Search Results for "Album Review"

Album Review: Spiders – “Why Don’t You?” EP

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 11:33 AM (PST)

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Spiders 3 song “Why Don’t You” EP is awesome ear candy married to hard proto-
metal and garage in the best, most Swedish of ways. I swear, Sweden just
churns out amazing bands still to this day from Spiders to Night Viper to
Blues Pills. This came out a few months ago, but better a late review than never!

This little three song gem is a great introduction to Stateside fans who might
not have heard of the group. You’ll def want to catch them when they hit the
States opening for tastemakers Graveyard in early 2016.

Frontwoman Ann-Sofie Hoyles has a no brainer, rich and compelling voice that
reminds me a bit of Sarabeth from Tower’s impressive pipes. A bit lower and
more dusky than some female vocalists, bluesy and full of feeling but not as
raspy as, say, Janis Joplin. The band even beat Ghost at the ABBA cover thing
with a less ironic and quite rockin’ take on “Watch Out”. The opening guitar
tone slices and dices and the snare sound is perfect. And those “ooh lalalas”!

The production on the EP is clear but not overstated, similar to recent
Horisont. Just pure win and to the point songwriting that will make you tap
your foot and get caught singing out loud in public. If this was another decade
“Why Don’t You” would be ruling the charts.

Album Review: Temple Of Baal – “Mysterium”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 4:12 PM (PST)

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Mysterium is my favorite Temple Of Baal release since their more death-centric
Lightslaying Rituals (when I first discovered the band). And this might be their actual best.

This new release from the French deathened BM horde is full of snarled and commanding vocals,
cool arrangements and a great mix that balances things well. The drums are
somewhat subservient to the guitars as is often the style of some French BM
traditions, but the snare sound is cutting and great. The whirlpool of guitars
that often represents this band at their finest and most furious retain their
seat at the front of the mix, with the vocals audible but adding to the
overall texture as well.

I love Temple of Baal’s whiplash inducing solos, which climb and writhe like
snakes and are often over before you can blink. The screams as well,
particularly on opener “Lord of Knowledge and Death” are full of dedication to
the dark artistry of this music. I’ve listened to this record a lot in a short
amount of time and while it is fairly relentless, you don’t (or at least I
don’t) get fatigued by it like some of their past albums. The performances are all killer and delivered with bullseye intention.

In particular mad props to (I believe) current drummer Scvm (ex-Order of Apollyon) who is insane on this.

The 8 tracks offer just enough of a battle scarred landscape to
escape your dull day in full and create a severe, furrowed brow mental picture
of determination, despondency and a sort of warlike longing for more. Fans of
mid period Behemoth or recent Mayhem will really dig “Magna Gloria Tua”, which hits as hard as anything on Evangelion or Esoteric Warfare yet has a seriously creepy onslaught of an atmospheric laced bridge full of tremelo, chanted background vocals and excursions into serpentine, cavernous dissonance. Certainly one of the band’s greatest moments on record to date.

This is a rock solid record that finds the band striking a great balance between their newer atmospheric tendencies (which I love) and the ferocity they have always had no shortage of. The songwriting is also more memorable. It wasn’t bad in the past but whereas before they got by a bit more on classic aesthetics (ala Italy’s Malfeitor who were relentless and great but not the most original), attack and one of the cooler names in BM, now you will find yourself headbanging and yelling along to ToB’s “Holy Art Thou” like it is second nature.

“Your name is carved within our hearts as the deepest initiation scar…” I believe one of the cooler lines goes. I wonder who they are talking about, hahaha.

Album Review: Kublai Khan – “New Strength”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, November 28, 2015 at 12:21 PM (PST)

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New Strength from Kublai Khan attempts to capture the bands wildfire live energy with mostly succesful results. The band play a particularly low end heavy brand of metalcore that doesn’t skimp in the energy department. They don’t exhaust ears by overly leaning on deathcore breakdowns, prefering rapid attack hardcore and groove heavy, almost borderline nu metal you wouldn’t find out of place on a downset or emmure album. The cool thing about that is that live you have plenty of basslines breaking things up before jackhammer guitars piledrive sweaty crowds, but can it translate onto their sophomore release?

