Monday, July 30, 2012
The Amenta - Chokehold EP (PR2012) - I don't really have much to say that'll make you want to buy this very short EP, which is a holdover more or less - until the band's new album, Flesh Is Heir comes out NEXT YEAR.
Regardless, you get the single, "Chokehold 4:35" which I didn't care for one bit. I do like the Amenta, and even though VO1D was free from the band's website and I thought it a great free offering; this sounds like a cast-off from that disc. it's very fierce sounding electronic/metal, but doesn't offer much to me.
However, they also recorded a cover of the Godflesh classic, "Christ Bait Rising 6:54" and I'm very pleased with it. It still retains the Godflesh nature, but adds some new tricks. But one song's not going to make you buy an album.
There's also the live version of "Void 3:41" that was incorrectly called a remix. It's definitely more deathy than Chokehold and done very well. These guys sound much better live than they do on the albums. The same can be said for "Sekem 4:40" and Vermin 3:53" which I fucking loved.
All three of these live tracks are great. They should've scrapped this idea and put out a live album. As I said, they sound fucking great live. Much better than you'd think. That sound should have been transported to digital format in more than just three fucking songs, a cover and a b-side.
Whatever the case, I can't fault the three great live tracks and the Godflesh cover. But this album should've been Live and not Chokehold. Trust me, you've got to hear these gentlemen play live.
Definitely not worth the money. But if it goes to fund the new disc, then go grab it anyway. As I said, the live tracks and cover ARE worth checking out.
Highlights: Everything but Chokehold. Irony, anyone? (5 Tracks, 24:23)
Sarah Jezebel Deva - Malediction EP (PR2012) - The backup singer from Cradle Of Filth has released yet another offering in the form of an EP. While I wasn't exactly crazy about the first album, The Corruption Of Mercy (but admittedly liked a handful of songs from it) I'm not so sure what to think of this short, three song EP. First of all, it's twelve minutes long, and it's just like the Amenta EP - a digital only release; maybe even a name your price (which would be best for these little samplers.)
On the first song, "Lies Define Us 3:56" Soilwork/Night Flight Orchestra frontman Bjorn Strid guests on the vocals. It's a decent song, but very odd for him to be on vocals to this goth-tinged sort of music. The duet is pretty good, but sounds a little rough. Still, some people might dig it.
"Working with Sarah Jezebel Deva was a trip. We definitely found common ground humor
wise and musically. The song we did together is still ringing in my head. The atmosphere is
fantastic and the melody is haunting. Drop the gothic top hats and get ready for the real deal!" commented Björn.
The next song, "When It Catches Up With You 4:25" is just her on the vocals, but it does work. There's some definite heavy portions, but a lot of piano. Her vocals are supposed to be the main point, and they do deliver. I could see people definitely getting into this one. Going to be a must for goth fans. She should've saved this for the next LP, unless it's going to be on there. Certainly a step in the right direction, this track's worth a buy.
The final track, "This Is My Curse 4:33" is something we knew was going to eventually happen. It's a duet with Dani Filth, the lead vocalist of Cradle Of Filth. Dani uses more of a dark vocal and less of a scowl here. He encroaches on a growl approach and perhaps this might be a teaser for the band's next album. Would be great if they decided to go back to pre-Principle. The song is decent, but not as good as I would've expected. Dani does deliver vocally and it's really different to hear his vocals in this sort of new light.
The Cradle Of Filth front man shares his enthusiasm for the collaboration, "It
was great fun duetting with Sarah Jezebel Deva again, being a new thing for me to try and compliment her voice, rather than the other way round (which generally happened on the Cradle Of Filth material), so being involved in this song was definitely a challenge for me (and not a curse) seeing as I only had a few days to leave my stain on it. Fortunately the tune was strong enough to carry away my first fumbling forays. I think the track itself is really powerful and definitely rings as emotive as the subject matter of the lyrics, (which I attempted to embellish rather than change) honestly thinking to myself that the finished song has come out better than midnight in a Playboy graveyard"
So this EP has it's definite hits and it's definite missteps. But there are definitely a couple of steps taken in the right direction. There's not much to say here, really. Just check it out, and if you like it then support it. This really could have used some guitar solos though, or something more with the guitars at least.
Other than that, it's not a bad sampling. Check it out, if you're interested.
Highlights: When It Catches Up With You (3 Tracks, 12:00)
The Reticent - Le Temps De Detruit Tout (PR2012) - The Reticent is an interesting act indeed. I've never seen a mix of Damnation era Opeth, current era Anathema, and Undertow era Tool done in such a way before. In all honesty, I would've not expected these things to meld well, or as well as they do here. This is not the band's (one may band by the way - Chris Hathcock does everything) first album, so if this sounds good, pick up the other two.
Metal Storm vomited all over this disc, calling it incohesive. Which in some ways it is, and in others, it isn't. They considered it a failed experiment, a man who wanted to do too much. But I do not see it that way, as there seems to be just enough variety in these tracks to enjoy the odd mix that he's made.
Let's take the first actual song, "In Pursuit Of Redemption 6:31" for instance. It starts out very Damnation era Opeth, but encroaches vocally on the style of Tool's "Parabol" (Not Parabola, but the intro piece)and has a heavier prog portion in the middle that really opens up the song. This isn't just music, it's art. And art is, incohesive. Anyone can paint a pretty picture to hang on a wall, but art is in itself very dirty and not always as clean cut as we'd expect. This kind of sound can be displayed on "Lie To Me 4:43"
There is a bit of doom influence to this disc as well, as I'm sure that you'll be able to completely match certain portions of it to a number of doom bands in the vein. But that's a good thing, because if you can match it with other bands that you remember, (we usually only recall bands that we love and hate, respectively) then there's definitely something special about it.
Then we have "Enemy 8:20" which still blows me away. He does tempt to mimic Maynard's vocals a little on this, but you can definitely hear the Tool influence on this one and "Patience 8:44" and you'll say to yourself, "Tool hasn't sounded this fucking good in years." Trust me, folks - he hits the formula PERFECTLY. I remember wearing the shit out of Undertow and Aenema, and this is on that level. Yeah, Tool fans need to grab these two tracks immediately, or the whole disc itself - this is well worth checking out. By the way, not only does it match the vocal and rhythmic formula of Tool, but the progressive nature that you would expect is also there - even down to the tribal drumming.
