Ilium – Quantum Evolution Event

I would like to start this off by saying that I am not qualified to properly review this album. I would rate my knowledge of punk rock as strong to very strong, depending on the time period and geographical location. With the exception of late 80s/early 90s hip-hop, I am remarkably ignorant of any other type of music. This release is about as punk rock as Phantom of the Opera, so I will be winging it, or “bullshitting”.

Ilium are a heavy metal band. Now, as many of you know, there are essentially two types of metal. There’s the kind where you can read the font, and the kind where you can’t. Well, you can read Ilium’s. It’s written plain as day on a flying dagger with a gargoyle perched atop the handle. These guys go beyond just having a decipherable font though.

This is a special subgenre of metal for dudes who shop at that weird store at the mall where you can buy a sword. Their Bandcamp page describes them as “symphonic metal”, which sounds appropriate as it has all the drama and flamboyance of a highly choreographed Broadway production. To be clear, I’m not bagging on them. These guys are masters (or wizards) of their craft. I’m sure this isn’t what they (or any other metal band ever) were going for, but this EP is fun. It’s a lot more fun than the kind of metal with cookie monster vocals where you don’t even know what the band is called because their name is just a bunch of menacing scribbles.

One of their previous releases is called “Enviro Metal”, and appears to be comprised of songs about caring for planet Earth. The cover art depicts a peaceful intergalactic Serengeti plain. I think the genre could use more of that. You never see heavy metal artwork where the landscape is properly cared for. It’s always like, this used to be a city, but now it’s been destroyed and this corpse in the foreground is laughing at me.

I’m only guessing here, but my assumption is that this type of metal is not fashionable, and that Ilium are complete dorks. Great! They’re a lot cooler than some Burzum worshiping wannabe viking motherfucker with sketchy politics. This EP is ridiculous and crazy, and I love it.

The term ilium comes from the final segment of the small intestine, which is appropriate because these guys are really working on some new shit. Give it a listen, regardless of what you’re into. It’s fun, the way metal should be. 

–Zach Akenson

Split – Voidcrawler & Deconvolution

I was in the mood for something a little more brutal today, and well, I guess I’m in luck. I’m listening to the new split with Deconvolution and Voidcrawler; Four tracks of pure fucking onlsaught!

The EP opens with blistering metal as Deconvolution belts out “Sanctimonious”. A track lodged between some seriously dark metal, and later era Hardcore. Razor vocals, but not screamo, inserted into a crushing metal cacophony of bass, guitar, and drums.

Track two, “Guillotine” introduces itself at a slightly slower pace, only to accelerate into Slayer speeds. It owes as much to 80s Thrash as it does to 90s Death metal. 

Photo by Reikon Devore

Track three brings us into Voidcrawler territory. “Certain Fatality” offers further sonic assault. Relentless chugging riffs and an angry growl grip you straight by the throat. The song winds down with what I can only describe as death by weed wacker. 

The final track “Torment” bursts at the seams with unbridled anguish, the very torment the title invokes. Extreme metal solos lace the tracks and neatly sew up its bone crushing grind. 

A brief, yet brutal split from bands who, if they haven’t been, would be right at home at Wacken Open Air. (During some better year, when music festivals return) 


1 Deconvolution- Sanctimonious

2 Deconvolution- Guillotine

3 Voidcrawler- Certain Fatality

4 Voidcrawler- Torment

Press Release:

Blindsided Records’ 4th release is about to be unleashed into the world. A 7” vinyl record featuring Voidcrawler (NL) & Deconvolution (CH), each taking up one side of the wax. Having played together several times the combination was a slamdunk as the music from both outfits complement each other perfectly. The riff filled record will drop both digitally and physically on 7” vinyl on June 12th, 2020.

DECONVOLUTION will kick off the record with raw hardcore combined with juicy thrash metal riffs. The Swiss band, hailing from Solothurn, has been working hard since 2015 and released their first EP ‘Fool’s Path’ in 2017. Sharing the stage with major hardcore bands Terror, Broken Teeth, Hawser and Expire to name a few, they gained momentum in the European hardcore scene. A promo cassette was released in 2019 and Blindsided Records is more than proud to feature them on this record.

