Thursday, February 28, 2013

EP Run (February 28th, 2013)

EP'S Feb 2013


Fisherman's Death - Uncharted Waters EP (PR2013) - This is the debut EP release from Swedish melodic death metallers, Fisherman's Death. I don't even have track titles for it, and all the info I've got is that they're a unique band that separates themselves from the nowadays copy/paste scene. Nevertheless, I will say that what I'm hearing certainly has potential and the band definitely do set themselves apart from the others by doing their own thing and utilizing mutli-layered songs that showcase all sorts of influences, including Amon Amarth which I can point out in most of the band's music. Being that I am a fan of this style, I've enjoyed what I've heard on this four track EP and would highly recommend it. As for as the nature of the band, it's rooted in sea-lore, which is not something we usually get displayed as heavy as this is. If you like pirate/sailing metal, and Alestorm is too much of a joke for you, I would certainly have to recommend Fisherman's Death. However, I will note that some core influence (breakdowns in areas) are here, so expect that.

I just hope these guys don't plan on going jaunty anytime soon; because this seems to come off a whole lot more unforgiving and epic. Looking forward to future releases.

Grab it at

Recommend: Yes (4 Tracks, 16:00)



Meshuggah - Pitch Black EP (2013)
- Upon hearing this EP, I'm wondering if Meshuggah is going for the proverbial "cash grab" as it were. In all honesty, there are two fucking tracks here - a cast of from Koloss called "Pitch Black 5:55" and a live version of "Dancers To A Discordant System 9:50."

"Pitch Black" has some nice ideas, like the light atmosphere in the background which is there to showcase the highly tasteful solo portion, yet I have no idea what in the hell he was thinking when he did the vocals. This is a very "creepy" track if you will, the sort of track that sounds like something of an experiment and only comes to fruition after the vocals are finished. It may be a chance for the band to say "we're doing something new" but they already did that on Catch 33 and only half of that was good. I only recommend it to the diehard Meshuggah fan. It's not a heavy track by any means, nonetheless it is intriguing.

The next track is obviously the live number, which really could have been put on a DVD along with video footage. Why don't these guys just stream a fucking concert or release a DVD? At any rate, the quality of this track is good; it sounds as if you're actually there in the front row and the vocals are understandable and stand out amongst the other instruments in the background. Why is it that the drum work here reminds me of Dany Carrey's work in Tool? It ends with an addressing of the crowd, some clapping and the overall feeling that you spent extra money on what should have been released as limited edition bonus tracks. Sucker!

EDIT: Scion logo denotes that it's a free release. Grab it from them. Ignore the fodder above.

Recommend: No (2 Tracks, 15:00)



Candlemass Vs. Entombed EP (2013) - This was released as a special EP for Sweden Rock Magazine #100. Whoever they are, they've obviously got more money then Decibel (who's given me about a million Flexi's that I can't fucking play) or the most popular rock magazine in the United States, (next to Rolling Stone which is sure to be garbage now) Revolver, which doesn't give me anything at all (but proves to me that the dark cabal has infiltrated the metal scene - get a look at the pyramid/eye logo for The Golden Gods Awards and the symbology promoted toward the latest bands, especially the dehumanization of women as sex objects)

But putting that aside, we've got an awesome idea that you're probably just going to have to download yourself. Sorry, it's a limited thing; so the only way you can get this is through ebay or torrents. The first song is Candlemass's cover of Entombed's "To Ride, Shoot Straight And Speak The Truth 4:54" which is done incredibly well. This death metal cover translates well to doom metal but still keeps it's dark edge that Candlemass simply improves and makes me wonder why this couldn't have been a bonus track for the band's swansong. The very example of taking a song and making it your own.

The second song is Emtombed's cover of one of my personal favorite Candlemass tracks, (I've played it about a million times since I bought the disc back in 2005) and the opener to their self-titled album, "Black Dwarf 4:28." If someone told me that in about eight years a heavier version of this fucking track would come out, I wouldn't have believed it. But Entombed simply fucking kills this track. I'm beyond impressed - I've played the goddamned thing probably twenty times since I've gotten it and will continue to have it on my personal playlist. The death metal treatment does this song well, and the fact that Entombed uses some new tricks and guitar wizardry as well as keeping the thing set with the same dark atmospheric make me think that this might even be better than the original. A death metal vocal approach is used, but the growl is lightened so that you can understand the lyrics. He even lets loose a slight nod to the classic style of the song with a high note of "the black dwarf!" near the end, when some really great guitar noodling ends out the track. If this is what a new Entombed might sound like, I'm game. Bring that fucker on.

