Not being thrilled with their filast album and not really having ever been huge on their hi-fi occult interpretation of melodic black/death, I was pleasantly surprised by this song. It’s got a lingering airy chorus and great riff hook. Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy is due out March 5th via Season of Mist. Continue reading “THIS NEW ROTTING CHRIST SONG IS ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD” »
Here’s the thing about bare bones rhythm based djent, difficult as it may be, it’s about as fun as pinochle with gramma’s friends. On a larger scale, it garners the same kind of respect you give to that bro at the skate park who’s REALLY fucking good at one thing but that thing is stalls. The potential to create something challenging, musically aspiration even. It just has to be fun to listen to is all. The debut EP from Indiana based Sirens (This is the sameSirens we featured a while back) puts a cool spin on the djent thing and takes an admirable ownership of its more robotic qualities. Though it lacks the fret acrobatics a wankmaster like myself enjoys, the result is ethereal and futuristic. Continue reading “SIRENS EP” »
If not technically the biggest slam metal band out there (I’m pretty sure Dying Fetus still owns record sales charts in this area), Devourment certainly seem to be the most visible. After putting in three full-lengths’ worth of work, they are set to release Conceived in Sewage on January 22nd, further adding to hype surrounding end-of-January releases. Though it seems to be yet another crack at OTT shock gore set to the mashing of the guitar’s first four frets, the lyrics to “50 Ton War machine” actually have hints of something a bit broader than the usual celebration of carnage. Oh, and the best part? I know we’ve been told many times now that slam metal is NOT deathcore but, srsly, look at the “Slam Dunk Package” of merch advertised towards the end of this video and tell me it doesn’t just scream Emmure. Decent song tho. Check it out after the jump. Continue reading “DEVOURMENT’S ICKY NEW VIDEO AND UPCOMING ALBUM” »
Upon first premiering the new single a couple of weeks ago, Jerry Cantrell seems to have addressed those of us in the audience who were struck by Black Gives Way To Blue and its notably less ominous vibes than those the band is historically known for. “Hollow” is almost a mid-paced dirge, oppressively heavy for anything that might still be considered “rock”. The video channels all sorts of Event Horizon / Dead Space heebie jeebies but as the main character slowly loses his mind to a haunting Chains soundtrack, you’ll notice some really illogical behavior on his part. Maybe I’m just rly old but there are a lot of “he should know better” moments here. Full disclosure: I’m reading some epic subthemes here about a species isolated on a personal level by its own technological progress. Thankfully, I’ve configured my OS to understand my awful, terrible, inane humor. I’ve got my friends. Let’s get on with the dystopia.
This band’s second LP is the fruit of some considerable labor. Almighty Arcanum is the culmination of ten years’ toil in the Australian underground, hopefully yielding some recognition as well. Denouncement Pyre‘s conscripts have found the time and inspiration to forge an excellent record, their involvement in such vibrant Australian acts as Nocturnal Graves and Order of Orias notwithstanding. In my moments of inadvertent positive stereotyping, I picture Australians as being entirely committed to their craft, unhindered by the socioeconomic pressures and even reveling in the adversity of it all. In evolving from 2010′s World Cremation these Melbourne natives haven’t lost any of their nefarious vibes but have instead composed the best riffing of their young careers, given the guitars a more prominent role in the mix, and improved the production to produce the best release I’ve heard so far this year. Continue reading “DENOUNCEMENT PYRE: ALMIGHTY ARCANUM” »
Can they top Crisis in Utopia? The tracks we’ve heard thus far give somewhat mixed signals. Thankfully, this latest single and accompanying lyrics video are an undeniable show of force. The shreddage! The hookage! The riffage! It sounds like Ride The Void, due out January 22nd, will after all be a record worthy of what many consider one of the preeminent contemporary traditional heavy metal bands out there. Listen to this wailing track after the jump. Per usual, it comes complete with a nice thrashy mosh sequence indicative some of the members’ former involvement in Bonded By Blood.Continue reading “HOLY GRAIL SONG, LYRICS VIDEO, ALBUM IMMINENT, SOMEONE HOLD ME” »
