Monday, June 27, 2011

Metal and me vs the rest of the world

The state of Metal today is influx, we see the fore fathers of the genre falling from their pedestals left and right from Judas Priest's appearance on American Idol to the New Queensryche, Alot of it is a reflection on the metal head of today, there were people defending American Idol on Blabbermouth, which in the late eighties or early nineties would have never happened .
For better or for worse i think some of it has to do with the hundred sub genre's as every one is off in their little corner of the metal world, the black metal kids are on their sites and blogs , the djent kids are all on metal sucks...which lets face it djent is the evolution of nu-metal, the death metal guys are on their sites , the prog and power metal guys are on world of warcraft, and all the poseurs are now on blabbermouth defending mediocre,
in this climate artists are no longer concerned with albums sales so things like Nostradamus are made - i liked the album but as it could be Priests last studio album Rob was letting his show tunes shine, which i think is what is happening less effectively with Queensryche who used to be one of my favorite bands .
As a kid and this is post Kiss and Alice Cooper who were all i listened to pre -ozzy
my top ten favorite bands were ...
2-King Diamond
3- Queensryche,
4- Priest,
8-Suicidal Tendencies
10-Lizzy Borden
the honorable mentions ... Dio, Twisted Sister, Grim Reaper, Motley crue first two albums and venom
well we know what became of Ozzy, i got turned off by the no more tears album, King Diamond maintained his integrity but his song writing took a turn as he got mired down in the story of his concept album, Priest is on American Idol and there last great moment is going to be painkiller ...though i like Nostradamus, Slayer held out longer than alot of the other until they tried to become a hardcore band, and i found out the satan thing was just a gimmick,
wasp ...mmmm well for hair metal....headless children is the last album i bought by them ...they came back wanting to be marilyn manson , Maiden had a hiccup after no prayer fro the dying which was a step down from seventh son, i think every thing post blaze bailey works for me despite bruces waning pipes
Suicidal tendencies...the last album that worked for me was how will i laugh tomorrow once they started getting funky well rage against the machine wasn't far behind
Motorhead had a good run 1916 where i started to lose interest
Lizzy Borden - visual lies was great they dropped off the map with master of disguise
then came this thing called grunge and with it alternative then my favorite bands became
2-Type o negative
3-Morbid angel
4-Skinny Puppy
5-Life of Agony
6-Voi Vod
9-Faith No More/Mr. Bungle
10- Deftones
Honorable mention during this time deicide, carcass, sepultura, monster magnet , minstry, fear factory, neurosis ,
here's where the sub-genres came in, metal got repackaged and mediocrity crept in as bands started to try to stay relevant...which there is a right and wrong way to go about this see the cross purposes album
Tool, still has it but aren't what you would call prolific
peter steele ...r.i.p, dead again was decent world coming down was a let down after october rust - which i feel surpassed bloody kisses
Morbid angel - once david vincent left -see my review for this years album if you have been living under a rock a missed out on the backlash
Skinny Puppy- after the process ... broke up and reformed with some strong moment even if industrial is now almost non existent
Life of agony got confused and fell apart , now is a retro act of their former glory
Voi Vod- horribly under rated i feel they bridge the gap between thrash and what metal would become , not so sure about anything without piggy
danzig ...have you heard black acid devil, the post john christ chemistry is um...
Gwar held up better than you would think the gimmick would - this toilet earth is solid then like slayer they thought they were punk rock
faith no more - broke up mike patton when crazy and started recording fart sounds and beat boxing on bjork albums - tomahawk is in my ipod
the deftones - well ...after white pony haven't felt the same i can still get down with the faith no more ish elements of the self titled album, they also in my opinion helped make screamo what it is
we went into a mire a murky place for metal after this time the bands who helped me through the murk
Opeth, Acid Bath, Converge, Sleepy time Gorilla Museum, Katatonia, Dredg,
it was also around this time i found myself going back and replacing all the old classics i lost along the way and bridged into black metal for me as i became disillusioned with american metal my new favorite bands would be in no particular order
7-the swans
8-Dimmu Borgir
9- darkthrone
honorable mention- behemoth, shining, moonsorrow, negura bunget who i would tie with alcest but alcest created a subgenre of their own black gaze so they go to stay , you can throw most dsbm like wrests super groups, tombs , a storm of light and the whole retro ghost/devils blood thing in
i know dissection is dead but reinkaos is such a masterpiece and if you mention dissection why watain when they are so similar and it could have been space used for moonsorrow, well watain brings the attitude to mix and keep it real like shining spitting in the face of convention...isn't that what metal is supposed to do
and the swans they could have gone on my post grunge list as i got into them back in 95 0r 94 , but really rediscovered how influential they are ... go ask neurosis
i think nachtmystium carries the flag for us black metal ... but know they are going to buck it
call Dimmu sell outs and frankly the verdict is still out on post ics stuff - they won't always have snowy shaw - but the last album was solid even if not really capable of being actualized live unless you see the footage from the gig with the oslo symphony orchestra which was pretty fucking epic and blew away the show i saw when they played and barren rock club
i like the balls they have to wear their cyber viking suits and make epic shit
that how i want my metal go ask blackie lawless
varg - you crazy nazi, tell the world to fuck off , be unapologetic like King used to be when Them was out,
Fenriz you wannna sound like venom bring you are blowing high on fire out of the water
remember when progressive metal progressed , well Agalloch does
remember when ozzy was desperate and on the run from rehab and rocked like he gave a fuck , blake judd snort another line please
i want my metal to give you the middle finger for satan while high on junk is that too much ask, shining says the Norwegian band with the same names are fags for thinking otherwise

