing purity of movement, through sound ranges, enhanced by the vocals, when eventually coming in and making their mark. Catchiness pervades again. The intensity builds momentum all the time, as those riffs rain down on you, so addictively. Catching you in an echo chamber of eternal grunge rock heaven, the volume and intensity eventually climbs back down again, till the end. Immense.

Spider Feet – Plucky riffs introing, with a darker edge now and a sinister, creeping sense in their tone, added to by the still soft, yet demonstratively unnerving vocals. A definite ghostly feel to this, lifting, intermittently, but still instilling that insistently haunting note. A practice in conveying disquiet. Ending on a definitive chord.

Lost Hope – Eerie, piercing sound introing here, broken up by the mood guitar, so instantly effective. Moving, in an instant, from disconcerting, to comforting, in perfect harmony. Something very early Oasis-esque resonates through this, but just harder, heavier and more pronounced. A warm, inviting quality lives within these vocals. So tuneful and melodic. The piano just makes it. Ideal finishing touch. Like musical raindrops, hitting you, from above.

Moths To The Flame – Cracking intro there! Fiery, crunching riffs, heavy bass and effortless ease in the vocals. Again, that cymbal work adds an extra something, fitting right in and just giving it that edge. Blending soft and heavy, light and dark and all the imaginable shades in between. Gorgeous twanging guitar solos, you can breathe in and feel, to the depths of your soul. Ending on some falling riff scales, just creating perfection.

In Silent Reproach – Explosive intro, coming to life instantly, firing off riffs that mean business. A classic touch within them soon becomes audible. That disturbing edge creeps back into the vocals next. A clear and simple, but defining message permeates the lyrics. Lending the track a palpable sense, by injecting it into the fretwork, that really defines the emotional impact.

Alienation – Arresting guitar and piano intro, joined by desolate lyrics and vocals, creating immediate impact, in a literal sense. Very profound, stark representation conveyed as devastatingly damaging experiences. Thoroughly plausible and equally palpable. Strangely catchy, despite its darkness and it moves, in such a fluidly competent way, from conveying that darkness, to a faster, lighter sound and back again, bringing real physicality to the sound. Really deeply affecting.

Overall – ‘Persistence Of Memory’ is exactly the right title for this album, since it sums up it’s lasting impression, perfectly. It’s hugely impacting, deeply powerful and haunting, in a positive sense. Going way beyond expectations, it’s a cultured sound, from which the love and passion that’s gone into it positively screams. ‘P.O.M’. Holds every bit as much accomplishment as a highly polished, well produced A.I.C. release. Some people are born with music in their souls and F.C. are amongst them. Make ‘P.O.M’. Your Christmas/end of year must have album. The magic inside it will never let you go.

10/10 **********

For fans of A.I.C., Nirvana, Oasis, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, P.O.D., Nickelback, Duff Mckagan.

Released 22nd September 2017, via WormHoleDeath.

Posted December 22, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Arapacis – ‘Obsolete Continuum’   6 comments

Introducing ‘Obsolete Continuum’, current album from Arapacis. Produced, recorded, mixed and mastered at Arapacis Studios, by Jerry Fielden, in 2016-2017. Featuring Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath and DIO), on Drums, on ‘Translucidity’.

Syndrome – Measured drum intro, with instant proggy atmosphere. Mid-paced vocals kick in, with a slight gothic edge, softened round the edges, by a melting sound, like a physical sensation, cushioning the track, like a dream pillow. Beautifully melodious riffs surround it, taking it further into dreamy territory. Incredible scream, hitting the heights, towards the end, before the drums bring it all together and wrap it up in a final roll. Clearly prog, in nature, an inexplicable sense of being cosseted in a warm blanket remains.

Deceptionist – Banging, fresh drum intro, taking it up into a higher mood. Quality vocal harmonies, well supported by the cohesive accompaniments, but still strong enough to stand on their own. A definite catchy thread to that chorus, it’s one of those whose magic lies in its simplicity. This track’s main standout factor is that it’s intricate, without being overcomplicated. A difficult skill to nail, but it’s clearly audible in here, as is the generally accomplished air.

The Grey Procession – Opening with an intriguing ambient sound, resembling being in a wind tunnel, surrounded by swirling autumn leaves. Whispered vocals initially, gaining more volume, as the drumming intensifies. Some complex fretwork in there and a gradual tribal-esque drumbeat rhythm. Joined by sinister toned vocals, with equally sinister lyrics. Continuing in that vein, in an almost hypnotically ritualistic chant, it ends on that same meditative mood.

