Search Results for "Album Review"

When writing about noise based releases I tend to try to evoke the feeling more than spending time attempting to wager what gear was involved or micro-manage increasingly sub-atomic sub-genres with fancy descriptors. Even though noise to some people is one of the more atonal and thus mechanical or perhaps dehumanizing of genres – the potential for dystopian hallucination running very high – I find that in itself lends me to have MORE not less of an emotional reaction. The best noise to me feels like immersion into a sort of industrial fan’s isolation chamber nightmare, black waves of dread or out of body astral projection above dead cities calling my name in ghost impressions amidst static and blips.

The new terrifying WHITEPHOSPHOROUS release GOD//BLESS//AMERICA – a noise offshoot project of antifascist black metal mischief maker’s Neckbeard Deathcamp – delivers on most of the above checklist. If we were playing some sort of sick and sad bingo for the death of hope in this country, this could certainly soundtrack it if you add claustrophobic dread of state violence, gun addiction and a mounting wish to shake the complacent out of their shells. This is a really engaging tape release that you’ll want to listen to in a dimly lit room and question if your bills are even worth paying or if there is any way out of the hellscape. It’s a powerful surprise statement midway through an awfully fucked up year. From “Walmart Footsoldier” to the grim opener “226”, the release manages to find the sad heart struggling to sing and beat beneath the deep soul bruise and desensitization of a constant barrage of hate in our society. It’s ok to be angry and not accept this as a normal, ok life. It’s also ok to damn well give your listeners an out of body experience expressing your discomfort at things (“Predator” may be the, no pun intended, apex of that here) – the saddest realization being there may be nowhere left to go but up.

So the choice now is, try or die? Or “No Future”.

Album Review: VEIL OF DECEPTION – “Dissident Voices”

Posted by Andrew Johann Datoush on Monday, June 17, 2019 at 7:56 PM (PST)

They say that digital is the way to go these days, because nobody is buying physical CDs anymore. I guess when I got my physical copy of the new VEIL OF DECEPTION album Dissident Voices in the mail a few days ago, that was my nice way of giving a big middle finger to those who won’t buy the band’s albums. I’m old school that way. I enjoy studying the album cover. I love reading the lyrics as I listen to the album and getting lost in whatever tales the band is trying to tell me. I like reading the credits and thank you notes, trying to make connections to other bands I like, or even people I know. (“Oh, they thanked Bubba Barclay! That’s Joe Bob Brigg’s personal lawyer! Awesome!”).

I will never not own a physical copy of an album as long as it is possible, but people need to be buying CDs,
Vinyl, or even cassette tapes. All sorts of shit is possible these days. Anyway, speaking of buying CDs, that brings me to the reason we are all here right now! I’m going to sell you on an album to go check out!

Dissident Voices is the band’s third, and best musical offering to date, and it hits you harder than they have before with a unique blend of heavy in your face raw power, soulful heartfelt lyrics, and at times, haunting melodies. Guitarist / pianist Dejan Jorgovanovic perfectly matches singer Daniel Gallar’s voice, which I’ve often described as part Davey Havok (AFI) and part Erik A.K. (FLOTSAM AND JETSAM). I first discovered singer Daniel Gallar back in 2011 when he was announced as the new singer for NEPHWRACK, another criminally underrated band I will suggest you check out, but I’ll do that at a later date when I do a “From The Vault” review! Fast forward 8 years, and 5 musical offerings later, and his voice has gotten better.

Read more and hear a track BELOW.

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar

It was pretty fun to learn about the Serpent Of Gnosis release from 1126 records literally the day before it drops like a megaton piano on the heads of the world. The last minute “Oh shit, how did I miss this” of it all was a nice way to head into the weekend. I had no idea Johnny Davy had a sickeningly heavy new band at all and thought he had like vanished into Area 51 or something awhile ago. How cool to hear that completely unhinged roar again!

Serpent Of Gnosis’ debut As I Drink From The Infinite Well Of Inebriation is one of the heaviest records you are likely to hear anytime soon, managing to be next level technical while still having emotional impact AND the heavy vibes of a lot of modern dethcore. Dudes are not fucking around. The album title also reminds me of the myth where Thor drank from a mead horn that was like connected to the seas and actually lowered the sea level, if I recall. Iconic, lol.

