Monday, July 16, 2012
Week 58 (7-16-2012)
Father Befouled - Revulsion Of Seraphic Grace (PR2012) - Father Befouled definitely have a clear idea just what they're trying to accomplish with this one. The goal here was just like the rest of their discs - make brooding death metal that is both slow paced and venomous at the same time. But compared to other bands that try this formula and just sound boring, I find myself humbled by the amount of structure and riff transition on this disc. Some bands think they can sell an album on a handful of riffs as long as it's brutal, but Father Befouled doesn't.
On just the first track alone, "Indulgence Of Abhorrent Prophecies 4:38" I'm hearing many different tempos, several different styles of riffs, and some tinkering with doom. This album doesn't bore me to tears, despite that the songs follow along the same route. There are obviously no thrashers (but the drums do thrash) and the disc does have it's share of vicious death metal moments. Imagine it as a coiled snake, if you will... The album slithers around silently for a while, but as soon as you turn your back - it attacks! And once it does, you're left bitten, bleeding and yearning for more.
There is also some experimenting here - and this is just in the second track. Around the end of "Irreverent Ascendancy 3:48" and in the beginning of "Devourment Of Piety 5:29" you're going to hear some odd tones from the guitars, what some would say is "out of tune" but it works here. This album is made to get under your skin, and riffs that just sound like they're slightly psycho... well, that's just part of the package.
All this in the first three songs and you haven't yet bowed down to worship at the crooked altar of Father Befouled? Blasphemer! Go whip yourself to death!
Alright, don't actually fucking do that. I'm sure these guys wouldn't condone such a thing, yet I'm certain they'd laugh about it.
Well, I'm getting disturbingly off-topic; so I'll just end this review by saying that you should most certainly get yourself a piece of this demonic pie with goat's blood filling. Just make sure that you play it at night, in a pitch black room (preferably windowless) to get the full experience of this disc.
And all of it's solos are glorious. As they should be.
Highlights: All (A tremendously evil experience) (7 Tracks, 36:00)
Borgne - Royaume Des Ombres (PR2012) - Borgne should be no stranger to most people, but to me - I'll have to admit that I'm still new to them. The act plays a sort of electronic black metal atmosphere, but when I say electronic and atmosphere in the same sentence, don't think that I'm talking about techno beats or anything of that nature. While I do enjoy those kinds of bands, this band considers that sort of thing "lame" and prefers to do their own approach. Hailing from Switzerland, a place where electronics aren't very popular in the first place, (I was under the assumption that the best things the Swiss made were of the chocolate and cheese variety, but I am yet mistaken.) this five-piece amalgamation is truly in a league of their own.
To be brutally honest, you wouldn't even know this was an electronic black metal band if I hadn't told you. I listened to the whole disc all of the way through and just discovered that when I opened up the PR Info not but a few seconds before this review. Definitely think of slow, melancholy riffs, dark atmospheres and steady (but not overly heavy) drumming when you think of this band. As with all black metal, there are blasts on the kit, but it's not very thrashy and for good reason.
Borgne is about creating an atmosphere. They do it with eerie, but catchy riffs; and vocals that sound as if they are coming from a man who sounds like he is both depressed and enraged at the same time. Of course, he has a stage name, as they all do - but it's easier just to refer to this guy as the vocalist. He does also use a few vocal tweaking effects that help the sound to come off as even more vile, making him sound like some sort of robotic demon.
Sometimes on the album you won't hear anything other than the atmosphere. But get used to that, as they do it constantly on the disc and don't give a fuck whether or not you like it. Even then, you're still going to hear quite a lot of black metal, and I may have been just a little wrong about the drums not being overly heavy; because there are certainly some sections in these ridiculously long tracks where they are blazing quite a bit.
This is very much black metal, in every aspect of the word. It's done in the bleakest way possible, and keeps up with the formula that has been used throughout the ages. Borgne are more effect-laden then other black metal bands of their style, but this helps the entire experience to sound more grand and epic. You'll hear plenty of the same sorts of choir effects and dark winds that you've heard on other albums, and you'll also hear plenty of the same dark riffs that you've heard on countless black metal albums. Even though Borgne do what they do well, they aren't breaking any new ground. But I'm sure that they don't give much of a fuck in that matter either.
