Bleak Reality 2014 Euro Tour

Bleak Reality plus our friends in Forsaken, Warcharge and Grim are heading out together March/April 2014.

The dates as they stand are below, but will update with full line-ups and more information as get it;

29th March - Northcote Festival - Dordrecht, Netherlands
30th March - Kortijk, Belgium 
31st March - Leeuwarden, Netherlands
1st April - Hamburg, Germany
2nd April - Rostock, Germany 
3nd April - Berlin, Germany
4rd April - Leipzig, Germany 
5th April - Dresden, Germany 
6th April - Prague, Czech Republic 
7th April - Budapest, Hungary 
8th April - Vienna, Austria 
9th April - Zurich, Switzerland 
10th April - Aschaffenburg, Germany 
11th April - Duisburg, Germany
12th April - Birmingham, UK

Posted on October 28th, 2013
Latest Reviews

The new A Short Fanzine About Rocking is back from the printers this week and Nick was kind enough to send over the reviews of Atonement releases in advance. Have to say, pretty happy we is so siked on what it is that Atonement does.

If you like what you see here please do support Nick, and fanzines in general, and order a copy here:

Would also recommend you check out: for some more premium UK Hardcore 'zine action from the main man, Max Mitchell.

BELOW – ‘Demo 2013’ 

‘Featuring members of Broken Teeth and Survival’ you say? Well, with that in mind there was never any doubt this was going to be awesome, and so it proves as this North West mob serve up a punishing brand of metallic-edged hardcore that, while having shades of their ‘day jobs’, also shows them doing something different. The opening title track leads off with an ominous intro before Survival front-man Tom delivers the first of the vein-popping vocals that show he’s really pushing things to the next level for this band, and his confrontational delivery perfectly suits the hyper-aggressive up-front chug that’s on offer here. ‘Ill Decisions’ is an energetic, punchy number keeps things hard-as-nails, although the quiet outro to the track shows that this is a million miles away from angry bluster, as do the technical flourishes and dynamic time changes that are in evidence throughout. Of course, while I can – and should – praise the musicianship and song-structures, the over-riding emotion this EP conjures up in the listener is an urgent need to punch walls: I challenge you to listen to the breakdowns on ‘Altar of Mendacity’ and ‘Iganvus Incarnate’ and not want to fight the world. Below are a band I need to see live – albeit possibly while standing a safe distance from the pit.


BLEAK REALITY – ‘Demo 2013’ 

If you’ve picked up any of the recent issues of ASFAR, you’ll have seen me raving about Nottingham’s Bleak Reality being one of the best new bands on the UK hardcore scene, and this three-track demo, dropping on the consistently-great Atonement Records, reinforces my view. The two original tracks on here – ‘Sleep Tight’ and ‘Fake Friends’ – are fast, punchy slices of heavy hardcore that should have fans of Trapped Under Ice drooling, while their expertly-executed cover of Crown Of Thornz ‘Love Sick’ is a handy reminder of the influence the NYHC scene has had on their sound. For some reason, Bleak Reality haven’t received anywhere near the amount of attention some of their UKHC peers have been lavished with but this demo shows that, away from the limelight, they’re developing into something pretty damn special.


C£M£NT – ‘This Is Not A Demo’  

While I’m loathe to call C£M£NT a joke band, it’s safe to say they’re not playing things entirely seriously on this five-track effort – as song titles like ‘Breaking Edge Is Never Easy I Know But I Have To Go’ and ‘If Life Is Like A Computer Game Then Yours Is Going To End Up A Bit Dead Souls In That You're Going To Die A Lot’ immediately show. They do, however, feature former and current members of the likes of Deal With It and Moat, which meant this was always likely to be a cut above your average knock-about having-a-laugh-in-the-studio effort. Taking things to the next level of ludicrousness after his vocal histrionics in Natural Order, Mike Carver delivers a frenzied vocal assault here, with an X-rated blend of growls, vitriolic snarls and guttural grunts, served up atop big juddering, jarring riffs that would put many a po-faced mosh metal band to shame. Hard-as-nails and decidedly unhinged – ‘This Is Not A Demo’ is off-the-wall but a blast from start to finish. I dread to think how insane they’ll be live.


