Monday, February 25, 2013

KMFDM ; " Kunst

On their newest album Kmfdm continues to lampoon the urban myths surrounding their mystique from the get go where the chorus is ..."Kmfdm, kill mother fucking Depeche Mode" which is the longest running misconception about what's the bands name means, which in actuality it stands for a German phrase that loosely translates into "no pity for the majority" , I'm surprised they didn't cover a Rammstein song as the singer was rumored to be replacing the rammsteins. We should go ahead and get out of the way what the album is most lacking and that's founding member En Esch, Who left to form Slick Idiot in 2000 and Sasha formed MDFMK where he acquired his now wife singer Lucia Ciferelli who sings on this album and no she doesn't sing on their biggest hit Juke Joint Jezabel or any of the classics for that matter, she has less of gospel belt and a more refined pop sound which at times gives the album a Lords of Acid feel.

While we are at The list of missing persons guitarist Guenter Schulz is also absent , though the stiff militant riffing is still present and covers this fact much better than some of the other line up changes which haven't changed the sound but changed the feel of the sound.

The opening title track starts off with a mortal kombat sample amd feels like it captures their personality perfectly, winking at past songs in the lyrics while adding some new sounds by a fuller production than they had access to in the nineties. I'm all for electronic acts making the most of technology after all isn't that the point to what they are doing. Anyway this is my favorite song , so it could mean the album goes down hill from there.

The Lucia sung "Ave Maria" and no not the aria of the same name, but a mid tempo dancier piece that does some excellent interplay between male and female vocals. It's fairly atypical for what they do but it's well executed with an attention to details that give depth to the song. Sure the production value is its saving grace but we have already covered that in this sort of music.

"Quake" has the stiff guitar riffs that nazi cyborgs could march in to, perhaps it's not as thick as it once was and the bass on this album doesn't smack you upside the head, so here is where they should have played up the tricks in production, other than that the sounds are very crisp and the mix leaves breathing room for what could be a sonic entanglement of too many colliding elements.

"Hello" crashes into you a little heavier than what they served up so far though it breaks down into Lucia's breathy almost Shirley Manson like vocals and glides out into almost acid jazz, but with more of a pop electronica swing to the songs last two minute they blast back in with a heavy chorus but I don't feel it's as effective if the verse section of the song wasn't allowed to float around for so long. The heavy part reminds me of the Genitorturers.

"Next Big the thing" starts of straight forward color by numbers German Industrial. If Esch sang on this it would have felt more believable but comes across like filler from a Marilyn Manson album. Midway I'm a little bored, maybe I wouldn't mind it as back ground music and the song doesn't suck it just doesn't offer much I haven't already heard.

"Pussy riot " is an ode to the girls in a band of the same name who went to jail in Russia. Lucia sings this one, it feels more like lords of acid than Kmfdm, until it gets to the chorus which is well written and there is also a nineties Nu metal element to this anthem of girl power, but it works. "Pseudocide" has almost a rock n roll feedlot it and while at this point I'm wondering if i made a mistake deleting the Combichrist to make room for this the. Chorus works though isn't really wowing me.

"Animal Out" has more booty shake thump to it, the production on Lucia's vocals are really cool and the guitars finally takes forefront in the mix like I have wanted it to do earlier in the album. Theatre back in classic form on this one as it offers the best of both worlds how their fans want them to sound while benefitting from the technology of 2013 being able to deliver that in a slicker more textured fashion. " The Mess you made " takes it time wading through the sample to get to the point and is more techno than industrial though that can pretty much be said of the whole album which is much more edm. The chorus in this one is strong as it falls in a unexpected place and the guitar while it's in the passenger seat to the synth hear works more as a layer.

" I heart you not" is dark and creepy enough to almost hide the place Esch left, but he played the role of sinister Nazi with more conviction than Sasha's impersonation of him. The phrasing and all the pieces are in place to create a replica but it still has the after taste of a diet drink.

So over all I guess as the comeback trail goes its the first album I have taken notice of since post MDFMK .it sounds great the guitars I think we're intentionally playing second fiddle to the synth in this one and considering all the missing components I think they worked well with what was at their disposal so I'll give it an 8 round it up a point if you are over the fact there's no En Esch on this or are too young to remember the original incarnation of the band and truth be told I was too high to recall it with much accuracy but I do remember seeing them on the Nihil tour and it was pretty kick ass.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Weekly Shuffle

Ok this weeks is going to be different as my iPod in on the fritz so instead I'm using comcasts music choice metal station so it's their take on metal and more mainstream look at than I normally take first up

"la Epiddemia" by Ill Niño - well these guys have gotten a lot heavier than I remember them being , but it sounds like second rate Slipknot, they don't want to surpress their rap rock past but are going for Chimera like vocals but even more bland. The guitars are better than I remembered.

" Tomorrow belongs to Nobody" by Carcass, ok the first band I actually listen to so that's a relief from the metal core I fear is to come. These guys know how to piece the riffs together, more rock n roll take on things than from the Heartwork album, the verse riff is still pretty mean though and has a good groove. The lyrics are no a text book rundown of medical procedure but neither were the lyrics on Heartwork.

"Buildings" by Katatonia band number two I like, I think this has come up on the shuffle before, if I have to drop down to a sixteen gig iPod I doubt this album will make the cut, it has it's moments but is a lot more of the same , I like the melodies here better than some of the others on this album. I don't want to hear the get more progressively radio stale which each release which is the direction it's gone since Great Cold Distance.

" Secular Haze" by Ghost, first I have heard from this album much more circus feel, I heard its a different singer and it's much less king Diamond in the delivery though the keyboards have the theatrics of the kings later solo work ,but the melodies are smoother almost like Opeth. It sounds over produced and a departure from their first album, not a good sign of things to come. I guess the change in singers is why they changed their name to Ghost b.c . look for them in the where are they now files everywhere.

"the aftermath" by Incite, o.k now here's the kind of boring bullshit metal I hate, there is nothing you haven't heard since vulgar display of power o.k far beyond driven to be fair as 97 is the last time this sort of thing had any validity Becuase by the time Slipknot got around to it the hardcore influenced thing was already a mall metal cliche. No ambiance or melodic trappings but not heavy enough to justify the lack of them.

