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Album Review: The Rodeo Idiot Engine – “Malaise”

Organized chaos.  That’s the description that kept popping into my head as I was listening to The Rodeo Idiot Engine’s latest offering, Malaise.  When first diving into the album, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of noise being created by the band.  Guitars are heavy, vocals bark and scream dark lyrics (i.e. “Dead never cry, they just fade away. Cross never lies, just sleep and pray”), the bass has a persistent deep thud, and the drums go from blast beat to off time pounding in a matter of seconds.  But the more you listen, the more you can see how much thought is going into how these songs are put together.

Take opening track “La Parfum.”  It starts out like any other heavy album might, with rolling drums and feedback leading into heavy riffs and screaming.  The drums then go manic as the rest of the band continues their heavy assault.  But throughout all this, the guitar is surprisingly melodic, which manages to pull the whole song together amidst the chaos.  This is a consistent theme throughout the album as the band balances how extreme they can make their music, while also keeping things grounded with some melody.

The band describes themselves as “blackened screamo violence.”  While I’m not sure exactly what that means, I agree that some parts of it are accurate.  I’m probably too caught up in what I think screamo is from all those mid-2000’s bands that kind of took over at that time, but I hear more of the blackened violence here than anything else.  They do a good job of mixing elements of crust, powerviolence, grindcore, metalcore, and straightforward hardcore, peppered with a few moments of softer instrumentals to break everything up.

While I appreciate the general heaviness of this album, there were some parts that I found to be too much, particularly the seven minute instrumental track “Ildoak,” that serves as a kind of intermission.  The song is a slow building march, which I admit is a cool concept and a nice way to break up an album like this.  It almost reminds me of some the intermissions Tragedy would put into their albums, but with it being so long it just became repetitive and mind numbing.  By the 4 minute mark I was ready for it to be over, and it kind of killed the rest of the album for me.  I’ve started just skipping over this track as I continue to listen to the album.

All in all, The Rodeo Idiot Engine definitely knows how to make some good heavy music that pushes boundaries while also maintaining melodicism.  The first half of this album is amazing, but nothing really stands out to me on the second half.  Probably because my mind was numb.  This is definitely one for fans of metal-tinged hardcore to check out, but I don’t expect it to blow everyone away.

3.5 / 5 Stars



The Rodeo Idiot Engine (French Hardcore) stream new song “Carrying Icons”

The self-described “blackened screamo violence” band The Rodeo Idiot Engine are streaming a new song off their upcoming third studio album Malaise.

Give “Carrying Icons” a listen here.

Malaise is due out on November 23rd via Throatruiner Records.  It will serve as a follow up to their 2013 release, Consequences.



The Rodeo Idiot Engine (French screamo) unveil artwork and track list for “Malaise”

The self-described “blackened screamo violence” band The Rodeo Idiot Engine are unveiling the album artwork and track list for their third studio album, Malaise, and you can checkthem out below.  The album is due out on November 23rd via Throatruiner Records.

Malaise is the follow-up to their 2013 release, Consequences.



Birds In A Row (hardcore) release music video for “Can’t Lie”

French metal/hardcore band Birds in a Row have premiered a music video for their song “Can’t Lie” and you can check it out below.

The song is featured on the band’s split with WAITC, which is out now on 10″ vinyl via Throatruiner Records.

In January, Birds in a Row will head to Australia to tour with Calvaiire and Colossus.  You can find info on that here.



Album Review: Death Engine – “Mud”

Death Engine are a 4 piece band from Lorient, France who play heavy music that neither fits or fails labels like ‘metal’ or ‘crust’ or ‘post-hardcore’ or whatever other pigeon holes we can offer up. It’s simply heavy, intense and BIG. The vocals are harsh and distorted when yelled or screamed and unless parlez vous francais? Yeh …nah…i cant understand a damn word. This is the full length debut from the band who previously released an insanely good Ep titled ‘Amen’ .. also through Throatruiner.

7 tracks spanning about half n hour of just massive guitars..huge drums and other noises. Musically there’s a lot in common with artists like Envy, Botch, Isis, Chariot, Old Man Gloom etc. Everything sounds completely raw and live but a keen ear will distinguish the small and subtle production elements that pull feedback in, let the room ring out or seamlessly introduce a synth or even acoustic guitar. They’ve clearly spent time on this and the proof is in the end result.

So.. think big chord progressions that feel hopeful and emotive…and then they strike these ‘off’ notes that almost jar the listener out of that zone. The drums drive the rhythm section with a solid performance that never complicates things, in fact sometimes it’s the only thing the ear can latch onto for some sense of where the hell it’s all going! Dynamically this record offers a range of quieter moments and interludes, feedback and drone-inspired sections.. but when it gets heavy, boy of boy is it great!

As with most Throatruiner records the album is made available for free download via/ the label prior to the vinyl shipping out so feel free to give it a spin and see if it’s something you’re into. If you dig it as much as myself..you’ll be hitting the ‘order’ button before too long because it’s a haunting record that has a lot of replay value.

4/5 Stars



Death Engine (hardcore/crust) release debut album “Mud”

France based hardcore/crust outfit Death Engine are streaming their new full length Mud. This is the band’s debut album, which they spent most of 2014 working on. In addition to the release of their album, which you can pre-order a hard copy of, they will also be embarking on a European tour to support the new release. You can check out the dates and stream the full album below.