RENOUNCED – ‘Conditioned From Birth’ 

Occasionally a release reminds me metalcore is a genre that can still excite me. ‘Conditioned From Birth’ is one of those all-too-rare records. The fact that it’s coming out on Atonement is almost a guarantee of quality in itself, and the presence of ex-Abolition/Bird Calls riff merchant Sam Knight in the band line-up means the musicianship is guaranteed to be top notch, but even taking those factors into account, I don’t think I was expecting something this good. Unashamedly worshipping at the altar of late-90’s/early-00’s metalcore means Renounced serve up a powerful blend of juddering riffs, technical guitar-work, harsh vocals and melodic flourishes that makes me get all dewy eyed about an era before the genre became associated with pig squeals and sketchy synth breakdowns. Indeed, ‘Conditioned From Birth’s backward-looking-ness and reluctance to acknowledge current trends actually helps to make numbers like ‘Empty’ and the absolutely storming ‘Nothing’ sound fresh and exciting when juxtaposed against some of the hackneyed tripe masquerading as metalcore these days. With Sam now living in Japan, I have no idea when we’ll see more live shows from this lot to build on the handful they played before he departed, but even if this is their sole output Renounced have still delivered on of 2013’s best debut releases.

Posted on August 21st, 2013
xRepentancex Vinyl

With a little help from our friends at Carry The Weight Records, Atonement is going to release the Repentance demo on 7" 

The vinyl goes online to Sunday 11th 2013. 

This is not technically a pre-order, we have the vinyl just need a little time to coordinate artwork ie it won't be the same artwork as the tape so shipping will take a little bit longer than usual but I'd like to think you'd have your orders by early September. 

Posted on August 8th, 2013
Unchecked Aggression

Anyone who follows me on Twitter (@atonement666 if you don't) will know I am a massive fan of the blog: UNCHECKED AGGRESSION

This blog provides near daily updates on classic (metallic) hardcore records, and a fantastic focus on UKHC, very much in danger of being lost to history. I can't praise this enough and have downloaded hour & hours of music I thought I'd never heard again much less never have in my (albeit digital) collection. Stylistically, If you are enjoying what Atonement is releasing I feel like there is a lot you could learn from just reading this blog, let alone putting the time in to appreciate so many of the great records hosted.  

Having similar tastes in hardcore and what felt like a mirrored sense of urgency for keeping the past relevant to a new audience I thought it would be fitting to have a chat with Danny and see what he had to say;

Who are you, what have you done and what are you doing?

I'm Danny, I’m 31 years old, born and raised in Manchester. I did vocals in a band called Camorra between late 2005 to early 2009. We put out a couple of demos and an EP on Calculated Risk Products in 2006 which put us into a position to play some amazing gigs and make a ton of new friends. As a band, we generally punched above our weight but we had a lot of fun.


The reason we're talking today is for the last few months I've been doing the Unchecked Aggression music blog, which seems to have gone over well and caught a few people's attention. The content and format seems to be fairly popular, and it's something I’m having a lot of fun doing.


What prompted the blog?

It wasn't anything more than I just woke up one morning with nothing else to do and thought I'd like to write a blog and share some music. I had a ton of demo CDs that I thought people would be interested in hearing, and it's really just gone from there on to me posting other out of print or rare records that I particularly like.


I've seen people refer to the blog as a preservation and/or documentation of 90s Metalcore and UKHC, which was never an intention or consideration. I don't see myself as anything like the person best qualified to document either of those, nor do I have the record collection to be able back that up in anything like a comprehensive way. My musical knowledge and frames of reference are fairly limited compared to some of peers, but doing the blog has been personally beneficial in improving that as I've taken more time to research or refresh my memory of band's histories and associations.


I'd initially thought of solely focussing on 90s metalcore, which is a particular passion for me, but when I discovered the STUCK IN THE PAST blog I felt a bit like that South Park episode 'Simpson's already did it'. That's a blog that deserves a ton of praise for their commitment to preserving 90s hardcore/metalcore records, and sharing a wealth of information that could otherwise have been easily lost or forgotten.


There have been some great things about doing the blog, that although not a prompt for doing it in the first place, are definitely reasons for me to continue. Hearing/reading people say it's helped them find records they've lost or always wanted to hear, or any type of positive feedback about the content or concept is always really nice. I think we've all lost a hard drive full of  music or sold a ton of Cds/records to fund other interests that seemed more important at the time. So if anyone is able to rediscover, or just discover, a band because I did this blog then that's awesome. Plus, of late, I've been getting people emailing me most days wanting to send me records I've been looking for, or just music they think I might like, or their band's demo etc. I can only encourage people to continue doing so as it honestly makes my day.


Of the records you've posted, which 3 mean the most to you and why? (Not necessarily your favourites or the most important on terms of hardcore etc, just interested in you telling a story)

I'm glad you framed the question that way because I'd hate to answer with 'this was the first album I heard' or 'these guys invented metalcore', but it's still a really tough question so these may still seem a bit like cop-outs;

I'm going to say firstly the North Meadow Park album In Alpha Zones, which I actually haven't posted yet but it's imminent.