"Lenfant Sauvage" by Gojira, I liked their first album but never got around to really checking them out after that point, this isn't bad , it's less Meshuggah worship than I thought there would be and I guess if you are going for a more mainstream metal thing this is the way to do it. Towards the middle of the song it begins to bore me but nothing too offensive , while I wouldn't be opposed to hearing the whole album it doesn't seem like something I would listen to on a regular basis either.

"Psalm 69" by Ministry, I have been on a Ministry kick lately, this is one of the albums best songs and it's a classic album so I only have good things to say about this one. I love the effects on Al's voice here, he wasn't growling but it makes the delivery sound heavy as the guitars , It coats them well.

"kings of deceit " by Affiance, ...this is pretty bad cheese , it's going for a big power metal like chorus with out anything interesting to back it up just straight forward chugging, they prolly have faux hawks and are wearing affliction shirts as they pose on the monitors. Imagine Symphony Or Strativarious without the chops.

"Frozen at the moment of Death" by Six Feet Under , I owned their first album and I like Cannibal Corpse up until the Bleeding , then like the bulk of Chris Barnes solo band when you heard one album you have heard them all, the vocals are really one dimensional and uninteresting, though the band has picked up the pace from what I recall of their previous efforts, the bridge to this song is o.k but this could really be any death metal band, very lacking in personality.

"Feel so Numb" by Rob Zombie ...when this came out I did not own it but for 2001 this was a less offensive reminder we had just wandered out for the nineties than other stuff on the radio at the time, I'm not sure I would say this is metal, but I removes a lot of non metal things on the shuffle, however I don't think this stood the test of time as well as Ministry as it sound like wrestlers might start walking to the ring at any moment.

Black Metal History Week

It's a grim mood to sit in silence typing up a blog about black metal with none to listen to thanks to Mercury in retrograde frying my iPod, I did get to listen to the new Rotting Christ this morning, but now silence until I take a trip to the frosty wasteland of best buy. So in honor of black history month I have been having black metal history the least black metal band I have listened was Sabbath, but if we are going into the history of it all goes back to Them, despite their now being apologetic toward their nefarious imagery.

When black metal came into my consciousness I was in the sixth grade and associated the term with bands like venom and Slayer, Bathory I only knew by the one promo shot I saw all the time and of course King Diamon. I thought Satan was the only thing that tied them together and knew Slayer was also thought of as thrash, though they sounded more evil than other thrash bands like Overkill and Testament. I think the sound of evil is a good defining point , the black metal which we think of now days by way of Norway , has the dirty chords which have a dissonant drone to them , more often than not tremelo picked has this sound of evil. I have covered Von on this blog and think they play an important role of pushing what we consider black metal today forward though their part was contributed at the time y underground tape trading.

Not unlike the occult black metal has both flourished and been diluted by the Internet. Occult ,exams hidden , it's the searching which plays the most important role in the path rather than the destination.the factso,Rome is striking out on a path for themselves, with out seeking the aide of others is what makes it the most misanthropic of the spiritual paths. The same principle can be applie to black metal. On metal forums and Facebook you hear people lament how black metal is now too mainstream. This was said years ago when "Until the light takes us" came out and before that when the "Lords of Chaos" book came out.

Granted it has become a fixture in pop culture imagery, the Rob Zombie movie " Lords of Salem " even features corpse paint clad Villians, but it's more about the look than the evil sound as how many black meta
Bands todayfuck with corpse paint? Even Behemoth has toned down that element. Sure there's few legit black metal bands who still carry that torch...Watain, Inquistion, and Merrimack, but beard and t shirt is more common spiked gauntlet and bulletbelt optional. But really there's no corpse paint on my iPod...not will there be any on the new one there will only be music and I will want it to sound evil.

Black metal has evolved beyond Satan, it always held a lord of the rings quality to it after all Bruzum comes from Orc tongue and Tolkien narrowed heavily from the Norse eddas , and I personally don't believe in evil or morality , but rather effective and ineffective , so evil could mean dark , so what I look for in black metal is a dark resonance. the new Von captures this well, the Darkthrone is a great album but not dark, more epic, which I reserve for power metal. Inquistion I think has a perfect black metal guitar sound, but isnt blinding fast, yet their are distinct differences in their sound than Burzum or Mayhem.

I remember at one time wasn't into the second wave bands because everything I had heard sounded like shit , and I said to my friend Brann , I like black metal in theory but have a hard time with it because the production sounds so shitty, he told me to check out Enslaved. I did and it clicked in place for me after them Dimmu, Darkthrone, Agalloch and Dissection. Now I listen to PlagueWeilder to go to sleep. If you asked last fm who were my top ten most listened to post-metal bands it would tell you.
1- Darkthrone
2- Nachtmystium
3- Watain
4- Dimmu Borgir
5- Burzum
6- Atriarch
7- Emperor
8- Dissection
9- Immortal

So maybe not the most kvlt list ever, there are bands bubbling under or around those that aren't black metal any more like Autumn for Crippled Children and Shining and even on that list how black metal are Darkthrone or Dimmu now? Dimmu being symphonic metal more than anything and even Atriarch almost equal parts death rock and doom with their black metal, but that what I like about black metal is aside from Funeral Doom the only sub genre where there's enoug room to experiment , where what it is allows it's self to be expansive enough for growth.

I read a post on fet-life asking if black metal is dead, and I think the hipness of it has worn off so it will now expand and contract , ebb and flow, solve and coagulate, like most good art forms should,the trends have come and gone , black gaze, pagan black metal, suicidal black metal, post- black metal all looked to be the next big thing and the bands which could have taken them to that level in turn modulated into something beyond that label, but taking your own is what the genre is about. What black metal release am I looking forward to this year ? Well in no particular order

2- Deafheaven
6- Twilight
7-Negura Bunget
9- Nattsol
10- Aeternus

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Spektr : " Cypher"

Even though I have listened to the most recent release by the French duo I'm still unsure how I feel about the finished product it often invokes post-alien abduction level depression and disorientation upon listening to it. It feels more like the sound track to a David Lynch film than a black metal album, though by most definitions it would qualify as that as well. All too often the words Ambiant and experimental get tossed around in conjunction with the genre and this is one of the first releases I have heard in a minute to be deserving of that title, though ironically I got the new Botanist album this week as well and it might be just as weird but if a different sense. The album opener changes gears with almost Mr. Bungle like abandon.