The bottom line is that you need to hunt this fucker down. The Candlemass track might reappear on a b-sides collection (which will probably come soon) and the Entombed track will probably be a bonus on the new Entomed album, which hopefully sounds as badass as this track.

Recommend: Yes! Highly Recommend. (2 Tracks, 9:00)

10/10 (Rockbox this fucker!)

Scream Machine - Moon In Libra EP (2013) - SinDelle's latest offering shows artistic maturity and professionalism that hopefully will be seen as the start of something more than just a simple project. The music is much more in the vein of darkwave this time around and seems like it could be a good fit for Projekt Records home to many acts of this vein, including Android Lust of whom I am constantly reminded of whenever I hear her work.

Though the disc is short, it's quite powerful; and as I've said - mature. The first track "Non Loquentum 2:43" seems to be a ballad about love lost and it reminds me much of lighter Android Lust with that same imprint of Otep. The second song "Suicide Junkie 2:57" sort of reminds me of heavier Crystal Castles with a touch of Otep as well. I think Otep fans looking for the same raucous female vocal in an electronic setting will enjoy this one. Now "Porcelain 4:26" is a different beast altogether, making me think of Dead Can Dance with the darker aspect of Unto Ashes. Her vocals are autotuned here to sound robotic and yes; definitely Android Lust style. Maybe it's time for Sikhee to step down and let SinDelle take her throne?

The next track seems to do more with the dark cabal's agenda (and hopefully I'll have my agenda-laden material done in time to collaborate a track or two to the new release) and it's called "Capitulate 4:04." I highly recommend that you watch the video for this track to get the full effect from it, as the track alone doesn't do it justice. But if we're going to talk about the track, SinDelle has somehow computerized her voice as a light atmospheric followed by "commands" begins. It's a very strong track that again shows artist maturity and carries a powerful message. The odd thing about this one, is that it might scare certain people into thinking it's an actual attempt in brainwashing. One could certainly say that the method in which she repeats the commands is true to the nature of actual brainwashing and could potentially brainwash the weak on accident. In other words, I wouldn't leave this on repeat or go to sleep while listening to this track in repeated form. I believe that SinDelle is trying to show you just how easy it is to subconsciously effect your mind the same way that you are being bombarded everyday. Once they have control of your mind, they can control all of the areas that it inhabits - for example, the sex drive as a way to make one a consumer. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, comrade.

Finally, we've got the atmospheric track "Moon In Libra 2:25" which one might think is more laden to godMONSTER than Scream Machine. But it could be that SinDelle wants to expand upon Scream Machine in the way that all great artists do. It's a good closer to a strong EP.

Though I haven't heard everything SinDelle has released yet (but I've got it all and am going through it) I can honestly say that Moon In Libra is the best album I've heard from her. It's definitely a good sign that the forthcoming album (which hopefully I'll be on, if I can get my shit together fast enough - she works quick) which will be released sometime this year, will be the start of something very big for SinDelle and the rest of Scream Machine.

For fans of harsh EBM and darkwave, I consider this worth checking out.

Recommend: Yes (5 Tracks, 16:00)



Wednesday 13 - Spook And Destroy EP (2012) - Wednesday 13 is definitely doing some more rock laden and less punky material this time around, with "MFTW 4:01" sounding like a cross between Motley Crue and Dope. "Halloween 13-13 3:53" is probably one of the best songs this band has come out with (and it should have been on The Dixie Dead) reminds me of the Misfits for sure, but with a sort of goth punk rock thing that you'd expect from this band in the first place. There's also a worth guitar solo. "Bad Things (Re-Recording 2012) 3:28" is more along the material featured on the new album (which will be thrown up on the second week of March) which is kind of a Rob-Zombie groove metal style. It works, but I hate the fucking chorus and think it's extremely childish. "Rambo (Re-Recording 2012) 2:27" comes next and it sounds like punk metal to the core. I like this song, because of how damned corny it is. "Mr. Motherfucker 2:02" comes next and it's kind of psychobilly with a little bit of the Crue thrown in. Finally, there's an odd acoustic version of "Curse Of Me 3:35" which is much like "Ghost Stories" from the new LP, except that this Tiamat play isn't quite as good as if Johan Edlund got a hold of it. After that, things go to shit.

