Monday, April 30, 2012

Counterparts - The Current Will Carry Us

 Part 1 of Super Hardcore Weekend

I don't know if I've ever heard every modern style of Hardcore put into a blender, but Counterparts seems to have done just that.  From the epic octave chords of Final Fight, to the balanced mathiness of Stray From the Path, to the straight forward metallic heaviness of Rise and Fall.  Everyone's in the pool on The Current Will Carry us.  They pull it off quite well, although I wish the changes in style weren't so abrupt.  At times, it feels like a dj is playing three hardcore records at once and trying to splice them all into one song, but that's also it's charm.  Counterparts (named after a great Rush album by the way) do stick out among other Hardcore bands, even if it's in a way they may not have intended.  True to their proggy name, these Canadian boys display great musicianship (ultra tight).  I should also mention the production is practically perfect; cutting, warm, clear.  Everything you could want is here, even if it jostles you a round a bit.

     cool art, too

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Death Before Dishonor - Friends, Family, Forever

 Super Hardcore Weekend Part Deux

Time and time again I realize that bands I used to shit on years ago are actually rather good.  DBD is one such example.  Without having listened to them much, I dismissed them as "untrue" thugs because of their association with FSU (whom I consider to be a gang).  But now I'm older and have shaken loose those militant stances of my youth.  I mean, who really gives a shit about their lifestyle?  Thuggish tendencies of musicians never stopped me from listening to Rap or Black Metal back then.  As long as the lyrics aren't too ridiculously depraved, all that matters to me is that their music is good.  I think Death Before Dishonor deliver in this field.  While they may not be at Trial or Violation's level, the thick tones and burly delivery still hit my proverbial spot.  DBD (at this stage) is like an improved version of Terror or Death Threat.  Very metallic Hardcore with good speed and just the right amount of breakdowns.  You know what you're in for here.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Orgone - The Goliath

God damn, what a technical monster this is.  It's another case of youtube recommending a "related video" to who knows what I was originally searching for.  Like it's namesake, The Goliath is devastating in it's intricate brutality, and yet somehow unknown?  Metal bloggers like me usually eat this shit up, so the problem must lie in the fact that it was released in 2007, before most of us had fully gotten on the blog bandwagon.  It's too bad, because this is the most interesting and painfully complex Death Metal I've heard in ages.  Unlike Prog-Death heroes Gorguts and Atheist (who are as "Death Metal" as it gets), Orgone definitely take from other distant genres like Post-Hardcore, Grind, and Mathcore.  A lot of those influences "Post-" can be heard in the slower, more ambient moments.  Even with those nice breaks, there's still plenty of explosive force that make up the meat of this album.  You know you're intrigued, so just do the damn thing!      

Unleashed - Odalheim

I really didn't expect to like this album, but I gave it a shot and was supremely glad I did.  Man, this band has come a long way since their work in the 90's (these guys can really play their instruments now!).  Truth be told, I never liked this band before.  I always thought they were like the poor man's Grave.  They had that classic Swedish style, but didn't have the songwriting ability to add any substance.  All that has changed now.  Unleashed haven't been reinvigorated, they've been reborn into a new (much better) band.  In fact, Odalheim is so bloated with catchy, inspired riffs that if you would have told me a week ago that this was some new band's debut album, I would have believed you.  They've also seamlessly incorporated a strong Black Metal influence here, and subsequently, display some very refreshing guitar melodies.  If you've grown tired of the "lower-fi than thou" Death Metal of late, march on over to Odalheim!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

King Diamond - Conspiracy

Because I'm having a hard time finding good, rare records recently I'm going to post something that many of you might already consider "required listening".  Conspiracy was my first exposure to "The King" 12 years ago, and I think it still stands as his finest musical moment.  Most fans gush on and on about Abigail, or Melissa and Don't Break the Oath (why so many albums with girls names?  mommy issues much?).  All those albums are good in their own right, but for me, Conspiracy is where every element came together to create a classic album that no Metal solo-artist since has topped.  The songwriting, the singing, the musicianship have all been stepped-up on Conspiracy (released two years after Abigail).  I would even venture to say this is (lead guitarist) Andy LaRocque's best work, even better than his short stint with Death.  This album is so dense with melodies, riffs, and dynamics, it's like an epic Italian horror movie.  That should come as no surprise since most of King's albums are horror concept pieces.  Much like revered horror flicks "The Beyond" and "Tenebrae", Conspiracy is dark, dramatic, violent, sophisticated and accessible all at the same time.  Basically, perfect.


To avoid DMCA complaints, I have no link.  please consult filestube or filetram for a download.

Pact - The Dragon Lineage of Satan

The past week has been a desert for good new releases, but I do have this; the best Black Metal release I've heard in months.  Pact might qualify as "mysterious guy" Black Metal, as their names and hometown aren't known, but there's nothing really mysterious about their music.  The Dragon Lineage of Satan is honest, Nordic-influenced, but still very American-sounding Black Metal.  There's no "flashy" musicianship, trendy Post-Rock tendencies, or right-wing politics to be found.  Middle of the road?  Maybe, but progressive and eclectic elements often  don't work with Black Metal, so I have no problem with a band like Pact who just do it the olde tyme way.  Thanks to Raze Hell of  Dower of Refuse for this.  If not for him, this rip wouldn't be floating around cyberspace.

  if you're from my generation, this cover might remind you of this

i also found a music video, but i'm not sure if it's the same band

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Assassin - Satan Christ

I've actually been an on-and-off Brujeria Fan for 12 years, but this is the first time I've really listened to Assassin (using the gringo name as not to be shut down).  If Brujeria is Metallica, then Assassin is Megadeth, meaning: an improved version of the same formula.  The Style and sound is almost identical, as if there never was a split and the original line up of guero-haters just kept on going.  But, it's still not entirely the same.  The Fear Factory/Nu Metal influence has been shelved, making for a more consistently brutal attack.  The overall sound is a bit "leaner" too, no surprise as Assassin is a trio and not a 7-piece.  Lastly, the guitar-work is slightly more varied and technical, with less of the rapid palm-mutes that Dino Cazares was known for in the 90's.  There's not nearly of as much the lock-tight rhythms that Dino and Raymond Herrera (FF and Brujeria) had, but the improvement in songwriting, guitar-work and production more than makes up for it.  Honestly, this is the best stuff any of these guys have done in over ten years.  I would also like to mention that Assassin are completely Mestizo, whereas half of Brujeria is comprised of lily-white Europeans (who probably don't even speak spanish).