Where vocals should sit are instead samples, this gives it a more industrial feel as well as some of the more robotic elements to the drumming which fluxuatea between sounding like drum machines and real drums, i know their are programs like sonor which can emulate real drums to this effect but something in the way it sounds to me like the key is tuned and the snare has a flat lo fi resonance at times that makes me suspect in these places there are live drums, this might conflict with other reviews out there who claim the album is comprised solely of drum machines but I think though programming plays heavily in the mix here , there are acoustic drums used in some capacity.

Some of the more black metal parts have an almost Immortal feel as in they are trashy around the edges and the chords are allowed to ring out rather than become a constant sonic drone. in what I think of as the actual opening song, "Teratology" within the first three minutes they drift into and back into metal. This is an instrumental album so for it to have demanded so many repeat listens from me is impressive, as I am a singer myself and vocals are normally the first thing to grip me with any we album and like we saw with the new DarkThrone can sometimes distract me, though in their case it was something I was able to work around, there are abrasive mechanical blips which sometimes sound like they could be a distorted growl that haunt some of the edges here and there, but for the most part the album is dominated by dissonant riffing and the guitars are the instrument taking the spotlight. The distressed exterior of the songs is coated in a rusty fuzz of noise often more Ambiant than abrasive.

The songs transition seamlessly into one another as the soundscape are perfectly blended, almost like movements in classical music. The heavily effected fuzz of the guitars helps create the smoky atmosphere that billows over the the rapid blasts that are common in most black metal, it's the layers applied over it where their sound lies. The sample heavy "The Singularity" has more of a Blut Aus Nord feel to it, yet Spektr maintains a firm sense of the individual landscape they are painting here often reminding me of Eraser Head in feel more than conjuring comparisons to other black metal bands.their is a very pulpy cinematic feel through out like an old black and white Ed Wood film.

The opening soundscape as well as the interlude entitled solitude might as well just have been tagged onto the adjacent song as they don't serve enough suppose as stand alone tracks and aren't song in and of themselves, so solitude is basically the beginning of "Antimatter" and the same could be said for "Solve et Coagula" a title I can appreciate but it's really just an intro. "Antimatter" creeps to life after the industrial robot begin to stir. It gets into the dark lounge feel like Fantomas wanders around in though bookend with dedicate black metal. The slink of the rubbery bass lets this one slither against the wall of static , making the sonic nature of what they do just as important as being metal, which is this albums strength.

The title track closes the album, with an abrasive first minute that brings its picture into focus around the horror like sound bites closing in on the song. The song is over ten minutes and I feel the first tow and a half of those could have been compressed and still have enough of a build , the chords that do come in a strong enough that they could have rang the song in on their own power. The drone gives way into some blasty mcnasty which at this point seem to be an easy way out as they have already proven themselves capable of thinking way outside the box and when the blast fade they do just that with a murky breakdown . The second half of the song carries a thick post apocalyptic fog that drifts into a coastal town of an H.P Locecraft story, with tentacles below the surface, before it launches into more break neck mcnasty, and finding the grooves somewhere in between.

I'll give this album an 8.5 Becuase while it excels at creating a mood it sometimes fills the bag with air rather than chips in the process, though much credit is deserved at getting me to return to an instrumental album, the thin sound of some of the programmed drums is balanced out by the creative places they take this. I think they will have some staying power in my iPod for rainy days when I want some even more atmospheric than Blut Aus Nord with a bit of a vintage science fiction feel.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Darkthrone : " the Underground Resistance"

I have dubbed this week as Black Metal History week so it's only fitting that we start off with this new Darkthrone which in many ways is a tribute to the history of black metal. It might give you a headache to spend too much time getting caught up in the fact this album was created by the same icons of black metal who made the Transylvanian Hunger album, no matter how Cvlt you are it defined the genre. Darkthrone is still making black metal. It it's by way of 1983. There is so much Merciful Fate worship going on here it risks sounding like In Solitude. If you know how I feel about all things King Diamond than you can't really expect me to be subjective on this, despite some of the unoriginality going on here. To be fair the also bow to Venom, Celtic Frost and Sodom, which are influenced that have been present since they started making this black n roll. I wouldn't classify this album as black n roll, it's not rock but straight up metal.

This is their most well produced effort, it helps capture the time capsule. It can also be said this is their most accessible release to date, though they can't be faulted for maturing as songwriters. The guitars sound great with enough girt on them to still maintain their indentity. The drums sound very crisp, though their is enough of a lo if feel to them in the way the kit itself sounds. The bass is the most well produced instrument on here nd it could just be due to where it sits in the mix, like the got the memo from Cronos thAt to get the Venom sound the bass needs to be super present.Speaking of which the opener "Dead Early" does focus more on the side side of things though when the guitar riff cuts in it has a little "Curse of the Pharohs" to it when the rest of the band gallops in behind it the song takes on. More of a Venom feel. The vocals are ore croaked here than growled and can only think of once song where I would consider the vocalto hold any measure of harshness.

The acoustic guitar at the intro of "Valkyrie" is certainly new territory . The riff leads in with a majestic latter day Bathory feel, but the vocals are when the Mericful Fate comparisons come into play. Similar to In Solitude in the fact rather than mimicking the quick register shifts in sticks in King Diamond's more mournful midrange. We have heard Nocturno sing in this manner before but it seemed like it was more for a place of parody, here is is takingn a more honest stab at it, and it's a better preformance than we have heard in the past from him, his pitch is iffy and often flat, but things like the awesome end of this song tend to make you if not forget then forgive this sort of thing.

The Merciful moments pick up on "Lesser Men" which has a "Descrcration of Souls" feel to the riff at first, the vocal to in a more Tom Warrior direction. While these comparisons come up, we are talking about the awesome bands who influenced the genre and too have their styles blended into something which still retains the more modern sound Darkthrone has adapted the post - Total Death, though plenty will argue they sold out after Panzerfaust. "The ones you left behind" stays in the Fate range, though at time I can hear Dianno era Maiden. The strained falsetto screams are more Dianno than Diamond, as Paul struggled to get up there where the King made it sound effortless. This one batters forward pretty relentlessly and all of the songs carry the aggressive attitude Darkthrone has assumed after putting aside the conventional black metal trappings of the second wave which they he
Ped to establish.

"Come Warfare, the Entire Doom" is return to the crypt of rays, as the Tom Warrior impersonation takes over. The riff Moves forward more like Motörhead than Celtic Frost, the solos are great and this is th closest to their black n roll sound as it does carry that swagger with it. My favorite Keith Richards quote is " it's better to steal than to barrow because when you barrow you have to give it back" I think their theft of the eighties is bastardized enough to make this still sound like this era of Darkthrone at least so I don't feel they need to give any of the riffs back as while comparisons abound they have made it their own.

