Wednesday, July 27, 2011

This Is Why I Listen To Music

Jazz when removed from a live setting sometimes bores or annoys the hell out of me but this song is a fucking monster. I saw the first half hour of this 1988 concert on Instant Watch, earlier. Evidently Carlos Santana ran into one of his favorite Jazz saxophonists and they mused about what a tour would be like, or whatever. Details are unimportant, the end result was an absolutely massive Latin Jazz Fusion project. All these genius dudes and dudettes with silly haircuts absolutely murder it. These are musicians. Imagine your average jam-band, only all the stoned out morons are replaced by topshelf artists and they can play a coherent song. Fuck, this is just so good. At around the six minute mark, the keyboardist launches into a totally insane solo. Full disclosure: I found myself tearing up at what seemed like two minutes in, strangely enough. I was just so completely astonished and contented with how amazingly she was playing. They're all so goddamn good.

I just saw a commercial for LG which sounded so much like that one Fugazi song.

Coming up: A Swedish Death Metal supergroup


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Shame on the Night

Jesus Christ...(Image courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan)

My internet service has been poor lately, which is somewhere between a gift and a curse. On the one hand, I'm spending less time spacing out and getting sucked into pointless things online. I've also been downloading less music, though that might be good, actually. I have way too much on my hands and this break has permitted me to go back into my library and listen to some older (in terms of date of acquisition) music, which in my case has been a lot of Dio. It's been a good time for that. On the other hand, it makes updating the old blog kind of difficult. I've also been playing piano with my free time. I like to think of myself as a semi-competent musician but keyed instruments are the most confounding challenging thing to me. Specifically, I have a Korg Microstation because I seek to reproduce the cheesy synth lines from Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk.

I'm trying to think of newsworthy stories from the metal world to regurgitate. One thing that I'm extremely excited for is the impending release of Slow Southern Steel. I heard about that what seems like ages ago and have since been waiting with the utmost anticipation for that baby to drop. It seems like it will be at a few select screenings, so I'll just be buying that on dvd. Secondly(!), Rwake is finally about to release their new album on Relapse. Yes! YES! It should be mentioned that CT from Rwake is also the director of the aforementioned documentary. That guy must be really busy...

This as good a segue as any to present an album I meant to plug in the late Spring. You know how these things happen.

Deadbird is awesome. This would be Twilight Ritual.

The 'Bird formed when a former member of the aforementioned Rwake joined his brother to make a new band that sounds somewhat similar to that sending band. Right: Southern Doom. Like Rwake, Deadbird's music possesses a certain inscrutable something that separates them from the pack, like some kind of trauma, as though the music comes from a deeply wounded place on the frontier of civilization and the wilderness, if that makes any sense. It isn't just heavy stoner jams, it's dark, stirring music. When I think about the "Post-Metal" explosion of the mid-2000s, it was built on bands trying (and very often failing) to strike a chord the way Neurosis does, for example. Deadbird "get's" it, though, without utilizing any of those bastardized tropes, like the trademark piercing single-note tremolo riff with delay and reverb (can we put that one to bed?). Deadbird's songs are atmospheric by virtue of their tasteful and nuanced use of dynamics.

Twilight Ritual is their second full-length, after The Head and the Heart. The two are similar yet Twilight Ritual began to introduce a few new elements. I daresay it has a little more noticeable Southern Rock influence as well as the expanded use of clean vocals. Listen about a minute and a half into track one for that. Speaking of which, this song is worth the price of admission. If you're still having second thoughts about this band after this song, I'm wasting my damn time.

At times the vocals are even vaguely Alice in Chains-esque and it just completely works. That's not all, you'll be surprised by the ways the band mixes things up, such as on "Feral Flame." Not to mention the whole thing sounds great. Here's just another album which comes out sounding like a bunch of excellent musicians loaded a room with their gear and knocked out a bunch of great songs with minimal overdubs or what have you, excluding the acoustic breaks of course. This band is amazing. I don't understand why Relapse isn't knocking on their doors as well.