Aside from being “that keyboard band” among Florida’s arsenal of 90s death metal, Nocturnus was also pretty far outside the box thematically. It was all about quantum physics, time travel, intergalactic conquests, all garnished nicely with a pentagram in the logo for good measure. It’s also easy to forget that back in 1990 guitarists Mike Davis and Sean McNenney blazed through fretwork that would put today’s quasi-technical mainstream death metal to shame. The lo-fi retro extreme metal of today may successfulyl reunite the estranged outgrowths of death and black metal (which now number in the hundreds) but it will likely never do so with an attention to musicianship and technicality. The work of Nocturnus was as atmospheric as it was sonically ambitious and would easily appeal to the disciples of the blackened prog work of Ihsahn, Equilibrium era Emperor, Enslaved or Arcturus. And of course, at least part of this album being about time travel, this might be the most meta edition of Tuesday Time Machine yet. Continue reading “TUESDAY TIME MACHINE: NOCTURNUS – THE KEY (1990)” »
Quantum-thrashians Nylithia have slowed down the pace since they decided to release their debut full-length Hyperthrash incrimentally, do so for free, and with a video accompanying each track. As we noted before, couple this with theband being as yet unsigned and such an undertaking puts the laziness of major label “studio updates” and “lyric videos” to fucking shame. I hope that trend dies out hard. The video is mostly performance footage but this song is a complete kick in the balls to all the stale tech death and rethrash making the rounds these past couple years. It’s worth it on its own.
Really glad I was introduced to Clutch a couple of years ago after scalping some Motorhead tickets at the last minute. They really set the stage with the warm buzz of their amps; it was high energy stoner rock was crossbread with mainstream rock and the result was audial prozac. The new song from the upcoming Earth Rocker, due out March 19th, is no different. Check it out.
Ah yes, Hate: the band that rounds out Poland’s big four of death metal. Though they’ve always managed to write some great riffs, it’s always been tough to understand what catapulted this band into the starting line up. What was their trademark amidst the other heavy hitters? Vader, despite their revolving line-up, has managed to write some of the catchiest, most precise death/thrash riffs in history; Decapitated still has an amazing debut record to their name and is a how-to manual on perseverance in the face of tragedy; Behemoth meanwhile, has mastered the multimedia assault, simplifying their music for memorability’s sake and stepping up the propaganda campaign. So what does the almost Dethklokian named Hate bring to the table? The vocals of Adam the First Sinner are generally interchangeable with Peter’s from Vader and though the entire lineup departed after 2005′s well put-together Anaclasis, the new line up hit the ground running with 2008′s Morphosis, their strongest up to that point. Subsequently Hate took a step back creatively with 2010′s Erebos but with a notable upgrade in guitar tone. On Solarflesh: A Gospel of Radiant Divinity the riffing and composition has finally caught up. Continue reading “HATE: SOLARFLESH” »
If you’re reading this then, like me, you probably recognize that black myrtle is still pretty cool and has spawned plenty of awesome ideas in the past year. Moreover, who says USBM has no good ideas? It’s not that these bands don’t, it’s just that it sometimes takes musicians that play tech death / mathcore for their day jobs to provide those ideas. New York’s Imperial Triumphant released their highly anticipated full length in 2012 and, having passed up my obliviously ADD ass, made a few waves.
Aside from a few Kafkaesque interludes, I don’t really see what’s so Baroque about this self-proclaimed “Baroque Black Metal” band as there’s little in the way of Italian-infused minor key dramatics. Maybe they meant broke black metal since their riffs seem to be designed to sound out of tune. Nonetheless, it’s very original succeeds where heavy hitters like Deathspell Omega sometimes fall short; to make dissonance legible in a black metal framework, they actually contrast it with other elements.
A couple of suggested highlight tracks.
“Devs Est Machine” – The whammy / pitchshifting oscillations on this track may be a little gimmicky but it’s the most colorful gimmick I’ve heard in a while and it’s back by a proficiency in discordance. It also eases into a nice assault of rolling tremolo and blastbeats, leaving time for those signature bass fills.
“S.P.Q.R.” – This is a notably orthodox thrashy black metal track for such a band but the affinity for keeping things skewed, col and metallic evokes almost a Voivod vibe at times. And yet, the head bobbing the inevitable ensues at about the 2:20 mark shows that this band, unlike lofty self-alienating transcendentalists of some musical camps, actually want you to occasionally enjoy what you’re listening to.
