Tuesday, August 30, 2011

In my own local paper

The Black Twilight Circle is the shit and I was really surprised to find an interview with Volahn in my local free paper. If you're so inclined, you can read a rare interview online HERE.

The theme of this issue itself is the Big Four (Anthrax fucking sucks. There, I said it.) and overall the content was pretty insightful, if not a little guilty of mystifying those golden years. While on the one hand, yes, Slayer, Megadeth, and Metallica were in the right places at the right time to have an enormous cumulative impact, I think it's a little something -- not fatalistic but some close synonym, to accept that every current and future metal band will be somewhat consigned to a place of futility where they will never reach the same astronomical heights of influence and importance as those major bands did. Yes, conditions are different now, with a completely pervasive mass media and a seemingly limitless number of bands coming out of the wood works but, I think completely ruling out the eventual appearance of a band or bands who's sound could resonate so vastly, even outside of the core of the metal underground, is not a position I can wholeheartedly embrace. Instead of laying down and humbly bowing at the altar of the Big "Three," as quixotic as it sounds, I think we should be taking those lessons and applying them to build something better. There are thousands of ways this could be written off as too idealistic to be feasible, but come on.


Here's a compilation from the Black Twilight Circle. They deserve their own post but that will wait.

Ritual Kaos



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

....meanwhile, in the World of Punk


This Is Happening Right Now

I have a few days off and I've been avoiding sunlight. The above album has received strangely little attention as far as I can see, besides a blurb in Decibel. Sometimes, I read Decibel. Well...

This is The Konsortium. All of the members are masked and they go by numbers, but unlike Slipknot, listening to them wont permanently damage your metal cred........or your credibility in general. The only known member is Teloch, who's done live stints in Gorgoroth, Mayhem, and 1349. While the project of this Norwegian scene veteran has a lot of similar trappings to the aforementioned groups, this may be closer to later-Enslaved, but less meandering and annoying (but hey! You may like newer Enslaved and maybe I'm totally missing the point on this matter).

The Konsortium, though...

...right, the Konsortium, on the one hand is both, at times, blisteringly harsh and bottom-heavy (not unlike Gorgoroth or 1349) while also managing to seamlessly drift into weirdo progressive moments and integrate all kinds of vocal styles, harsh and clean, which is damn impressive. It's often the weird proggy moments that have the most sticking power when I listen to this band.

Often times, "progressive" bands fall into what I refer to in my mind as "jigsaw song syndrome," where disparate pieces or styles of music are haphazardly thrown the fuck into each other for the sake of mixing things up. I don't like it. As an example, while I have a cozy, warm place in my heart for Between the Buried and Me*, who were a crucial crossover band that led me to listen to more extreme metal back in high school, on Colors, which is an album I'd still ultimately recommend, there are a lot of moments where disparate song pieces are jarringly matched together, such as a (I wish I was joking) country-style porch jam in the middle of a triumphant song bridge. Fuck.

None of that shit, here. I encourage you to konsort.

Weirdo Prog Shit


Okay, speaking of: I don't know what kind of self-delusion the admins at the Metal Archives have to muster up to to say "Nah, that band isn't as "metal" as S.O.D. or the Cro-Mags" Yeah fuckin' right.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Job for a Manboy

Well shit, I've been busy. My internet is now repaired. In my spare time, when I wasn't dredging up things worth putting out in blog form or slamming hundreds of beers in single sittings, I got a job. Finally. The cushy, magical life of a student had not afforded me a money-job for about my last calendar year of study and it feels good to be on the clock, doing sometimes-stimulating things while thinking about all the videogames I want to play later. With jobs come more tattoo money. For about the first four days of work my arm was swollen right the hell up around the elbow (or "swellbow," as they call it in the biz) and it looked weeeeird and made my smoothie-craft slightly harder (that damn job..). Whatever, though. Jobs shmobs

Let us take a minute to enjoy an instant classic from 2001. If you are like me, you were probably watching a lot of Dragonball Z when this came out and didn't know fuck-all about black metal. Yes, whole episodes of grunting and yelling in place of dialogue, in fact.

Bam! I hope this shit is in your collection. Tara is the fourth in Absu's catalog of mythological thrashing madness, this album dealing with Celtic mythology (ergo: bagpipe interludes). While it doesn't have my favorite Absu song title ever ("An Equinox of Fathomless Disheartment") it does however have maybe their best songs, if not truly excellent songs. Much like my shift today, it's a frantic and chaotic, yet with great precision (unlike how I do anything at work because I'm the new guy who sucks at everything). And it's weird. Also there is at least one (1) shrill "Angel of Death" falsetto yell. Every album should have one, minimum. So, if you're interested in this American thrashing riff-machine, I'd start here, at least to get the chance to hear Proscriptor's amazing drumming. The. Fucking. Man. That's what a real drummer does.

Download and then buy. In whichever order.

"She Cries the-uh Quiet Lay-hay-hay-hake!!"


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Not Bloodbath

It's beyond moot at this point: the best album of 2011 will most likely be Watch the Throne. In light of that, I'll try to divvy what genuine enthusiasm I have left for things that don't feature Jay-Z AND Kanye West rapping together for a whole album and direct that towards Sweden's best national export, Death Metal.

Torture Division is Jorgen Sandstrom, the best vocalist ever to grave Grace; I mean "grace Grave" and two other guys (the "other" bald guy with a goatee and long-hair good-drummer, aka "That guy from Vomitory") best known(?) from The Project Hate whatever-the-fuck, who I've never cared to check out but could very well be great, only instead of playing maybe-good Industrial+Death, they kick out raw, punkish Death Metal, which kicks ass.

"Great," you might be thinking, but there is more. Torture Division, as an enterprise is largely free. Not "free" as in "I've got a few minutes to spare, I'm going to hit the blogs and see what sounds worth downloading" but "free" as in "take our music, please." Yes. Torture Division pumps out songs, plays select shows and prints small runs of merch and, utilizing the revenue generated therein, records more demos. Voila! And while "demo" has the connotation of poorer quality to some (unless if you're weened on black metal), all the demos are mixed by none other than the super-producer and ultra-prolific Dan Swano (ex-everything), so they sound great.

I will say that, some of the lyrical content is insanely misogynistic. And while that comes with the territory and I don't make any excuses. This is something I feel conflicted about often. If you take my stance on it and view as objectively as art representing all aspects of life, good or bad, as art does not and should not always depict only things we agree with (because where's the conflict in that? Where's the drama?), then you will be alright. Sorry, that last sentence has a lot of clauses. Or, you can pass on it.

I'm dead serious about Patriarchy and if you feel the same way, you may skip this altogether or not even listen to Death Metal at all, who knows?

Download their music directly from their site. Read around, too. It's entertaining. Link below.