Yes, the following two tracks are electronic remixes of "Bad Things (Suffocation Celebration Remix) 3:39" which should be avoided like the plague and "Rambo (Bullets And Bloodshed Remix) 2:40" which also should be avoided. No matter how good the electronics are the original vocals do not and never will go together. It's a fucking disgrace is what it is. I pity whoever thought this a good idea. Waste of space on the disc.

So the disc is 19 minutes without the crappy electronic mixes and 25 minutes without them. It's five minutes of your life that you'd rather keep, trust me. I'm not sure how much this EP is, but there's essentially only a few good tracks on it and the electronic tracks make that even less. Two new songs, three re-recordings and one acoustic version of a track don't make for that great an EP. All of these could've been stuck on a two disc version of The Dixie Dead as a bonus disc.

Recommend: No (8 Tracks, 25:00)



Thira - The Ascension Construct EP (2012) - This debut EP from electronic metal act, Thira has some interesting ideas but the djent influence is too much for me. They seem to mix Meshuggah with a much more punishing hardcore element though and opener "Release 4:05" certainly does see a release of anger and a rather tasteful instrumentation piece that shows me that these guys can do more than just bash my face in. There's a clean vocal part also on the track, but I find it very disheartening that during it, the backup vocals do nothing but "raggh!" and there's no discernible word to the effect.

"The Corroded 4:20" starts off with electronics and goes into a style that sort of reminds me of Mushroomhead and their old vocalist JMann growling along groove riffs. The djent is still strong here as I sit through the track and hope for something else. Nothing else really happens other than a slight atmosphere riff. "Left To Kneel 4:59" follows a spoken word part amongst some oddly structured electronics that go in tune with the djent. I find myself still sitting through the track, hoping that something more than Meshuggah emulation will happen and it does, going back to the ground traveled in the beginning which I will say is a little unique. Atmospheres come into form for a while, as the Meshuggah emulation comes back. "In Sinking Earth 3:48" continues the same style. The final track, "Through The Collapse 4:00" sees something of a different style for a bit, before it treads the same ground. But then the clean vocalist comes back and the growls actually contain words this time. That doesn't last long, but there's a couple of breakdown portions where the growl actually works quite well. The clean/growl due comes back as the song changes note and thunders with a much slower pace which I certainly like.

The disc is free, you can get it from the band's facebook; which I where I got the thing. Check it out and see what you think. There are probably now 9,999 djent bands out there and I'm sure that there are much better djent bands out there than these guys, but I've never cared for djent anyway. Unless Meshuggah was doing it, or that one band that I believe could carry their torch. I can't remember who so just type in "Meshuggah" and "torch" in my search bar to find who I'm referencing. I don't even think I still have that record. But yeah, I'm going to recommend that one over this disc.

Recommend: Not sure. Not my thing, really. (5 Tracks, 21:00)



Pipebomb - The Dance Of The Dead EP (2012) - This is the debut album from Cosmo Morte, who is part of Scream Machine. Cosmo shows off his industrial skills quite well on opener "Wake The Dead 2:52" which is a good introduction to his talents. The next track is "Flesheater (Zombie Apocalypse Mix) 5:22" which was originally a Scream Machine track and has been chopped up and played around with until it resembles something of a dark dance. He's seriously got some skills, this is really catchy stuff. I like how he's completely transformed SinDelle's voice to something otherworldly and inhumane. This is the work of a guy who knows what he's doing, so I hope to hear more from him in the future.

