Saturday, September 26, 2009

Random whatevers.

Just some stuff i've been listening to. I'm not in a "write a review" mindset right now, but I'm bored.

I had a reader ask me about Burnt By The Sun. He asked if I could recommend any similar artists. That's a really hard question. I've listened to the album, Heart of Darkness, about 4-5 times since he asked the other day. I still haven't come up with an answer I'm satisfied with. Maybe because Heart of Darkness is so good, you don't need to listen to anything else! It's heavy, intense, complex. The vocals are passionate. There's new subtle textures I hear every time I listen to it. I hear metal. I hear hardcore. But despite the iTunes tag, I wouldn't consider it metalcore. It's great. I might even listen to it again today.

I listened to the new Every Time I Die this morning. New Junk Aesthetic. It's okay. Pretty typical ETID. It's fun. It's not exactly straightforward riff-wise but it's not hard to listen to either. It was my first go around so I haven't formed a solid opinion yet. But, I have a feeling ETID is more in their element in a live setting. Even on the album the vocalist has a commanding presence that would be awesome to see on stage. Ya never know, they might even come to Kingston!

I listened to the new Black Dahlia Murder album, Deflorate, last night/this morning. First time I heard it I was unimpressed. I must have been having a bad day or something because it's pretty kick ass. Love the vocals. I think I like them so much because it's the kind that I like to scream along to. Like Blood Tsunami and Skeletonwitch. Almost black metal vocals mixed with death growls. I was really into it driving around last night. Until I picked the kids up. I didn't turn it off. Just down. And I wasn't screaming at the top of my lungs.

What else? Samael! Above. That is a loud fuckin' record. I usually don't like keyboards in my black metal but they are well used here. Not dominating. It did seem a little long thoug. There wasn't enough difference between the songs to keep me intensely interested all the way through. And the remix at the end? I was having none of that.

Yesterday's feast also included a band called Culted. I can't remember the name of the album. Beneath something or other Thunder Deep. I think. I feel bad not remembering because it's pretty awesome. Slow, atmospheric, blackened doom. Most of the time I don't have the patience to let stuff like this get where it's going. (if it ever does) Decibel gave it a 9 and most of the band is Canadian so I toughed it out. Glad I did. It sounded bleak and depressing but at the same time, I was tapping my toe and nodding my head. How does that happen? Very nice range of guitar tones. The vocals were tolerable. If you don't like basement black metal vocals, you won't like these. They fit with the music so I didn't mind.

The last thing I've listened to today was Dying Fetus - Descend Into Depravity. Brutal tech-death awesomeness. I saw a video for one of the tracks of this and it really showcases the technicality. Especially bassist Sean Beasley. That dude is fucking amazing. Finger tapping AND sweep picking!! "Hello Jaw. Meet Floor". Amazign musicianship. Brutal brutal brutal vocals. Technical without sacrificing the songs, or being self-indulgent. It's weird. I like this, but I don't like Cynic, Obscura, The Faceless, etc and I do like Origin and Arsis. What is with me anyway? I don't make sense.

I downloaded a Metal Maniacs sampler. Most of it was shit. There MIGHT be 2 bands on it that I would care to hear more of. Surprisingly not Fetid Zombie or Bone Gnawer. Orthrus maybe? and possible Augury. The Century Media sampler should be better.

Ok. Time to read some abstracts of books recommended by Michael Tsarion.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

3 Inches of Blood - Here Awaits Thy Doom

3 Inches of Blood - Here Awaits Thy Doom: This is a hard review to write. But write it I will. When you hear a 3IOB record you kind of know what you are going to get. Old-school riffage, fantastical/battle-themed lyrics, and some high-pitched singing courtesy of Cam "He Who Is Most Aptly Named" Pipes. So when I started listening to Here Awaits Thy Doom I couldn't help but feel that something was missing. That something was second vocalist,Jamie Hooper. The Screamer. Guitarist Justin Hagberg does lend some unclean vocals here and there but it's just not the same. The screaming was a integral part of what hooked me on 3IOB in the first place. (A friend at a record store put on Battlecry Under a Wintersun years ago and I dismissed it before I heard the screams. Then, last year, a different friend was raving about their shows so I gave them a second, more serious, chance. I had recently been expanding my musical horizons and was enjoying bands that I had previously (blindly) never cared for. i.e. Iron Maiden.( gimme a break. I was late to the party. Pantera's Far Beyond Driven turned me onto metal.) I ate Battlecry..., Advance & Vanquish and Fire Up The Blades right up. My favourite aspect was the screaming. I thought "How fucking awesome would it be if all the vocals were that visceral, strip-flesh-from-the-bone screaming?!" Instead, they are totally absent. Too bad the screams virtually destroyed his vocal chords and forced him to depart.

