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DEMO/EP ROUNDUP - Skumstrike and Hot Graves

Let's dive once again into the underground world of EPs, singles, mini-albums and demos ...

First up we visit Montreal for the third discharge (two EPs and a demo) from Skumstrike, in this case providing us with the five-track EP Execution Void. Mixing redline hardcore punk with hardened black/thrash, the band earn their name in a lecherous display of punk metal pummeling. Absolutely love the in-your-face bass guitar here, gloriously discernible within the maelstrom the lads provide, over which vocalist (and drummer) ZS belches forth. No let up over its fifteen minutes, Skumstrike rides the rails to hell, dragging the rest of us down in its wake. Favorites are the d-beated "Lethal Injection" and speed metalled "Thousand Eyes". A glorious expulsion of noise. (8)

Florida based everything-extreme veterans (in business since 2008) Hot Graves up next with their Haunted Graves EP. Elements of the death, d-beat, thrash, doom and black undergrounds are recklessly mixed together here akin to a mad punk/metal chemist given access to a lab. Unsurprisingly, this explodes sending shockwaves outward, likely to send most scurrying for cover. Truly only for underground extremists, Haunted Graves leaves you slightly off-balance from its unique and spirited attack. Check out "Ruination Supreme" and the deathly "Rotted" for some very cool abrasiveness. (7.5)

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