Monday, May 30, 2011
Skeletonwitch is a personal favorite but is often misunderstood across the board. To people who only got into Black Metal last year vis a vi Wolves in the Throne Room (and don't get me wrong, I love that band), the sheer volume of riffs and heavy metal leanings turn them away. This is Black METAL, though. Lazy music journalists in the past have lumped Skeletonwitch into with the neo-thrash/crossover explosion, which is damn-near insulting, considering how that music phenomenon is entirely contingent upon strip-mining the cultural, aesthetic, and musical idiosyncrasies of the 80s-early 90s.
Speaking of retro-thrash: Fuck that. It's 2011. Thrash metal's impact and vitality was the product of specific musical and cultural contexts. That's why Destruction and Slayer started playing groove metal in the nineties and why Metallica became a hard rock band. Because 1987 came and went.
Ahem. And to others, The 'Witch is too tongue and cheek, thereby undermining their dark message and making a mockery out of extreme metal. That, too, I think is foolish. Musicians are real people, nothing more, nothing less. Acknowledging the suspension of disbelief in metal goes wayyyyy back, even before Bathory.
But, those are the opinions of others. I, too, have opinions. With that disclaimer out of the way, Beyond the Permafrost is a brisk, varied and highly enjoyable listen.
Where Skeletonwitch gains points for me is in their tight, concise riffing. They waste no time flexing their technical skills and instead sink right into catchy melodies. The Judas Priest influence is there, as well as Slayer (good Slayer, mind you).* The songs run the gamut from all out assaults ("Upon Wings of Black," "Vengeance Will Be Mine") to the more grandiose and triumphant (like the title track. Grandiosity is a plus). Generally speaking, it's fast, catchy songs with excellent black metal vocals and really clear production, which seems completely suitable. Strangely enough, the sequel, Breathing the Fire's production almost feels a little too rough in comparison.
Last December, my radio station managed to bring Skeletonwitch and Withered (sans Landmine Marathon) through Greensboro for their tour and it was easily my favorite show of last year. They played excellently and it was really great not being the only person up front shrieking lyrics about wicked demons and murder at the stage. They all seemed really cool. No rock star attitudes or any of that bullshit.
If you dig the album, pick it up, or, perhaps some sex-positive merch.
(*I suppose that kind of brings it full circle when you think of how Priest Show No Mercy is)
"We've played a few songs about killing.....now here's a song about DYING!"
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Talk about deserving a re-posting. Kudos to whomever was creative enough to photoshop this.
How was my day of judgement, you ask? Great, actually, besides finding a used 100-watt tube head for under $400 (fuck YES) I saw a band near and dear to me. Close to my heart.
Last night at the Biz, Strike Anywhere played. It was an amazing time. I'm so pleased everything worked out.
Change Is A Sound is one of my all-time favorite albums and was totally life changing to a sixteen year-old me. Besides being one of the early albums that I learned to play guitar to, it was, from a lyrical and thematic angle, just so significant. Every song had a life or death seriousness to it that completely resonated with me. Last night, years and years after the fact, even though I haven't listened to that band in ages, it all came flooding back. Sincere songs about holding strong against the outrages of society. About smashing through the boundaries that are superimposed over the human race: nationalism, capitalism, patriarchy, etc, for the sake of a world based on mutual respect, dignity, and reciprocity. Fuck yeah. Yeah, that shit ruled.
If you've never checked that album out, consider it. Buy it or go out and see them if you're into it. It's no Malevolent Creation but it's a completely essential album, as far as I'm concerned. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for songs about murder.
Yeah we're ungrateful for
Holy books, religious men
Values of beauty, original sin
And all this time we unwind it
I won't give up, I'm not afraid
Friday, May 20, 2011
Here just in time for the Tribulation, when all of us lost souls will be tormented in fire and all the good Christians will be beamed up into the heavens, is the first edition of this fine blog's podcast.