If you don't like black metal, then this disc isn't going to be for you, obviously. But I'm pretty sure that most black metal fans will enjoy this atmospheric black metal act that uses effects and atmospheres much better and with more success then most black metal bands that I've heard do it. These guys are all very talented musicians, and the guitarists do "tear it up" so to speak, throughout the disc. According to the info I have, this is the band's fifth album. By this time, bands are usually rewriting themselves into a whole, but these gentlemen seem like they are still hungry enough to keep going.
But that's fine with me, as I'll keep listening. I rather enjoyed the atmospheres, melodies, and vocals on this one; not to mention the drumming which as I've got to point out - is much heavier than I remember it being on first listen. Indeed, the man behind the kit is extremely good...
But this will change everything...
What sounds like more than one man is actually NOT more than one man. While there are several guests on the disc, the amalgamation that I was reading is only for the LIVE shows, so if you want to see Borgne fronted by more than just well, Borgne - maybe you should check them out live.
According to my PR info, Bornyhacke is responsible for vocals, guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, programming, and the cello. But the guests on the disc are part of the LIVE BAND so you will get to hear at least some of the magical tapestries that they'll weave when Borgne plays all of Europe and pisses right over the states.
Don't like it? Perhaps we should all move to where there's more metal anyway. Like Europe.
Definitely a great black metal album, but not wholeheartedly original. Still, most people won't fucking care. This is well-crafted evil, and I'm sure that it'll played again and again. Just don't forget to check out the live shows if you live in Europe, lucky bastards!
Highlights: Suffer As I Paid My Grave, In The Realm Of The Living I'm Dead, Only The Dead Can Be Heard, All These Screams Through Me (6 Tracks, 59:00)
Sexcrement - Sloppy Seconds (PR2012) - Now, from the title and the album art; it's going to be hard to take these guys seriously. But trust me, these guys have some serious talent. Fans of Dying Fetus and others in that genre might get into these guys for their groove elements, but you'll also be surprised at the impressive amount of drumwork that accompanies each and every song on this disc. Not to mention that the band isn't afraid to play prog riffs or rock melodies as well.
The band definitely knows how to thrash and they definitely show it in some portions of their very spontaneous work. The band must consist of two vocalists, and one of course, uses the gravel while the other uses the scowl. This is nothing unusual, but when both vocalists are in unison, it sounds pretty fucking great. There's a little bit of a Mike Patton sort of structured chaos to this disc, as it really doesn't seem to be cohesive in any way shape of form, other that the fact that the general idea is the same. There are always parts where the drummer blasts and the groove riffs come into place.
I've always loved a great groove, so perhaps those portions are my favorite on this disc. There's also the use of a cowbell, which you certainly wouldn't expect in a hundred fucking years. It sounds a little hokey, but with a band name like Sexcrement, expect anything. Again, this MIGHT sound like a big JOKE; but I can assure you that there's definitely talent to be found on this disc.
Yes, I'm serious. This disc has some flavorful riffs and melodies, and impressive drum work as I've noted; and the vocals are definitely as ravenous as you would expect for the genre. This is bloodcurdling death metal that just also happens to have some odd bits in it that keep it from being boring. As with Dying Fetus, the band does use a soundclip intro on basically every song. I can understand that these can be comical, maybe provide to the humor of the band; but they take away from the music a little.
Still, I feel kind of funny trying to tell people who listen to more serious death metal bands, that these guys actually have the same quality of talent. Honestly, perhaps it's best that you just scan through the album yourself and make your own judgment. Don't judge the disc by it's cover either; because that's gonna make you think of this as some porno-grind that it's not. There's definitely death metal here, and thankfully; no one tries to sound like a fucking pig.
My only qualm here, is that every track sounds roundabout the same, they just have different arrangements. No ground being broken, but an interesting idea nonetheless. No one can say how far these guys will go, but with a name like Sexcrement... I'm sure that sky's the limit.
Highlights: Heard It Through The Rape Vine, Trucker Bombed, Assisted Living Lapdance, Obestiality, Ride Johnny Ride (8 Tracks, 35:00)
Monsterworks - Man: Instincts (PR2012) - As Monty Python would say, "...And now for something completely different." And that's no joke. These London Brits (and I'm talking about the band now) definitely have a great idea going on here. The idea is also rather simple:
Don't give a fuck about trends, just make the kind of music you want to make. As they state boldly in all caps, "IMAGE IS NOTHING; METAL IS EVERYTHING."
