Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fucking Hero

All it takes is a little prodding and BOOM, I'm back on another screamo bender. City of Caterpillar, who were part of the unbelievably incestuous confederation of Virginia-DC screamo bands (pg. 99, Majority Rule, et al) and who I was completely unaware of (because at this time I was a little baby) when they were actually active, were the shit.

As with a lot of music I like, my appreciation of City of Caterpillar is more of a feeling than something I can clinically dissect, so, I would say that their full-length makes me feel unsatisfied and fed up with the world, which is similar to the feel I get from Welcome the Plague Year. So, jam on this shit and maybe unearth some angst. They didn't have a ton of music recorded, but here's the full length. Good spot to start.


Willard Flemming out.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I really like the new Rosetta but hang on for a second...

Just like the title says.

This was in the editing stage for a looooong time. I think I finally narrowed down my central thesis. I felt like I couldn't talk about Rosetta without reflecting on the sub-sub-genre they are usually grouped into, being atmospheric sludge (or "Post Metal" but let's discontinue the use of that marker, eh?). That reflection turned into an enormous, unwieldy essay. I gutted that and started over.

In brief, rarely do I find groups within the constellation of this "P.M." genre that good anymore (with the exception of Isis and Neurosis, who are often imitated with middling, unrefined results) -- which is odd, considering how much I typically like the pairing of aggression and atmosphere [link -- case in point]. SO, I did some reflection, and remembered a discussion with a friend I had one time that is somewhat related to the matter.

Atmo-sludge bands typically play an aggregate style of heavy music that encompasses elements of sludge, doom, post-rock, and hardcore, which should be AMAZING -- Passionate, confrontational, heavy music with an atmospheric flair that you can headbang to -- yet rarely that's the case. Rarely do things "click" for me the way they did in 2008.

I present the example of the first (and only so far, come to think of it..) time I saw Rosetta. In a hyper-condensed version of that set, they played "Red in Tooth and Claw" and I got AMPED. That is, I got about as excited as possible and I thought "This is going to be the best show I've ever been to" and then the set continued for what felt like 45 minutes as I became exhausted, drained, and annoyed.

To me, this speaks to this style in general. First, thirteen minute hardcore songs are exhausting. There's only so much of yourself to give, which must be what Neurosis figured out as they began to experiment with weirdo industrial textures and odd instrumental interludes in the 90s. So, the music (and this ultimately is what I'm diagnosing as what doesn't work for me with this style of music in general) wasn't as immediate or primal as normal hardcore, AND it lacked the pure grit and absurd heaviness of some good, modern harsh sludge/doom (such as Grief or Corrupted), and lacked a developed sonic landscape that if I really wanted to, could find elsewhere, in any number of Explosions in the Sky clone bands.

Finally, returning to that conversation I mentioned earlier, the issue that we agreed upon is that (and please forgive the very broad terms I'm speaking in...generally speaking) these groups that have one foot in the door in several places never fully commit to actualizing what's so good about the genres they're dabbling in in the first place, so you're typically left with an only half-decent hodgepodge that can be entertaining for a little while but will ultimately have you reaching for something better. For example, "Quietly," [link] by Mouth of the Architect is a pretty good song but then everything else I've tried to listen to from them has been totally forgettable and boring.

There was a definite period of time where this niche genre was in heavy rotation for me but then I got serious about listening to black metal as well as other things that were new to me at the time and suddenly I no longer saw the point. This is all, of course, dependent on my lived experiences and I'm not trying to suggest I have some sophisticated musical taste that makes these bands inferior and unimportant, or whatever. It's just that I've found very little I've cared to listen to in this stylistic family outside of Isis and Neurosis...well, except for the new Rosetta.

I'm done writing. I'm going to get to what brought me here in the first place next time.

Put it on the Pizza

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Another Half-Post

This video just got dumped onto my Facebook.

Listen to this fucking monster! This is Verminous (SWE), they have a full length which I just downloaded as hard as possible and there's not a lot I can say that the music wont say for me. This is the vilest thing I've heard in weeks. Insane.

As I said, other posts are in the works.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011


...while I'm drafting up something else...

Re: Football

It was New England bye-week. Please fix our defense.

Seeing Tim Hightower (Redskins) get knocked out for the season is heartbreaking. He's been phenomenal and having this on top of Washington's QB problems is troubling. I want to see this team succeed, they've had a rough time.

Speaking of, same game that Hightower was knocked out, it was good to see the Panthers get another win. They've got all the tools and they've looked impressive on paper, yet haven't had a winning season for whatever reason. I think it's safe to say that they risk coming in last place in their division but they're still competitive and Cam Newton is still having an amazing rookie season as QB.

Remember when the Seahawks beat the Saints in the playoffs last year? How weird that was, considering how they look now.

Enough about this.

Here's something to chew on

And then two years later he joined the Genitorturers.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

This Horrifying Force

While listening to the new Skeletonwitch, I can't help but imagine during the writing process, they turned up the Dissection and Emperor knobs. I've enjoyed this a LOT, thus far. If you listen to "The Infernal Resurrection," wait around for a spell and you'll hear this one winding riff that you'd swear came straight out of Samoth's asshole. The only missing thing is some synth strings mirroring that. Great surprise, I didn't even know the Witch was putting out a new album this year until relatively late in the game.


