Anaal Nathrakh "Vanitas" (Candlelight)
I hate this production. It's totally thin, flat, and digital sounding. More and more bands are sounding this way and it does not sound "heavier" it just sounds processed and really takes away from things if you ask me. Anyways, this is typical "trying to sound like Colin Richardson" production. Fast, hectic, kinda like Nile or At the gates or something. Vocals are very harsh - almost industrial in their effect. Singer tries really hard to do interesting things, the production just kills it. I can't listen to this, sorry. People seem to be calling this "scary." Pfft. Scary my ass!
CAR BOMB "w^w^^w^w"(Self-Released)
This is kinda in that Strapping Young Lad/Devin Townsend area of heavy music. It's pretty cool. Lots of funny sounds, plenty of brutality. I just don't really dig this shit. I like more classic formula rock. But if you like Zappa and Death Metal, well you will probably wanna hear this.
DE MAGIA VETERUM "The Deification" (Trascendental Creations)
Now this is some prettey fucked music. It almost reminds of Star Wars or something. Like if you got in a roller coaster that went into an asteroid field and demons are out there dancing around at the same time. Sounds funny until you are actually up there in it! When people talk about "scary music" don't pay attention. Unless De Magia Veterum is in the sentence! This is like what Abruptum probably would have accomplished if they kept going. Warning: DO NOT take acid and listen to this! So like I was saying, it has a bit of an outer space kinda feel. Like when Ripley shut that Alien out of the ship. But it's also got that "Circus-y" feel of Master's Hammer's "Slagry" album (which I like actually). Anyhow - this is music that genuinely has something wrong with it. This is prog. Nevermind that power metal stuff that calls itself prog. I wouldn't really call this "metal" but like I said, if you like the more demented outer fringes of Metal experimentation, get this. Ah yes, the first Necromantia demo, how can I forget? Ok, this is early Necromantia if the production was way better. Also some of ELPs more fukked music comes to mind. Can' say I've been this impressed with anything new in some time. Times are clearly getting scarier, and music is starting to reflect that again.
Eviscerate (Self Released Promo)
Uh oh! It's time to get brutal folks!!!!Coookieeee! C is for coookieeeeissssgoooodenoughfoooormeeeeeeeeeeeeeeAH!WAHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Ooooh! Lots of "booodies" being "broooooken" here. Do I really need to say anymore? Production is good. Brutality is high. If you like old Cannibal Corpse or maybe Suffocation this isn't bad.
FISTULA "Northern Aggression" (PATAC)
Pretty fuckin sludgy bro. Sweaty, smelly, dirty, heavy as hell. Nice samples. Overall, you've heard this before. This kinda band usually is either killer or lame. There's not much in between. This is killer. It sounds real. It sounds like the original shit. Sure, it's got some character of its' own - but sludge is sludge generally. It follows the underground formula, but doesn't sound planned. Sounds natural. Did I say heavy? Jesus, that's a heavy noise! Reminds me of the godly Iommi Stubbs at times! When it's fast, look out. It sounds like a pickup truck full of pig shit moving at about 98 miles an hour with someone wasted behind the wheel. Some good dynamics. I would recommend wearing "mosh clothes" when this band comes to town.
KILLING JOKE "MMXII" (Spinefarm)
I haven't followed this band at all over the years, so my expectations were basically zero here. This isn't Metal, but it is heavy music which is more rooted in darker 80s new wave and maybe a little early industrial/punk. The lyrical themes are pretty obviously pointing at the issues many people are paranoid about today in a very matter of fact sort of way. These guys aren't pretending everything is ok but they also aren't saying "we're all doomed fuck it." I like the attitude and the songs here are interesting and pretty raw in their own way. "Fema Camp" is about the concentration camps people believe are being built in the USA. That's about as real as it gets I suppose. And like I said, they sort of face the issue head on and do a very good job. This is what political music USED to sound like, and I am glad it's coming back. Bands say they won't talk politics for whatever reason, but the real reason is usually because they are afraid of alienating their fans and losing $$$ and if you ask me, that is a pretty chicken shit reason. Killing Joke goes right into it, and it's pretty catchy and dark at the same time. Although it ain't "Metal," that one IS a heavy number. The vocals blend with the music very well. Clearly, this band is a very tight unit working together perfectly and really have their own sound. This is an album I may have to listen to a few more times. I sense greatness here.
Lyceum (CDR Demo)
Melodic Death Metal. Even though the cover titles were written with a sharpy, the production is pretty good. It sounds like these guys have been listening to a little too much Amon Amarth or the Haunted or something. It does get a bit technical at times, but not overly so. It's a pretty good balance. But everytime the vocals come in, it always settles into that "Amon Amarth" groove. The leads are just floating about like some lost viking holding a busted hammer. There is lots of talent here, but something about it just feels like a viking costume bought at the Spirit Halloween store. This is too hastily thrown together, there is not enough attention to songwriting. All the fancy parts end up all sounding the same and interchangeable. Track 4 sounds a little different. Must be another recording session? Anyways, it's tuned down lower - but manages to sound exactly like all the other songs. It's just one vibe. Every song sounds like "track 8 or 9" off of some Amon Amarth album. You know, the one where you sart getting bored and going "hmmm, I like Amon Amarth but I think it's time to switch the CD." Talented band, they just need to work on songwriting and getting somewhat of an original sound.
