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.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Recursion - Transcendence in Impermanence

Kids grow up so fast these days: one day they're reading "Everybody Poops", and the next they're sweep-picking and teaching you about counterpoint.  Case in point, the uber-young Recursion from the "ultra-brutal" town Santa Cruz, the place that gave you skateboards, Decrepit Birth, and countless hipsters that wished they lived in San Francisco.  Seriously, these kids look like they just sprouted pubes, and now they have the chops to teach you how to play guitar!  Anyway, they've put out some damn decent Death Metal here that reminds me a lot of newer Cephalic Carnage, but a bit less "prog".  The riffs and songwriting quality here are superb: complex, tonal, and melodic.  My only real gripe here is the producion, as it's too dry and has a thin drum sound.  That's only minor, as it's still listenable.   As a band, they might need to tighten-up (as well as getting a better production job), but they have the potential to be major players in the world of Death Metal.   

sacrifices to the blunt god