Mud is out via Throatruiner Records and Apocaplexy Records. Itwill serve as a follow-up to the group’s 2013 EP Amen.



Album Review: Cowards – “Rise to Infamy”

Cowards are from France and they play what is best described as metal with elements of sludge/crust and black metal. So yeh..its pretty heavy. This is the bands second long player and it comes out via Throatruiner Records on vinyl/digital in Feb 2015.

Cowards material features blasts of fast discordant metal with howling screams and are just as comfortable slowing it right down, getting really low and gutteral. There are more than a few exceptionally meaty ‘chug-chug-chug’ moments and other sections where the guitars just drone on notes too. Basically Cowards are a band that play at two extremes and rarely anywhere between them. It’s dark and relentless music that might tire a few listeners after only a few songs though.

The opening track “Shame Among Shame” is a 6 minute epic full of contrasting metal/sludge/doom stuff and is loaded with noise, feedback and bigger-than-big guitars. It’s got a little bit of everything that you’ll hear throughout the rest of the album.

Track #4 “Beyond My Hands” plays with some great string bends in its beginning and creates a dark kind of ambiance before the vocals and rhythm kicks in. Album highlight in my opinion.

Track #7 “Anything But The High Road” is an unexpectedly short track with a haunting field recording (media sample?) of a woman talking at the start for a few seconds and then the group storms back in for full effect with the established hugeness and aggression.

There are definitely some interesting idea’s at play throughout the 10 tracks and it feels very consistent and blends together well. The vocals are more like howls and screams which will either do it for you… or they won’t. It suits this stuff because you don’t exactly sing along to it and the lyrics are completely indecipherable from the performance, but it could have been made more interesting, whether that’s through better use of tones, technique, or even other vocals?

The mix is uncompromising and raw. Clearly some serious effort goes into making something sound so huge and yet out of control at the same time. The artwork though.. I dont like. Anytime violence is depicted against a woman, I feel like we’re crossing a line that is getting easier and easier to cross. It’s unacceptable in this social and political climate… or is that just an Australian thing? Yes it is stark, confronting and uncomfortable to look at (in a sense sort of fitting for the music) but it’s my opinion that it’s a poor choice. There should be zero tolerance for that with respect to women and it’s a shame that no one stopped it or urged the band to use a different image.

2.5 / 5



Cowards (French hardcore sludge) stream new album “Rise To Infamy”

Parisian metallic hardcore band Cowards are currently streaming their upcoming album Rise To Infamy.

Check it out below.

Rise To Infamy will be released on February 9th, 2015, via Throatruiner Records.



Cowards (French hardcore sludge) announce new album, “Rise To Infamy”

Parisian metallic hardcore band Cowards have announced plans for a brand new album. It’s called “Rise To Infamy,” and not only can you check out the cover art above, but you can see the band’s official trailer for the album below. Check it out.

“Rise To Infamy” will be released on February 9th, 2015, via Throatruiner Records. Stay tuned for pre-order info as it becomes available.



Full Album Stream: Direwolves – “Ægri Somnia”

French hardcore group Direwolves have put up a stream of their debut album, Ægri Somnia. You can listen to it below.

If you like what you hear, the album is available digitally for €5 (that’s $6.83 for those of you who use US currency) right here.

Ægri Somnia is set for a physical release on March 31st through Throatruiner Records



DIREWOLVES stream new song “Sighs and Whispers”; announce spring European tour

French hardcore group DIREWOLVES have released a stream of a brand new song titled “Sighs and Whispers”. The track comes off the band’s upcoming debut album, Ægri Somnia. To support the album, the band has also announced a run of spring tour dates throughout Europe.

You can check out both the new song and dates below.

Ægri Somnia is set to be released on March 31st through Throatruiner Records



DIREWOLVES (hardcore) to release debut full length “Aegri Somnia”

French hardcore group DIREWOLVES has finished work on their first full length album “Aegri Somnia”. The record is set to be released on March 31st through Throatruiner Records. You can check out a video teaser for “Aegri Somnia” below.

The new full length will be a follow up to the group’s 2012 EP “Me From Myself, To Banish”.



Death Mercedes offer free download of debut album – “Sans Eclat”

French hardcore band Death Mercedes are now streaming their entire debut album, Sans Éclat, and offering it up for free download.

Check out the album stream here, and head here for the download, and/or to pre-order the album.

Death Mercedes features members of Amanda Woodward, Cowards, L’Homme Puma, and Ravi.

Sans Éclat is due out on December 15th on Throatruiner Records and Sand & Sieve Records.



Elizabeth (hardcore) offer free download of upcoming EP “Insomnia”

Swiss hardcore act Elizabeth are streaming their upcoming EP “Insomnia” in full below.

The album is due out officially on December 1 via Throatruiner Records but you can download it for free right now, right here.



Death Mercedes reveal cover art for “Sans Eclat”

French hardcore band Death Mercedes, featuring members of Amanda Woodward, Cowards, L’Homme Puma, and Ravi have just revealed the cover art for their upcoming release “Sans Eclat,” which can be seen here. The band has also released three new tracks which can be streamed here.

“Sans Eclat” will be released October 30th via Throatruiner Records and Sand & Sieve Records.