On ‘Sanctimonious’ the band talks about the annihilation of our world, two faced politicians and the destruction of the environment. ‘Guillotine’ is about a group of people suffering and rising up against their leader through violent means. It’s easy to draw parallels with certain US leaders as the symbolic monarch, especially in these trying times.

Side two is occupied by the most terrifying band in the Netherlands, VOIDCRAWLER. In just two years the Dutch band have already played shows all over Europe and released their acclaimed EP ‘Maddening Descent’ last year. The band produces an unique blend of extremely angry metal and hardcore. Lyrically frontman Lennart explores similar themes as DECONVOLUTION, for example he imagines the end of the world on ‘Certain Fatality’.

Blindsided Records

No Takers – S/T

Currently listening to a self-titled release from No Takers. The seven track release is aggressive, hardcore punk, with tinges of speed metal nicely interwoven into the mix. Hints of Agnostic Front, Madball, and Sick Of It All, and D.R.I. are dancing through my head as the tracks spin on.

The band, while certainly a product of its influences, manages to provide a take on the genre that is simultaneously brand new, yet oddly familiar. It’s as though a band you loved from the late 80s found a previously unreleased album somewhere in a vault. You’ve never heard it before, but you totally know where it’s coming from.

As a product of 80’s metal, punk, and hardcore, I’m definitely onboard with the sound. It’s well crafted, fast, intense, and articulate. What’s not to like?

-Jerry Actually

No Takers, from Denver, CO, combine the speed and ferocity of 90s street punk with the passion, intensity and creativity of 80s hardcore. Drawing influence from bands across genres, this 4 piece uses intricate metal-inspired riffs over an unrelenting rhythm section to create a sound of their own.

Brandon Davis – Vocals
Delon Beckett– Guitar
Jason Chavez – Bass
Ryan Longenecker – Drums


Threatpoint – RIP

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Ominous, dark, ambient sounds slowly give way to high speed menacing in the form of distraught distorted guitar, pummeling drums, thundering bass, and brutal yet harrowing vocals. That’s what you get on the beginning of R.I.P. the new release by Scranton, PA (The Electric City) based, Threatpoint.

Fucky yeah! I say. Old school thrash metal style. Reminds me a bit of latter year M.O.D. vocally, but more metal musically. It’s funny, I suppose. I was way into metal and thrash when I was a kid. I don’t listen to it a bunch these days. Listening to this makes me feel a bit nostalgic, and it also makes me want to start a mosh pit in my office. (I’m writing this while on a coffee break, ‘cause outside my spare time, I’m a fucking office drone.)

Because I’ve been out of this genre for a while I don’t have anything to readily compare it to. Not that comparisons are all that important. Suffice it to say that it’s doomy thrash metal. The band bio indicates that they’re a “Groove Metal” band. I don’t know what that means. Sounds fucking like something a hippie that’s also into meth might say. Beyond my shallow categorization, R.I.P. is a freaking gut punch and just what I need on a Friday afternoon to get psyched for the weekend.

Lyrically the themes are dark, as I’m sure you can assume from the song titles. It’s different from the more “Fuck you, and fuck society too” type of mantra that you get from hardcore punk. Much more gothic, doom, you know, more metal.

What I liked most of all, was the Spotify commercial in the middle of the album. … ok I actually didn’t fucking like that at all.

At the end of the day, I’d say this is a damn solid, dark thrash metal release from a band to which I hadn’t been privileged to hear before today.

Check em out!

Jerry Actually

Deadend Machineland
Tombstone of My Enemies
Thy Will Be Done
Light Bleeds Through the Black
Bury the Wicked
Laugh Now… Cry Later
Writings on the Wall
One in the Chamber, One in the Chest
Face Your Fear
Angels with Broken Wings

Die Hexe is slated to release ‘Coven’, their second EP on February 11th 2017

In support of the release the band will embark on a cross-Canada tour. A video for ‘Distress’, the first single off ‘Coven’ is available here.


