IN AN EMERGENCY is an awesome new band in the dubcore scene that I think you should check out. Blending together dubstep dance music with screamo makes this an obvious choice for fans who haven’t gone as far as black or death metal but still like their music to be heavy! Now, at their official website, the band is giving away their new ‘Existence’ EP and I think you should check it out now – especially if you dig THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, WOE IS ME or ATTACK ATTACK!
Archive for February, 2011
Dodsferd-Spitting With Hatred the Insignificance of Life (Moribund)
Greece’s Dodsferd has to be one of the most consistent black metal bands going today.
Actually, make that ‘consistently catchy’, yet simultaneously ‘filthy,’ ‘killer,’ and ‘rocking,’ as well, because Spitting With Hatred the Insignificance of Life is the six-six-sixth blower LP of rock ‘n roll black metal from mainman Wrath, who has amazingly managed to up his ante on each ‘n every Dodsferd release.
Although one might think that the avenues for enjoyment might be blocked at this point, Wrath seems to possess this almost idiot savant-esque power to compose the most relentlessly memorable, fist-raisingly awesome riffs found in black metal today, topping them with his equally unholy, screeching voice of terror.
Spitting With Hated the Insignificance of Life is yet another stab at the heart, and features what might be Dodsferd’s best production quality to date, lending each horrifying track a blood-pumping power and vein-bursting intensity.
The album also runs the stylistic/emotional gamut, as well, finding just as much pleasure and solace within the slower, mournful tempos as it does the hard rockin’ Motorhead influence. Spitting…is an album of peaks and valleys; a record which once again speaks of Wrath’s able ability, and inimitable intent on becoming one of black metal’s most reliable songwriters…that is, if he isn’t already.
Maddening and essential.
Written by MetalGeorge
All We Destroy (Profound Lore)
The Bay Area was one of the metal hotbeds in the 1980s, leading the thrash revolution and giving us bands such as EXODUS, TESTAMENT, and METALLICA, among others. Now, decades later, the area is awash with fresh, forward-thinking, inspiring bands once again. Chalk up AMBER ASYLUM, LUDICRA, GIANT SQUID, WORM OUROBOROS, and some of the bands on the Flenser Records roster, and you have another great scene that grows more interesting by the year.
One of the most important players in that movement is cellist Jackie Perez Gratz, who is involved with SQUID and ASYLUM, and is a hired gun for other notables such as AGALLOCH, NEUROSIS, CATTLE DECAPITATION and ASUNDER. Yet, with that impressive resume, perhaps her most striking work comes leading progressive metal/rock trio GRAYCEON, who we last heard from on 2008’s This Grand Show. What’s happened since then? Apparently a lot, as evidenced by their great third album All We Destroy.
For one, Gratz’s vocals have improved dramatically, and that’s not to suggest she couldn’t belt out a tune before. It’s just that she’s utterly brimming with confidence now, and her harsher, growlier vocals are an unexpected, but fitting, change of pace. They add a new dimension of emotion and danger, and while they’re only strategically placed here and there, they fit the tumult of the material.
The rest of the band sounds massive as well, with Max Doyle’s guitars slithering and assaulting, and drummer Zack Farwell providing additional damage where it is required, pulling back when the time is right. Gratz’s cello work unfurls the gothic majesty, as her sweeping playing is all over this thing, flooding the record with drama and adventure.
It would be unwise to comment on the record lyrically as we don’t have access yet, but Gratz’s words, and her delivery, certainly indicate a personal journey. Musically, the six songs cover a lot of ground, from doomy opener “Dreamer Deceived,” where Gratz wonders, “One thing I’ll never comprehend is how you left me holding a bloody knife.” The 17-minute “We Can” is the centerpiece, and it’s an excellent piece of work in which you cannot help but become immersed, with Gratz showing her vocal dexterity and the band taking you on a journey you’ll feel sad to hear end. “Once a Shadow” and closer “War’s End” both show a delicate side, or the beauty alongside their darkness.
All We Destroy is quite an achievement for GRAYCEON, a record that requires you to explore all avenues of your soul, each aspect of your emotions. This is one of those collections that can’t help but make you a better listener and a more diverse one at that. That’s as big an accomplishment as anything.
In this final installment of Spanish director Amando de Ossorio’s influential Blind Dead series of films, our ever-reliable Knight’s Templar are laid to rest with fitting grace and somber reverence, with the film’s plot echoing nicely the classic horror tales of beloved Rhode Island author Howard Phillips Lovecraft…better known as H.P.
In Seagulls, these proclaimed ‘knights of the sea’ are terrorizing an otherwise sheltered and quiet seaside town; a village whose denizens offer sacrifice to the Templars for seven nights of the year, for fear of razing and reprisal. This on-the-edge existence of terror has made the villagers hard, mean-spirited and mistrustful of outsiders, specifically the new town doctor and his lovely wife. When Mrs. M.D. begins to hear screams, moans and tolling church bells in the dead of night, she becomes rightly frightened and curious as to what exactly is going on ’round these parts.
