Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jucifer - Throned in Blood

Jucifer releases have never been thought of as "light and airy" but there has always been a balance of the loud grind/death stuff and the lighter tunes. Not so on Throned in Blood. With the exception of closer, "Armageddon", there is no light and airy. Even it's not happy go lucky. It's all dark and claustrophobic. Not claustrophobic in the sense that there is too much going on and nothing has room. No, in the sense that it sounds like it was recorded in a basement. (Or their van) But really fucking cool.  Like they just set a couple mics on the floor and hit record. You can hear the hum of the amps and everything. Mind you, with Amber's backline, you can hear the hum 3 blocks away. The whole album has a very stripped down, DIY, personal feel that is lacking from modern metal anymore. It's all super-produced-cookie-cutter-for-the-masses-metal, where every note is planned and every mistake corrected.  Throned in Blood sounds raw and off-the-cuff. Sometimes I think that the whole thing is just a big jam session. Edgar and Amber have such great chemistry that I wouldn't be surprised if they could pull that off.
Jucifer are Jucifer for the music's sake. And that really comes through on Throned in Blood. You won't hear it plastered on mainstream radio, or see them opening for The Rolling Stones. You'll hear it on your stereo and in your head over and over again. And you'll see them in any venue that'll take 'em. And I can't wait.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Soulfly tracks

So I've had the pleasure of hearing 2 tracks from the upcoming Soulfly release, Omen. Omen will be my album of the year. Yes, I am biased.

The 2 tracks the masses have been graced by are "Kingdom" and "Rise of the Fallen" (ft. Greg Puciato of DEP) Both songs are definitely Soulfly but aren't so heavy on the tribal influence.

"Rise of the Fallen" has some really cool elements to it. Namely Marc Rizzo. Dude is so good. Over Max's rythm riffs, Marc lays down some fancy fingerwork. It sounds almost electronic, or even robotic. To my knowledge, the song has nothing to do with the second Transformers movie, but the robotic guitar work and the title makes for a somewhat humorous connection. Might we see Megan Fox in the video? Please?  Other than that, Puciato's vocals are pretty killer. I've never really been a fan of Dillinger Escape Plan (or really gave them a chance) so I didn't know who the vocalist was at first. I was impressed. I like the power and rawness of his voice. The veins on his foreheard must be huge. So after hearing this track, I decided I should probably check out the new DEP release, Option Paralysis. While my socks remained on, it was the first Dillinger album I listened to all the way through. At the time it wasn't a terrible move, but Max and Co. sure have come a long way since "Bleed".

"Kingdom" falls a little more squarely into the Soulfly hole. Galloping riffs. Max's less-than-melodic vocals. Repetitive chorus. Don't get me wrong, I still think it's a great song. I just doubt it's the best song on the album. It's muscular. It's headbang inducing. It's potentially dangerous to listen to while driving. It's damn catchy. Kind of bummed they never said Kingdom of Noise in the song though. Ah well.

If my memory serves me correctly, Omen will be released May 25, 2010.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Black Sheep Wall - I am God Songs

Can't quite remember why I wanted to check out this band but I think it may have been Chris Woodford of Titan suggesting it. If it was him, I'll have to give him a big ole Thank You! This shit is HEAVY! It's a wonder their strings don't fall right off.  The downtuned glory comes at you slow and oppressive. It's not funeral doom but they're in no hurry. The vocals are just beastly. I swear someone is torturing a polar bear. The last track is a noise piece that I wasn't crazy about but I was so into the book I was reading (Bram Stoker's Dracula) that I tolerated it. Under other circumstances I would probably skip it. There were some spoken passages here and there that, to me, really contrasted with the aural image of the album. The voice sounded like it came from some kid with a small shirt and tight jeans who'd be blown over by the wind from the amps. And if your amp can blow someone over, it's pretty burly.
If I find out the significance of the band name, I'll let you know. Meanwhile, two heavy horns up to I am God Songs.

R.I.P. Pete Steele

Music lost an influential member recently. Peter Steele of Type O-Negative passed away at 48 due to an apparent heart failure. Type O-Negative were pretty much the only goth metal band worth mentioning. They doubtless inspired legions of like minded bands but none achieved the kind of success Type O did. The albums October Rust and Bloody Kisses lent their cover art to many a t-shirt peeking from under the white dress shirts at my high school. Black No. 1 was like an anthem to the sullen. Pete Steele's voice was what set him apart. It was deep and full of character. It suited his physical stature to a tee. He was an irreplaceable figure in heavy music and he will be sorely missed.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Just so you know I'm still alive

I've been on holidays for the last 2 weeks. I listen to most of my music on breaks from mind-numbing factory work. And if I have the house to myself on an off day, I just listen to something I already love really, REALLY loud.

So, for the last 2 weeks or so, I've been degrading my sense of hearing with copious amounts of Fear Factory's Mechanize and High on Fire's Snakes for the Divine. I own actual physical copies of both albums so I could listen to both while running errands and other normal people shit.

But alas, the bliss of not working has ended and I find myself relegated to earning money again. However, I have been able to start chipping away at the shitload of new albums I have stashed on my ipod. I have listened to the Bison b.c. (Dark Ages), which sounded pretty killer at moderate volume, with the windows half down due to no A/C and a heater that won't turn off and a non-metal loving (yet) 6 year old in the back seat. I heard Mammoth Grinder. Same situation but sub the 6 year old for a picky 3 year old. She prefers Slayer. What I heard really impressed me.

Black Sheep Wall - I am God Songs. Pretty good. Heavy. Slightly formulaic. Too anxious for something else new to make it all the way through.

Cancer Bats - Bears, Mayors, something something. Dumbass title but good tunes. I'm about halfway through. Nothing with the same impact as "Hail Destroyer", but it keeps ya moving. And pisses me off that I've yet to see them live eventhough they play near me often enough.

Next on the docket is the new Cathedral. I used to really dig them back in my "nothing but stoner-rock or doom" phase (I miss Man's Ruin). Double album. I'm stoked. Not stoned. Damn.

I will make yet another attempt to "get" Dillinger Escape Plan. Who knows? Maybe Option Paralysis will lure me over to the DEP-side.

and last of all, I did hear a couple tracks from the new Sevendust. Sounded pretty sissy to me.

FUCK ME! I STILL haven't transcribed that Kylesa interview! FUCK FUCK FUCK!

Friday, April 2, 2010

This is gonna make me look like an idiot.

And rightly so.

See, a little while ago I reviewed the new High on Fire album Snakes for the Divine. While I didn't hate it, I was kind of disappointed. Read it here.

Then I bought the album. I didn't listen to it for a couple weeks. I did today. Aaaaaand, the copy I downloaded months ago WASN'T HIGH ON FIRE!!! It was a FAKE! It was the self-titled Kalas album from 2006! I do believe that album made my Top 5 of 2006! How could I not have noticed? a) I listen to way to much music and b) my memory sucks ass.

I'm gonna listen to the real copy a couple hundred times and get back to you with a review of the correct album.