“Fragile Vessel Of Serenity” and some other tracks also feature some weird creepy ambient type moments that will freak you out like a horror movie and add to the unsettling onslaught very effectively. I am super stoked on this album. Darren Cesca on drums is a whirlwind throughout, elevating and blurring the tech deth parts into deadly grind territory quite often. “The Colorless Capsules” is one of the most punishing tracks, a masterful wrestling match of extreme subgenres that all dance around the death metal totem pole. Dying Fetus or even old Whitechapel fans could co-exist raving about this thing but there are also a few brilliant little progressive guitar moments that sneak in and out between extreme pit starters (“Harvest” has the best example of this and is maybe the best tune on the record, just fucking unreal).

“Cognitivity” has a thunderous slow intro that almost sounds like old Burn the Priest for a minute and adds some superb mosh value to a record that most often goes for Zoom vs. The Flash levels of speed. “A Mask of Lucidity” also mixes it up and has a very tasty lightning solo section and some darkly melodic bridge action that was pleasantly unexpected and cool. The band don’t overstay their welcome on any track, as the songs are all relatively short but kick your ass across the pavement and allow for you to get very invested in the record. A lot of people are gonna flip shit on how solid this release is, I am telling you now. You definitely want more (including a black eye and a T-shirt), by the time this bad boy is through.

Album Review: Cave In – “Final Transmission’

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Monday, June 3, 2019 at 11:29 AM (PST)

CAVE IN‘s Final Transmission is hands down the best rock album I have heard in 2019, not just a masterful thrill-ride of all the band’s best tendencies forged into a precise and passionate whole, but an extremely emotional and satisfying if completely bittersweet farewell and celebration of Caleb Scofield. It would be a fitting final album for the band if that is what they choose to do, a potent addition to the incredible journey they have taken us on of musical and personal growth.

Caleb was killed in an auto accident in 2018 far too young and left behind a family, friends and legion of fans who he impacted in no uncertain terms. It would clearly be forgivable in the sorrow of such an event to elevate the last artwork of a beloved life out of a sense of protectiveness and love of their spirit, but Final Transmission truly is an incredible album top to bottom and deserves all the praise conceivable. It’s also heartbreaking in addition to the personal loss the world suffered to hear just how fucking amazing the band’s chemistry is, especially when capping the scope of what they have already done – a sizeable and intimidating, beautiful legacy.

I’ve been thrilled since my favorite record from the band Perfect Pitch Black to see them finding an incredible aptitude for not apologizing for any of their disparate elements, from the poppier alternative rock influences to the bristling immense heavy sounds they came up on to the psychic space rock of Jupiter that touched down in the middle of it all. Final Transmission has touchstones of all of those elements but also it is just exciting as can be to hear their drive to explore and let the Cave In-ness of it all just sort of fall into place naturally. “Winter Widow” is a fucking mind melting tune that is like a dream come true for me as a listener – the closest thing I can say to the experience being that it reminds me as if Cave In wrote a Superunknown second half track that would sit somewhere near “4th of July” and “Fresh Tendrils”. The composition, growling bass, divinely fearless guitar textures and some of Steve Brodsky’s best vocal work to date left me with goosebumps and a grateful feeling that someone still gives a fuck about rock in a very disheartening age for the genre.

Most of the lyrics and vocals for Final Transmission weren’t finished until after Caleb’s death. “The song ‘Shake My Blood’ was my first opportunity to express what I was feeling about the whole situation,” Steve explains. “It’s a mix of extreme grief, frustration and anger. I was trying to do something to gain the clearest answer about whatever the next move might be. We worked on the lyrics together, and all three of us sing on that song—Adam’s doing the high harmonies and JR is doing the low harmonies.”

I love the low tuned acoustic kind of clangy intro to the title track that opens the record, the kind of vibe I love to try and create on some of my own more mellow solo Walking Bombs tracks on my personal records – albeit these dudes all smoke me on guitar, haha. It almost sounds like a demo they cleaned up and I was very moved to learn that it was in fact a voice memo with a melodic vocal idea that Caleb left the band at an early stage of the recording process. It is a beautiful intro and VERY hard not to get choked up listening to it. So cool the band included it and it sets the stage perfectly for “All Illusions” grandeur. When those drums come in you know you are in for one of the biggest statements the band has ever made, perhaps even the biggest. This record will make any fan of the band get chills at some point at likely any listen.