That definitely seems to be the case here. When the disc starts out with "The Creation Dream 4:46", I'm treated to what sounds like light rock, and then all of the sudden a harsh vocal comes in where it normally wouldn't be. Then there's a high pitch vocal like the kind that would be used in power metal. Of course, prog is a definite part of this band, as is acoustics (at least on this album) as this whole disc features both acoustic and electric guitars being played at the same time.
"All Suns Die 2:54" is just such a song where this comes into play, as well as the high pitch vocal chorus. The last track on the disc, "Free Will 4:28" features a bit more of a heavy nature, along with both high pitch and death metal vocals.
As for musical talent, this band certainly has it. There are plenty of good riffs on what few songs are offered here, the drumming is done with good structure and breaks out of the box that some drummers like to encase themselves in. This guy has a good balance of heavy and light drumming, which is important for this type of progressive metal. There are also "rock solos" on this thing, which in any other fashion, wouldn't go together. But these guys make them work.
My only qualm with this album is that it's too fucking short. This isn't even an EP, it's an appetizer. If you buy this, you're getting 12:00 worth of music. Yes, it's good and interesting music, but I've heard singles that were longer than this album.... hell, I've heard whole songs that were longer than this album. Maybe the band really felt that they needed to get this stuff out, and they've got plenty more material in their archives to check out, (so go bandcamp them if you haven't) so this isn't a total wash. But it's still much less than I would've preferred to hear from such talented gentlemen as these, who don't follow trends.
I honestly feel as if I've been teased with this offering, so I think that I shall have to check out the band's earlier works, and maybe hear some more music from this London four-piece. Perhaps you should do the same.
I feel indifferent about the whole thing.
Highlights: The Creation Dream, Free Will (3 Tracks, 12:00 WTF?)
7/10 (Would be higher if I had more material to check out.)
Power Theory - An Axe To Grind (PR2012) - Power Theory is a heavy/power metal band in every sense of the word. This is their sophomore release, so if you're interested already in them, you can go pick up their older release on the band's bandcamp page or website.
Songs like the opener "Edge Of Knives 5:06" and "Deceiver 6:53" sound like good retread of Judas Priest for sure, especially with that mix of thrash that sounds like it came right out of Painkiller. Which is certainly a good thing. But some might say that the band is trying too hard to sound like Judas Priest.
Fortunately, the entire album doesn't sound like that. The next two tracks, "PureSteel 5:11" and the title track "An Axe To Grind 5:37" sound musically like Manowar, but don't seem to hit quite as well as Manowar's latest disc. Some definite thrash comes into play on "A Fist On The Face Of God 4:06" but the vocals are a little raw and muddy. Nevertheless, this is some pretty warm thrash. You know, it's got the good solo and everything that you'd expect from a good thrasher. Then you've got "The Seer (In Dreams) 5:47" and as far as I can tell, everything seems to be on par and sound pretty damned good. The riffs are meaty and the drums thunder a bit. The vocals definitely add to the overall tone of the song, it reminds me of a good track from Iced Earth. But the solo here is the strongest part, and this is probably one of the better songs on the album.
"On The Inside" 5:34" goes right back to Judas Priest. "Collossus" comes in and thrashes a bit, and then we've got the acoustic intro and epic/thrash nature of the closer, "The Hammer Strikes (Mjolinir's song) 7:39." But that's an overall look at the album itself. You can definitely hear the band's influences immediately, and there's no cryptic sequence in determining just what kind of music they're making here.
Power Theory plays power metal, and they do a great job of it. Of course they copy here and there, but they do manage to make some great hits. "Edge of Knives" was a great way to open the disc, and "The Hammer Strikes" was a great way to close it. Not all of the songs were perfect, and the title track itself was a little weak... Might have been better to call the disc "Deceiver", "Edge Of Knives" or "The Hammer Strikes." These songs had major bite and would've worked better as a title track.
Dave's vocals are hit or miss, but when they hit, they do hit strikingly hard. I do think that I'm actually hearing Rob Halford at times, even though that's hard to believe. Some of these songs could have even been written by Priest or Manowar and that should tell you something.
