Saturday, March 3, 2012

I am agreeing with your post

Re: Spam Comment in my inbox

I'm starving (for food) but here's a quick one.

Secreted Fucking Entity hail from California and play BDM more in the vein of old Suffocation and Defeated Sanity (what's the difference? Am I right? I love old Suffocation so that's not a slight in the slightest). This shit kills. I've been enjoying this a lot. Major kudos are due to them presenting a really "live" sound on their full length, Horrifying Hallucinations of Ungodly, especially on the drums, which are really boomy and clear and let you hear with no ambiguity whatsoever that they're real and not being fucked with in some feat of post-production trickery. Like Methods of Execution, this is an ugly, murky record that forces you to actually tune your attention towards discerning the different instruments working in concert.

This shit is awesome and I demand you buy a sticker or go see them live in California at the very least. Don't sleep on it.

Horrifying Hallucinations of Ungodly Bigcartel Websites

Stomped on Her Facebook

I can't even find a link to their album right now. Looks like you might have to get it the old fashioned way. With money.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Stop Scheduling Me So Damn Late

That's just it. I've closed at the store two nights in a row and I'll be in until ten tonight. It's a pain in the ass. I'm not a good early riser, so's I don't do shit-all before I have to go in to work. I shouldn't complain. Also, I'm dipping out to the Tar Heel state this Thursday. I think I'll bring my computer, so posts between about the 23rd to the 28th are conceivable.

I haven't been listening to much music lately but what I've got something for you.

Acoustic solo project: It's kind of a cliche. After x many years in a band some jerk-off will write some sappy songs that are more or less unplugged versions of what they were doing, only with an assumed air of "folksiness" that is entirely unconvincing. There seems to be this persistent misconception floating around out there that if you've cut your teeth as a musician for long enough, it's practically beneath you to achieve James Taylor-status as a single singer-songwriter. Rarely, do I feel the need to take the position of "shit-slinging naysayer" but I've heard some baaaad shit.

Austin Fucking Lucas is the real deal. That was really the first thing that came to mind when I finally heard him, courtesy of a friend who shot me that very video to my email. I had just known him as that guy who worked with Chuck Ragan.

Briefly, Lucas was born in Indiana and learned to sing and play music at a young age, before discovering punk and hardcore, playing in some crust bands, expatriated, repatriated, and began recording country albums. Or, at least I believe that's the chronology of events. Maybe there was some overlap. Either way, if you've listened to the video above, it's completely obvious that Lucas is a goddamn pro. This isn't a charade, this is the genuine article. This is unapologeticaly rootsy music, bringing in slide guitars, banjos, strings, and Lucas' versatile, keen singing. Forget about pop/rock hooks, only twangly-dangly major pentatonic shit. There's little else I really feel like listening to, as of late.

Lend him your ears.

Official/Dispense Money/Admiration Here

Somebody Loves You [2009]. Sample at your leisure.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Fuh fuh fuh. I haven't thought much about music lately. I downloaded the Mass Effect 3 demo yesterday and I'm excited to play the shit out of that. I love science fiction and Bioware (Mass Effect, KOTOR, etc) is absolutely one of my favorite video game companies.

I might see Morne and Tombs in Boston at the end of the month, work permitting. Generally, I'm kind of indifferent-leaning-towards-skeptical of most "post metal" type bands but I think those two are generally pretty good. I also just finally found that most recent Tombs full length. I might give it a spin anticipatorily.

When speaking of Morne, I can't help but unravel all of the previous works of arguably the most well known member, Jeff Hayward (ex-Grief, ex-Disrupt, Noosebomb, et al), who's been a fixture of New England's metal scene for a long time. It seems like a rarity for one to be part of so many great bands. Usually you have to be Rogga Johansson.

So! One such band is Abhorred for whom Jeff Hayward played bass for at least one release. This group was interesting. The easiest description of them would be a very rhythmically tight, thrash-oriented blackened death metal band. Some years ago, I downloaded None Shall Be Spared off their myspace. They have a full length out that I, to this day, have still never listened to, so my impressions come chiefly from the EP, which I will be disseminating the link to. Oh, there I go ending my sentences in prepositions.