What a magnificent group. I'd love to see them play again. Football calls.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Holy Goddamn

This just crossed my path. Systems is a NC band from Chapel Hill. I remember the first time I saw them maybe two or three years ago, I arrived late at the show space, came in through the pouring rain and was just floored. Ol' Systems, who were previously known as Chiaroscuro, started by sounding a lot like Circle Takes the Square and subsequently got wayy more metal. I'm not sure where this new release fits in or how many they've had up to this point but a few songs in and I can already tell that Ghost Medicine is definitely a winner.

At first glance, it would seem to be nestled into that vague quote unquote "Post Metal" (or atmospheric sludge/post-hardcore, maybe?) sound of the mid-oughties popularized by Mouth of the Architect et al but but but after the emphasis on atmosphere and the oppressive heaviness, that's where the similarities end. Systems brings a huge repertoire to the table with hypnotic riffs, more tempos than "slow", constant changes, while introducing inventive, unpredictable movements in each individual song .

I can probably reduce a big part of my acute appreciation of this record down to two points. First, is that this band doesn't halfheartedly embrace that they are a metal band. So many adherents to this, errr, crossover style seem to almost contemptuously eschew, for example, real riffs, double bass parts, etc and strike a fairly minimalist tone because it's not "punk" to actually play heavy metal, or some bullshit like that -- I know I'm speaking rather generally but this is a phenomenon I've seen firsthand. To say this is just heavy, atmospheric hardcore would totally miss the point. Secondly, bands like this usually end up with this hodgepodge sound where you'll be listening to them and think "Okay, here comes the black metal comes the Stoner part..." and on and on (like how The Atlas Moth sounded to me last time I heard them) but honestly, this is the first time in recent memory that I've heard a band that is definitely metal that doesn't neatly fit into any of the major subgenres. The seams don't show. Systems convincingly utilizes an enormous pallet of textures and styles and never once did I find myself thinking "Oh man, they totally stuck a death metal part right there."

This ruled. Please check out their bandcamp.

Systems - Ghost Medicine

Monday, October 17, 2011

Please Don't Sweat the Afterlife

I fixed my goddamn computer, finally.

Last month, I had missed my bus. I was waiting to catch it in town to see a battle of the bands between a Slayer cover band and a Pantera cover band (featuring $3 Geary's drafts). I was already pretty tired but I decided it was worth the effort to get out and hope the Slayer cover band would shy away from all of their crappy late 90s groove songs. I fucked that up and misread the schedule and gleefully watched my bus go by the opposite side of the street only for it never to return, as I was unaware at the time that it was on a weird route. Anywho, that was the first night I could really feel Fall in the air. Fast-forwarding to now, it is absolutely that special time of the year where I start revisiting all the really depressive shit in my library. I had considered discussing Kold by Solstafir HOWEVER this was recently covered in the always insightful Trial By Ordeal, in a brief blurb which does more justice to it than I think I could.

Another favorite that I found around the same time in 2009 is the one-off, self-titled album by Miserere Luminis. I had an evening show around the time this came out and I would typically play at least one song a week and try (and fail) to pronounce their name and song titles.

Briefly -- Miserere Luminis emerged out of the rich Quebecois Black Metal scene as a sort of supergroup formed by Gris and Sombres Forets, two projects (three people in total) that I was already a fan of. Especially Gris. ML brings to mind the phrase of something's quality being greater than the sum of its parts. Eschewing the raw, claustrophobic sound of Gris, Miserere Luminis wouldn't sound out of place in a symphony hall. It's an enormous, orchestral album that thrives on a frigid, expansive atmosphere. It has moments of tranquility, scorn, and panic all during the course of single songs. It's eerie. It's gorgeously orchestrated. The setting I'm about to use is a little cliche but imagine stumbling through a forest in the dead of winter, following some ghostly, despondent wails. Finally, you discover an amphitheater and a bunch of dudes are playing black metal with a composer...who's also a bear. And that bear wants to die. Bet you didn't see that coming.

No, but with all glibness aside, this is a rare piece of work that seemed to slip by oddly unnoticed. This is another one of those albums that is best listened to A) Alone and B) with no other external distractions. Do not, do NOT just download this and listen to it while you play Xbox. This is crushing desolation. This is an eternity of solitude. If you can listen to "Senectus" without throwing yourself from a building, you don't have a heart.

The band is broken up buy BUY this. I'm not sure exactly how available copies are. It may be an import only deal.

Lunar Misery(?) .rar

The search for a sell-out job where I wear a tie continues.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Discovered in my Spam Folder

Scion keeps pumping out releases, strangely enough. Newest to the cabbage patch is Wormrot, who will join Magrudergrind, The Melvins, and Enslaved as a new member of a theoretical group I refer to as the "Artists Least Likely To Be Heard Playing From a Scion."

"Yeah man, I prefer their split with I Abhor, you ever get the feeling we're driving a piece of cheddar cheese?"

If you're new to Wormrot, they play quick and dirty grindcore, sans bass. The results? Terrific. I don't know what else to say but you can spare five minutes to listen to Noise, as long as you don't mind subliminal suggestions geared towards making you purchase box-like vehicles that make you look like an ecstasy dealer. Support your importers of grind.


while we're at it

Abuse LP

still sans my own computer and digital music library (and worldly pleasure). More whining to come.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Curse You All Malware!

I picked up something streaming a game...that is, when I downloaded a plugin. That was dumb. I'm still working to resolve that. This ain't my computer nor have I accessed my music therein for a good while, which has forced me to retreat into records and CDs in lieu of browsing Mediafire Records Inc.

I'm redoubling my efforts to reclaim my Free Music/Blogging Machine, in the mean time, here's what I'm listening to. Perhaps you'll find something you like. Also, remember the time when you listened to music exclusively in physical formats? Fascinating how things change