Monday, October 29, 2012

Slaughtered Priest - Confess Your Sins

It seems that these days there's an endless stream of Black/Thrash bands coming out of every corner of the globe.  Every one of them obeying the strict code of bullet belts, black & white album covers, and the most boring riffs outside of a Krabathor album.  At first glance you would judge Slaughtered Priest as just another one of those faceless formula bands, and you would be so fortunately wrong.  What Slaughtered Priest lack in originality and good taste, they more than compensate with amazing riffs and uncompromising consistency.  Each song is a killer built on top of an unrelenting D-beat.  These power-chord riffs are so fast and fluid, they would make Coroner, Rigor Mortis, and Destruction jealous.  With an audible bass and livelier production, this could have been a modern classic.  Even without those, it's still great.  Confess to the dead!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Acrania - An Uncertain Collision

For about two years now, I've been waiting for a band that combines my favorite sub-genre (Death Metal) with my favorite woodwind (Saxophone).  That band has finally arrived.  Acrania are actually a diverse Metal/Jazz hybrid with influnces reaching far back into Mexico's ethnic history as well as modern Metal that most of us grew up with.  This isn't just a regular Death Metal band with some sax solos (although that would be pretty sweet).  An Uncertain Collision is primarily driven by Jazz and latino rhythm styles that create a very loose feel, almost danceable.  The multi-layered drumming is also incredible, so good that it slightly overshadows the rest of the band.  But that's ok, as I'm sure we've all heard enough metronomic blast-beats to last us the rest of our lives.  Not just some nerdy white guy talking about "exotic" far away cultures that he's only read about, Acrania are the real deal, showcasing their own musical heritage.

R.I.P. The Living Broway

It's inevitable that with "intellectual property" hysteria all mp3 blogs will eventually be terminated.  That has been the fate of our favorite Metal/Pet/Idiocy blog, The Living Doorway.  I may make fun JGD a lot, but truth be told, Triple B wouldn't exist without The Living Doorway.  Just like that Portlandia episode about Battlestar Galactica, I'm gonna go to his house and demand that he write a sequel.  It could happen...  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lento - Anxiety, Despair, Languish

There are many genres that I love to hate, but then there's always a band that's so good I have to eat my own prejudiced words.  This is what I wish all Instrumental Post-Metal bands sounded like.  The dreary quality that seems to link all Post-Metal is still evident, but the annoying droney, repetitive quality is not to be found.  Instead, these songs actually develop and show dynamics and melody.  Not quite enough melody to make me forget the lack of vocals, but close.  Pretty close to how Kylesa would sound if they decided to go instrumental.  Those of you with beards will dig it.

Atheos - The Human Burden

I've lost count of how many so-called "great" Prog/Tech Death albums I've posted, but The Human Burden ranks up there with the best of them.  Because Atheos aren't a big name band on a big name label, this album seems to have been shelved and overshadowed by the highly anticipated returns of Cryptopsy, Hour of Penance, and The Faceless.  All those albums were good in their own right, but this one stands apart in overall songwriting quality.  Kinda reminds me of Millenium/In Dark Purity era Monstrosity.  Well worth your attention.


Wuthering Heights - The Shadow Cabinet

There's absolutely no way I couldn't check out a band named after my favorite song, and it turns out they're actually very good.  I usually don't get into Power Metal as it's kind of a novelty genre, but Wuthering Heights transcend their stylistic norms and make (honestly) great music.  The Shadow Cabinet is so triumphantly grand and melodic that it makes me suspect the entire band is classically trained.  They even surpass Blind Guardian in sheer sophistication.  But, unlike most Prog bands, the drama of the song always takes precedence over the technical "showboating" of the band.  This is proof that Metal can be
high-art just as well as it can low-brow fun.

Monday, October 8, 2012

2112 - El Maravilloso Circo de los Hermanos Lombardi

I'm just gonna get this out of the way; Rush are arguably the best rock band (prog or otherwise) ever.  It's kind of a wonder why there aren't thousands of bands trying to duplicate their sound.  Well, 2112 are here to fill this gaping void.  Take 90's era Rush, inject a small dose of metal shredding, subdue the bass prominence, translate all lyrics to Castellano and you have El Maravilloso.

Whiplash - Insult to Injury

I really love how direct and honest metal album artwork is.  Every sub-sub-sub-genre has it's own unique cover art style that informs you (fairly accurately) what you'll be enjoying.  This is so obviously the case with Insult to Injury.  Why are there only two wheels for that wheelchair?  Why is that train the size of a cruise ship?  Why is that hard cast unraveling like toilet paper?  It's important not to over-analyze artwork or music like this.  It is what it is, a Thrashing good time.  Will it change your life?  Not at all.  Will it incite headbanging and lackluster vocal covers from your friends?  Yes.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Relics of Humanity - Guided By The Soulless Call

I know you're looking at this cover and thinking "shit, is this Slam?".  Well, sort of.  Relics of Humanity straddle that line between "Slam" and brutal/guttural death metal.  Whatever you might think it this qualifies as, I just think it's good.  Relics of Humanity sound very "New York" in style with the copious, palm-muted technicality of Suffocation mixed with the muddy, sasquatch bottom-heaviness of Mortician.  The vocals remind me quite a bit of Will from Mortician, but better.  These growls are so ball-shakingly deep, they even put the ridiculous G-tuned guitars to shame (and without any annoying "cricket" quality).  The guitars then provide the appropriate aftershock with frequent dive-bomb drops.  The drumming manages to just barely cut through the seismic activity with a tolerable amount of ring and sharpness.  This might not count as legit Slam to aficionados like Brett and JGD, but I think they (and many of you) will still get hella stupid to it tonight.  Recommended for Wormed and Circle of Dead Children fans.