Friday, June 29, 2012

Primate: Draw Back a Stump

This is as close to covering punk rock as I will ever allow this band to get.  Mastodon Guitarist Bill Kelliher and former Brutal Truth growler Kevin Sharp step up to the plate with this side project. It hold none of the chaos either of their other bands once played with, instead stays very basic pummel style in the vein of Black Flag , yet the metal roots betray it with some of the sonic chug of this assualt.

The only melody to be found lies in Kelliher's playing, as Sharp is every bit as abrasive as the guitars. This is consistant with his preformance in Brutal Truth, a band who in all fairness I abandoned after their first album. The snarl Sharp default's to is at times very Rollins. While aside from Ringworm there is not alot of good new crossover coming out so sweaty drunk kids every where are looking to get this kind of pit going.
I don't see this making the trip over to my i-Pod as I'm not the target audience, I recognize this so I'm not going to score it as I can't tell the songs apart. They are all well played but at a similar tempo, influenced by an era before the hardcore break down. The songs clock in in the traditional under three mintue mark in fact this entire album is the length of one songs from "Crack the Skye". Several memebers of  this band are from the Atlanta punk band the Despised, who underground following, like the Despised , Motorhead would be the closest metal band comparisons could be drawn to even factoring in the rest of Primate's family tree, I suppose those lines of distinction could be drawn with most punk of this flavor.

The album is well recorded , clarity and grit present in a well rounded balance, an achievment considering this sort of thing normally works best live.While dense, I wouldn't say this album holds a very dark, so this factors into why it would not resonate with me.I think younger metal heads with punk leanings will enjoy this as much as the old school who has G.B.H patches next to the D.R.I and Slayer ones on their denim vests. I think as far as hard core punk goes , the hype surrounding a band like Off! would be better served on these guys. I think the bands age or more vetran nature is transcended in their preformances, making the attitude this music is about hold more weight than coming across as a loud suburban brat.

I guess the restraint Kelliher's playing here exhibits, lends creedence to some of the punk vs metal compare and contrast examined earlier in the week, it must bring out this inner 14 year old to dummy down after the winding prop epics. Earlier Mastodon utilized as some what more straight forward attack at the onset of some of their songs. This is 75 percent punk 25 percent metal so if you are dying for a score on this move the decimal point and round it up or go dig up Slayer's "Undisputed Attitude" album and you will be in the same zip code just on a steady diet of  " My war " .

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Norwegian Black Metal vs Vice

"the pretty boy of Norwegian Black Metal?"
Crowned king of  ignorant lard asses Henry Owing made himself troll supreme with his "Death to Norweigan black metal: article for Vice magazine, a publication best used to mop up throat babies at house shows everywhere. He proceded to put  Negative Approach front -man John Brannon on a pedestal. While there is no question musically punk rock is inferior to metal  in every way, I dont' hate punk rock , in fact I really like Discharge a band who Negative Approach aspired to be. So I have  very little use for Negative Approach, since I'd rather listen to the genuine article who  like so many punk bands that learn to play their instruments do  became metal.

Owing who like Vice was late to the party, seems to only reference the more lo-fi element of the early albums and unlike punk rock, the genre has moved on and evolved. You won't find tape hiss on the new Taake album but you will find them shredding on a banjo in the middle of the song.  I know the ability to solo on any instrument is rare on a Negative Approach album is rare considering they don't have the basic grasp of them.

Having never attended the blazing heat of a Wacken Fest, Owing has never seen a band like Immortal or Dimmu in full regailia playing not only the heat but under the stage lights corpse paint be damned or even the basic knowledge even in Norway it gets up into the 90's in July.  

While we are dissecting the arguement  below there's the link to the article . It came out 6 months ago and didn't exactly generate waves on the internet. I do hope this type of thinking as flawed as it is continues to permeate hipster culture and spurn an exodus of  moustached fools out of metal.
1. Brannon and his then girlfriend/junkie pal Larrissa Strickland would routinely have violent fist fights while on stage performing with Laughing Hyenas. They would play the song "Lullabye and Goodnight," and Brannon would grab Larissa by the hair and drag her across the stage. In Columbus, Ohio. Ohio! On a Tuesday! There wouldn't even be anyone in the audience!
so the example of him being a tough guy is beating up his girlfriend ? ...oh really, have him change is tampon once his mangina stops bleeding and get back to us once he has done his 15 years for murdering a grown man. ....and of course no one would be in the audience.
2. Did I mention that Brannon grew up on the streets of Detroit? Yes, the same intense city that spawned Iggy Pop, Mick Collins, and Wayne Kramer. I'd pay a million bucks to empty a bus filled with NBM pantywaists in the Cass Corridor just to watch them get slaughtered like cattle. Fact.