The results are mixed. While some people will certainly find this to be right up their alley and the band are much more driven, pissed off and self-assured than many contemporaries, tracks start to blend together. “Smoke and Mirrors” will surely please modern metalcore fans with an anti-corruption in the industry theme and a full on pitting focus for the whole tune, the roared vocals really convincing you that the band are hellbent on survival with or without your help or trends. “Come Out Of Your Room” is another highlight, with a vicious opening riff that is as aggressive as the heaviest Gideon stuff, for example. It’s probably the most charged up besides the excellent and emotionally raw “Ghost Pains (pt.3)” with the very honest line “I am the product of a single mother.” Fuckin’ cool stuff and reminds me of the power of early Hatebreed.

read more below.

Album Review: Vastum – “Hole Below”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, November 26, 2015 at 9:48 PM (PST)

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Hole Below by Vastum (purchase HERE) is one of the most genre affirming death metal records of 2015, an ugly, relentless beast that makes you feel uncomfortable but has a presence- let alone riffs-so heavy you will be throwing your whole back into full body headbangs before you know it.

The West Coast band have yet to make a bad record, mining a certain old school territory but with a darkness all their own. More in the true crime then devil worship vein, the band come off like Grave disciples who just wanted to go a lot grimier. There is no technical wizardry here or studio fakery for the Rings of Saturn types to pee over, rather just true, relentless death metal with evil as hell sounding Morbid Angel esque solos (in very limited doses) . Oh, and a BIG tendency towards the slower-mid tempo inescapable marching style of DM. “In Sickness And In Death” is a standout example here, the band capturing the attention fully with 4:59 of pure murder before the even uglier “Intrusions” opening riff smashes down like a nightmare.

The effected vocals and emphasis on function over form is awesome. Like Autopsy since their blessed return the band just seem intent on cranking out quality releases. The production could be more hi-fi to some listeners most likely, but I personally feel like Vastum strike the perfect balance with their sound a little more dirty and underground than many bands. It adds to the sort of “true crime” feels big time. Death Metal doesn’t need to be clean and squeaky and pitch perfect. The best truly heavy stuff I have heard in recent years like Vastum or, for example, the much weirder Orbweaver, are more worried about having cool tones and making you feel unhinged mentally than if the song might someday get played on the radio.

Manny-O-War at Nine Circles has a great review of the lyrical bent of the band that I’ll link you to here, for first time Vastum listeners or anyone interested in reading more.

I should also mention that the band features the super talented  Leila Abdul-Rauf from Hammers of Misfortune, forgoing that bands crazy prog metal for true death here but with the same level of commitment to quality. If you pick up just one death metal record this year, well…you are probably lame. Pick up at least seven! But for real, this Vastum record, Castrator or Morgoth’s kick ass Ungod are all albums you don’t want to pass up owning before the year is out. In my always so humble opinion.

Album Review: Mirror – “S/T”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at 8:59 AM (PST)

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Mirror are a new, classic sounding metal band on Metal Blade who will likely
have a pretty good repeat listening value if you are a reader of this site.
Fans of sort of proto metal and NWOBHM influenced bands like Amulet or Night
Viper, who I often plug, will likely dig this. Throw Slough Feg in there was
well, as there is plenty of guitar worship and riff driven songwriting here.
Dueling guitars and willfully throwback tones with a bit better drum sounds
and other benefits of modern production, but never so clean that the spell is
broken. Plenty of head nodding moments on here.

“Curse of the Gypsy” has a certain, rugged “Highway Star” crunch to the
guitars with spooky laughter and “ahhhh” harmonies zooming out of nowhere for
great effect (think Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf” looped coughing type vibe). The
band are not on the super doomy side of Sabbath, save perhaps the semi-
Candlemass sounding very awesome “Year of the Red Moon” track and a few other
moments. “Madness and Magik” is pretty darn close in effect and tone to
“Country Girl” from The Mob Rules album though, not like that is a bad thing.
Mirror are just as often akin to Diamond Head’s Lightning to the Nations
though or something like that, especially in the vocal range department. There
is not as much flair or power as, say, Holy Grail’s James Paul Luna or
Huntress’ Jill Janus (if Metallica had made the recent Huntress album Static
everyone would be flipping out but we live in a sexist world). Still, Mirror
vocalist Jimmy Mavromatis sounds like a true believer and certainly is a fit
choice to front this great band.

Mirror was the brainchild of Tas Danazoglou, perhaps best known for playing on
one of Electric Wizard’s most underrated albums Black Masses. Did I mention
fucking Matt Olivo from mighty Repulsion plays on this! It will be a lot to
wrap your head around if you are a fan of the much faster and grimier
Horrified, but who says metal dudes only have to like one type of metal?!
We’re family here in satan’s armpit!