None Shall Be Spared is rock solid and another release loaded with good riffs. I especially love the galloping, palm-muted riffs of "Dispossess and Annihilate" and their interplay with the kick drum. I also really love how right at two minutes and about ten seconds, the drum pattern switches up from a thrash beat on top of rolling kick drums to a half-blast. Never-ending headbanging ensues.

This was a really cool band. I encourage you to check them out.

Fuck yeah, man.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Power Electronics, Cute Cat Comics

Well, first, my friend showed me this great online comic called Cat versus Human. I'm not exactly a "cat person," (and I'm allergic) but it's both cute and funny. I like the artist's style of illustration a lot. I don't really have any to segue to the next thing I have in store. Errm.

Here's something from Slays For Days that you might be into.

Disgust - Where Angels Fear to Tread

Disgust is a power electronics group featuring a gentleman named Mack Chami, who is better known for another project, Koufar, which is a Rightist/Lebanese Nationalist/Maronite Christian project, according to Last Fm. All of this is extremely interesting. While I had always suspected there were/are Lebanese groups that followed that political ideology, Koufar is the first I've ever actually seen. However, this post isn't really about Koufar and this is a major digression on my part.
(Wikipedia -- Politics of Lebanon)

Disgust uses some Christian imagery but is from the looks of it wholly distinct from Koufar. Instead, if its intent can be gleaned from its use of soundclips and moments where the lyrics are actually intelligible, Disgust seems to center more around extreme nihilism, hate and disgust, appropriately.

From the sounds of it, they went with the tried and true method of setting up microphones and completely overloading them to the point of clipping with deafening, amplified squalls of sound, and layering these with tortured screams, samples, and who knows what else. Like feeling happy? Where Angels Fear to Tread will completely suck the joy out of your day. I finished listening straight through the album to find my mood had been negatively affected. That could be you. It's one thing to dabble in formless, atonal, horrific noise, as some bands will do. A whole album's worth is just draining and hard to sit through. In other words, if you're not into scary noise in the first place, this may not be the album to start off on but, uhhhh, here you go.

If you're looking for some visceral, stirring music, look no further.


Official bloggo



Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Fuckless

Jesus. Work was a disaster today. And I got my paycheck and I'm still not making enough money. I've only been able to work about 30 hours a week. I think I need an additional job. Hmm.

Well, at this particular time I feel moved to write about an album I liked.

I don't care for this album art. This is Akeldama from the The Faceless. Like Fallujah, who I covered not too long ago, the Faceless hail from California, as do a multitude of technical/brutal/progressive/noodle bands. I don't care for the bulk of those bands, nor am I exactly gaga over their followup, Planetary Duality, but Akeldama is pretty good.

So, to clarify my position on a few things: I don't really have that much against deathcore itself, rather most deathcore bands I've heard are completely disposable/interchangeable, as far as I'm concerned. With that out of the way, though, Akeldama has less to do with deathcore at all. Some have painted it as though around 2006, the Faceless were a precocious deathcore band trying to make a "real death metal" album. If anything, in 2006 the Faceless were a "real" death metal band which retained some vestigial deathcore tendencies because, to their credit, they know how to write songs that aren't built around enormous breakdowns and instead rely on dynamic, technical riffs as a means to bring about highly satisfying movements in their songs. Also, if two to three devastating breakdowns are enough to ruin a whole album for you, maybe you should lighten up a little. The highlight of this album clearly is the riffs, which are extremely catchy and bounce nicely between consonance and dissonance, as well as constantly maintaining a high level of activity without falling into the trap of being aimlessly technical sounding, like Necrophagist or, arguably, newer Decrepit Birth.

Akeldama has a sort of spontaneous creative flair to it. This manifests itself in a number of ways such as in the memorable keyboard lines or the clean vocals section on "Pestilence" or the quirky riffs. On this album it feels a lot more honest than their followup, which to me feels a little too telegraphed and conscious in its inclusion of "odd" parts. I still listen to it every now and then, which is more than I can say for Planetary Duality.

I'm le sleepy. I think I would have written more content or better content otherwise but fuck it. I think by virtue of me taking the time to write this, you will know I'm sincere in my recommendation of this album.

Buy their shi(r)t. Are the rest of the bands on Sumerian Records doodie? Possibly.



Monday, February 6, 2012

My Professional Sports Team Did Not Win Their Championship or "Fuck the Universe II"

I mean, yeah, it's silly but I'm sincerely very pissed off and disappointed about the Super Bowl. Also there will be no NFL for months, which also makes me sad. Whatever.

