Saturday, October 5, 2013

Southwest Terror Fest Round Up (Freedom Assault, Conqueror Worm, Sex Prisoner, Casket Birth)

We're back with our second installment of the Southwest Terror Fest Round Up. With Tucson's annual metal party breathing down our neck, we want to take a minute to introduce you to four more bands that you might not be acquainted with quite yet. Ranging from punk to doom to power violence to black metal, you'd be hard pressed to find a better representation of what is brewing in Tucson recently. Garviel Loken scoured the nether regions of Bandcamp and beyond to bring you these four burners. Take a minute and check these bands out, then come check them out in person at The Rock in Tucson on October 10th through the 13th! Prepare your livers and bring lots of beer money!

Freedom Asssault "Ecocide"

This most recent release from Tucson's Freedom Assault features seven tracks of straight up punk that come out roaring raw and ragged. Freedom Assault is clearly influenced by the purer form of old school punk and eschews any modern trappings, these songs are simply true to form and could have come out in the 80s. Political lyrics, short songs, and lots of sneering energy are the name of the game, and if you don't like it, this band could probably care less. This sense of punk attitude comes across very strongly in each track, especially on the standouts Ecocide and I Hate Music. To wrap it all up, Freedom Assault is also a very tight band and plays their songs well, they undoubtedly translate well to the live setting and get people moving around the room. It can be said, with much confidence, that Freedom Assault is one of the top champions of punk rock in Tucson.

Rating 8/10

Freedom Assault on Bandcamp

Conqueror Worm "Old Ghosts" (Demo)

This demo track from Tucson's new purveyors of stoner doom is a textbook foray into heavy grooves and slinky riffs. Being a demo, the recording quality is not top notch and some imagined low end is missing, but the band is more than successful at getting an idea of their sound across. If a Geiger counter could measure a concept like "catchy", then it would be going off the scale for this tune. There is much promise in the vocal department, as the singer has a soulful, blues tinged timbre to his voice and only needs to focus more on his phrasing instead of rambling on and drawing out certain lines. All told, Conqueror Worm has potential and a lot of the key elements for stoner and doom are in place, they just need some fine tuning (and more material,) to give the world a better picture of what they can do.

Rating 7/10

Conqueror Worm on Bandcamp

Sex Prisoner "Sex Prisoner" and "Bottom of the Map"

Bearing one of the more provocative band names of recent memory, Tucson's Sex Prisoner is a powerviolence machine, and when this machine starts up, get the hell out of the way or get smashed. On their self-titled release, Sex Prisoner comes at the listener like a cavalry charge amped up on dangerous drugs, and they hit the eardrums with the cohesive power of a clenched fist. No song reaches the two minute mark and some are as quick as half a minute. However, this brevity in no way diminishes their effectiveness. Sex Prisoner, much like bands such as Pig Destroyer, is very adept at making chaotic music that is just barely under control and always sounds like it's going to fly apart by the seams in any given moment. This intensity is not something you find everyday in a band, but Sex Prisoner definitely has the spark. Naming any single song is pointless as far as the self-titled release, for it needs to be listened to as one piece of music. All you need to know is that you'll experience a band that can lay down insane grind, epic grooves, and the ability to make drastically dynamic musical changes on a dime. Sex Prisoner has also released a song on a recent compilation, the ridiculously good Bottom of the Map. This tune seems to literally drip distortion out of the speakers and is full of awesome, evil sounding riffs. The only downer with the song is the fact that it ends on a fade out, which seems slightly weird for this type of music, but at least there is compensation by way of it being a longer song, clocking in at just under two minutes. The final word: Sex Prisoner HAVE made their mark on the wider world, as they were just recently signed to A389 Records. This is a well deserved development for a great band.

Rating 9/10

Sex Prisoner on Bandcamp

Casket Birth "Demo"

Heavy music rarely gets more ugly than what this black metal band from Tucson has conjured up. While this demo does not pass muster for clarity in recording, Casket Birth is still able to vomit forth some truly noisy black metal that essentially sounds like a transmission from the inferno itself. Between higher pitched screeching and low growls, the mostly fast tempo songs hammer relentlessly from start to finish. There appear to be some pretty sinister black metal riffs going on here, but the recording has almost no discernible guitar, everything bleeds together and forms an anarchic morass, but somehow it's still cool. As mentioned previously, it really is like turning the dial on your old radio and coming across a very faint station that is half-obscured in static and sounds very far away. Yep, the devil lives at 1830 AM or something like that. What is trying to be said? Casket Birth has some fire behind all of the smoke and it is time for them to set more torches alight and bring illumination to their unholy sounds.

Rating 7/10

Casket Birth on Soundcloud

Southwest Terror Fest Facebook Page

Southwest Terror Fest Event Page

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