Single Slam: Avatar, Plum Project, Voivod, The Mugshots, Torchbearer, Endarken, Loathe, Monodyssey, Footprints in the Custard, Vein.fm and Dark Funeral!

This week’s single slam features Avatar, Plum Project, Voivod, The Mugshots, Torchbearer, Endarken, Loathe, Monodyssey, Footprints in the Custard, Vein.fm and Dark Funeral! You can read our thoughts about the latest singles from these bands below.

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Avatar – Cruel and Unusual

The heavy metal ‘n’ roll dark madcap visionaries collectively known as Avatar have shared their new single ‘Cruel and Unusual’.

The band state about the track:

It feels self-evident. Violent thoughts channelled through violent riffs, demented thoughts driven by a sick groove. It’s simply a very sexy song.

Another month, another new Avatar single and once again, the unit are providing something fresh sounding. A meaty, groovy head-banger with scathing riffs and some seriously hefty drumming. Avatar at their heaviest, this has an intensity that you don’t often hear from Avatar. Another wonderful release.

Plum Project – Audacity & Hypocrisy

Plum project return with a brand new single called Audacity & Hypocrisy. A track that:

Is a response to the farcical debacle which has been the attitude of Boris and his lying Wombles. The rules they themselves set to protect the most vulnerable in our communities, disregarded by those trusted to represent us.

I tried desperately not to get bogged down in anger and disbelief at the actions of our leaders. Instead, this song is a more tongue-in-cheek appraisal of mind boggling decisions which somehow have been ignored or even justified/accepted. I hope you can appreciate the humour yet sense the thinly veiled apoplexy hidden just below the trite sounding lyrics and cheerful tune.

This is not, in any way meant to trivialise the pandemic, merely mock the “Audacity & Hypocrisy” of the British government.

There’s no veiled comments here. Plum Project is making its political standing here clear as day. All while delivering a fast-paced heavy metal banger. Catchy, rhythmic and punchy, the use of Boris Johnson soundbites is a clever touch even if the sound of the cretin’s voice is hard to listen too.

Plum Project has said fuck sitting on the fence and nailed an opinionated view while also creating one hell of a memorable listen. Check it out here.

Voivod – Paranormalium

Canadian progressive sci-fi metal innovators Voivod continue the promotional campaign for their upcoming studio album Synchro Anarchy, out worldwide on February 11th via Century Media Records. The band have released their second single and opening track “Paranormalium”.

VOIVOD guitarist Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain states:

“Paranormalium” opens with the very last guitar melody you hear on The Wake’s last song “Sonic Mycelium”, in the fade out of the string quartet. We wanted both entities or dimensions to connect through music as 2 parallel worlds can connect through distorted space-time, black holes, vibrations, spirituality or anything else.

It’s one of the most complex, twisted and heavy songs on the album with many different landscapes. The melody comes back many times during the song in different forms, as reality can be consisted of the same material taking on different aspects. In the end, are we really living in the reality we think we’re in???

With Voivod you’re guaranteed to have something spectacular progressive and spacey sounding and Paranormalium is no different. A complex blend of weirdness, melody and racing metal groove. The tone is simple enough to grasp, the instrumental array, not so much. To call this wild is to understate just how confounding it can be. It’s what Voivod do and it’s heartening to hear just how imaginative they continue to be.

The Mugshots – Children of The Night / The Call

Minotauro Records and The Mugshots proudly present the brand new release by the Italian dark rock band: the single entitled Children Of The Night / The Call has being released in a limited (300 copies) 12” vinyl version.

Up first is Children of the Night, where The Mugshots deliver a bombastic and evil sounding heavy metal effort. The wide-ranging organ use really adds the sinister taste to what is a classy head-banger. Helped by Jeff “Mantas” Dunn of Venom Inc providing a kickass guitar solo.

The second single is The Call and features a more gothic laden sound and more whimsical tempo. Something highlighted by the appearance of Attila Csihar (Mayhem, Tormentor) who declaims some verses by legendary English poet William Blake.

Two very cool tracks, two very evil sounding tracks, two very memorable tracks. Check it out here.

Torchbearer – Never Forgive

Hardcore punks Torchbearer have streamed their new single ‘Never Forgive’, taken from their forthcoming record Solace, due 21st January.

‘Never Forgive’ is a brutal track in its subject matter. Co-written by vocalist Andy and bassist Mo, the song details Mo’s brother’s death following police restraint in February 2021. The fear of living in an oppressive regime, always looking over your shoulder – this is the cold hard truth and day-to-day life for minorities in British society.

The topic of this track is certainly a dark one and even before you hear a note, you can envision an expressive blast of heaviness. Which is exactly what we get. A fierce and rancorous assault on any and all tyrannical regimes. Spitting fire, making a statement and delivering an intense hardcore sound, Never Forgive is a harsh call to arms.

Endarken – Antihristos

Black metal band Endarken are back with their latest single “Antihristos”. It’s available only as a digital release only.

A lengthy and ominous build, atmosphere and a pounding drum beat, in no way can prepare you for the black metal offensive that follows. Rooted in the old-school sound, Endarken unleash a scathing barrage of rough and horrid sounding noise. The epitome of extreme, it’s captivating and uncomfortable to listen too. Another banger from this band. Check it out here.