But I'm not done yet. We also have the odd, "Nihil Ex Nihilo 5:36" which starts out with an odd voice clip that I've been wondering about. It explains about a soon merger of our galaxy with the Andromeda galaxy. But not only that, there's something which I've also been wondering about - an increase of the Sun's luminosity. Meaning that eventually this planet will become too hot to support life. What we think of as global warming might actually be the fact that our Sun is in fact becoming hotter, and there's nothing that we can do about it. But die, of course - or find a new world to colonize (and probably plunder as our race is wont to do.)
This album consists of three levels: light Opeth inspired prog metal, heavily Tool inspired prog metal, and light doom with a very complex level of emotion that is akin to the bearing of one's soul. There are few albums that you feel, and this is one of them. I believe that I've just become a fan of a band who I've never heard of until now. Check out this guy's work. There's three albums for you to explore, and the second one is supposed to be really great too. I'm sure you can find it on his bandcamp page, or itunes, or whatever. Just make sure you check it out.
Or just listen Werhwolfe, if that's your sort of thing. (He still drums for them.)
Lastly, there's a cover of "Losing My Religion 5:33." It's not listed as a cover, but it is a cover of the REM classic. Unfortunately, I wanted for it to be just a little heavier and less dreary than it was. Well, it could've still been dreary; but needed a bit of a kick. Just a little kick though - not a full blown metal explosion of sorts.
Highlights: In Pursuit Of Redemption, Mutually Assured Destruction, Enemy, Lie To Me, Silence, Le Tenia, Patience (11 Tracks, 64:00)
8.5/10 (I would have given it an 8, but I really enjoyed some of these songs and would gladly listen to them more than just once. Especially the Tool inspired material.)
Humangled - Odd Ethics EP (PR2012) - Humangled is a different kind of death metal band. I know that you've heard that thousands of times before, but what they do is very different; if not very awkward. I know that you've also heard that term, "awkward" or "unique" thrown around quite a bit too, but these guys do approach the music with a very odd sensibility.
It is still death metal at it's core, but the progressive riffs on this disc are played with an approach that is less cleaner and more awkward, then we'd expect from other death metal bands who incorporate prog into their music. Also expect some groove throughout the disc, because it's definitely a big part of the band's sound.
Though the album is short, and more or less a sample of what the band has to offer, the four songs on this disc are just enough to give us a good taste of the odd death metal that we can expect from these guys. In all honesty, you'd have to imagine influence from bands like Atheist or early Cynic (Man, I seem to love repeating myself with those guys) except that the riffs would be almost out of tune in instances. The album actually starts out with a riff that reminds me of a Mexican bullfight. That's not something you'd expect.
"Skinned, To Feel All 3:55" makes me think of a little bit of Pantera's dirty thrash with slight bit more prog that they ever used but might have incorporated more of on the comeback, had Dime not lost his life. But one can only grasp at straws there. For now, just sit back and enjoy this odd, dirty prog death act.
There's a little bit of influence from everything from Pantera to Carcass to Atheist and more. An act that is definitely full of promise and an EP worth buying.
Highlights: Needles Of The Blind, Skinned, To Feel All, Deny Your Creed (4 Tracks, 14:00)
Radiation Sickness - Reflections Of A Psychotic Past (PR2012) - Whether you love these guys or not, this is their first record in twenty plus years. They were playing grind back when the music was practically fucking founded, and split up in 1992. Played a show in 2010 and decided to make a new album.
So what've we got? Well, basically we've got a very old school sounding sort of death-punk thing going on, but there's really no exact pinning of these guys. With each track being less than four minutes at the most, and 37:00 filling up with 19 tracks, there's a lot of variation. Doug Palmer's vocals are sort of like a black metal scowl, and tracks like the longest cut "Tripping The Seas Of Madness 3:58" can sound a little bit like black metal. But it's then obvious, as the band is definitely one to switch many gears.
When I mean many gears, I mean that there's a definite clusterfuck of sound here. It's definitely extreme and it's definitely along the lines of death metal. You'll also hear a surprising amount of structure on the disc, as well as some great drumming on each and every track courtesy of Mike Herold.
But the disc does have a lot of 1:00 tracks that sound roundabout the same. After the first couple of songs, I'm left with a very stale feeling. Yes, there are good tracks on this album - but despite what loops and bounds that the band uses (prog, tech, solos, clean vocal, and other ideas) the whole thing comes off as still sounding unpolished.
But give them a break, they haven't been around for years and are just getting back into the swing of things. This is a bunch of guys just having fun and playing the music that they love. Shit, they might make another one next year, who knows? At any rate, if you like your grindcore very old fashioned, without piggie squeals, overwhelming drums and gravel, (more angry, less brutal) you'll probably dig this. The production and everything sound as raw as if they'd released it much earlier. But that is a part of the band's style, so I will not fault that.
I've never been much a fan of grind, can't really point out any highlights. But there are some interesting ideas used on to this one that will appeal to certain people. Pick it up for nostalgia, or pick it up to hear what grindcore used to sound like before all the gore and sounds of a slaughtered pig.
For grind, this isn't too bad. Reminds me a little of old Carcass.
(19 Tracks, 37:00)
Brume d'Atome - Brume d'Atome (PR2012) - This is a two man band from Quebec, considered forerunners of the "Métal Noir Québécois" movement. Which is a movement that I've never heard of, so it must be relatively new.
(Edit: First disc released in 2005, band split up then released new disc in 2012 after 7" with Fortesse)
To make it short, the definition or goal of this interesting movement is to mix raw black metal and Quebecian (is that even a word?) folk music together.
To tell you the truth folks, I'm not hearing much that I haven't already heard from black metal before. Although I'll say that the music does sound relatively raw,(but still discernible) heavily melodic, and contains some awesome riffs. Take the first track, "Tels des Béliers 5:27" for example. I don't know how much of this is folk, but I know how much of it is metal. The guitar solo is gigantic, almost every metal song ever written should end with that amazing of a solo.