"Take 5:45" continues the dance style of the other tracks while adding the deranged rock style of Scream Machine along with SinDelle and another guy by the name of Fredrik Croona who's got some definite talent. Definitely one of the disc's best tracks - all of these vocalists work together well on it. "PIPEBOMB 4:44" follows, it being the project's namesake track and seems to let on with a electronic meets trance and dub feel. Guitar joins in amidst the fray and feels welcome there. A very strong and professional track of the highest caliber. The last track on the disc is "2013" which may be the date when we get a full length LP from the project, but the track itself seems to be more about the speech. The electronics in the back seem a little lax.

This is free EP, so I would recommend checking it out. There's some definite professional work on this one, but I just wish that I had more to go on. Still, it's a Rockbox Exclusive even; so he wants you to torrent it.

Recommend: Yes (5 Tracks, 24:00)


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Lockjaw - Undressed & Messed Up EP (2012) - Lockjaw is an electronic metal four-piece that is definitely inspired by metal. The frontman uses a harsh vocal approach to the music, as you might hear on earlier Grendel and most industrial black and death metal. The first track is a cover of Metallica's "Jump In The Fire 4:39" and is done surprisingly well, showing that these four have a certain degree of promise. "Paranoid 2:47" is next, and if you don't know who this is a cover of, then you probably got here by mistake and should find another place to get reviews of your 1D, Justin Beiber/Beyonce/Gaga and that French guy, Goatee's music. But the odd thing about this one is it's use of chiptunes. Scream Machine remixed Lockjaw's "Shotgun Mary" and re-titled it to "Shotgun Mary (One Shot Remix By Scream Machine) 3:03" and it's very catchy and recommendable. W.O.R.M. got a hold of the next track, "Cock Blocker" and considers this their "Sadist Sadistic Remix" which also is full of fury and gives me exactly what I'd expect from harsh electronic or electronic metal music. The remix is surprisingly strong and blasts with intensity. More of this, please!

The next track is a "Sex On The Brain Remix 3:46" and I'm guessing it's by the band, as there's no indication on who remixed it. The song is decent enough, but the remix isn't particularly my thing in some parts, while others feature more power. It's a bittersweet relationship really. Did this song really need all this? Towards the end of the track, things just sound completely off-base and I'm left scratching my head. The next track is "Vow 4:09" and it's an actual song by the band, not a remix or cover. So it'll be my first time hearing the band's music in it's purest form. I would say that these guys remind me a little of Dope and Mortiis, Velvet Acid Christ, Combichrist, Zeromancer and the like. There is real guitar featured and the drums sound like they're from a real kit. My guess is that these guys play shows and if they do, I'd like to see some. This is an act with more than just some promise and I'd recommend them heavily.

But this isn't over yet. "Still Tastes Like Blood 3:13" is next, sounding a little demented until some electronics come into place along with an odd acoustic riff? Whew. Not my favorite track, but I do like the "alien keyboards" in the middle of the track. Has an astral feel. I also like the work done at the end of the track, short little keyboard piece, but works. The final track on the EP is "Justified 3:43" and it's a little more mundane in terms of electronics, but carries a good atmosphere with a few lyrics attached to it. Some sort of electric guitar effect plays for a while and then some warbles that sound like a portal's been opened somewhere. Seems I should find out where it is, so that I can access a secret level. When the track resumes, it comes back very monotone in nature, quite depressing in all honesty and ends the EP with a whimper.

This is an odd situation, but I'm going to say that I recommend this EP, particularly because people haven't heard them and it's on the house. True, there are some band oddities and covers and remixes as it seems that the band saved their best for the next release; but it will give you a good feel for them. It's a good appetizer. I personally would love to hear more music from these guys and I think I'd even buy a shirt to show my support. If these guys had come out when I was younger, my friend and I would be shitting over them. Definitely worth checking out.

Recommend: Yes (8 Tracks, 31:00)



Xanthochroid - Incultus EP (2011) - Before he was blessed with Boils, there was this EP, released in 2011. This is where the story originally starts and it's now streaming for free, so you can hear it in it's full glory. "The Last Relic Of Axen 5:46" begins with a very strong instrumental sense of the band, definitely giving us a showcase of what they can do. It still has the black/death epic nature and the piano really kicks things up a notch, even though the vocals come in late. But there is a powerful clean vocal part here that only gets accentuated with the melody that comes right after (and there's the drum blasting that backs up the clean which I fucking love.) Quite simply, this opener is a fucking masterpiece and a great start to what I'm sure will be a strong legacy.