Kicking Around Blues – Much faster, more upbeat drum and riff intro, with a very early blues style and feel to it. Very pleasing to the ear. While those vocals could be seen as challenging, in places, they’re generally in fitting with the bluesy angle of the song and they’re undeniably skilled and entertaining. Much more riff involvement in here, of a very bluesy nature, happily, including some Hendrix-type riffs and the whole thing creates an air of old school blues and jazz clubs, with ‘Old Slow Hand’ Eric Clapton doing his thing. Easily the standout track so far and it’s over too soon.

The Brute – Bass introing, deep down low-slung ‘Wild Thing’ type licks and a stronger light percussion emphasis, from the cymbals. Those vocals have suddenly become very creepy and Gollum-esque! An odd, though intriguing combo of masculine, evil goblin sounds, with gentle, yet powerful high-pitched feminine melody. It’d certainly draw you in and keep you on the edge of your seat. A sudden end, but hey ho. Strong impressions were made. Say no more.

Obsolete Continuum – A darker mix of low bass notes and strategic cymbal hits introing; the feminine vocals return, showing their wares, with a black treacle-like edge to them. Merging, in places, with masculine vocals, which seem to retreat into the background, as the others come forward. A pleasant bit of sax work at the 3/4 point. Unusual alliance in rock, so good to hear it included. Some nice riff work at the end, consolidating everything, with perfected skill and precision.

Translucidity – Feat. Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath and DIO) on Drums – Strong drum intro and a creepily gothic vocal making its presence known. Moving into a more melodic sound, with an early rock and blues edge to it, but never quite losing that gothic sense. Riffs more prominent now, growing faster and then fading, into the background, intermittently, before returning, stronger and bolder. Comfortable, easy rhythm, becoming the backbone of the show. Ending on a strangely surreal fey-like vocal, it’s an effective way to close.

Watcher – Computer noises intro, very briefly, before opening the way for a classic darkened rhythm, growing lighter, enhanced by the fresh, open cymbal sounds. An undercurrent of early Sab’s ‘Children Of The Grave’ permeates. There’s a fitting sinister edge to the sounds – in keeping with the title, reinforced by the chasing style and sense of the following rhythm. Very visual, especially as the bass notes grow more prominent, at the end, just prior to the returning computer console closing sounds.

Overall – An intriguing concoction of sounds, blending prog, gothic, blues, jazz, early rock and the roots of metal. Freer in style than many concept albums and more effective to zone out to than most. Eclectic and unpredictable, utilising a broad spectrum of instrumental techniques and combinations, it’ll work best for the open-minded enquirer, as much as for the ingrained prog and concept enthusiast. Abstract is probably it’s most fitting and relevant description.

8/10 ********

For fans of prog, psychedelic, experimental, blues, jazz, concept rock, gothic rock and everything in between. Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’ fans’ll enjoy this too.

Posted December 21, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

I-Def-I – ‘In The Light Of A New Day’   23 comments

Introducing I-Def-I’s latest album, ‘In The Light Of A New Day’.

The Horror – Opening with the sound of eerie static, combined with an icy tactile sense. Flowing into a light and dark combo, with melody injected into it, perfect vocal cohesion and a hammering drum roll, easily moving into a freer style and back again, with such accomplishment. Short, but satisfactory.

Incite The Sunrise – Heavier drums introing, with a darkened edge. Stronger thrash sound to the vocals, but still interchangeably melodic. Some undeniably extreme screams in there, too. A shorter one, again, but loads of power, regardless.

Truth Or Dare – Immediate catchy riffs and drum hits introing now, joined by melodic and aggression tinged vocals. Harder drum beats, harder edge creeping into both riffs and vocals and harder altogether. Heavier essence, to the end. Another brief one.

Static And Signals – (Speaking Without Words) – Gentler melody, with a distinctly NWOBHM sound and more of those static filled riffs. Lots more drum presence and again, it’s light and heavy, at once and just demonstrates yet again, the effortless ease with which one style flows into another. Brief, but loaded.

Kinetic – Tasty fingerpicking intro’s this and a sense of deep and meaningful pathos. Again, that fluid nature resounds through it. Still, they manage to alternate it with notable aggression and swing between the two, in a heartbeat. It’s a rare ability and it’s so marked within this album. Closing on a pleasant, subtly performed fade-out riff, leaving a sense of serenity in its wake, there’s a fragile strength inherent within it.

966 – Crushing intro! Instantly impacting, hard-hitting aggression. Interestingly interweaving vicious death style vocals with gentler melodic ones. Throwing heaps of passion into the show, there’s a wildness in here, both edgy and natural, within a raging expression.

