ALBUM REVIEW: Blackcat Manor ‘From Here On Out’

Blackcat Manor is one of those rare finds of proof that hardcore punk is still alive. Hailing from Freeport, Illinois, the guys in Blackcat Manor do a really fine job of melding progressive rock and punk rock. On January 11, 2019, they released their second album, “From Here On Out”, a driving and exciting five-track tour de force.

Track 1: Sun to the Shore

“But with a vengeful heart, you better dig two graves
See when the better half falls, six feet for the enraged
Said from unseen shores, you try to pull away
But never mind, you better dig two graves, you better dig two graves”

Right away, I am picking up some major Suicidal Tendencies vibes–I’m sold from the first couple riffs. To me, this sounds like a redemption song, a song about getting back on your feet after being knocked on your ass one too many times, a song about –most importantly– revenge. The world be damned if you don’t get what you’re desperately searching for.

Track 2: Evidence to Burn

“You see the trouble within for honor, for duty
The trouble within, see the trouble within
Could you end your friend, could you end your friends?
Could you end your friend…
Go ahead and pull the trigger, go ahead and move your finger
Tell me could you end your friends?…”

This song is intense. Someone is out for blood and they don’t care who knows it. It seems that a former friend has run one too many strikes, and what is there left to do but burn the bridge, and all the evidence of the history thereof?

Track 3: Hats Off to You

“Really thought it was the best thing for you,
I’ve thought about it, have you?”

I’m starting to notice a theme here. Seems this whole album is about committing a terrible crime and covering up the evidence. Was this all necessary? Could there have been some other way out? It seems there was only one way, this was the best way… Have you made a mistake?

Track 4: Conflict Resolution

“I’m gonna cancel my subscription to all your issues…”

“See, its arithmetic that just can’t be one, it’s a numbers game…”

I really admire all the clever metaphors in this song, this is a true masterpiece of playing on words. Lots of people can talk the talk, but not many can cash the check that their mouths write so easily. This song is really fantastic at calling out those kinds of fucks.

Track 5: Hammerclaw

“You know that feeling before you kneel, where anger subsides
Say ingest how you feel,
Your emotionless is your broken-ness and distress spells
SOS SOS SOS”

It’s all just energy in an empty space with no memory, no memory…”

What a fantastic way to round out the story of this album. Some betrayal, some actions taken, some actions only spoken of, some things we can never speak of again. What does it matter? It’s all just energy in empty space, everyone is in exile in one way or another. From now on, you’ll just be a memory, but who will remember you?

This whole album was an awesome hardcore concept ride from start to finish. To hear the full album, it is available for purchase at this link along with Blackcat Manor’s previous album, Relentless.

Blackcat Manor will also be playing Maybash in Rio, Wisconsin on Saturday, May 25th! Get the full schedule and details for Maybash on Facebook here.

Get connected with Blackcat Manor:

Twitter: @BlackcatManor

Facebook: facebook.com/blackcatmanorband

Website: blackcatmanorband.com

-Cat Sullivan
Edited by Samantha Crocker

Album Review: Brume-‘Rooster’

Hello and welcome Maehem readers to another killer album review. Recently we took a trip to Doomed and Stoned Fest down in Chicago, IL where we found a band that stood out to us: Brume. Brume rhymes with “doom,” and that’s precisely what you get!

There was a buzz going on among all the bands at Doomed and Stoned about the fantastic quality of their newest LP- Rooster. Right away I knew this band had the goods. I was able to speak with the drummer of the band, Jordan, while I was there which you can see more of in our Article On The Road//Doomed and Stoned Fest- Chicago. They also donated a copy of Rooster to us to give away in our drawing which we featured earlier in the week.

Right from the first bass drop in track one, “Grit and Pearls” you know this band means business. I have to say that the bass tone has somewhat of a Motorhead flavor to it, but the riffs are pure doom; the tone has that punch though. As I listened, I was brought to a smooth, peaceful trance with the groove of this tune. Susie, lead vocal and bass guitarist, has a uniquely haunting quality to her voice that accents the harmony of the strings and cuts cleanly through the thunderous grooves of the drums. By the end of this track, I just wanted more. The message of this tune, to me, seems that there was a time before we humans let ego overcome empathy and there was harmony. Suggesting that we need to find our way back to harmony and balance to stop participating in tyrannical behaviors. We need to unite and stop dividing humanity.

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The second song is titled “Harold.” This song continues the grinding doom riffs. I am sensing a quality of the Jefferson Airplane influence to the vocals; harkening back to the psychedelic age. I’m not saying exactly, but the clear cutting vocal quality through the riffs seems to bring this thought into the light. With a short pause and a clean strum of the guitar, we are brought to our next track “Reckon” I enjoy the journey this track takes you on. It describes the ominous character of reckon. It starts with a western style riff which leads to the dark tones of the “meat” of this one. Definitely, more of the Jefferson Airplane influence in the vocals here as well while a spiritual ritual is taking place.

The more we progress through the album, you will start to notice a Keith Moon influence in the drumming style as well. The guitar tones have a Black Sabbath feel and marry well to the bass tone I was speaking about earlier. I can say that it was already at this point in the album that I started falling in love with Brume. “Reckon” was honestly one of my favorite tracks on the album as well. Track four is “Call The Serpent’s Bluff” which comes at you heavy with a slow drum roll. The track is a tune about what seems like the haunting of an evil entity waiting to prey on your soul.

Track five is “Welter,” I couldn’t help but laugh to myself about the irony of the fact that in the following lyrics:

Oh welter, Meet the clouds halfway, oh welter, Summon another raining day

At this point, while I was listening to the album for review, the rain was coming down hard. The thunder and lightning dancing outside my window were bringing this track to life. I was getting the true psychedelic experience as my imagination ran wild with the story I was being told.

The final song on the album is “Trade Wind.” We included a video link to the live performance below!

This tune was the perfect strong finishing hat to the album’s vibe overall. The poetic meter of the lyrics lends themselves naturally to the rhythm of this tune. This is a quatrain style poem, which adds a unique structure to the whole song overall.

Rooster was a very impressive LP.  When I listened to the LP and then reflected on my experience of seeing them perform live, the quality was just as amazing as it was in person.  In fact, I was so impressed with the album overall that I was sure to head over to their online shop and get myself a tee!! You can get one in the link below!

https://www.brumeband.com/

To experience Rooster for yourself check out the link below! Also follow them on Facebook as well!

Bandcamp: https://brumesf.bandcamp.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brumeband

You can catch them at their next show at Bottom Of The Hill in San Francisco, CA July 12th!

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-Don Niesen

Edited by Samantha Crocker