Adding to the confusion, the good doctor and wife are told that the seagulls they hear lamenting around the shoreline embody the souls of the sacrificed girls, forever mourning their lost life and innocence.
From here, we have a typical Ossorio Blind Dead romp; a film chock full of slow-motion, doom metal atmosphere, gruesome effects and the relentless pacing of death. When compared to the previous film in the series, The Ghost Galleon, this one stacks up a little better, overall. One of these reasons-besides the more interesting, Lovecraft-ian plot line, which seems to owe much to the author’s Dagon and The Shadow Over Innsmouth tales-is the return of our Templars’ undead steeds, whose time-slowing, dimension-altering rides had become iconic for the series.
Even though Ossorio’s utilized stock footage from the original Tombs of the Blind Dead here to pad in the ghoul’s initial entrance, Night of the Seagulls provides a worthy end to one of cinema’s most underrated horror exercises; a true original of the bleak ‘n bold 70s grindhouse.
Living With the Ancients (Metal Blade/Rise Above)
Canadian occult doom rockers BLOOD CEREMONY make music that sounds specifically designed to be absorbed in a dark room, awash in candlelight, with a chalice nearby, possibly filled with sacrificial blood. Mmm.
On their second album Living With the Ancients, they make a case for being the witchiest, spookiest band around, taking the surefire melodies of THE DEVIL’S BLOOD, mixing in the darkness of ELECTRIC WIZARD, and paying proper homage to JETHRO TULL and LED ZEPPELIN. The album is a dramatic step forward from their self-titled debut, which was a good record and showed promise but left much room for growth. There’s no mistaking the maturity and the magical wonder they display here.
Alia O’Brien is the focal point of this band, a lovely siren whose voice digs deep within you and enraptures you with wonder. When she’s not conjuring smoke and spirits with her singing, she’s layering the tales with her traipsing flute work or layering in chilling keys that give the songs that vintage ’70s feel. The rest of the band rivets with its crunchy, bluesy wallop, playing better together than ever before.
Anyone new to the band will have their eyes ripped wide open on opener “The Great God Pan,” a stoner-friendly, catchy song that has a super-simple chorus that’ll be in your head all day. “My Demon Brother” is much in the same vein, with O’Brien name-dropping “unholy demons” and the heavy organs and molten stomp blazing a trail in the night. “Night of Augery” is a bit more soulful, with guitarist Sean Kennedy seemingly channeling heyday Jimmy Page, while 10-minute closer “Daughter of the Sun” is mid-tempo until it begins to smolder halfway through, ending in a droning blaze.
Blood Ceremony is the most interesting band on the Rise Above roster (which is saying something), and O’Brien is a dark joy to hear perform. Hopefully with Metal Blade’s backing this coven will be able to spread its message to a larger audience and reap the rich rewards they so greatly deserve.
Stone Axe-Stone Axe (Ripple Music)
Mighty, riff-fueled heaviness is what we have here via this reissue of Stone Axe’s debut album, courtesy of Ripple Music.
The band’s sound has clearly been well-forged and clearly thought out, with very little time devoted to meaningless meandering or endless riff repetition. Instead, Stone Axe craft a lean, mean killing machine of classic rock and doom-inspired metal; an effort which really is deserving of more attention.
Hopefully, this two disc reissue will garner Stone Axe the attention they need, bringing together a boatload of live footage, promotional videos and interviews–enough to bring any Axe neophyte up the speed with the band’s blower background.
What really lends Stone Axe its unique vibe is how well its creators venture back and forth between their varied forms of inspiration, without sounding derivative. Whether its the blues-soaked swagger of classic Whitesnake of “Black Widow” or the Sabbath/Purple template of “Riders of the Night” and “My Darkest Day,” Stone Axe always sound large and in charge, taking influence but never devolving into plagiarism.
Although the stoner/70s/doom scene is a crowded one these days, Stone Axe possesses more than enough classic rock cred to stand out from the legions of imitators as a true, exciting force. Bring on a new LP!
Written by MetalGeorge
Voluryon-Coordinated Mutilation (United Gutteral)
Indeed, Borlange’s Volturyon-a take on the mighty Japanese anime hero Voltron, perhaps?-drinketh not from the chalice of the Stockholm or Gothenburg sounds, but instead seem to very much embrace the Florida and NYDM scenes of our own U.S. of A. Riffing out on mosh parts and double kick Cannibal Corpse-isms, Coordinated Mutilation is nevertheless extremely enjoyable and blood-boiling in its vitriolic intensity.
This is primarily due to guitarists Andreas Olander and Johan Gustafsson, whose crisp, tight riffing style remains a catchy proposition throughout, never delving too deep into its own collective arse of ‘brutality’ for brutality’s sake. This gives Coordinated Mutilation a fresh feel, similar to that of Norwegians Blood Red Throne, in that the songwriting always remains Volturyon’s center of importance.
