Holy Roar Records’ 12 Bands of Christmas: Part I

By Mark Johnson

Across four shows, from November 30 to December 21, Holy Roar Records will bring twelve bands to The Old Blue Last in London, for a Christmas-themed extravaganza. Since it’s the season of giving, each show is free to enter!

Ahead of each show, we’ll be running a hand-picked playlist from each headliner and up first it’s Wren, with ten of their favourite songs for you to enjoy.

Part 1: Wren

1. Death Engine – ‘No Hope’ (‘Amen’, 2013)

Whilst their follow-up LP ‘Mud’ might be better all round, the intro to this EP is still unbeatable. A tone setter for a criminally underrated band.

2. Ghold – ‘Ruptured Earth (Head In Sand)’ (‘Stoic’, 2017)

Crypt of The Wizard’s first release as a label, showcasing Melvins-worthy vocals, with a noise rock sensibility. Further exploration of their unique prog flare results in their best release to date.

3. The Body & Full Of Hell – ‘The King Laid Bare’ (‘Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light’, 2017)

Kings of noise return with a much more balanced second effort.

4. Krallice – ‘Kronus Deposed’ (‘Loüm’, 2017)

Dave from Neurosis shines in the vocal spotlight and Krallice take a further step in their twisted take on a wide range of extreme metal. The mathy elements melt.

5. Blood Incantation – ‘Vitrification of Blood (Part I)’ (‘Starspawn’, 2016)

The best record of 2016 is probably the best record of 2017 as well.

6. Helpless – ‘Out Of Commission’ (‘Debt’, 2017)

Unrivalled rage maintenance. Shockingly good live band as well.

7. Memnom Sa – ‘Binary Sun’ (‘Lemurian Dawn’, 2017)

The man behind the desk on our last LP ‘Auburn Rule’  returns with another batch of psych-tinged, soundtrack masterpieces.

8. Bohren & Der Club Of Gore – ‘Midnight Black Earth’ (‘Black Earth’, 2002)

Unparalleled restraint.

9. Primitive Man – ‘My Will’ (‘Caustic’, 2017)

The bleakest production on any record this year. The ridiculous run time on this LP allows them to venture further into their bleak black sea of dread with the best results of their discography.

10. Big Brave – ‘Borer’ (‘Ardor’, 2017)

Ten minute songs based around barely more than a riff each, that you wish were three times as long. Vocally the most compelling record of the year.