It's still a cool album. It's still got the battle theme, the riffage and the Pipes. And it's catchy as fuck. The songs get stuck in your head real good. Now whether that is due to catchiness or repetition is up for debate. "Preacher's daughter" is repetitive in "Rock and Roll All Nite" proportions. Maybe it's just the lack of screaming but I also feel HATD is a little less ferocious than previous efforts. I can hear a wider range of influences seeping through as well. Obviously KISS, the usual Maiden/Priest and I think I can hear some Black Sabbath, maybe some Skynyrd, Allman Brothers and Zeppelin too. It's hard to pinpoint for a young'un like me who wasn't raised on that stuff. (Country. UGH. Why Mom? Why???!) Like I said, pretty good album but I miss the screaming.

However, nothing is going to stop me from seeing them next month when they come to town. You'll see me rockin' out, front and center!!! Oh yeah, I'll be there to Rock In Hell.

Hey, whatever happened to Filter?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Clutch! Comin atchya live!!

I made the trip to Toronto last Wednesday to see the greatest band ever, live in concert. Oh yes. I'm talkin' about Clutch! They played at the Phoenix. I had never seen a show there. It's quite the place. I'm used to seeing shows in small clubs/bars. And I'm usually right up at the front so sound quality goes right out the window. So, I was really impressed with the sound at the Phoenix. I could listen to each component. I could distinguish each guitar from the other, the bass from them both. It was a nice change. Don't get me wrong, I love small clubs. But with a band like Clutch, it's not about screaming or headbanging or moshing or being as loud as (in)humanly possible. At a Clutch show, it's about the experience. A religious experience. And Neil Fallon is the preacher. The stage his pulpit. Guitarist Tim Sult and bassist Dan Maines, while being absolutely amazing, are pretty much glued to the floor. Drummer J.P. Gaster (who pulled double duty with Wino) is a spectacle unto himself. Watching him play is fun! Between his facial expressions, his bouncing around on the stool and his unique beats, he'd be worth the ticket price alone. Back to Neil. He's probably the best frontman I have ever seen. (Phil Anselmo may be the other) He has such a conviction. An energy that is hard to describe. He is one with the words. He can look you in the eye and you will believe whatever comes out of his mouth.

One of the best things about seeing Clutch live is you never really know what to expect. They change the setlist up every night. So if I had the extreme pleasure of catching more than one date on a tour, it would be a like a whole new experience. Even better than that are the jams. Oh the jams! The Clutch boys have such an incredible sense of each other. They are locked in. It's like they can read each others minds. They can slip into a jam and carry it out for 5, 10, 15 minutes and be so far away from where they started and WHAM! Right back into the song. Perfectly. And it's not just the bass and drums providing a beat for the guitar to do it's thing. At any given time, any instrument can be the centrepiece. It's amazing. One of these days, I'm half expecting Neil to just start rambling off lyrics improv style. They played for about an hour and 45 minutes including, I believe, a 4 song encore. You get every penny worth. None of that 45 minute set crap. I don't recall them playing anything pre-Clutch. I also don't remember anything from Jam Room or Pure Rock Fury. They might have. I'd have to check the setlist. They played a good chunk off the new record, Strange Cousins From the West. No "Spacegrass", no "Escape From the Prison Planet", no "Dragonfly" but you can't have everything. If I had anything bad to say about the show it would be the occasional echo effect on Neil's mic. I don't know if it was just the acoustics of the building or if it was a bad effect, but it didn't sound very good. They used some weird effect during "The Yeti" during the "...time is of the essence..." parts. It didn't fit at all. It wasn't even close to the album sound. Instead of it sounding like someone talking farther from the mic it sounded like someone talking underwater. I don't who's idea it was, but it was a bad idea. Relatively minor complaints, I guess.

So basically, what I'm trying to say is, Clutch were, are and always will be, the best live band you will ever see. (Best recorded band too. Just the best. Ever. Believe it.)

