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