This cannot be overstated, and drummer Christian “Crille” Netzell is only too happy to keep this lock-step in line with his expert mastery of the double kick, reigning in each song with his tremendous ability and skill. Rare is it for a band this relatively young to have such a strong compositional grasp, but Volturyon does indeed have all of ‘The Right Stuff” when it comes to unleashing pure hell and death metal majesty here on Coordinated Mutilation.
This record is a clear winner, and deserves the attention of all modern death metal maniacs post-haste.
Written by MetalGeorge
When one thinks of female-fronted rock/metal of the 80s, only a few selected names usually come to mind: Doro Pesch, Lita Ford, Joan Jett and Girlschool.
Although other, more underground names also spit in the face of heavy metal sexism during the late 80s-think Betsy Bitch, Leather Leone and Lee Aaron, to name a few-the lion’s share of the female image in metal was delegated mainly to poofy-haired hair metal bands like Vixen.
Chicago’s Znowhite took it upon themselves to try and right some of these wrongs, unearthing their own brand of Motorhead-influenced, thrashing power metal to the masses with two early 80s EPs and the blower Act of God full length in 1988. Anchored by the aggressive vocals of Nicole Lee, Znowhite emerged from the underground with 1984′s All Hail to Thee EP, followed by the Kick ‘Em When They’re Down EP in ’85.
It was Act of God which truly showcased Znowhite at its finest, however: a blazing collection of songs which actually featured competent songwriting amidst all of the Testament-ish speed metal bombast. Indeed, the band made sure each track on Act of God remained memorable, with Nicole Lee’s clear, powerful vocals ensuring that each jam would contain the verse and chorus patterns required for true badassery. With this record, Znowhite, joined such acts as Bolt Thrower and Nuclear Death who were doing some uniquely extreme things for heavy metal’s estrogen contingent.
It was this excellent mixture of Lee’s melodic, yet gritty vocals and guitarist Ian Tafoya’s-who, along with his brother and drummer Sparks, would carve their own names as one of thrash metal’s early black musicians-penchant for heavy, yet harmony-laden guitars which made for true metal gold on Act of God. Sadly enough, the band would disband shortly after the album was released, reforming as the considerably more lame Cyclone Temple the same year.
Act of God lives on, however: a true underrated gem of power/thrash mastery which still sounds fresh to this day.
Ginger Trees-Along With the Tide (Transubstans)
Compared to Transubstans Records’ other new release, the harder rockin’ Three Seasons, Boras’ Ginger Trees are of a much mellower type, stopping far more often to smell the flowers along their long, dusty musical road.
Not that this is a bad thing, mind; after all, Along With the Tide is actually a quite moving, smooth collection of tunes when absorbed overall. The band’s attack is much more dreamlike, dancing forward with the (fr)agile grace usually associated with such American acts as Dead Meadow than the harder rocking Sabbathians of their native Sweden.
Ginger Trees didn’t forget to brink their guitars, of course; they’re just handled by more patient hands here on Along With the Tide. The album’s effect as a whole is full of folky blue melodies and subtle jazz textures, all lurking beneath a progressively surging doom soul. Indeed, the spirit of 70s rock lives on brightly within the soul of Ginger Trees–the band just feels no need to rush into things, preferring instead to let each song breathe and find its own way to the atmospheric finish line.
Possessing a similar set of influences to Three Seasons, this power trio nevertheless manages to set themselves apart as a band to watch in the near future. Ginger Trees might be making some waves soon, so check ‘em out!
Written by MetalGeorge
Feral-Dragged to the Altar (Ibex Moon)
Although, according to the attached press release, Sweden’s Feral actually started out their career as somewhat of a ‘joke’ band, there is NOTHING funny about how much wretch ‘n roll the quartet’s full length debut, Dragged to the Altar kicks out amidst its ten proper tracks.
There is a legitimate, Sunlight-studios cave-bake to the band’s raunchy, rockin’ death metal; a clear pathway to Feral’s Stockholm forefathers, and a nice reminder of that classic, echoing reverberation of The Swedish Sound.
Indeed, while not quite achieving the Wolverine Blues standard or anything, Dragged to the Altar still states a massive case for death ‘n roll in 2011; an enjoyable hell-ride which is chock full of meaty riffs, reckless rhythms and memorable song structures. There are some big brass balls behind Feral’s massively thick wall of guitars, and an even larger presence behind the growling maw of vocalist Hook, who leads the charge with a Viking-like fury, all the way from first charge to last call.
If this album is any indication, Feral already seem to have the goods well in hand for a fast ‘n furious career arc. Dragged to the Altar doesn’t lose steam for a moment, and continues to raise fists and drinking horns through continuous spins; the mark of a true, solid piece of metal.
Written by MetalGeorge
Tags: 90s, death, death 'n roll, Death Metal, feral, metal, metalgeorge, old school Swedish death metal, Reviews, Stockholm sound, Swedish Death Metal, swedish sound
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