Check the whole album out HERE.

Album Review: With The Dead – “S/T”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Monday, November 23, 2015 at 10:51 AM (PST)

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After Cathedral’s monumental swan song The Last Spire, easily one of the best
doom records and farewell records in the history of metal and a huge win for
post 00’s true heavy metal, many wondered if we would hear Lee Dorian’s raspy,
unique voice again. The high wizard of Rise Above Records has returned much
sooner than some may have expected with the new, less active band With the
Dead, featuring fouding Electric Wizard rhythm section Tim Bagshaw and Mark
Greening.Their new S/T record is excellent.

This was a huge year for doomy, sludgy, stoner bands-especially those on the
more extreme side. From Demon Lung’s A Dracula‘s groovy but bewitching might
to Crypt Sermon’s classic sound to Hooded Menace’s death infused slime sludge
to Lucifer rising and proving we’d still have Gary Jennings of Cathedral’s
mighty talent in the scene as well! Hearing Dorian intone ,“Illuminate this
cosmic heart” on With The Dead’s “Crown of Burning Stars” is more than a
simple pleasure in life. If you love the real history of metal, this album
will hit you like numerous super hard birthday punches from your best mates.
It’s all there for doom fans. Haunting, occult samples to rattling, room sound
drums with cutting cymbals to bulldozer riffs at ponderous tempos from beyond
the grave, your mind will drift to brink of the edge of outer space with
Dorian narrating like Lewis Carrol’s mad hatter was an undertaker and Master
of Reality was mandatory listening at your funeral. “I Am Your Virus” features
some cleaner passages on guitar and great use of space, but the majority of
the passages on this album are crushing, doomy yet melodic and fully
charred like a dying, still smoking caldera.

Album Review: Sunn O))) – “Kannon”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Friday, November 20, 2015 at 8:51 AM (PST)

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Pre-order Sunn O)))‘s Kannon HERE.

Sunn O))) are a band where you show up for the experience. Be it live immersion ritual or the banquet of movements that tend to make up their diverse (to the keen ear) yet droning records, the band are purveyors of the finest sonic wines when it comes to the intermixture of textural arrangements. Listening to the band at times can be like travelling through some symphonic cave of feedback, strings, half heard voices and grasped for revelations. It’s very much a fight between the headiness of the music and being removed by the overall overwhelmng body impact of the tones.

New record Kannon is not as complicated in construction as the massive Monoliths & Dimensions, an admittedly towering achievement of a record. That said, Kannon‘s “goddess of mercy/perceiving the sounds or cries of the world” philosophical and spiritual facets are a refining of many elements that have been present in the group’s aesthetic for awhile yet, as the band admits in the press release, more figurative than their usually more subjective records. “Kannon 2” howls like “Boris” by the Melvins was slowed to a 4th of it’s already famously ponderous speed and no drums were involved, instead letting some of the biggest rung out riffage in the band’s recent years swallow the whole world before semi-Gregorian sounding chanting cements the vibe. It could have been an instrumental but you feel caught up in the presence of the whole.

The wonder of this record is that you don’t always have time to question if they could’ve added or taken away at times because you are too distracted feeling it. “Kannon 3” is 11:26 of ear ringing that shows this drone approach can still compete with the Prurient fans and noise/ industrial types for impact.  With Kannon it comes on like a fake didgeridoo of wall of guitar distortion, ringing out with a solitary,slight twang and natural control you might expect from Duane Denison, yet doomy as fuck. No member or collaborator overshadows.

Another album that runs welcome and counter to the brainwashing meme culture and prison-like pop format chatter of the general public’s limited scope of conceptual ideas.

Album Review: Nhor – ‘Momenta Quintae Essentiae’

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 10:03 AM (PST)

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The UK’s elusive and deeply talented Nhor returns with another record that encompasses a certain holistic wholeness of self, from artwork, naturalism and awareness of space that is a hallmark of each release from this artist. Whether nature illustrations with attention to every line to black metal that mines a stone strong heart for courage to a philosophical current between the records of a respect for the massive, interconnected Universe, this project could easilly find fans among the appalachian meets black metal set or wolves in the throne room types or traditional fans of pagan metal. There is nary a hint of dogma here, orthodox and anti-cosmic types be damned (which, they’d be into, haha)

Momenta Quintae Essentiae is a beautiful, sparse and contemplative record. It’s closest cousin in the Nhor catalogue is Upon Which Was Written In The Stars, an early, gentle piano driven EP.