Alice Cooper came from that scene, shared the stage with goes guys and  wore  the first corpsepaint, while Iggy was doing camp drag for David Bowie . Varg's just the average height in Norway at 6'1". I.C.S Vortex is 6' 7" and Ghaal the biggest queen in scene tied up a grown man broke into his house , not his girl friend up and tortured him for hours , so they'll make sure to take Gorgoroth's tour bus.   
3. With John Brannon there's never been a sense of theater. Never a nod to King Diamond. Never a glimmer of make up. Reality seethes from him. Only Gene Simmons would need window dressing to cover up his shortcomings.

Why would you want to listen to Post- Merciful Fate metal that isn't influenced by King Diamond? Kerry King sure wouldn't.
4. John Brannon has never had to make references to Dungeons and Dragons and Lord of the Rings in his music. Seriously, Norway? Toss away your sixteen-sided dice, get your smack on, and then we might begin to take you seriously.

That would require him being able to read, Varg's just wrote a guide to anicent mythology  Brannon can barely write his name .

5. Have you ever actually been to Norway? I have. It's consistently rated as one of the best places in the world to live. Nationalized health care. Affluence. Oh, and did I even mention how racist they are? Well, they are. Additionally, American bands actually have to work for what they get. In Norway? It's subsidized by the government. Don't believe me? Go ask any touring American band why they love going to Europe. It's because the entire continent supports the arts. It's like a full tour of posh US college gigs all in a row. Europeans don't know what it's like getting dirt under their fingernails until they come to America.

The reason it's one of the best places to live comes from the same reason you refer to it as racist, a sense of nationally pride, pride in ones culture, an alien concept to American's who just have a "melting pot" so no cultural convictions. Instead a culture where ignorence and laziness is coddled. While big cities like Oslo,certainly feel like college compared to a slum like Detroit. Considering agriculture is the primary revenue for most of Norway, the country is largely comprised of people who grown and hunt their own food , not roll up to a McDonald's drive thru, so fingers dirty.

6. John Brannon is in this for life. This isn't fashion to him. This isn't something he's doing until he settles down. This ain't no punchline, kid.

The type of conviction in his beliefs that would see him I don't know say ... burn down a church?. Like most punk rockers bitches alot but does nothing.
7. As of the publishing of this piece, at no point has VICE or Scion had their pocketbooks parked up John Brannon's ass. Shocking, I know.

Black metal is alot about money that's why they are like Iggy Pop and have Darkthrone in car commericals and embarassing themselves on American Idol.  

Owing is much more preoccupied with his lurid fantasies of getting fist fucked with a spiked gauntlet to pay attention to actual facts of the matter but such is the life of a troll.

the Best in Metal for 2012' so far ...

"I decree zee punishment for bad metal is death"

For this to be the year of  the Mayan apocalypse we are going out with a whimper  in terms of the creative out put in metal and horror movies both are having weak showings. Of the artists I have compiled for the mid year progress report card , more border on just having metal elements , yetthey sound heavier to me than the half-hearted Meshuggah. So here's who is delivering the goods for the soundtrack to the apocalypse this year .
1- Pinkish Black- Self titled-  recently reviewed, casts it's dark shadow over what most might consider metal but it's still heavier in tone than any of the mall-metal djent crap

2-Ihsahn- Eremita- Well crafted  leaning  towards progressive metal, a sliver cloud with only black metal in the shading around its edges. Will be hard pressed to find better guitar playing on an album this year.

3-Pallbearer-Sorrow & Extinction - I must admit I was a little disappointed with the vocal performance I have seen of their  more recent live footage but it doesn't stop it from being the most soaring doom so far.

4-Lunar Aurora- Hoagascht- Noticed deficit in good black metal, these guys understand ambiance doesn't have to put you to sleep

5-Royal Thunder -CVI- Another non-metal release but close enough to help fill the void, looming ,morose and swinging melodies which get lodged in the back of my mind.