"Leave no Cross unturned" the song that garnered some Internet buzz before the albums release has the more Fate sound. The falsetto yodel at the beginning is similar to what I brought up earlier, I like the more aggressive nature nature of the chorus that keeps them from being a Ghost or In Solitude, and the have both bands on the metallic stong of the balls they are hitting you with here. While this closer is twelve minutes it doesn't drag and keeps heads banging throu out which can be said for the entire album , the only reason I can't give this a perfect score is the strain and pitch issues in the vocal delivery that I try to over look so with that in mind I will give this one a 9.5, I think if fans of old school metal catch wind of this album it will win them over and it is an album I'm able to let play all day if I'm not thinking about . So good job it might wear its way on me over time to become a ten.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Weekly Shuffle

Thnaks for reading we broke 10,000 readers last night, so yeah I'm hitting shuffle of the iPod and reviewing whatever pops up so here we go...

"Intolerance" by Tool, One of the best songs of the nineties, I prefer this one over Sober any day, it influenced for better or worse a slew of imitators who only seemed to grasp the power chords and stacatto shouting rather than the more subtle elements of the bands feel. Now being an enigma looks to be ready to bite them on the ass as now does anyone care if Tool puts out a new album and a whole generation of hipsters rolling their eyes as Tool is so sixth grade.

"Light Sick" - Zola Jesus, this bitch can write a fucking song. Minimalist goth electronica that emerged for what was called the witch house scene, this song never gets old to me as evokes the same emotions as when I first heard, let's hope she isn't selling out on this years album as she has begun to adorne the soundtracks of shows like Greys Anatomy.

"Ruffneck"- Skrillex, yep when I say I give every genre of music a shot that means dub step too. Skrillex is the only and I used the term artist loosely that does anything for me, the song doesn't have. As deep of a robot rumble as some of the more transformers orgies this type of thing does. This was on. My old iTunes and I just just kept it on there in moments like these where it pops up on shuffle its not offense but never sit don't to jam out to this album as a whole either.

" ...And the Great Cold Death of the Earth" by Agalloch, little let down by the one song twenty minute e.p,the whole Faustian echoes thing, their older stuff is incredible, he has a grea clean vocal style , where a lot of folk metal goes into Stonehenge cheese , he keeps the twenty sided dice tucked away. Their lead player is really tasteful despite the pants he can sweep pick the floor with most metal players. I think the mantle and against the grai. Are their two masterpieces and the rock faces off live.

"William it was Really nothing" by The Smiths, of course I get this one sung to me al
The time,it's kinda silly ad on the verge of what I consider to happy, but it's Moz ad the boys so that gives it some staying power" i don't dream about anyone except myself" goes into the list of all time greatest Morrissy

" in Hell I Burn" by Deicide , I don't think this is the strongest song off Legion by the gallop the hit is pretty bad ass, the chorus is like an extension of that and it's like a fuckmhammer fuck for Satan , but these guys along with Morbid Angel, Carcass, Obituary and Death covered all the bases for death metal to follow and no one has really been able to top this shit despite any amount of shredding or improved production value.

"Humdrum and Humble" by Tears for Fears, the guys are one of the greatest non metal bands from the eighties despite their heavy pop leanings, I still put them next to the likes of the Smiths and Cure. Technically a better singer than Morrissey I guess, though the Moz wins out on the power of personality, still theres a great ear for melodies at work here, Raoul and the Kings of Pain is a weird period for them as they began to ventures out of what clearly defined me.

" Cold water" by Damien Rice, Talk about great voices and songwriting, very passionate in what he does. Maybe even more so than Jeff Buckley who is the ghost father to this sort of darker singer writer thing and made it cool to pick up an acoustic in my book, the duets Rice does are an integral side to his albums and provide another element to his story telling.

" the Serpent Tongue" by Pysclon Nine I was surprised when I got these cyber goths a chance , a very heavy element in the scalded cat vocals, though he sounds like he's only fifty pounds , I think it works for their sounds and was just looking for this sort of thing when I found it so that helps their case, the production value is great, they are dark enough for me despite their girlish figures and MySpace fashion sense.

"Isa" by Enslaved , this is why I'm so hard on them for their new album, we don't need another Opeth I'm sick of the one we have. This verse riff rocks like a mother lover. His vocals are perfect, the cleans from the keyboardist don't chew up too much scenery, this was perfect , some make the band go back and listento this song, they played it last time I saw them so it must have only been forgotten their last trip into the studio.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Primitive Man - " Scorn"

I went into this with little ...ok no knowledge of this band expect they seem to be featured on sites that share similar taste in metal. I did learn that very member of this band also used to be in Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire. The sludgey sound they capture seem to have become indigenous to America. Theres a coating of abrasive noise to their brand of sludge, the edges sound sharp and rusty like an a.i.d.s ridden Gorilla rPing you in a dumpster.

The grime encrusted fuzz corrodes all the dark corners of this album. Though the drums are acoustic they carry a similar cadence at times to that of an industrial band...think Godflesh not Combichrist. There are some grin score like temper tantru,s thrown before the more predominat machine like crush. The way the tempo retards on a song like "Antietam" makes it sound like the disease is slowing the big monkey pumping down as he runs out of steam and closes in on his last perverse breath. I think this song is particularly strong and I like the apocalyptic nature it conveys. To say the production is gritty would be an understatement. It sounds like every piece of mequipment used to record this album was rolled through broken glass and the band was whipped with barbed wire as they were recording this.

Vocally there are moment I would liken to Converge as it sometimes sounds like Jacob is screaming out of catharsis ad abandoning any decorum of the human language, which is the vibe I'm getting here as well. It barked , it's squeaked , we have set Noahs's ark on fire and it's sinking into the flood water amd these are the pleas we hear. With songs like "Black Smoke " the tone is almost set to equal parts noise and while I can appreciate the David Lynchian oddity found I. Experimentation , there needs to be some sort of notes for me to consider it a song. Not static and what may or may not be a moan.

"Stretched Thin" carries the punk venom with barking with rabid abandon.its not until the chug midway through does it really ,Orpheus into metal. The bass is very present and accounted for here which I'm a fan Of. "Astral Sleep" let's it's heft linger at first before it slides into the first piece of sludge that I would say comes close to having any doom ties. The build back in has a powerful chug to it. This is to Sludge what Lord Mantis is to black metal . Though that is not to say there is anything black about this album. It's darkness is more on the urban plane of existence. The punk leanins are they only hindernce here, I know to some extent it does part and parcel with grind core.

The conviction with which they set a out this with is pretty impressive , I think it should maintain a spot on my iPod so I will go ahead and give this one an 8 . It's powerful it tends to hit you with the same blows all too often , yet the feel of what they are doing has a very real desperation to it and I fou d myself like in Thai album much more than anticipated , so they get points for winning me over despite their lack of anything black.

Von : " Dark Gods-Seven Billion Slaves

Their " Satanic Blood" is an iconic and ground breaking album that influenced the genre, I think their new album ,might be better. From the first seconds of its opening I can tell the production is a vast improvement, this might sound like a catch 22 as the so called ...necro sound creates a certain ambiance with its rustic charm. I think that feel isn't forsaken with this album but a murky balance is reached.

This album is also darker and more sinister than Satanic Blood. Venien has perfected his craft the results were more than I had hoped for. This is the first of what if memory serves me correctly and thanks to the drugs I did in high school alone I might not be, will be a trilogy. There is going to be deluxe packaging with all the art Venien himself has done for the album and lyrics sheets to lay out the story.

There is almost more of a death metal feel here at times, though the blasting that occurs will be Cvlt enough for even listeners of the rawest black metal. The opener "They Have Come" is a eerie entrance it feels more like the intro of " Anicent Flesh of the Dark Goda". This is one of the albums most effective songs in how it sit faster tremolo picked guitar against a slower almost doom like tempo. From the get go "Hands of Black Death" has a more melodic sensibility , though it strikes me as being closer to death metal once it takes off.

The full on blasty of the mcnasty does flare up until the song "Dark Goda" it has that Sabbath tritons feel to it despite been on warp speed ahead, but like the first song there are the two different tempos layered atop one another.Even with the steps taken to push this project forward creatively from where they were back in 92 with Satanic Blood, I don't think this is going to be for every one, fans of black metal includes. I do think their is a black metal audience who wants less theatrics and more of the rawness , not just in production but intent like these guys are dishing out here. I sens there is something genuine going on here as the chords are left to hang on "Monster" have an airy evil to them. The sonic crescendo following is chaotic bliss and there is ain't of groove in the closing seconds.

Devil Whores must only jack hammer fuck from the get go as that's how the song starts out. The drumming is an improvement over the similar execution on Satanic Blood. "Iaminhuman" carries a similar place with the vocal at sub bass frequencies, they are more like vibrational frequencies , maybe this is the point and to be taken like the chant of Om. At the midway point the pace relents for a second . On the closer the vocals take on more of a chant. I really like the transition at the. Knute and a half mark on this one. The slower chug is immensely heavier than almost anything else on this album.

This album is dark and feel filthy, which to me is a good thing. the creepiness works for me and once again colors me a fan. Where Satanic Blood creates a drone that bled the songs into one another there is more definition leaving most songs to stand on their own. I will give this one an 8.5 , though it might grow on me and reach a nine, some of the more blasting moments mainly Devil Whore to Iaminhuman kind of run together in a blur and I think they have displayed this speed works best when set against other landscapes. This is not Behemoth mall metal here it's the real deal ns ugly for your ears to behold but a compelling listen .

Vreid: " Welcome Farewell"

Maybe I haven't listened to the "V" album in a minute but I'm surprised at how much heavier this album is. Fans of their old band Windir will want to raise their mead horns high as it feels like they are dipping back into those days. Where "V" gave a wink to their thrash influences, here they acknowledge them by galloping right over them so the bits of Slayer and Bathory only seen under hoof. At the same time I'm really sure I would consider this a black metal album, the blasts are subtle like in " The Reap" where it's played as an accent on the ride cymbal.

On first listen it trashes past me with a speed that requires a second to fully digest. The opening number fades into its forward charge that kicks after the first minute. The thrash vibe is up front, the vocals really the only thing blackened and their rasp is almost more of an Immortal croak on this one. The clean vocals are layered under the harsher main vocals and tend to take more of a back seat than they did on the previous release. By my second pass through this album this song clicked for me and I attribute that to the difference from what I expected after "V" . I went into this fearing something more along the lines of the last Enslaved.

"The Way of the Serpent" is full speed ahead, the drumming really shines here but a more furious performance through out. after the initial barrage one of the albums trends emerge which the fact there are a lot of just fun riffs, they merge midway through this song but establishes the statusnquo for the rest of the album. The guitar excesses of this album are all in good taste give. The context within which they are executed. This is by no means hipster metal but it still smartly written with no illusions to being post anything even in its more adventurous sections later on.www

Things get more retro on " The Devils hand" going back further into the early eighties where the punk rock influence in thrash is seem on the opening riff, though galloped riff is metal at its most definable.This is even less black metal than the last Goat Whore album, the blasts pop up here and there but are outnumbered by thrash groove which are often very bass driven. The break downs into half time don't really have the mosh feel. Ur are still effective in making things more epic.

The title track has the virtuosic thrash style guitar almost like something from Testament's "New Order" album. The gallop on this one is very powerful with the bass factoring heavily in the fray. The wretched vocals are almost more Kreator or even Sodom in delivery on this album as a whole, not as sonic a scream as black metal tends to be an more articulate. The clean guitar at the final moments of this song provide a nice jumping off point for th layered almost solo like quality the scone guitar part takes on.

Going into this I knew a video had been released which makes this the equivalent of a single if this sort of thing was going to get air play. The vocal delivery reminds me of Sentenced though in some instances the lower clean vocals make me think of a cross between Morbid Angel and Rotting Christ.So more accessible but far from being a grab for the dollars. This song is however very concise and gets in and out in under four minutes.

The more dynamic sonic explorations on the intro and second half of " Sights of Old" aren't likely to turn too many staunch metallars away as they are peppered with soloing and not loaded down with keyboards and clean vocals, both of which I'm a fan of but some metal minds are not as open. It creates a foreboding at the front end and more of a looser jam feel when it reappears. The meat in between is one of the grimmer moments though it alternates into a thrasher section. It shows it's personality more when it slows down into a stomp.

"Black Waves" is classic thrash mixtes with a little frost on the guitar the way the chords ring out. The vocals that remind me of Sentenced resurface, not really what I would call clean singing, the rapier vocal arrange,ent is syncopated around the riff Ina way that creates a hook while the bass melodically fluxuatea underneath. I think this is one of the best songs on the album as the twists and turns it takes while frequent are compressed into a solid

The album closes with the bass heavy " At the brook" the guitar tones on this are an example of how while some of the Windir feel was recreated here this is a slicker effort, though not a fan of the cover art which looks fan drawn and not as cool as just the bands logo. The solo at the beginning could have almost been lifted from a Flotsam and Jetsam album. The bass crushes when it rumbles I at the one minute mark and I like the fact it really maintains a presence through out the album

Metal purists will fully embrace this album, as it it's the same sweet spot that sits along side the classics well in a similar fashion to Skeleton Witch. This album doesn't hold any faults, they some times regress back into the Windir speeds as an easier way out, but while it works and I'm impressed by the fact this is heavier than its predecessors I was hoping this would be coupled the more expansive sound they had on that album, so thir excellence is in execution and it's a lot of fun to listen ill give this album a 9 , I think it will recapture any of the old Windir fans they lost when they added more melodic vocals on the last album.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Grammys Your Anti-Metal

I originally wrote this blog for Hiplanta, a blog you can check out as I a, one of the staff writers and cover more than the darker fare I devote my attention to here, for Abysmal Hymns I can elaborate on a few things mainly the Lamentations of metal head who cry that metal doesn't get a fare shake at the Grammys for this I say ... Who cares

Being embraced by mainstream media is false. If you are concerned with how the public precieves are false , you are a poseur. Metal is about telegraphing your middle finger to the rest of the world because it's us against them. Does that mean we can't listen to other forms of music...of course not look at what I cover here, but it means you like metal no matter if it's in fashion or not and could care less about getting the approval of any one even your family. My family knows I love metal, it's just a fact like I have black hair and I'm six feet tall, just like my tattoos it's not going anywhere. So with that in mind proceed.

The Grammys' first rock category was in 1979 and Paul McCartney won, so it's a celebration of all the music I skip past on the radio. So it happened to be playing at a friend of mines house last night and I gave it a eye with the attitude of I'm watching all the people whose faces I see on the cover of the magazines while I'm in line at the grocery store. I had seen a memo went out to attendees that this years' dress code was no nip slips , side boobs or plumbers crack, though this left many with the hopes for a camel toe, which was sadly absent. So with that in mind the big winner of the evening for "Best pop duo " went to Katy Perry, if Kat Dennings hadn't been wrapped up like a Christmas present things might have been different.

The new trend on the red carpet was the Ms. Piggy , popularized by Adelle, Kelly Clarkston and half the blond female Country singers, So I was disappointed none of the acceptance speech did not start with a surprised, " Who muuuuaahhhh?" Though the purse did fall from from the mouth of Fun's singer and former Format vocalist upon the omens of their big win. The gay Freemasonry was in full effect, with most of the gangster rappers who took the stage looking to be the most criminally on the down, though I'm sure thre were aplenty of secret hand shakes administered to one another back stage. Before you get your drag pantis bunched up, I'm not a homophobe, I would be gay myself but every time I submit my application it gets rejected for having a long history of fisticuffs, dressing like a high school stoner at gym class and having sex with with women, but I feel every one should be true to themselves even if it means not selling albums to teenage girls in Iowa Becuase they are out.

Oh there was "music" being preformed, Justin Timberlake was the highlight which should tell you something asI prefer his work with Lonely Island to his own homo-erotic solo pop. Everything else was boring at best, Rhianna has a great weave but a little sparse in the diary section for me to be entertained . The only artists I give any credit who won or preformed are Gotye and Frank Ocean, the latter I hope gets more attention as he's the only person doing anything creative with R&B these days...see you thought I only knew about metal. Speaking of which Halestrom won best metal and they are basically a Flyleaf tribute band. Do I give a shit that they won, no Becuase the whole thing I a corporate joke that I wouldn't want bands I like to be affiliated with in the first place, though the ones who have seen fit to play this game to record label pressure I understand they have to pay the rent somehow.

I looked up a list of past rock winners and the only past winner I have like are Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Judas Preist,Ozzy/Sabbath and Slayer. I didn't see Iron Maiden's name on their though it looks like Zappa did winsomething for Studio Tan. So a note for next year throw away the dress code and replace e podium with a stripper pole. Also Neil Patrick Harris was the best singer in the building give him a song ...see told you next years application to the gay committee will be strong , now go down load that Frank Ocean, if you are into pop music and I won't begrudge you for it, in fact I plan on doing it , the fact he's a gay man who came out and was like its a lie to keep singing about women is cool to me Becuase , I think everyone must fearlessly follow their own path.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Batillus "Concrete Sustain"

This four piece from Mew York features live members of A Storm of Light and Jarboe's band, so that shuuld clue you in on what's to come some experimental industrial strength metal side a side of sludge. While the electronic elements lay beneath the stacatto sludge it has the militant feel of industrial more than the sonics of it. The production contributes to this feel, though there is a lot of space left between instruments which reminded me of Helmet, though they are much darker.

The first track "Concrete" leads of with tight off time drumming and lets the low tuned guitar get poured in for the corners to fuzz out the edges as the barked vocals take up the spaces the center. It manages to feel very organic while clunking a like a cyborg with a tank for legs. The " sustain and dominate" chant reminds me of Author & Punisher. It takes a few listens for this to all fall in place for me mainly the nuances of the production is where the attention to detail was placed, I am immediatly interested in seeing how this plays out live which I'm guessing is heavier.

The bass becomes more present in the second track "Cast". I couldn't hear where it was falling on the first one but it becomes a focal point here. The snare takes on a more metallic clang and the vocals have a more black metal rasp to them, though not far removed from Today is the Day either. One unique thing bout this band is for what they do you would expect the guitar to all the work but it's not the case as it just adds and erosive rust to the edges of the machine, so they found like aunt rather than he came up with these riffs so we are working off that. If you told me the drummer wrote all the songs I wouldn't be surprised.

"Beset" creep to life with a rattle of fuzz. The tempo is more of a doomy lethargy. Where the other songs felt like the were coiled tight this one has a looser feel. the lower growled vocal contributes to the doom comparisons. The glitches of back ground vocals brings the evil in. The vocal production on this is excellent. Around the five minute mark something like a solo rings into the picture, not shredding just a single note thing that's more atmospheric than anything. I know every one wants to throw a blackens label on everything but I don't hear it here except on the vocals at times.

"Mirrors" has some weird electronics fluttering over the slow introductory guitar which goes into a riff more typical for what I would consider "New York metal" but this transitioning into something darker when the bass picks up the slack. Maybe some old Neurosis influence comes into play, but nothing worn to blatantly on their sleeves like say early Isis. One of the more straight forward moments on the album, but highly effective and heavy as an elephant fuck.

On "Rust" the bass gets things going again, the guitar comes in with a cleaner tone and goes into an almost Fugazi like pattern. This alternates with the dark drift where they hang on the chords, then congeal into more of a riff with it, truth be told what they go into is hard to categorize and very original in the execution. The riff in the last two minutes does remind me of Bloodlet, but once again their influences remain obscured .

The closer " Thorns" has clean vocals which are a low Swans like tone doubled with growls, almost like the end of " God of Emptiness" you know the "Bow to me faithfully..." I can see where Neurosis comparisons could crop up here and the vocal does more for me than the surypy guitar parts which don't really congeal. Four and a half minutes of floating out the murk has a stagnant feel. At the five and a half minute mark I hear the first guitar melody that clicks for me. Maybe if I was on drugs the pacing here would work for me, I think any opiate or depressant would work, these guys are not a meth or coke band for sure, so tweakers beware. So aside for lazy paced sludge of this song everything else clicks perfectly into place for me , it fits and odd place on my taste buds similar to the on Tombs used to occupy. With the tempo metal I normally go for the more morose funeral doom, but the electronic under tones and originality should give this solid footing in the ever evolving landscape of my iPod so this gets a 9. So that colors me impressed, not what I thought I was getting into as I expected something more Godflesh, from what I had read of these guys before pressing play. Instead it's much more organic but still has a rustic grime to it.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: Push the Sky Away

This is Nick Cave's 15th album with his post Birthday Party band. So there has been some time on this journey for the Goth sound of yesteryear to be transformed into something closer to a homage to Leonard Cohen, one of Cave's idol's. The idolatry is evident from the first song and the lead off single that was released back in December "We No Who U R". On this song and throughout the album Warren Ellis' loops give a slightly U2 feel to things. Cave said if this album is his Ghost baby these loops are the heart beat that keeps it going in the incubator. While mature and sedate , the song is well put together, Cave knows where he voice needs to go, there less crooning and more spoken word feel, though his vocal chords loosen a bit on "Wide Lovely Eyes". There is a smoothness to the songwriting which Cave has always excelled at but there is an extra slick sheen to it. I also here a little Neil Diamond here, which I have been accusing Brendan Perry of for years, but here it more in the phrasing, and it's not as bad as it sounds , in fact it leaves the song pretty flawless.

"Water's Edge" gives things a darker tone that it needed. Cave's voice dips down into his gravelly lower register here and sounds great down there. He said he wrote most of the lyrics after reading the most bizarre stories he could find on Wikipedia, here the story telling is as evident as it was back on "Murder Ballads". "Jubilee Street" relaxes after the tension of the song before it. There is some excellent guitar work on this song , which is fairly straight forward Americana. His lyrics are clever and well timed, they set up the string swell which ushers in the pace picking up, with the sort of cinematic dynamics Cave's dabbling in Hollywood might have aided the theater of his mind.

"Mermaids" which carries the line " fire up her snatch" is balance the elusive sexuality with a crudeness, though the tides ebb and flow wins out here. While a master song crafter, the lyrics continue to surprise me through out the album. There Bono like phrasing , makes me suspect he's been listening to more U2 than he should, the first time I heard I though it was just my ears, but it's more than coincidence. The fat bass line that winds up "We Real Cool" brings in a sense of danger, to the questions Cave's lyrics , which have a sense of confrontation like his is interrogating a lover. The bookish melody in the phrase which roughly serves as the chorus graces the song with a more multidimensional emotional context.

"Finishing Jubilee Street" is a narrative of a dream he had after writing the song. There is a certain dream like quality to if perhaps the dream was penned by William S Burroughs. The female vocals do soften the feel whe the come in midway. I do think it shines a light in the darkness that I would rather have left off so I can sulk in its gloom but hey that's me. The return of bassist Barry Adamson is really felt on this one.

"Higgs Boson Blues" has a smoky feel it , it has the feel of a languid afternoon drinking in New Orleans, which says something as Cave's songwriting invokes imagery of seedy bars and narcotic sluggishness. The build is very gradual I noticed it at about three minutes in. the drums start to solidify this after another minute. It's these layers that are eased in keep even my mind spoiled from too much progressive rock as there aren't any changes in riffing per se, until the release in the last two minutes of the rather ambitious album. If I didn't know that Bowie was releasing an album I would say this is the best songwriting you're going to hear all year, but Cave has raised the bar for him.

The title track closes the album. His voice against the keyboard swell is very cocoon like, the melody is very subtle and the female background vocals refrain from bringing that sunshine I complained about earlier, which is the only negative thing I have thought about this album and it's so brief it will more than likely grow on me so I'll go ahead and give this album a 10. At first I thought so thesis what adult contemporary is going to sound like the the next wave of aging goths who go over the hill, but Cave has aged gracefully on this, play on rainy morning with hangovers and on dark nights of the soul when farming said hang over while smoking a pack of cloves.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weekly shuffle

Ok know the drill, I give a click to shuffle Mose and review whatever tracks pop up.

"The Web" by Neurosis, Back when these guys were awesome and there songs crushed you rather than put you to sleep. "Souls at Zero" is my favorite album by them and if I was or when I do make a post about my favorite metal albums of all time this will be on it. I like the reverse delay on the vocals and here is a good example of how do drone with out being a pussy about it. Even though this came out in the nineties the production is great the bass tone is incredible. This is why it's hard for me to take their new stuff seriously.

"Bloodied Yet Unbowed" by Primordial, I'm glad we are getting a lot of metal on here as it seems like I haven't been able to review much of it lately as nothing has grabbed me. I think these guys have popped up on here before, I use to have their whole discography on my iPod and now just "Redemption at the Puritan's Hand". The vocals are a perfect blend of grit and melody here, he is a better singer than growler, his voice like Ics Vortex instantly makes things epic. The double bass build into the blast beat work and is good example of it being put to creative use rather than being a cop out.

"This Place is a Prison" by Postal Service, This song has great lyrics it describes how I feel on most days and it darker than most metal lyrics these days so headbangers set up your game. The vocal melody is subdued which is par for the course the , I like when the stronger beat and the lyric "what does it take to get a drink in this place " sits over it. It's like Death Cab Cab for Cuties album for goths.

"Cursed" by Atriarch, This was my metal album of the year last year, so you already know how I feel about this one , go check out my review for more info if you are unfamiliar them. It's a dark slab of doom, with all the ugliness of black metal you can want. The vocals here are more like old Swans, and the guitar creep in behind it like funeral doom, so everything I could want in one song, so any question as to why I would have set it on such a pedestal.

"Night Witches" by True Widow, These guys fall some where in the same realm as Jesus and the Mary Chain or a Place to Bury Strangers, this album is underrated. The bass player I think is a metal head at heart as he drives this thing harder than you think it would be in the opening strains. This is indie rock done right with some balls to the too hip for their own good attitude.

"Take it Easy" by Bright Eyes, Back in the early 2000s when Conner Oberest was poised to be the next Bob Dylan by hipsters at the time he put out two albums one was country ish the other kinda of dark wave electronica called Digital Ash in a Digital Urn, which was the better of the two any way this one who is Cure influence he could no longer hide, I saw him get blown off the stage by the Faint once so it soured the taste in my mouth I had for him, I think the Fevers and Mirrors album is incredible and he was a great songwriter who fell by the wayside.

"Inarborat" by Negura Bunget, A couple of years ago I was blown away by these guys but the last e.p they put out seemed like they were jumping on Enslaved's band wagon, who is jumping on Opeth's bandwagon.Never the less their older material is incredible . This song has legit pagan/ folk elements to it which darken things up like Dead can Dance rather than dance around the maypole. The use of clean vocals here works really well and this song works for every angle.

" A Mutiny" by Red Sparowes, While I can appreciate the whole post-rock instrumental thing the majority bores me after a while. This band is an exception to that rule as they make their guitars sing in a way that doesn't leave me looking forward to vocals that never come. Their guitar tones are close to perfect, maybe they even are perfect and I just don't want to say it. This song drifts around like something from Pink Floyd's Animals album. They go from more melody and dynamics than being content to drone which wins in my book, the build on this one has a very cinnamic feel.

"Die with Me" by Type O Negative, They got wrongly lumped in with mall metal bands after awhile, but this album is a ten with no question, their pinnacle they never touched this one afterwards. Sure it starts very lazily like Queensrcyhe wanting to be pink Floyd, but by the time their signature fuzz comes in ns the chorus hovers at the rain splatter window we are all...stoned ...I mean enthralled .

"Up Through the Ashes" by Kamelot, "Ghost Opera" would be on that top one hundred metal albums I mentioned earlier. It's too bad they are following NightWish into the where are they now files. The mid paced chug of this once balances it out for. Getting too melodramatic like bands of their ilk are prone to do, the thing I have have like about them is as pretentious as this sort of thing tends to be they darken it up, of the post nineties era bands like this these guys are pretty much the only one of their kind that I listen to , they were amazing live and heavier than you would suspect them to be, but Alas no Roy Khan and I think that intensity is diminished despite the new singer being better than I anticipated.

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Bloody Valentine : MBV

It's been a couple decades since the ground breaking "Loveless" album. Kevin Sheilds and company have returned and they were far from forgotten as shoe gaze has seen new life in the past five years... if it ever faded. It was one of those things where I had forgotten there was even talk of this coming out so it is a pleasent surprise rather than insurmountable walls of expectations. From the very first song " She Found Now " we get the dense drone and dreamlike murkiness you would want. they have returned to keep their legacy intact almost to the point that playing it so safe at first listen might sound like a sell out in and of its self as they are known for beiong innovaters. Thus brining up the point that this music is just what comes out of them naturally when they pick up their instruments rather than so called shoe gazers of today who gon into recreating thios sort of thing with preconcieved notions.

The album gets better with each track as only tomorrow has a defined melodic line to it no matter how spaciously it drifts away. the guitar plays a single note thing here that is fuzzed out and lazy but by some definitions be considered a solo. The layers of guitar also works really well. The production on this album seems on the bright side for these guys though key elements of their sound remain intact.

"Who see you" might as well be straight off " Loveless". The guitar has the sluggish drag to it , like it was recorded backwards underwater while tripping. But to say it sounds like it's off the 1991 album isnt to say that it sounds dated. The first new sounds from the band are on the song "Is this and Yes" which has keyboard swell and feels like the intro of Cocteau Twins song, though unlike Elizabeth Fraisers band it never develops into anything but sits like an interlude. I had to listen to it a few times as it serves best as an intro to the next song and I wanted to make sure in in fact does the same thing for all five minutes.

"If I am " has a more percussive sense of music to the swirl. I think it's in this sonics sphere what they do works it best. There are some really interesting guitar sounds, nothing out of left field from what's been heard before from them. The song defy the verse/chorus song structure and drone on one thing and add layers to that. "New you" does go in a different direction , more sixties psychedelic in feel, with the bass line thumping the song ahead. This is the first song I could hear on alternative radio from this one and feels the most accessible. The vocals can be understood, the beat can almost be danced toand has the most structured changes as well. You can see where Blonde Redhead was influenced by these guys here.

"In Another way" Has almost a heavy feel to it at first before the vocals come in, then it's drive turns an inverse slither, with sharp guitar lines coming out like bagpipes. This is one of the more abrasive portions of the album, but it's not boring noise,there is some melody laying back into the angular fuzz. This one must sound great through head phones as there is all kinds of crazying panning going on and every instrument bounces off the others. "Nothing Is" where the previous song almost had a heavy feel to it , this one actually does. While the guitars are fuzzed and club you like "Manic Depression" by Jimi Hendrix if Boyd Rice decided to set it on a loop. Is it respective , yes but that's the point and it doesn't bore,e like the five mins of keyboard swells earlier in the album did. Fans of the band get what they want from them hear so mission accomplished, the one song on here that I just mentioned that bored me is the only real mistep aside from some of this coming across like recycled Loveless, so they are damned if they do damned if they don't veer for that sound , so I will give this one an 8.5 though it might grow on me and make it to a nine before its all said and done.