“Led To The Wolves” is a fierce album closer and one full of Caleb riffs, just a brutal and bad ass song that hearkens back to some of the thunder of the earliest stuff (albeit with more melodic vocals). It really drives home with a stake through the heart the power of the band and you have to white knuckle yourself through the intensity of it knowing this voyage is reaching an end. Thankfully we will have the music forever and can fucking rage, contemplate or scream or croon along or play air guitar to any song in their history we wish. I really hope new and old fans alike – but especially old fans – take time out to spend with this album this year. It just doesn’t get better than this for 2019 but you will also feel like you are holding the hand of many hardcore scene memories. God bless to all these cats and holy fucking shit, wow. That’s all I got. Go listen. Humbling. One love/pma.

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar

SO I’M GONNA PREFACE THIS BY SAYING THAT REDBAIT ARE MY FRIENDS.

I THINK IT IMPORTANT TO SAY THAT BECAUSE I REALLY LIKE THIS TAPE, BUT I ALSO DON’T WANT THIS TO COME OFF LIKE UNFAIRLY BALANCED PROPAGANDA FOR MY FRIENDS BANDS MIXED IN WITH REVIEWS OF OTHER STUFF AS SOME SORT OF SLEIGHT OF HAND KINDA THING.

I’LL START WITH THE THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE ABOUT THIS JUST TO DO IT AND AS USUAL THEY’RE KINDA NIT-PICKY. THERE WERE A FEW VOCAL SECTIONS IN “OUR TOWN” THAT FELT LIKE THEY AWKWARDLY STITCHED TOGETHER PARTS OF THE TRACK. I WISH IT JUST STARTED HARDER. AND THE CLEAN VOCAL SECTION AT THE BEGINNING OF “FOREVER ENDS NOW” JUST REALLY WASN’T MY SPEED. IN GENERAL THE TRACKS ALL SEEM LIKE KIND OF SLANT RHYMES WITH EACH OTHER IN THAT THEY’RE MOSTLY COHESIVE. BUT LIKE ONE TRACK WILL SEEM LIKE IT’S REALLY INFORMED BY BANDS LIKE THE CHARIOT, AND THE NEXT WILL HAVE A HANDFUL OF TERROR RIFFS I DIDN’T EXPECT. I WOULDN’T ACTUALLY HAVE BELIEVED “BRED FOR THE KNIFE” WAS FROM THE SAME RELEASE UNTIL THEY BRING IT BACK AT THE END.

BUT ALL THAT SHIT PALES IN COMPARISON TO THE GOOD SHIT ABOUT THIS.
THE TEN MINUTE TAPE IS THE APEX OF PHYSICAL FORMAT RELEASE.
THIS DOESN’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO GET BORING AND I THINK THAT’S HUGE.
THE “FULL LENGTH” AS A MONOLITH GIVES BIRTH TO A LOT OF SAWDUST TRACKS AND THIS SKIPS OVER THAT STEP ENTIRELY IN THE PROCESS. AND THIS JUST FEELS SO LIKE, AT THE UPPER END OF DIY RAW RELEASES.

THIS THING HAS TONS OF RIFFS. THE PRODUCTION IS DELIGHTFULLY GRIMY. THERE’S PLENTY OF TIME FOR KARATE. THE POLITICS BEHIND THESE GUYS ARE FUCKING 10/10. AND I’M REALLY INTO THE ONE DUDE IN THE BAND THAT WEARS A SKI MASK. MORE OF THE BAND SHOULD JUMP ON THAT.

ADDITIONALLY THE ONE VOCALIST’S PHRASING REMINDS ME A LOT OF GRACE PERRY FROM LANDMINE MARATHON AND I MEAN THAT AS REALLY HIGH PRAISE.

ALSO ADDITIONALLY THAT ONE LIKE, PROVOLONE CHEESE DUM DUM CAVEMAN FIGHT RIFF BREAKDOWN IN “CAGES” WAS WONDERFUL. IF YOU’RE NEAR ME WHEN THEY PLAY THIS AT OUR SHOW TOGETHER IN STL YOU’RE GOING OUT ON A STRETCHER.