I will have to hand it to these fellows, this mixing of folk and black metal really does have it's merit. In the song, "Traditionelle IV 1:20" I'm hearing a smorgasbord of good melody, and I'm sure that it's a terrific rendition of a Quebec traditional piece.
In short, this album blazes with blast beats and scowls, but it also has a lot more melody and less darkness than you'd expect from a black metal album. Of course, I was also quite surprised that this statement also could describe the 2009 Watain disc, Lawless Darkness. The disc still remains exceedingly heavy, and it's loaded with some of the best guitar soloing that I think I've ever heard on a black metal disc. It's still as raw as you would like it kvltists, but it's got more melody and might be a bit more exciting and less dreary and cold than you would want. Still plenty of vocal insanity though, and contains the spirit of black metal.
Some say to keep it Norwegian, but these guys are doing just fucking fine. Quebec Black Metal? Don't knock it till you've tried it.
These guys even have a facebook and myspace page, so you can listen to some samples there. I loved the whole damned thing, and this is much rawer than I would usually allow from a disc. But there's a first time for everything.
Highlights: The Entire Disc! (8 Tracks, 40:00)
Deadly Remains - Severing Humanity (PR2012) - I've heard this considered something called "slam death metal." I've then heard it considered as "offensive racist term slam death metal." Whatever the case, it's certainly something that I would consider slammable. The band does certainly, well... slam - but I'm not exactly sure what else you can say. I love death metal, but this seems to be like Abominable Putridity; a literal dumbing down of the genre; like death metal's version of modern pop music - which has now been scientifically proven to "all sound the same" and have less variations, melodies and other such instances than music of the 60's or even the golden age 50's. Which back then, I'd assumed music was pretty simple.
But this isn't about "old people fuck music" as I've called it, this is about Deadly Remains. These young dudes from California that look way younger than me (some of them might even still be in high school) seem like they've possessed by demons and are just having some sort of weird musical ritual. When I look at these guys, I can't believe that one of them sounds like the gore-mouthed gravel that I'm hearing. Seriously, these guys look early teens to twenties. Not saying anything about musical caliber there, there are 16 year olds that can roast me on guitar (because I can't play one riff) and maybe on vocals (but I get competitive there)
The music is overly technical and full of jazzy little Cynic-esque portions so I will give them proper commendation for at least putting out some interesting ideas into the music. The vocals are not understandable at all, but they are vicious. The drums do just about everything you'd expect, but there's no real change in the music direction, other than the slower paced "Home Invasion 3:42."
The band does play a handful of melodies, and does have some great solos in parts; but it's mainly about blasting drums and gore-drenched vocals. This album is the very definition of brutal, but I don't know about any more than that. It's very simplistic in it's technicality, I think. But there will be fans, fans who are into this slam genre, and if they're ready to fucking slam jam, then that's fine with me. But I think I'm hearing too much core, too much breakdown, and I think someone shit in my death metal to be honest.
But you know what? These guys don't do that bad of a job with their music and they bring a pulverizing force with them. Might be good to listen to while playing FPS's or something. Maybe works well for sex, I have no idea.
The bottom line is, that this isn't terrible. Have I heard better? Yes. But I give it leaps and bounds over any shit that sounds like a pig is being slaughtered. And hey, "Psalm Of Impurity 1:56" isn't necessarily a bad instrumental. There's also some good voice clips. Ah, what the hell - I'll be nice and throw them a seven. I've heard much worse.
Much better than the other slam act I reviewed, Abominable Putridity.
(10 Tracks, 39:00)
Vintersorg - Orkan (2012) - Ah, yes... Vintersorg. I so awaited Orkan and it's finally here. Oddly enough, I'm left unimpressed by this disc. But maybe it's because Borknagar also came out, and it blew my motherfucking brain out of my skull. The disc has good melodies and all that as you would expect - clean vocals sound just the same as they always have, scowls sound just the same. Riffs sound just the same...
You getting the idea? But this time we've got more folk elements. they wanted to get really happy with this one. It's like happy folk black metal. As you would expect, there are no English versions of any of these tracks.
The band did do some experimentation with the traditional folk instruments and the death metal vocals... yeah, now they're folk/black/death. Take "Istid 5:51" for example, great opener - very triumphant with the horns, several different ideas used, epic guitar solo at the end, and it plays with the horns! Then you have your synths and piano and some twinkling stuff... Yeah, it's that kind of record.
Some people might be like, "What The Hell?" what did you guys do to this album? Why all the literal bells and whistles? It really sounds like they were going for a Nightwish sort of thing here. I'm going say that again:
It sounds like they were going for a NIGHTWISH style thing here.
But honestly, it's not that bad. This still sounds like Vintersorg. Even though all of the songs have the orchestra feel to them now, (or an orchestra in the background, I'm not quite sure) they still are well rounded, non-throwaway tracks. Still, some might be like "why the fuck is there all this orchestral shit?" or the latter, "who got chocolate in my peanut butter?"
While others might see the album as a nice change of pace. Perhaps the orchestra helps to give the disc a little more of a full sound, it's a little more epic than the band's last album, and that's saying much for a band that prides themselves on literally being epic and majestic. This disc is definitely all of those things and more. Most of the songs are either almost or over seven minutes long, so you've definitely got a bombastic (some might say slightly overblown) album here.
Not everything sounds alike though. "Myren 5:03" has more of an atmosphere than a metal sound, (yes, this is still a metal record, don't fucking panic) and has some reading from something. Probably a folk-tale of some sort, considering the album's nature.
"Havets Nad 6:38" on the other hand, has more black metal influence. (Yes, this is still in ways a black metal album. Again, don't panic.) While the closer "Urvadersfangen 7:03" sounds more like something out of Dracula or Castlevania. It's a great way to end the disc and features some great dual clean vocals.
All in all, this is Vintersorg with a little more emphasis on the epic. They managed to pull it off and I think it's a black/folk metal fan's must ahve disc for the year. This was really done well and has a great deal of layers. It's an album that can be listened to over and over again, and shouldn't get boring too quickly. Vintersorg proves that they haven't lost their steam yet, and for a band that has yet to strike out - this is good news. They seem to be getting better and better with each and every album, and damn it, it's definitely due to the vocals and the melodies. There are few bands who can emulate these as well, and the band proves it here.