Satya Sena "Wide Awake Tour Demo 2012" (Self Released)
This has a nice organic tone to it. By that I mean, the instruments sound very live and unprocessed. There's a real in your face, almost retro tone to it all. I really like this type of production. The drummer is quite adept, and you can hear everything he does. The groove is steady and pounding, but the drummer clearly can do anything at anytime - and probably will. The guitar tone is very heavy, but in the buzzy stoner rock sort of way, not in the layered metallic fashion. Reminds me of how "High on Fire" sounded when they first started out. Vocals are nothing amazing and pretty monotonous, but they don't take away. They just don't add a whole lot. In fact, the guy sounds a little like Matt Pike. Anyways, this band is all about the drums. In fact, the drummer gets a little carried away. Either that, or he needs to join a Death Metal band because the riffs just sound like teenager stuff by comparison. Tell you what, if you know someone in a Death Metal band that needs a drummer - I think this guy would probably quit Satya Sena in a second. He is over qualified for the job and clearly wants to show boat his way into a bigger signed technical Metal act. Then again I been known to have an overactive imagination. Anyways, I sometimes call music like this "unsatanic" Metal. Basically, it has all the aggression of extreme Thrash or Death Metal, but they sing about pot or nature instead of satan and castles. This somehow makes them more "unique" or "punk." Or that is the theory anyways. Mastadon are the gods of "unsatanic" Metal I guess. You know, if you ask, they are like "yeah I like Sabbath - but other than that I only listen to punk." Even though secretly they probably were into Dokken and Warrant at some point in their past. Anyways, I am getting off track. this is technical stoner Metal. That about covers it. good shit, the drummer is just too good for the band. It's like a demo for him. (or her?)
SONS OF TONATIUH "Parade Of Sorrow" (Hydro-Phonic)
Aw man, more sludge???Eh...ok. This is killer sludge with a bit more dexterity and precision than the average. That's about all I can say. I can only take so much of this stuff as I quit doin speed quite a few years ago now. I know it's a cop out, but I can only take this shit in doses. Production is killer on this - and you know by now I am a dick about production! It's a good listen, I just ain't in the fukkin mood right now. Fistula is heavier, but this seems to have a bit more emotional depth and more potential to be "epic." Nice cover art.
Von "Satanic Blood" (Von Records)
The thing about Von is that once you learn a little about their history, the story behind the band quickly begins to engulf your experience of the band itself. Especially with regard to this album. I'm not sure if the band members themselves planned it this way or not, but a brief glimpse at their catalog is enough to illustrate how confusing this band is even before listening to any music. Here goes: Satanic (1990 demo), Satanic Blood (1992 Demo), Satanic Blood Angel (2003 Comp), Live at the Stone (2009), Blood Angel (2009 Demo), Satanic Blood (2010 EP), Satanic Blood Ritual (2010 DVD), Black Mass:Jesus Stain (2012 split), and finally of course, "SATANIC BLOOD!" (2012 Full Length). That's 9 recordings, all of which basically contain more or less of the same songs either re-recorded or re-issued. 5 of the 9 are either called "Satanic Blood" or have "Satanic Blood" in the title. 6 have the word "Satanic" in the title, and 2 have the phrase "Blood Angel." To make this more confusing, it is hard to know who the hell is in the band at any given time. But it seems Venien and "Goat" are the main originators of the band. However I've read that Venien quit before the "Satanic Blood Angel" recording was done and that he is not on it! Yet here we have Venien releasing the "first official full length" of Von "Satanic Blood" WITHOUT Goat present. But wait, there's more! Goat went and released "Von Goat" recently without Venien. This would seem to have been a reacion to "Von Venien," who released a sinGle in 2010. Oh yeah, then there was Sixx, which would seem to be a Gothic Death Rock side project both Goat and Venien were in briefly in the early 90s. There is more. In fact MUCH more about this band that is confusinG as hell and frankly, kind of hilarious. But I plan to Get to the bottom of some of this in my Von interview which by the time you read this, should be somewhere here on my bloG...so, down to the music. I don't need to say much here. Classic Von is classic for a reason. We all know why. SImple, dark as all hell, way ahead of it's time, and still pretty damned oriGinal soundinG to this day. Clearly Venien and Goat are BOTH talented, but here we are concerned with Venien, since he was in charGe of this recordinG. It is brilliant for sure. Almost all that is Great about the oriGinal Von recordinGs. But it is different of course. The only real difference I hear is the layers of sound/Guitars. There is simply more of them. We are talkinG about very stranGe music beinG recorded AGAIN under very stranGe circumstances. The result? A very stranGe and disturbinG album of course! Taken on its own in and of itself? This is the best it Gets because it really transcends the Black Metal label the same way old Bathory does. Yes, today we call it "Black Metal" but there is not much here I can make out which pulls any influence from modern Black Metal, other than it's own Von based roots. I would say this is mandaory for fans of raw underGround Black Metal. One other note I can add having heard this jus a couple times - there is some real terrifying moments here. As in "horror movie" come to life. So if you like your music terrifying and disturbing, ye with a consistent beat - this is worth a listen. I also liked Von Goat. I can only conclude that Von really is just a word to describe a battle between Venien and Goat for a title. All I can say is some Great music has been bourn of this duel. Keep at it fellas!