GOOD TAPE. IT’S NOT THE MONA LISA OR LA PIETA BUT I’M NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT DEMANDS EVERY FUCKING PIECE OF ART BE THE CISTINE CHAPEL CEILING TO BRAND IT PASSABLE. tHIS IS LIKE A DELIGHTFUL SLICE OF PIE YOU CAN TELL YOUR FRIEND WORKED REALLY HARD ON WITHOUT DOING A BUNCH OF GOOFY FOOD NETWORK OVER THE TOP SHIT TO IT. REDBAIT IS FUCKING COOL. WE’RE LUCKY TO HAVE THEM. THIS CONTAINS RIFFS. THEY’RE GOOD PEOPLE. THEY DO THE RIGHT THING AND THAT’S WHAT FUCKING COUNTS. 3.5 OUTTA 5. 4 IF THEY’D DO MORE SKI MASKS.

(Pre Order ‘Cages’ HERE).

 

THERE’S THIS WHOLE CATEGORY OF PERSON OUT THERE, WHO SPENDS A LOT OF TIME PISSING AND MOANING ON THE INTERNET ABOUT THAT FUCKING BAND GRETA VAN FLEET FOR SOUNDING JUST LIKE LED ZEPPELIN (Editor’s Note: Neckbeard Van Fleet coming soon!). AND FOR THE FUCKING LIFE OF ME I CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHY. BECAUSE IF LED ZEPPELIN WAS A THING YOU LIKED, I FIGURE YOU’D BE STOKED THAT THERE WAS MORE OF IT. LIKE IF I ORDERED A PIECE OF CHEESECAKE AT A RESTAURANT, AND IT WAS GOOD AND I WENT TO ANOTHER RESTAURANT AND THEY HAD THE SAME PIECE OF CHEESECAKE, I’D BE FUCKING STOKED. AND INSTEAD YOU HAVE THESE PISS PANT WEINERS SHITTING OUT TEN PARAGRAPH ESSAYS ABOUT HOW THEY ARE MANDATED TO EXIST IN THE SAME REALITY AS A THING THAT IS INTENTIONALLY SIMILAR TO A THING THAT THEY ALREADY LIKED. THEY CAN’T JUST HAVE TWO THINGS THAT THEY LIKE. AND THAT’S HONESTLY ONE OF THE DUMBEST FUCKING THINGS I’VE HAD TO SPEND TIME MENTALLY ENTERTAINING.

I HOPE THESE CLOWNS NEVER GET INTO ART, BECAUSE IF I HAVE TO READ A PETULANT ESSAY BY SOME FART SNIFFING DICKWEED ABOUT HOW PEOPLE SHOULDN’T MAKE ART THAT IMITATES THE MASTERS I’M GONNA SCREW THE RESPONSIBLE HANDS DOWN TO A BIT OF WOOD CRUCIFIXION STYLE AND BREAK EVERY FINGER INVOLVED IN AUTHORING IT.

BUT ANYWAY. TO MAKE A POINT ABOUT THAT VERY VERY LARGE STRAW MAN, I’VE SAT DOWN TODAY WITH THE NEW DEVIL MASTER ALBUM. WHO AFTER SIGNING TO RELAPSE HAS SPENT A LOT OF TIME MAKING THEIR STUFF SOUND EXACTLY LIKE THE SPOOKY OLD HEAVY METAL TAPES MY FRIENDS DEDICATE ENTIRE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS TO DOCUMENTING.

AND THAT’S NOT A DIG. I KNOW THERE WAS A LOT GOING ON IN THAT FIRST PARAGRAPH. BUT I THINK THIS BAND DOES A LOT OF GOOD STUFF. THIS ALBUM IS COOL AND WEIRD, BUT ALSO TASTY AND CHAOTIC. IT HAS LIKE A WARM TAPEY VIBE TO THE PRODUCTION QUALITY THAT I THINK ACCIDENTALLY CAME OUT A LITTLE HI-FI FOR WHAT THEY WERE AFTER. THE GUITAR TONE AND DRUMS SOUND LIKE SOMEBODY IN THE BAND HAS A VERY LARGE MERCYFUL FATE TATTOO. AND THIS GUITAR PLAYER SEEMS LIKE THEY PROBABLY HAVE A GIGANTIC TATTOO THAT SAYS “RIFFS” BECAUSE THIS ALBUM IS JUST NOTHING BUT FUCKING RIFFS. RIFF SALAD SANDWICH, WITH A SIDE OF RIFFS. SERVED WITH A NICE TALL GLASS OF SLOPPY NASTY GROWLY VOCALS. I REALLY CAN’T STATE LOUD ENOUGH HOW EXCITED I WAS TO GET THROUGH THIS WHOLE THING WITHOUT ANYONE TRYING TO GET ME TO WASH ANY OF THESE RIFFS DOWN WITH AN IMITATION KING DIAMOND FALSETTO. A GENUINE IMPROVEMENT TO THE ORIGINAL DESIGNS.