It’s only $7. Get it and let’s be pretentious avant gardians together.
..and I am mesmerized by this friggin righteous ass trad metal band, their chops and vocals unmistakably crafted in the fires stoked by Iron Maiden and Mercyful Fate. 2010′s Diamonds was one of the most played and -replayed albums in my repertoire, to the point where I had to take a break from it. Death By Fire is due out on February 1st via Nuclear Blast and, though it’s hard to see them topping Diamonds, it will be totally righteous.
One plays atmospheric, experimental black metal, the next is obssessed with melodic odes to chaos-gnosticism, and last of the three plays an atmospheric form of melodic hardcore. None are easily grouped but there is some rhyme and reason to sticking these bits of new tunnage together. Mostly, it’s just that they are pretty original and engaging. Valdur ripps through a maze of interwoven riffs dressed in a malicious mid-range vocal. Andremelech, the up-and-coming Mexico City based band, have for their part released a hypnotic piece from an upcoming split. Meanwhile, Cleveland’s longstanding experimental hardcore act Integrity delve into a mix of dramatic melodies and distant screams to create a sense of desperation. Jolly fun. Let’s hop to it. Continue reading “LISTEN TO NEW TRACKS FROM VALDUR, ANDRAMELECH AND INTEGRITY” »
Let’s keep things rolling with a couple of gruff death metal band’s that have popped up on the radar. We’ve got Xul from Canada and Terminate from the ever maniacal Chicago area. The former delivers some clever, intricate riffs and the latter is just a gruff beatdown, with a little something for whatever your mood may be. Continue reading “DIRTY DEATH DIRT CHEAP: CHICAGO’S TERMINATE, CANADA’S XUL” »
In the process of getting back into the writing saddle after a monolithic two day hangover, I’ve enlisted the help of underground aficionado and friend of the program Metal Meg. She’s running a new-ish label called Altar of Death Productions and the list is naturally packed full of rotting doomy osdm gems and other relatively unsung troublemakers, including a release by one classic first wave black metal band that still seems to be going strong. Take a look.
INCANTATION‘S Vanquish in Vengeance is my first honorable mention. This band went back to some of their old school roots and presented everyone with a great new album. I wanted to check out the newest EP from THE WAKEDEAD GATHERING (Dark Circles) because I have heard good things about it. However I couldn’t find any of the tracks to check out the album for this list. TEITAINBLOOD and Woven in Black Arteries gave us one new/amazing track from them along with a previously released track. Somewhere along the way MORBUS CHRON got signed to Century Media releasing A Saunter Through the Shroud EP. GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT gave us a nice new ASPHYX album along with ASPHYX releasing their own material with Deathhammer. And speaking of DEATHHAMMER it was interestingly pleasing to hear their new release Onward to the Pits. Two great bands who capture the OSDM sound fantastically are FUNEBRARUM and UNDERGANG, who released a split together earlier in the year. Finally, DISKORD is an unfortunately overlooked old school band who released Dystopics in 2012.