You know what else annoys me? All of the great Megaupload links that are just flat-out gone forever. Thanks, again, assholes. I'm just going to find more ways to "steal" independently produced music. Try and stop me.

Here's something you may like

Absvrdist hail from San Antonio and sort of remind me of Spazz. Their release Illusory is three songs clocking in at maybe around five and a half minutes. It's good.



Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Better Late than Whatever: 2011 Favorites

It's still January!

In case there would appear to be any major omissions on my part, I present the following. The releases listed below can neither be endorsed or otherwise in good conscience, since I haven't really given any of them a sufficient enough chunk of time to objectively do so. Except for maybe the new Morbid Angel -- after previewing a few of the songs on youtube, I'm a little more comfortable nnnnnot recommending Illum... to you.

Noteworthy/Acclaimed/Hated/Well-Publicized Releases I Failed to Listen To

Absu -
Abzu, Gridlink - Orphan, Liturgy - Aesthetica, Krallice - Diotima, Morbid Angel - Illum blah blah blah, Necros Christos - Doom of the Occult, Yob - Atma (Well, I listened a little..), Antediluvian - Through the Cervix of Hawwah, Craft - Void

Adding to that list, the new Taake, the Miasmal self-titled, Solstafir's new album, and the Flourishing full length, which I have only started to dip my toes into.

2011 Favorites in No Particular Order

Disma -
Towards the Megalith
Yeah, yeah, elephant in the room. It's an avalanche of muck. It's like being trapped on the North Pole for a century. A bunch of veterans team up to create a massive, grooving, crushing death metal album. You already know what's up.

Corrupted -
Garten der Unbewusstheit
Japan's best doom band (probably) comes returns back with another monster album. At times mournful, at times extremely placid, at times painfully minimalistic, always enormous and expansive. Not for the faint at heart. Just so, so good.

Autopsy -
Macabre Eternal
It's not like Autopsy went anywhere after Shitfun nor was Abscess thaaat far from their initial formula but, nevertheless (continuing from where they left off on The Tomb Within), they're back, playing Autopsy songs on an Autopsy full length. With that in mind, they manage to buck expectations here and there with a warm, clean production and, at times, more
(relatively speaking) technical riffage. Where there album succeeds most is in what you do expect. They're not going through the motions -- far from it, rather, Chris Reifert et al continue to refine and perfectly execute a formula for great shit. Special mention has to go to Eric Cutler's vocals on "Dirty Gore Whore," which are fucking creepy. Like, I'm very desensitized to being shocked, or whatever, by extreme metal, as you probably are, as well. Just like that, though, they inject a little extra something that takes Macabre Eternal out of my immediate comfort zone. The string of longer, slower songs starting around "Sewn Into One" and concluding with "Sadistic Gratification" are also just golden. Still got it.

Skeletonwitch -
Forever Abomination
I've heard this album described in a few different places as more or less "standard" for Skeletonwitch at this point and it's as though all these different reviewers took a day off from their critical listening abilities -- Forever Abomination takes this band to a whole new dimension. Speaking as someone who likes Skeletonwitch a lot, they've always had kind of an air of self-conscious kitsch, which is really suitable for such a fun, energetic band. Skeletonwitch is not an emotionally affecting group, typically -- they're like Sodom, they only kick ass. BUT, with that in mind, Forever Abomination changes the game and introduces a darker, more Second Wave feel which first reminded me strongly of Dissection and Emperor, all while maintaining the same catchy precision harmonies and tight rhythms. While Beyond the Permafrost is still probably the closest of their albums to my heart, in time I can see that being eclipsed by their 2011 effort, which is front to back, a dark, riff-slinging, blastbeating, motherfucker of an album.

Putridity -
Degenerating Anthropophagical Euphoria
I'm in kind of a bind, including an album that I can't remember any songs from, but here you go. Like an homage to early Suffocation, their is nothing catchy at work, nor is there anything that doesn't cause tension. It's not as much a collection of songs as it is a very merciless and calculated marathon of torture from severe headbanging. It's a good thing this album is so short -- maintaining that level of crush for an extended period of time is just exhausting.