Momenta Quintae… is equally thoughtful yet more seasoned. The effortlessness of the compositions is pretty astounding, as you really sort of by default slip into allowing the music to happen as an experience without picking it apart. “Ante Primam Lucem”, for example, rolls calmly for 6:09 of very unselfconscious and to the matter piano playing. Fans of Helen Money, Solstafir, Alcest or other bands who develop through tempo control will appreciate the lack of a rush to the material. It exists, almost like classical compositions, on its own firm terms. Unlike some classical, however, nothing is ever overstated. “Hedera” is simple and beautiful enough to be part of a hand binding ceremony. I also like “Nosce Te Ipsum” because the music slightly reminds me of the quiet intro riff to “One” by Metallica.

This is a much less dark release than the brilliant and breath taking Within The Darkness Between The Starlight, a BM record I’d highly recommend as an all time favorite of recent years. However, the light play of music here is a welcome body of work, like ripples on a lake you are relaxed and burdens can be released in a less abrasive and more natural way.

Another big creative victory for Nhor and perfect for reading at 2am or a lonely autumn day.

Album Review: Pinkish Black – “Bottom of the Morning”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 3:39 PM (PST)

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Pinkish Black‘s Bottom of the Morning is a decidedly low key but brilliant
release from Relapse and the Texas based band. Much more akin to the (current
tour mates) Zombi side of the label than the Suffocation side, PB are an
artful and smart band who create often lengthy but never boring synth based
band with droll vocals which nonetheless have an insistent emotional impact.

The title track is a cool dream that whirls like slowly whipped cream around a
vertiginous yet repetitive refrain, building and taking away in layers
including at times rising to a fuzzed out stomp. Much of the music snakes and
teases this way, somewhat akin to Krautrock or electronic Radiohead but
perhaps not as minimalistic and with more of a cultish (and cultivated) sense of menace.

Maybe if Mark Lanegan was really into Tangerine Dream? I dunno.

The songs are actually deceptive in that they
have a lot more elements than you might at first remember, since a casual pass
is more hypnotic than “woah, go back to that part!” in general. But every song
has numerous rewards from horn sounds to cinematic 70’s art film style
disorienting textural key strokes or almost imperial moments of august and
celestial import. Some of it is even oddly No Wave.

The Fort Worth band are very interesting and anyone who enjoyed the soundtrack
feel of Goblin Rebirth’s record or who likes rock a bit more brainy that still
has a certain moody allure will dig this. It’s like an at times challenging
and hallucination frought semi-grandiose withdrawal from some womb-like Philip
K Dick-esque state sponsored pill of conformity. Challenging but in the end it makes you
wiser and glad you shed the brainwash. The songs take on a landscape of their
own, even when they drift into almost background music at times due to a
lulling nature of some of the more repetitive parts (“Brown Rainbow” has a
particularly hypnotic march) you suddenly are swirled right back into the dead
center of this oddly all seeing eye.

Album Review: Turbid North – “Eyes Alive”.

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 9:58 AM (PST)

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Turbid North finally return with the proper follow up to the impactful debut Orogeny and despite taking half the time since the last Tool album, which is still five years and too long for a rising band, it was worth the wait. If anything, Eyes Alive exceeds expectations, since no one was sure if the new three piece version of the band would pack the same punch. A catastrophic solar concept album where people are forced to live underground, the record hits hard and has the power of early Mastodon or Kingdom of Sorrow without being too derivative.

Slaved over tones, cliff shearing/mountain crumbling solos, thrashy sections, bellowed vocals. This one has it all for aggressive sludge metal fans. The riffs have a testosterone infused swinging arms feel without becoming ninjitsu hardcore, more on the King Kong side of things. At 9 tracks, it is nonetheless a full plate. Most of the tunes could be a full workout session in themselves.

Again, he once quartet have become a trio and while it means this record has a slightly less death metal sound, I’m liking the way the drums really cut through more now (see “The Pyramid Drones”). If anything, the leaner sound allows you to really hear the bass growl and textural differences. They sound more than capable of hopping in a van and laying waste to wherever. The band have the hunger in their sound that has perhaps been replaced in a proper Mastodon record by more slick, proggy comfort (to take nothing away from metal’s biggest success story of the last decade or so who deserve their success).

Turbid North remain a very cool band, though the material is most interesting on repeat listens when the band show their influences less. “Destroyer of Worlds” is almost like a grind song with slower Sirius-era Gojira verses before it really becomes interesting and the drums go apeshit while really weird dissonance takes over until the band just sludge the hell out.

