Various Artists – The Northern Conspiracy Volume 2

Rating: 1.5/5
Label/Distributor: Discouraged Records
Label Distributor URL: http://www.discouragedrecords.com/
Released: 2016
Buy Album: http://www.discouragedrecords.com/shop/
Band Website: N/A

Tracklistings:
  1. Grid “Shackled”northern
  2. Kira “Pellarhelgon”
  3. Ghamorean “With Hades Entwined”
  4. Pray For Locust “Bat Country”
  5. JZZBLK “Ghetto Mission”
  6. This Gift Is A Curse “Hamnskiftaren”
  7. Crowdburn “Sign Away Your Life”
  8. Inevitable End “The Leatherface Chronicles”
  9. Angel With No Arms “Sick Of This Shit”
  10. Volger “Vidunder”
  11. Lahey “Iraqi Driving Instructor”
  12. System Annihilated “World VS Me”
  13. Borg 64 “Kill Screen”
  14. Terrortory “Pestiforous Haven”
  15. The Pookie Syndrome “KAOS”
  16. The Arson Project “Forgotten Graves”
  17. Moloken “I Dig Deeper”
  18. Lonely Grave “Simian Laughter”
Bands Line Up

Various

Review

“Northern Conspiracy Volume 2” is a complilation album by the label Discouraged Records, and what a motley crew (No, not Nikki Sixx and co!) they have assembled. All the artists are Scandinavian, and for many of them it seems the last time they had an original idea they left it swirling in the toilet bowl.

Proceedings are opened by Grid with the song “Shackled”, a grinding maelstrom which passes by without leaving much of an impression. Next up is Kira with “Pellarhelgon”, a filthy punk-hardcore cacophany, which is slightly menacing, with some borderline psychotic drumming. So far so promising. Ghamorean keep the standard decent with “With Hades Entwined”; its terrifying rifferama and ominous battering ram-like rumble leaving you picking up your teeth from the floor. It is vicious and feral, like being savaged by a hound of Hell.

At this point the compilation largely falls off a cliff. Pray For Locust’s offering “Bat Country” is a distended Nu-Metal five knuckle shuffle. It is appallingly awful; akin to being trapped in a sealed room full of thousand year old intestinal gas! JZZBLK’s “Ghetto Mission” is more of the same; equally noxious. Vacuous and vapid bilge. Thankfully the contribution by This Gift Is A Curse is an improvement. A ferocious barrage analogous to an Arctic blizzard.

Alas Crowdburn let the side down again with “Sign Away Your Life”, another dated Adidas clad shitstorm, with a nauseating chorus. “The Leatherface Chronicles” by Inevitable End ensues; if only it were a modicum as interesting as the “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” villain. Angel With No Arms’ “Sick Of This Shit” is a blur of snarls and squeals and mildly interesting riffing. By this time I was very much agreeing with the song title.

“Vidunder” by Volger is an off-kilter mess, almost saved by it’s unusual clean vocals. It is, however, superior to Lahey’s “Iraqi Driving Instructor”, a migraine-inducing racket, and System Annihilated’s “World VS Me”, a yawn-inducing snoozefest.

Borg 64 deserve credit for at least bringing something different to the table with “Kill Screen”, its powerful cyber attack getting the adrenaline pumping. It is slightly let down by the incongruous shouty vocals. Terrortory’s “Pestiforous Haven”, a pleasing Melodeath foray which stands out from the throng because it is different to all else on this release. A beacon in a sea of diarrhoea.

Normal (dis)service is resumed with The Pookie Syndrome (ludicrous band name) and the Punk fap fest “KAOS”. Again, the vocals sound like someone being eaten alive by wart-hogs. The Arson Project’s Slayer-esque “Forgotten Graves” is quite satisfying, its thrashy flourishes and blastbeats most welcome. “I Dig Deeper” by Moloken, is almost engaging with it’s grungey rifing, but it again plumbs the depths with more porcine vocal abominations. The compilation closes with Lonely Grave’s “Simian Laughter”, a mercifully short temper tantrum.

The dire quality of many of the songs on this release almost made me lose the will to live. It was all I could do to maintain my professionalism and listen to the album in full. It was a small mercy that most of the tracks were short. The main criticism I have is that so many of the tracks were riddled with a sense of factory-production-line plastic uniformity. As such I must say hats off to Grid, Kira, Ghamorean, and Borg 64 for at least attempting to stand out from the pack. An unpleasant hour spent.

Review by Owen Thompson
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