Tour Dates:
Feb. 15th – Press Cafe. Ottawa, ON.
Feb. 17th – Jimmy Jazz. Guelph, ON. 
Feb. 18th – D-Beatstro. Toronto, ON. 
Feb. 19th – The Assylum. Sudbury, ON. 
Feb. 23rd – Sewing Machine. Edmonton, AB. 
Feb. 25th – The Vineyard. Chilliwack, BC. 
Feb. 26th – 333. Vancouver, BC. 
Feb. 27th – The Space. Kamloops, BC. 
Mar. 1st – Distorion. Calgary, AB. 
Mar. 2nd – Liquid Cafe. Medicine Hat, AB. 
Mar. 3rd – Mercury Cafe. Regina, SK.
Mar. 24th – Ajax, ON
Mar. 25th – Ottawa, ON
Mar. 26th – Quebec City, QC
Mar. 26th – Fredricton, NB
Mar 29th – Moncton, NB
Mar. 30th – Charlottetown, PEI
Mar. 31st – St. John, NB
Apr. 1st – Halifax, NS
Apr. 2nd – Woodstock, NB

Hay Perro – Eastern Ideas of Death


© 2011 Hay Perro
Rating: ★★★★☆

More back than ever before, and better too even, Hay Perro resurges with a gauntlet of renaissance metal. Still from Chicago and rocking the four piece combo, Eastern Ideas of Death jams with a serious fury of doom tinged metalicious rock and roll.

The new release gives up nine tracks of Maiden/Sabbath-esque tracks that will damn near shred your face off. I think this latest effort reaps the benefit of time. The production is better and sound is much more coalesced. The trappings of Zeke are gone from this new effort replaced with a much more consistent foundation.

The funny thing is that while I re-read the review of 2008’s Summer of Destruction (EP), I am getting bits of deja vu. Their sound has definitely kept consistent over that last several year. Now in 2011, it is just that much more polished: The new razor edge of the sword lowered to impale your sniveling non-metal guts.

While the songs border on the too long side, for short attention span folks like me, they have enough musical diversity to keep things interesting. When it all boils down, the result is one strong ass rock record. I’d love to have this on vinyl, with the knobs on the stereo dimed, shaking the paint off the neighbors walls.

–Jerry Actually

1. The Isopod
2. Vicious Beast
3. No Visions
4. Ride the Laser
5. Homunculus
6. Blue Mother
7. Mammal Disaster
8. He’s From Norway
9. Eastern Ideas of Death

Life of Agony

Life Of Agony and I Scream Records sign worldwide deal.

I Scream Records is very excited and proud to welcome Life Of Agony to the family.

On Saturday April 3rd 2010 I Scream Records will be recording & filming Life Of Agony’s performance at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Belgium, the second show of their exclusive European “20 Years Strong” tour. In late 2009 the band performed their debut album “River Runs Red” in its entirety during a few exclusive, sold out, US shows and now, after popular demand, they’re also heading over to Europe to perform a set built around this amazing, legendary album.

The release of this “20 Years Strong” live album, which will also include a free bonus DVD of the complete show at the Ancienne Belgique, exclusive footage and much more, is set for early this Summer.

Crossover-metal kings, Life of Agony, formed in the summer of ’89 and quickly built a cult-following upon the release their now classic, debut album, “River Runs Red” released through Roadrunner Records. The band’s unique sound and honest lyrics have captivated audiences for two decades now. In celebration of this huge milestone, the group has been performing the record that started it all!!

“We’re really excited to capture this moment in time. Twenty years, man, that’s no joke! If you would’ve asked us when we were kids growin’ up in Brooklyn, if we thought that we’d ever make something this important to people around the world, we probably would’ve laughed in your face. But, here we are, still selling out shows after all this time and turning people’s tragedy into hope. Somehow, through the music, we’ve helped a lot of folks out there. And that’s what’s always been most important to us.” – LOA Bassist, Alan Robert

Laurens Kusters says: “We’re very excited about this collaboration. This will be an amazing release, recorded at the Ancienne Belgique, one of the most exclusive European clubs, in Brussels Belgium, the city where I Scream Records was founded in 1994.”

