State Of The Art: Fargo’s SWING LOW [Album Streams]

Swing Low are a 4 piece Hardcore band from Fargo, North Dakota. These guys would make any old school hardcore fan proud with the music they have created. They include the basic elements of hardcore, but they also include their own spin and a modern take as well making them more unique than your average hardcore band. Fargo is one lucky city to have these guys playing shows around that area. Swing Low released their debut EP ‘MMXIV’ on September 21, 2014. The album was recorded at Howl Street Recordings by Shane Hochstetler (Satan’s Dealer, Corpse Donor, Speed Freaks). They followed that up with another EP titled ‘Learned Ignorace’ which released January 25, 2016. This time the band recorded with Aric Ficek at Winterland Studios. The next release by the band came on July 10, 2017 in the form of a split with the band War Prayer. Swing Low contributed two songs to the split including “Malice” and “Regression.” When the band was in the studio recording for the split they also recorded an additional track which they held onto for 6 months and released on January 6, 2018. The single was a cover of Disembodied’s “Gone.” Disembodied is a hardcore punk band that formed in 1995 in Minnesota. They reunited in 2008 and 2 of the founding members also formed Martyr A.D. when the band originally broke up. Last May Swing Low released 2 tracks on what they called the ‘Summer Promo.’ The two tracks include “Death Tax” and “Built From Shame” and is the most recent release from the band. One thing to note is that the band has recorded every release in a different studio and producer/mixer. I believe this has aided in keeping their music fresh and allows them to let their music progress. Continue reading

State Of The Art: North Dakota’s FROSTHELM [Album Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every week from the featured state. This month’s state is North Dakota.*

Originally formed in 2009 within the dark, icy realms of where thrash and black metal collide emerges Frosthelm. Contributing in no small part to their sound is the extreme cold and bleak environment experienced by band members Dakota Irwin (guitar), Billy Zahn (guitar), Brian Helm (drums), Tyler Pfliger (vocals), and Jimmy Cherry (bass), hailing from the frozen plains of Bismarck, North Dakota. Drawing much inspiration from their surroundings, in 2015 the band released their full-length debut, ‘The Endless Winter,’ which Irwin aptly describes as “bitter, dark, angry, and disgusted.” The LP was critically-acclaimed, landing on numerous “best of 2015” lists, and receiving multiple glowing reviews by respected metal publications. Seeking to top their monumental debut, Frosthelm has just released their second album ‘Pyrrhic’ in March of this year. ‘Pyrrhic,’ defined as “(of a victory) won at too great a cost to have been worthwhile for the victor,” illustrates its bleak theme powerfully through punishing riffage and horrifying vocal imagery. Continue reading

Review: GHOST BATH – ‘Starmourner’ [Single Track Stream]

The name Ghost Bath refers to the act of committing suicide by being submerged in a tub of water, and given the music this band has brought forth on their previous EP and full length releases, it’s an appropriate one.  Ghost Bath, hailing from the state of North Dakota, play an interesting brand of depressing black metal, chock full of rough, howling vocalizations accompanied by razor sharp instrumental passages that send the listener on a trip through the throes of a depressive mind.  The forthcoming  album, Starmourner’ releases April 21st, 2017, via Nuclear Blast, finds Ghost Bath stretching their wings, much like the angelic theme that threads the album, and exploring old and new territory alike.  Continue reading