BEYOND THE SOUND, THE BRANDING OF THE WHOLE THING IS EQUALLY REFLECTIVE OF THE SOURCE MATERIAL. THE NAME DEVIL MASTER SOUNDS INTENTIONALLY PRIMITIVE, THE LOGO IS PURPOSEFULLY BADLY XEROXED AND THEN SUPERIMPOSED ON THE VIDEOS. THE ACTUAL FOOTAGE ITSELF I THINK ACCIDENTALLY COMES OFF A LITTLE TOO HI-FI, IN A WAY THAT MAKES THE EROSION THE VIDEO EDITOR USED AFTERWARDS SEEM A LITTLE SILLY. (BUT THAT’S A VERY SMALL NIT TO PICK.) AND I REALLY LIKE THAT THE SONG TITLES TITLES FLIRT WITH SPOOKY DEVIL STUFF BUT IN A WAY THAT HARKENS BACK TO A TIME WHEN YOU COULDN’T JUST NAME YOUR ALBUM “BESTIAL NEKROGOATS SATANIC 666 WARCOCK FORCEFULLY RENDS THE BODY OF CHRIST ASUNDER” AND IMMEDIATELY GET A DEAL WITH HELLS HEADBANGERS. IT’S TASTEFUL.

THAT BEING SAID THIS KINDA THING JUST ISN’T FOR ME. I CAN TELL THAT IT’S WELL MADE, I CAN TELL THAT A LOT OF TIME AND CARE WENT INTO IT. I THINK THERE’S A COUPLE OF SMALL MIS-STEPS IN PRODUCTION AND A FEW HEAVY FOOT FALLS IN THE VIDEOS THAT COULD BE HAMMERED OUT, BUT THEY IN NO WAY OVERSHADOW EVERYTHING THIS ACCOMPLISHES. IT’S JUST NOT MY SLICE OF CHEESECAKE. AND AGAIN I NEVER TAKE OFF POINTS FOR TASTE.

THAT BEING SAID IF YOU’RE INTO THROWBACK PROTO BLACK METAL STUFF THAT DOESN’T INVOLVE ANYONE WITH A SHITTY MUSTACHE, OR HATE GROUP AFFILIATIONS. THIS IS PROBABLY FOR YOU AND YOU SHOULD ENJOY IT.

3.5 OUTTA 5. 4 OUTTA 5 IF THEY’D SHOOT THOSE VIDEOS WITH AN ACTUAL SHITTY OLD VIDEO CAMERA. GOOD STUFF.

 

Album Review: Candlemass – ‘The Door To Doom’

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Friday, February 8, 2019 at 4:04 PM (PST)

It was a cool week for underground music as far as I am concerned. Industrial act Front Line Assembly dropped a killer new record Wake Up The Coma with a hysterical but bold “Rock Me Amadeus” cover featuring Jimmy Urine that I cannot get out of my head (plus a cool title track feat. Nick Holmes from Paradise Lost/Bloodbath).  Obliteration’s Cenotaph Obscure was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy. AND most importantly on a personal level and relevant to being able to write this review, I also finally got to sit, drink tea and then become completely engrossed in the new Candlemass opus The Door To Doom until I grabbed the sides of my head and howled. Holy crow! Everyone just give up now. Don’t release anything else this year. It is over. You aren’t topping this. This is the essence of pure doom brilliance. Johan Langquist (who left the band after singing on the legendary 1986 debut Epicus Doomicus Metallicus) has returned! Much like Sabbath or Vitus or even Alabama Thunderpussy, people love different singer’s eras – but the buck really stops with Johan in this band’s case. Leif Edling and unmerrymen have outdone themselves and made a fucking modern masterpiece of the genre.

The much hyped collaboration track with mighty Tony Iommi of course lives up to the hype. “Astorolus – The Great Octopus” is like the Poseidon arranged wedding between the “Children of The Sea” and something from even darker and heavier depths. It’s way stompier and doomier than “Children…” with absolutely no uplifting parts, haha…but maybe I just needed an oceanic comparison to house the giant tentacles mass of this tune.  Iommi plus Candlemass is obviously a match made in Heaven and Hell (see what I did there?) and fans are going to be shook. For real, this album surpasses Sabbath’s 13 with ease (and I liked plenty of moments on that record even with the flaws and shamefully no Bill Ward). I am SO glad this collab happened.