Might want to play this during an RPG, for extra ambience. It definitely has that folk/fantasy nature.
Highlights: Istid, Orkan, Havets Nad, Norrskenssyner, Urvadersfangen, and many more. (8 Tracks, 50:00)
9/10 (I have yet to fully explore this album, as it needs to be heard many times, I suspect.)
Rumpelstiltskin Grinder - Ghostmaker (2012) - According to another review I read, (I think it was in Metal Hammer, which I torrent because of import costs) the reviewer said that this band's name was going to kill any chance of them ever being a serious band.
What kind of goddamned elitist bullshit is that? Listen folks, this is some definite death thrash with a ungodly scowl, razorblade riffing, and a drummer that doesn't let up. The melodies on this album are so sick, that you might vomit in denial. But this is what happens when you think less of a band because of their name.
The solos also come screaming in, as most of this disc is one massive sonic blast. It's brutal, tightly structured and has some absolutely fucking devious vocals. The vocals really help to make this album as furious as it is, doing the same thing that the Crown's original frontman did for them during the days of Hell Is Here and Deathrace King.
But then again, I'm greatly reminded of the legendary Carcass. But which era? That's the easy question. It's a little bit of Heartwork and Swansong. Yet again, there are songs like "Iron Jaw 3:04" which sound punk and hardcore influenced on the vocals. But then you've got an awesome solo during the breakdown that makes things all better.
Then there's "You've Been Had 2:32" which reminds me of Satyricon. Finally, the closer "Desert Goblins 3:38" sounds more like melodic death metal than anything else. But it works greatly to the band's advantage.
There are two vocalists, and they overlap on some songs of the album, adding something of a demonic duet. I think you'll find it greatly appealing as I did. Especially combined with the best that death and thrash has got to offer, this is a tough album to beat.
With Testament's release date quickly approaching, it only seems like Rumpelstiltskin Grinder's reign might be short lived. But that doesn't mean that they didn't definitely give it their all and really show the world that they're more than grindcore. There's not one single bad track on this disc, and every song is played to perfection. If you're looking for memorable death thrash, you'll find it right here...
or at least until, The Dark Roots Of The Earth.
Highlights: Those Who Are Unseen, Ghostmaker, Fucking Wild, Dripping With Venom, Cold Haunting Death, A Lurking Thief, You've Been Had, Iron Jaw, Get Out Of My Grave/Gigantic Graveyard, Run Through The Bastards, Desert Goblins (12 Tracks 45:00)
The Forsaken - Beyond Redemption (2012) - This is what I want to hear from Melodic death metal. Part thrash/death, part melodic (but in the best way that God Dethroned was) this is one band that definitely grew on me. I guess I could also compare them to the latest iteration of Nightrage, which if you haven't heard that disc yet, you're a fucking idiot; and that's a fucking compliment.
These guys are much more brutal than Nightrage though, and for people that thought that band a little too tame, the ferocity of these guys will definitely make up for that. The band definitely plays with the Swedish melodeath style that In Flames, Dark Tranquility, Soilwork, and Nightrage pioneered, but as I said - this is much more ravenous than those bands.
Take "Foul Messianic Grace 4:17" for example. Listen to those drums and those vocals. Much more unlike the happy melodic death style of some bands, and more close to real death metal. Let's all goddamned rejoice. A lot of these Swe-death bands seemed to be copying off of each other and now we've got a band that says, "Fuck! Let's just make it heavy. How about that?"
With the opening growl of "Ooooh, Motherfucker!" you know you're in for something rough. But don't think that there isn't any melody at all, because you will also have your guitar solos and your death metal melodies that you'd expect, shit that bands like Grave and Revolting use though - not the In Flames stuff.
This is death metal, and while I love traditional Swedish death metal, when I'm really fucking pissed and need to let out some steam, this motherfucker's getting played. If you want to get pissed enough to beat the hell out of someone, or beat them to death, (even though I do not condone such an act) this is probably what you want to listen to. It's not grab a machete and stab the fuck out of your neighbor metal, it's more like "fuck your boss" metal. If you're just really pissed at your job, this will work to get all that steam out.
Loud, fast, heavy, uncompromising, flying solos, thundering drums, vicious and seething fucking vocals. This is what death metal is supposed to sound like. This is the soundtrack to the fucking apocalypse. Grab it from the band and you'll be fucking happy for every goddamned minute of it.
Definitely on my list for one of the year's best.
Highlights: All (10 Tracks, 40:00)
Trepalium - HNP (2012) - Well, anyone expecting a massive new opus from Trepalium will have their dreams horribly shot down. The new album is only about 39:00 long, and it consists of nine songs and a cover, which are all about average single length.
This would be fine, but there's not much here to go on, and the band tried to put Pantera influence into the album, but there's so much technical tinkering and not enough structure. It's not like throwing paint on the wall, it's like throwing paint on the wall and then pissing all over it. There's really not much here and it's a big disappointment for the fans, especially.
By the way, they've got a cover song they'd like you to here and it goes... "I'm broken! Inherit my life!" Yep. It's definitely an "I'm Broken 4:26" cover, which is a hell of a great song, but these guys pretty much perform it the exact same as Pantera would have, just with different vocals.
The guys do some experimenting still, there's odd technical things going on, the vocals are a little fiercer than Anselmo's, and the solos are different from Dime's - but he's a fucking legend. Few can play like him. Not all the songs sound like Pantera though, such as "Prescription Of Crisis 2:37" which sounds as tech-death as can be.
"Order The Labyrinth 4:50" is devoid of Pantera influence, and has some light clean guitar atmospheres with a cymbal hit. But that's until the song powers back up and thrashes with all of it's techy might. Then there's also a weird little instrumental, (that technically closes the disc) that's called "Raining Past 2:11." It has some southern metal influence in it and a few other things.
There really isn't much here to keep one entertained. It's the same old riffs and tech over and over again. I've got their older albums, but haven't gotten around to listening to them yet. I'm hoping that those might be better than this one. There's just too much of the same thing on every song, and after a while it doesn't really do much for your sound. The little bit of experimenting on this disc does little for the band, this disc is really nothing short of pretty fucking generic. I'll give it a 4.5, because there's not really anything to warrant this disc any further plays. Plus, if you have their old ones, I'm sure that this one pales.