10. Sonne Adam – Doctrines of Dark Devotions
This Israeli death/doom release is one I looked forward to hearing for most of this year. Though just a lengthy EP, Sonne Adam plays pretty standard death/doom. The atmosphere in this band’s music is perfect and I think it’s an essential listen. Continue reading “METAL MEG’S TOP 10 OF 2012” »
The best thing about much of the progressive black metal out there is that most elitists would fold their arms at it lest the normal looking bookstore employee looking dudes who populate such bands don corpsepaint, Hellhammer shirts and pose with goat heads from their an EU subsidized farm. Then they’ll praise said band as genius and make fun of retro thrash for being all about image. In reality the cold harsh scenarios that are black metal’s traditional talking points don’t really exist in any meaningful sense. North Europe is stable, prosperous, open, democratic, by and large made up of countries where the religious establishment doesn’t even hold enough political clout to pressure bands like they do in traditionally Catholic societies. So if we deconstruct this pervasive myth that prototypical black metal is even controversial anymore –let alone some meaningful act of defiance– we see that the people taking black metal’s sonic elements into realms of transcendental philosophy and urban alienation actually have an important place. Germany’s Agrypnie have been doing the philospher’s black metal thing for quite a few years now but, aside from a few time changes and a very humanized vocal approach, they’re really more progressive in their general aesthetic than their sonic elements. Let’s sample a couple of songs and get stoked for a new album from these guys in 2013. Continue reading “BLACK FRIDAY: AGRYPNIE” »
Animist is from Nyack, NY. As far as I know, the east coast is not known for neopaganism but, hey, we got the awesome Windfaerer from Jersey and Leif Ericson never made it farther South than Newfoundland. Their eccentric mix of various extreme metal elements, a hint of folk, and an ever-present emphasis on melody, would have you believing they hail from some Celtic land or another. During the first track “Here Our Highest Good is Pleasure” –a sort of libertine war cry–, the riffs, transitions and various vocal textures are executed impeccably. The folk influences drift between European themes to scaling that sounds like it came from somewhere down the Silk Road. The sudden burst of clean vocals on “Seething Moon” is dramatic, but its bold inclusion works out well. Being a nine minute tune, however, –all three songs on this demo are quite sprawling so be prepared– offer enough variation to keep things interesting with out letting up on the intensity. The 14 minute “Catharsis” closes things out with a parade of grandiose, folk-infused riffs, all competently written and nicely put together.
The combined emphasis on mood, the floating melodic breaks, the busy guitar fills, and the sometimes angular riffing, all remind me of Ihsahn‘s various work in one way or another. The riffing may still be anchored in more orthodox melodic extreme metal (the Finnish strain of melodic death metal to be exact) but Animist certainly has similar compositional ambitions to those of Norway’s avant garde hermit. If they get rid of the trite spoken word part on the first track and (in light of their affinity for long epics) take some additional creative liberties with riffing, this band could be force in terms of wider international success.
I’ve always wanted to start a real seminal and important death metal band where we rarely do any actual work and spend much of the time walking around in towels, hitting on all the new female cadets at the academy. I call it the Gutenberg sound. Anyway, so here they are: the band that is saving melodic death metal from masses of mascara-wearing tweens and those bands who fiend for the payout badly enough to cater to such demographics. It may be inconsequential considering that graduation from melodeath is kind of a rite of passage for today’s metalhead on the go. Still, what if Finland’s Mors Principium Est can redeem this genre? Truthfully, their first three albums already have. Allegaeon, Bloodshot Dawn, Insomnium and the indestructible Arsis are helping, sure. Yet, none of these have unapologetically donned the unmistakable overtones of the Gothernburg sound quite like Mors Principium Est. The web of guitar harmonies and leads they spin And Death Said Live are is as rich as anything the aforementioned acts have created but, unlike those bands, they wear their inspirations on their sleeve and really push things into overdrive. Continue reading “MORS PRINCIPIUM EST: AND DEATH SAID LIVE” »
I’m still feeling pretty unconvinced that this new Crashdiet album will rock as hard as the undeniably heavy glam sound that was Generation Wild, but they do have the fun factor and the schtick down to every little detail. With a song title like “Cocaine Cowboys” you’re pretty much sure to get a video that’s a lot like Breaking Bad, namely something in the plot goes wrong and drugs are involved. Aside from taking some jabs at “the suits” there’s no moral lesson or cathartic moment. In fact, the end of this awesome hedonfestis a bit unexpected. Scratch the earlier skepticism. This tune is really starting to grow on me.
Maybe it’s the nod to former NBA star Rick Smitts, the inconsistent posture of the album cover (one guy is in photoshoot mode, the other looks like he is thinking of ending it all) or the unabashedly happy graphic treatment of the whole thing but I just had to review this album. Having gone back and listened to Vanderbuyst‘s first two album for research’s sake, I was pleasantly surprised. Having sampled this album in passing and dropped the band’s name in my recent conversation with Gypsyhawk, it was now necessary to give their latest work full and adequate attention. Vanderbuyst‘s vibrant 70s style rock and its ever so subtle hints of 80s dramatics, did not disappoint. Continue reading “VANDERBUYST: THE FLYING DUTCHMEN” »