6-Lord Mantis- Pervertor-Kellhammer turned me onto this, sure it's sludge drenched but like Dragged into Sunlight, still comes closer to being being black metal than half of what is slathered in corpse paint these days.

7- Burzum -Umskiptar-Not a big departure from the other post- pokey albums, this one feels more depressing  and has a slower drone it , making it a piece of frost I'm warming up to.

8-Sigh - In Somniphobia- Another step away from black metal and into exotic cartoonish lands where Mr. Bungle and Frank Zappa were only thought to tread.Think evil mario cart muzak.

9-Merrimack-the Acausal Mass- Not the kind blasty mcnastiness I expected, but it is still an all round well crafted slab of hell charred death thrash..maybe

10 Huntress- Spelleater- it was a toss up between this and Rumplestiltskin Grinder , but Huntress has melodies I actually find myself singing after the fact, where the Grinders pretty much adhere to just Carcass worship.

Alcest and Christian Mistress are both good albums, just not metal,  the singer of Christian Mistress reminds me of the girl from Rainer Maria, but maybe not as much as the chick from Witch Mountain reminds me of Fiona Apple. Then there's  whole contingency of albums by bands like Horse Back and Nachtvorst which touch on greatness but are too caught up in creating soundscapes and noise.

Most likely to unseat some of these by the end of the year ...Nachtmystium, A Forest of Stars, Katatonia, Converge

Sunday, June 24, 2012

State Of the Union

First off before all the bitching and contemplation a big thank you to all the new readers, keep re-posting and spreading the word. If you are new to my blog and have only seen my reviews, while I have more of those in the coming days this is the first in a series of editorials if you will on the state of metal today.

From the 15,000 people at last nights Iron Maiden concert, you would think metal is in a healthy place. Then today I read a Facebook post from the front man of the up and coming local band Whores that he doesn't like Iron Maiden. Now people are free to their individual tastes but I think if you are playing metal it's a very ignorant stance to take. Especially when next to Black Sabbath are the most influential metal band ever, have any doubts go ask Metallica, go ask Slayer go ask Buzz Osborne.

I personally couldn't listen to a metal band who doesn't have at least respect for Maiden, because you are telling me you have no appreciation for well played and crafted music that's stood the test of time. While I know Christian personally and can recall a word for word conversation about an Iron Maiden tribute band I was in where he said " Alot of people thought Iron Maiden was a joke and he told them well you try to play it , it's no joke. Granted he could have been saying that to placate me , it think it's more more likely it was just said to get a reaction, I know you are thinking well he certainly got a reaction out of you if you are blogging about it. this is only the lead in, I have been contemplating this as were are at the half year mark and seeing where metal is heading in 2012.

I think the big trend is going to be getting hipsters out of metal, they are going to go back to their punk rock garage jangles or other such lo fi tom foolery. I think with Christian's statement it's a shift back to the more punk rock attitude, where bands like Unsane, the Melvins and Jesus Lizard who traditionally were leaning towards the punk rock scene more so than metal , and their fan base aging hipsters searching for relevance see a resurgence in metal thanks to cross over bands like Mastodon, who made metal hip before venturing out into Thin Lizzy land. Lets face I know at least in the scene here most of the so called metal heads are punk rockers who just grew their hair out and were riding the back of the trailer on the whole white trash trucker hat scene which was basically displaced rock a billy kids. Garage rock killed punk, it was just as snotty and simplistic, you had the black lips who were giving hand jobs to Vice magazine onstage, and Vice are moving onto to your little article about black metal next order of business.

So if you say you don't like Iron Maiden yet claim to be metal in some form or fashion, you have number one proved yourself a poseur, because lets face it metal is about a primal sense of belonging to a tribe of other who metal is not the next cool thing to jump onto but lifers who live and breathe it, the false will always show themselves out sure they might try and talk to you about King Diamond one day, they may even have a Slayer sticker on their car but they are just hopping on something for now.

Next week it will be indie/math/hardcore/dubstep/whatever.

Now I don't care for bands like Blind Guardian, I know they are talented, I do like old Helloween and it feels like to me if I have the need to listen to that sort of thing I can pop in Keeper of the 7 KEYS but as a rule that sort of happy power metal isn't for me, I do like that kind of thing when it is darker and angrier, but they are watered down 3rd generation children of the NWOBHM .