Tunnel Rat – Fluid sense to the sound, instantly. Looser in feel, catchier element to it, more vocally focused and a much bigger riff involvement now. Some nice strumming in there aswell. This may not be a long track, but it’s very soothing and very pleasantly listenable.

Prosthetiquette – Back up the mood goes, in an instant, to fresher, freer, more open, freestyle territory. All conveyed within those first few bars. Electrifying riffs, even incorporating a bit of electric slide – a rare thing indeed. Really catchy vocals, much more melodically inclined, yet still throwing in the odd passionate power scream, topping it off with the same. This is likely to be a crowd-pleaser.

Mano Destra Mano Sinistre – Returning to solemnity once more, this is just a simple, but deeply haunting guitar instrumental, of one line, into which, a world of emotion is thrown. Moving, on a big scale.

Asyla – (She Of The Flames) – Blazing into life, with a very classic sound, which is noticeably more melodic, with a slight power element. Edging towards death territory, at times, it’s more NWOBHM than anything else. Gaining in catchiness, an abrupt end, but it makes an impression, which is largely positive.

Army Of The Locust – Banging, electrifying intro, with lightning riffs and a steady calmness to the vocals, fluidly and melodically presented. An increasing drum presence and greater vocal range experimentation. Catchy in places, even if some tones are an acquired sound.

Closing Season – Moving into unquestionable heavy territory now, there’s an immediate ease in the performance, taking it exactly where it needs to go, never missing a beat. Versatility is the name of the game, easily exemplified by the ability to segue, so effortlessly, from styles of one extreme to another. Slightly more could possibly have been made of this, but it’s effective enough to make a strong impact.

Beauty Into Devastation – Speeding up the pace now, a heavier feel to this, from the start. A clearer rhythm, too and more deathy aspects. Great focus here, especially as every section’s so competently handled and frequent rhythmic changes and tempo alternations are no object. In each case, the vocals rise easily, to the challenge, in sync with the well able instrumentals. Ending on a gory shout, it’s a capable and well performed song.

What Keeps You Safe – A sinister note’s crept in now and a much bigger sound, altogether. Racing riffs and drum hits catch up, vocals becoming even catchier, with some great harmonies. You just have to join in with this. Catchy all the way and that’s the greatest draw of this one).

Broken Glass – Instantly and affectingly taking the whole tone down now, to one of melancholic, contemplative space. An obvious profundity to the lyrics lends them absolute plausibility. The acoustic guitar leading this is truly beautiful. The only criticism I’d have of this is that the sound quality would benefit from a pop shield. Though the background popping is possibly deliberate, in order to add an aural backdrop to the title, it’s distracting and detracts from the beauty and salience of the track.

Overall – A capably performed production, with cohesive quality, lots of catch and versatility, in spades. Proof of I-Def-I’s considerable range of ability and natural talent and passion for metal.

9/10 *********

For fans of NWOBHM, melo-death, thrash and speed/power metal.

Artwork absent, due to temporary technical issues.


Posted December 21, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Flesh Eating Foundation – ‘We Are Fucked’   2 comments

Released November 17th, via Sonic Entrails Records, this winter has seen a new release from Flesh Eating Foundation, entitled, ‘We Are Fucked’. Expected to challenge boundaries and social norms and enlighten, in the process, this release is being done in two stages – the first of which consists of 10 new studio tracks and an inclusive set of bonus remixes, by Inertia, Paresis, XSRY, Alien Nation and Mr Strange. A vinyl compilation of the album, with a lengthier online release, comprising alternative versions and more remixes will follow. It will total more than 30 tracks.

True to form, John E. Smoke, The Juddaman and co will be flouting conventions, pushing instrumental usage to its limits and beyond and displaying general aggression to everything within reach. Included in this release, are two updated versions of renowned tracks, ‘Scumbags And Spent Slags’ and ‘Slick Prick Dick Lick’; that latter, from the original version, on Armalyte Industries compilation ‘Defcon Three’. Added to these are: ‘Having Fun’, ‘We Are Fucked’, ‘Stand Up And Be Discounted’, ‘Futurelast’, featuring punk poet Adam Probert, ‘Shame’ and ‘Punch Drunk’ and finally, ‘The End’.

We Are Fucked – Lively electronic intro, with a poppy beat, to protest punk lyrics. The virtual megaphone’s easy to visualise. Actually, quite a catchy rhythmic ‘chorus’, with slight hints of classic influences. Anti-establishment theme, plausibly expressed.

