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Crust Punk is a form of hardcore punk that was born out of the English anarcho-punk movement in the mid-1980s with the bands Amebix and Antisect.

In its original form, crust punk (or simply crust) is very metallic, with strong elements of speed metal (Motörhead's style is noticeably present) and, more recently, extreme metal styles such as black and death metal.

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ICTUS Imperivm Album Cover Imperivm
4.42 | 6 ratings
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WOLFBRIGADE Damned Album Cover Damned
4.00 | 3 ratings
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EXTREME NOISE TERROR Retro-Bution Album Cover Retro-Bution
3.83 | 3 ratings
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AMEBIX Monolith Album Cover Monolith
3.73 | 4 ratings
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crust punk Music Reviews

BEHÖLDER Die Hard in the Düngeon

EP · 2019 · Crust Punk
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siLLy puPPy
New metal coming all the way from the northeast of Brazil in the city of Belem, BEHÖLDER tackles the interesting possibilities of mixing the caustic anarchic visions of crust punk with black metal elements. This band is fairly new and has only released this teaser of an EP in 2019.

DIE HARD IN THE DUNGEON is a short four track EP that only makes it over the 9 minute mark but in its brevity provides a blueprint for a future blackened crust punk sound that finds a lo-fi production job along with grinding riffs and cymbal-rich drumming frenzies of Helltyrant framing the tortured vocal style of Gatecrüsher who also plays guitar.

L. Grinder on bass has the perfect name for this band as it’s never quite clear if this is punk, black metal or grindcore. It’s uncomfortably in between. In all honesty, this is really nothing more than a modern demo released digitally but an interesting snapshot of a band’s early years from a part of the world that doesn’t crank out metal music. Promising but as it is, just OK.

AMEBIX Monolith

Album · 1987 · Crust Punk
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Amebix continue their experiments in blending hardcore punk and the most chaotic side of then-current extreme metal on Monolith. The end result sounds sufficiently close to proto-black metal to such an extent that Darkthrone's later dabblings in crust punk make perfect sense in retrospect, with enough thrash elements that it also sails slightly in the direction of crossover thrash. Perhaps the thing which stops Monolith from going full crossover is a certain sense of the epic - plenty of crossover thrash bands sing about the same subject matter as Amebix, but few give it this sense of awful spectacle that Amebix manage to.

ICTUS Imperivm

Album · 2007 · Crust Punk
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"Imperivm" is the debut full-length studio album by Spanish, Lugo, Galicia based hardcore/metalcore act Ictus. The album was released in 2007 through various smaller labels. It was recorded and mixed at Sadman Studios in April 2007. Ictus were formed in 2004 and have several minor releases under their belt.

"Imperivm" is a relatively unique release as it only features one single track. The track is 39:00 minutes long though, but this is not your "regular" doom metal monolith or progressive metal epic, which is usually the case with one track albums, but instead the music is a combination of aggressive hardcore and melodeath. This is what it would sound like if you mixed Converge with early In Flames and sprinkled a little Burst over it, and then created an album length track out of the stew.

"Imperivm" is predominantly a fast-paced affair, with frenetic D-beat drumming, fast melodic guitar riffs, and a raw screaming hardcore vocalist in front. Ictus do take the pace down a couple of times during the album´s playing time, and around 16 minutes in there´s even a short atmospheric clean guitar section, and around the 25 minute mark there is a heavy mid-paced section, but the music is generally pretty one-dimensionally fast-paced.

The lack of variation becomes a bit of an issue after a while, and you begin to long for those few and far between heavy or atmospheric sections. When that is said "Imperivm" is a both well played and well produced album, and the overall quality of the songwriting is also of a good quality, so it´s only the lack of variation that´s an issue, and I´m not even sure it would have been much of an issue if the long track had been divided into shorter tracks. It might have been easier to handle then. As it is "Imperivm" is still a rather interesting release, and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

PRIMATE Draw Back a Stump

Album · 2011 · Crust Punk
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"+3 Draw Back a Stump" is the debut full-length studio album by US hardcore/crust act Primate. The album was originally released in February 2011 by the band themselves in a limited pressing of 1000 copies. The album was picked up by Relapse Records for a wider scale release in July 2012. It´s not really that surprising that the band was picked up by Relapse Records given the fact that the lineup features among others Brutal Truth frontman Kevin Sharp and Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher...