Similar to the Maiden hating is taking Judas Priest's side, well if your memory has failed you about that last Priest show that rolled through well...the Verizon amphitheater didn't do them any favors and Rob's voice was close to being shot out "Victim of Changes" was painful. Not to mention the fact Rob Halford holds the up most respect for Maiden and would never say something as stupid as he didn't like them.Well because he does.

I don't like the trend of taking a side of Maiden or Priest, and for people who think they are taking the higher ground with Priest, let me remind you of the Ripper Owens albums before you bring up Blaze Bailey because I will put "No Prayer for the dying" up against "Turbo" anyway of the week.

And if we are really going to fight dirty Maiden has never been on American Idol.But it's like seeing to family members fight and you are forced to take sides. If you like classic heavy metal you like it. Is 2012 the year metal gets divisive would be interested in seeing how this plays out as the tour unfold, could it just be Atlanta is retarded when it comes to metal...well it wouldn't be breaking news there.

Vice Magazine I'm coming for you next.

Iron Maiden & Alice Cooper 6/23/12

While both Alice Cooper  and Maiden's  the preformances were great the venue  reminds me why I don't like big shows. Big show is putting it mildy on a few fronts 15,000 thousand bodies were crammed in a testimony to the band's staying power. It was also big on a porduction front as well as both Cooper and Maiden had huge Spinal Tap like sets though without the malfunctions.

Alice Cooper went on while the sun still shone, weird though not the first time I have seen him forced to preform in a shed undeer those conditions, he did so in 91 on the Operation Rock n Roll tour with Preist and Motorhead. The daylight didn't diminish his performance. His band was more honed than the other gaggle of hired guns he had working for him back then. This band was comprised of members of Sixx-am, Beautiful Creatures and Dio, as well as know that "According to you" song,when I first heard it at the gym I thought it was Pink myself and last night we were trying to figure out it it was Jennifer Batten. She helped pull the weight were Cooper's aging vocal chord's faltered. He has never been a Bruce Dickinson power house and his pipes have always relied on attitude more than range so it was a glaring problem.
His set could have  have refrained from visting anything past the "Hey Stoopid" period and other wise predictably hit heavy, while the chorus to "I love the dead " was played during his execution scene , the whole song would have been better than "Brutal Planet". Overall I enjoyed his set as Cooper was a early teen favorite of mine so I have seen his full show half a dozen times already, he won the crowd which is a much better job than anyone can expect  of Coheed and Cambria  when they take his place on the final leg of the tour.

  I joked with my friend to be the trailer parks emptied out. I'm sure if you were at any bar  last night you notice not a meth dealer could be found. Another thing I noticed about the crowd was they gave no credence to the metal rule of not wearing a the shirt of the band you are going to see to the show , I think Metallica's crowd also shares this fashion sense. at one point had a guy stop me to take a picture of the King Diamond shirt I was wearing as it was an original from 88 and not the pristine Amazon variety of shirts which dominates the un-Maiden shirt crowd. Speaking of which Maidens shirts were too brightly colored and just variations of art work from past albums, so I skipped out on throwing down 40 bucks for one as I already own four.

Maiden took the stage at 9 and came on strong with "Moonchild" in fact the only song in their set I found worthy of heading to the bathroom for was " Afraid to shoot strangers" which created and exodus to the beer lines. Speaking of  beer those who drank threw down 11 bucks a pop for a beer, when I remember the venue saying there were going to be four dollars beers. I think "Running Free" and "Fear of the dark" were the only two songs I had not heard before and was surprised how well the latter translated live.

 The band appeared to have more energy than when I saw them 15 years ago. Bruce cleared the monitors with two feet to spare , running across the top of the giant set which he sand atop half the show and from his normal one foot propped metal god  stance the other half. His voice benefited from a prominant vocal mix was strong, "Aces High" was the only point where he struggled and the songs could have been placed earlier in the set. This was my first time seeing the 3 guitar line-up, I was surprised how well it worked, they gave it other plenty of space and Janick Gers had some of the bands best stage prescene presence .Thanks to their soccer regiment the bands age did not effect their energy at all,  they bounded and hopped across the stage for the close to 2 hr set.

Sound wise to have three guitars they certainly could have stood to have been louder, either I'm growing death but my ears did not ring a bit ,perhaps there is more of a decibel cap on the venue now due to zoning or something, so beware to those expecting a deafening set from Motorhead when they roll through with Slayer and  the caravan of teeny bopper bands, oh yes and those of you talking shit about Maiden and so sure Slayer will rule , remember Maiden doesn't have to tour with tattooed boy bands to draw. Look for a metal state of the union coming later tonight as my commentary on metal today.  