People who have the old discs have been saying that this one just isn't as good. But I can see why. It turns out that these gentlemen just didn't fucking try this time around. Anyone can play tech-death with enough practice. But I think more needed to be done here. This just isn't good enough.
Other than the cover, slight hints of Pantera won't even save these guys this time around, save your money.
(10 Tracks, 39:00)
Tulus - Olm Og Bitter (2012) - Someone said that this band was the most frightening band they ever heard. Well, I expected to be scared. But unlike Imperator, which freaked me out in such a good way - this band was really boring, at least as far as black metal goes.
Maybe the guy hyped up this album too much for me, I dunno. But regardless, it really failed to deliver and just left me bored. No one ever wants to describe an album as boring, it's practically like wasting your time. But this one was. No real melody, boring copy/paste riffs, foreign vocal in the same scowl I've already heard... What's here to scare me? Unless I'm supposed to die of boredom.
Whatever you did last time Tulus, it must have been good. But on this album, (and I never usually say this) you guys just suck. You just fucking do. There are ten songs on this disc, and it's only 30:00 long. It's also got a boring old stone golem on the front of this album. Could the description be anymore stiff and soulless?
The guy uses the same tone for the whole album, very little progressions - tries to add that dark atmosphere in to make it sound even more evil, I guess that works at a point, but the whole tone of the disc is the same. Let me tell you something, and no matter how much you like this disc - I fucking didn't.
Why? Well, let's be honest. I've heard ten and twenty bands that sound just like these guys. So what if they added a slightly more modern sound to black metal. It didn't help their cause. Check out those guys from Quebec - the music sounds like it was recorded in some guy's basement, but it's phenomenal music.
I guess for you people that like your black metal short, well produced and simple - you'll love this. But as for me... I just can't get into it. There's just nothing here to hold my interest. Maybe if he added more meat to the songs, or played more than a handful of riffs, I might enjoy this one. Try harder next time, or hell - at least make something with form.
Too much of the same.
(10 Tracks, 29:00)
Hellyeah - Band Of Brothers (2012) - Guess what? These guys actually outdid themselves with this one. They said that they wanted to make a metal album this time, instead of the poppy/country stuff they were messing around with on Stampede, even though that disc did have a handful of good songs. Chad's great on vocals, and I'm still a Mudvayne fan - those guys were first - but he's certainly kicking ass and taking names with these guys. This is probably one of the heaviest metal albums these guys have made, and that's good news for metalheads, because it gives Vinnie some once again needed recognition.
The album comes in, sounding very much like southern influenced Mudvayne, but definitely hearkening back to that L.D. 50 era. Chad screams his ass off on this record, and despite the fact that it's not got 80 bazillion things going on and is rather simplistic in musical standards, there are some really good solos.
Definitely check out "Rage Burn 4:41" for some definite power on the disc, and the dominatrix sister of "Alcohaulin' Ass", a drinking anthem called "Drink, Drank, Drunk 3:56." Honestly, this is a pretty damned good drinking anthem.
Soft vocals don't even really come into "Bigger God 4:39" which still has it's heavy portions, and it definitely thrashes around the chorus. Not to mention that there's a good melody on it in places. There's also a light ballad, "Between You And Nowhere 4:16." It's decent, good vocal melody on the chorus - but not really overblown. This may have already hit the radio. But won't those teen girls be upset when they find that this light ballad is only one of two ballads, surrounded by hard-driving, kick ass thrash tracks.
Vinnie pounds the kit on closer "What It Takes To Be Me 3:29" and don't forget about the West Memphis victory song, "WM Free 5:02." I live in the place where all of that happened, so I'm well aware of how dickish our police and justice system can actually be around here in the bible belt.
Mudvayne pretty much went on hiatus, so fans of their sound will still get to hear Chad's vocals and Greg's riffs. There is even some Mudvayne content thrown into the songs, but I was definitely more into the stuff that comprised Mudvayne's lyrics. But in all honesty, there's little that could be done after their 2009, self-titled disc.
The disc is much heavier than the last one, and I'm thankful for that. The vocals are strong, the riffs are good in areas, the soloing is done well enough - but the drums sound plastic in the background. For those looking for a new Pantera, we all know that this will never be the case. But it's about as close as we're gonna get, unless you want to check out a Pantera knock off band. There are a few of those out there.
However, it's much closer than Trepalium came to Pantera. Those guys need to be flogged with whips for that disc.
Highlights: I liked everything except for "Between You And Nowhere" (only 4 stars) and the closer, "What It Takes To Be Me" (only 4 stars.) The album does happen to sound the same for most of the tracks, so that dumped the score down a bit. I think more needs to be done with the music in order to get even an 8/10. I honestly don't see another album taking off as well as this one, because there's not much else you can do with this band. Well, except rewrite your old sound again and again and again. I like the disc, but as far as quality goes, there are a lot of overused riffs and little structure.
Serj Tankian - Harakiri (2012) - The album title is a Japanese term that translates to "honorable suicide." He explained that some animals were killing themselves because they couldn't survive anymore in the world. Makes you think, doesn't it? Right now, I'm under the impression that we're due for mass famine and a wasteland. But that's a topic for another time.
This is his "punk" album, but not all of this is as punk as one would expect. It does at time sound like Tankian trying to do System Of A Down with clean vocals. There are also only a handful of hits, and several misses on the album. Obviously stuff like the single "Figure It Out 2:52" which reminds me of Ministry in a few instances, works for the disc. But there are about three or four other tracks I enjoyed well enough, and two other tracks "Reality T.V. 4:09" and "Weave On 4:07" due to the strong melodies and interesting lyrical content.
If there's anything I can say about this disc, it's that it has some strong messages that other people don't seem to sing about in popular music. I could care less for jokey songs like "Ching Chime 4:05" with it's Arabic influence, (even though it's well incorporated into the music) despite the strong chorus.
"Butterfly 4:10" sounds like a mix between punk, melody and experimentation. The thing about this album is that there's just so much here to talk about, every song ahs it's own little vibe and it's definitely more like experimental hard rock than punk music. But a jazz and classical disc are also due out soon, and I don't know if I'll like those as much as this rock one.