Life Of Agony “20 Years Strong” – European Tour 2010

April 2nd – Effenaar in Eindhoven, The Netherlands (sold out)

April 3rd – Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Belgium

April 4th – Matrix in Bochum, Germany

It Dies Today – Free Download


The wait is over and Trustkill band IT DIES TODAY are set to release their long awaited album LIVIDITY, out September 15. Look for the band to kick off a tour with Vanna and Arsonists get all the girls on September 10 in support.

Free download of a brand new track now at The

Hailing from Buffalo, NY IT DIES TODAY formed in 2001. The group creates a blend of brutal riffs and punishing breakdowns that are coupled with huge anthemic and driving melodies. This dichotomy within their sound has gained them fans across the metal, hardcore and rock scenes. At their formation, most band members were only 16 years old and although now only in their early 20s this is a band who has already accomplished more than bands twice their age and they have only just begun.
Look for the true strength, ability and resolve of this band to explode with “Lividity” on September 15.

Live with Vanna and Arsonists Get All The Girls
September 10 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
September 11 – Hartford, CT @ Webster Underground
September 12 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Loft
September 13 – South Hackensack, NJ @ School Of Rock
September 14 – Springfield, VA @ Jaxx
September 16 – Jacksonville, NC @ Hooligan’s
September 17 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
September 18 – Spartanburg, SC @ Ground Zero
September 19 – Mobile, AL @ Alabama Music Box
September 23 – Houston, TX @ The Java Jazz
September 24 – San Antonio, TX @ Scout Bar
September 25 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
September 27 – Denver, CO @ The Marquis Theatre
September 28 – Farmington, NM @ Gator’s
September 30 -=2 0Tempe, AZ @ The Sets
October 1 – Los Angeles, CA @ Whisky A Go Go
October 6 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
October 10 – Detroit, MI @ Harpo’s
October 14 – Cleveland, OH @ Peabody’s
October 15 – Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
October 16 – Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
October 17 – Toronto, CA @ Wreck Room

Mute – The Raven

(c)2008 Mute on 2nd Wave Records
Rating: ★★★★★

mute-theraven I’m kicking myself for never listening to Mute before. This CD hasn’t left my player since it was sent, but it was time to take it out to write a review. GO GET THIS NOW.  Seriously, if you like music, you should like Mute.  This an amazing album — skate-punk steeped in metal, sweetened with power chords and harmonies, served up with a twist of punch-the-air songs to quench your music thirst.

I can taste the Lagwagon flavor, but Mute takes it over the edge…like a hotdog compares to gourmet imported Italian sausage.  The Raven serves up 12 tasty tracks, amazingly crafted — both lyrically and musically — and beautifully presented.  These guys are technically proficient, crisp, punchy, and savory.  Some lyrics toe the edge of heartbreak and come back swinging, others have you banging your head or shaking it in empathy.  They sing “Can’t be slowing down…” and here’s hoping they don’t.

The Raven is perfect for an afternoon barbeque or a raging party — you may need to re-up on beer, but you can just hit repeat on this CD and be sated.


Zeke – Dirty Sanchez

(c)1999 – Epitaph Records
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Well, I can’t honestly say that I’m giving this CD a fair and honest review, but I’ll do my best. I actually only got to listen to the thing one time through before I had to go out of town, while which Mrs. Upstarter promptly removed the CD from the changer and as of now it is MIA. What I did gather from the listen that I got is that “Dirty Sanchez” is a bit better than the previously released “Kicked In The Teeth” Zeke has lost a little bit of that Kiss feel (not all of it, just some) and overall the songs rock pretty well. The mystery/bonus track is pretty damn funny for those of us that are old enough to remember. anyway I gave this disc a three out of a possible five on the !upstarter “UP” rating scale perhaps fair, perhaps not. At any rate not bad for a bunch of Seattle post grunge boys.

–Jerry Actually