While their songs have always displayed their chops their were none of the cheesy metal unaccompanied solo or showboating, they stuck working as the time tested unit. Like drugs there's never going to be  another first time to the inital blow away experience was not recaptured from when I saw them as a kid, but they did raise the bar to a height it's doubtful another rock band will be able to recapture this year...yes I'm talking to you Prog Power, Nightwish and Slayer.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pinkish Black- S/T

The doctor is here my drugs are in. No not the ones my lack of healthcare can't provide but the ones my soul needs, they arrived in the form of the 7 songs on Pinkish Black's  self-titled 2012 release. This album floats like the ghost of a drug induced suicide yet has the density of a black hole. It's not heavy in the metal sense but in an oppressive sonic sense. This two piece out of Fort Worth Texas have their  metal influences undercoating the drive of the drums and grind of the often distorted bass which churn together on the same post-apocalyptic steam engine which Godflesh rode in on years ago.
  The album opens with a name rides the pulse until the wave crashes into a eerie shimmer of the second track "Everything went dark " it soars short and sweetly with a melancholy dripping from the crooned vocals.
  If Ridley Scott doesn't use the song "Passerby" in this next Blade Runner venture he's scheming, he would be missing the boat. Though the song feels more grimey like William Gibson than Phillip K Dick, the bleak layering ads to the robotic coldness. The death-rock label is often used to describe this band and I feel it's a little of a misnomer as it looks back with a sense of nostalgia to the 80's and I feel this is very forward thinking music, the only 80's band that really strikes me here is Kraftwerk.
The mix is very strong even in the lo-fi approach to distortion on the bass which dominates the track "Fall down". The Swans influence peeks of  the murk, but in the sense of Micheal Gira driving a bulldozer through the set of Eraser Head. I keep referencing movies here because their is something very cinematic about the vastness of the sound .
The bomb which created the waste land, drops at the onset of "Tell her I'm Dead".  The spectral vocals at this point in the album build into a scream, the tempo shifts into echoes of what I suppose is a blast beat of sorts collapsing  a falsetto which brings to mind what Jeff Buckley must have sounded like as he drowned.
The sparse piano of "Tastes like blood" is crushed by the bass on drums dropped on it , as they hammer it's splinters into the ground when the first riff I might consider doom surfaces. The vocals here also crawl out of the hold  Nick Cave was hiding in when he croaked "release the bats" back in the days of the Birthday Party.
The closer "Against the Door" is the album most straight forward piece with the drums driving and the pyschedelics whirling around it, the interplay of  bass and drums here brings to mind Motorhead if they didn't kick the rock n roll 3's and 4's. This song along with "Tell her I'm dead" I had to give a few listens for it to click as  they contain elments which are not as easilly blended with the rest of the album though made more sense to me with repetition . After a few spins of  "Against the door" I began to recognize the hypnotic pounding was a similar approach to same kind of drone Urfaust invokes, just with more theramin bells and whistles following it down the rabbit hole, where Urfaust is goose stepping into a Wagnerian dystopia.
So this looks to be the closest to perfect an album has come in 2012 and in my book is the album to beat for album of the year,  I have been streaming it on their band camp until the money ship arrives so i can purchase it on my very own as I  forsee this being an indepesible soundtrack for low swings to come and will go ahead an award it the vey elusive score of 10 out 10
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Return of the living death rock

I'd say 77% of anything I listen which resembles punk rock would also fall into the sub genre of death rock and 77% of the people reading this won't even know what that is unless they have heard the term thrown around in a sentence involving the Misfits, take goth and throw in more punk influence and their you go. Referencing the Return of the living dead sound track works as well.
CVLT Nation put out this mix tap for down load and it's so awesome the only thing which sucks is it down loads onto your i-Pod as one track any way the track listing is below