It's definitely better than the last disc, which I thought was mostly trash. Some of the songs and messages I can get behind, especially "Reality T.V. 4:09" which Serj explains as a whore. "I abhor the whore that is reality." This is a song that really 100% explains our fucking society. Anyone on this blog from a foreign country needs to know that this is how you explain our country. America is obsessed with reality shows. I've never seen people care so much about other people's lives, just because they are well off (wealthy.) When the food riots come, those elite bastards who we watched in wonder, will be guarding their food stocks with armed guards hired to kill us. Kim Kardashian would rather shoot you in the head, then have herself starve and you eat. But I expect mass voluntary suicide before a food riot ordeal happens.
Why am I talking about this stuff? Because these are the sorts of messages that Serj is trying to get through to our culture. We've got some major problems, and one that really speaks true is, "Uneducated Democracy 3:59" which explains that the reason that we have the candidates we do, is because we're too uneducated in politics to make the right decisions for our country. Each and every one of them will continue to pull America's pants down, and fuck her in the ass. That is, until we do something worthy of the name American. Our forefathers would be ashamed, as they were much smarter than we are now. Just because we have technology doesn't mean that we're more intelligent than they were.
We're all just monkeys with keyboards, monitors, and touchscreens, folks.
In closing, this disc isn't the worst thing he's ever done. But it's certainly not the best. I'd still urge System fans, or fans of his 2007, Elect The Dead to check it out.
Highlights: Figure It Out, Reality TV, Weave On
Necro - The Murder Murder Kill Kill Double EP (2012) - This is my first rap review, but you'll find that I can describes beats and rhymes just as well as I can describe the aesthetics of metal or rock music. Necro's been known for his over the top lyrics that share nothing short of gore-grind or death metal inspiration. This is truly death rap, or gore rap, it's even very explicit in the sexual nature. Some of these lyrics might even make you ill, and would probably even make some folks cringe. That's for certain.
Here though, Necro actually raps about being a Jew. I had no fucking idea. Songs like "Tough Jew 1:23", "Rabbi Holding Guns 1:09", and "Rock The Kazbah 2:34", and "I'm Like Howard Stern 3:45" are definitely influenced by his Judaism. But don't think for one second that the guy's selling out, because from "Toxsik Waltz 3:02" all the way to the closer, "Porn Game Crucifixion 2:56" this guy is still as hardcore as fuck. Take "Gore! 2:56" for example. Classic Necro.
He seriously disses the hell out of Kid Joe, whoever the fuck he is - and it's one of the worst disses I've ever heard. Holy fuck, he ate this guy whole. I don't think there's anything Kid Joe can say to Necro that will top this.
Like I said, "Squirt" is 2:19 seconds that you'll wish you'd skipped. Man, it's just fucking sick. Completely fucking depraved. When it's blatantly in your face, it even makes it sound even more ill. It's just disgusting.
But that's what we'd expect from Necro. Truth be told, I know the guy's a Jew now and I'm alright with that, nobody fucking cares about his faith - but I wish he'd put less of those "Hey, I'm Jewish but I'll kick your fucking ass!" songs on here, and more songs like "I'm going to carve you up and feed you to your family." Of course, those are my own lyrics - as that line never appears once on this album. But there's plenty of gore here... Just kind of hid behind the star of David. WTF? Who knew?
Don't get me wrong, some of those rhymes are good. I just wish he had better topics, like on 2010's DIE!
By the way, the beats are hit or miss. But Necro's never been about the beats. Honestly, people just listen to this dude because he just doesn't give a fuck what comes out of his mouth, and that's part of his staying power. Going too fucking far? Hell no. Keep on grossing me out, dude. I'll just make sure that I'm not eating while I'm listening to this shit. Don't fucking make that mistake.
But pick this shit up... if you think you can take it.
Highlights: Toxsik Waltz, The System, Gore!, Rabbi Holding Guns, I'm Like Howard Stern, Kid Joe Anthem (15 Tracks, 40:00)
Over-Reactor - Mouth Of The Ghetto (2012 Name Your Price) - Now this one is their new disc, and it's not quite as heavy as the last one. What's more, is you gotta pay for it. Well, you don't have to. You can always be a dick and put in a 0.00 for a free download. But think about how good those guys will eat that night. A friend was telling me about that, and I felt like a dick. But I'll be honest... I don't know how much I'd spend on this one.
First of all, the vocals are different and the electronics play more of a part on this album. The first song "Realisin' 3:35" sounds sort of pop, and the guy sounds like he wants to Michael Jackson. But I'll be honest, it's definitely worth some money. The electro-pop-rock style seems to work for them.
"Mouth Of The Ghetto 3:30" goes back to the style of the last album. Same thing with "The Throne 3:12, Tie The Noose 4:11, and Fuck Your Culture 3:58."
But a lot of these songs have some interesting ideas, unique riffs, and some experimentation. Even if the guy's rapping on some of these songs, the fucking music isn't bad here. You really might be surprised at how well this disc came out. Remember the Spineshank disc that people thought was going to be so good because they did really great Nu-Metal for the time? Well, these guys are doing some great experiments with the genre and it is paying off for them.
There's one rock song on the disc too, that just got thrown on there. it's called "Disease 4:07" and doesn't sound much like the rest of the songs on the disc. However, there's this big rap/rock/metal cluster in which all the vocals are pretty much rapped through the riffs and slight tinkerings that the band does. There's four of them like that, and none are really worth mentioning except for "Hold That There 3:24" which is heavier than the others and has a growl or two, along with some interesting riffing and electronics.
I say the disc is worth about 6 or 7 bucks maybe, depending on how much you like the music. Maybe less. There are some really good songs here, but there are also some tracks that just aren't that great. It is a name your price, so you can give them a 1.00 if you want. At least the lyrics on these tracks are actually worth listening to. The band talks about social issues and wants you to be aware of corruption.
At least It's better than what most people rap about.
Highlights: Realisin', Mouth Of The Ghetto, The Throne, Hold That There, Tie The Noose, Fuck Your Culture (12 Tracks, 42:00)
Over-Reactor - Lose Your Delusion (2011 FREE ALBUM) - As this album dictates, it is a free album from this Australian Nu-Metal band. (EDIT: WELL, IT WAS.) If you're already turned off by this, then check out my review for an old Neurotech EP and I'll have some new stuff up ASAP. I'm also trying to finish my third novel, you know. So be patient.