Remember, when you die, the only place you're going is straight into the ground. [LINK]
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The last post was particularly agonizing to research. Expect the first edition of my music podcast in your future, to purge all of that garbage from your ears.
I've successfully shanghaied a good friend/former roommate/one of the few metalheads with whom I went to school with/former DJ to contribute to SFL/LLS. I couldn't be happier. My next task will be to bend him into contributing at least as much as I do (not saying much. Whooops.)
IT WONT STOP RAINING! I take the city bus to get places so, this weather phenomenon is unwelcome.
I started The Sports Writer by Richard Ford and I'm just loving it.
I started Battlestar Gallactica and was up until almost 4 AM last night watching it. Problem.
I'm also reading Swedish Death Metal by Daniel Ekeroth, which has been really great. It's ENORMOUS.
Finally, a new review is forthcoming, this time from the American Deep South and it's not Eyehategod.
I leave you with some new Autopsy. The LP is released. This one I'm picking up for keeps.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Rather than look at something more recent (which would ultimately result in me clamoring for sloppy seconds from any number of blogs or news sites that are quicker on the draw), I begin with an older album that is close to my heart. Time to take a trip down memory lane to 2007.
Amidst a virtual sea of neanderthal/2nd-rate Gothenburg/post radio "emo"/aimlessly, pointlessly technical*/ etc etc etc metalcore bands that appeared by roughly the mid 2000's, somehow, some way, Animosity came to be. Eschewing all of these stupid trends that will eventually give way to dubstep-themed deathcore in 2012, Animosity played a wholly familiar yet unique style of music. Animal, to me, was their creative peak.
(*Hey, at least that last band is more tasteful than Decrepit Birth)
What they brought to the table, besides dazzling golden merch, was concisely technical, kinetic, memorable songs with punkish flair. Somewhat like None So Vile if it were played by a turn of the century hardcore band. Rather than sagging under the weight of a thousand sweep-picks crammed into one song, they had honest to goodness riffs that actually went somewhere, all of which were developed so remarkably organically. In addition to crisp, excellent production, the lyrical content was top notch, my favorite song being about air-bombing the Vatican. Few albums come around with little to no fat that could have been trimmed. Animal is uncommonly good and is a curious contemporary to all the other bullshit bands that popped up around this time. If you like it, do this ex-band a solid and pick it up, or a brutal trucker hat.
Sadly, after releasing a strange remix after the lp, Animosity ceased to be. I sincerely hope that this unique and enjoyable album doesn't fade away.
Here's another shitty band.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Vegan Black Metal Chef
I'm holding out for a recipe that uses tempeh. Mine always turns out flavorless, no matter what I cook it in.
Also, round two with the sink. The old vinegar and baking soda trick couldn't liberate my pipes. Coming in with the big guns.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
My favorite thing to do is talk about metal. Especially with other metalheads. I just finished school, days ago, and I'm in a state of limbo where I'm going to be moving back to New England for an indefinite amount of time but not for almost another month. Then I'll be gone for about ten days out of June. Further prolonging the job hunt. So: metal blog, the blog I've dreamed about for years..... I've got plenty of plans (though plans are useless until acted upon) for this puppy. Ideally this wont be a one-person show, either.
For now, I wish to plug a local (Greensboro, NC) grind super-group. Priapus is a deathgrind/hardcore band. For me what really sells this bands are the dissonant, memorable riffs. Listen for that "weeooawww" sound (kind of a pick scrape or something) -- if you're familiar with Brodequin, think of that one part where the beat drops in "Slaves to the Pyre" and the guy plays the thing. Love that. Same idea. Listen for that at 1.16.
In other news
Last night's loss in Game 4 (Celtics-Heat) was crushing/annoying. Can KG post up? Our boards were practically nonexistent. Shit...
I'm fastidiously declogging my bathroom sink. I just found out that a clog like the one I have could, in theory, cause my shower or other faucets to pull up toilet water, which is nothing short of insane.