Paddy and the Rats, From Wasteland To Wonderland (Napalm Records 2022)

Pirate polka punks Paddy and the Rats hit the high seas again for new adventures on From Wasteland To Wonderland.

Formed around 2008 in Hungary, Paddy and the Rats plays a type of polka punk you might expect to hear from Irish exile bands, with a specific and deliberate focus on a shanty vibe. The band is big, and it needs to be with all the instruments deployed: Paddy O’Reilly (vocals, guitar), Sam McKenzie (fiddle, bagpipe, banjo, whistles), Bernie Bellamy (accordion), Joey MacOnkay (guitar), Vince Murphy (bass), and Seamus Conelly (drums). From Wasteland To Wonderland is the band’s sixth full-length album, and it is the crest of the wave.

There are thirteen rousing tunes on the new record, appropriately beginning with “Wasteland” and ending with “Wonderland.” The opener is up-tempo and peppily scored with catchy refrains and a sing along chorus. The music is guitar driven, but there is so much more going on you can lose track of that aspect, and if you do it is because the rest is so enchanting. “Ship Will Sail” comes next in the set, and, if anything, it is more on brand than the first song. Truly, when I think of Paddy and the Rats, this is this song that will pop in my head first.

“After The Rain” and “Everybody Get Up” were released earlier as singles, and “Party Like a Pirate” was the lead at the street date for the album. The entire album is very much party music so that fits right in. There are a few slower songs, but mostly these are ale-pounding anthems. If you want to get in a good mood or if you are already in a good mood and you want to keep it rolling, this is the album for you. Recommended.

From Wasteland To Wonderland is out now through Napalm Records.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://paddyandtherats.bandcamp.com/

Website, https://www.paddyandtherats.hu/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/paddyrats

Napalm Records, https://label.napalmrecords.com/paddy-and-the-rats/

© Wayne Edwards

Paddy and the Rats, From Wasteland To Wonderland (Napalm Records 2022)

Mistcavern, Into Twilight (Iron Bonehead 2022)

Dark metal band Mistcavern foist musical menace upon the world with Into Twilight.

Mistcavern is a heavy metal band from Hungary. Formed a few short years ago, their first demo was released in 2019, Winds Of Misery. They are back now with a “mini-album,” which I will call an EP, of four songs. The musicians use stage names and the band is composed of the sturdy arrangement of guitar, bass, drums, and vocals, deploying keys liberally as well when the need and desire arises.

“Towards the Eclipse” opts for an eerie opening, quiet and distant; swelling. There is a dank stillness that is fostered, surrounding the action with a thick fog. A slow, weighty base is interrupted by screeches and sudden shatterings, destined to return to solemnity. “The Shielding Twilight” begins with a roar, setting it immediately apart from the opening track. The music is determined and speeding, swollen with ill intent. Upon this realm silence breaks, and reverent music awakens. The feeling turns toward cavernous night and plays there for the duration.

“To the Starless Domain” poses an early question about existence with a short-lived, echoing intro. Familiar fast-paced black metal standards take over and wash you in the threat of terrible violence. With “Dissolving in Infinite Despair” the title is realized immediately and never lets up in the slightest. Throughout the song you feel as if heavy, thick liquid is rising around you with the clear intent of both crushing and drowning. The sensation is all-consuming.

This Mistcavern set is a mystical field of dark wonder. If you let it saturate you, you will receive the full effect. Recommended.

Into Twilight appears on Friday, April 15th through Iron Bonehead Productions in digital, CD, and vinyl. Links below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://mistcavern.bandcamp.com/releases

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/mistcavern

Iron Bonehead Productions, https://shop.ironbonehead.de/en/

© Wayne Edwards.

Mistcavern, Into Twilight (Iron Bonehead 2022)

Mephitic Grave, Into The Atrium of Inhuman Morbidity (Carbonized Records 2021)

Doom and Death Metal come together on the debut album from Mephitic Grave.

Mephitic Grave is a heavy metal band from Hungary formerly known as Mothrot. They initially got together in 2018, and Into The Atrium of Inhuman Morbidity is their first widely distributed full-length record.

The opening track is a mini-suite, “Entering The Atrium / The Gatekeeper.” There is a long lead-in of the sound of rain and grinding noises before the dread guitar lands and the chanting growls prowl into your brain. The song has a sense of foreboding in the more doom-oriented moments and promotes feelings of threat in the faster parts. It is an excellent combination. “Chthonicon” is next and it starts off faster and also features the tempo shifts that created and fostered such trepidation in the opener. I am starting to see the path. Indeed, these gateway pieces are truthful signs of the journey that is unfolding.

Given in the grim nature of the musical sound the band has created, it is no surprise that the narrative content is also dark. The approach is described in the press release this way. “[T]he band’s visual and lyrical concepts revolve around the philosophy of cosmicism which denies the presence of a god or any such ideas of divinity and upholds that humans are insignificant in the face of an incomprehensibly large cosmos.” Makes sense. A Lovecraft idealism without too much regard for the Old Gods. Rich grounds for Death Metal themes.

The doom influences are very strong throughout the album and if I had to put the music in a category I would probably lean in that direction, even though I usually see “Death Metal” next to their name. The labels are only useful anyway to give you an idea of what to expect before you hear the music. After that you decide for yourself whether you like it or not. My personal decision is that this album is very good. Recommended.

Friday May 7th is opening day for Into The Atrium of Inhuman Morbidity. Check it out through the Carbonized Records site or Bandcamp for quick pick-ups.

Band photo by Jim Jones.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://mephiticgrave.bandcamp.com/releases

Carbonized Records, https://carbonized-records.myshopify.com/

Mephitic Grave, Into The Atrium of Inhuman Morbidity (Carbonized Records 2021)