Anyway, I have made a promise that I'll try to review almost everything that I get my hands on in order to promote the bands. Whether you liked the music or not, these guys worked hard and paid money out of pocket to make it. This is a self-released disc, so at least listen to what I have to say about it.
First of all, I will start off by saying that this free disc is much better than the band's new album, Mouth Of The Ghetto. The disc has songs on that do have more rapping like, opener "All Shields Down 3:33" but it does also have some crushing riffs in portions that you don't expect. "Point To Push 3:10" does a little bit of this. "Handfed 2:59" does it more.
Then you have your more rap/metal fusion with "The Gangbangers 3:31."
Basically, to cut this review short - most of the disc is a big rap/metal fusion album with a vocalist that has a strong Australian tone. He does let loose some good screams every now and then, and there are some good riffs and signs of structure. The electronics are used well in sections, but they don't really add anything to the sound. But I also need to add that there are some rather fierce punk and hardcore notions on this disc. But not like New York hardcore, I mean the more angry as fuck hardcore.
It's not going to be everybody's cup of tea, but I didn't think it was too fucking bad. If you don't mind getting nostalgic, you might like this one. There's even some experimental shit on here like "Word 3:37" that might appeal to you more than you thought. Fans of Rage Against The Machine might actually dig this, and I mean classic 95 Rage, not when they became popular. But in the latter portion of the disc, you've got some real fucking heavy shit that fans of sludge might even get into.
It's a decent album and it's got some good hooks. It's up to you whether you'll listen to it once, twenty times, or not at all. To tell you the truth, this disc was a whole hell of a lot better than I thought it was going to be, and the fact that I actually found a couple of good Nu-Metal songs on this disc is still surprising.
Check it out. If you don't like it, just delete it. Easy as that.
Highlights: Nu-Metal Motherfuckers, Word, Naked Words, Doogie Houser, What The Fuck Am I On?, Control of This, Free Music, Best Of Worst
(16 Tracks, 51:00)
Neurotech - Blue Screen Planet (2010 Name Your Price) - The first outing from this Neurotech (have no idea if it has anything to do with the guys who did Antagonist EDIT: This is the guy who did Antagonist, and you can download that whole album for free if you want. He encourages you to do it.) consists of two songs, and the band encourages you to download it for free, by telling you at the bottom of the price box, "Put in 0.00 for a free download."
But this is some seriously great electronic metal, with a scowl influence on the vocals and some awesome melding of the instruments and electronics. This is the kind of shit I was going for on my first album. But this guy went leaps and bounds above me. The choirs, the thundering drums, and the incredible programming on this disc makes it an album that I don't mind listening to more than once.
The disc has only two tracks, "Axiom 10:05" and "Revelation 8:32." and Axiom is an amazing piece that is worth every minute of it's 10:00 playing time. Imagine one of the best electronic metal songs that you've ever heard, and imagine it better and much longer. This song alone is worth money.
Pay the man. He's brilliant - and that's just the first song.
The next song, "Revelation 8:32" is just an instrumental. But it's an awesome electronic instrumental that I wouldn't dare touch with my vocals. Or any vocals. It's a wonderful, uplifting electronic piece that has no fucking need for vocals of any kind. This is the epitome of good electronic music, and you should fucking bow before it. Throw your dub-step albums in the trash.
So this disc is almost about 20:00 long, it's excellent and it's free. The band encourages you to grab a freebie of this one. But just make sure you throw in some cash for the 1st EP and the 2nd EP which is due to come out shortly this year.
By the way, this is still one guy. Wulf does everything. Guy's got major talent. I've said enough about this, so go pick it up at bandcamp!
Here, I'll give you the fucking link: http://neurotech.bandcamp.com/album/blue-screen-planet
While you're there, go download the new single for free. I'm telling ya, this guy must have money, for the way he just gives out albums.
Highlights: Both tracks are brilliant. (2 Tracks, 18:00)
Country of origin:
Year of creation:
Serial Killers, Death Penalty, Murder, Death
Rock Rollain: Bass
Marco Vreven: Drums
Allen West: Guitars
Sven Poets: Vocals
Features Allen West (ex- Obituary, ex- Six Feet Under) on Lead Guitar
If you could, describe the process in making this album. What was the toughest part of that process
Rock: Getting the capital to complete it was the toughest part. We demoed 3 songs in Tampa in April 2009. A year later Allen Marco and I slept in my old band Kult of Thorn's rehearsal room in Phoenix AZ for two weeks and wrote the rest of the album. The drums were recorded at Villain Recording at that time. The bass and some of the guitars were recorded at Red Room Recorders in Tampa in January 2011 and the vocal and rest of guitars were recorded at Slavedriver Studio, Hasslet, Belgium in April 2011. Just before our first tour with Master.
What albums/bands are the most influential to your sound?
Rock: Obviously some of the songs on Death's Crown sounds like Obituary because Allen sounds and writes like Allen. Personally I just wrote what I thought would be the best basslines for the songs. I try my best to sound like Rock Rollain, even when I'm pretending to be Geezer Butler!
How do you feel about the state of death metal in 2012?
Rock: Southwicked is doing just fine. That's the only Death Metal band I'm concerned about.
Do you think that there are too many core and technical elements in death metal these days?
Rock: What any other band plays is up to them.
Be honest. What did you guys think of Morbid Angel's last album, "Illud Divinum Insanus?"
Rock: As long as the guys in Morbid Angel are happy with it is all that matters..
How did the name of the band come about?
Rock: We wanted to call the band Old Sparky but that name was already in use so we liked the idea of using a play on Alfred Southwick's (the inventor of the electric chair) name cause he was from my hometown, Buffalo NY and it fit with the concept of Death's Crown.
What do you think of sites like bandcamp and others that allow users to "name their own price" on albums? Do you think this is the future, especially for lesser known bands?
Rock: It means to me that bands will have to make up for that lost income by selling other things like Vinyl LP's, shirts, patches and whatever else they can think of. Site like that are part of the business nowdays. Musicians just have to deal with it.