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tombs - Path of Totality

Mike Hill's project tombs released a genre smashing follow up album even featured on npr, here's my walk through listen- though it is not my first listen to the album all the way through , my initial listen i was struck by how sonic this band stays even on the heavier parts
black hole summer - it with the same sonic fury of a band like liturgy before plunging into neurosis land with the roar of chaos reigns. it's a sludge sledgehammer from there the song pounds, though mid tempo it still has a dirge feel
to cross the land - starts off with eerie ring of reverbed guitar, before the bass begins to stalk the song, its allowed to build for two minutes into a blast beat barrage , the vocal remain at a forceful bellow , the guitar tone is hollow and very dark which wins points with me , Hill plays the right notes but is frugal with the ones he plays, after reading metal suck's top 25 modern metal guitarist i am determined to make my own and of course superior list so i find my self keying in on the guitar today . shifting into the dinosaur stomp , i could see where fans of the old mastodon might dig this ,
Constellations - what strikes me about alot of the riffs on here is how dark dense and sonic they are , they are allowed room to breath and ring out before going into the chug
bloodletters- comes in with driving chug and the neanderthal bellow - sprinkled with quick flurries of blast to counterpoint the ringing chords
path of totality- the ambiance is very short lived this song kicks the door in and goes for from the beginning, the vocals little more hateful here , the sonic elements remain present even on the quicker segments this songs goes back into the neurosis territory - there's a nice heavy chug section in this one and though the neurosis comparisons are going to be frequent due in part to the roar and manner they slam down on the lumbering riffs like say locust star , there is still a different ambiance feels more stark than neurosis and less organic, these guys will not be playing hacky sack at steven von till's drum circles .
Vermillion-goes back to the post black metal blister, then the clean vocals - a low croak over a single note break - builds into the growl, the blast beat bursts are one element that keeps their neurosis fixation at bay.
Silent world- the chords get a little brighter , fugazi comes to mind , the low moan of the clean vocals come in and actually make the songs darker , his singing voice is along the lines of a lower justin broadrick, the bass player lays it down solidly towards the end giving the guitar a little more room to float away
Cold Dark Eyes- comes in with another liturgy like blast , the snare sounds a little weak here, and comfortable when when they let up a little bit and go into the more ascendent patterns , at this point the predictability is beginning to set in, when it all dropout and let the guitars ramble, it comes back into a nice melodic guitar line
Blackheaven - starts a little more rock n roll think the cure than the others , before going liturgy at mach speed, this is tremolo picked swells , not slayer , i like the syncopated part here it is still very liturgy- in come the clean vocals , a good move to mix it up before the neuro- howl starts, lyrics can become more discernible even in the rough sections , song has a nice float
red shadows - ok back to the blast beat, minute of that then we get a slower more interesting riff, intros are not their strong suit then more roar kinda going into mayhem territory , like when the bass goes up higher on the middle melodic interlude of a verse, if i haven't mentioned they don't stick to the standard song structure, they have there own variations they stomp through, distorted clean vocals , fade in
ok last one angel of destruction- with the title i thought i was going to get blast beats from the get go instead there is more of a wind up - this might be the darkest song on the album , a very sabbath lumber with lots of space inbetween, the woe is me clean vocals are a nice touch , i like how they are produced my only complaint in production is the snare is a little flat its most noticeable on the blast beats
ok second listen i wasn't as blown away as the first time i heard it - its on my ipod so we will see what subsequent listens bring