...thankfully it´s not only the quality of the musicianship that´s high, the songwriting is also spot on, so this is not a case of a couple of famous musicians creating a side project of shaky quality living off their names. The music on the 10 track, 20:00 minutes long album is pedal to the metal hardcore/crust with a great rock´n´roll sensibility and a few nods toward southern rock. It´s aggressive alright, but the organic tone and sound production occasionally provide the music with a "laid back" vibe. Which of course shouldn´t be misunderstood because this is still furiously fast- paced and raw hardcore/crust.

The sound production is raw and organic, but still professional and well sounding. It´s not like "+3 Draw Back a Stump" will go over in history as the most groundbreaking or interesting release ever, but Primate do hit a special atmosphere on this release that you don´t hear every day. Just the energy level and obvious love for playing music that´s so fully on display here, earn these guys a good rating, but the tracks are also pretty solid and some even touch excellent territory. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.


Boxset / Compilation · 1998 · Crust Punk
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Vim Fuego
There’s plenty of scope for poking fun at Extreme Noise Terror. For starters, there’s the ridiculous name. Was the band 12 when they dreamed that up? And what about the “songs” they play- often, they don’t even hit the minute mark. And what the hell is actually going on in the music? Everyone seems to play really, really fast, but it all seems like the same note.

You can’t make fun of Extreme Noise Terror’s intentions though. Extreme Noise Terror is all about anger- anger at the state of the world, at politicians, at consumerism, at the music industry, at animal exploitation. Whether you agree with the band’s point of view or not, their dedication to their causes is beyond question. Extreme Noise Terror’s anger is too much for just one man to express, so the band has always had two vocalists, producing a sound unique in the early UK grindcore scene.

1980s grindcore is often hard to come by because the movement was so far underground as to almost pop out the other side of the planet in China. Luckily, Extreme Noise Terror recorded three sessions, in 1987, 1988 and 1990, for John Peel’s radio show, offering the band a chance to record in a good studio.

The untrained ear hears little but white noise and shouting, but once you become accustomed to the band’s style, it is possible to identify riffs and song structures, even if they are quite rudimentary. However, even with a lyric sheet, both vocalists are still nigh on incomprehensible. One spits forth a throat shredding gargle, while the other is a deep growl from the depths of the underworld. The lyrics are highly political, or critical of the incestuous grindcore/hardcore scene the band was a part of, but really, the vocalists are two more instruments in the band, their emanations more vocal riffs than singing.

The anti-meat song “Murder” is one of Extreme Noise Terror’s signature tunes. The version here has even more venom than the studio original. It is possible to make out a few of the words to the song, but it pretty much expresses the view that Extreme Noise Terror aren’t going to be visiting McDonald’s any time soon. The two new versions of “Only In It For The Music” differ little from the original, but that really doesn’t matter, because the song is a total blur anyway.

The real oddity on this album is the cover of the Cockney Rejects’ “I’m Not A Fool”, renamed “I’m A Bloody Fool”. Musically, the song is quite recognisable and faithful, although infinitely heavier, and the vocals are almost understandable. Almost…

Even though the sessions were recorded over a three year period, there is little difference in quality or musical ability in any of them. You could accuse Extreme Noise Terror of standing still, considering the levels of progress contemporaries like Carcass and Napalm Death made over the same period, but it would be more accurate to say these guys stuck to their guns. Unlike the aforementioned bands, there was not even the slightest hint of incorporating death metal into Extreme Noise Terror’s repertoire.

At the end of the day, you’re either going to get it, or Extreme Noise Terror is going to leave you cold. This collection is a valuable historical artifact from Extreme Music’s past. The late John Peel should be congratulated for having the foresight to preserve it.

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