Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tankard - Chemical Invasion

I never thought I would post an album by this band, but, fuck me if they didn't put out some good Thrash back in the day.  Hearing their rudimentary song "Zombie Attack" and knowing that 70% of their lyrics were about beer led me to believe Tankard were like the GWAR of Thrash.  Thankfully, they proved me wrong with underrated, almost epic second album.  There's pit-friendly speed, a mountain of catchy riffs, and piercing screams.  All that you would want, really, except for maybe thoughtful lyrics?  Nah.  Stylistically, Tankard are a lot like fellow countrymen Angel Dust and Risk, although, a bit more modern sounding.  You won't find the technical wizardry of Sadus, or the legendary songwriting of Megadeth, but a nice compromise of both.  And that's ok, because Tankard aren't looking to push the genre forward, they just want you to join them for a drunken, good time.


Crowbar - Odd Fellows Rest

Until this week, I had forgotten how good this band used to be, and more specifically, how great this album is.  I've recently been searching my memory for albums that were old favorites to me (ten or so) years ago, and then listening to them to see if they hold up to my new jaded standards.  This one definitely does.  The seismic guitar tone, the clenched-teeth growls, the crippling grooves.  They all sound just as cathartic now as they did a decade ago.  This album was also a turning point for the band, as they went from a Sludgey Metalcore sound to pure Sludge misery.  I kind of miss the faster, Hardcore-influnced parts of their early albums, but the leaps forward in songwriting and production more than make up for it.  This effort is packed to the gills with long, bowel-churing riffs and throbbing beats that seem to go on forever.  This shit isn't for skinny vegans that like jangly Indie Rock (the musical equivalent of a rice cake).  This is for hefty people that like their music thick and dense, like audial meatloaf.

fat music for fat people. it's not just a shitty comp, it's a reality.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Imperial Vengeance - Black Heart of Empire

This one is kind of a departure for me, as I usually don't post stuff that's "conceptual" or "theatrical", but I'm liking this album.  Black Heart of Empire reminds me much of King Diamond in terms of musical sophistication and synth melodies.  I'm also reminded of Diabolical Masquerade as far as tones and conceptual nature.  The imagery and lyrical language is rather upper-class and "Victorian", which you can choose to love or hate.  This is basically what Cradle or Dimmu would sound like if either of those bands were worth a shit.  Truth be told, this is a solo project of an ex-Cradle member.  This is a good and much more legitimately Black Metal effort than anything those bands have put out since their earliest days.  It's not for everyone, but if you like Black Metal with a high-brow, you should give it shot.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Drawn and Quartered - Hail Infernal Darkness

Do you love Death Metal and hate christians?  I thought so...  Luckily, for people like us, there's bands like Drawn and Quartered who share these unpopular feelings.  With Hail Infernal Darkness, "DQ" have treaded the familiar blasphemous path.  They've brought forth forty minutes of brutality that sounds just like an illegitimate child of Immolation and Incantation.  This bludgeoning is further complimented by an organic, "woody"-sounding production (the way Death Metal albums used to sound like).  You'd be hard pressed to find anything original here, but that's ok.  Most Death Metal bands (and fans) don't give a shit about originality, so it's good not to expect too much in that deparment.  As much as I love groundbreaking and unique music, It doesn't necessarily have to be new to be good.

Triple B First Anniversary!

Actually, I hit the one year mark on Sunday, but I've been too lazy and stressed to post anything until now.  It's been a bumpy and sometimes slow ride, but I've finally made it.  I'm gonna keep this thing going (at the very least) to prove to myself that I'm not a quitter.  Although I'm gonna keep rollin', I might change the format a bit to make it easier on myself.  You might start seeing more posts with shorter write-ups (more like descriptions instead of full reviews).  Honestly, it takes a lot more thought and energy than you would expect just to write those paragraphs.  Also, help me keep this place "happening" by chiming in more often.  The more you comment, the more (and better) posts you're gonna get!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Black Breath - Sentenced to Life