Having Fun – Deeper key introing here, more sound effect emphasis evident, in the surrounding backdrop to the similarly protest themed lyrics, this time, railing at the patronising attitudes displayed towards those with disabilities, by ‘authority figures’.

Scumbags And Spent Slags – Cheerier, faster, more impacting intro, with greater synthesiser use, amongst the electronica. Same consistent beat, with a brighter tone and more vibrancy, eventually bringing in more active drum emphasis. Closing on a synth, this is more instrumentally, than lyrically focused.

Shame – Spacey sense to this, it’s a definite step up from the last production, with a tighter feel, improved sound quality and general listenability. Slight sci-fi-esque sense to it, with Dalek-like connotations. Vague relation to the physical sensations and vibrations of an imagined rubber ball or more fittingly, space hopper, bouncing along the floor. Faintly atmospheric, with a tinge of darkness.

Futurelast, featuring Adam Probert – Darkened piano intro, joined by doom focused lyrics. The mood soon lifts, via the synth, but only marginally. It’s a bit doom mongering, but then, that’s it’s point. Again, the visual aspect comes into play, depicting imagery of protest marches and there’s a hint of ‘I Can’t Get No Sleep’, within the sound. A little bit 90’s in that sense, but the emotion of the moment’s clearly audible.

Punch Drunk – Imagine what a busy scrapyard might sound like. You’re there. Only played out to an electronic soundtrack. Clearer strains of violence in the vocals and yet, that’s interspersed with a combo of ambience and slithering, snakelike, ‘Use Your Illusion’ lyrical styles. The beat gets gradually heavier, towards the close, when it winds up, in an almost physical sense, on a different note, like a yo-yo, being retracted.

Sick Prick Dick Lick – (For The Throat) – Opening on a static interference echo, experimental focus enters, showcasing a range of formats and touch sensory instruments. A bit repetitive, but there’s a certain lightness and freedom in the club like sound and atmosphere evoked. It’s certainly deftly applied, with justified confidence and audible skill and enjoyment. Given its title, it’s fair to say that pleasure’s expected to be conveyed, through it.

Stand Up And Be Discounted – Machine-gun fire like ammo round introing, joined by passionately performed vocals. An interplay of various styles comes in, faintly reminiscent, in places, of The Pet Shop Boys. (Intentional or not). Short track, but aptly emphatic and fitting, in that sense too. It makes its point well.

The End – Entering an ambient realm now, this is more impressionistic of being in a tunnel, surrounded by the voice of a particularly cruel version of your conscience, or perhaps the taunting of some other watchful party, with sinister motives. Morphing into monster-ish echoes, as if in a haunted cave, from which you’re desperate to escape. Effective increase in vocal volume and power of the tormentor. A sense of hopelessness pervades.

We Are Fucked – (Fucked Up Remix, by Alien Nation) – Picking the pace back up again and lifting the mood, with it, there’s still an angry sense to this, but it’s somehow, more contained and singularly channelled. A prominent beat, like being stuck with your back against a wall, with a hard ball being bounced, relentlessly, on the walls, either side of you. That probably says it all, regarding its attempt to exemplify the real impact of the title’s inspirations.

Having Fun (Mr. Strange Remix) – Bouncier, flashier intro beat, with a sense of external projection. Lyrically, that pretty much summarises it, as it’s really just the endless repetition of what the song’s muse is projecting into the perceived ‘subjects’. You can hear the justifiable annoyance this provokes, in the incessant repetition itself and the obvious irritation in the tone. It’s basically just emphasising that point throughout.

We Are Fucked – (XSRY Remix) – A lighter hearted affair altogether, with a clearly more prominent keyboard section.

Having Fun (Paresis Lulz Remix) – Strongly synthesised intro, with a dance-like breakdown of sounds you might hear in house/rave music. That’s its whole display. An interpretation of experience.

We Are Fucked – (Inertia Remix) – Hard as nails being hammered into a wall. Piercing, in its own way. Some quite jarring electronic sounds in there. Over-stimulating, on a sensory level. Like zig-zags racing through your ears. That sense just overtakes it really, but ultimately, it’s down to interpretation.

Overall – The main (10 track) album is generally, a noticeable improvement from F.E.F.’s previous release. It’s sharper, more clear-cut, focused and well-rounded, with perfected areas, making for a better listen and a greater sense of its aims and purposes. As for the remixes, they’re overkill it could do without. So all in all, ‘W.A.F.’ is a step up from before, which sounds best in isolation, without unnecessary filler, to spoil the effects.

6/10 ******

For fans of trance, punk, pop, protest, rap, dance, house, rave and electronic noise.

Posted December 19, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized