Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pale Creation - Twilight Haunt

This record sounds a lot like listening to an Integrity record backwards.  Does that mean anything to you?  What Pale Creation did was take the "Holy Terror" formula, slowed it down, added some atmostphere, and made it much more interesting from a technical standpoint.  While Cleveland pioneers Integrity and Ringworm are about as straightforward-heavy as it gets, Pale Creation added challenging mathematics to the equation, resulting in a very different experience indeed.  The feel is more trance-like than cathartic.  This record doesn't kick your ass, it fucks with you.

I'm going against my normal rule of only high bit rate dowloads today.  You can take the shitty quality one for free, or pay $5 for the HQ one from the label.  Also, I just watched Tron: Legacy and it's pretty fuckin great!

cleveland rocks

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Believer - Sanity Obscure

Believer really are like the "Atheist" of the christian Metal world.  Ok, so maybe they're not quite the legends that Atheist are, but they're not far from it either.  While Dimensions was Believer's "Elements", Sanity Obscure is their "Piece of Time".  This particular outing is a true Thrash record, not the genre-smashing abitiousness of "Dimensions".  As far as quality, though, the two albums are pretty much neck-and-neck.  Sanity Obscure is much less challenging (for the typical Metal pallette), but with ample technicality.  What Sanity Obscure lacks in variety and originality, it makes up for in consistency and listenability.  Honestly, it's really hard to find fault with this record.  You got great production, memorable riffs, and actually thought-provoking lyrics... all of which would make Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.) jealous.  Give this band a shot, you won't be sorry.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sadus - Illusions

If you've been following triple B for a while, you'll remember me gushing about Sadus' famous second album "Swallowed in Black".  So high was my opinion of that album that when I first heard this (their first), I immediately dismissed it as "inferior".  What a fool I was then (only a year and a half ago).  Damnit if this isn't still a stellar Thrash and Proto-Death Metal album.  The outrageous speed?  Check.  The uncompromising technicality?  Check.  Steve DiGiorgio's legendary bass playing?  Check.  Plus, singer Darren Travis' shriek is even more incindiary at this young age. Everything I loved about "...Black" is still there, minus some production value and refinement.  It may not be "perfect", but it beats any Kreator album.  Yeah, I said it.  Whassup now?

  mildly retarted album art made even more famous by metalinquisition

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sinister - Aggressive Measures

It's surprising that I haven't posted about this band sooner, as they're the most underrated Dutch Death Metal band ever.  Sure Asphyx and Pestilence may have created seminal albums that get more "scene cred", but throughout the 90's Sinister was releasing quality, blistering albums consistently.  You can think of them as a Dutch Malevolent Creation (minus the overt racism).  Even though released in '98, the band's old-school roots are evident.  The thrashy, tight riffs and 80's-style blast-beats are there in spades.  This album is somewhat condemned by fans as being too "commercial".  I don't get that at all.  It may have kind of a dumb cover and be too "bright" and clean sounding, but those flaws are trivial (at most).  At least you're not trying to decipher whether that "rumble" you're hearing is the vocals or a bass-drum.  The arrogant, "kvlt" nerds can listen to Deceased cassettes all they want...  I'll listen to Death Metal that actually sounds like something.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Heartless - Hell is Other People

Alright, since I got such a good response from all of you coming out of the woodwork, I'm gonna keep this rollin'.  But you guys have to engage me more.  Comments, recommendations, make fun of me, whatever.  It makes reading blogs more fun, I promise.

I first heard of this band through this big fancy website's "year's best" list.  I wonder how this release passed me by, because it's totally up my alley.  A modern Powerviolence/Hardcore hybrid that I almost always love.    And on Southern Lord?  Man, they're really shining these days, instead of releasing unoriginal Drone and Doom like they used to.  Stylistically, it's pretty similar to PV contemporaries Weekend Nachos and Mind Eraser.  Like those bands, you can also tell that their roots are in Metallic Hardcore from the "muscular" attack and vocal delivery.  Ironically, I wish they would actually slow down a bit and keep the blast-beats to a minimum, as it's during the traditional Hardcore or "d-beat" parts that they sound best.  Whatever direction they choose, I'm looking forward to hearing more.

closer to the heart

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Last post ever?

I'm kinda wondering if I should keep this blog going, as interest seems to be waning.  Chime in if you don't want that to happen.  But because I'm such a nice guy, I'll still put an album up on this post instead of just an outright "cry for help".  

Hexis is a charming young band from Denmark.  After just an EP and a split, they've finally released their first proper album with XI.  They've put forth some impressive Post-Hardcore influenced Black Metal here.  This particular style has gotten pretty popular recently, and I'm liking it.  Hexis pull this off very well without sounding too watered-down or bastardized.  Both influences are represented legitimately and finished with a raw, but clear production. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ion Dissonance - Cursed

This is Deathcore in the good sense of the word (if you believe that's possible, anyway).  This isn't about single-note breakdowns, juvenile misogyny, and pretty boys with neck tattoos.  It's about creating challenging, technical, and brutal music.  Probably what Dillinger Escape Plan would sound like if they were actually good.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dim Mak - The Emergence of Reptilian Altars

Truth be told, I never liked this band until now.  Although they've always had great drumming and riffs, Scott Ruth's predictable vocal cadence and "core-ish" voice were always too much for me.  Thankfully, they found a new singer, whose middle-of-the-road style isn't exactly "good", but definitely tolerable.  I often find myself wishing for something more guttural sounding, but hey, at least they're not clean vocals.  This record also has the bonus improvements of more dynamic playing and warm production too.  In just five years they've gone from the riff salad of Deeds of Flesh, to the cerebral maturity of Atheist.  After 20+ years in the scene, the boys from Ripping Corpse have finally grown up.  And I'm liking it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Resurrecting Judas - Vast Realms of Chaos Incarnate

This record pretty much has it all, except for the length.  What I mean is that there are few American Death Metal bands that you won't be reminded of when listening to this.  Malignancy, Cannibal Corpse, Origin...  They're all here.  While their influences might be splattered for miles like a crashed airplane, their attack is tighter than your girlfriend's stretchy pants.  It better be too, because the technicality bar has never been higher.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cenotaph - Pseudo Verminal Cadaverium

Do you think Suffocation are the best Death Metal band and Pierced From Within is the best Death Metal album ever made?  Yeah, me too.  I would bet that the members of Cenotaph have a pretty similar view based on this forgotten classic.  As you would expect, similarities to Suffocation are plentiful, but there are still many features that set this band apart from the exhalted gods of death.  One aspect is the vocals; the main vocal style is even throatier than Mullen's and there's the added benefit of occasional Yattering-like dry-heaving.  The riffs and guitar tone are slightly less-chunky and bottom-heavy as well.  The most obvious difference, though, is the obvious "English as a second language"  lyrics.  Oh well, at least they make an effort.  All being said, this is still pretty spectacular Death Metal done in the fine New York tradition.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Earth Ship - Exit Eden

Tasty and legitimately heavy Post-Metal or "Beard Metal" (as the kids like to call it) from Germany.  But this isn't the slow, atmospheric, droney stuff that people have been gushing over for the past 15 years.  This is solidly mid-paced pounding that you can actually bang your head to most of the time.  True, this is more on the Kylesa side of things than the Isis side, and I like it that way.

facial hair will drive you mad

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hideous Deformity - Defoulment of Human Purity

It may surprise you to know that Norway actually has a tradition of creating very worthy, American-styled Death Metal.  This is a fine example of that.  Hideous Deformity execute Suffocation worship of the highest order.  You'll find Mullen-esque vocals and plenty of palm-muted chugs here, but this isn't exactly identical cloning though.  There's also some general "Brutal Death" flares to be found, not unlike Disavowed or Incinerate.  They may not have anything unique going, but really, how many bands do?  At least these guys play what they like and play it well.  If you like technical Death Metal, you'll like this.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Legacy of Brutality - Path of Forgotten Souls

A fusion of American and Euro-style Death Metal, and a "catchy" one at that.  Not catchy in the ridiculously commercial way, but the vocal patterns and riffs are quite accessible.  Production has a nice, warm tone.  There's some unique guitar melodies here and there, but for the most part this is just a real straight-forward, quality Death Metal album.  Sounds good to me!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Brut - Brut

Interesting...  Definitely Hardcore, but getting any more specific by type is rather difficult.  Likely, Brut have been influenced by every kind of "harder" Punk from the past three decades.  What I can tell you is that it's vaguely dark, plenty angry and strongly mid-paced.  The production fits in perfect; very live sounding without any annoying harshness or "hiss".  My only complaint is that the drumming is rather plain and metronomic.  Although, in Hardcore you can't expect too much "virtuosity".  Beyond that, all I can say is that it's good.  You're gonna have to come up with your own descriptions.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fallujah - The Harvest Wombs

A stellar debut from my favorite Bay Area Death Metal band.  These guys pretty much slaughter their "Born of Osiris" contemporaries.  They've pretty much left most of the "Core" influence behind and are going in a more legitimately Progressive direction akin to Quo Vadis and Decrepit Birth.  It's true that they've kind of fallen into the trap of an over-compressed production style, but it's done rather well here.  There's very nice tone and atmosphere to be found, especially in the many solo parts.  The improvement in playing and melodic sophistication are nice additions too.  This is something fresh and slightly different in a super-stale scene.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Comity - The Journey is Over Now

Super-progressive Mathcore from France.  I know you've heard the style a million times, but this band takes it to new levels of complexity and grandiosity.  It's four tracks that span 51 minutes, for starters.  Also, the amount of riffs here are staggering.  The length of the sheet music is probably about the same as the last Suffocation album.  Seemingly none of these segments are repeated later on in the album, they just keep changing the rhythm every few bars or so, never really letting you "relax" (which is kind of the point in this type of sharply discordant music).  I do wish the guitars were much more distorted and heavy, but the  jangly, clean-ish tones do sort of have their own charm too.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Believer - Dimensions

Of all the christian Metal bands out there, this is the only one that caught my attention, and it's because of this album.  In '93, when all the big name American Thrash bands were going commercial, who would have thought that it would be these guys that would go against the grain and create arguably the best Prog Metal album of the era?  It wouldn't have been me, that's for sure. 

What does it sound like?  It's pretty similar in style to later-era Coroner and Death; strongly technical Thrash with some Death Metal-like guttural and chunky tendencies.  This is less melodic and more rhythmic too.  They even went all out in their three-part "concept" piece (Trilogy of Knowledge) and incorporated a string section and clean, soprano vocals.  All of which were incorporated very well I might add.  This is a monumental album that you'd be a fool not to at least try.  If you're annoyed by the lyrical content, then tough shit...  now you know how I feel at Vegan Hardcore shows!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Haapoja - Hallitsematonta Voimaa

This might technically be a "demo", but the 21 min. length and production are actually pretty fucking good; good enough to call an "official release".  It also happens to be the best demo, musically, that I've heard in the past year.  It cuts deepest with it's strong Death Metal roots, but vaster influences are found throughout.  The long, complex riffs remind often me of newer Kylesa in a "beardy" and Post-Metal sorta way.  Just change the vocals and attack slightly, and this could easily be mistaken for modern Black Metal.  To me, this sounds like a bunch of guys who listen to many types of heavy music and just want to make the best music possible without worrying about fitting into genre-specific standards.  I always admire that.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ruined Families - Four Wall Freedom

The Greco-Grind of Ruined Families is significantly more straight-forward than their Spanish contemporaries to the west while still remaining a hybrid.  They play a distinctively "Euro" brand of Grindcore with a Modern Hardcore slant.  From the band name, to the artwork, to the vocals you can definitely tell these guys have a Hardcore background.  That being said, the Grind parts are still totally legit.  To put it another way; these are Hardcore kids trying to play Grindcore and succeeding, while still letting their roots shine through.  Well done.

Temporary Companion by Ruined Families
Sense Pleaser by Ruined Families

please my senses

Moksha - Sang De Roure

It's been forever since that last post, hasn't it?  Luckily, I've come across several cool new finds during my absence.  Because it's been so long, I think you guys deserve a double post.  The first one is a bottom-heavy bruiser from Spain.  I'm usually a sucker for sludge/hardcore/metal hybrids, so it's right up my alley too.  Moksha deliver equal parts High on Fire, Trap Them, and His Hero is Gone for a decidedly bassy, crushing and probably weed-influenced experience.  It's dynamic and varied without being "mathy", so don't worry about it making your simpleton head hurt like some of my "proggier" posts. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Godless - Ecce Homo: Post Lux Tenebras, Pulsio XIII Ultima Ratio

Hey kids, I'm gonna leave for my short vacay in Seattle tomorrow.  For those that are familiar with the city (I know through the globe map that at least one of you lives there), I'd definitely appreciate some advice on where to go and what to see (restaurants, music stores and stuff).  I'm also gonna be at El Corazon on monday to see Harm's Way, so say hi if you've seen my facebook and know what I look like.  

But before I do that I'm gonna let you sit on this solid mass of Chilean Death Metal.  I hear a lot of Morbid Angel going on here, and just a little bit of Incantation too.  The warm and dry production style is reminiscent of those bands as well.  Not classic, but very good effort put forth here (especially for a debut).  If you enjoyed the recent rennaissance of dirtier, 90's Death Metal like  Perdition Temple, Dead Congregation, and Cemetery Urn... pile this on your platter.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cloud Rat - Fever Dreams

It's been too long since I posted something legitimately brutal here.  The name Cloud Rat is actually a combination of the names of their two favorite bands: Cloudkicker and Mouse Rat (just made that up).  But really, they play some stellar Grindcore with a slight Modern Hardcore influence.  They remind me a bit of newer Fuck the Facts, but more straight-forward and a little less Metallic.  What you may not expect is how effortlessly this album flows, like a concise burst of a live set.   The production is nice too, very "live" sounding with good clarity and impact.  Of course, the fact that they're a trio and lack a bassist helps create that lean (not thin) and clean sound.  You got great riffs, great drumming, scathing vocals, and together they're tight as fuck...  what more do you want?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Oranssi Pazuzu - Kosmonument

It's pretty rare, but every once in a while I come across a band that leaves me dumbfounded.  This is one of those times.  I've heard this band tagged as "Psychedelic Black Metal", but that's far too restricting of a label; as the sonic mind-fuck created here transcends Metal.  I haven't had music make me feel so claustrophobic since I heard The Berzerker or Naked City for the first time  Sure, the length of the album could be cut in half if you factor out all the "psych" ambient interludes, but the many moments of cacophonous tension are worth sifting through all that.  Besides, I know some of you totally dig that ambient meandering.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Coins as Portraits - Form and Structure, Storm and Fracture

If you're still awake after reading that title, you will get to enjoy the over-the-top mathiness this album offers.  Discordant as all hell, but thankfully has a smooth production to take some of that edge off.  The vocal and riffing styles are what you would expect from Progressive Grind, but it's the drumming that stands out the most here.  This guy's kit must be huge, 'cause I'm hearing all sorts of weird percussion sounds; from cowbells to what sounds like a xylophone?  Needless to say, the beats are also super dynamic and complex.  With all the controlled noise that's going on, it's definitely not "memorable" in a "catchy" way at all, but it does bring a few new twists to the table.  Definitely worth a listen if you like your music to fuck with you a little bit (or a lot bit).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Armed for Apocalypse - Defeat

This is probably what The Acacia Strain would sound like if they were actually good.  The foundation here is build solidly on mid-paced grooves, but there's just enough fast parts to break it up.  The production works, it's pretty clean, but it could use more bottom-heaviness with the guitars and the overall mix.  Not much to say when you know what you're in for; belligerent, mosh-tastic Metalcore (without any lifestyle elitism or "thug" influence).  Interesting art too.

the demon who makes trophies of men

Friday, October 21, 2011

Incoming Cerebral Overdrive - Controverso

Some nice Mathcore from Tuscany.  Not nearly as obnoxious or modern as the name might imply.  I detect some vague 90's Screamo influence.  I would say this sits right between medium-strength Don Caballero muscularity and the more brutal Converge-clone style.  As an added bonus, there's some interesting effects and vocal screeches to be found here and there.  This album might not kick your ass, but it's pretty damn cool.  Sorry for these short, cold reviews.  My regularity should improve as soon as my mood does.

that's a pretty controversial opinion there

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Salome - Terminal

Despite the name, there's nothing particularly "jewish" about this band.  And despite being from the South, there's nothing particularly southern sounding about them either.  Salome play interesting Doom in their own unique way without any gimmicks or cheese.  Sure, it's still minimalist and at times ridiculously slow, but they're bringing real songwriting and originality to the table.  Which is more than I can say about pretty much any other Doom or Sludge band out there.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Kadavar - Kadavar

Good news kiddies!  I finally have new Death Metal to post about!  This is the sole full-length from Kadavar, and it's some very fine 90's style, riff-based Death Metal.  There's not a whole lot that stands out here stylistically, but I like that.  It seems that these days, bands are just competing against each other to see who can be the least accessible in their said sub-sub-genre.  Who's the most dissonant, who has the fastest gravity-blasts, who has the most "brutal slamz"?  Stuff that's good conversation fodder and interesting to listen to a clip of, but nothing I could really enjoy all the way through.  Kadavar cuts through all that pretentiousness and gives you what you've been wanting all along, just good Death Metal!

yeah, but is it good?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Miasma and the Carousel of Headless Horses - Perils

Hey, sorry about the long absence, but I haven't been able to find any good new music for over a week!  As you've probably noticed before, whenever this happens I reach into the past and pull something out that I remember fondly.  This is one of those albums that I haven't thought about or listened to for a good year.  I was really getting into Prog Rock for the first time, and this band popped up (on myspace I think).  They had a very unique approach combining Folk with Prog as well as Jazz and who knows what else.  Their instrumentation is pretty vast here, adding glockenspiel, autoharp, harmonium and violin to the standard Rock setup (some vocals would have been nice).  Although kind of an oddity no matter which genre you try to confine them to, their sound is very dark and quite accessible.  So, who knows?  You might actually like this, I mean, I did.

fancy shmancy

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Century - Red Giant

More mash-ups?  My answet is yes.  Century are about two-thirds Deathwish-style Hardcore and one-third "Djent".  If you're not familiar with Djent, it's a trendy new genre that was born on youtube and is really just a bunch of bands aping Meshuggah (who I never liked).  Somehow though, I do like this album.  Coming from a solid foundation of Metallic Hardcore doesn't hurt, and their Djent influence is pretty light; it's limited to using 8-string guitars and occasional polyrhythms.  Which is good, because I could never get into the "jerky", stop-and-go riffs of Meshuggah and their subsequent Djent-spawn. This one rather flew under the blog-radar, which is unfortunate 'cause this is some supremely moshable shit.

tight and nerdy

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Presto? - Comportamento Macabro

Up now is a pretty damn good hybrid of "beatdown" style Metalcore and Grind.  They're taking the concept of Ratos de Porao and creating a modern interpretation of it.  So instead of sounding like 80's crossover thrash, it's more like 90's Metalcore with Death Metal/Grindcore influence.  A marriage of Mosh riffs and blast-beats.  To some of you it may sound like mixing oil and water, but it works for me.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ascension - Consolamentum

Back again with more killer Black Metal from Germany (Saxony, to be more precise).  I know I've been gushing about French Black Metal lately, but the "Germs" definitely keep it real too.  I can't think of one style of Metal that Germany doesn't have a great scene for.  This album is pretty much in the same style as the French bands I've been posting as of late.  Like their neighbor contemporaries, these guys can definitely play, only their music is a little less technical.  Perhaps a little more effort is put into atmosphere and a little less into the "challenge-level" of the music itself.  This album walks several thin lines expertly well; there's just perfect balance everywhere (especially for a debut!).  The production has great atmosphere, but doesn't sacrifice clarity.  The songs have plenty of breathing room, but never sound "droney", always maintaining a satisfying pace.  The riffs are well mixed, often dissonant and bleak, but with a great sprinkling of the tonal and epic.  If you dug that Nightbringer album, but want something a little more straight-forward, this should fit you perfectly!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Undergang - Indhenet af Doden

Old-school Danish Slam?  Not exactly, but it may seem like that on paper.  These Danes create Death Metal in the old Finnish tradition; you know, like Swedish Death Metal's slower, uglier cousin?  except even slower and uglier.  These slow to mid-paced riffs could easily fit on a Slam or Mosh record, had the timing and production been adjusted.  This actually reminds me a lot of Murder Squad and older Funebrarum, but with hardly any of the fast parts.  It's sort of an exaggeration of the old sound, sort of hyper-real in that way.  This is just ultra sludgey, ultra bassy, and ultra simple Death Metal to get you "in the mood" (whatever that means to you).     

so easy, even a caveman can do it

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sentinel EP

As much great music I get from reading blogs, I probably get almost as much great stuff from youtube.  That's how I found Nightbringer below, and how I found this unsigned jewel.  The influences are rather vague here, but I do detect some Monstrosity and Morbid Angel.  It might not be particularly original, but damn if it's not techincally impressive and musically satisfying.  Honestly though, I'd rather hear a band do straight-up Death Metal and nail it than hear something that's different, but still a failure

pretty sweet Wes Benscoter art, pretty lame Thugcore logo.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nightbringer - Hierophany of the Open Grave

Isn't it so satisfying when, after hours of blog exploring, you finally find something that doesn't sound like everyone else?  I certainly feel rewarded when that happens to me, even if it's a short-lived feeling.  This is Black Metal in the truest sense of the word.  The feel and energy are a constant pitch black married with a suffactingly thick atmosphere.  The result will have you in that familiar, trance-like morose state.  Unlike most Metal, which focuses on guitar riffs to carry most of the song, this album relies on tone, written music and production value equally to drive it's point across.  This approach may not be new, but it is seldomly done well; with only a handful of efforts by Gorgoroth, Wodensthrone, and Demoncy coming to mind as successes.  Nightbringer might describe themselves as "Orhtodox", but this ain't your dad's Black Metal.

my tongue slays

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Eternal Madness - Abad Kegilaan

I'm gonna be honest, I've never liked Indonesian Death Metal in the past.  That scene seemed a lot like the Unique Leader roster; just boring band after boring band without a hint of originality to be found anywhere.  To be fair though, their scene is like New York or Stockholm compared to Hawai'i's Metal scene.  Anyway, the other day I finally found an Indonesian band that caught the attention of my jaded ears.  There's something in the chord progressions that make for a challenging listen, even though it's seemingly in standard 4/4 time.  Not exactly sure but I can't remember hearing Death Metal quite like this before.  My theory is that it's from the influence of the indigenous music from the region.  The drums  (although they do contain the obligatory "blast-beat") especially demonstrate this unique approach.  Even with all the above differences, the vocals might be most apparently unusual.  The tense note-bending and actual range that this man displays far exceeds the skill of your typical one-note barkers, despite the fact that he's far from the most beastly-sounding in the game.  Those of you that are yearning for a fresh approach in Death Metal should hear this, the rest of you can resume that crappy Pathology record.

*the cover art was just too terrible to post, so I'll let you look at their handsome faces instead.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dead in the Dirt - Vold

I usually don't post super short EPs here, but these two are too good to keep to myself.  Dead in the Dirt are another band that play the killer modern fusion of Metallic Hardcore and Grind.  I suppose you could call it modern Powerviolence too, as it's not far removed from Weekend Nachos and Iron Lung.  Whatever you want to call it, it's still sweet brutal violence.  Both these EPs blur by in just a handful of minutes, so I suggest listening to them back-to-back.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rêx Mündi - IHVH

There's seemingly a slew of great French Black Metal this year, and this is just one more album to add to the list.  The problem is, there really isn't much to say about this album, other than it's good.  It's quality "middle of the road" Black Metal that has a pretty modern sound and decent production.  Not particularly brutal, prog, cold, or melodic.  But hey, sometimes, when you're closing after a rough day at the neighborhood store and it's mop time, you want normal.  When you neither want to listen to jarring dissonance nor straight-forward barbarism, this should fit the bill.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fleshgod Apocalypse - Agony

I didn't pay any attention to this album when it was first leaked a couple months ago, as I was never a fan of the band.  They always seemed like "just another brutal tech band".  So why have I changed my opinion?  Well, they've finally found that extra element that lets their music "speak".  I'm talking about a string section.  You read right, the brutish world of Death Metal has finally infiltrated the suit-and-tie affair known as Classical Music.  Thankfully, they've done so while keeping most of their previous brutality intact.  The strings aren't some out-of-place overdub, they're an integral part of the music and (rightfully) sit on an equal audial level with the other instruments.  Fleshgod Apocalypse have succeeded where Therion and Augury have failed; that is to create Orchestral Death Metal that "works". 

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Red Chord - Fused Together in Revolving Doors

You read the title right, this is indeed The Red Chord's first album.  I maybe pretty prejudiced against Deathcore like most of you are, but I must admit there are a few treats to be found within it's walls.  This happens to be one of them.  Stylistically, it's different than their later albums; more Mathcore than Deathcore (more Coverge and less The Faceless).  The production is also different, as it's much more moderate and doesn't sound compressed and quantized to oblivion.  Say what you want about the current genre trend, this is still one damn good album that changes meter faster than your mom changes boyfriends.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yattering - Murder's Concept

Yattering was always a band that baffled me.  I could tell that they were unique and good, but could never get into their weirdness until now.  While unmistakeably Death Metal in sound, they kind of leave you scratching your head as far as notable influences.  I hear everything from Suffocation style chugging, to 90's experimental Deathcore like Human Remains, to the Jazzy Grind stylings of !T.O.O.H.!.  They create seemingly short and simple riffs, pair them with technical leads and weave them into unpredictable and complex songs.  Even the production is good; with a thick and clear sound, as well as tasteful ambient breaks and vocal effects.  To put it simply: these guys really knew what they were doing and created some of the most interesting Death Metal in the new millenium.

fart of the 20th century

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sael - The Sixth Extinction

In this new millenium France has really put itself on the map with stellar Black Metal.  Deathspell Omega, Borgia, Eternal Majesty, and last week's Asmodee.  It's not just the shrill sounds of Mutiilation and Les Legions Noire anymore, France is now home to a wealth of cerebral and inspired Progressive Black Metal bands (that sound more stereotypically "French").  Good thing too, 'cause man can't live on primitive pounding alone.  