“Black Sun Rising” is the most awe inspiring initially, with a Kirk Windstein worthy slow and trippy melodic opening section worth raising lighters or fists too. “The Great Dying” is another standout track, the band allowing themselves to relax and vibe out to a sun baked, stretched out darker desert rock soundtrack that could appeal to C.O.C. , ASG or even Down fans. Not reinventing the wheel here but it’s a rock solid record.

To be released via Turbid North’s newly created label, The Pyramid, a pre-order bundle for Eyes Alive is available via www.TurbidNorth.comthat will include an exclusive album t-shirt with CD or digital album.

Album Review: Born Of Osiris – “Soul Sphere”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Friday, October 23, 2015 at 9:57 AM (PST)

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Born Of Osiris have really refined what they do, years of touring and proving naysayers wrong evolving them from an initial The New Reign buzz band heralding the metalcore/prog fusion’s new younger wave alongside cohorts Veil of Maya and early Faceless. Then the stupid fake windmill kick hardcore kids started ripping them apart for expanding their sound on (still my nostalgic favorite) A Higher Place.

Since then they have gotten better at their core sound but have also grown. With a few well regarded records under their belts, the band return with perhaps their most ambitious record yet Soul Sphere. This is a big statement from the band and in my opinion nails it where Veil maybe lost the plot a bit. I wasn’t against the new clean vocals in Veil of Maya, but BOO have continued to set their songs apart whereas Veil’s material other than the vocals is starting to blend together.

“Free Fall” on here is a thrill ride of screams, unexpected instrumental flourishes (is that a fucking djent xylophone, cuz that was awesome!) and the band sounding tight as fuck. Unlike a million bands who are doing fourth wave metal core and blowing goats, BOO have the fierce metal core screams without the fucking painfully predictable arrangements and the band sound pissed for a reason. But they aren’t hiding in having to sound angry for anger’s sake. “Free Fall” has literally got a few sections that will find you nodding your head headbanging or grooving despite any resistance, including the token BOO semi hip hop, cool ride out.

“The Louder The Sound, The More We All Believe” opens like a techno/EDM song, but it is one of the coolest tracks on the record and full of a more hyper conviction.

“Illuminate” is the weakest link where they sound the most like metalcore cliche except for the rad back up kid of epic slave rowing grunts and heave ho sounds in the background that could be roman gladiators on an Ex Deo record. But the song feels forced like it is trying to be the most accessible or metalcore accepted of the batch (redeemed by a killer whiplash part around 1:48, though).

Other highlights include “Goddess Of The Dawn”. Eos has always been a favorite greek goddess of mine. And the BOO song is a beast of gnarly tones, psycho drumming and a few Pantera grooves thrown in before things get super techy.

“The Sleeping And The Dead” kicks critics who say the band can’t write a memorable riff and jump around too much in the nuts with a sick opening riff before the band…jumps around a lot, haha. But the song doesn’t suffer and keeps you invested.

“Warlords” opens things with a mercurial piano line that continues to veer in and out beneath the barrage the band drop in like a bag of bricks on top of it.

“Tidebinder” starts with some crackling samples and then manages set an epic feel so well. Born Of Osiris have always had that ambition from awesome artwork to their writing. I liked The Devil Wears Prada’s Space EP, for example, but it could have benefitted from being a full album. BOO seem to know just how long to make their records while still cramming them full of hot, riffy action. If we were still in an age where a kid had just $15 for a cd and dropped it on this, they would have more than enough music and chant alongs stuck in their head, big synth parts and moshable moments to ensure they devastated their bedroom practicing cool faces for the local show.

Album Review: Sacred Words EP by Suicide Silence

Posted by longhairedpoet on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 10:43 PM (PST)

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When I first wrote about “Sacred Words” when I reviewed You Can’t Stop Me in July 2014 I knew the track was brutal. So I’m stoked that Suicide Silence released a single for it.

Check out my full review of the EP here.

Album Review: Act Of Defiance – “Birth and the Burial”

Posted by Andrew Johann Datoush on Friday, October 16, 2015 at 10:43 AM (PST)

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So, I picked up the ACT OF DEFIANCE debut album Birth And The Burial today. I was a little skeptical at first, since the last time two dudes left MEGADETH and tried something new, David Ellefson and Jimmy DeGrasso gave us F5, which left a lot to be desired. Not to say that the band wasn’t any good, but you would expect more out of ex-MEGADETH guys. A lot more.