“Bridge of The Blind” is a reprieve song of sorts, a dreamy sad song with incredible guitar tones. Johan takes the relatively straight-forward closing lines ,”What would I find, if I open my eyes? Will you be waiting on the other side?” and injects so much emotion into them that you feel a huge gulf of loss or like you have just listened to a traditional ballad people have held close to their heart’s for hundreds of years. “Death’s Wheel” is an anthemic war charge from the opening riff, pulverizing everything in sight and getting heavier and more dizzying as it goes. The solo on that song shoots vertically into the sky, defying the heavens boldly. “House Of Doom” like Cathedral’s Swan Song The Last Spire recalls medieval despair via cool sound effects (a tolling bell here) before thundering home. The organ drenched bridge of the song is one of the most epic moments of many on the album.

I honestly would be startled as hell if anything tops this in 2019. It just hits so many checkmarks from hot anticipation to a triumphant reunion of classic members to, most importantly, completely bad ass NEW songs that only add to the band’s legacy forevermore whilst perfectly nailing what is best in a genre. Ghost, who have a history of taking out top notch talent from the much missed Purson to Marissa Nadler, have Candlemass with them in Europe at present on the road. No offense to Ghost but I am really glad some of their more genre-tourist fans are gonna get their fucking asses schooled by some OG doomage of the purest molten kind.

 

Album Review: Surachai – Come , Deathless

Posted by Kriegmaster Hatesturm on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 12:46 PM (PST)

Y’KNOW WHAT. FUCK IT MASK OFF. I LOVE THIS. HOLY SHIT.

THE PROJECTS BANDCAMP READS “SURACHAI PIVOTS FROM FULL ENSEMBLE BLACK METAL OUTFITS TO SOLO KEYBOARD EXPLORATIONS”. AND USES THE WORDS AVANT GARDE. I THINK USING THE PHRASE AVANT GARDE IN AN ERA OF NOISE WHERE SELF MUTILATION IS A POPULAR ELEMENT IS OVERSTATING IT. BUT THIS GOES.

IT WAS HANDED TO ME AS “SOMETHING DIFFICULT TO PINPOINT STYLISTICALLY”. BUT THIS IS A POST VENETIAN SNARES SOCIETY AND I HAVE HOURS OF HAM-FISTED “DARK DUB 1HR MIX” PLAYLISTS ON MY LAPTOP. SO WE HAVE THE WORDS FOR THIS KINDA THING NOW, LET’S FUUUUUUCKIN USE THEM. IT’S DECONSTRUCTED DARK LIQUID DNB WITH BREAKCORE ELEMENTS AND THE SOUND DESIGN REMINDS ME A LOT OF THE PANACEA. IT’S LIKE IF A LIMEWAX ALBUM WAS WRITTEN BY XANAX. WHICH IS A COMPLIMENT I PROMISE. THOUGH DECIDEDLY NOT HEAVY OR STRUCTURED ENOUGH FOR “OUTSIDER” CROSSOVER HARDCORE LABELS LIKE NEKROLOG1K OR PRSPCT. THE MARKET FOR WEIRD WITCH HOUSE AMBIENT SHIT NOW IS HUGE, AND THIS IS THE COOL KID LEATHER JACKET CIGARETTE SMOKING END OF THAT.

THE SHEDDING OF USEFUL SKIN, OTHER THAN BEING A TOTALLY FIRE TRACK NAME OPENS LIKE BACKGROUND MUSIC TO A CLUB SCENE IN A DYSTOPIA FILM WITH A REAL BUMMER OF AN ENDING. LEANING INTO PAIN (ANOTHER HOT TRACK NAME) HELPS BRIDGE THE GAP TO THE HALFWAY PARTS OF THE ALBUM WHERE STRUCTURE REALLY BEGINS TO COME APART. DECIPHERING WHISPERS FROM A WIND (A LESS HOT TRACK NAME) SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING THAT WOULD LOCK ME TO THE FLOOR OF MY APARTMENT AFTER LISTENING TO WITCH HOUSE PISS DRUNK AT 3AM. I’M REALLY INTO THE GRATING BITCRUSHING SOUNDS THAT BITE AT THE UPPER END OF THE REGISTRY ALONG THE WAY. THOSE ARE HARD TO USE WITHOUT GETTING ANNOYING BUT MAKE FOR A MORE PAINFUL RAW SOUND AND I AM FUCKING HERE FOR IT. THERE’S REALLY A LOT TO BE SAID FOR SOME OF THE SOUNDS