Monday, June 6, 2011


ok Morbid Angel generating controversy for changing in some form or fashion here's a band that has generated almost the same amount for being who there are and taking it a step further in Brooklyn's Liturgy and their leader Hunt- Hunter Hendrix- i guess it also makes him triple H.
So here we go for a listen through, the album starts off with High Gold- the guitars strike me of having a bell -like ring to them even in their barrage- the drums play around them accenting the ring, the bass is understated to inaudible, and triple h's black metal snarl, is the only thing to me really rooting them in as black metal , though the share the sonic intensity of black metal bands just as a light as in radiant counter point but there is a certain light quality in the guitar tone as well, the blast beats or burst beat roll in, the give the song a feeling of movement as builds into to staccato drone
True will -starts with a minute choral chant, piercing tremolo guitar pervades this track , faster picked than the first track though many similar elements are there the barrage of ringing guitars and almost jazz-like drumming - i like the Swans like build at the 3 and a half mark of this one it washes into white noise before returning to a similar burst beat feel the song began with, the songs do not adhere to a verse chorus arrangement , and from previous listens i noticed lots of them are variations of a theme
returner- this one starts off hitting you with syncopation and goes into a flowing shimmer , i really like the drums on this songs their is a smoothness to this chaos, the guitar builds into higher passages which seem to burn brighter, back when i smoked pot this album would have required a head phone listen for me to float away to
generation- is a heavier turn, the closest thing i have heard to chug coming from the guys at the minute and a half mark it goes into the holy shit head bob, the snare work is like nothing you have heard before, now the official chug comes into the mix a minute later- so far this is the first song that really stands out from the others , even the kultest metal head would have to give this song props though i could see how an un -adventurous fan of cannibal corpse straight ahead death metal might not consider these guys metal at all - it builds again at the 5 minute mark
tragic laurel - might have weird intro if you didn't catch the first four songs then blast into the fast drumming and majestic tremolo triple h even says the vocals are pretty much an after thought i would be surprised if their are any real lyrics as they are unintelligible, this song pretty much floats on the tremolo picking
sun of light - pretty much picks up where the previous song left off , until the drums fall out and let the guitars make some interesting sounds , they come back in at another minute and a half or so and the blast pummel begins , it sounds on this song at time he might be screaming real words it builds into a blast march is all i can call this section 4 minutes in then back to the shimmer ,
helix skull - starts off sounding like that 8 bit video game music - it beeps on like this for the duration and could stand to be deleted from my ipod
Glory bronze - is a return to form the same ringing shine to the guitars and drums churning the water around them, it breaks down a little at the two minute mark i guess the is the expand and contract triple h has been referring to in his interviews three and a half minutes in the first time these guys dramatically change tempos to slow it down before going back into the dizzy flurry. it builds back into a wave of pearly white noise . the thing i get about this album is the lack of the hate characteristic of black metal -
veins of god - opens in a very god flesh manner before going into a powerful lumber, considering and the rock n riff at the three minute really kills it in some ways because it is such a departure the album's earlier sound , guitar begins to take a slightly more sonic ring and the drone is consistent with the rest of the album , the layer of guitar is also impressive as the song pounds on ,
i like how the machine gun sound at the beginning of red crown almost feels like it ties into the previous song , it really blast back in at a minute and a half and we are back in familiar territory the stop start of the chords ring out on the punches toward the middle helps break up the barrage, it's safe to say though there is a beauty to this music it is still not going to be for every one and even metal heads who are not open minded might find the album difficult due to some of the meditative monotony, but i guess that's transcendence for you. i think the fact i am such a big fan of the swans give me more suited tastebuds for this than if i just listened to mayhem and marduk . glass earth is just a vocal chant which can be left off my ipod , the chant continues into the beginning of harmonia , which has a awesome pounding tempo change a minute and half mark which seems to be where everything happens with these guys , it brings back the heavy in the best way possible , before we return back to the trademark tremolo, which keeps getting faster