ACT OF DEFIANCE, formed by ex-MEGADETH members Shawn Drover (drums) and Chris Broderick (guitars), along with singer Henry Derek (ex-SCAR THE MARTYR) and bassist Matt Bachand (SHADOWS FALL) went down a completely opposite path as the boys in F5. The band is a perfect blend of so many different sun-genres of metal, there’s something for virtually everyone. Very old school, no nonsense, in your face metal, but still very new school at the same time.

Read on BELOW.

Album Review: Cryptopsy – The Book of Suffering (Tome 1)

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 2:34 PM (PST)

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Cryptopsy‘s The Book of Suffering Tome 1 should put the veteran Canadian’s back to the higher tier they deserve in the death metal world. The first in a series of EPs, it completely kicks your ass and exhausts but leaves you panting for more evil. Pre-order HERE.

These days “technical death metal” means precise widdly widdly and oddball arrangements to some rather than complex, relentless attack ala Cannibal or Aeon. I’d put proper Cryptopsy in the latter category, a band at their best when having fun writing arrangements unselfconciously but still pushing themselves to get as crazy as can be. People give them shit for The Unspoken King because it was a deathcore departure, but what’s funny is how few people notice how much the death metal side of Whitechapel’s This Is Exile, for example, sounded like it really wanted to be Cryptopsy at certain points. I don’t think a band should be punished for expanding their style anyway. Sure, a classic sounding doom album like Crypt Sermon’s latest Out Of The Garden nails a certain style and is above the doom pack this year due to killer performances such as “The Master’s Bouquet”, but if everyone always adhered to only certain forms we would have nothing but genre boundaries and no innovation.

So, The Book of Suffering. Definitely on the more classic Cryptopsy sound-side but full of thrills and some twists anyway.

For some reason the title has me thinking of Hermann Hesse’s “genius of suffering” Steppenwolf (a must read for anyone, let alone metal fans, haha). A treatise on spiritual loneliness and the moral shades of embracing the wolf within, the book often mentions Buddha.

“A man who can understand Buddha and has an intuition of the heaven and hell of humanity ought not to live in a world ruled by “common sense” and democracy and bourgeois standards. It is only from cowardice that he lives in it…and refuses to see that the wolf is as often as not the best part of him.”

Read more BELOW.

DVD Review: Rage Against The Machine – “Live At Finsbury Park”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 8:25 PM (PST)

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RATM‘s Live At Finsbury Park is a must have document from the titans of guerilla funk metal.

In late 2009, a successful campaign was launched by English DJ Jon Morter and his wife Tracy to promote an alternative to the omnipresent “X-Factor” winner being the Christmas No. 1 hit in the U.K. singles chart. The track they nominated was RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE’s “Killing In The Name”. The band supported the campaign, donated the proceeds from the sales to charity and lead singer Zack de la Rocha promised that RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE would perform a free concert in the U.K. to celebrate the achievement. This is that concert.

From a crucial introduction from professor Chuck D of hip hop greats Public Enemy (who have a dope new album out this year Man Plans, God Laughs) to a fired up crowd truly passionate and alive after doing the unthinkable and taking the power back from the gross spectacle the pop charts have become, this was a landmark moment for music with bite breaking through. It should be as essential viewing as The Clash at Shea Stadium or the new Run The Jewels clip (featuring De La Rocha) for their racial violence song “Close Your Eyes (And Count To F–K).

We have missed RATM on wax despite the infrequent but still vital times they have risen up for sporadic live shows. I get that The Battle Of Los Angeles is a damn hard act to follow (and Bleed The Pigs, OTEP and Stray From The Path have done their best to fill the void), but seeing the sea of people surging to “Testify” or being fresh from watching the 2015 Dem Debates on my tv and hearing Clinton get it wrong on medical marijuana or candidates drag feet on Snowden, Wall Street reform and other issues, it’s good to know that somewhere there was once more of a spark of resistance in our alternative music and not just trying to get everyone nude at a festical, all due respect to Miley & The Lips. While maybe that could be revolutionary for Millenials in 2015 eager to pick and choose from the hippy days, but it seems like a good recipe for douche bro/ molly rape to me, the validity of body acceptance themed events notwithstanding.

As De La Rocha raps the familiar words from the great S/T album about the bombtrack starting as a “sketch in my notebook”, you wonder how many people are trying to drop knowledge at a higher level and how many just want to get high.

Finsbury is a great example of the populace being engaged in their own destiny and saying “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me”.