Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Male Misandria - Spark of The Ancient Seed

It's been awhile since a Grindcore band has made an impression on me, but damnit if Male Misandria hasn't kicked my ass.  They've been called a Black/Grind hybrid, but I think that's a bit of a stretch.  The Black Metal influence is pretty vague.  To me, this is just really good Grindcore slightly blackened with great tremolo-picked riffs. This album is a comp, so there will be some volume and production differences between songs.  Still great.

Ursut - Dårarnas Paradis

Simple music deserves a simple review:  The best Crust/Core album in years.  D-Beat Apocalypse!!!



Here's a super sweet EP that no one seems to have noticed yet.  Kosmophobia follows the recent explosion of "Space" Death Metal, but take it a bit further with weird, astral synth sounds.  The synths are used purely for atmospheric and thematic purpose, so they hold no musical value (which can be good or bad).  Once you get past that, there's ample helpings of riff casserole served on a delightful bed of time signatures.  Technically, this is a demo, but you'd never guess with such slick production.  Kids these days, not only can they play better than the old guard, they can mix professional albums at home!  Anyway, if you love the ultra-precise, astronautic Death Metal of Element, Origin, and Arkaik, this Bud's for you.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Olde Tyme Ass Whoopins

I'm serving to you three reviews that are gonna be short and sweet, instead of making you wait even longer for the paragraph-long reviews I'm known for.  Thinking up entertaining reviews is what keeps me posting so seldomly, as I rarely have time or motivation to write them.  Would you guys be more receptive to more frequent posts that have shorter reviews, or would you rather things stay the same?

Gorelust - Reign of Lunacy

Here's a rare side of Death Metal beef (two puns!) that I found while searching Metal Archives.  Gorelust tread the familiar waters of "plain Jane" Death Metal.  Not offering anything new (even in 1995), but providing sufficiently heavy sounds for effective  headbanging.  It's vaguely reminiscent of Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation with a bonus of very good drumming.

Bluuurgh... - In My Embrace

This record is far better than you would think, coming from a band named after an expulsion of gas.  In My Embrace is an overlooked gem of early Death Metal for sure.  There's plenty of great riffs and sick, retching vocals to be had here.  This could even be a classic had there been more interesting drumming and better arrangement.  But, this album must be appreciated for what it is: good, thrashy Death Metal.

Cast Aside - The Struggle

Of course, I can never go too long without posting some moshable Deathwish-style Hardcore.  Songs about Straightedge pride, being stabbed in the back, and destroying your enemies are all par for this course.  The lyrics maybe "old hat", but there's just enough variety and "freshness" to keep things entertaining and energetic.  There's a lot to like if you're into the late 80's fast crossover style, or the mid 90's mid-paced mosh.  It's hard, it's tough, and it gets you're blood flowin'.  That should be good enough for your chunky, mouse-potato ass.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Headhunter - Parody of Life

How is it that I've never heard of this band, being such a big Destruction fan for years?  Turns out they've released four albums and are technically still active.  Anyway, Headhunter were like the "Megadeth" to Destruction's "Metallica".  File under: Disgruntled former band member forms new band for direct competition.  Even with the laughable song titles, this record is strong and consistent.  It reminds me of a mix between the more agressive thrash of Destruction (of course) and the mid-paced shreddery of King Diamond.  Like those comparisons would imply, the guitar work is excellent and probably the strongest selling point.  Schmier's vocals sort of fall short, but he's never been known for his vocal prowess.  Just like Destruction, Headhunter reminds you that in the end... Metal is all about guitar, and that's fine with me!

Diskord - Dystopics

I think we have another contender for "Death Metal Album of the Year" here.  Dystopics hasn't garnered the same popularity of say... the new Disfiguring the Goddess, which is strange because it's infinitely better.  Stylistically Diskord fall somewhere between Stargazer and later Gorguts, although slightly more melodic and tonal.  Dynamics are also here in spades, but are exhibited through tempo rather than volume (which keeps the brutality level high).  The songwriting and musicianship are stellar, especially considering this is only their second album.  Like the mentioned bands before them, Diskord have opted for a very "dry" and organic production (which fits very well).  Although there is a bit too much feedback "hum" for my taste.  Part of what took me so long to post this review is that I'm having a really hard time describing the wonderful uniqueness of this record.  You're just gonna have to listen to understand.    

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Alamaailman Vasarat - Käärmelautakunta

Man, where to start with this band?  Combining Klezmer, Jazz, Metal, Prog Rock, and even funeral dirges is such a tall task, it's no wonder no one has tried it before.  Hardly anyone is audacious enough to bring such far-separated genres together, and there are probably just as few people who really "get it" and enjoy this sort of thing.  Trying to do so without the use of guitars or vocals makes things even harder... or easier? (I don't know).  I just know that Alamaailman Vasara seem to have succeeded.  As you might expect from the stylistic combo, the speed, heaviness, and mood vary greatly, but that level of drama is necessary to keep things interesting in an instrumental setting.  Like the "typical" stuff I post here, there's still plenty of power; it's just that the chugging riffs are coming from cellos and the screams are coming from blaring horns.  It's true that I would prefer more distortion on the strings and some blast-beats, but these guys aren't trying to be John Zorn.  What's on offer here is much more balanced and tonal than that, while still being original and challenging.