Sael sounds a lot like the previously covered Asmodee, but offering a slightly more  simple  and accessible take on the concept.  There's plenty of dissonance, intricate scales, and time changes, but it seems to lack the same level of ambitiousness and sophistacation of their older brothers.  That being said, this is still some fine-quality and plenty-technical Black Metal.  It may not be fair to compare them to a more mature band, but I can't help it; guilt by national association...

thanks to intothywoods  for this

Friday, September 9, 2011

Northless - Clandestine Abuse

Truth be told, I haven't listened to this all the way through yet, just sampled it.  Even so, I can tell this unique, quality Sludgecore.  Not heard of this hybrid before?  Pretty self-explanatory: All the bottom heaviness of Sludge, but with a little added speed, hard attack, and anger of Hardcore.  The riffs and rhythms offer a slightly challenging flare and lay the dense foundation for the heated screams.  It's not too slow either, there's just enough pace to get you pissed.  I usually don't give a shit about Sludge or Doom, so that should tell you how much this stands out.  Fans of Thou, Khanate, and (enter other band here) should hear this.

candlewax abuse

Thursday, September 8, 2011

To What End? - Concealed Below the Surface

It's been a dry spell for good downloads recently, so I had to reach back into cd collection once again to bring you this one.  It's another crusty winner from the very underrated Crimes Against Humanity Records.  To What End? is equally underrated as well, being a Swedish Tragedy of sorts, but with the female/male vocal attack of Antischism.  Pretty well-produced "Epic Crust" is what you'll get with lots of leads and mid-paced parts to keep it from being D-Beaten to infinity.  Not particularly metallic or "grindy", just good, listenable songs to get your head moving, your hair dreaded, and your body smelling like stale PBR.

don't bogart it

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Modern Blackness Double Post

Asmodee - Chlorosis

Hey, Bro-dudes and Bro-dettes, since I've been lagging on posts so much lately I'm gonna give you a double kick to the crotch tonight in the form "brainy" modern Black Metal.  The first and probably the "brainier" of the two is Asmodee, coming to you from where else but France?  Now, I know you've all heard blast-beats, tremolo-picking and stop-and-go riffing before; but you haven't heard it done like this before (at least, I haven't).  It's pretty tough to  put my finger on it, but these guys just sound different than Enslaved, Deathspell Omega, or whatever Prog BM band people are raving about.  Asmodee bring so much more variety, sophistication and balance to the table.  I haven't heard Black Metal this impressive since Misery's Omen. Everything seems to flow so nicely: the fast with the slow, the tonal with the atonal, the melodic with the rhythmic.  This has everything a great album needs, except for maybe clean vocals, but I always thought those were Black Metal kryptonite anyway.

Abgott - Artefact of Madness

Don't let the song titles and cover art fool you, this is some pretty fancy shit (by Black Metal standards anyway).  At it's core, it's some pretty straightforward brutal BM, but what gives it that "brainy" edge are the fretboard gymnastics going on.  I honestly can't remember the last time I heard actual "shredding" on a Black Metal album, as everyone seems to be totally appeased by Darkthrone-level playing.  Don't get me wrong, there's some great primitive BM out there, but that doesn't mean the bar should be set at that minimalist standard.  Beyond the sweet guitar work, there's also some tight drumming, crisp bass, and surprisingly intelligible and forceful vocals.  While not setting any new standards, this is a nice and more "stimulating" alternative to whatever Marduk just put out.  Also, on earlier albums these guys used to do that whole "frog vocal" thing, so that should interest those of you that are still on the bandwagon riding Inquisition's dick.

does this guy have cleavage?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bornholm - March for Glory and Revenge

I've really been liking the the atmospheric Black Metal lately, and this album post is only further proof of that.  Bornholm are from Hungary, and are noticeably more slick than others of this style.  This is probably from the influence of their better-known countrymen Sear Bliss (although I think Bornholm are better).  These boys from 'Pest also separate themselves from the rest of the BM pack by displaying much tighter playing and sophisticated songwriting.  Many of these riffs are so melodic, they would feel right at home on a Dissection or The Chasm album.  Although trimphant and epic, these battle hymns never lose their darkness, being true to their Black roots.