Friday, June 3, 2011

Morbid Angel - Illud Divinum Insanus

Ok the New Morbid Angel - has the metal messages boards in an uproar and in some cases understandably, death metal is a very narrow genre that does one thing so adding too many elements might alienate the more neanderthal thinking fans who just want grunting and blast beat all the time. so hears my re-listen to , we'll see what has grown on me, the album opens with a militant march of apocalyptic ambiance before going into Too Extreme - i'm ok with the samples , the vocal are not as much growled as they are distorted in production , very ministry , but still heavy the start stop and the goth vocals about two and a half minutes in work for me , over all very industrial , the repetitive we are your new religion vocal line gets a little old , reminds me of behemoth
Existo Vulgore, sounds like a return to form , more recognizable as Vincents growl, the drums get very blasty, more blessed are the sick than altars of madness , this one should be please every one who wanted them to stay the same, i think i would get bored if the whole album kept this tone, shit the new drummer is fast, his snare hits don't have the same power as pete's , Trey's solos sound more melodic and less inspired by ancient ones
blades for Baal- should keep alot of the complaints at bay as will as it too goes back to blessed are the sick period , and what alot of the younger metal heads forget is COVENANT could have been seen as a sell out in comparison to Blessed ... each album as been a change so far i'm ok with everything , some of the drumming is so fast it can sound like white noise, but i think this is the heaviest song so far , yep way more form in Trey's soloing , as a whole so far there is less chaos to the proceedings, ok got it this song is about human sacrifice
I am Morbid- starts of with chanting , not ritual chanting but rock concert chanting, goes into a slower riff with the under current of faster double a trademark, then into a groove, the chords get different , not weird just not what i expected in the pre-chorus , this one has more of a Domination feel it as it's pretty mid tempo and a little old school metal feel to it , almost a Metallica swing, like sad but true, the solo speeds up Trey's chops sound great, his tone right on but much more shredder friendly,
Ten More Dead- on my first run through this was my favorite song- mid tempo, Vincent has a little more of sneer to his voice , very domination again , i like the type - o vocals in the chorus, i'm not sure though if purists would consider this death metal , kinda groove metal like old machine head. on second listen the speed up in the solo section doesn't feel natural , like thats where the song wanted to go but maybe its me, so five songs in and i'm not terribly offended , though the more challenging pieces are on the way .
Destructos vs the Earth- is where the techno elements people have been up and arms really begin to make themselves known, the robotic vocals on the chorus are the only really suspect part , can hear the kmfdm part but then again, i use to like them so i might not be the best party to pass ill judgement, does it sound like Morbid Angel , eh... not really, i think this is more of a sign that Morbid Angel was been out of the game for a while so they are out of the loop that people quit listening to industrial music shortly after Domination came out, if this album had come out in 97 or 98, i think the wince factor would be greatly decreased.
Nevermore- i was never blown away when i first here this song, it busts in thrashing , but i think they are better songwriters than this , the drums become a blurred texture, the faster accented vocals don't gel with me either , the clean ahs are the high light for me, but it does sound more like them than the song before .
as i listen to this i think what needed to happen before the experimenting took place is they need to come back and prove themselves as ass-kickers then they might have gotten away with more on some of these songs.
beauty meets beast- starts off heavy more of a domination feel-the low clean vocals are fine with me , the verse vocals don't feel as growled to me , the gated distortion is on the vocals for sure, i think a wetter where the slime live feel might have worked better, this song doesn't suck but isn't there best , trey has his a game on, but as the sole member who has stuck by this line-up all these years - i think the riffs need to bring the evil a little harder considering they are coming back in days of black metal ,
Radikult -the album's problem child - first off this electronic beat is just weak as are the marilyn manson - nu metal guitars , i guess touring with the genitorturers for so long gave Dave a distorted sense of what the musical climate is and though this songs would have been at hit with the 1999 , that train has left the station guys - there is a decent solo in this song it's just hard to make it too
Pro Fundis - very domination - the mea culpa chant is a little meh- traces of samples float around the song which i think would have been wiser to distance themselves from this and end the song in a slightly more brutal fashion than the way whatever that is haunts the faster riffs and makes them sound like something from an anime movie
ok i would say 5 of the ten songs the first five at that really do anything for me so this would rate 5o% five out of ten , not where they really need to be on their first album back with David Vincent and no Pete Sandoval - did they take this into consideration or do they not care and think the public will just buy anything they put out ? maybe it might grow on me and it could be there will end up only 3 songs i'm not crazy about, i did grow to appreciate that fourth danzig album -so it is possible , and i did not hate chinese democracy either - so i should be ok with this but am pretty split - i think like other i got into heavier stuff so this doesn't seem as crushing