With all this talk of apocalypse, what's the first thing that you would do "after the shit went down?
Rock: Put on a new pair of clean underwear and go to rehearsal.
Southwicked - Death's Crown (PR2012) - Basically, this is a band arisen from another band, as most bands usually start. The album starts up with a felon being put into the electric chair, and then as soon as he receives the shock of his life, the first track, "Death's Crown 4:58" starts up, and with it, I am greeted at the forefront with an awesome solo. Yes, a really fucking great solo, folks. This is how metal is supposed to sound.
Then the band starts kicking into gear, and as soon as they do, I'm greeted with some great gravelly vocals and death metal grooves. But not only that, because there's a great drummer behind the kit and the lead guitarist shows his stuff with some Cynic/Athiest style riffing if you'll listen. The song ends with a great melody and some hypnotic sound effects.
Next song comes in, and boom - another fucking solo. I wouldn't care if every song on this thing started with a solo, but it's not so for the disc. What you are going to get here is an old school death metal project with slightly raw production. But you don't want over produced shit. You want shit that sounds real, like the classic era of death metal; when people used what they had. These guys don't disappoint on that.
You want grooves and killer vocals, right? You'll fucking get that here. If I can say one thing about this album, it is that it is made to be played at full blast with the windows down, while driving up and down the road! Even death n' roll tracks like "The Phantom Prince 4:50" will definitely make your commute more enjoyable, while also pissing off everyone else on the street. But who cares about that? Fuck em! Death metal was meant to be played so loud that everyone can hear and enjoy it, whether they want to, or not.
Here, there's no real technical sessions (other than the opener and title track) and there's no CLEAN VOCALS. This is death metal, the way death metal has been made for years. This is that kind of "go get an axe and hack your neighbors" sort of death metal that doesn't get old. Well, not for most people, anyway. Fans of Grave, early Six Feet Under, Bolt Thrower, Unleashed, Obituary and Torture Killer would enjoy this shit immensely. It's mostly death and groove, but it's done right.
Yeah, if you don't like your death to groove and would rather it be more brutal with fiercer drumming, you might not like this one. It's not incessantly brutal, but it's a good romp through the graveyards of the old school.
Bonus Track: The Only Living Witness (5:13) This has got to be an Obituary cover. I can tell by the riffing, because it definitely reminds me of them. But you know, I could be wrong, as I haven't scoured that much of the ancient death metal albums. Regardless, the cover seems to have been done justice and it retains the death and groove nature of this band. Definitely worth checking out. The solos on this one are certainly worth hearing as well, as this is how death metal solos are played.
I personally enjoyed the hell out of this one. If you like your death to groove, you will too. Not much here for melody, other than the wicked solos; but if you're tired of over the top technical stuff, then check this one out.
Highlights: Death's Crown, Craving For Blood, The Phantom Prince, Graveyard Of Bones, The Only Living Witness (9 Tracks, 39:00)
Monday, July 16, 2012
Country of origin:
Hofors / Storvik
Year of creation:
P. Koistinaho: Bass
M. Janis: Drums
C. Kanto: Guitars
M. Lindorf: Guitars
J. Sjöblom: Vocals
If you could, describe the process in making this album. What was the toughest part of that process?
-The songs on this albums are songs that we been working on since about 2009 so we had a lot of time for the wrighting process.
In studio things went pretty good, maybe we should had a little more time for recording but thinks turned out great anyway.
What albums/bands are the most influential to your sound?
-Our biggest influenses must be the early albums with Autopsy and Death, but also from swedish bands like dismember entombed, grave and so on.
How do you feel about the state of death metal in 2012?
-There is starting to pop up some great bands, the last good album I bought with a new great band was Morbus Chron debut album.
Do you think that there are too many core and technical elements in death metal these days?
-Yes, we are not into that kind of stuff. Don't really understand what so good about that.
Be honest. What did you guys think of Morbid Angel's last album, "Illud Divinum Insanus"?
-It suck to be honest haha.
What do you think of sites like bandcamp and others that allow users to "name their own price" on albums? Do you think this is the future, especially for lesser known bands?
-Never heard about Bandcamp, but we have some songs online so people can listen to our music and if they like it they can buy our CD´s from our label or directly from us!
If they want our CD they just have to accept the price we decided, there is a lot of work behind our music, artwork, promotion ect.
With all this talk of apocalypse, what's the first thing that you would do "after the shit went down?
- If we survive? Never though about that before, make our selves leaders of the world is a good idea dont you think?
Thank you for your questions, gentlemen.
Corrosive Carcass - Composition Of Flesh (PR 2012) - Corrosive Carcass has the right idea about death metal. They've got some intriguing riffs that manage to make their way into the songs. There's definitely some atmosphere in their music that also keeps them from being too boring. But, I will honestly say that I wasn't overall impressed with the entire package.
According to my PR Info, the band seemed to switch back and forth between members and styles. They started out doing death metal, and then decided to do something else - I have no idea what I could've been - but then they came back and decided to do death metal again, as well as change things up a bit on the musician end.
You can hear the sound of a band attempting to come back into their own on this disc. I've no idea what their previous albums/bands sounded like, but this has definitely achieved that death metal sound that they had been looking for. My biggest problem with this disc isn't the music however, there's everything from speedy thrashers to Swedish grooves to all out pummeling - it's the vocals. Many of them feel extremely rushed and don't even fit in with the melodies. I'm not really hearing any direction there, and that's a bad sign.
But perhaps these guys need more time to mold together. The effort seems slightly polished, but slightly green in some areas; and I guess that's to be expected of a debut. Death metal fans will enjoy the slightly raw quality of the disc, and there are plenty of interesting ideas on these tracks. The album also seems to go on much longer than it needs to in some aspects. Out of thirteen tracks, there's about nine of them that I liked. That's not too bad.
If you're curious, you can give these guys a spin. You might even really come to enjoy them. I'm still a bigger fan of bands in the same genre like Paganizer and Revolting, but this is certainly not a bad album. Give it a shot at least!
Highlights: The Flesh Is Not Enough, Butchershop, Born In A Casket, Awesome Nuclear Power, Twist Of A Knife, Collector, Dawning Death, Hunger, The End Of Us All (13 Tracks, 41:00)
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)