1. LOST TRIBE – Forever (2010)
2. RUDIMENTARY PENI – Annihilation (2008)
3. AGNOSTIC PRAY – Alienation (2011)
4. DEKODER – What’s Left (2011)
5. CHRIST VS WARHOL – Cross of Lorraine (2010)
6. INTERNAL AUTONOMY – Disappear/Appear (2011)
7. BELLICOSE MINDS – Tension Building (2011)
8. DEAD CULT – Surviving in a Dying World (2012)
9. ANASAZI – I Saw the Witch Cry (2011)
10. FANGS ON FUR – Cigarette (2010)
11. CRIMSON SCARLET – Two Kinds of Red (2011)
12. BELGRADO – Visions of Massacre (2011)
13. PINKISH BLACK – Spiritual Cramp (Christian Death) (2012)
14. ATRIARCH – Oblivion (2012)
16. BLUE CROSS – Time to Die (2011)
18. CEMETERY – Grave Dance (2011)
19. BLOODY DEAD AND SEXY – Solemn Times (2010)
20. DYSTOPIAN SOCIETY – Dystopian Society (2011)
21. THE DAMNED – Under the Wheels (2008)
22. SPECTRES – Time is Out (2010)
23. CROSS STITCHED EYES – Become Earth
24. ALARIC – Assault Memory (2012)
25. SILENT SCREAM – Hive Mind (2011)
26. ARCTIC FLOWERS – Technicolor Haze (2010)
27. DEATHCHARGE – Newest Dark Age (2011)

it really is only missing Crypts who might be a little to electronic for this , but Atriarch and Pinkish Black are awesome and two bands I have been meaning to feature in the dawning of black metal to come I see more bastard marriages of death rock with black metal , Industrial is no stranger to this and weighs heavy on what we have heard from the new Nachtmystium. It is like throwing my teenage years into a blender, I'm fine with jumping on this bandwagon since I've had my seat on it since 1990.

Below is the Crypts video, the band has some ex-members of These Arms Are Snakes, So if the ironic moustache alarms you then consider the source...but theres enough anger that feels genuine here for me to second guess the sincerity too much, there is a "witch house" element and unfortunatly the album is not coming out til sept, though I am hoping for a leak as this would be the perfect soundtrack for 4 a.m. creeping around dragon-con.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Smashing Pumpkins: Oceania


Well... Smashing Pumpkins isn't metal, but then again neither is Royal Thunder and they were just covered on here, so chalk this one up like the Marilyn Manson review a pacifier from my friends sense of nostalgia. I enjoyed the Pumpkins uptil around 96 or so, dipping back into the drum machine years , is hit or miss, some songs i like other not so mucjh , all of the re-union years have been underwhelming and so far as I am listening to this album their doesn't seem to be alot thats going to buck that trend.
I have always respected Billy Corgan's guitar work and this album is no exception. The song writing seems to in question. The album opener "Quasar" is not bad but it doesn't sound like the pumpkins as if Corgan had a run in with Moron 5 while exploring a more mature vocal style. I can say by the second track "Panopticon" I began to notice a Jeff Buckley influence in some of the phrasing. Though this has not aided this ability to write melodies as they range in level of embrassment. Some of these melodies Crogan should re-think marketing them as childrens songs.
By the time the song "Pin-wheels" rolls around I am wishing I could un-hear some of this though this song takes the prize for Fisher Price plastic Muzak. If not for illegal downloading, people might be wasting their hard-earned money in this eccnomy.
The title track sound like a left over from a sequel to the Crow and thats a good thing. the it floats away in a wash of synths even, Katy Perry's more tender moments boasts a bigger pair of balls. The disjointed guitar solo at the end can't even save it.
I found myself in disbelief hoping the album would some how pull it together , but the song writing gets so lazy even the well recorded sounds make this something on par with post-Kilroy was here Styx or "Ambominog" era Uriah Heap though that would imply there is actuall rock going on in the albums later portions,then hope began to fade into counting the mintues until I could delete this from my hard-drive. Literally o.k 4 songs to go I can make it through this . "Chimera" starts with a hopeful guitar riff but like the rest of this album fails half way into the verse and is followed up by a chorus so bland i'm not sure how this made it place management and label, which goes to show you how out of touch the record indursty is and after listening to this I can only hope for the dying breath of corporate rock.
"Glissandra" raises the hope again until you get to a chorus that never find the muscle to break out into any kind of dynamics.

the albums gets a generous 2 if you find youself liking more than 3 songs this album please delete me from any form of social media as you are part of the problem, if you love it suicide is an option you might want to consider and something Billy Corgan might want to consider if he refuses in 2012 to get honert with himself and come out of the closet and make childrens musicals.

