Category: Feature

Fluisteraars confirmed for Fortress Festival 2024

After the second headline announcement yesterday, Fortress Festival confirm another UK debut. This time from Dutch Duo Fluisteraars 



First Bands For Celestial Darkness 2024 Announced


With this years Cosmic Void Festival imminent (15-17 September) the festival have today announced the first seven bands for Celestial Darkness Festival next year.


Fortress Festival announce first bands for 2024


Scarborough will once again hold the second Fortress Festival with today seeing the wave of bands announced as well as the sale of early bird tickets


Label Feature – Clobber Records


Happy Halloween, a little gift from us here at A Certain Taste – Jaff & Rebecca from Clobber Records very kindly took the time to answer some of our questions.


Can you introduce the label with a brief history, the people behind it and the reason for the label’s name?

Clobber Records started its journey in 2016 and was a natural progression from the promotions we run through NeCrow. The gigs we were putting on were becoming more popular and our loyal followers have stuck with us and continue to support all the bands that we present. It felt like there was a need in the UK for a focal point for bands within the scene that we have, and continue to, passionately support.

There is a diehard bunch at the centre of the UK extreme metal scene who will think nothing of driving miles to watch and support the bands they love and to hang out with like-minded people – often in some pretty far-flung places! A record label is a statement of unity for bands on both an individual and a collective basis, and presents another continuum within an ever-evolving scene. We feel it is vital to allow bands to grow, to gain some support, to strive for their exposure and, most importantly, to become increasingly relevant within something that is so creative and so pure. Thus, Clobber is a labour of love and driven solely by the desire to see bands succeed through whatever means we are able to assist.

There are two of us behind the label – Jaff who is heavily involved in the scene and now part of Gorgonchrist, having just drawn the final curtain on Shadowflag after ten years; and Rebecca who runs NeCrow Events in Birmingham and is an ever-present face at pretty much any black metal event in the UK! Between us, we have a great deal of experience and knowledge when it comes to UKBM!

The name Clobber should have a fascinating back story but it’s actually quite simple. During the first conversation where starting record label was brought up, Jaff was asked by Rebecca what he would call a label should they run one. Without so much as a thought, the first words Jaff said was ‘Clobber Records, obviously’. Often the first idea is the best. So, it remained…

How many artists do you currently have, and can we look forward to any new signings?

We tend to sign on a release basis, rather than following the more traditional approach of signing artists. Gone are the days when you could pick an artist up on a multi-album deal and become closely involved with their recording process, as well as the promotion and marketing of the record. This is certainly true for smaller, independent labels anyway. We have artists who have remained with us though – for example, we have been the main label throughout the lifespan of UK depressive/atmospheric black metal band And Now The Owls Are Smiling. We also enjoy being there at the start of an artist or band’s career and providing them with a strong platform to build on. This has been particularly true for band’s like Wolvencrown whose self-titled debut EP was our very first release, and who went on to release albums through a more established label – but did return to their roots with their 2021 EP ‘A Shadow of What Once Was’. This really sums up the true spirit of what Clobber is about. We also released the second album from UK black metal band Abduction, ‘A Crown Of Curses’, in 2017…and look where they are now! 

We can always look forward to new signings and they will come when the time is right. We aren’t looking to try and generate a constant stream of releases because we only invest ourselves in a record when it is, firstly, something we want to listen to and, secondly, right for all parties involved. We would prefer to, and have, turned down releases because, although they are of a high quality, we don’t feel that we would be the label that could do the most for the release, or the chemistry between us and the artist doesn’t feel quite right. It’s just how it goes and always comes back to our core values of wanting to remain relevant, integral and able to operate according to our own ethos. 


What has been your highlight so far running the label?

I guess there have been many over the years – and all have been, in some way, a highlight or a step forward that you have to reflect on as you observe the growth of the label. I think the exposure that the latest release from Wolfbastard, ‘Hammer The Bastards’, received has been a particular high point of late – especially seeing them getting such positive coverage in more mainstream media publications such as Metal Hammer. Yes, we want to stay loyal to an underground ethos but the bright lights of commercial success must be walked under for any artist, or label, who has a​hunger to succeed and a desire to achieve a certain level of notoriety.

It is a question of keeping your integrity as you grow and your profile expands, rather than losing sight of the reasons that you started it all in the first place. Anyway, ‘Hammer The Bastards’ is such a huge and grimly fun record that it clearly deserves every bit of success that comes its way.​Another achievement for us has been releasing the debut record from UK black thrash force Devastator, entitled ‘Baptised In Blasphemy’ and watching their popularity grow both at home and around the world. Their reach has been quite incredible and they have turned heads on every continent. You certainly feel very proud as a label that you have contributed to the success of not only a great band, but people we consider friends. Again, that’s a good reason for doing this.

What does 2023 look like for Clobber Records?

It will look like another year in the history of the label….! We don’t know what is going to happen yet. Obviously, the world is going through a bit of a tricky time and this is no more apparent than in the UK where we seem to have an uncanny ability to make life really difficult for ourselves – one way or another! We will remain true to our values and to the reasons we do this and, if the right records come along, we will no doubt snap them up and hope to find the next Devastator or Wolfbastard or Sidious! We are not relying on the label to provide our income so we can be flexible and step up or step down as life flows onwards, and we are genuinely excited because out of the toughest times comes the greatest music. So knuckle down folks and start writing something!

Thanks very much for asking the questions, and for listening to what we have to say.

