Raw Howls


Some say that real Punk is dead. They may well be right but I think […]
By Tom Colyer
October 18, 2015
Alucarda - Raw Howls album cover

Some say that real Punk is dead. They may well be right but I think it's spirit is very much alive and although almost every modern interpretation of it has done everything possible to destroy the once proud genre, it stands defiant amongst a crowd of side fringes and Hot Topic clothes.

I grew up with bands like SEX PISTOLS, CRASS, RUDIMENTARY PENI and SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES playing very loudly and badly at almost every available moment. The real spirit of Punk is defiance and in no way is that better embodied than a band that are clearly shit musicians hitting things very hard. It's refreshing to hear a band following this core principle (and making some fairly decent music whilst they're at it) which is why I have enjoyed being introduced to ALUCARDA.

The band are named (presumably) after a trashy B-movie from the 70's about a couple of girls that accidentally get possessed by some fairly unfriendly demons and eat the faces of an entire convent of nuns. Musically I would say it is exactly the same, there is a fantastic grittiness to everything that it sounds like the sonic embodiment of a terrible B-movie.

It's a brilliant blending of Punk and Doom, peppered with elements of Thrash (and even a light smudge of Black Metal). Everything is swaddled with a harsh blanket of fuzz that renders and concepts of melody pointless. The bass is big and powerful, promising to take you home and do scary things to your squishy parts. The drums just want to eat babies and that's OK because hey, who doesn't?

I suppose the best comparison I could draw with any remotely modern band would be MEGASUS but that's only because my brain can't think of anything better right now. ALUCARDA are much more Rock'n'Roll influenced than a lot of their Doomy contemporaries and this is something that I think a lot of Doom bands could learn from as they have managed to incorporate a bit of groove into their sludgy puddle of darkness.

The big downfall and something that I think will put a lot of people off are the vocals. Personally I like them but I know that they won't be to everyone's tastes. There is a real Psychobilly edge to them and they have all the trademark reverb and echo of the style. They just don't quite work however and they fail to sit well with the rest of the music. I think this will probably turn a lot of people off, especially those that aren't particularly into Psychobilly as a genre. I can't help but feel elements of Thrash and Black Metal in the vocals as well. OK, Black Metal not so much but I can imagine the singer screaming away in a snowy forest about some kind of dark forces.

If you've never heard this kind of music before then I'd recommend giving them a good old listen. If you are a fan of Punk, Doom or Psychobilly then ALUCARDA would probably be a damn fine choice.

8 / 10


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"Raw Howls" Track-listing:

1. Northville Cemetary
2. The Filthy Few
3. Temptress Of Evil
4. Cloven Howls
5. Witches Dance
6. The Savage
7. Deadbeat Psych-Out!

Alucarda Lineup:

Simon Daniel Larsen - Guitars
Hampus Wahlgren - Bass, Vocals
Marcus Ferreira - Drums

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