Review: Discouraged Records – The Northern Conspiracy, Volume 2

Growing up, I purchased rock, metal and alternative magazines religiously: Kerrang!, Terrorizer and Metal Hammer being the primary three – go figure! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still – to this day – grin over the free compilation CDs that they include in their monthly issues. So, naturally, I jumped at the chance to review The Northern Conspiracy, Volume 2, a follow-up of the original which is equally as good. Vol. 2 was released on the 21st of December by the Swedish label Discouraged Records. It’s a trivial observation but the word discouraged isn’t exactly fitting… well, unless you’re Katatonia.

First off, I think it’s awesome that the sole purpose is to promote lesser-known bands from both Discouraged Records’ label and those outwith. I dig that old school mix tape feeling which is portrayed throughout, it’s pretty damn sweet if you ask me. The Northern Conspiracy, Volume 2 features a taster track from eighteen miscellaneous acts, some of which being: Grid, System Annihilated, Pray for Locust, Volger, Moloken and Terrortory. You’ve got grindcore, blackened death, stoner rock, experimental and even a touch of black metal! If you’re continuously in search of cool underhyped bands or are eager to experiment with foreign styles, the guys at Discouraged have you covered.

The Northern Conspiracy, Volume 2 has been my go-to album for the past week. I’ve been listening to it getting ready, running errands, writing my dissertation, commuting to my boyfriend’s, relaxing… you name it. I was unsure of what to expect at first but I will say that I was not disappointed.

The first song on the album is “Shackled”, brought to you by the grind two-piece, Grid. If you’re the type of person who finds the visual content of a production interesting, the official video is available to watch below this review. I would be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate the gloomy Napalm Death on-the-brink-of-darkness setup that they’ve opted for, it fits the mood perfectly. As you’d expect, the riffs are speedy, the breakdowns aren’t half bad and the vocals will quench your thirst. Although one track is not much to go by, their upcoming EP Human Collapse Syndrome is set to be released early this year so definitely keep an eye out for that!

Now, what would a review be without mentioning the band that I’ve been favouring most? Inevitable End, a four-piece ensemble based in Gothenburg. That’s right, they’re the culprits that have won me over with their track “The Leatherface Chronicles” which you can check out on YouTube. Come on, the name itself is spot on, don’t kid yourselves. I’m surprised that I’ve only just heard of them considering they released their first album The Severed Inception, back in 2009. So what is it about them that I find intriguing? Well, they’re energetic, creative, they know no boundaries and they aren’t afraid to let loose. If you enjoy being transported into a world of complete chaos and insanity then you know exactly what to do. I’m envious of everyone who has had the opportunity to see them live, I can only imagine that the atmosphere would be mesmerising. Also, was anyone else drooling over those eight-string guitars? 

I can’t recall the last time I discovered an album that stopped me in my tracks purely out of bewilderment. I’ve been on a non-stop pop punk streak lately, so much so, it’s almost sickening. I forgot what it was like to immerse yourself in a musical realm that promotes raw, anomalous talent. I can’t tell if I’m being biased or not given the fact that I appreciate a multitude of subgenres. I was, and still am, thoroughly impressed.

Overall, it’s an album that’s worth checking out whether you want to step out of your comfort zone or get back into it. Perhaps it’s not your normal cup of tea but with that being said, it might just surprise you. You won’t know until you give it a try!

The Northern Conspiracy, Volume 2 is available to buy now through Discouraged Records and on their Bandcamp page.

Discouraged Records: official | facebook | soundcloudyoutube |  bandcamp 

Grid: official | facebookinstagram | bandcamp | youtube

Inevitable End: facebook | twitter | myspace | youtubebandcamp

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