For more details on Clobber Records check out the links below


If that isn’t enough the kebab foraging de generates Wolfbastard  have a brand spanking new video entitled ‘Buckfast Blasphemies’  that’s so fresh the mutton is still steaming – check it out here.


Interview: Wraithstorm (Alicia Cordisco)

I used to actively avoid any music I felt wasn’t fast or aggressive enough. The faster the better. I wanted Dark Funeral. I wanted Keep of Kalessin. I wanted The Berzerker.

What a fool I was.

In the last year or so I’ve been trying to play catchup with slower and more melodic metal. I went through numerous “top ten” or “best of” lists for the multiple doom offshoot genres to acquaint myself with the classics. For some reason, I found that I was particularly drawn to funeral doom. What a turnaround from the militant stance my younger self took! The most melancholic, slowest metal genre there is turned out to be my personal favourite.

I’m always pleased to find new music I love, but especially so for new funeral doom because the niche for this genre is so small. I was delighted earlier this year to discover Wraithstorm, a three-piece from the good old U.S of A.

I have listened to their debut album Unseen & Unfound at least once a week since I discovered it, so you can imagine how happy I was when bassist and lyricist Alicia Cordisco agreed to answer a few questions.


Black Metal Demo-lition #1

Black Metal Demo-lition 1 - cover art montage

Hello everyone! Erin here. We’re doing something a little different today, something that I’m calling “Black Metal Demo-lition.” Instead of a longer review of a full-length album, I’m doing four short reviews of some shorter releases that I’ve heard and enjoyed over the past few weeks. Without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Cantique Lèpreux – Sectes

I’ll be honest, if you like your black metal to experiment with the genre and push boundaries, this one may not be for you. If, however, you simply want your face blasted off by pounding drums, dark tremolo riffs, and howled vocals, then Sectes is right up your alley. This EP doesn’t reinvent the wheel by any means, but the wheel it does come up with is solid and well-constructed. Actually, this EP is less of a wheel and more of a tank tread, destroying everything in its path. Definitely check this out if you like your black metal without frills, upfront and in your face. (more…)

“State of your core”: A 2021 deathcore review

Cover art for Hellbent by Impending Doom

Whilst listening to the new release Hellbent from deathcore veterans Impending Doom (skip to the review by clicking here), I was inspired to look at the overall state of deathcore in the year 2021, which could be one of the most important years in the history of the genre.

Never has there been such a buzz in the scene largely due to the variation of styles within deathcore, bands going in new directions and new figures leading the scene. There had been a view that it has been in decline in recent years largely due to lack of ideas, outright disgusting behaviour from numerous band members in multiple bands and generally an audience outgrowing their tastes. Before we look into why the buzz has returned we need to look in the rearview mirror and see what has brought us to this point. (more…)

Top ten 2021 – Kieran

Well, well well. How the turntables.

Me: AOTY lists are silly, the variety of music we listen to renders the exercise futile.

Also me: Here’s ten of my favourite releases this year because they deserve far more attention.


To be fair, that’s the whole point of this blog. We strictly only cover stuff we think is so good that more people deserve to hear it. And while you may heave heard some or all of the below records, and while they may have appeared on a few lists you’ve read already, they are on mine because I’ve absolutely rinsed each one so many times throughout 2021 that it would be a crime not to. (more…)

Top 10 2021 – Lisa Coverdale (Hold Tight)

I find it hard to pick albums of the year as there’s simply so much music I’ve not listened to yet. In 6 months time, I’ll still be discovering albums from 2021 I missed, still working my way through friends albums of the year lists and discovering something new albums via them. So these aren’t the definitive albums of the year, but they are shit I enjoyed over and over and over again.

Deafheaven – Infinite Granite (Sargent House)

I’ve loved Deafheaven for years, but their pivot away from blackgaze to producing pure and soaring dreamscapes was unexpected and yet incredibly welcome. This is beautiful music to get completely immersed in and lost within its walls; music to course wildly through your veins and make your heart explode in starbursts. I’ve cried my heart out to this album. I’ve had some of my happiest moments whilst listening to this album. I don’t care what genre they are or are not. I’m just glad they exist. An incredible band.

Paysage D’Hiver – Geister (Kunsthall Produktionen)

Chris from Winterfylleth introduced me to Paysage D’Hiver and ever since I’ve been absolutely enthralled. I love black metal, I love everything about it and when it’s good, it’s possibly the best genre in the world. I love the journey into dark oblivion. I love the simplicity, I love the rawness and what Geister delivers here in droves is old school black metal ambience, atmosphere and minimalism. A devastating listen. (more…)

Top 10 2021 – Tommy Concrete

My album of the year is…

Silver Lake – Esa Holopainen

What can I say, my favourite songwriter, contemporary lead guitarist and Amorphis (my fave band) guitarist does a solo album with guest performances from my three favourite vocalists. Namely Anneke Van Giersbergen (The Gathering, DTP), Einar Solberg (Leprous) and Tomi Joutsen (Amorphis). It’s a no brainer that I was going to love this and I do. It’s not as heavy as Amorphis, but saying that it doesn’t really resemble the lighter moments of Amorphis either. The album has an epic feel, whilst also managing to be a grounded and to-the-point affair that does not outstay its welcome. It has a wonderful flow and is full of Esa’s unique magic.

Here is a quick run-through of ten other albums I loved released in 2021, in no particular order. (more…)