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Altar of Plagues -Mammal- a real time review

This band is blowing writers minds because they are just slapping on the praise , and must be smoking some pretty good weed or trying to tow the hipster party line, i am listening to the album as i write this in real time and on the first of the four tracks i think the shortest song is around 8 minutes , I like any band that is dynamic and takes chances but is Altar of Plagues really the second coming?
At five minutes into Neptune is Dead , the 15 minute opening epic, i can say i like how this song moves and the fact they are heavy sonically, in the same post - metal ball park as Tombs, or even Drudkh, comes to mind , the guitars are carrying all the melody , the vocals seem to be the weak link only offering the one harsh dimension, the build up at 8 and half minutes in great guitar attack into a blast beat , really the first time i hear the black metal come through, and no i am no expecting them to be kult and grim , the drone pummel knows when to relent and that is their strong point when i am on the verge off being over a riff, the neurosis influence is here , it's in the drum patterns
on to the twelve minute feather and bone - the drummer is the secret weapon , here this double bass lead in is pretty sick , and the layered tempo feel is a nice touch ,it has not changed the way i listen to music as one reviewer suggested , part of it even in this song is the flat vocals that feel like an after thought, when you are clocking in songs over ten minutes singing some where would work and not only would be would keep it a little more varied it sounds like jazz i am listening to variations on a theme and not that we are headed into prog territory not in the king crimson sense , the guitar is more skilled at drone than shredding so far , the doom plod dominates the entire middle and we finally have have the singing i was waiting for , see that wasn't to hard was it , pretty simple vocal lines, no great range or range at all really required, a haunting background moan , than a melody to peel your ears for, the rolling guitar line is nice very isis. the black metal comes back for the last two minutes of this song, so i would say doom is more prominent than the sounds of blackness,
at the halfway mark with when the sun drowns the ocean starts with female vocals , sound Japanese, maybe mothra is on the way, then into creepy minimal guitar, sounds like an orchestra tuning if they were about to play a concerto of reign in blood, they bring the beat in at 4 mins in , so this might not be the best song for shuffle mode of your ipod. its a slow build and i predict if they are going to bring it would be at the six minute mark but sounds like they are on sound track mode for this one, the this will destroy you fans would dig this track though on a four song album bot sure if it is needed , but be a deleter her for , to save ipod space, if you are stoned and just using this as back ground music , you are scared and using this as a break to take a piss
now the closer the 13 minute all life converges to some center , opens slow with guitar bringing the doom clean doom but a little sludgey none the less, sludge with a shimmer , and the blast beats are back from spacious groove of sorts, back into a blast beat, the wheel isn't being re-defined, the swell and contract take place again as the song converges to it's center i guess, let the pretty chord ring out ala explosions in the sky if they were darker, at eight minutes into this one i can say the first two songs are the best on here unless a rabbit really gets pulled out of a hat here, but guess we are going back to the blast beats for build up, mmm well instead of that it's a half time snare pop groove still in post rock territory , maybe this is the cross over album for these guys and i'm cool with that , it builds into feedback and doom accented cymbal hits , now a min 15 left see if the bunny comes sounds like we are getting Swans - like noise here and it's kinda washing out with explosions of static - ok thats that , the end solidified my previous statement, i like the first half , middle track brought down the momentum and the last song , is nice background but heard before
looking for black metal this isn't it