Visceral Disgorge -
Ingesting Putridity
The other entry for brutal death metal bands in my favorites is slightly more varied and catchy. Visceral Disgorge is as equally unhesitatingly complex and technical as Putridity, however, flashes of harmony, deft tempo changes and enormous breakdowns help punctuate what would otherwise be another extended, nonstop beating. This band fucking rules. I think I've said quite enough. Oh wait. They sometimes have soundclips. Those are fun.

Desolate Shrine -
Tenebrous Towers
What a great surprise! Of all the "retro" sounding death metal albums to come my way this year, this is one of my favorites. This Finnish trio knocks out monster songs with completely amazing guttural and shrieked vocals (shared between two vocalists). They write terrific songs. Listen to "The Brightest Night" right this minute. This would have flown right under the radar for me, were it not for The Living Doorway, to whom I extend my sincerest thanks. Speaking of which, have you thanked the Living Doorway for an album you've loved recently? Just a thought. Here's Desolate Shrine's bandcamp, which can direct you to a place where you might render them your US Dollars. Incredible album art, too.

Wormrot -
Yup. It's premium grindcore. I don't know what else to say. Wormrot rips.

Burial Invocation
Okay, okay, they only released one new song this year on their split with Anatomia but it's just REALLY GOOD is all. Perhaps this can be your introduction to them, if you haven't checked them out previously.

Mammoth Grinder/Hatred Surge
Two of my favorite Texan exports released an eponymous split this year. Mammoth Grinder plays chunky, old school death metal. Hatred Surge plays deathgrind/powerviolence. This has the distinction of featuring some of Hatred Surge's slowest and grooviest songs. See what all the fuss is about here. Hatred Surge also appears on last years Brutal Supremacy four-way split from Painkiller Records.

& Mitochondrion - The Destroyers of All & Parasignosis
Last but not least, each of these bands had great full-lengths that leaked around the late 2010 mark and are about the definition of "old news" by now. They each interestingly expand upon the death metal formula, with Ulcerate having terse, slow-burning leads built over a highly active rhythm section, and Mitochondrion employing a very alien and hostile riffs that all meet within what can best be described as a wormhole of chaos. Both are stand-outs for me. I'm loath to forget about them after the passing of so much time. Puh-lease, listen to both if you missed out on the first go-around.

Honorable Mentions

Rwake - Rest
I like Rwake a lot and clearly there's plenty of stuff going on here. All the same, this didn't have the immediate "wow factor" that Voice of Omens and If You Walk... had for me. It's my estimation that this will be more of a "grower." Either way, it's exciting to see them on Relapse Records. They are most deserving of their success.

Falls of Rauros - The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood
This is a really cool band that I'm proud to share a hometown with. It's funny how I didn't know about them until well after I had moved away for school. I can't emphasize this enough, when there are seemingly hundreds of American bands out there who got into black metal last year and are aping Wolves in the Throne Room, it's very refreshing to hear Falls, who have been going since at least 2006, if not earlier, and who keep knocking out very thoughtfully composed, creative, and well-executed music. Good fucking band. I look forward to seeing them again.

Miscellaneous Non-Endorsements

Trap Them - Darker Handcraft
I find this incredibly boring. I've been doing this song and dance with Trap Them since at least 2007 -- they'll release something to general acclaim and I'll think "This will be the record that gets me into this band" and it never is, actually. All of the individual components here (guitar tone, grinding, minor resemblance to Converge (one of my favorite bands), dark themes, etc.) should make this a perfect fit for me but it just isn't. Maybe I need to hear the right song at the right time. Until then, I'll just go ahead and wait another year or so until their next release. Related: that band The Secret, who sort of sound similar to Trap Them -- not so hot on them, either.

KEN Mode - Venerable
Another one -- what's the fuss about? I'm not closed off to the idea of ever liking this band, I just am again unmoved. I like noise, I like noise ROCK, I like hardcore...why is this so tedious to me?

Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestial Lineage
This was a surprise. Maybe I'll have a change of heart some day but I found this whole thing very lacking in focus. I love WITTR but listening to this is a frustrating experience with little to no continuity. Like, I guess they're going back to a more "experimental" sound after releasing Black Cascade, which was probably their most linear release yet. Was I hoping for Black Cascade II? Maybe. That's just how I feel. As I said, I'm not counting out the possibility of me one day liking this. Bah.

Well, that's that. At least it's not February of 2012.