BB's definitely got some good riffs, even though copied and pasted in portions (but not all) and definitely knows the art of the classic metal solo. He's able to pull off a winner each and every time. Lorin's drum skills are also great, really carrying along the instrumental parts of the album, where the bands displays their true prowess.
But I'd be a fool to say that I didn't enjoy this. Because I did. I love classic heavy metal and power metal, especially power/thrash. They've still got a ways to go and their next album might be really set them off, but this disc does have potential. They're touring, so go check them out NOW. Definitely an act worth checking out. Can't go wrong with the classics, especially if they're done RIGHT.
Highlights: Edge Of Knives, Deceiver, The Seer, On The Inside, Colossus, The Hammer Strikes (9 Tracks, 49:00)
Poisonous - Perdition's Den (PR2012) - Posionous is a death metal band, and nothing more than that. This album is sure to remind you of countless thousands of death metal bands out there with the same chops, but these guys do add some atmospheres like "Demons 1:08", "From The Eternal Rift 1:18", and "Horror Instinct 2:04" that help to enhance the horrific feeling of the music. Not to mention all the hellish screams that occur on their cover of Sarcofago's "The Black Vomit 3:57."
The vocalist is as gravel as you can get, the drummer bashes the fuck out of the kit, and the guitarist not only plays venomously, but he also throws a couple of those old school Morbid Angel solos in. Every song on this one assaults the senses, there's no prog or core or beautiful melodies on this one - it's just straight fucking brutal throughout.
These guys play death metal the old fashioned way, and while there's a million other bands that do the same - Poisonous does a hell of a job of it. So go on ahead and check them out. Their Sacofago cover is pretty fucking good too. That's "The Black Vomit 3:57" just in case you forgot.
(12 Tracks 43:00)
There are a handful of good doom/death tracks on this disc, like "Aeons Elapse 12:44","Antarctica The Polymorphess 11:45", and closer and title track, "The Giant 10:36." But the only real things that seem to interest me on this one are the little atmospheres and novelty portions of the album. You take these out, and you're left with some very generic doom/death. Compared to just the first song from the band's last album, this pretty much pales in comparison, and I'd rather listen to the earlier stuff from November's Doom instead.
To tell you the truth, even though I didn't exactly care for In Mourning's latest album, "Colossus" - I could listen to that album's title track over and over again. Here, not so much. I only wanted this album to be as bombastic as their last disc, and felt as though I've been let down by the band. It's not a bad doom/death disc, but it is nothing really new or original. But I'm sure there will be people out there who feel that it's a masterpiece.
As for me, not so much. Next!
Highlights: Aeons Elapse, Antarctica The Polymorphess, (Fuck that song, I've already misspelled it three times!) The Giant (6 Tracks, 61:00)
Whitechapel - Whitechapel (2012) - With this album, Whitechapel have taken a new approach that is more melodic and less chaotic. Well, almost. There's more technicality and structure than ever before in the music, and it actually begins to sound more like death metal, instead of deathcore.
You'll actually hear a few worthwhile solos on the disc, but not much else. The drumming is as you'd expect for a death metal album - punchy in places, and calculated in others. There are some djenty moments also, so understandably; this is a completely new beast. But methinks the label is the responsible party in these new changes. Constantly updating bands to the latest metal trends, like djent for example.
I'm not a big fan of Whitechapel, but I do think that "Dead Silence 4:36", "The Night Remains 2:48" and instrumental "Devoid" are worthwhile tracks in the band's repertoire. The use of piano and gloom in these tracks help to make them stand out a bit more from the djenty stuff.
At any rate, this disc is a step in the RIGHT direction for the band. It's a different sort of Whitechapel, but it's out - take it or leave it.
Highlights: Dead Silence, The Night Remains, Devoid (10 Tracks, 37:00)
Kill Devil Hill - Kill Devil Hill (2012) - Another project from Vinnie Paul, and featuring the ex vocalist from a band I remember called, "Pissing Razors" I would have never thought that this band was gonna try to sound like Pantera and Alice In Chains. Honestly, it's not that bad. It's not as heavy as Pantera, and this guy is no Lynn Strait. But what he does, he does pretty damned well, and I was surprised. There are some good little solos on here, nothing major - and a handful of casual d-tune, as well as some ballady stuff. The overall high points on this disc are mainly in the chunky, grunge-metal sound of the band and the vocals, which again - are surprisingly good. There are a handful of screams on the disc, but for the most part the vocals are very grunge-rock.