Loathe – Dimorphous

British experimental metal four piece Loathe are proud to release a new single, ‘Dimorphous Display’. The single comes as a declaration for the new year, as the band are currently working on the follow up to 2020 studio album I Let It In and It Took Everything and 2021 ambient instrumental record The Things They Believe.

Loathe state:

Dimorphous Display, in its first iteration, had been in the vault for a good few years before we decided to start work on the song together as a band – so finally being able to release it into the world feels like a great accomplishment. The initial demo was filed soon after we had finished up with ‘I Let It In And It Took Everything’ but with lockdowns occurring across the world, this gave us the opportunity to experiment with different collaborators and thus final tracking was completed some time in the middle of 2021 at Giant Wafer Studios. We worked alongside our new friend Eddie Al-Shakarchi on capturing the rawest incarnation of the Loathe sound to date and we are very happy with the result.

One of the most exciting modern bands, if Loathe are feeling the pressure to deliver these days, they’re not showing it. This new track, which isn’t so new, is Loathe at their rawest while still having that unexpected and eclectic sound which makes them so unique. It’s a shifting and twisting snake of a track that showcases melody, atmosphere and of course, savage sounding metal.

Monodyssey – White-Eyed Pharaoh

South Texan 3-piece metal band, Monodyssey have released the first single from their upcoming EP. It’s called White-Eyed Pharaoh.

A meaty avalanche of instruments and scratchy, angry sounding vocals makes it clear that Monodyssey do heavy and do heavy with some aplomb. An air of technicality met by furious slamming and an instance that the only proper way to react to this track is to head-bang yourself into oblivion. If the full EP is anything like this, we’re in for a damn good time. Check it out here.

Footprints in the Custard – Barren Field of Fucks

Silly lyrics, with not so silly music! If the band are new to you then pull up your socks and get on board with Manchester’s biggest barrel of laughs, Footprints in The Custard. Upbeat and hard hitting on the ears, smooth and creamy on the palette, and sight to behold on stage.

‘Barren Field of Fucks’ is Footprints in the Custard encapsulating the building frustration that the past two years has wrought.

Footprints in the Custard at their most intense? It’s certainly an angry sounding band which makes sense when you consider the past two years. Though be under no illusions, it’s still Footprints in the Custard having a bit of fun. Notable in the lyrical content and the shifting tones. The thing is, it’s not always about having a laugh with this band, sometimes you just want to hear them punch and punch hard. This is what they do with this effort.

Vein.fm – The Killing Womb

Massachusetts genre colliders Vein.fm have announced details of their hugely anticipated second album ‘This World Is Going To Ruin You’, to be released on 4th March through Nuclear Blast Records in all territories except North America, where it will be released via Closed Casket Activities.

To mark the news, the band have released a horrifying new video for the record’s first single ‘The Killing Womb’.

Utter devastation. This is as wild as it gets and it is bloody awesome. A blast of modern metal that will give you heart palpations through the sheer ferocity of their playing. It’s not quite one thing or the other, blending ‘core’ with a swathe of metal sub-genres to create something absolutely crushing. Check it out here.

Dark Funeral – Let the Devil In

Swedish black metal pioneers Dark Funeral present the first single and video “Let The Devil In”, taken off their upcoming full-length album “We Are The Apocalypse”, which will be released on March 18th, 2022 via Century Media Records.

Guitarist and band founder Lord Ahriman states:

It is with great pleasure that we can hereby offer you a first taste of our upcoming album ‘We Are The Apocalypse’ with the track ‘Let The Devil In’. It may be a slightly different song from us, but it still holds the true darkness and spirit that is Dark Funeral. It was obvious to all of us that this would be the song that we set the bar with and premiere first. The song also comes with a video, which we recorded in Wroclaw, Poland together with Grupa13. It really was a great pleasure to work with such a professional team. The result is outstanding and fits this completely dark story that is ‘Let The Devil In’ very well.

The black metal legends are back with a track oozing evil and twisted vibes. Consistently strong, consistently dark, Let the Devil In is an apt title as it feels like more of an instruction. With a song this fiery and ferocious, no-one will denying Satan entry and as a precursor to the full album it sure does build excitement.




Avatar, Plum Project, Voivod, The Mugshots, Torchbearer, Endarken, Loathe, Monodyssey, Footprints in the Custard, Vein.fm and Dark Funeral!
  • Avatar – Cruel and Unusual - 8/10
    8/10
  • Plum Project - Audacity & Hypocrisy - 8/10
    8/10
  • Voivod - Paranormalium - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • The Mugshots - Children of The Night - 7/10
    7/10
  • The Mugshots - The Call - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Torchbearer – Never Forgive - 9/10
    9/10
  • Endarken – Antihristos - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Loathe – Dimorphous - 9/10
    9/10
  • Monodyssey - White-Eyed Pharaoh - 8/10
    8/10
  • Footprints in the Custard – Barren Field of Fucks - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Vein.fm – The Killing Womb - 10/10
    10/10
  • Dark Funeral – Let the Devil In - 8/10
    8/10
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    Avatar – Cruel and Unusual
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    The Mugshots - The Call
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