CORRUPT MORAL ALTAR – Patiently Waiting For Wonderful Things EP

A band who’ve previously given the world songs like ‘Insect Politicians’, ‘Politics Is A Bargaining Tool Between Beggars’ and the especially chipper ‘Destroying Everything You Believe In’, Liverpool’s Corrupt Moral Altar have carved out a career out of being especially provocative. Their 2020 EP ‘Patiently Waiting For Wonderful Things’ continues their trend for musical assaults combined with razor-edged lyrical imagery.

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NEGATIVE THOUGHT PROCESS – Hell Is…Much Better Than This

Bringing together ex-members of Strike Offensive and Victorian Whore Dogs, UK crust punk/hardcore band Negative Thought Process are an angry bunch. ‘Hell Is…Much Better Than This’ finds the trio absolutely raging through a half dozen tracks in under ten minutes, but also stretching out musically a little further than you’d expect from a band so heavily influenced by grind/crust sounds. It’s all relative, of course, as its difficult to stretch too far when you’ve set boundaries that dictate that nothing should exceed two minutes, but NTP often sound so much more interesting than a lot of similar bands.

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ALPHA-O-MAGA – Make America Grind Again

Alpha-O-Maga are an interesting proposition. They promote themselves first and foremost as a grindcore band, yet chunks of their 2020 release ‘Make America Grind’ again feature sounds that would almost certainly upset the grindcore purists. A grindcore aesthetic certainly pumps the heart of their extreme sound, but right from the beginning of the opening track ‘Gringo’, there’s a feeling that something is just a little different.

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REDBAIT – Cages EP

A year on from Redbait’s debut EP ‘Red Tape’, their follow-up release ‘Cages’ presents the St. Louis hardcore band in an especially confronting mood. Given the state of the world at the time of release that’s hardly surprising, but even so, the EP’s opening number ‘Capital Gains’ is particularly sharp and aggressive even by their previous standards. In a seventy five second howl of rage, the band move through several aggressive styles, each one clearly showing a band that’s not to be messed with…and certainly not about to take things lying down. A huge buzz of bass feedback instantly signifies something great is afoot and within seconds, the track explodes into a slab of crust-punk fury with a message that’s particularly pointed as the band calls for a “working class liberation” for “all ages, all races, all genders and all wage earners”. This is hard to gauge without a trusty lyric sheet, of course, but between a furious vocal performance that mixes hardcore shouts and black metal inflections seamlessly, a brief instrumental breakdown leaning towards more of a metal sound and a huge climax featuring male and female voices absolutely screeching, this is a powerful opening statement for fans and first-timers alike.

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NIHILISTIC LEGION – The Hunt EP

On this EP,  Israel’s Nihilistic Legion shows how much noise a one-man band can make.  Playing absolutely everything, the mysteriously named Tohu fuses classic death metal sounds with a touches of grindcore and other extremities to create something incredibly forceful. The five songs – four originals and one cover – shows off an artist whom has utter conviction in his art, but production wise, these tracks aren’t necessarily shown at their best. In fact, the chosen mix is so claustrophobic and abrasive in places, it can be rather hard to pick out the finer points of the sound. It doesn’t make for especially easy listening…but maybe that’s deliberate.

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