What we've got here is in all honesty, a lighter Pantera. It's heavy, but could still be played on the radio. I guess if you don't mind that, pick it up. It's a good gateway drug into Pantera though. But who wants a gateway album, when you've already worn out the real thing?
I guess that I'll just leave you with that question.
Highlights: War Machine, Hangman, Voodoo Doll, Gates Of Hell, We're All Gonna Die, Time and Time Again, Up In Flames (12 Tracks, 46:00)
Wumpscut - Women And Satan First (2 Disc Limited Edition 2012) - Well, holy shit. This isn't even metal at all. It's industrial music, and there's maybe a hint or two of guitar. But is it any good?
To be perfectly honest, I was less than impressed with this album. But Wumpscut has made several upon several albums and perhaps this was just a bad one in the set. About the only good songs on here is the anthemic "Women and Satan First 3:57" which was probably written quite quickly, "Death Panacea 5:18" and Kill That Little Fuck 5:24."
The rest of the songs are really basic and don't have much to offer. I would be lying to you though if I didn't think a metal remix of the title track was in order.
This disc comes with a bonus CD in the special edition. I would tell you to throw out the band's disc, and keep this remix disc. Usually, I NEVER say these sorts of things, but the remixes that were done here are quite amazing. There are 16 remixes, and they go in a million different directions. Some of them being some of the most beautiful electronic pieces that you've ever heard, (I want the Yendri remix SANS vocals) and others a little more darker. Unfortunately, there were no remixes of the title track, and there's about a hundred remixes of "Kill That Little Fuck." As I said, the Yendri remix gives the song a whole new context, that guy really made it his own. Definitely get the limited edition of this, because the remixes are definitely worth having and they're so eclectic that they set the perfect atmosphere. What else could you want from an industrial album, then to hear remixes that sound better than the originals? 72 minutes worth, in fact.
Wish the Bonus CD was sold separate.
Highlights: Disc 1 - Women and Satan First, Death Panacea, Kill That Little Fuck, Disc 2 - 5,6,10,11,12,13 (And probably more - I'm not going to name them all, since they are all remixes by different artists)
6/10 (That score has the bonus disc added to it. So you can only imagine what I gave the first disc.)
Buck Satan & The 666 Shooters - Bikers Welcome, Ladies Drink Free (2011) - Al Jourgensen said that when he was done with music, he was going to go ahead and make a country album under the name, Buck Satan. Well, I'm a bit teary eyed by the fact that the day has finally come - but it has. Al's off drugs, and might grow to be an old fucking man now. So here's the review of this part metal/part country album.
Surprisingly, this disc has Ministry influence. It also has his signature shouts in areas. But it does stick to what I call "robotic old-school country" for the most part, which sounds odd as fuck when I try to put it into perspective.
What's even more surprising, is that I seemed to like this disc more than the final Ministry album, Relapse. When songs like "Medication Nation 4:34" start up, you'll also be surprised to hear it start out with Al hollering like he does in Ministry. Then he goes into a soft chorus that actually fucking works. Well now, didn't expect that.
The you got "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man 4:31" which is a great old school shout to the greats of country. With violins and all. Yeah this is quite different. You might even hear some solos in these songs. "The Only Time I'm Sober Is When You're Gone 3:21" which is nothing more than a drinking song. Yep, drink to it, trust me.
But what really set me off a bit is "Cheap Wine, Cheap Ramen 4:11" in which Al sings, "Cheap wine, cheap ramen - that's all I got a comin' - cause I sold my soul to the record company - Cheap wine, cheap ramen, - that's all I got a comin' - while I sit here waiting for my royalty."
You're not fucking serious, right? The company fucked him over even though he got a Grammy for "Lies, Lies, Lies?" According to the lyrics, "They told me I'd be a millionaire, and have a mansion in Bel Aire" but it turns out that they fucked him over. Seems that's the way the industry is these days, fucking artists left and right. Thank God for sites like bandcamp.