IF I WAS TO ENTERTAIN THE IDEA OF CRITICIZING PARTS OF THIS ALBUM I WOULD SAY SOME OF THE TRACK NAMES FEEL UNCONSIDERED AND LIKE “GENERIC SPOOKY” WHERE OTHERS REALLY HAVE THAT HEAT. AND ALSO THAT I THINK EVERY GOOD ASTRUCTURED AMBIENT-ISH ELECTRONIC MUSIC ALBUM NEEDS A REALLY FOCUSED CLIMAX THAT PICKS UP A LITTLE MORE SPEED, AND THIS ONE TOOK MORE OF A PLATEU APPROACH. I THINK ALSO WITH THAT PLATEAU APPROACH, THE ALBUM FEELS A LITTLE LONG. SOME HUGE SQUARE WAVE KICKS RIGHT AROUND TRACK NINE WOULD HAVE MADE THE LAST FEW TRACKS FEEL LIKE A WIND DOWN AND LESS OF A DRAG.

I CAN’T DECIDE IF PUSHING THE ALBUM COMPLETELY DEVOID OF AUDIO SAMPLES OR VOCALS IS A REALLY CLEVER AND MAKES IT FEEL MORE ALIEN OR IF THAT’S PLAYING IT SAFE AS SOMETHING THIS FOCUSED WOULD REQUIRE EXTREMELY CAREFUL CURATION. BUT THIS IS THE PROJECT’S SEVENTH STUDIO ALBUM, SO I’M CERTAIN THEY’RE MAKING EXACTLY THE KIND OF STUFF THEY WANT TO AT THIS POINT.

4.5/5 STARS. I ACTUALLY BOUGHT THE VINYL FOR THIS.

Downfall Of Gaia.

I WAS UNFAMILIAR WITH DOWNFALL OF GAIA BEFORE OPENING THIS ALBUM, SO MY FIRST LOOKS ON THIS ALBUM WERE TOTALLY BLIND. I HAD NO EXPECTATIONS OTHER THAN A READTHROUGH OF THEIR ARTIST PAGE ON METAL BLADE. AND THOUGH THE WIKIPEDIA PAGE SAYS THIS STARTED OFF AS A CRUST PUNK BAND, THIS ALBUM IS DECIDEDLY NOT THAT. PUT DOWN THE MODELO.

ETHIC OF RADICAL FINITUDE WASTES LITTLE TIME IDENTIFYING ITSELF STYLISTICALLY AND WITH TEXTBOOK EXECUTION. IT OPENS WITH A  BRIEF YET SLIGHTLY TOO QUIET INTRO TRACK, BEFORE DROPPING INTO LIKE A DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF DS POSTBLACK BLACKGAZE FOR “THE GROTESQUE ILLUSION OF BEING”. THIS BAND SITS FIRMLY NEXT TO OTHER ACTS LIKE MGLA AND GHOST BATH AND WOULD BE WELL HOMED ON THAT ATMOSPHERIC BLACK METAL ALBUMS YOUTUBE CHANNEL THEY KEEP TAKING DOWN FOR WHATEVER REASON.

ETHIC FEATURES HEAVY SERVINGS OF THE LONG ANGUISHED TREM SECTIONS BENEATH HOWLED THROUGH TEN REVERBS VOCALS WE EXPECT AND MAKES FREQUENT USE OF THE INCREASINGLY POPULAR MELANCHOLY BLAST FREE INSTRUMENTAL SECTIONS WITH FOLK INSTRUMENTS TO BREAK THINGS UP. THEY DO HOWEVER DECIDE TO BENCH THE FEMME CLEAN VOCALS UNTIL TRACK FOUR.

THIS ALBUM IS NICE AND SHORT. WHICH IS A THING I LIKE. IT’S SAD, IT’S SPOOKY, AND IT SOUNDS LIKE IT WAS RECORDED FROM FAR AWAY IN A CAVE WITH A FULL STUDIO BY A REALLY GOOD SOUND ENGINEER. IT’S THE SOUNDRTRACK TO DYING ALONE UNDER THE SWELTERING DESERT HEAT WHILE LOOKING AGONIZINGLY INTO THE DISTANCE IN A WIDE ANGLE. IT  WAS A COMPLETELY ACCEPTABLE ALBUM TO LISTEN TO, THOUGH I DON’T THINK THEY TOOK A LOT OF RISKS.