These kids, they grow up so fast.  You know, how they go through periods of change trying to figure out who they are until they finally find their own path.  This is what seems to have happened to Seattle's Hardcore/Death Metal crossover sons.  In the beginning, they  were more of a Black/Thrash type of thing, then they went more Swedish Death Metal with a hint of Metalcore mosh.  Now, they've left almost all their Hardcore tendencies behind to become an almost pure Death Metal sasquatch.  Their sound is now darker, faster, and more sophisticated.  The playing technique has been bumped up a couple notches too.  You can now hear guitar harmonies and melodies in addition to the standard power chords, and there's a decent portion of time changes without becoming "techy".  You can even occasionally hear that bluesy, 70's rock vibe coming through just like with the originators 20 years ago.  I kind of miss the fun, hard-dancing quality of their last album, but I'm liking this ambitious, new direction as well.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ketzer - Endzeit Metropolis

When you read that a band has members named Desecratör, Executor, and Infernal Destroyer, you'd probably expect to hear some bone-headed Black/Thrash.  Well, you'd be half right.  Endzeit Metropolis is indeed a dripping slab of Thrashing Black Metal, except it's actually good, far beyond their goat and penis-obsessed contemporaries.  At this stage Ketzer sounds like a catchier, less Dissection-esque (and better) Watain.  With the whole catchy/cheese thing going on, they do flirt with "Black & Roll" at times, but they never get really outrageous with it like Midnight.  To me, this is really just a more accessible take on Swedish Black Metal with some tongue-in-cheek humor, Thrash, and D-beat ifluence thrown in.  Take all of those contrasting ingredients and put them in a streamlined, professional package, and you have probably the best Black Metal album so far this year.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Aflowerkollapsed - Orsago

Wham, bam, thank you, man.  Every once in a while, I post something in the Mathcore, Post-Everything genre.  I figure it's time again.  Aflowerkollapsed are a bit different than my usual Mathcore picks as they don't sound Converge-ish or very moshy. Orsago is more on the 90's Screamo/Mathrock side of things, which is rather refreshing for me.  I don't usually go for stuff that has anything to do with Screamo, but Aflowerkollapsed are so good they transcend my genre prejudice.  These aren't just a bunch of rich, college boys strumming a single diminished chord really fast; these guys can actually write and play challenging music.  The playing is tight and varied, so that means not only can they keep time, they actually employ every string and every part of the kit.  There's plenty of dynamics on display as well, in both speed and volume.  Ok, so the vocals are monotonous screams, but that's to be expected.  My only real beef is the amount of ambient breaks.  Everyone knows that ambient intros and interludes are just filler crap.  I'll never understand why people actually listen to that which admittedly has no musical value.  Oh well, you can't have a nice steak without that annoying layer of rubbery fat!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Merciless Death - Realm of Terror

I know I've made fun of these guys on here before, but they're actually quite good.  Like me, you're gonna have to look past the fact that they call their fans "hell-thrashers" and wear intentionally dated clothing, because they can still play Thrash like nobody's business.  Stylistically, they're heavily influenced by Slayer and Destruction and sound rather "proto-black/death metal" because of that.  If that makes sense, since it's now 25 years after the fact.  The riffing in particular, with the heavy "hammer-ons" and "pull-offs", lovingly remind me of Destruction's famed, early years.  These guys don't fuck around with the speed either, you'll find no Headbanger's Ball-ready slow tracks.  This is just a straight ripper all the way through.  The older I get, the more I demand originality from bands, but there's always a place in my heart for really well-done derivatives like Merciless Death.  If you liked that Nekromantheon post I did a while ago, you'll like this.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Last Witness - Mourning After

Let's get into some slow jamz for the ladies.  Seriously though, I'm taking a break from what's now my regular Thrash posts and giving you some Tae-Kwon-Do quality Metalcore.  Last Witness are sort of in between the obese, Sumo-slap of Xibalba and the more "Rocking" sound of Hope Con.  It's a nice balance for me.  The medium pace makes this record great for lifting weights, or a brisk jog.  'Cause, let's face it, exercising is probably  the number one activity people do while listening to this stuff.  Metalcore might be the C&C Music Factory or Snap! for people with stretched-ears.  Mourning After isn't without merit though.  There are plenty of cool riffs and grooves here, and the band have seemingly limitless amounts of variations of each.    My only real gripe is the singer's voice seems to be "cracking" and some of the lyrics are rather uninspired; but don't worry, you'll be too busy counting reps and looking good to notice.