It's important because it's the first album that made me realise that just because a band has released an album in the age of the internet it doesn't mean that it can't be lost forever. This is a band that had a record label, played shows with a ton of notable names, all within the last decade, yet a Google search for them would turn up nothing. I've spent around 7 years actively trying to find more information on the band and get a copy of the album with no joy. There were a couple of near-misses, I had an email address for the drummer, Jamie from TDON thought he knew someone who would have the album, and people on various forums expressed a desire to help out, but it wasn't until last month, and because of the blog, that I got a copy of both their demo and album.


Neither the demo or the album are likely going to change anyone's lives who hears them now, so I don't want to build them up and have people be disappointment if they download them off the blog and not appreciate why I pined for them for so long. I absolutely love them, though, they play a mix of both euro and American style metalcore with some off-kilter jazzy moments thrown in, along with electronics, a touch of black metal influence, and they just sound genuinely harrowing in parts. But yeah I guess it's more the journey to actually getting the records that means they're definitely noteworthy to me, I'd still be happier with physical copies though ha.


The reason I haven't posted them on the blog yet because I'm now in contact with the guitarist, and hopefully he's going to be doing a little interview for me, plus send over some other media (flyers, videos, pictures) to make the post a bit more special. I need to make a point of chasing him up about that, though.


I've said something similar on the blog already, but picking up the Evilfest 98 CD on a whim was one of those fork in the road moments. I know selecting a compilation CD for this answer is also a bit of a cop out, but any CD that introduces a young mind to Liar, Kickback, Congress and Stampin' Ground on the same day deserves its dues. Evilfest put on some amazing lineups, we'd planned to go to the 2000 edition, which looking back on it now still has one of the coolest lineups for any fest I've seen, but it unfortunately fell through at the last minute due to a band we were friends with having to pull out and various lifts falling through as a result.


But yeah, I guess as you'll know, music discovery in 1998 was still mostly word of mouth, and for a while, living where I did and in the circle of friends I had, I didn't have many people around pointing me in the direction of anything other than the usual stuff you'd read in Kerrang. Compilation Cds were a cheap way of finding 10 or so new bands to either follow up on or ignore forever. I was always excited about the novelty of being able to buy an 'album' for less than fiver too ha. I actually got into black metal the same way, by picking up one of those Blackened Cds, Volume 1 or 2 I can't quite remember. Either that or I watched that Cradle of Filth living with the enemy thing first, I can't quite remember the series of events there.


Lastly I'd have to say the Goodlife issue of Distance Only Makes the Heart Grow Fonder. I think Poison the Well basically perfected metalcore with Opposite, but Distance was a sensational debut. Obstacle, Grain of Salt, Material Christ and Torn shit on 99.9% of anything before or since.


Poison the Well were also a gateway band for a lot of people I know who got into better music. They were the one band who everyone I knew every band I know wanted to sound like them, and everyone could just agree that they'd set the standard. In Manchester we had both Everette and Son of the Mourning who were hugely influenced by PTW and Skycamefalling on their demos, so the effect of early PTW records had a wider effect for me as the local scene I was a part of was put together by people directly influenced by Poison the Well.  Plus it really opened our eyes fully to the other bands Goodlife had released records by, which was a real golden era of music for a while.

I'd like to think Danny for taking the time to answer these questions in full. If I had to pick just 3 records to download from the blog I'd certainly struggle but just from memory if you aren't devouring Jane, Red Sky, Piecemeal, Stalingrad, the Bogmonsta demo, the Southbound London compilation (the best Ninebar tracks in existence) and the UK's greatest: CANVAS then you are missing out. Feel free to drop me message or tweet to chat about this stuff - communication, etc

Posted on August 6th, 2013
Atonement bands on the road

Just trying to provide a one-stop check list of where all the Atonement bands are playing for your ease of viewing. Will try to keep it updated and include flyers where possible.


28th Newport:  Natural Order w/ Integrity & Outrage CC



13th London: Natural Order w/ Incendiary

14th Leeds - Outbreak Fest: Natural Order, Bleak Reality, Below & C£m£nt plus many more(flyer below)

15th Glasgow: Natural Order w/ Incendiary

16th Newport: Natural Order w/ Incendiary

21st Brighton - Carry The Weight Fest: Repentance (see CTW Records for full line-up)

30th Birmingham: Below & Natural Order w/ Xibalba



1st Manchester: Below w/ Xibalba 

5th Cardiff: Bleak Reality w/ Bun Dem Out, War Charge & Forsaken

11th Birmingham: Bleak Reality w/ Biohazard

25th London: Natural Order w/ Indecision & Voorhees



1st Belgium: Bleak Reality w/ Grim

2nd Germany - Recovery Fest: Bleak Reality (full line up when available)

22nd Dublin Life & Death: Natural Order (full line up when available)

Posted on July 24th, 2013