Hold on though, I'm not done yet. "Friend Of The Devil 4:25" is a great story about making sure the damn sheriff doesn't catch up with the guy who parties all night. Yep, been there.
Still not done. Great love song here, "I Hate Every Bone In Your Body, Except Mine 5:18" Well, maybe it's more of a drunken sex song. Then we got one last song, where Al is saying simply, "Take me away Lord, it's all that I pray for."
Well, I guess that says it all, right? This is one of those albums that's so damned bad it's good. I'm giving it an 8/10 because I found myself singing along and enjoying the thing. Is it a serious band? Fuck no. Is it both funny and depressing at the same time? Yeah. But I didn't even mention the songs about bar fights, Texas, drug addiction, and more.
Definitely a runner up for the best album of the year... I think? Damn, I love the sarcasm there. Still much better than listening to 90% of the radio these days.
Highlights: Medication Nation, Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man, The Only Time I'm Sober Is When You're Gone, Cheap Wine Cheap Ramen, Friend Of The Devil, I Hate Every Bone In Your Body Except Mine, Take Me Away (12 Tracks, 50:31)
Blink 182 - Neighborhoods (2011) - Alright, I'm gonna say it. Fuck these guys. Blink 182 hasn't been worth a shit in years, and this new album continues to prove it. I remember listening to Take Off Your Pants And Jacket as a teenager and I really enjoyed it quite a bit. But that was after Dude Ranch and well after they'd become popular with "What's My Age Again?"
I'll be honest, I never heard the disc before this one - The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show I think it was, or it could've just been their self-titled disc. Regardless, I actually did like the single for that one. It was an experimental change of pace, but it wasn't really "punk" anymore. It was now a kind of alt-rock that people were easily embracing more, and perhaps it was due to the Green Day blowout of 2004, right when Bush and Iraq were the talk of the country. But years have gone by since then, and regardless of the talk that Blink 182 is 100% Illuminati flavored cancer crap; I still decided to give this disc a listen. Why?
Fucking nostalgia. That's why. And you want to know what I got? 100% weird as fuck, symbol-filled alt-rock with slight punk influences and way too many fucking love songs. Still, I'll admit that I thought "Ghost On The Dance Floor 4:17" wasn't a bad rock song, and "Snake Charmer 4:26" wasn't too bad either. But it's really the bonus tracks that I thought were interesting, like "Love Is Dangerous 4:25" which actually had some meaningful lyrics, and are a little different than what you'd expect, and "Fighting Gravity 3:42" which sounds slightly more electronic then you'd ever expect from the band.
Yes, in a way this is a sort of evolution for them. Despite the fact that their music is yes, loaded with symbols and what-not; it wasn't that bad. I would've loved to have heard some actual punk, but they've pulled a Linkin Park and decided to go more electronic. There are some heavy riffs on the album, like with "Snake Charmer" and you might be surprised by some of these tracks, but for the most part, there's a hell of a lot of filler here. That didn't happen on some of their earlier albums, but this just seems to be a big cash cow for the band.
Now if I can manage to get through the new Limp Bizkit album, I'll review it too. But I'm afraid that I just don't know if I can make it. I'll also have that Linkin Park disc, as I actually liked their electronic A Thousand Suns a great deal - but am not expecting anything with this one. Truth be told, these ancient relics just don't stand up as well as they did in the past, and that's because the style of popular music has changed. I remember when it was Madonna who was popular, and now it's Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj who steal her ideas and get the brunt of Illuminati flavored fear from conspiracy theorists.
I also remember when bands like Limp Bizkit started the Nu-Metal genre with Three Dollar Bill Ya'll, way back when. Since then, rap has been a part of certain bands, like Hed P.E. and others who have further evolved Nu-Metal and have added elements of actual heavy metal to the music. Remember folks, I also like rock and rap, and electronic music as well as several other genres. But metal is by far my favorite.
To end this slight rant, I'll just say that it's probably not the best decision that you could make to buy this punk flavored alt-rock album. It's decent, but that's about it. There's a handful of good songs, and some resemblance to the old Blink 182. But not enough of a resemblance to make this album worth spending a fortune on. I only liked the bonus tracks for the most part, and that's pretty sad.
Highlights: Ghost On The Dance Floor, Snake Charmer, Love Is Dangerous, Fighting The Gravity (14 tracks 49:00)