Honest I did not imagine this album would be this bad when I started .

Royal Thunder : CVI

While the Atlanta band's e.p., survived the test of time on my i-Pod a feat thanks to the rotting corpse of Steve Jobs, since iTunes up dates fail to accommodate products they still sold such as my iPod classic, so instead of 60 gigs of music I'm reduced to 20, given the rate I consume music it makes for some hard choices every Sunday. So that's an indication of how highly I place the e.p. the anticipated "CVI" album required several listens to grow on me. Not to mention living in Atlanta at present, Royal Thunder finds themselves in a place where he local hype built up around this band is not aligned with the reality. In comparison to a band like Christian Mistress, which most locals aren't familiar with how adventurous are Royal Thunder? Well lets dive into this thing and find out.

At first I would have told you The 2nd track "Whispering world" feels like it would have have been a better opener than "Parsonz Curse" a more simmering blue number that takes it time getting wound up into a gospel slither.This still may or may not be true while I now do not dislike "Parsonz Curse" as I had upon initial listens, in fact it did not make the synch to my ipod, until given a few more tires on the Relapse records band camp page.It could be the lyrical subject matter which is a personal commentary on the inner workings of her families legacy made the approach to the song more passive aggressive after all this is how the majority of family dynamics seem in the south unless they are out in front of the trailer park beating each other with pots and pans.The song builds into an almost gospel fervor by the refrain at the end and pays off.

Miny's vocals being more aggressive vocals on "Whispering World" come across very Kylesa influenced and in some ways the rest of the song as a whole does as has more drive than all the songs on the e.p. put together. Here is where an interesting point comes into play, as Royal Thunder flirts with what most consider metal, having spent the better part of the last year touring with bands vastly heavier than they are. With the road as a learning experience,they went back into studio like the old Charles cartoon from the 60's, where the kid on the beach gets sand kicked in his face so he goes home and works out to turn the tables on the bully. This album displays much muscle however, touring with a jam band might have given them similar treatment as they have com back with more sprawling offerings and most songs clocking in over the 7 minute mark.

Miny's ear for hooks and melodies give her the edge in songwriting,I welcome the return of rock god guitar soloing on the track shake and shift it creates too long of a bridge in between the more interesting melodic elements which play to the bands strength rather than the new Led Zeppelin moments. "Your No Good" doesn't really re-invent the wheel, a convincing blues shuffle attacks like the Mc5 paying more attention to melody. I really like the Tool-like chugged tension "Blue" opens with. The Concrete Blonde meets Black Sabbath comparisons on this album have been put to rest as I more 90's grunge than Sabbath.

The re-recorded version of "Sleeping Witch" utilizes a touch of subtle cello underlying the guitar, not my first pick of a song to re-visit from the e.p., but it must be a favorite of the band. Kylesa shading on the second songs aside one of the band's strong points is their sense of identity. They could have given into the temptation to conform to the climate of the Southeastern sludge scene. To the ear, they could care less about their neighbors Mastodon. The use of haunting melody in a song like "South of Somewhere" while more pervasive on the e.p. it's shown in good portion here. the use of vocal hooks as a dynamic build is also present though the shift in songwriting makes it not as much of the focal point as the on the e.p. Multiple listens indicates this is due to the fact the entire band converges more into one working unit than Miny having to be so far in the forefront to carry the songs. the jammed sections feel like there way of saying "Wow, we have been on the road doing this for a while now look we really are coming to our own as a band" The interplay of instruments is not only denser but more advanced here. I wouldn't call it progressive rock rock but more expansive.

I have said elsewhere Parsonz voice reminds me of Lita Ford particularly when belting into a higher register. This is somewhat dispelled on this album, and she has more time to explore a variety of vocal colors. Where the ballad "Minus" at the later portion of R album seems to be filler and it's only two minutes of it so it's by and large forgivable. My points of contention with the Royal Thunder's new album revolve around my own personal taste and what I wanted more of after the e.p and the live show gave me a taste of. Performance wise it's pretty solid."CVI captured what they set out to do with out flaw. The fact it's taking a while to work on me I can recognize as a good sign as most stuff I get quickly hooked on tends to have less staying power.

out of 10 I rate it an 8.5, not the saviors of rock as you know like Atlanta press might claim but they have produced a quality album and their brand of blues inflected rock is sure worth a listen of frat-crap like the Black Keys any day of my week.