Buy this. Buy both albums. Here are some relevant links.

Deadbird Indie Merchstore (Both Full-lengths)

Twilight Ritual (If you like it anywhere as near as much as I do, you'll want to revisit the above link to get it for keeps)

Rwake Preorder

Kill, minions, kill.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Heavier than Your Favorite Band

Special thanks to Crustcake for hosting this here image (which could very possibly be from an Insect Warfare show, for all I know).

Considering how long I've had this puppy going, it's downright shocking I've never posted about Hatred Surge, who I just love. Starting as a one-man (I don't know if that's actually true, I just heard that) powerviolence project helmed by Alex Hughes (above, bass, ex-Insect Warfare (?)), 'Surge pumped out a load of splits and eps, a stunning full-length and is currently riding on the recent release of a split with another Texas group I enjoy and admire, Mammoth Grinder.

During this time there have been line-up changes, notably with vocalists. Currently, Rahi, the former vocalist of the now defunct (you guessed it) Insect Warfare is on board, which has introduced a whole new level of throat-scraping lows and sent the band somewhere into the neighborhood of unabashed death grind.

That being said, as much as I love the current incarnation of the band, I do miss their prior vocalist, too.

Considering how much this band has changed since it began, it's great how no matter what release you pick up, you will still probably want to punch a wall when you're listening. Pick this shit up and support these amazing, independent musicians. KILL!

Mammoth Grinder Split 12" from Cyclopean Records
Mammoth Grinder Split 12" BANDCAMP - preview
EP 2005 download (thanks to Fugitive Equilibrium)
Hatred Surge myspace


Monday, July 4, 2011

Nationalism is Bullshit, only Tech Death is Real

I think I've exceeded even my own worst fears as to how much Xbox I can play. Luckily I've cut that with some outdoors time and drumming. I've been playing since I was eighteen but going to school out of state really derailed an even development of skills. Right now I'm working on limb separation, which in my case entails keeping a steady beat on the snare and the kick drum and playing something else in a different subdivision with the free hand. The best example that comes to mind is your standard thrash beat, where whomever plays 8ths or whichever on the hi-hats or ride while keeping a consistent beat on the snare and kick. It's a permutation of the punk beat. Yeah, I suck at that. Here's a great example from the guy from Torture Division, starting roughly around the 0:20 mark.

Yeahhh!! Non-stop, lightning blastbeats are cool, too but as far as I'm concerned, nothing tops laying down a steady beat like Dave Lombardo when you want to propel a song forward.

Moving on...

Here's a quality album, with an unlikely pedigree.

Fractured is the 2004 full-length of the Floridian Technical Death Metal band Capharnaum. Bare with me. This band is headed by Jason Suecof, who is better known as the go-to producer for a load of awful bands and his brother. Please continue to bare with me here. This album features the vocals (and some guitar licks?) of the guy from (yccccccccchhh) Trivium. If that has turned you away, please reconsider.

This doesn't sound like how you imagine it. Fractured is a tight, catchy and extremely well-written album. It was produced by Jason Suecof himself, apparently safely before the major metalcore boom years and sounds completely gorgeous and organic. This is definitely helped by a mastering job at the one and only Morrisound. This also features Daniel Mongrain from Martyr.

This has stood the test of time for me. Say what you want about the awful, awful bands that Jason Suecof has produced for but the riffs are incredible and instantly memorable, Matt Heafy's vocals are OKAY (and he isn't on every song), and it features completely colossal drumming --indeed, some of my favorite fills ever. I can't even recommend this enough. It's just so fucking good. Many (most??) tech death albums are throwaways that seem to take no consideration with songwriting and seem to blast by with nothing substantive to hold onto -- when I hear Decrepit Birth or Necrophagist, to me it feels like a totally empty experience. This, however, THIS is significant.

Listen to this shit.

I, again, highly recommend this.

Here's a link.
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