In case you were wondering about support acts, I have a few words for them too. Circumstances prevented me from seeing opener, Lionize. I'm not hearbroken that I didn't get to see them. But I would have liked to. They sounded kinda trippy from what little I heard online. And I was in a trippy mood. (wink wink) I did see/hear most of Wino's set though. By that point in the day I hadn't eaten in almost 12 hours. ( I just plum forgot. Too excited) So that signature Scott "Wino" Weinrich tone and it's subsequent low-frequency resonance was doing funny things to my stomach. I had to step away for a few minutes and then stand in a ridiculously long and slow moving line to get some $3 water. I was concentrating more on the line and the loudmouthed idiot in front of me than the band. What I did see though was pretty good. Performance wise it was kind of sub-standard. They didn't move that much. The music was great but it wasn't so much a "show" as a listening party. Plus, they had J.P. on the kit so that was like an extra bonus. I'm a big fan of all of Wino's work so I would like to see them again. On a full stomach.

Below is the shirt I bought. Sweet.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

MetalMatt needs your help

I'm taking an anger management class and my assignment is to find a song that describes how I feel. I am really bad with remembering lyrics.
Can you help?

I feel:

angry all the time
like nobody listens to me
like every one is an idiot
like I HAVE to yell to be heard
want to throw things and hit things all the time
want to be alone
nothing is interesting

Basically, I feel like doing anything that is not for myself directly is a hassle and I am always hassled. I am a walking ball of rage with no control.

Know any songs that sound like that?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Toronto's Titan posted a live video of new song "Warmer Months". It slays.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I've been busy, alright!

I've been pretty busy this month so I haven't really posted. I have been listening to plenty of metal but I just haven't had the time to post much. If you follow me on Twitter, I posted little comments there more often. But, because I feel like I am neglecting you, I'll post some stuff right now, instead of reading a very, very, very interesting book. (Atlantis, Alien Visitation, and Genetic Manipulation by Michael Tsarion)

I don't really pay that much attention to lyrics. However, the other day I was staining the fence while listening to my iPod. Since I wasn't reading or surfing the web, I actually paid a little more attention. Here's what happened. Heaven & Hell, pretty cool stuff. Dio's lyrics really separate H&H from Black Sabbath. Behemoth (Evangelion), I still couldn't make out most of it. All I remember is "Hail Dionysus!" Good enough for me! Birds of Prey (The Hellpreacher), I've listened to this album at least a half dozen times, or more, and this was the first time I sort of got the concept. Not 100% but I got the whole prison thing and what not. I did have to pay some attention to the task at hand. Bloodhorse, I wasn't really paying attention. I was more thinking, when the hell am I gonna finish this staining!!

I recently listened to:

Shadows Fall - Retribution: Sounded pretty solid on first listen. Good rythym, good speed. Vocals sound pretty good too. There's the odd part that is kinda weak but overall good. At times, I thought it sounded like Trivium. In a good way. I will def be listening to this more. It deserves it.

The Black Dahlia Murder - Deflorate: Again, pretty good on first listen. A little bit techy for me but the non-"generic death grunt" vocals made up for it. I've never been a huge BDM fan, but I've always enjoyed them. This deserves more listens too.

Baroness - Blue Record: I've only listened to a few tracks but I like what I hear. I don't think it's a heavy as the Red Album. There is always so much to hear with Baroness. I'll have to spin it a few more times to see how it will rank for this year.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Shrinebuilder song!!

A new Shrinebuilder song (Pyramid on the Moon) is streaming on their myspace.

For those of you who don't know, Shrinebuilder is the new supergroup featuring Wino, Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Al Cisternos (Sleep, OM), and Dale Crover (Melvins).

It's fucking incredible.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

a few words on what I've been listening to

Battlefields - Thresholds of Imbalance: Pretty good. A little boring in parts (tinkly guitar passages) but nice to chill to. I haven't finished it yet but I will.

Burnt by the Sun - Heart of Darkness: haven't finished this either but it's turning my crank. Nice and heavy. Some great riffs too.

Not really impressed by Artillery, At War, or Axis Powers. Azarath and Backwoods Paycheck sound pretty good.

Swashbuckle - Back to the Noose: I really liked the track "Cruise Ship Terror" when I heard it on the Nuclear Blast/Sumerian sampler. So I was excited to hear the whole album. It's better sounding than their debut production wise. But, the pirate metal shtick gets old fast. The little spoken shit in between songs is pointless and boring. Like cut-scenes in video games. Back to the Noose is good and fun but all in all forgettable.