The next track is a damn near eight minute whopper, called "Iced, In Extremis 7:39." and it starts off with piano, goes into acoustic and just has this wonderfully soundtrack-esque feel to it. Then the band powers up and thrashes like Emperor, but I think even Ihsahn would smile at how epic this stuff actually is. Someone needs to send him a link to the stream (makes a mental note.) The vocals come in near the middle of the track, but this is really about showcasing what the band can do with their instruments for the most part. The vocals come in and kill as you might expect and the melodies slay left and right as the scowls and growls and pianos (these guys really do bring it all) help to make the package even greater. A gothic organ brings a little silence and an ominous atmosphere with it as the drums play along with some blackened riffs that envelop into blasting and yes - the fucking gothic organ.

Track three is over 8 minutes and is called "Wormwood 8:17" as it begins with a slight paino piece and envelops into extreme gothic territory that sounds more fucking extreme than Cradle, but even more classy. There's a nice acoustic/piano portion of the track which really shows you what these guys are truly capable of. These guys might be the next Opeth, Agalloch or Emperor of our times and they very well should be. If I'm shitting myself on the debut EP with as much shit power as I did during the LP, then this is something worth listening to. There's a clean vocal portion here too, sounds very Norwegian in all honesty; I'm surprised that all of this works so well. I'm literally just sitting here in mesmerization because I can't describe this track, it's just fucking incredible.

The final track is "Incultus 8:31" which begins with what sounds like Viking hymns being sung by hoary bearded men with strong bass tones. This envelops into black metal which plays neoclassical a quarter of the way through and leaves me mesmerized. Again, I'm using that fucking word. But it's applicable. Then a solo comes into the mix and it's short but lets into a large duet with these large voiced gentlemen and the black metal vocals. It's like if you got a bunch of dwarves to sing and had an orc or a goblin as the main vocalist. That's what this would sound like. Then they'd grab their axes. Because that's what dwarves do. The piano starts playing again amidst the strong riffs and the prog that's going on here (no denying that) as the dwarves come back into place with the knight now doing vocals. Love the piano part here too... damn, this is so fucking epic. At the end (and it's an epic end by all means) there's a calm outro that sounds like the end credits to a movie that I just watched. Or listed to, rather. This is the stuff dreams are made of.

The four tracks on this EP all total in at a traditional 30 minutes of material. It's 30 minutes that you can play again and again and again. I mean, wow. I don't think I've ever heard an EP this good in my life and I've heard lots of EP's. It's streaming for free. Yes, I'll mention it again. It's streaming for free and you can also buy it and the gripping full length, Blessed He With Boils at the band's bandcamp. If you can't find it, email me and I'll lead you to where you can check it out.

But there's one more track on here that I've forgotten about, haven't I? Ah, yes. being that I'm a major fan of old-school (I hesitate to say retro which invokes certain hipster qualities, which weren't around when I was young) video games, there is an 8-bit version of the album's first track "The Last Relic Of Axen 5:31" done as if it were playing out of your television speakers (few people had entertainment centers back then) from the traditional, classic front-loading Nintendo Entertainment System or NES for short (Famicom (Family Computer) in Japan.)

For those of you that think this introduction unnecessary; just remember that It's been almost thirty years since the release of the big grey box of fun, when you had to blow on the cartridges and fight to get games to work. But let me tell you something - I wouldn't trade those days for anything. If you look at gaming now, it's nothing like it was then; and I'm convinced that we're seeing the age of popular gaming come to a decline. But that's another topic.

Immediately when I heard the track begin, I thought of a title screen which would go into the first stage of the game. Close to the middle would be a "midboss" and close to the very end would be the final boss. It actually sounds like boss music and apparently the boss was victorious! But at any rate, it's an unexpected nostalgia trip - and yes kiddies, video game music used to sound like that. And we fucking appreciated it. We still fucking appreciate it.

In closing, get this album. Buy this album. Stream this album. Download this album Torrent this album. Listen to this album. One of the best EP's known to man.

Recommend: HOLY FUCK YES! (5 Tracks, 35:00)

10/10 (And I'd give higher if I could!)

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