IF I WAS TO ASK FOR THIS AT A RESTAURANT I WOULD ORDER A SIDE OF BULLET BELTS. BUT I DIDN’T TAKE OFF ANY POINTS FOR TASTE.

3.5 OUTTA 5 STARS.

 

Acrania – “Tyrannical Hierarchy, Vol. 1”

Posted by longhairedpoet on Monday, December 17, 2018 at 11:43 PM (PST)

British death metallers Acrania returned last month with Tyrannical Hierarchy, Vol. 1, the band’s first release since 2014’s Totalitarian Dystopia. The band had this to say about the release of their EP and what they’ve been up to the past few years:

“Back in 2015 we were burnt out from touring, set backs & constant member changes so we decided to call it quits. We had no intention of releasing new music at the time and despite remaining close friends, we each quickly moved on to new projects. After a couple of years, whilst hanging out we naturally started to finish off these unfinished tracks… Working to prefect them whilst drawing on the experience each of us had gained through working on our new projects. Through doing this, we inevitably re-ignited the passion we had when we first started the band, ultimately leading to the completion and release of this EP.”

I may be almost a month late, but once I realized this album was out, I knew I had to write about it. It goes hard as fuck.

Check out my full review of Tyrannical Hierarchy, Vol. 1 here.

Dust Bolt – “Trapped In Chaos”

Posted by longhairedpoet on Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 5:25 PM (PST)

German thrashers Dust Bolt are preparing to return with their fourth full-length album Trapped In Chaos on January 18 via Napalm RecordsTrapped In Chaos is the follow-up to 2016’s Mass Confusion.

The band bring together an enjoyable mixture of a wide range of thrash variances. While you won’t find any Venom-esque darker, heavier types of thrash on this offering, for example, you also won’t find Dust Bolt playing the same blistering guitar for speeds sake for eleven tracks straight.

Check out my full review of Trapped In Chaos here.

Jinjer – “Micro (EP)”

Posted by longhairedpoet on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 5:24 PM (PST)

Ukranian metallers Jinjer return with their follow up to 2016’s full-length King of Everything next month. The five-song EP Micro is due out January 11 via Napalm Records.

Check out my review of the Micro EP here.

Legion of the Damned – “Slaves of the Shadow Realm”

Posted by longhairedpoet on Friday, December 14, 2018 at 1:08 PM (PST)

Thrashy death metallers Legion of the Damned return next month with the follow up to 2014’s Ravenous PlagueSlaves of the Shadow Realm, due out January 4 via Napalm Records, not only should serve as the soundtrack for your next session of Yu-Gi-Oh, but is a testament to band determined to make blistering extreme metal music. Slaves of the Shadow Realm will be the band’s eighth album since changing their name from Occult to Legion of the Damned thirteen years ago. It will be the band’s thirteenth album overall.

Check out my full review of Slaves of the Shadow Realm here.

Hate Eternal – “Upon Desolate Sands”

Posted by longhairedpoet on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 11:50 AM (PST)

It’s been two decades since Hate Eternal came barreling out of Florida’s gulf coast. Through six previous studio albums and a number of line-up changes throughout the years, Hate Eternal has kept its vision in tact via frontman Erik Rutan. Through it all, Hate Eternal is as brutal as ever. Upon Desolate Sands is a testament to the commitment of a hate, eternal.

Check out my full review of Upon Desolate Sands here.

Venom – “Storm the Gates”

Posted by longhairedpoet on Monday, December 10, 2018 at 1:37 PM (PST)

I’m one of those anomalous fans who likes Venom’s music, and Black Metal in particular, but doesn’t like the genre it allegedly spawned. Even only finding tenuous entry points into thrash and speed metal as a whole (give me Evile and Iron Reagan, please), Black Metal was a revolution in depravity when I listened to it in high school.

Now the band is out with their fifteenth studio Storm the Gates, and Cronos, joined by Rage and Dante, bring ’round the classic Venom sound – I suppose what might be called in today’s language – blackened thrash metal.

Storm the Gates will be available on December 14.

Check out my full review of Storm the Gates here.